Namibia Under Canvas
• Damaraland • Etosha National Park • AfriCat Foundation • Sossusvlei
Experience Namibia on this small group journey staying in unique 'Under Canvas' camps. Designed to offer a true 'back to nature' experience, the camps place emphasis on the experiential aspect of safaris, taking guests back to the roots - to touch, to smell, to feel and to experience the wild with one's feet firmly in the dust that covers Africa.
Optional Extension Spend a night or two at Okonjima Bush Camp before your main safari begins. This gives you the opportunity to get a more in-depth insight into the work being done by the AfriCat Foundation, as well as getting to see more cheetah, leopard and other big cats in the wild. Or perhaps add an additional two nights at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, located on one of the largest private nature reserves in the world, NamibRand Nature Reserve, an awe-inspiring desert landscape of red dune fields and champagne colored plains.
Optional Pre-extension You have the option to extend your safari for an additional night or two at Okonjima Bush Camp. This affords you the opportunity to get a more in-depth insight into the work being done by the AfriCat Foundation as well as enjoy a range of activities on offer by the lodge. Accommodation includes all meals, local drinks (excl. premier and imported brands) and 2 activities per person per day. The night hide and night drive activities are excluded but can be arranged direct at the lodge, subject to availability.
Day 1: Windhoek > Etosha National Park This morning you will depart Windhoek with fellow guests for Etosha National Park, stopping en route at Okonjima. Okonjima's AfriCat Day Centre 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 will arrive in time to embark on an exciting and informative game drive along with a tour of the centre. Afterwards, continue on north via the small towns of Otjiwarango, Otavi and Tsumeb, arriving at Onguma in the late afternoon. You will have time to freshen up and relax before dinner and the official safari briefing with your guide.
Day 2: Etosha National Park Today is full of exciting game viewing within the eastern section of Etosha National Park. You have the option to go on across towards Halali, or to concentrate on the areas closer to Namutoni and north to Fischer's Pan. You also have the option to return to the camp for lunch, or spend the entire day in the park to maximize your game viewing experience.
Day 3: Etosha National Park / Onguma Game Reserve 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 shared game drive with a local guide on the private Onguma Game Reserve. Your day culminates in a sundowner overlooking Fischer's Pan. Return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final 'safari dinner' overlooking the camp's floodlit waterhole.
Day 4: Etosha National Park > Damaraland Today you will leave Etosha and continue your safari to the heart of Namibia in Damaraland, traveling through farmlands and the small towns of Tsumeb, Otavi, Outjo and Khorixas. 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'. Arrive in the late afternoon after a full day of travel to enjoy fireside sundowners at your exclusive camp where you will spend 3 nights at Huab Under Canvas. The Camp is located in a desert adapted black rhino area in the Huab Conservancy, nestled in a grove of Mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the Huab River.
Day 5: Damaraland Today you will spend a memorable morning tracking rhino with the assistance of local trackers. These black rhino form part of one of the only free-roaming black rhino populations in Africa and tracking animals in an unfenced and uninhibited environment is an absolute privilege. You will return to camp for a freshly prepared lunch and have time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you head out for a scenic nature drive or walk to explore this vast and astounding ecosystem. Huab Under Canvas works together with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) - an NGO that has been instrumental in the preservation of the endangered desert adapted black rhino. Having barely survived the slaughter in many parts of Africa during the '80s and '90s, the black rhino population of Namibia has increased substantially since the formation of SRT.
Day 6: Damaraland Today you continue your adventures exploring Damaraland, enjoying the freedom to discover fascinating landscapes with your private naturalist guide, both by vehicle and on foot. Damaraland is a surprising refuge for desert adapted wildlife, including elephant, giraffe, oryx, springbok and even some predators such as lion. However, as with any wildlife sightings in Namibia, this depends on many factors including seasonality, so specific sightings are never guaranteed. The wildlife roams large tracks of unfenced desert landscapes and finding game can be challenging, but this is all part of the adventure of exploring this wild untouched gem of Namibia. Today's focus will be largely on tracking the elusive desert adapted elephants in the ephemeral river systems, an activity which will mean spending most of the day out. Your guide will take along a delicious picnic lunch and you will return to camp in the late afternoon.
Day 7: Damaraland > Swakopmund After an early breakfast and departure, today's drive takes you south past Namibia's highest mountain, the Brandberg, which peaks at 2,573m above sea level, and west to meet the coast at Henties Bay. You then continue south to the coastal town of Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for the night. You stay on the eastern outskirts of the town, overlooking the Swakop River valley and desolate desert dune landscapes. Tonight includes dinner at a popular restaurant which specializes in locally harvested fresh seafood as well as other local and international dishes.
Day 08: Swakopmund > Sossusvlei After an early breakfast, depart on a fascinating drive taking you south-east through ever-changing desert landscapes. Travel via the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons, meeting the dunes at the settlement of Solitaire. A picnic lunch will be had en route before arriving at the Namib Tsaris Conservancy. Here you will spend your final two nights at the exclusive-use Sossus Under Canvas. Arrival should be in the mid to late afternoon with enough time to acquaint yourself with the camp and enjoy a hot bucket shower before dinner. Located on the private 24,000ha Namib Tsaris Conservancy and nestled between the Nubib and Zaris Mountains, this camp is a mere thirty minutes' drive from the Sossusvlei gate, the gateway to the Great Namib Sand Sea which has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 9: Sossusvlei This morning you will need to rise early for a magical excursion with your guide in the Namib Naukluft National Park, arriving at 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 will return to camp for a late freshly prepared lunch with time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you head out again for a scenic nature drive or walk to explore this vast and astounding ecosystem and to enjoy a magnificent final safari sundowner.
Day 10: Sossusvlei > Windhoek After a leisurely breakfast, depart Sossusvlei and return to Windhoek, driving northeast up the Great Escarpment and through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands. A tasty picnic lunch will again be served en route and arrival in Windhoek should be by the mid-afternoon.
Optional Post-extension You have the option to extend your safari for an additional two nights at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, located on one of the largest private nature reserves in the world, NamibRand Nature Reserve, an awe-inspiring desert landscape of red dune fields and champagne colored plains.
Arrangements include a scenic land transfer from Camp Sossus to Wolwedans and a scheduled air taxi from Wolwedans to Windhoek International Airport.
• Small group tour with expert guides • 9 nights' accommodation • Transport in a comfortable air-conditioned safari vehicle • All meals • Mineral water in vehicles • All entrance fees and National Park fees to included sightseeing
Pricing (per person) $NZD
7, 14, 21 Oct
Booking conditions • Minimum of 2 passengers and maximum of 7
• Under Canvas safaris have elements that require a good degree of mobility and agility including tracking for desert adapted black rhino across rough terrain on foot, sometimes for up to three or four hours, and climbing some of the free standing dunes in the Sossusvlei area
• Group arrangements are set and will not be able to be amended or delayed in any way
• Minimum of 2 passengers and maximum of 7 • Under Canvas safaris have elements that require a good degree of mobility and agility including tracking for desert adapted black rhino across rough terrain on foot, sometimes for up to three or four hours, and climbing some of the free standing dunes in the Sossusvlei area • Group arrangements are set and will not be able to be amended or delayed in any way