OLIVE GROVE GUESTHOUSE, WINDHOEK
Standard Rooms – Bed & Breakfast
On arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport you will be met by your guide from Namibia Experience and transferred to Olive Grove Guesthouse.
After lunch you will have a 2 to 3 hour guided tour of Windhoek and Katatura Township to learn about the people and history of Namibia. Your guide will collect you at 09:00. You will visit the Christ Church, the Tintenpalast (House of Parliament) and the Kaiserstrasse (main shopping street). You also have the option of visiting 3 museums. One is the Railway Museum, another is dedicated to the history of Namibia and the other is the Minerals Museum.
From the city centre your tour takes you to Katatura Township, an informal settlement housing more than two thirds of Windhoek’s 325,000 people. The township is a vibrant and exciting place giving you an insight into some of the more traditional Namibian cultures. Your guide will show you the different styles of housing (from bungalows to shacks) and explain when, how and why the township started. He will also explain what different cultural groups live in Katatura and point them out when you see them on the side of the road.
Olive Grove Guesthouse is located in the relaxed suburb of Klein Windhoek, close to the city centre and many excellent restaurants. Your Standard Rooms are furnished and fitted in a simplistic, but stylish fashion. Moroccan lights give the rooms a romantic feel with dimming switches to add to the ambience.
Room facilities include satellite TV, air conditioning, coffee / tea, mini bar and safe. Light lunches and dinner are served daily. There is a tranquil garden with a plunge pool and wifi is available.
Included : Bed and Breakfast, Guided Tour of Windhoek & Katatura Township
BAGATELLE KALAHARI GAME RANCH, MARIENTAL REGION
Savanna Chalets – Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Departing Windhoek after breakfast, your Namibian journey takes you south into the Kalahari Region where the red sands, savanna scrub and wildlife contrast greatly from other areas of Namibia. Here too you will find Bushmen people, the original inhabitants of Southern Africa whose knowledge of plants and animals has enabled them to survive in the most extreme of climates and habitats.
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch is located near the town of Mariental in the Kalahari region of Namibia. The terrain includes mixed tree and shrub savanna with red sand dunes and wildlife such as springbok, oryx, eland, kudu, giraffe, zebra, ostrich, meerkat and cheetah. There is also a Bushman community living here affording you the opportunity to have a unique cultural experience and learn more about Southern Africa’s original inhabitants.
The Savannah Chalets are located in the valley between the dunes overlooking the Main Lodge. Room features include ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, tea and coffee station and a bar fridge.
Lodge facilities include a swimming pool, upstairs restaurant, lounge, bar and a boma area where large fires are lit and barbecues can be enjoyed at night. Nearby is a waterhole that attracts game such as oryx, springbok, giraffe, ostrich, jackal, hare, mongoose and other smaller antelope.
On the afternoon of arrival you are booked on a Cheetah Feeding & Sundowner Game Drive. First you will have a safari through the reserve where a variety of game species can be seen such as giraffe, kudu, zebra, oryx, blue deer, eland and much more. Afterwards you will be in close contact with the fastest land animal on earth. During the cheetah feeding, you will learn everything about this fascinating predator and have the opportunity for great close-up photos. Experience the breathtaking sunset on one of the highest dunes with refreshments and Namibian snacks, while enjoying the silence of the desert and an incredible view into the landscape.
The next morning you will take a walk with the indigenous people of the Kalahari. Walk with the Bushmen (San) to their village and learn about the ancient traditions and secrets of their ancestors. Get to know their survival skills and bring the past alive with them. In the village you will be shown how to collect water in ostrch eggs, how to set animal traps, which plants are suitable for medecine and how to make pearl and ostrich jewellery. This is a truly memorable cultural experience.
The Kalahari Region forms part of the 2.5 million sq km Kalahari Basin, one of the largest coherent sand expanses worldwide. The central part of the Kalahari Basin consists of the Kalahari Savanna also known as the Kalahari Desert though it is arid savannna and not desert.
The Kalahari is one of the few places where you will find Bushmen, the true indigenous people of Southern Africa. For centuries they have lived undisturbed and in harmony with the environment. Their lifestyle was that of nomadic hunter-gatherer groups where leadership was undefined and tribal fights unknown. History has not always been kind to these peaceful people. As other African tribes moved down from the north and the early white settlers moved up from the Cape, they encountered the Bushmen who inhabited almost the whole of Southern Africa. Soon the Bushmen were displaced by the more dominant alien cultures in the region, so much so that today the Bushmen live only in the most harsh and remote parts of Southern Africa.
Included : Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, Cheetah Feeding & Sundowner Game Drive, Morning Bushman Walk
DAYS 3 & 4
SOSSUSVLEI LODGE, SESRIEM, NAMIB DESERT
Standard Rooms – Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Your journey today will take you into the awesome expanse of the Namib Desert along gravel roads travelling through open plains before reaching the dunes of the Namib Naukuft Park. You will arrive around midday and check into Sossusvlei Lodge, located in Sesriem, just outside the entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park.
Sossusvlei Lodge is a luxurious eco-friendly retreat shaded by camel thorn trees that blends in perfectly with the spectacular desert surrounds.
Your luxury ensuite Standard Units under canvas are air conditioned and have beautiful desert vistas. The units have a patio, en-suite bathroom with shower and a spacious bedroom under canvas with adobe-style plaster walls.
Lodge facilities include a sparkling pool and a restaurant with an al fresco terrace that has magnificent views of the floodlit waterhole, attracting oryx, springbok, jackal, ground squirrel and hyena.
After checking into Sossusvlei Lodge, enjoy a relaxed lunch and a swim.
The next morning you will rise very early to enter the Namib Naukluft Park at sunrise. Your guide will have your packed breakfasts ready and after entering the Park, you will drive to Dune 45 where you can trudge up the sandy slope to capture the awesome sight of the first rays of sun that light up the dune wonderland all around. Then drive another 15 kms to the car park from where you travel along very sandy tracks to vist the renowned areas of Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei and Big Daddy Dune. After enjoying walks through these areas you will drive back to Sossusvlei Lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon your guide will take you to Sesriem Canyon and another sundowner drive.
The highlights of the Namib Naukluft Park include Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei, Big Daddy Dune, Dune 45, Sesriem Canyon and Elim Dune. These are located inside the Park except for Sesriem Canyon which is just outside the park about 3 kms from Sossusvlei Lodge.
Namib Naukluft Park is almost 50,000 sq. kms and one of the largest Parks in Africa. It stretches from near Luderitz in the south to Swakopmund in the north and includes well known areas such as Sossusvlei, Namibrand Nature Reserve, Naukluft Mountains, Sandwich Harbour, Swakop River Valley and Kuiseb Canyon.
Sossusvlei, a dry lake that sometimes fills with water after heavy rains in the interior, is located inside the Namib Naukluft Park and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Namib Desert as it is here that some of the highest sand dunes in the world are found, some of which are over 300 metres high. The first and last light of day blends with the ochre red and brown hues of the dunes to create a visual spectacle that holds visitors in awe. And to climb a dune before sunrise has become a religion to most who flock to this area.
Deadvlei, close to Sossusvlei, is a clay pan characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor. The pan was formed when the Tsauchab River flooded and the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. However, the climate changed and the sand dunes encroached on the pan, blocking the river from reaching the area. The trees are estimated to be approximately 900 years old, though they have not decomposed due to the dry climate. Deadvlei is a paradise for photographers as the contrast between the pitch-black trees and bleached-white pans, and the rusty-red dunes and deep blue sky make for incredible images.
Big Daddy is the tallest dune in the Sossusvlei area. This magnificent dune is situated between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei and at 325 meters, it dwarfs the other dunes.
Dune 45 is situated 45 kms from the entrance gate along a paved road. It’s fascinating shape and accessibility makes it the most photographed dune in the world. Visitors are allowed to climb Dune 45, so be sure to visit early in the morning to watch the sunrise over the vlei from the top of the Dune. The Dune is 85 meters high and the climb is well worth the effort as from the top you will be spoilt with the incredible panoramic view of Dune Valley. In the morning and evening light the floor of the pan has been described as a “moonscape” and is truly a sight to behold.
Sesriem Canyon is located near the Namib Naukluft Park Gate. Here the Tsauchab River carved the conglomerate rock of the Canyon to a depth of 30 metres. The Canyon is about a kilometre long and was named after the six leather thongs used by settlers to lower a bucket into the canyon to get water. There is normally always water at the deepest part of the canyon. The normally dry Tsauchab River runs through the Namib Naukluft Park and ends at Sossusvlei about 50 kms from the Atlantic Ocean.
Apart from the ephemeral sustenance provided by the river, the living desert is primarily sustained by fog from the Atlantic Ocean and wind-blown detritus.
Elim Dune is located inside the Park and is only 5 kms from the Namib Naukluft Park Gate. It is a good place to visit before sunset. Take note that the Park entrance gate opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.
Included : Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, Namib Naukluft Park Excursions
DAYS 5 & 6
HOTEL ZUM KAISER, SWAKOPMUND
Standard Rooms – Bed & Breakfast
Today you travel through the Namib Desert to Swakopmund, a 4 to 5 hour journey via the spectacular formations of Gaub Pass, Grammadoelas and Kuiseb Canyon. Close to Walvis Bay you will find Vogelfederberg, a lovely rocky niche with great views over the desert landscape. In Walvis Bay there is a lagoon where abundant waterbirds gather at certain times of the year to feed in the shallow waters. Continue to the charming oasis of Swakopmund on the Atlantic Ocean and check into Hotel Zum Kaiser. In Swakopmund you have the freedom to explore and eat at restaurants of your choice. Lunches and dinners are not included in your package and your guide will recommend some good options. Don’t leave Swakopmund without a meal at The Tug
Hotel Zum Kaiser is well positioned in the picturesque Swakopmund, offering direct access to the beach and the town’s vibrant street life, quaint architecture, shopping and fine dining. The rooms have a full en-suite bathroom, television, coffee / tea facilities, bar fridge, electronic safe and wireless internet. There is a restaurant with delectable cuisine and an idyllic Roof Terrace where you can sip sundowners whilst experiencing the spectacular sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean.