Day 1: Olive Grove Guesthouse
The Journey: After your arrival at an invariably sunny Hosea Kutako Airport, you will be personally met and transferred by road to Windhoek, Namibia’s thriving capital. This 30 minute journey takes you through open countryside and gently rolling hills where you will collect your car and meet your Naturally Namibia consultant. The friendly team will give you a comprehensive briefing on your vehicle and make sure you are happy with your safari transport! You will then be given the simple directions required to find Olive Grove Guesthouse in a quiet residential part of town.
The Windhoek Experience: A small city by African standards, which compensates by offering a friendly and relatively cosmopolitan experience. There is a fluid mix of 19th century German architecture, broad tree-lined avenues, modern shopping malls and diverse restaurants. This is a nice environment in which to get your bearings and acclimatize a little for the adventure to come.
Olive Grove: A genuine home from home with the considerable benefits of stylish, uncluttered rooms, a friendly restaurant, a swimming pool, useful town transfer service and a range of massage therapies. The experienced team at the Olive Grove will have you set up with a cool drink and some useful pointers on
in no time at all. Namibia
Days 2 & 3: Okonjima Main Camp
The Journey: After leaving the pretty hills of
and driving north, the landscape quickly flattens with vast acacia covered farmlands all around. You pass the small town of Windhoek , where you have the opportunity to see the famous wood carvers at work in their market. Even if you don’t want to buy, it is interesting to see what a capable pair of hands can conjure from a tree stump! Okahandja
Approximately 2 hours from
you will see the turn off and manned gate for Okonjima. You will be met by the security guard and the camp informed of your imminent arrival before you enter 22,000 hectares of exclusive protected big cat habitat. Shaded Acacia bush, sandy river beds and open plains at the foot of the Windhoek are home to the beautiful and precious charges of the AfriCat Foundation. The Foundation is a pioneering charity committed to researching and rehabilitating Omboroko Mountains ’s threatened big cat population. They have been at the cutting edge of Namibian predator conservation since 1993 and are a leading model for eco-tourism sustained conservation. Namibia
The Okonjima Experience: You may find yourself watching a stealthy leopard as he drifts between cover or sitting in complete early morning silence with a wild cheetah purring just feet away. The chance to track and study cheetah on foot is one of
’s most memorable wildlife moments. The welfare cats provide even more insight into the various initiatives which the foundation manages. Your stay at Okonjima directly supports the foundation and leaves a conservation legacy which remains active long after you depart. Namibia
Okonjima Main Camp: Designed around the original family farmhouse with its well established gardens, shady trees and prolific birdlife. The thatched main lapa is a cool retreat from the midday sun and at night is brightly lit by lanterns and several welcoming fireplaces. The sixteen rooms offer either a sheltered view onto the main lawn or across open bush to the low mountains beyond.
Days 4 & 5: Mushara Bush Camp
The Journey: Heading north once more, the 3 to 4 hour drive takes you through more open farmland past the towns of Otjiwarongo, Otavi and Tsumeb. On the eastern edge of Etosha and only 8km from the Von Lindequist Gate, the Bush Camp is the latest addition to the family-managed Mushara Collection.
The Etosha Experience: Africa’s largest salt pan forms the centre piece to
’s largest protected wildlife reserve. A chain of natural springs have become the catalyst for the daily species interaction which has thrilled and fascinated visitors since 1907. The Namibia Etosha National Park covers a vast area, which has been protected since German colonial rule and is now one of the most productive game viewing parks in Africa. Once a lake the size of it now shimmers with a glaring bright white from crystallized salt across its entire surface. The park is justifiably famed for the wealth of wildlife that congregate at its dozens of waterholes, offering ample reward for those who are patient. Plains game such as zebra, kudu, oryx, wildebeest, giraffe, springbok, impala and eland abound in great numbers on the grasslands while large herds of elephants are common. Lions dominate the predator food chain and make good use of the waterholes as hunting grounds whilst smaller predators like the black-backed jackal trot around oblivious to humans. The demand for fresh drinking water means that there is little hierarchy at the waterholes and the diversity of species drinking at the same time can be staggering. This is the place to watch Holland ’s greatest daily wildlife dramas unfold. Namibia
Mushara Bushcamp: The name Mushara derives from the Purple Pod Terminalia tree, which grows in abundance in the surrounding area. The Bushcamp is a family-run oasis that provides a wonderfully relaxed guest experience. Comfortable tented rooms with stone built bathrooms are joined to the main building by gravel pathways. The camp has a beautifully designed swimming pool, curio shop and various shaded places to escape to with a book. There are four family rooms and a host of children’s activities, books and toys to keep everyone entertained. There is also a free child minding service at the camp which is a first at Etosha.
Day 6: Etosha Safari Lodge
The Journey: Today you will drive across
. Entering through the Von Lindquist (east) gate you will follow the road towards Anderssons (south) Gate on the southern boundary of the Park. You have plenty of time to explore the network of waterholes and looped drives along the main park road. The roads are in good condition and are a mixture of gravel and tar. As you traverse the park you have the opportunity to stop and make use of the dining and basic shopping services at both Namutoni and Okaukuejo. These historical forts are owned and managed by the parks board and make handy rest stops. We suggest you refuel at Okaukuejo and take a look at their busy waterhole before leaving the park and spending the night at Etosha Safari Lodge. Etosha National Park
Etosha Safari Lodge: A comfortable overnight stop located just outside the park gate. The lodge is situated on a hillock with magnificent views of the African savannah. There is a welcoming restaurant and several swimming pools to enjoy after your journey across Etosha.
Days 7 & 8:
Camp Etendeka Mountain
The Journey: The drive from Anderssons Camp to Etendeka Mountain Camp is one of stunning contrasts. The route initially takes you south on fine tar roads through Outjo, where you can refuel and stock up on pastries at the German bakery. Then heading west through the outpost town of
, where the road changes to winding gravel. The scenery also begins to alter as the soil turns a richer red and the mountains of Damaraland start to crowd the horizon. The rich landscape is dotted with smoothe granite outcrops which look like giant sculpture. This scenic road leads to and finally climbs over the Kamanjab where you will be rewarded with one of the best views in the region. This mountain pass is the gateway to some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness that Grootberg Pass has to offer. Namibia
The Etendeka Experience: Desert adapted wildlife forge a precarious existence amongst the towering basalt mountains and albidia shaded rivers beds of the
Kunene region. This apparently unforgiving landscape is actually refuge to a diverse number of plant and mammal species. Desert elephant and black rhino share boulder strewn valleys with watchful cheetah and thundering herds of oryx. Dew darkened game trails show the heavy pug marks of lion and the mountain zebra they hunt. Scorpions prowl between volcanic rock shards and snake eagles drift through the warm afternoon breeze. Your days here are spent exploring the area on foot and in open game drive vehicles with the exceptionally knowledgeable guides. This is not a fast paced safari, but rather a careful introduction to an environment that holds many of ’s unique natural attractions. Namibia
Etendeka Mountain Camp: A deliberately simple but effective solution to providing a comfortable base in an isolated location. En-suite meru tents connected by pathways to the main dining tent provide all the necessary comforts but leave a tiny human footprint in this giant landscape.
Days 9 & 10: Erongo Wilderness Lodge
The Journey: Driving south on good gravel roads through the beautiful mountainous landscape of Damaraland towards Erongo Wilderness Lodge, a stop at Twyfelfontein is a must. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs in the world with over 2500 engravings. Believed to be up to 2000 years old, the sandstone engravings depict elephants, giraffe, lion, rhino, hunters and bizarrely, seals and penguins providing insight into the life of ancient bushmen. From here you continue south past the Brandberg, the world’s second largest monolith, and into the
. Erongo Mountains
The Erongo Experience: The lodge is nestled amid granite formations on the outskirts of an ancient volcano. These are the
- a spectacular feature in the heart of a country renowned for its scenic beauty. The Lodge is a founder member of the Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy, joining 30 private landowners in a collective effort to conserve and protect this natural treasure of over 200 000 hectares. The Conservancy’s mission includes the preservation of the rich cultural heritage in the form of rock paintings and engravings that are found throughout the area. Erongo Mountains
This peaceful corner of
provides the perfect opportunity to leave the road behind and walk under clear African skies. There are guided walks on offer or you can grab a walking stick, a trail map and explore on your own without an agenda. If the novelty of rambling through this secret wanderland wears off, the guides can entertain you with nature drives, a private mountain top rock art gallery, and some excellent birding. Namibia
Erongo Wilderness Lodge: As much a part of the landscape as the walking trails that bring the area to life. Timber walkways snake between boulders to each comfortable and raised tented room. The rooms are so well blended with the surrounding habitat that rowdy rock dassies and cautious klipspringers happily move between them during the day. The bathrooms are designed around the boulders themselves and even the swimming pool is a natural rock hollow. The main dining room and bar enjoy elevated views across the natural amphitheatre that hides to the lodge from the outside world.
Day 11: Villa Margherita
The Journey: The winding road from the central highlands flows to the coast through stunning geological formations and finally across flat gravel plains. The temperature drops with the altitude and eventually the outlines of the retreating peaks are lost in a shimmering haze. The road straightens and leads to the edge of the country where you find yourself between two habitats which are as hostile as they are fascinating. The sun bleached
Skeleton Coast and the icy Atlantic Ocean. Taking the salt surfaced coastal road south you finally arrive at one of ’s more eclectic settlements. Namibia
The Swakopmund Experience: One of only three coastal towns in
Namibia and is ’s second biggest town. A traditional “summer capital”, it is one of Namibia ’s most surreal places. After an approach through the endless expanses of the Namibia Namib Desert, Bavarian spires and elaborate Germanic architecture rise through the early morning fog banks. The boom of the surf on the Skeleton Coast is an ever-present reminder of the icy Atlantic Ocean beyond. The town is an eclectic mixture of Bohemian and Bavarian, home to an intriguing mix of artists, hippies, strait-laced descendants of German settlers, stately Herero women in Victorian dress, and hard bitten miners, game rangers, safari operators and fishermen. There are numerous suggested activities in Swakopmund. No visit would be complete without an early morning boat trip into the harbour at Walvis Bay to learn more about the unique marine life of the area. Wildlife includes the , dolphins and whales as well as abundant endemic birdlife. You can spend your afternoons discovering the town’s museums, craft markets and many restaurants, or for thrill seekers, there is dune quad biking, sand boarding and sky diving. Cape Fur Seal
Villa Margherita: This charming building is situated in the heart of old Swakopmund within easy walking distance of all amenities, shops, restaurants, museums, craft markets, banks and beaches.
Days 12 & 13: Wolwedans Dune Lodge
The Journey: After a tasty breakfast in the fresh coastal air, return your car to your rental company at Swakopmund airport and meet your pilot for the flight south. The air transfer from Swakopmund to Wolwedans has to rate as one of the finest scenic flights in the country. Gaining altitude as the small fishing
passes below, the view to the left is filled with majestic red dunes and the right offers nothing but the dazzling Atlantic stretching to the horizon. Your pilot follows the convergence of desert and ocean like a road and keeps an eye open for the wide variety of marine and bird life that survive on the port of Walvis Bay . On a clear, calm day, you can spot seals surfing the rollers and the occasional shark nosing along the shoreline. Finally, the pilot will swing inland with your aircraft skimming across the vast dune sea and you begin to appreciate the true meaning of the Namib. Sossusvlei, world famous landmark and gateway to the Namib appears on the horizon. This collection of smooth pans and towering dunes is as captivating from the air as the ground. Your exclusive destination lies isolated to the south and the pilot begins his final approach down a picture book valley complete with mountain views. Skeleton Coast
The Wolwedans Experience: The Namib Rand Nature Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge: A stylish combination of bleached timber decks and taut canvas stretched over sturdy beams provide wonderfully open and cool rooms. The en-suite luxury of the rooms is complimented by a refreshing pool, sand dune wine cellar, and a variety of communal spaces furnished with comfy leather furniture and family artefacts. The dining experience is first class and the magic of the Namib Desert infuses every element of your stay with the kind of otherworldly experience for which
is famed. Namibia
Day 14: Olive Grove Guest House
The Journey: Brushing the last desert sand from your boots, you climb into the trusty Cessna one last time for the short flight to
. Climbing slowly away from Wolwedans provides one final view of the magnificent Namib and then the terrain below becomes rocky with scattered settlements. In less than an hour you descend across the hills that encircle the capital and touch down at Eros airport to be met by your transfer driver. Windhoek
The Windhoek Experience: A small city by African standards, which compensates by offering a friendly and relatively cosmopolitan experience. There is a fluid mix of 19th century German architecture, broad tree-lined avenues, modern shopping malls and diverse restaurants. This is a nice environment in which to regain your bearings and acclimatize for the return home.
Olive Grove: A genuine home from home with the considerable benefits of stylish, uncluttered rooms, a friendly restaurant, a swimming pool, useful town transfer service and a range of massage therapies. The experienced team at the Olive Grove will have you set up with a cool drink and some useful pointers on exploring the city in no time at all.
Day 15: Fly Out
Your final day in Namibia allows plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast followed by a dip in the pool or spa treatment at Olive Grove. If you would like to visit the city centre, there is a transfer vehicle based at the guest house for your convenience.
You will be transferred by road to the international airport in plenty of time for your homeward flight.