DESERT HORSE INN, AUS
Standard Ensuite Room – Full Board
We have the whole day to explore the surrounding attractions including Lüderitz, Kolmanskop and the Wild Horses of the Namib.
The harbour town of Lüderitz is one of only a few small towns in Southern Namibia and is known for its colonial architecture, wildlife (including South African Fur Seals and African Penguins) and an interesting museum. It is named after controversial colonial figure Adolf Lüderitz but was discovered by Bartolomeu Dias in 1487 who erected a stone cross on the southern peninsula. For centuries the town operated as a trading post with whaling, seal hunting, fishing and guano harvesting dominating the industry. In the early 1900s it even experienced a short diamond rush when nearby Kolmanskop was built. These days many tourists are attracted to the historic architecture, a new waterfront, some good restaurants and its proximity to Kolmanskop. We do a sightseeing walk and drive around the town to enjoy it’s attractions.
Just outside Lüderitz lies the ghost town of Kolmanskop which we will explore and take some interesting photographs. This previously bustling diamond town was abandoned in 1956 when richer diamond-bearing areas were found further south and still continues to wage war against being buried under the shifting sands of the desert. The town has been used as the setting for several films and television series.
Our final attraction for today is the rare and famous Wild Horses of the Namib. Their origin is unclear but they are most likely ancestors of the horses from German breeding programmes that were released from various farms and camps in the early 20th century, especially during World War I. The Namib Desert Horse travels extensively, searching for food, water and shelter from the climate and insects. Due to scarcity of water, the Namib Desert Horse sometimes goes without water for as long as thirty hours in summer and has been known to go close to 72 hours without water during the winter, significantly longer than most horses, even other feral herds. There are between 100 and 180 horses that roam the sparsely vegetated plains of this arid environment in small groups, often coming to drink from the man-made trough at Garub, some 20 kms west of Aus. From a hide we can watch the horses and take pictures; a rare treat.
We make our way back to the lodge, enjoying the late afternoon light. Then have dinner and a good night’s rest. Tomorrow we head north!
Included – Accommodation, 3 meals per day, Full Day Excursion to Luderitz and Kolmanskop
NAMIB DESERT LODGE, SOSSUSVLEI REGION
Standard Ensuite Room – Full Board
Rise early and depart after breakfast on a half day tour of the surrounding desert landscape. A local expert will talk about the fascinating fauna and flora that survives, and even thrives, in this harsh and seemingly dead landscape. We may see interesting plants, geckos, lizards, snakes, small mammals, and learn about the geology and history of the area. Alternatively we can organise a morning of hiking in the beautiful Aus mountains.
After lunch we depart for Sossusvlei, driving through the Namib Rand Nature Reserve with its spectacular scenery. This private nature reserve covers 2,150 sq kms (830 sq mi) and shares borders with the Namib-Naukluft National Park to the west and the Nubib mountains to the east. The reserve has been proclaimed as Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) making it one of the best places on earth to star-gaze.
Your journey to Sossusvlei today is about 5 hours, a drive that takes you though some spectacular desert areas. We will arrive at Namib Desert Lodge in the late afternoon and enjoy a great dinner and an early night in preparation for tomorrow’s early start.
Included : Accommodation, 3 meals per day
SWAKOPMUND SANDS HOTEL, SWAKOPMUND
Standard Ensuite Room – Breakfast & Lunch
We will be up before the sun rises to prepare for our Sossusvlei visit. Enjoy a quick cup of coffee/tea and wait for the park gates to open at sunrise. Then we drive for about 30 minutes while the sun rises over the amazing red dunes. The dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world, reaching almost 400 meters with the opportunity to capture wonderful images in the beautiful morning and evening light.
For the adventurous you have the option of climbing the dunes, sliding down them or enjoying a brisk walk to Dead Vlei. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the many highlights that surrounds Sossusvlei itself.
• Dune 45, the most photographed dune on earth (situated 45 kms from Sesriem on the road to Sossusvlei)
• Hiddenvlei, perfect if you are looking for solitude in the desert
• The magnificently tall Big Daddy dune
• Deadvlei, a paradise for photographers as it is punctuated by blackened, dead acacia trees in vivid contrast to the shiny white salt floor of the pan and the intense orange dunes
We will take a break halfway and enjoy a picnic breakfast while enjoying the surrounding landscape.
After lunch we depart for Swakopmund via the Namib Naukluft National Park. We spend the night at Swakopmund Sands Hotel and will have dinner at one of the top restaurants in town. Please note that dinner tonight is not included and is for your own account. We will enjoy our last dinner together and reminisce about our wonderful safari!
Swakopmund is a very popular holiday destination. Wedged between the Namib Desert and the cold Atlantic Ocean, Swakopmund is known for its relaxed atmosphere and has something for everybody. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars, good shopping opportunities and fascinating architecture. For the adventurous there’s quad biking, sand-boarding, skydiving, beach angling and scenic flights over the coastline and Sossusvlei to name a few. Nearby is Walvis Bay, Namibia’s major harbour town, well known for the lagoon and its prolific birdlife.
Included : Breakfast, Lunch, Sossusvlei Excursion
END OF SAFARI
After a relaxing final breakfast together we depart for Windhoek. It is a 4 to 5 hour drive eastwards to the capital. We drive through the Namib Desert for the last time. It is the oldest desert and boasts some of the highest sand dunes in the world.
*Please note: we can easily arrange a day or two extra for you in Swakopmund/Walvis Bay for the many activities that can be enjoyed here. Please enquire before the safari departs.
On our last drive back to Windhoek, keep an eye out for some wildlife. We may see Ostrich, Oryx, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Sociable Weavers or even a Greater Kudu.
In Windhoek we will either take you to your hotel (if you are planning a longer stay in the capital), or to Hosea Kutako International Airport for your homeward flight, or for your connecting flight if you decide to combine this safari with an extension to Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zambia or South Africa. We can also extend this safari northwards to Damaraland with its desert adapted elephants, and also to world renowned Etosha National Park. We will gladly assist with accommodation in Windhoek should you need to stay over.
Included : Breakfast, Airport Transfer