The ultimate classic namibia – 13 day accommodated safari
Ultimate Classic Namibia Safari – 11 day Accommodated Safari - 2013 Silver/Gold Level Namibia is a vast country, even by African standards, covering anarea approximately four times the size of the United Kingdom butwith a population of a mere 2 million - one of the lowest densities inthe world. It is also an 'ageless land’; visible through our heritage ofrock art created by stone-age artists and geological attractions suchas the petrified forest where fossilised tree trunks have lain for over280 million years. Added to the space and silence, these allcontribute to a feeling of antiquity, solitude, and wilderness. This Ultimate Namibia Safari affords you the chance to experiencethis magnificent and memorable country in a very personal way. You will have your ownprofessional and experienced safari guide who will enhance your enjoyment of this unique countryby making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery.Highlights: Namib Naukluft National Park – Sossusvlei dunes, Dead Vlei, Dune 45, SesriemCanyon; Swakopmund coastal town; Twyfelfontein rock etchings; Damaraland; Etosha NationalPark for game drives; Okonjima and AfriCat FoundationArrive Windhoek by 09h00, to Hoodia Desert Lodge, Sossusvlei areaCentral Guesthouse in Swakopmund (or similar)Dolomite Camp, Western Etosha National ParkOkaukuejo Resort, Etosha National ParkOkonjima Bush Camp, AfriCat FoundationReturn to Windhoek in the late afternoon (departure after 16h00)Hoodia Desert Lodge, Namib Desert – 1 night
After collection from your accommodation in the city or the airport (assuming you land before09h00) set off on your safari, driving south-west through the scenic Khomas Hochland Highlandsbefore you head down the escarpment into the Namib Desert below. A picnic lunch will be served ata scenic location en-route. You arrive at Hoodia Desert Lodge in the late afternoon where you willstay for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. Ifthere is still time today, your guide will take you to visit Sesriem Canyon, a nearby geologicalattraction, or you can relax and soak in the scenic andtranquil surroundings at Hoodia Desert Lodge (LD)Sesriem Canyon: Sesriem Canyon has evolved throughcenturies of erosion by the Tsauchab River which hasincised a narrow gorge about 1.5km long and 30 metresdeep into the surrounding conglomerates, exposing thevarying layers of sedimentation deposited over millions ofyears. The shaded cool depths of the canyon allow pools ofwater to gather during the rain season and remain for muchof the year round. These pools were a vital source of waterfor early settlers who drew water for their livestock byknotting six (ses) lengths of rawhide thongs (riems) together, hence the canyon and surrounding areabecame known as SesriemHoodia Desert Lodge: Hoodia Desert Lodge lies nestled on the banks of the Tsauchab River,overlooked by the impressive Naukluft Mountains. The camp offers comfortable accommodation inthatched and tented bungalows equipped with a private open-air bathroom, air-conditioning, minibar,tea and coffee station and a shaded balcony. The lodge restaurant serves excellent traditional andinternational cuisine accompanied by a wide selection of South African wines from the undergroundwine cellar. A wooden walkway leads you to a refreshing swimming pool sculpted into natural rock. This wonderful camp is a welcomed oasis from which to enjoy your memorable desert experience. Hoodia Desert Lodge, Namib Desert – 1 night
This morning you rise early for a magical excursion with your guide into the Namib NaukluftNational Park, entering the Park gates at sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft andshadows accentuate their towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the NamibDesert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harshenvirons. Once you have explored to your hearts content you can enjoy a relaxing picnic breakfastunder the shade of a camel thorn tree. Return to Hoodia Desert Lodge in the early afternoon for a latelunch, stopping off to view Sesriem Canyon if you haven’t already done sothe day before. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure (from experience,this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes). (BLD)Sossusvlei: This most frequently visited section of the massive 50,000 km²Namib Naukluft National Park has become known as Sossusvlei, famousfor its towering apricot coloured sand dunes which can be penetrated byfollowing the Tsauchab River valley. Sossusvlei itself is actually a clay panset amidst these star shaped dunes which stand up to 300 meters above thesurrounding plains, ranking them among the tallest dunes on earth. Thedeathly white clay pan contrasts against the orange sands and forms theendpoint of the ephemeral Tsauchab River, within the interior of the GreatSand Sea. The river course rises south of the Naukluft Mountains in theGreat Escarpment. It penetrates the sand sea for some 55 km before itfinally peters out at Sossusvlei, about the same distance from the Atlantic Ocean. Until theencroaching dunes blocked its course around 60,000 years ago, the Tsauchab River once reached thesea; as ephemeral rivers still do in the northern half of the Namib. Sand-locked pans to the west showwhere the river previously flowed to before dunes shifted its endpoint to where it currently gathers atSossusvlei. Roughly once a decade rainfall over the catchment area is sufficient to bring the riverdown in flood and fill the pan. On such occasions the mirror images of dunes and camel thorn treesaround the pan are reflected in the water. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. Another, famous for its gnarled and ghostly camel thorn trees, is Deadvlei which can be reached onfoot over 1 km of sand. Deadvlei’s striking camel thorn trees, dead for want of water, still stand erectas they once grew. They survived until about 900 years ago when the sand sea finally blocked theriver from occasionally flooding the pan. Central Guest House, Swakopmund – 1 night
We depart after breakfast and drive northwest through the Namib Naukluft National Park. Here you will experience some awesome moonscape scenery including the Gaub and Kuiseb canyons on the way to Swakopmund via the port town of Walvis Bay – a journey of about 5 hours. There will be time this afternoon to explore town before heading off for dinner at the popular Tug Restaurant by the jetty, which specialises in fresh seafood – the cost for this is included in your holiday price. Swakopmund resembles a small, German coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea, and is a perfect example of German colonial architecture blending with good hotels, restaurants, museum, and coffee shops. The elaborate railway building and others are of interest, as are the various arts and crafts centres, which you may wish to visit. Although the sea is normally cold for swimming there are pleasant beaches and the cooler climate is refreshing after the time spent in the desert (BLD) NOTE: As an alternative to the drive from Hoodia Desert Lodge to Swakopmund you may like to take a scenic light aircraft flight over Sossusvlei and along the Diamond Coast (optional extra at additional cost), allowing you a birds eye view over the dune sea, abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks, Sandwich Harbour and salt pans before you land at Swakopmund Airport. Your guide will drive to meet up with you in Swakopmund later in the day. Swakopmund: Swakopmund resembles a small, German coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea. It boasts a charming combination of German colonial architecture blended with good hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, craft centres, galleries and cafés. Swakopmund had its beginnings as a
landing station in 1892 when the Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site. Settlers followed andattempts to create a harbour town by constructing a concrete Mole and then iron jetty failed. Theadvent of World War 1 halted developments and the town sank into decline until half a century laterwhen infrastructures improved and an asphalt road opened between Windhoek and Swakopmund. This made reaching the previously isolated town quicker and easier and it prospered once again tobecome Namibia’s premier resort town. Although the sea is normally cold for swimming there arepleasant beaches and the cooler climate is refreshing after the time spent in the desert. Central Guesthouse: This elegant building situated in the heart of old Swakopmund offers luxuryaccommodation within easy walking distance of all amenities, shops, restaurants, museums, craftmarkets, banks and beaches. The comfortable lounge is attractively furnished and has an open fireplace. Six double en-suite rooms are available each exquisitely furnished with dark mahoganyfurniture, extra length beds, top quality white linen, flat screen TV and internet access
Central Guest House, Swakopmund– 1 night
After an early breakfast we drive the scenic coastal road back to Walvis Bay for a memorabledolphin cruise onto the outer lagoon. This is an ideal way of seeing Atlantic cape fur seals, heavisideand bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of sea birds. During the course of thecruise, snacks will be served along with sparkling wine and fresh oysters. You will return to the jettyat roughly 12h30 after which you may like to explore Walvis Bay further before returning toSwakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or in town. You can also take part insome of the many activities that Swakopmund has to offer, these include scenic flights, quad bikingin the dunes, and more (all at extra cost). (BLD)
Camp Kipwe, Damaraland – 1 night
Continue on your safari, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region ofDamaraland. You will pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 mabove sea level, and take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formationsand bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscapehas been formed by the erosion of wind, water andgeological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes,gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety andloneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour whichwill reward and astound you, giving one an authenticunderstanding of the word 'wilderness' If time allows thisafternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearbyattractions and geological sites of Twyfelfontein rockengravings (recently declared a UNESCO World HeritageSite), Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes - if not there is plenty of time to do so tomorrow. (BLD)Twyfelfontein: Strewn over a hillside amongst flat-topped mountains of red sandstone,Twyfelfontein’s boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2,500 prehistoric engravings thatdepict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection ofpetroglyphs in Africa. The engravings show animals such as elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, rhinoceros,springbok, zebra and ostrich that once used to drink from a fountain at the bottom of the hill. In somecases footprints were engraved instead of hooves or paws. Burnt Mountain: A rounded hill located a few kilometres from Twyfelfontein and the Organ Pipes,known as the Burnt Mountain, seems to catch fire again at sunrise and sunset. Its fantastic range ofcolours at dawn and dusk are due to a chemical reaction that took place roughly 125 million yearsago when molten lava penetrated organic shale and limestone deposits, resulting in contactmetamorphism. In ordinary sunlight it is a dull black. Blackened rubble lies to one side like cindersfrom the original fire. Camp Kipwe: Camp Kipwe lies in the heart of Damaraland, ideally located a short drive from thelocal attractions in the area. The Camp is nestled amongst an outcrop of giant granite boulders, astones throw away from the ephemeral Aba Huab riverbed where desert adapted elephants oftentraverse. Each comfortable thatched bungalow is simply but tastefully furnished with en-suitebathroom. In the centre of the camp lies a large alfresco dining area, bar, lounge and reception with
an inviting fireplace nearby to relax beside in the evenings. A refreshing swimming pool and lovelyviews also complement the Camp. Camp Kipwe, Damaraland – 1 night
After an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral AbaHuab River valley to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusivedesert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adaptedwildlife and hidden desert treasures. You will return to Camp for lunch and this afternoon you mayvisit Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions if you haven’t already done so, or take a walk withyour guide into the local area around Camp, or relax and enjoy some well deserved leisure time. (BLD)Desert Adapted Elephant: In habitats with sufficient vegetation and water an adult elephantconsumes as much as 300 kg of roughage and 230 litres of water every day of its life. Consider whata herd of them would eat and drink in a week or a month or a year. African elephant in a desert?Well, yes! Not only elephant, but other large mammals as well, such as black rhinoceros and giraffe. Their ranges extend from river catchments in northernKaokoveld as far south as the northern Namib. Apartfrom the Kunene River, seven river courses northwardsfrom the Ugab provide them with possible routes acrossthe desert, right to the Skeleton Coast. The biggest arethe Hoarusib, the Hoanib, the Huab and the UgabRivers. Desert adapted elephant in Kaokoland and theNamib walk further for water and fodder then any otherelephant in Africa. The distances between waterholesand feeding grounds can be as great as 68 km. Thetypical home range of a family herd is larger then 2,000km², or eight times as big as ranges in central Africawhere rainfall is much higher. They walk and feed atnight and rest during the day. To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on nofewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. Not a separate species or even asubspecies, they are an ecotype unique to Namibia in Africa south of the equator, behaviourallyadapted to hyper-arid conditions. Elephant in Mali on the south western fringe of the Sahara Desertare the only others known to survive in similar conditions. Dolomite Camp, Western Etosha – 1 night
Today after breakfast you depart and head to Etosha National Park, travelling via the Grootberg Pass. Along the way your guide will take you to visit a local Himba settlement – you may have to searchfor a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They areone of the last most traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. You will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insightinto their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine. You enter the Etosha National Park through the GaltonGate on the western boundary and game drive your way onto the newly opened Dolomite Camp, arriving in the earlyafternoon. This previously restricted western section ofEtosha which was kept for research and rehabilitation ofgame, boasts some of the highest numbers of wildlifethroughout the Park. The vegetation is mainly Karstveldtand Mopane shrubland with the geology dominated bydolomite formations – fittingly giving the new Camp itsname. The rest of the afternoon could be spent gameviewing at the camp’s waterhole, or possibly heading out again with your guide. After dinner youwill head out on an exciting night drive, which will offer you a good chance of seeing nocturnalanimals such as spring hares, aardvark, Cape and bat-eared foxes, aardwolf, genets, and possiblysome of the larger cats. The Himba: The Himba, Tjimba and other Herero people who inhabit Namibia’s remote north-western Kunene Region are loosely referred to as the Kaokovelders. Basically Herero in terms of
origin, language and culture, they are semi-nomadic pastoralists who tend to tend from one wateringplace to another. They seldom leave their home areas and maintain, even in their own, on whichother cultures have made little impression. For many centuries they have lived a relatively isolatedexistence and were not involved to any noteworthy extent in the long struggle for pasturelandsbetween the Nama and the Herero. The largest group of Kaokovelders is the Himba, semi-nomadswho live in scattered settlements throughout the Kunene Region. They are a tall, slender andstatuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly bearing. The womenespecially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles andtraditional adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects theirskins against the harsh desert climate. The homes of the Himba of Kaokoland are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The men build the structures, while the women mix the clay and do the plastering. A fire burns in theheadman’s hut day and night, to keep away insects and provide light and heating. A family maymove from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing for their goats and cattle. Men,women and children wear body adornments made from iron and shell beads. A Himba womanspends as much as three hours a day on her toilette. First she bathes, then she anoints herself with herown individually prepared mixture which not only protects her skin from the harsh desert sun, butalso keeps insects away and prevents her body hair from falling out. She uses another mixture ofbutter fat, fresh herbs and black coals to rub on her hair, and ‘steams’ her clothes regularly over thepermanent fire. Men, women and children adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, anklets andbelts made from iron and shell beads. With their unusualand striking designs, these items have gained acommercial value and are being produced on a smallscale for the urban market. Sculptural headrests inparticular are sought-after items. Dolomite Camp: Nestled in the dolomite outcrops of thisvast area of western Etosha National Park, DolomiteCamp offers guests an intimate experience of one of themost scenic areas of the Park, an area where previouslyendangered species like the Black Rhinocerous andBlack-Faced Impala have been successfully bred. TheCamp consists of a spacious reception, lounge, bar and restaurant area – offering crimson sunrise andsunset views over the surrounding savannah. From this point, a walkway leads to thatched, en-suitechalets nestled amongst the rocky outcrops, providing privacy and dramatic and panoramic landscapeviews. The Camp’s interiors are designed to harmonise with the natural surroundings, characterizedby weathered dolomite rock formations, Mopane, Moringa and savannah woodland. It is herebeneath the rugged shoulders of the dolomite outcrops and boulders that tranquillity is truly found. Dolomite Camp offers a first of its kind experience inside the biodiversity-rich western section ofEtosha National Park and moreover presents guests with a wilderness experience that is unmatchedin terms of privacy and landscape viewing
Day 8 & 9 Etosha National Park – Okaukuejo Resort – 2 nights Today is spent game viewing in the Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle as you make your way through the western section of the Park, stopping off at waterholes and for game sightings on your way to Okaukuejo. This afternoon can be spent game viewing at the excellent floodlit waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night, or possibly heading out again on another game drive with your guide. The following day is available for a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park. After discussion with your guide you can either opt to go out in the morning and the afternoon and return to Okaukuejo for lunch and an early afternoon rest; or you can head east across the Park to spend more time in the area around Halali. Either way, you will return to the comforts of Okaukuejo by sunset and an evening watching game come and go from Okaukuejo’s busy floodlit waterhole. Etosha National Park covers 22 270 sq km of which approx. 5 000 sq km is the 'Pan', an area classified as a saline depression. The park consists of grassland, woodland and savannah where the game-viewing centres around the numerous springs and waterholes at which several species can often be seen at one time. The Park boasts some 114 mammal and over 340 bird species and the Etosha Pan is one of the most important breeding grounds for southern Africa's flamingo population.
There is abundant wildlife in Etosha, and there is a wide variety of both mammal and bird speciesthat can be found. Mammals often seen when exploring the park include elephant, black rhino, lion,giraffe, eland, kudu, gemsbok, Damara dik-dik, zebra, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger, andwarthog (“remote controlled pigs”) as well as our endemic black-faced impala. Okonjima Bush Camp – 1 night
Today you game drive your way from Okaukuejo Camp to exit Etosha National Park through theAndersson Gate. Your journey then takes you south and onto Okonjima Bush Camp, located at thebase of the Omboroko Mountains near Waterberg. This is a wonderful highlight with which toconclude your safari. Here you can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere, superb accommodation andfantastic activities; starting with a guided afternoon excursion and a visit to the night hide afterdinner. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary which focuses on theresearch and rehabilitation of Africa's big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. Close encounters with leopard and cheetah are an unforgettable highlight. Activities include leopardtracking by vehicle, a visit to the cheetah welfare project and a visit to the night hide where nocturnalanimals such as porcupine, caracal, honey badger and evenleopard may be seen. Okonjima Bush Camp: The delightful accommodation atOkonjima Bush Camp consists of thatched African stylechalets, well-spaced out for privacy in the tranquil bushsurroundings, plus a central main Lapa area in the form of acamel thorn pod where meals are taken and activitiescommence. Each exclusive en-suite chalet is completelyprivate and the green canvas ‘walls’ can be rolled up to giveyou an 180 degree view so you can lie in bed and watch life in the bush going on around you whilstyou relax in total comfort. (BLD)
You rise early this morning for another memorable guided activity before you return to Bush Campfor a sumptuous breakfast. After freshening up you will depart for Windhoek in the late morning, viathe town of Okahandja, to arrive back at roughly 14h00. Upon your arrival into Windhoek you willbe transferred to your accommodation establishment of choice, or to Windhoek International Airportto check-in for your ongoing flight (departure flights must be no earlier than 16h00 or a final night inWindhoek can be arranged at additional cost if required
Safari Price (valid from 1 March 2013 to 30 November 2013)
Please note that the N$ is fixed to the South African Rand on a 1/1 basis
Safari Departure Dates:
SAFARI 1: Monday, 25th March to Thursday, 4th April 2013
SAFARI 2: Monday, 13th May to Thursday, 23rd May 2013
SAFARI 3: Monday, 17th June to Thursday, 27th June 2013
SAFARI 4: Monday, 15th July to Thursday, 25th July 2013
SAFARI 5: Monday, 12th August to Thursday, 22nd August 2013
SAFARI 6: Monday, 9th September to Thursday, 19th September 2013
SAFARI 7: Monday, 7th October to Thursday, 17th October 2013
SAFARI 8: Monday, 4th November to Thursday, 14th November 2013
Safari Includes: Accommodation as stated; transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle; meals as stipulated; services of a registered and experienced English speaking safari guide; entrances fees and excursions as described above; mineral water on board the safari vehicle; welcome pack; return airport transfers to/from Windhoek International Airport Safari Excludes: International flights; airport taxes; any meals not included in itinerary; any entrance fees and excursions not included in the itinerary; all beverages with exception of mineral water on board the safari vehicle; laundry; gratuities; items of personal nature; visas; Bank charges (as per bank or 3 % commission for VISA/MASTER)
Visas/Passports: Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your scheduleddeparture date from Namibia. If this is not the case, there is a danger of being turned away by theImmigration Service on arrival at the airport – assuming your airline has agreed to bring you and riska fine in the first place. Most nationalities do not require purchasing visas in advance but pleasecheck for clarification
Health: No vaccinations are mandatory but please consult your doctor for medical advice. Parts ofNamibia are considered to be malarial so we recommend the use of anti-malarial prophylaxis(normally Malarone), especially if visiting during the Namibian summer (December to April) –subject to advice from your own doctor
Luggage: Is normally restricted to 20kg (not including photographic equipment) per person in a soft,hold all type bag. Weight is generally less important than volume as everything is carried with youon safari. If adding extensions that involve light aircraft transfers the luggage limit is reducedfurther to 12 kg in soft bags. If required, any extra luggage can be stored at our base when visitorsare away on excursions
Vehicles: Vehicles used are normally comfortable seven seat Volkswagen Minibuses, equipped withair-conditioning and cool boxes or fridges for drinks and snacks. A trailer for luggage is taken ifrequired. The company reserves the right to change the vehicles used to 4 x 4 safari vehicles if theroad conditions at the time indicate that this is necessary for the success of the safari.
Clothing and other items: Shorts; light trousers/jeans; T-shirts; warm clothes such as a fleece,sweater and even thermals during winter; (May – August); swimming costume; long-sleeved shirts;Camera; walking shoes; sandals; sun hat; windbreaker; towel on camping trips only; torch & sparebatteries (even during accommodated trips walking between rooms/lodge etc it is useful to have);water bottle; mosquito protection UV protection
Spending money: Clients are advised to bring enough money to cover the purchase of curios, tips, alcoholic drinks and additional entertainment Namibian Dollar and South African Rand are the most practical and convenient currencies.
The rainy season is between December and April and is summer time so days are longer andtemperatures can become very hot, particularly on the days when it does not rain. Heavy showers arecommon place particularly in the north of the country and can also affect road conditions. Wintertime can bring day temps of 15-25c during the day but below freezing at night – extremetemperatures, but rain is uncommon
Electrical plugs are 220 V and are 3pin (round pin as opposed to square pin). Adaptors can bepurchased in Windhoek.
The Namibian Dollar (N$) is tied permanently 1-1 to the South African Rand (SAR). SAR notesand coins are legal tender in Namibia.
It is customary to tip in Namibia, usually, around 10% at restaurants. Your guide can be tipped atyour own discretion
THIS SAFARI IS RUN BY A LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Tel: ++ 264 61 309387 Fax: ++ 264 61 220885
Email – email@example.com Web - www.chameleonholidays.com
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