An overnight flight from the UK to Johannesburg means you can make the most of your time spent in Africa.
A short flight transports you to Namibia’s capital Windhoek. Your stylish city retreat, the Olive Grove Guesthouse, lies in a quiet eastern district. Three castles tower over the city’s early 20th century buildings. You’ll have time to soak up the city centre’s distinctive German heritage and pay a visit to the National Museum or the colourful Post St Mall.
A quick flight to Sossusvlei takes you to the surreal, other-worldly landscapes of saltpans, dead acacia trees and miles of undulating orange dunes. Namibia's most striking sight, the sand mountains of Sossusvlei, are just a short drive from your Kulala Desert Lodge. Set on an expansive private reserve on the edge of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the chalets here look out to distant mountains and the sea of desert dunes.
Rise at dawn for magical vistas of the Sossusvlei dunes being set aflame by the morning sunlight. The highest sand dunes on Earth soar to 300m, dotted occasionally by alien vegetation, in the form of the camelthorn tree, that somehow receive water from deep beneath the surface of the dunes and the dry vleis (valleys) left by the Tsauchab River.
From parched dunes of the desert you’ll fly to the swells and surf of the German-style coastal city of Swakopmund. You'll stay at the elegant Swakopmund Hotel, situated in an impeccably restored old station building dating to 1901. It’s just a short stroll to admire the colonial architecture and the flamingo and pelican that dwell at the city’s river mouth.
Namibia's coastal waters are alive with dolphin and seal. You can best spot these on a cruise from nearby Walvis Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for oyster platforms and seabirds too. During peak season (June to September) humpback whale abound.
A flight will take you to Damaraland, where the dramatic mountainous terrain is home to ancient rock art and the Damara people. Despite the arid habitat, wildlife thrives here: you may spot desert-adapted elephant and the world's last free-roaming black rhinoceros. At Damaraland Camp, an eco-lodge in the Huab River Valley, settle in for a night under the stars and the imposing Brandberg Mountains.
Today you’ll explore Namibia's finest wilderness on foot or by 4x4. In this sparsely vegetated region, wildlife isn't dense, but rare desert elephant do roam near the camp. You may also spot gemsbok (oryx), springbok, ostrich and other hardy creatures. Rare succulent plants manage to eke out an existence too: unbelievably individual Welwitschia plants can survive for over 2,000 years.
Etosha National Park is a seemingly endless expanse of sand, surrounded by plains and lush woodland. The wildlife regularly congregates at the sparse waterholes, which is exactly why you’re here. Upon arrival, you’ll settle into your deluxe chalet at Ongava Lodge, set within the award-winning Ongava private reserve.
Ongava is home to plentiful wildlife including lion, leopard and rhinoceros. Keep your camera and binoculars to hand for two days of game drives in a park where 114 species of mammal and 340 species of bird thrive. You’re in for a good chance of spotting elephant, giraffe and antelope lurching through the plains and the rare black rhinoceros can be spotted on occasion. By night, a floodlit waterhole offers the best way to spot the nocturnal creatures stopping by for a well-earned drink.
After two fantastic days in Etosha National Park you’ll head to Ongava Airstrip. Flying first to Windhoek, we’ll ensure you catch your connecting flight back to the UK (via Johannesburg). Well-rested after a night flight, you’ll arrive early back in the UK. No doubt complete with an abundance of adventurous tales to dine out on for many a dinner party to come.