This trip really is the best of Namibia, driving at your own pace and staying at comfortable, superbly-located lodges and guesthouses. You will see the coastal scenery and wildlife around Walvis Bay, amazing sand dunes and unique birds and animals as you travel through the Erongo Mountains and Damaraland to Etosha and then a stop at the Africat Foundation. An adventure of a lifetime.
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 at Windhoek Airport and collect car. Drive to Olive Grove Guesthouse, close to the city centre. An optional sumptuous dinner is available and breakfast is included.
Drive to Kalahari Game Lodge. Check in to your private chalet and enjoy a pre-dinner drink close to the waterhole keeping watch for visiting animals. Dinner and breakfast included. Optional activities include guided nature drives, walks, horse riding and walks with local bushmen.
Drive to Hoodia Desert Lodge overlooking the Tsauchab River where kudu and onyx graze. Accommodation is in comfortable canvas & wood chalets with dinner and breakfast included for two nights. Guided and self-guided walks are available and there are beautiful views from the lodge across the desert.
At leisure. Stay around the lodge and enjoy optional activities or walk along the river. Alternatively, drive from the lodge to the Sesreim Gate and on to Sossusvlei Park to experience the amazing multi-coloured, star-shaped dunes. Visit the Sesreim Canyon on your way back to the lodge.
Drive to the resort town of Swakopmund for two night stay at the Cornerstone Guesthouse on a B&B basis. Swakopmund is a fascinating town with architecture redolent of its German colonial past. A morning mist gives life to plants and animals up to 30km inland. Lots of interesting walks and drives.
Today, you will explore Walvis Bay on board a luxury catamaran. Sail past a Cape fur seal colony and look out for marine and bird life including orca, whales, flamingos and pelicans. Hope to see especially endemic Heavyside and other dolphins. Enjoy Walvis Bay oysters for lunch!
Today, take a guided tour to Sandwich Harbour passing wetlands with thousands of birds, including avocet, turnstone and flamingo. Continue into the Kuiseb Delta for archaeological sites and magnificent dunes, home to all sorts of secretive wildlife such as springbok, hyena, jackal and ostrich. An unforgettable day.
Drive towards Erongo Wilderness Lodge on the edge of the Erongo Crater for two nights’ dinner and breakfast included. Birding is one of the main attractions here with 48 species seen locally including black eagle, rosy-faced lovebird and Ruppell’s parrot.
Guided walks are included and there are self-guided trails and optional drives into the conservation area. Be sure to take the sundown walk to an amazing viewpoint. The Lodge is known for its sumptuous catering combined with spectacular setting.
Visit the ancient rock etchings and paintings at Twyfelfontein today and then, at sunset drive to Burnt Mountain where the setting sun gives the impression of waves moving over the rock. Don’t miss the Valley of the Organ Pipes just across the road. Stay at Camp Kipwe with dinner and breakfast.
Drive to Palwag for your transfer to guided 4X4 drive through the mountains to Etendeka Mountain Camp for 2 nights fully inclusive. This is part of the old Damaraland and you will look out for the rich variety of wildlife on guided walks and from the camp itself.
All plants and animals in the area are indigenous and you will hope to see the desert adapted black elephant and black rhino, along with reptiles, insects and endemic birds like the Herero chat, Monteiro’s hornbill and Ruppell’s Korhaan. The crystal mountain is also a geologist’s paradise.
Retrieve your car and continue to Ongava Lodge on dinner, bed & breakfast basis. This is in a private concession bordering the Etosha National Park. The lodge has superb views across the plain and wildlife can be seen at the watering hole.
Large concentrations of game congregate around the watering holes during the dry season, including elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, giraffe and zebra. Ostrich, raptors and other birds such as short-toed rockthrush, Hautlaub’s francolin, white-tailed shrike and chestnut weaves are in abundance. Good chances to see both black and white rhino.
Head to Otjiwarongo on the way back to Windhoek for two nights at Okonjima Plains Camp (dinner and breakfast included). On the way, call in at REST, where work is done to conserve native species including the Cape Griffon Vulture, spotted rubber frog, Damara dik-dik and dwarf python.
The Okonjima Game Reserve is home to the Africat Foundation, which works with farmers and locals to conserve the big cat species of Namibia. The highlight here is cheetah and leopard safaris, where these animals along with wild dogs, hyenas and leopards, can be seen in their natural environment.
Drive to Windhoek Airport for car drop-off and your onward or return journey.