A 14-day Adventure in Northern & Southern Namibia
The Namibian Experience offers an economical, 14-day journey to all the main highlights in northern and southern Namibian. On this mobile camping safari you’ll join other like-minded travelers as you explore the many sights of this stunning country.
Your experience begins in Windhoek, continuing to the Kalahari Desert region. From the Kalahari your journey takes you to the mighty Fish River Canyon and through the stark and tortured beauty of the Southern Namib and to the tiny fishing center of Luderitz. Then continue on to the giants dunes of Sossusvlei. You'll return to Windhoek for one night and then continue north on the second half of the trip. You will then meet close-up-and personal the big cats at Okonjima, the amazing wildlife in Etosha National Park and have first-hand experience of the Stone Age culture of the Himba people. You continue your journey through the beautiful desert scenery of Damaraland and past Namibia’s highest mountain. Our last destination is Namibia’s premier seaside town, Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast before returning to Windhoek.
The Namibian Experience is a "participation camping safari" because guests "participate" by setting up their own tent, carrying their luggage from the vehicle to the tent, and sleeping on a mattress pad (not a bed or cot). You’ll camp in public campsites and accompanied by a professional guide and camp assistant who will ensure your safari is safe, educational, and fun. This safari can be upgraded to lodge accommodations.
Day 1 | Windhoek to the Kalahari
We start our journey south on the main highway, traveling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where you bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari.
Day 2 | Kalahari to Fish River Canyon
An early morning departure to the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site. We travel via the town of Keetmanshoop for overnight camping on the Fish River area. Here you have the opportunity of seeing the Quiver Tree. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe. These weird looking plants are locally common, however they are one of the world’s rarest flora species.
Day 3 | Fish River Canyon to Luderitz
The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. Early morning we head to the main view point where we can see how impressive this canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos and to spend some time experiencing this amazing sight. Then time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination, the coastal town of Lüderitz where its colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay, fishing boats bobbing up and down on the Atlantic horizon, penguins and seals diving beneath the waves.
Day 4 | Luderitz to Aus
Take time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz. We then drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 12 miles out of Luderitz. It was built in the 1920’s during the diamond rush. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling.
We camp tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range.
Day 5 | Aus to Sesriem
Turning north, we once again head deep into the ancient southern Namib, traveling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding. Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change, giving way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colors glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
Day 6 | Sossusvlei
A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After driving into the heart of the dune field, we reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 3 miles through the dunes. The walk is like nothing else, in 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. We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting dune 45, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.
Day 7 | Sesriem to Windhoek
After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization. We overnight in Windhoek
Day 8 | Windhoek to Okonjima & Africat Foundation
We will travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. Continuing north, passing through farmland, we aim to arrive at Okonjima during the middle afternoon, before heading out to take part in the afternoon’s activity.
Okonjima is the home of the Africat Foundation, a specialist conservation group that rehabilitates Africa's big cats. This afternoon you will be taken on a tour during which you will be able to meet, close-up-and-personal, some of the cheetah that are going through the Africat rehabilitation programm. Most of the animals currently living at Okonjima have been rescued from various desperate situations and the aim of the rehabilitation process is to attempt to re-introduce them into the wild.
Day 9 | Okonjima to Etosha National Park
An early start and continuing north we pass through some small towns, making short stops for fresh supplies and fuel. Continuing on to Etosha and the Namutoni camp. We arrive in time for lunch, giving us time to relax before heading into the park during the cool of the late afternoon for our first game drive.
Day 10 | Namutoni to Okaukuejo, Etosha
A full day’s game driving. We again leave early to enjoy the cool morning air as we game drive our way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and we have the chance to tick off a few new species that are not normally seen on the Namutoni side of the park. We visit the Halali waterhole before continuing on our way and game driving down to Okaukuejo, where we set up camp. After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot. The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.
Day 11 | Etosha to Grootberg Region, Damaraland
Leaving Etosha we begin our journey south to visit a Himba Village – the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside Kaokoland. These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new location. We will 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.
Day 12 | Grootberg to Twyfelfontein
Today we head into one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. We drive west via the Grootberg Pass and then take a detour to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. At this location we will have a local guide to conduct us on a short guided tour before we set up camp for the night.
Day 13 | Twyfelfontein to Swakopmund
From here we head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2573 m) and more beautiful Damaraland scenery. From here we turn directly west and cross the gravel plains on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast. Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, we first 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. We aim to arrive in the late afternoon giving us time to explore the town on foot before sunset. Dinner is for the client’s own account.
Day 14 | Swakopmund to Windhoek
The drive back to Windhoek today will take about 4 and a half hour. We will depart around lunch-time, giving us time to spend the morning relaxing in Swakopmund. It has many superb shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite 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 airplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), four-wheel motorcycle (quad bike) trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available.
This is the last day of our trip and after lunch we will transfer you back to Windhoek where you will be dropped off at your accommodation in the late afternoon / early evening.
2019 Departure Dates
Safari vehicles are specially modified and custom-built Toyota Dyna trucks with pop-tops. The vehicles have modified seating for more leg room and with large floor to ceiling windows for game viewing. The pop-tops are great for photographing game. These trucks are used for groups between 5-14. For smaller groups (4 or less) we may use minibuses with a trailer or double cabs or similar.
Tents are dome type with built in ground-sheets and screened windows and doors. They are simple to put up, and allow standing headroom inside. All camping equipment is supplied except for a sleeping bag (although these may be rented if required). This includes chairs with backrests, tables, washstands, cutlery and crockery. The mattresses are approximately 2 inches thick and covers are supplied. The campsites have excellent facilities with flush toilets (or long drop), hot showers, and most have a pool.
GROUP SIZE: No minimum and a maximum group size of 14.
PAYMENT: A non-refundable, 20% deposit is required to confirm booking. Balance is due 7 weeks before departure.
Other terms & conditions apply.
- $2110 (Jul 1, 2020 - Mar 31, 2021)
Rates are per person sharing and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. No single supplement.
Length: 13 nights/14 days
Route: Starts and ends in Windhoek