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. As a special add-on, we can charter a plane for a spectacular flight over the Namib Sand Sea and along the Skeleton Coast to Swakopmund. In Walvis Bay, we venture out in kayaks to experience its bounty of seabirds, dolphins, whales and sea lions. We explore the jagged canyons of Damaraland 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. To top it all, we stay in some of the best boutique lodges the region has to offer.
We’ve carefully choose the perfect times 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 your Trip Leader will join you for a briefing and a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of this Hidden Places Adventure.
Day 2 — The Namib Desert
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 into 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 and the Skeleton Coast
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.
In the afternoon, we drive across a vast desert to Swakopmund where we check into a beautiful hotel on the beach. There is also the option to board a small plane for a spectacular flight across the remote parts of the Namib Sand Sea and the Skeleton Coast to arrive in Swakopmund.
Day 4 — Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
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 loook forward to some very close encounters and the odd spray of water from these boisterous youngsters!
The afternoon is free to explore Swakopmund with its wonderful cafes, curios shops and beaches.
Day 5 — The Coastal Desert and Damaraland
This morning 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.
In the afternoon our Safari continues northwards along the Skeleton Coast and then inland to the wild landscape of Damaraland, home of desert elephants. We skirt the foothills of Brandberg, ‘Fire Mountain’, the highest point in Namibia and before sundown we arrive at our lodge set among magnificent red granite outcroppings.
Day 6 — Damaraland and the Desert Elephants
Today you drive across the wild moon-scape of Damaraland in search of desert elephants that traverse the rugged ridges and arid valleys. Time permitting we the famous Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Day 7 — Damaraland and Etosha
Today you 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 8 & 9 — Etosha National Park
These two days 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 & 11 — Okonjima
Heading southwards, we spend our last two nights 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 will give you 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 12 — Departure
After breakfast or perhaps another activity at Africat we depart for Windhoek where you can catch your connecting flight. Note: 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.
Why is this called an Overland Safari?
We travel between destinations by safari vehicles. Along the way we drive through parts of the Kalahari Desert and Namib Sand Sea. Some of the drives are long and dusty, but the scenery is spectacular!
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 August, daytime temperatures range from 20 to 28 C (68 – 82F). 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 $5980 per person
Scheduled: Sep 10-21, 2018
Private: May through October
12 days, 11 nights (3 nights hotels, 8 nights safari lodges)
Game drives, 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.