A condensed tour with a highly experienced naturalist guide, who will show you in depth the highlights of this massive and diverse country, including the iconic sand dunes of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast, the World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein, the AfriCat foundation and national parks teeming with wildlife and birds. This is the ultimate small group safari (max 7).
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Arrive and transfer to Olive Grove Guesthouse on bed and breakfast basis. Enjoy your first meal at one of the many excellent restaurants in the area2Day
Depart Windhoek in your safari vehicle with your private guide and drive southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You arrive at Sossus Dune Lodge in the midafternoon and you will stay here for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. If there is still time today, your guide will take you to visit Sesriem Canyon, a nearby geological attraction, or explore Elim Dune. However, if you prefer, you can just relax and soak in the scenic and tranquil surroundings at Sossus Dune Lodge.
This morning you will need to rise early for a magical excursion with your guide in the Namib Naukluft National Park, normally setting off before sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs.
Once you have explored Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon in time for a late lunch, with the option to visit Sesriem Canyon afterwards if you haven’t already done so the day before. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes).
Take an optional balloon or light-aircraft flight over the national park before departing to Swakopmund. Travel via the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons to the Atlantic coast at Walvis Bay or take an optional flight over the Diamond Coast directly to Swakopmund. (Flights must be booked and paid for in advance).
Your stay for the next 2 nights will be in a central guesthouse in this delightful resort town with its German colonial architecture (full board).
After an early breakfast your guide will drive you along the scenic coastal road back south to Walvis Bay for a memorable kayaking adventure within the outer lagoon. After meeting your kayaking guide you will be taken on a short scenic drive to Pelican Point to see its lighthouse and windswept beauty, stopping briefly at the salt works to view the variety of birdlife on your way to the launch point. The kayaking is an ideal way of seeing Cape fur seals, Heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. If you are lucky, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the day the guide will stop and inform you about the environment and light refreshments will be served on the beach before heading back to Walvis Bay.
You also have the choice to partake in a memorable motorized boat seal and dolphin excursion within the outer lagoon and harbour should the kayaking not appeal. Here you should also see Cape fur seals, heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. Again, if luck is on your side, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the excursion snacks will be served along with local sparkling wine and fresh oysters, before you will return to the jetty at roughly midday.
You then have the opportunity to explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay further before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or out in town. Activities such as camel rides, scenic flights, sandboarding and more can all be booked at an extra cost.
Continuing on your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. You pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word 'wilderness'.
If time allows this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - if not there is plenty of time to see them tomorrow.
2 nights full-board at Camp Kipwe.
After an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. As the elephants are mostly active in the mornings you will normally have the best chance to see them then before returning to camp for lunch. However, if all the safari participants agree, you also have the option to take a picnic lunch and stop to enjoy that in the shade of a large Ana tree by the riverbed, ideally while watching a herd of elephant browsing nearby.
Your guide will arrange to fit in a visit to Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions at a suitable time if you haven’t already done so the previous day. On return to camp there should be time to take a walk into the local area with your guide if desired, or simply relax and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.
Enjoy the amazing views from the sunset lookout at Camp Kipwe before enjoying dinner in the large, alfresco dining area.
Today after a very early breakfast you set off on your journey to the Etosha National Park, travelling via the scenic Grootberg Pass. Along the way your guide will take you to visit a local Himba settlement – you may have to search for a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They are one of the last truly traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. Here you will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine.
Depending on the school semester and school holidays, you may also visit the Grootberg Primary School, a rural school where Ultimate Safaris’ Conservation Travel Foundation is actively involved, assisting with improved education infrastructure and methods. After visiting the Himba and school you will head east through the small town of Kamanjab before heading on towards tonight’s destination at the new Safarihoek Lodge, which is situated on the south western border of the Etosha National Park. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed en-route and arrival will be in the very late afternoon or early evening (after a long but rewarding day). After your arrival you will have some time at leisure, which can be spent appreciating the unique surroundings and enjoying the game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole and enjoy a different vantage point from the camps underground and elevated hides.
1 night full-board accommodation at Safarihoek Lodge.
Today is dedicated to a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle as you make your way from the southern Andersson’s Gate to Halali (where you may stop for lunch) and then on across via selected waterholes such as Goas, which are normally particularly good for game viewing, to Namutoni Camp in the east. 114 species of mammal have been recorded here, including elephant, lion cheetah, leopard, giraffe, warthog and different antelope – look out for the endemic black-faced impala. There are also over 340 species of birds.
You will have to leave the Park before sunset and head out to stay at the delightful Onguma Tree Top Camp with enough time to relax and freshen up before dinner. The rest of the evening can be spent game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night.
2 nights full-board accommodation at Onguma Tree Top Camp.
Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You then return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final ‘safari dinner’ overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
Your early departure will take you south from Onguma Tree Top via Tsumeb, Otavi and Otjiwarongo to reach Okonjima’s AfriCat Day Centre, a wonderful highlight with which to conclude your safari. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary which focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa's big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. You arrive in time for lunch before embarking on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the centre. Here you will learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation and will also get to meet some of the Foundation’s special captive carnivore ambassadors.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no tracking of wild cats on this visit and should that be required an overnight extension should be booked.
After the excursion and freshening up, the journey continues further south to arrive back in Windhoek in the late afternoon, just as the sun is setting. You will be transferred to Olive Grove Guesthouse for overnight stay on bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast, transfer to airport for onward or return flightsSee All Itinerary