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Take the journey across Namibia's contrasting landscapes, including dramatic canyons, towering sand dunes and magnificent national parks in search of wildlife, and by night enjoy a sundowner in lodges located perfectly for exploring.
Explore Tour Leader
2 nights comfortable hotel
8 nights comfortable lodge
1 nights premium lodge
Trip maximum 10
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive Windhoek and check into hotel. There is some free time today for sightseeing in the Namibian capital, with an opportunity to visit the National Museum or perhaps a half day Katatura Township tour.
Safari Hotel (or similar)
Departing Windhoek we spend the day driving south-west into the Namib Desert, to the edge of the Namib-Naukluft National Park and our lodge near Sesriem. The Namib is the oldest desert on earth, distinguished as being home to some of the strangest flora and fauna on the continent.
Hammerstein Lodge (or similar)
Today we drive into the Namib-Naukluft National Park and travel down the Tsauchab Valley to Sossusvlei to watch the sun cast its shadows over the red dunes. Sossusvlei has some of the world's most spectacular sand dunes. The area itself is a vast depression or clay pan, towered over by sand dunes up to 300m high. In the early morning, the first rays of the sun light up the dunes with a deep orange glow - a photographer's delight. It is a wild, beautiful and romantic spot, with sparse vegetation edging a few water courses which flow in from the Tsauchab river. Here springbok and ostrich are often seen. We'll also explore the cool passageways of the Sesriem Canyon on foot. The canyon is small but very picturesque - many plants grow in the shade and shelter offered by the canyon, and water pools attract several species of birds and animals. Sesriem means 'six thongs'; which refers to the six lengths of rawhide rope (from a wagon) needed to make a line long enough to lower from the rim of the gorge to the stream below, in order to haul up a bucket of water.
Travelling via Solitaire and through the Kuiseb Canyon, we then pass awe-inspiring landscapes as we head across the Namib gravel flats to Walvis Bay. Here a large spit forms a natural deep-sea harbour that attracted the first navigators in the late 1400's. The shallows, located where the spit joins the mainland, are home to a diverse collection of birds, the most spectacular being flamingos and pelicans that feed here seasonally. It's a short drive from here to the coastal town of Swakopmund.
Prost Hotel (or similar)
Swakopmund is one of the world's best examples of German colonial architecture, and served as the German's port into what was then, German South West Africa. Like any port town has a colourful past. Today, there may be time to visit the town's excellent museum, or visit a local township, participate in one of the numerous activities on offer, or just relax! This evening you have the chance to watch the sunset at the nearby coastal dune belt.
Please note: The running order of days 5, 6 and 7 is subject to change depending on accommodation locations. All listed highlights and activities will still be included and your Trip Leader will provide a detailed briefing to the group about the running order, driving distances and any necessary changes to what's described in the trip notes.
Travelling north towards the Atlantic coast we visit the memorable Cape Cross Seal Colony where between 80,000 and 100,000 Cape fur seals bask in the sun or swim playfully in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The seals are natural indicators of fish stocks in the ocean. If the fish stocks are healthy, then the seal numbers are high. If the fish stocks are poor, then the seal numbers will be low. The seals are quite big, an average male weighing in at anything up to 187kg (501 lbs.). The females give birth to a single pup around late November to early December. After our visit we head inland, towards the majestic Brandberg Mountain (2,573m and the highest point in Namibia) and stopping at the Brandberg White Lady Paintings. These famous San Bushman paintings can be found throughout the Brandberg Mountain area and are a spectacle to behold. To reach the rock paintings we will walk via mostly flat terrain between rock formations and it will take us approximately 1 hour to reach. Do remember to wear comfortable walking footwear and have a hat, suntan lotion and plenty of water with you today.
Please note: Depending on your accommodation location, the rock art seen will either be the Brandberg White Lady or Twyfelfontein rock art. Both of these sites are of important, cultural significance in Namibia and are examples of ancient Bushmen rock art. Your Trip Leader will advise on arrival about the running order and which rock art site will be visited.
Uis White Lady Lodge (or similar)
This morning we set off on our drive north to Etosha National Park. Travelling through Damaraland we pass through local villages and will break the journey with some stops along the way. We'll travel to the edge of Etosha National Park, considered to be one of the finest national parks in Africa. Etosha is an immense, saline desert which can be seen from space, covering over 12,400 square miles, and the habitat for 114 species of animals. All the big carnivores, elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra and various antelope are common sightings, and we will also try to spot some of the more endangered species, such as black rhino.
Toshari Lodge (or similar)
This morning we enter Etosha National Park for an early morning game drive. Our programme of game drives will depend entirely on the interests of the group and the time of year, so it is left as flexible as possible. The terrain ranges from dense bush to large open plains where animals roam freely. As well as an abundance of game, Etosha is a good place to spot birdlife with over 340 species in the park, including weaverbirds, European bee-eaters, hornbill, ostrich and Africa's heaviest flying bird, the striking kori bustard. We drive along the network of gravel roads that criss-cross the park, visiting the various viewpoints and the permanent waterholes around which animals congregate. There is something enigmatic in the vast silent grey white pan that covers the reserve.
Halali Bungalows (or similar)
We continue with game drives today. Numerous waterholes and underground springs attract large herds of animals including springbok, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe. At its very heart is the Etosha Pan, which geologists believe was formed some 12 million years ago from an inland lake about the size of Holland. Shrunk to its present dried-up size, it is now a gigantic depression in the ground - flat, saline and silvery, a mysterious place of mirages and dust-laden images.
We leave Etosha and travel via the Cheetah Conservation Foundation at Otjiwarongo to the Waterberg Plateau Park. The CCF is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and education on cheetahs and their eco-systems with an extensive visitor's centre which encourages visitors to learn more about these beautiful cats and the efforts being made to save them. Later we will continue to the Waterberg Plateau. The Waterberg is a sandstone mountain which rises over 200m from the surrounding plains and is Namibia's only mountain game park. There are various trails to walk along searching for the elusive Damara Dik-Dik and a good variety of birds.
Waterberg Rest Camp Bungalows (or similar)
This morning you could choose to explore some of the walking trails on offer or take an optional game drive in the national park. We will then head south and return to Windhoek. We have the chance to stop off en route in Okhandja and visit the local craft market.
Our tour ends this morning after breakfast.
With a staggering 300 days of sunshine each year, Namibia is a year-round destination, although some may prefer to avoid the heat of high summer. The cold Benguela current keeps the Atlantic coast of the Namib Desert cool and rain-free for most of the year, with a thick coastal fog that lends a mysterious edge to the area. January and February are the hottest months, when daytime temperatures in the heart of the Namib can exceed 40°C (104°F), but nights are usually cool. Winter nights can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and pleasant.
3 Pin Round
English, Afrikaans, German
Day 1: Windhoek (only time if you arrive earlier or depart after the tour) Half day city tour: N$750 pp Half day Katutura Township tour: N$750 pp Day 5: Swakopmund Living Desert Tour half day tour N$850 pp - The Living Desert Tour is a unique 4x4 adventure drive through the dunes. The tour takes you from the vegetated, life-rich eastern side of the dunes, right through the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean on the western side (minimum 5 people and weather permitting). Swakopmund Museum N$ 50 pp Aquarium N$ 45 pp Township tour N$ 750 pp Half day dolphin cruise in Walvis Bay N$ 1150, excluding transfer Day 8 and 9: Etosha National Park Night game drive N$750 pp Day 10: Waterberg Plateau Park Game drive N$ 750 pp for 4 hours Cash payment is preferable due to poor signal in remote areas.
Clothing should be lightweight, however a warm fleece and sweater/thick shirts are essential, as nights (and daytime) can be very cold, especially from May to September, and game drives tend to take place at dawn and dusk. Brightly coloured clothing is not suitable for game viewing.
Lightweight trail boots or robust trainers with a good grip, and sandals.
A soft bag or holdall/kitbag (or rucksack with detachable frame). There are no porters on this trip to carry luggage.
Bring a torch, water bottle, sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Binoculars are essential for game viewing and a 300mm lens is recommended for photography. We also recommend you bring a swimming costume.
Great locations and well appointed accommodation characterise this trip. Namibia has a good tourism infrastructure and generally good service standards. We start our tour in a superbly located standard hotel with a pleasant restaurant and beer garden, right in the heart of Windhoek. In complete contrast, our next stop is at a family run lodge in the middle of the Namib desert. The gardens and pool here create a lovely atmosphere and the home cooking is great! On to Swakopmund where our small, family run hotel with its great coffee shop is located just minutes from the sea and the centre of town. In Etosha National Park, the accommodation is subject to change due to very high demand in the area. Many of our accommodation options will offer comfortable restcamps with pool, gardens and a bar. The distances between accommodations can be vast and driving times may be affected. Your Explore Leader will give a group briefing about locations, driving times and any alterations to the running order that be necessary. Finally at Waterburg plateau we stay in chalets which nestle amongst the trees at the foot of the escarpment.
It’s very important that you let us know of any dietary requirements at least 60 days prior to the departure of your trip because your Leader will pre-plan menus and shop for the majority of the food prior to departure. In Namibia there is very limited availability for specialist food products along the way and leaders will need to pre-advise accommodations of any specific requirements so they can ensure they have options. Please note, without prior notice or if your requirements change while on the trip Explore cannot guarantee all requirements will be catered for.
If you have a specialist diet, including but not limited to vegan, gluten free, lactose intolerant and/or celiac, we strongly recommend you bring some snacks with you as options will be limited, particularly in rural parts of Namibia where specialist food products in supermarkets are very limited and restaurants will often have one or two alternative options on their menus. With prior notice our leaders will always ensure there is a meal for you, however, we must stress we cannot guarantee variety or choice.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Travelling with Minors via South Africa (including transits) and entry into Namibia Regulations affecting all children aged under 18 years that are travelling to, from or via South Africa have been updated (Nov19). The law states that visa exempt children travelling for tourism purposes with one or both parents and/or an adult who is not a biological parent require to present a valid passport for each child on arrival. We strongly recommend you to refer to the South African House website for full information and to travel with a copy of these requirements. Please refer to the FCO website for information on travelling with minors to Namibia: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/namibia/entry-requirements Namibia: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. UK passport holders will need a minimum of 1 blank page in your passport for your permission to stay stamp acquired on arrival. Other nationalities should consult their embassy or consular office. When travelling via South Africa a machine readable passport is required. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.20
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Please note this trip is operated in an overland truck because many of the roads we travel on through Namibia are gravel roads. The conditions of these roads can vary depending on government maintenance and at what time during the season you are travelling. Changing road conditions can have an impact on comfort and driving times. The roads conditions can take a toll on the overland vehicles at times and urgent vehicle repairs may be necessary throughout the trip. Our leaders and drivers are all trained in vehicle maintenance and can fix many issues caused by the rugged roads, however, in some cases we may have to change vehicles or amend travel times to allow vehicle maintenance to be carried out; your leader will brief you if this is the case. The overland trucks are large vehicles perfect for adventures in Southern Africa. The windows are large and slightly tinted to maximise on sightseeing and protect from the sun. Seats are larger than average and have seatbelts. The driver's cab and main passenger compartment are separate but the trucks are equipped with PA systems for easy communication. Plus the trucks are equipped with a limited number of charging points for cameras and cool boxes for keeping drinks cool - your leader will advise when these can be used. Air conditioning is not guaranteed.
Nothing compulsory, but we do recommend protection against malaria, hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid and polio. Please note that all travellers aged over 9 months old that have travelled from or have transitted via a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, will need to present a Yellow Fever certificate at immigration/borders in Namibia for inspection. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Travellers may wish to immunise themselves against meningitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.