10 day Wild Family Adventure, Namibia

Namibia

Our 10 day Family Adventure is a safari specifically designed for families with small children. You will visit amazing sites, which will appeal to the whole family, and we have tried to keep driving times to a minimum (not easy in a country as large and sparse as Namibia!).

On this family-focused tour of Namibia's most iconic sites, your whole family will have the time of their lives! From sand dunes, to cave paintings, boulder-strewn canyons and the great salt pans of Etosha, this adventure will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Explore the Namib-Naukluft National Park, climb Namibia's highest sand dunes and hike in dry river beds marvelling at the canyon walls above you. You will visit Swakopmund, Namibia's coastal holiday town, where you can enjoy dolphin cruises, quad bike trips into the desert and take a guided tour of the dunes (definitely worth a trip!). In Twyfelfontein, see some of the world's oldest rock engravings, before heading to Etosha National Park - the ultimate game viewing destination, home to rhino, elephants, lion, leopard and cheetah.

The minimum age on this itinerary is 5 years and there is a discounted price for all children 12 years and under.

We highly recommend combing this safari with our Desert Elephant Family Volunteer Programme, based outside of Swakopmund (July and August only).

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Quick Facts

Who can join: Families with children over the age of 5 years
Duration: 10 days (9 nights)
Accommodation: Camping and lodges
Start dates: Selected Saturdays through the year
Pick up from: Tours depart from Windhoek
Meals: 3 meals a day included unless otherwise stated
Group size: a minimum of three (two adults and one child) per tour. Maximum group size is 14
How much: From US$2,360 per adult / $1,180 per child 12 years and under

Itinerary

Day 1 

Windhoek – Namib Desert Camp, outside of the Namib Naukluft Park (camping) (LD)

You will be collected between 08:00 & 08:30 from your accommodation in Windhoek, and meet the rest of the group. Once everyone is together, you will leave Windhoek and head out towards the desert. Your drive will take you through the Khomas Hochland range of mountains and then further south west towards the Naukluft Mountains.

Lunch will be taken en route and from there it is a short distance to your next stop, the tiny town of Solitaire. Stop here for some fuel and refreshments (the apple pie is to die for!), before continuing on a short distance to your camp for the night.

You should arrive at camp during late afternoon, so there should be time for a dip in the pool and to experience the sunset over the Naukluft Mountains.  (Note that you do not camp inside the Park area, but about 48 kms away).

Dinner is cooked over an open fire as you enjoy the noctunrnal sounds of the desert.

Day 2

Namib Desert Camp – Sossusvlei – Namib Desert Camp, (250 kms) (camping) (BLD)

A pre dawn start is essential this morning in order to catch the soft light of sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem at sunrise, drive into the dry river bed and you will soon start to see the dunes on either side. Stop for photos along the way as this is where you see the strong contrast of colours, as the sun hits the sides of the dunes.

After a quick breakfast, you will go on a morning walk. The walk is like nothing else - experience the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes, creating a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect.

Spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting and climbing (for the energetic!), the famous Dune 45. As the day heats up, return to Sesriem for lunch. As the day cools off in late afternoon you will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.

Later in the afternoon, return to your campsite and cool off in the pool, working up an appetite for supper.

Day 3

Namib Desert Camp – Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast (300 km) (en-suite accommodation) (BL)

You will get an early start, to head north-west to the seaside town of Swakopmund, on the Skeleton Coast.  Leaving the dune fields far behind, you are soon back into the mountain desert.  You will stop in the Solitaire area at the 'Namib Conservation Centre’, a 500 hectare educational centre where you can go wildlife tracking within the purpose built enclosures, and receive information on carnivore surveillance in the greater Namib area.

Depart the centre, cross the Tropic of Capricorn and traverse both the Gaub and the Kuiseb passes, driving down to the dry river bed at the bottom of the canyon before climbing up the other side, watching the spectacular desert landscape unfold. 

From the mountains you cross the desolate “Namib gravel plains” before reaching the coastal sand dunes at the port town of Walvis Bay.  Stop for a picnic lunch beside the ocean, where there will be time to see the flamingos and other bird life in the Walvis Bay lagoon, before continuing the now short drive into Swakopmund.

The Swakopmund section of the trip is designed to allow families to relax either with the group, or on their own.  Only breakfast is provided, to allow you to plan your time here with as much flexibility as possible and not to be tied to group meal times.  It also gives you the chance to sample some of the excellent local cafes and restaurants.  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 this evening in not included in the price of the safari and will be for the client’s own account

Day 4

Swakopmund (B) (en-suite accommodation)

Today you will enjoy a Dolphin Cruise at Walvis Bay. Once aboard, the journey starts from the Walvis Bay Waterfront and continues into the beautiful Bay Area, which holds more beauty than the eye can at first capture – a shipwreck, lighthouse, oyster platforms, a multitude of different bird species and seals.

As your catamaran passes the oyster platforms, your guide will share more information with you about the Walvis Bay cultivated oysters - included in the tour is the tasting of these delicacies (for those that are keen!).

The catamarans will then proceed to the ever-growing Pelican Point to have a closer look at the Walvis Bay Lighthouse. The old supply railway spoors can still be seen from the years when the Lighthouse was still occupied by the Coast Guards.

Moving around the Point, three different types of Dolphins may be encountered: the Heavyside Dolphins – which are the most important, as they are endemic to the coast of Namibia; Dusky Dolphins and Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins.  In season, larger mammals including Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales may be spotted, and with a bit of extra special luck, the mighty Killer Whales (Orcas). Sightings of the Mola Mola (Sunfish) and Leatherback Turtles are also possible. All this can be seen while comfortably relaxing in the saloon, on the trampolines or on deck, whilst enjoying a glass of sparkling wine and snacks.

In the afternoon it’s your free time to do more activities, or just relax and explore the town.

Swakopmund is a very pleasant seaside town with lots of shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic Ocean there is quite cold), and an open-air curio market.  There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium. 

Alternatively, there are various other 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), quad bike trips into the desert and over the sand dunes, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities. We highly recommend taking a guided tour into the dunes, where your guide will introduce you to the many tiny desert creatures, and the incredible plant life which survives in the difficult environment.

Dinner this evening is not included in the price of the safari and will be for the client’s own account.

Day 5

Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein (350 km) (BLD) (camping)

Leaving early and heading north along the coast, you will visit the seal colony at Cape Cross where it is possible to see thousands of Cape Fur Seals in the water and on the surrounding rocks and beaches.   

From here, turn east, inland and back into the desert, travelling on to the small town of Uis - an old mining town, located more or less in the middle of nowhere.   Uis is one of the best places to buy the semi-precious stones for which Namibia is famous. Rough Amethyst and Tourmaline can be found at bargain prices.  From Uis you will pass Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2,573m) and continue into one of the most unique desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. You will continue to the Twyfelfontein area, where you will stop at Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes.

Overnight under the stars!

Day 6 & Day 7

Twyfelfontein – Etosha, Okaukuejo. (350 km) (BLD) (camping)

Starting early to enjoy the cool of the morning, you will visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein - some of the engravings are more than XXX years old. Leaving the engravings we travel to Outjo for a short stop for fresh supplies, and where you must also get coffee and sticky cakes at the local bakery. Continue on to Etosha’s premier camp site, Okaukuejo. 

Etosha forms the main game viewing section of the safari and the Okaukuejo area offers some of the best waterholes in the park, and the best chance to see Africa's iconic animals.

Located right on the boundary of the camp and within easy walking distance, there is a floodlit waterhole for after hours game viewing. Okaukuejo is famous for its waterhole, which has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa”. Black rhino, elephant, lion and numerous species of antelope are regularly seen.

Day 8 

Etosha: Okaukuejo – east region of Etosha, Namutoni. (BLD) (camping)

A full day’s game driving.  Depart Okakeujo early to enjoy the cool morning air, and game drive your way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way you will stop at several waterholes, and are afforded magnificent views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and you will have the chance to tick off a few new species that are not normally seen on the Okaukuejo side of the park.

Stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch.  There is time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing on your way and game driving to Namutoni. Once again, there is a floodlit waterhole to visit during the evening so the game viewing can continue!

Day 9 

Namutoni, Etosha – Waterberg Resort  (350 km) (BLD) (camping)

Leaving the Etosha National Park on the Eastern side, you will now drive south through farmland towards Otjiwarongo. On the way you will visit the Namibia's Cheetah Conservation Fund, where you will take a walking tour of their main facility, plus get an introduction to the cheetahs, dogs and livestock that live at the main centre. This also includes watching the feeding of resident cheetahs.

Depart after lunch and continue driving to the Waterberg Plateau, which rises 200m above a surrounding sea of African bush and savannah. The Waterberg Plateau, with its flamboyant brick-red sandstone formations and lush green vegetation, presents an island of vibrant colour. It was originally created as a sanctuary for rare and endangered species, such as roan and sable antelope, tsessebe and Cape buffalo. Today the park is home to some 25 game and over 200 bird species. The vegetation changes dramatically from acacia savannah at the foot of the plateau to lush-green sub-tropical dry woodlands with tall trees and grassy plains at the top.

Day 10 

Waterberg Resort – Windhoek  (330 km) (BL)

In the morning you will head South towards the small town of Okahandja, home to Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The stalls operate on a co-operative basis and offer a vast array of truly Namibian souvenirs. 

Continue driving through to Windhoek – Hosea Kutako Airport for you to check in for your outbound flight. You can also be dropped in Windhoek if you are not departing straightaway.

Rates & Dates

Departure dates 2018:

Month Oct Nov Dec
  6 10 22
  20    

Departure dates 2019:

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  12 9 9 20 18 8 20 3 7 19 9 21
            29   17 28      

2018 - 2019 pricing:

9 days camping (no single supplement available): 

  • 1st April 2018 - 31st March 2019: N$33,995 (approximately US$2,360)
    • 1st April 2018 - 31st March 2019: N$16,995 (approximately US$1,180) - children aged 12 and under
  • 1st April 2019 - 31st March 2020: N$35,895 (approximately US$2,495)
    • 1st April 2019 - 31st March 2020: N$17,895 (approximately US$1,245) - children aged 12 and under

The camping 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!

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

Family travel in Namibia

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 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 (it's history, currency and culture etc), please click here.

Sossusvlei Dunes are home to the highest sand dunes in the world, and are 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.

Travelling with your family in Namibia

Namibia is a very safe country, extremely easy to get around, with an excellent road network and good infrastructure. There is no malaria in tourist destinations, and no Yellow Fever in the country at all. Accommodation is generally excellent and campsites usually have electricity, flush toilets and hot running water. Most people speak good English, but there are lots of opportunities to engage with different cultures around the country. And, of course, the natural environment is spectactular throughout - even when you are just driving down the highways! 

We believe that it is one of the best destinations for families in Africa!

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.

Project Gallery - 10 day Wild Family Adventure, Namibia

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