7 day Northern Namibia Adventure

Namibia

The seven day Northern Adventure gives you a comprehensive safari around the highlights of Northern and Central Western Namibia. Track cheetah, leopard and wild dog, experience amazing wildlife in Etosha National Park and immerse yourself in the culture of the ancient Himba people.

This tour is designed to give you a short but comprehensive safari around the main highlights of Northern and central western Namibia. You will visit, and get up close and personal with, the Big Cats of the Afri-Cat Foundation at Okonjima, have amazing wildlife sitings in Etosha National Park and get first hand experience of the Stone Age culture of the Himba Tribes. Travel to Namibia’s UNESCO Heritage Site in the beautiful moonscape of Damaraland and then on to Namibia’s premier seaside town, Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast, where you can go sea fishing and hiking through the sand dunes, before returning to Windhoek.

The 7 day Northern Adventure is run as a camping tour, but for a supplement an upgrade can be made to turn this tour into an accommodated option (subject to availability). 

Quick Facts

Who can join: Anyone aged 18 years and over (family safaris are available)
Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Accommodation: Camping or Accommodated (mid-range lodges - supplement)
Pick up from: Tours depart from Windhoek
Meals: 3 meals a day included unless otherwise stated
Group size: No minimum group size, up to 14 people
Start dates: Friday departures, weekly from June - October, fortnightly at other times - check the dates list
How much: Prices start from US $930 per person sharing

Itinerary

Day 1

Windhoek – Okonjima/Africat (300 km) (LD) (camping)

You will be collected between 08:30 and 09:00 from your accommodation in Windhoek.

Travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market.  The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs. You will arrive at Okonjima mid-afternoon, giving you time to set up camp and relax in the shade for a while, before heading out on to the property to take part in the afternoon’s optional activity.

Okonjima is the home of the Africat Foundation, a specialist conservation organisation that centres its operations on the African Big Cats, particularly cheetah.  This afternoon you will be taken on a tour during which you will be able to meet, close up, some of the cheetah that are going through the Africat rehabilitation programme.

Most of the animals currently living at Okonjima have been rescued from desperate situations, being orphaned or caught in a trap, and the aim of the rehabilitation process is to re-introduce them into the wild.

After the tour you will return to our camp and prepare for dinner under the African stars.

Day 2

Okonjima/Africat – Namutoni / East Etosha region (300 km) (BLD) (camping)

Continuing on to East Etosha, you will arrive at the Namutoni camp inside the park in time for lunch, before heading out during the cool of the late afternoon for your first game drive.

Day 3

East Etosha region – Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park (BLD) (camping)

A full day’s game driving.  Leave camp early to enjoy the cool morning air as you game drive through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park.  Along the way you will stop at several waterholes and will have magnificent views of the massive and unique Etosha Pan.  The game viewing is usually excellent throughout the year, with rhino, lion and elephant regular spots.

Stop at Halali for a rest and leisurely lunch.  There is time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing and game driving down to Okaukuejo, Etosha’s main rest camp where you will check in and set up camp. Originally the site of a German fort built in 1901, Okaukuejo now houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, founded in 1974.

After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of your camp and easily reachable on foot. The Okakuejo waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics. Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.

Day 4

Okaukuejo – Grootberg area (310km) (BLD) (camping)

Leaving Etosha you begin your journey south with a relatively short drive to the small town of Kamanjab.

Within this area you have the opportunity of visiting a Himba Village – the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia. These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm. Learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the “Holy Fire” religion.

From here it is a short drive on to The Hoada Community Campsite which is located among beautiful granite hills and mopane trees. To add an eco-friendly touch, the hot water system works in combination with the barbecue area, therefore whilst your meal is being prepared, your water will be warmed up for your shower!

We overnight – camping under the stars.

Day 5

Grootberg area – Twyfelfontein (190 km) (BLD) (camping)

Head into one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia - Damaraland.  Drive west via the Grootberg Pass and then take a detour to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein.

Day 6

Twyfelfontein – Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast (420 km) (BL) (accommodation)

From Twyfelfontein, head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2,573 m) and more beautiful Damaraland scenery.  You will stop in the small town of Uis, one of the best places to buy Namibia's famous semi-precious stones.  Here, rough Amethyst, Tourmaline and more can be found at bargain prices.

Turn due west and cross the gravel plains on your way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast.  Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross.  At certain times of the year as many as 100,000 Cape Fur seals congregate.

The next destination is Swakopmund, following the Skeleton Coast into Namibia’s premier seaside town.  You will arrive in the late afternoon giving you time to explore the town on foot before sunset.

The seafood in Swakopmund is superb.  Your guide will offer to organise a group meal in a local restaurant for this evening.  Participation is recommended but by no means required.

Dinner is for the client’s own account.

Day 7

Swakopmund – Windhoek (BL) (350 km)

The drive back to Windhoek today will take about 4 and a half hours. You will depart around lunch-time, giving you time to spend the morning relaxing in Swakopmund.  It has many superb shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is very cold!) and an open-air curio market.  There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund.

Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged.  These include aeroplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), sand boarding trips in the dunes, skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and nature hikes into the desert. All extra activities and excursions in Swakopmund are subject to availability and are made at the your own risk and expense.

After lunch you will transfer back to Windhoek, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation in the late afternoon / early evening.

Safari Tour Overview – camping

1     Africat Foundation Okonjima Campsite L, D
2     Etosha – Namutoni Namutoni Campsite B, L, D
3     Etosha – Okaukuejo Okaukeujo Campsite B, L, D
4     Hoada Grootberg Hoada Campsite B, L, D
5     Damaraland Madisa Campsite B, L, D
6     Swakopmund Prost Hotel Room B, L
7     Return to Windhoek  B, L

Safari Tour Overview – accommodated

1     Africat Foundation Okonjima Plains Camp L, D
2     Etosha – Namutoni Namutoni Restcamp B, L, D
3     Etosha – Okaukuejo Okaukeujo Restcamp B, L, D
4     Hoada Grootberg Grootberg Lodge B, L, D
5     Damaraland Madisa Safari Tents B, L, D
6     Swakopmund Swakopmund Sands Hotel B, L
7     Return to Windhoek  B, L

B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

On the accommodated option, dinner will be taken at the lodge when staying at Okonjima, Grootberg & Twyfelfontein, all other dinners & lunches will be taken with the group at the campsite.

Pricing and Dates

Departure dates 2017:

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
  13 10 10 7 5 2 7 4 1 6 10 8
  27 24 24 14 19 16 14 11 8 13 24 22
      31 21   30 21 18 15 20   29
              28 25 22 27    
                  29      

2017 Pricing:

7 days camping (no single supplement available): $930
This tour is "Limited Participation Camping" where you may only be required to assist with putting up your tent. You will not be expected to help with cooking or other camp duties. Once the tent is up, sit back and relax! 

7 days accommodated: $1,510
Single supplement: $170

Prices include:

  • Meals as indicated plus tea and coffee in camp
  • Accommodation (either camping or accommodated) including all camping equipment
  • All transfers and fuel
  • Professional guide and camp assistant
  • All transport
  • Park entrance fees and camping / 
  • Pick up and drop off from accommodation in Windhoek

What's excluded:

  • Transfers or flights to Windhoek
  • Visa fees
  • Personal medical and travel insurance, which must cover the entire duration of your tour and should include cover for repatriation, air evacuation and any activities you may undertake or plan to undertake
  • Any pre or post tour accommodation in Windhoek
  • Airport transfers
  • Sleeping bag (can be hired if required) and pillow
  • Souvenirs, snacks and fizzy / alcoholic drinks (bottled mineral water is not provided, but safe, clean drinking water is included)
  • Optional excursions, meals or activities
  • Telephone calls and wifi

Destination

Namibia is one of the most visually diverse countries in Africa; from never-ending red sand dunes to deep mysterious canyons, spectacular sunsets and dry desert landscapes, the country has something to intrigue and excite every visitor. View immense herds of elephant and buffalo in Etosha National Park, sand-board down the dunes in Swakopmund or visit ancient rock paintings - there’s plenty to entertain you!

For more information about Namibia (history, currency etc), please click here.

Sossusvlei Dunes are home to the highest sand dunes in the world and Namibia’s most outstanding scenic attraction. Part of the Namib Desert, these dunes have developed over millions of years, the wind continuously shifting the sand further and further inland, reshaping patterns in distinctive warm tints. Climbing to the top of one of these dunes provides breathtaking views of the whole area, including Deadvlei, a large ghostly expanse of dried white clay punctuated by skeletons of ancient camelthorn trees, carbon dated between 500-600 years old.

Etosha National Park is Namibia’s first conservation area, designated in 1907. Undoubtedly one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth and one of Africa’s best game reserves, Etosha is home to huge herds of elephant, black-maned lions, cheetah and the world’s largest population of the rare black rhino.  Etosha owes its unique landscape to the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of approximately 1,930 square miles which forms the heart of the park. This white, chalky expanse colours the park, and with the waterholes, creates the characteristic atmosphere of the Etosha of today.

For the greater part of the year (the dry season) Etosha’s animals and birds are dependent on about 30 springs and waterholes. These provide incredible game viewing and photographic opportunities.

To the west of Khorixas in North-West Namibia is Twyfelfontein, a massive open-air art gallery with paintings carved into red rock by ancient Bushmen overlooking an expansive valley below. The engravings, some estimated to be 6,000 years old, record the wildlife seen in area - giraffe, rhino, elephants, ostrich and even a lion. The area has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008.

The Fish River Canyon is Africa’s deepest gorge and second largest in the world - with a 500m vertical drop. The canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon; a harsh dusty plain dotted with distinctive Quiver trees.

Swakopmund is Namibia’s playground - a holiday haven away from the dusty heat of the interior. While there is plenty to do within the city, the real action takes place in the desert surrounding the town. Quad-biking, sand-boarding, sand-skiing, parasailing and other adrenaline actives are available from any of the adventure operators in the area. Visit Walvis Bay and join a dolphin cruise or explore the lagoon on a kayak.

What will the weather be like?

During the Namibian summer (November - January) temperatures average 30°c and often go to over 40°c. You should bring light cotton clothing, a wide-brimmed hat or cap, polarised sunglasses, a 2 litre water bottle, plenty of high factor sunscreen (and after-sun!), strong mosquito spray and closed shoes. A light waterproof jacket is also essential for sudden downpours! Average lows are around 17-20°c. Summer is an amazing time of year where you can watch thunderstorms approach from miles away and witness incredible electric storms and light shows!

During winter (April - August) daytime temperatures average 25-27°c with no rainfall at all. Temperatures during the night and in the mornings and evenings regularly go below 0°c and we advise you to bring lots of layers including fleeces and a warm hat for nighttime camping, with a wide-brimmed hat or cap and loose light clothing for daytime.

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