Depart from the UK on an overnight flight via Johannesburg to arrive in Windhoek at lunchtime the next day. You’ll be met on arrival by your private guide and taken to your boutique hotel.
When you’re fresh and free from jetlag, then it’s time to discover Windhoek. Learn about the history of this city, which was destroyed and rebuilt around a century ago. Find out what local dishes are on the menu and where the locals like to hang out. It’s also worth visiting Parliament Gardens and the National Museum of Namibia, before you head deeper into the country.
Your 4x4 will be delivered to your hotel today, allowing you to freely discover the wild. The drive will take you south to the dunes of Sossusvlei, a great place to look out for springbok and ostrich. Your home for the next two nights is Desert Homestead Outpost, a resort in a nature reserve, where you can experience authentic desert life. Today gets the longest drive of your trip (five hours) out the way early on.
Set off early this morning on a guided trip tour of the dunes and, if you’re feeling adventurous, to climb to the summit of “Big Daddy.” The desert view is a stunning reward. See the famous Deadvlei or “dead marsh” and stare in awe at the stark black trees against the sharp blue sky. Enjoy a picnic breakfast among the dunes, and then the rest of the day is yours.
After a hearty, local breakfast, set off in your 4x4 across the dunes. The roads are incredibly straight, allowing you to cover appreciate the vastness around you. En route to Swakopmund, a delightful seaside town, it’s become tradition for our clients to stop at Solitaire bakery for the best apple pie in the country. Embrace the fascinating Germanic architecture with an afternoon stroll when you arrive, or from the windows of the most inviting bar. Today’s driving time is six hours, though this includes the apple-pie stop.
Enjoy a dolphin and seal cruise on board a catamaran this morning in the beautiful Walvis Bay. You’ll also encounter pelicans and turtles if you’re lucky, but you’ll be sure to enjoy fresh oysters and sparkling wine on board. Next, head to the dunes on the edge of town for a quadbike experience. Today will be full of excitement and adventure, but you can enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of your hotel’s three restaurants in the evening – or choose one for yourself in Swakopmund.
Drive deep into the remote Erongo Mountains to find your home for the next two nights, Erongo Wilderness Lodge. This is a place to relax and experience the beauty of your surroundings. Cool yourself by the pool this afternoon and then take a guided sundowner walk. See the sun set over the spectacular views of the Erongo and Brandberg mountains, and keep your eyes open for distant rhino roaming. The driving time is only two and a half hours today.
When exploring these granite mountains, a drive to Paula’s Cave is always a highlight. Walk to the top of the hill to see some outstanding examples of bushmen rock art. There’s a variety of nature trails you can take from the lodge, both guided and non-guided, to take it slow and savour the sights. There’s incredible birdlife here from raptors to the smallest of sunbirds.
A longer drive today of just under six hours takes you to your safari destination. Head to Ongava Tented Camp, your base of exploration for the next two nights. Located deep in the Ongava Game Reserve, your neighbours include elephant, zebra and giraffe. Relax in one of the eight Meru-style safari tents and soak up the tranquillity of the wild outdoors. This evening, enjoy your first game drive on this private reserve.
Today, spend a full day on the reserve enjoying guided safaris, bird watching and nature walks. Ongava’s prime location – only eight kilometres from Etosha National Park and located on a game reserve itself – means access to some of Africa’s most elusive wildlife. Ongava works with the Namibian government as part of their custodianship programme to restore these endangered animals to their former heartlands. Consequently, it is one of the few reserves in Southern Africa where you can find both the black and white rhino.
After a morning safari drive, make your way to Okonjima, home to the AfriCat Foundation. Upon arrival, head out on foot to discover the nearby nature trail or bushman trail. A visit to the cheetah rehabilitation project is also a must; the research and conservation work done for these marvellous animals here is pioneering. Learn about how cheetah are prospering because of these projects. Afterwards, end your day with an incredible dinner under the stars.
After one final safari drive, wave a fond farewell to Okonjima and set off in good time to return your 4x4, which should be caked in dust by this point. Your driving time today should be around two and a half hours. On the way, stop at a restaurant of your choosing for a delicious lunch and take time to pick up some gifts for family and friends. Arrive at the airport and board your connecting flight to Johannesburg. From here, pick up your return overnight flight to the UK.