Upon your arrival at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport, you will be met by a &Beyond representative who will get you on the road with your rental car and provide you with a quick briefing of your itinerary. Kick-start your adventure with an approximate hours’ drive to the exceptional Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel, where you will spend one night
DAY 2 & 3 OKONJIMA RESERVE
Wake up to a delicious breakfast before you hop into your car for a three-hour drive to the Okon-Jima Reserve.
Okonjima Reserve is situated just west of the renowned Waterberg Plateau Park, amidst the vast plains scattered with the remnants of ancient sandstone outcrops that skirt the Omboroko Mountains. A Herero name meaning “place of the baboons” this spectacular area is home to the world-famous AFRICAT Foundation, which supports the conservation of the world’s largest free-ranging population of cheetah and Namibia’s large wildcat population. Created as a refuge for rehabilitated predators, the reserve is a haven for cheetah, leopard, spotted hyena and African wild dog, as well as several species of antelope.
Spend two nights at Okonjima in the Bush Suite. Adventures include tracking cheetah and leopard on foot, bird watching and the opportunity to embark on the Bushmen Trail, during which guests can experience a day in the life of a San Bushman.
Night drives set off after dinner, providing a glimpse into the nocturnal life of the predators, as well as magnificent viewing of the star-studded skies. Keen hikers can set off into the majestic solitude of the desert on a selection of nature trails, while bird watchers will be sure to spot and photograph a number of colourful species.
DAY 4 & 5 EASTERN OUTSKIRTS OF ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Tuck into a wholesome breakfast and head off on a three to four-hour self-drive adventure to Ong-Uma Tented Camp the on the outskirts of Etosha National Park.
Etosha is one of Africa’s great wildlife parks and Namibia’s prime wildlife conservation area. Spanning a vast 22300 km², it consists mostly of grassy plains around a huge saltpan, which becomes a beautiful lake after heavy rains and attracts large flocks of pink candy-floss-coloured flamingos. Etosha hosts a vast array of animals, including the Big Five, as well as giraffes and rare and unusual species like the black-faced impala, Hartmann’s Mountain zebra or the smallest antelope in the world, the Damara dik-dik. Large herds of elephant can also be seen, while predators range from lion to black-backed jackal. The wildlife in Etosha congregates around the watering holes, making for exciting and productive game viewing.
Apart from its wildlife, Etosha is also known for its immense salt pans, which covers 4731 km² at the heart of the park. Formed by a massive lake that gradually evaporated, this vast stretch of shimmering salt forms a picturesque contrast to the rich range of wildlife found in the park.
Spend two nights on the eastern outskirts of Etosha National Park, staying at your choice of value or luxury itinerary options. Please refer to the terms and conditions for details of what each option includes.
Spend two nights at Onguma Tented Camp located on the eastern outskirts of Etosha National Park. Explore the immense open plains of Etosha on morning and afternoon game drives or delve deep into the private game reserves found on its eastern edge.
DAY 6 CENTRAL OUTSKIRTS OF ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Today you’ll drive through the breathtaking wilderness of Etosha to Ongava Game Reserve, situated on the outskirts of Etosha. The travelling time will depend on how long you spend viewing the exceptional wildlife you may encounter on your route.
Spend the night at Ongava Tented Camp, set on the central outskirts of Etosha National Park. Set off on game drives that explore the Okaukuelo area of Etosha, keeping an eye out for lion, elephant, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, and both white and black rhino. Enjoy the freedom of night drives and bush walks in Ongava, where you can track wildlife on foot in the company of experienced guides. Or choose to spend the afternoon at a tranquil hide overlooking a waterhole and wait to see what wildlife sightings the day will bring.
After a delectable breakfast hop back into your car for the approximately five-hour journey to Damaraland.
The breathtaking mountain region of Damaraland is situated on the eastern side of the Skeleton Coast National Park and southwest of Etosha National Park. An assortment of desert-adapted wildlife such as elephant, rhino, zebra and lion live in this near-barren landscape. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the picturesque Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, which is home to thousands of ancient rock paintings, most notably The White Lady. Nearby the rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein feature exceptional Bushmen engravings, which are considered to be some of the best-preserved etchings on the continent. Visitors to Damaraland can view one of its more unusual habitats – the Petrified Forest, which dates back millions of years and offers a haunting landscape of gigantic fossilised trees, some up to 30 metres (100ft) in length.
Spend two nights at Mowani Mountain Camp in Damaraland. Set off into the dunes in search of the elusive desert elephant or choose to explore the area surrounding the camp on foot, getting an intimate glimpse into the vegetation, insects, and birds of this rugged area. Ask your guide to take you to see an ancient welwitschia plant, which may live up to hundreds of years. You can also choose to visit Twyfelfontein, where you can marvel at age-old rock engravings, visit the petrified forest or discover the twisted rock formations known as the organ pipes. Or simply relax and enjoy the absolute tranquillity and sense of peace of this serene destination from the comfort of the sparkling swimming pool.
Today you will drive approximately five to six hours to Namibia’s charming seaside town of Swakopmund.
This charming little coastal retreat on Namibia’s western coast retains a strong German flavour, from its cobbled streets and picturesque buildings down to its typical German restaurants and pubs. This town is traditionally a holiday spot for locals and foreigners alike, with many opportunities for adventure sports and some good old-fashioned fun. Swakopmund is an ideal place to relax after a few days in the desert; wash off the sand and sample some of the fine local beer and renowned fare, including fish, lobster and the utterly delicious Swakopmund oysters.
Spend two nights at the Swakopmund Guest House. Choose from a breathtaking range of outdoor adventures, including a visit to nearby Walvis Bay. The route runs between the soaring dunes and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. In Walvis Bay, you will set off on a boat cruise that promises up-close sightings of a number of wetland bird species, as well as dolphins, whales and the seals at Pelican Point. Watch as the dolphins and seals shimmer and jump in the wake of the boat before returning to Swakopmund and touring its quaint city streets.
For an even closer encounter with the seals, visit the Cape Cross Seal Colony north of Swakopmund and marvel at the antics of one of southern Africa’s largest numbers of seals. Or, if you choose, take to the waters off Swakopmund on a deep sea fishing adventure.
If you prefer the desert to the ocean, set off into the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Be captivated by dramatic vistas and get to know about the abundant geckos, rolling spiders, scorpions, lizards, snakes, and chameleons that have made this desolate landscape their home. Alternatively, drive deep into the Namib on a quad bike, enjoying the pristine beauty of the soaring dunes or glide down their curved slopes on a sand boarding adventure. Fly down the sheer sides on a traditional Swakopmund sand board or try some fancy footwork on a snowboard adapted for the dunes. If you prefer a little less adrenalin on your desert adventure, set off on a horseback trail through the dry bed of the Swakop River into the rugged rocky gorges and plains of an area known as the Moon Landscape.
For a unique sense of perspective, admire the desert landscapes from above with tandem skydiving. In Swakopmund itself, you can visit the vibrant township and meet the family of the area’s late traditional chief or get to know about the local Herero culture and traditions. Set off on foot to meet a local doctor and find out about the herbal medicines used by the Nama people. Visit a local kindergarten and spend the evening enjoying the lively vibe of an informal shebeen.
DAY 11-13 &BEYOND SOSSUSVLEI DESERT LODGE
Leaving behind the many sights of Swakopmund, drive approximately five to six hours to the Sossusvlei area, passing through some of Namibia’s most dramatic landscapes en route.
Unwind for 3 nights at &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in a desert villa with an ensuite bathroom and a private veranda. Adventures include scenic drives with an opportunity to encounter a variety of desert-adapted animals such as gemsbok, zebra, springbok, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, caracal, and jackal. Guided hikes visit ancient Bushman paints, while a variety of hiking trails are available and quad bike adventures in the dunes set the pulse racing. Photograph the fascinating petrified dunes and explore the massive boulders of Bushman’s Koppies, haphazardly strewn one on top of the other. Explore the night sky under the guidance of a professional astronomer or try your hand at some photographing the stars.
Hot air balloon rides, helicopter flips and scenic flights over the majestic desert landscapes, as well as horse riding adventure, are available nearby.
Today we wave a fond farewell as you embark on the last leg of your extraordinary adventure. A drive of five to six hours will take you back to Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport, where you will drop off your hired vehicle and board your plane for your onward flight.