Surreal dunes, desert wildlife and marine mammals.
At once surreal, blazing, pristine, and home to some of the world’s wildest creatures, Namibia is a life-altering experience. (Or so we’ve personally found…)
We’ve carefully crafted a unique itinerary that no one else offers — taking you to our most cherished spots, in fine style. If this is your first time to Africa, our trip is a gentle, warm-spirited introduction. For those of you who have explored other parts of the continent, this journey will give you a completely different perspective – and some mind-blowing photos.
Join us on a journey through one hauntingly beautiful ecosystem after another. We traverse the vast expanses of the Kalahari and Namib Deserts to see the world’s highest sand dunes. In Walvis Bay, we venture out in kayaks to experience its bounty of seabirds, dolphins, whales and sea lions. As a special feature, we charter a plane for a spectacular flight over the Namib Sand Sea and along the Skeleton Coast to Damaraland. There we explore the jagged canyons on the lookout for specially adapted desert elephants, lions and cheetahs. In famous National Parks like Etosha, we have world-class game viewing of Africa’s great mammals. We stay in some of the best boutique lodges the region has to offer. To top is all we have two nights in our very own mobile under the most amazing starry skies you’ll ever experience.
This is the perfect time for our Safari: when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, when the rainy season has ended, and when the game viewing is good. And our guides are simply the best, friends we know personally who can bring every second and scene of Namibia to startling life.
Day 1 — Arrive in Windhoek
Transfer to the Hilton Hotel. In the evening our safari guide will join us for a briefing and a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of this Hidden Places Adventure.
Day 2 — The Namib Desert, Sossuvlei
From Windhoek, our journey takes us to the Khomas Hochland for the most dramatic views of the famous Namib Desert, 1800 metres below. After a steep descent to the desert we arrive at Sossuvlei, and our boutique lodge inside the National Park. We celebrate the sunset in a spectacular setting and enjoy the best stargazing you’ve ever experienced.
Day 3 — Sossuvlei
At the break of dawn we head out to one of the world’s most iconic desert landscapes at Sossuvlei and Dead Vlei. Walking towards some of the world’s highest sand dunes, sculpted into incredible shapes, is a surreal and unforgettable experience. If you’re up for it, hike to the top of a massive dune to take some extraordinary photos.
Day 4 — Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
A five-hour drive north takes us from mountains and dunes to rolling grass-covered hills with scattered acacia trees. We have several stops en route, including Kuiseb Canyon and Walvis Bay. The afternoon is free to explore Swakopmund with its wonderful cafes, curios shops and beaches.
Day 5 — The Coastal Desert
We take a 4X4 across the salt flats to Walvis Bay Lagoon; here we embark on a kayak exploration of its amazing diversity of birdlife and sea mammals including whales and dolphins. A highlight is a vast fur seal colony where the young are just starting to get independent. You and your kayak are welcome playmates, so look forward to some very close encounters and the odd spray of water from these boisterous youngsters!
In the afternoon we go deep into the Coastal Desert, a fascinating environment that, despite its harsh, inhospitable appearance, is home to a myriad of animals and plants whose survival depends entirely on the sea fog. We look for Palmato geckos, scorpions, Peringuey’s adder (famous for its side-winding motion, horned adder, Namib sand snake, Shovel-nosed Lizards, Namaqua chameleons, and Toktokkie beetles.
Day 6 — Damaraland, Huab River Valley
Today we take an amazing scenic flight to Damaraland, over the Skeleton Coast and Cape Cross In Damaraland, enormous granite outcrops and dolerite dykes have been carved by ice, wind and rain over aeons. Grassy plains, tree-studded riverbeds and endless open skies add to the grandeur and make this area one of the most scenic in Namibia. We arrive at our mobile camp in Huab River Valley by early afternoon.
Day 7 Damaraland and Desert Elephants
This morning we drive across the wild moonscape of Damaraland in search of desert elephants that traverse the rugged ridges and arid valleys. In the afternoon we explore the famous Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We spend another night in the mobile camp, under the most amazing starry skies!
Day 8 — Etosha National Park, Ongava
Today we head north to Etosha National Park. We arrive at a wonderful boutique safari lodge on a private game reserve bordering Etosha National Park, our home for the next three nights. After settling in we embark on an evening game drive, then enjoy dinner under the huge African sky while watching wildlife (including rare and endangered rhinos) at a water hole close by.
Day 9 — Etosha National Park, Ongava
We take game drives throughout the vast expanses of Etosha, one of Africa’s biggest and best National Parks, It is renowned for its spectacular game viewing which includes 114 species of mammals such as elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, giraffe, honey-badger, the endemic black-faced impala, kudu, eland, Damara dik-dik, warthog and big herds of springbok, zebra, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and oryx, as well as such rare animals as black rhino. More than 300 species of birds are found here and it is brilliant for observing raptors.
Day 10 – Etosha East
This morning we set off on a 150 km drive through central and eastern parts of the park. A huge salt pan covers much of this area and is home to abundant wildlife such as lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, as well as a variety of birdlife including flamingos, ostriches, eagles, hornbills, and owls. We take our time, with game viewing en route. In the afternoon we arrive at Mushara Bush Camp.
Day 11— Etosha East
This morning we go on a game drive into Etosha. We return around lunchtime and relax at the lodge.
Day 12 Okonjima
Heading southwards, we spend the last night of this safari at Okonjima Bush Camp which is home to the world famous AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organization, committed to long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores, especially cheetahs leopards and lions. Our stay in Okonjima gives us an opportunity to witness some of AfriCat’s work.
As well as tracking leopards from a game-view vehicle, we also go on foot to track rehabilitated cheetah, rehabilitated spotted hyena and the endangered African wild dog – an exciting finale to a spectacular trip!
Day 13 — Departure
After breakfast we depart for Windhoek where you can catch your connecting flight. Please do not book your flight before 2:00 pm to ensure that we have enough time to arrive back in Windhoek.
Please note: this itinerary serves as an example of trip highlights and is subject to change.
We think of our itineraries as melodies: they have a beginning and an end, a certain arc, dramatic highlights and a few surprises. We like to improvise, to adapt to the mood of our guests or to circumstances that arise — an invitation to a traditional wedding, say, or a local ethnic festival…
Crafting beautiful, harmonious trips with delightful twists is our trade mark and passion.
What about safety on this trip?
Namibia is a relatively safe country, but please observe the same safety rules you would at home. When in Windhoek, be cautious of mugging if you are alone on busy streets or in a taxi. Use the hotel room safes if they are available, and lock your luggage. When paying by credit card, keep the card in full view at all times, and do not let anyone see your pin number.
Where does the trip start and end?
Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.
How do I get to Windhoek?
You can fly there via Frankfurt or Johannesburg. Namibia Airlines flies direct to Windhoek from Frankfurt and South Africa Airlines flies direct from Johannesburg. Hidden Places provides airport transfers on the first and last days of the trip.
What are the physical activities on the trip and what level of fitness do I need?
The activity level is generally easy. We will have some optional hikes, including to the top of a massive sand dune. We will also spend an afternoon kayaking, hoping to spot whales.
What is the food like?
The food in our hotels and lodges is generally Western in style.
Do I need a visa?
Citizens of North America, the UK and Europe do not need entry visas. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your departure date from Namibia, and have at least 3 blank pages.
I’m a vegetarian, is that a problem?
Not at all, but please let us know in advance, and advise us on what you can’t eat.
Do I need any special insurance?
Medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, is mandatory on all our trips. We also strongly advise you to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
Do I need vaccinations?
Your routine vaccinations (Tetanus-Diphtheria, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella) should be up to date. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required if you are coming from a country where the disease is present. Please consult with your physician or local travel health clinic.
What does the Land Cost cover?
Airport transfers on the first and last days of the trip, all ground transportation, guiding, game drives, trekking, park fees, entrance fees, all accommodation (based on double occupancy) meals as shown on the itinerary.
What does the Land Cost not cover?
Domestic and local charter flights, airport transfers not on the first or last days of the trip, beverages (apart from drinking-water during the active part of the trip), alcoholic drinks, personal insurance and gratuities.
How can I access cash when I’m on the trip?
There are ATMs at the international airport, in the towns we visit, and at gas stations. In most of our hotels and lodges you can pay your drinks bill by credit card (although American Express is not always accepted) and tips can be in US dollars. The currency is the Namibian Dollar but South African Rand is also accepted throughout Namibia.
What clothes and equipment will I need?
No special equipment is required. When you sign up for the trip, we will provide you with a comprehensive clothes and equipment list.
I’m travelling alone, is that a problem?
Absolutely not. We have many guests who travel with us on their own. They appreciate the camaraderie of our Hidden Places groups, and usually go home with newfound friends.
What will the weather be like?
We will be at altitudes between sea level and 5500 feet. Most of Namibia has a subtropical desert climate, with low rainfall. From late May through September, daytime temperatures range from 20 to 30°C (68 – 86°F). The nights will be cool, with temperatures possibly dropping as low as 10 C (50F), and in desert areas on the coast it can get close to freezing.
From US $6490 per person
Private Charter Flight
US $390 per person
Private: May through Oct
13 days, 12 nights (3 nights hotels, 7 nights safari lodges, 2 nights mobile camp)
Game drives, scenic flight, kayaking, trekking, animal tracking on foot, wildlife and bird watching.
Oh what a trip! Thank you for your thoughtful planning, your good sense in guide selection and helping us understand through experience the spirit of this land. Hidden Places has opened my eyes wide.
A remarkable journey of many layered and rich experiences. I am very grateful to our guide for his deep knowledge of the country, its wildlife, people and geography.
A wonderful experience, from hiking sand dunes, to kayaking with the Cape fur seals, to the joy of experiencing the San Bush people. Our guide was an invaluable resource, always good humored and immensely knowledgeable.
"We had an amazing time, and having the package put together by people who know the area, and tailored by the staff and the guide to our family turned it into a 100% successful trip, we saw everything we hoped for, and had an incredible trip."
"Where do you start after a perfect trip? We did and saw more than our wildest dreams, with amazing scenery at every turn. The lodges chosen by Hidden Places made us wish we had a free day at each one, they were all amazing, so unique and so welcoming."
"This trip was spectacular! The itinerary exposed us to beautiful sections of Namibia, and a wonderful variety of activities. The accommodations were luxurious and set in natural, conservation-oriented settings. Each lodge had distinct experiences to offer, with wonderful nature guides. Our time hiking and riding jeeps in the bush, seeing the Skeleton Coast from a small plane, kayaking on a lagoon, quietly watching wildlife at a water hole for hours, seeing the African sunsets and stars for the first time, and exploring brilliant red sand dunes---was transformative. This was truly the trip of a lifetime! Thank you! "