NAMIBIAN DISCOVERY

PRICED FROM CLASSIC: FROM N$ 23,000 PER PERSON SHARING,
SUPERIOR: FROM N$ 44,000 PER PERSON SHARING

13 DAYS | 1 COUNTRY

WINDHOEK > KALAHARI DESERT > FISH RIVER CANYON > LÜDERITZ > NAMIB DESERT > SWAKOPMUND > DAMARALAND > ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK > WINDHOEK

13
Days
The Classic Namibian Safari. This is an introduction to the major highlights Namibia has to offer. The contrasting landscapes of the country, including the awe-inspiring Fish River Canyon, the surreal Namib Desert and the majestic mountain ranges in Damaraland mixed with the vibrant cultures that live there and the amazing wildlife in the national parks and conservancies. This safari will leave you engrossed in Namibia.

DAY

1

(SAT) WINDHOEK > KALAHARI DESERT

Leaving Windhoek, we travel into the largest sand mass on Earth, the Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari is a vast semi desert of wind-blown sand held by a sparse mantle of thorn scrub making it the largest continuous stretch of sand covering 9 African countries. Unlike other true deserts, the Kalahari does receive erratic rainfall. For many therefor “thirstland” is a more fitting description. Lacking permanent surface water, the Kalahari is a challenging place to live except for those who have adapted to not only survive but flourish here. The Bushmen refer to it as the “Soul of the World”, an emotive description for this area! With its deep red sand dunes and endless grass plains interspersed with acacia’s and shrubs, it is still home to a surprising large amount of specially adapted wildlife. Enjoy the opportunity to experience the red dunes, wildlife and plants, in this desert environment on an optional nature drive (On the Superior version this nature drive is included).
**Classic: Intu Africa Camelthorn Lodge
Superior: Intu Africa Zebra Lodge – Dinner & Nature Drive in the Kalahari**

DAY

2

(SUN) KALAHARI DESERT > FISH RIVER CANYON

We continue south through arid and extensive rocky plains. Visiting the unique Garas quiver tree forest you are welcomed by quirky man-made sculptures of scrap metal which set a contrast to this serene, timeless space with Quiver trees and aloes nestled amongst huge dolerite boulders, stacked in a mysterious way, the area is also aptly referred to as “Giant’s Playground”. We continue to our lodge, situated in close vicinity to the Fish River Canyon. Here we can explore the area on foot or on an optional guided nature drive in the later afternoon highlighting the Quiver trees, rugged landscape and impressive sweeping rock formations.
**Classic: Canyon Village – Breakfast
Superior: Canyon Lodge – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

3

(MON) FISH RIVER CANYON > LÜDERITZ

Our morning starts on the edge of the Fish River Canyon where we gaze into this magnificent geological phenomenon. The Fish River Canyon is located in the northern part of the Nama Karoo and is the second largest canyon on earth, featuring a gigantic ravine that measures in total about 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. The Fish River is the longest interior river found in Namibia, but its current flow is just a drop compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length in ages past. We continue our journey past the Naute dam, where we shortly stop at the Naute Kristall Cellar and Distillery, to optionally taste some of the unique liquors or simply enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. Proceeding onwards we head towards the coastal town of Lüderitz. On the way to Lüderitz we stop at Garub, viewing point for the Wild Horses of the Namib Desert.
**Classic: Nest Hotel – Breakfast
Superior: Nest Hotel Superior Room – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

4

(TUE) LÜDERITZ

Our morning starts with a visit to Kolmanskop ghost town. Kolmanskop is a deserted Diamond Mining Town in the Sperrgebiet National Park. Once an opulent and decadent town, a monument to the Diamond boom and built to last…until the diamonds ran out. Today Kolmanskop stands as a haunting monument to the thriving past, offering visitor’s unique photo motives into a bygone era. On our return to town, we visit Diaz Point with its Padrao on a cliff overlooking the harsh Atlantic Ocean commemorating the initial Portuguese explorers and explore the forlorn coast. Arriving back in Lüderitz we explore this small, historic town.
**Classic: Nest Hotel – Breakfast
Superior: Nest Hotel Superior Room – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

5

(WED) LÜDERITZ > NAMIB DESERT

After an early breakfast we travel across wide open plains north along the Tiras Mountain range to our lodge in the Namib Desert. We are located in close proximity to Sesriem the gateway to Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon, with some of the highest sand dunes on Earth towering over the white desert plains. The afternoon can be spent relaxing at the sparkling pool, enjoying the vast open desert plains, or taking part in optional activities offered at the lodge.
**Classic: The Elegant Desert Lodge – Breakfast
Superior: Sossusvlei Lodge – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

6

(THU) NAMIB DESERT

The morning demands an early start. Entering the Namib Naukluft National Park with sunrise, the first rays of sunlight paint the mountains of sand into a variety of apricot, red and orange, contrasted against a crisp blue skyline, enrapturing our senses, and providing an opportunity to capture this awesome landscape on film. You will be captivated by the surreal Deadvlei surrounded by some of the highest dunes on earth and Sossusvlei, where the dry Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst dunes. Take the opportunity to walk up one of these majestic dunes to admire the desert landscape beneath. Thereafter we visit the Sesriem Canyon, a life sustaining natural phenomenon in the heart of the Namib Desert.
**Classic: The Elegant Desert Lodge – Breakfast
Superior: Sossusvlei Lodge – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

7

(FRI) NAMIB DESERT > SWAKOPMUND

After breakfast we continue our journey approaching the little settlement of Solitaire on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park, feeling like you have arrived in the middle of nowhere. Here it is worthwhile to enjoy a cup of coffee with the delightful apple-pie written about in so many travel books before travelling via the desolate, rolling hills of the Kuiseb Valley towards the Atlantic Ocean. Reaching the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay, we visit the shallow lagoon, one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR World Heritage Site. Over 80% of the African flamingos feed in this lagoon and present a breath-taking picture when they appear in groups. Continuing along the scenic route between the dune belt and the Atlantic Ocean we reach Swakopmund, where the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a popular holiday destination in Namibia. Its pleasant summer climate and long stretched beaches attract anglers and surfers from all over Southern Africa. For the international guest, Swakopmund is a bohemian mix of German architecture and African rhythms, a laid back attitude with adrenalin activities, misty mornings and desert heat. It is colourful, it is vibrant, but most of all, it is pure fun.
**Classic: Swakopmund Plaza / Beach Hotel – Breakfast
Superior: Strand Hotel – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

8

(SAT) SWAKOPMUND

Swakopmund is often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”, it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. Embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town whilst enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many café’s. Alternatively explore the rugged, sweltering desert on a day tour, or view this awesome, environment from the air on a scenic flight. Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme adventures such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sand boarding on the dunes. Take time to get the feel of this quaint town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of colour and the bohemian lifestyle.
**Classic: Swakopmund Plaza / Beach Hotel – Breakfast
Superior: Strand Hotel – Breakfast, Dinner & Marine Cruise**

DAY

9

(SUN) SWAKOPMUND > DAMARALAND

On long yet interesting and scenic roads we head further north, traveling past the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain (2.579m), into the Damaraland, one of the least populated and geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the elusive desert elephant, the black rhino and free-roaming antelope species. Accompanied by a local Damara guide we visit Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO heritage site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2.500 pictures some 6.000 years ago! After a visit to the nearby Living Museum of the Damara we proceed to the Petrified Forest - a geological phenomenon depicting the creation and metamorphosis of wood into stone amongst some of the oldest landmasses on Earth. Here we also see the Welwitschia mirabilis plant – the oldest living desert plant on Earth.
**Classic: Damara Mopane Lodge – Breakfast
Superior: Vingerklip Lodge – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

10

(MON) DAMARALAND > ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

After a relaxed breakfast, we travel towards the Etosha National Park, famous for its vast amount of wildlife. Once we have reached our camp located just outside of the National Park, we head onto our first safari into the National Park. Together with our guide we explore the various waterholes located close to Okaukuejo and the Anderson gate. Optional and time permitting open vehicle game drives can be booked with the lodge.
**Classic: Etosha Safari Camp – Breakfast
Superior: Etosha Village – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

11

(TUE) ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

The day is devoted purely to the abundant wildlife found in the Etosha National Park, which surrounds a parched salt desert known as the Etosha Pan. The park is home to 4 of the Big Five - elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. The Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor, von Lindequist. Despite the size of the Etosha National Park, only the southern edge of the pan is accessible to visitors. Game viewing in the park is largely focussed around the waterholes, some of which are spring fed and some supplied from a borehole, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, in excess of 340 bird species. Popular game species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as Black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here. An extensive network of roads link the over 30 water holes allowing visitors the opportunity of an extensive game viewing safari over the stretch of the park as each different area will provide different encounters.
**Classic: Mokuti Etosha Lodge – Breakfast
Superior: Onguma Collection – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

12

DAY 12 (WED) ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Today your guide again takes you on a game drive in the Etosha National Park, or optionally you can book an open game drive park drive with the lodge. We may encounter animal species we have not seen the previous day and look forward to any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. The Etosha Pan dominates the park. This salt pan desert, which is nearly completely enclosed by the park and is lined by numerous watering holes, is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places. During Etosha’s notorious dry spells the pan is a deathly place, lying parched and cracked under the molten African sun. It is claimed that game viewing is best during the dry spells as animals will then congregate closer to water. But even in the rainy season the park remains an abundant wildlife haven. You then have the pleasure of experiencing the rebirth of life as the young foals, cubs and chicks are seen frolicking with their parents and the sprouting new green shrubs and grasses create a pleasing green oasis. In the afternoon we travel back to our lodge, where we enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
**Classic: Mokuti Etosha Lodge – Breakfast
Superior: Onguma Collection – Breakfast, Dinner**

DAY

13

(THU) DEPARTURE

After breakfast we travel back through the centre of the country exposing bushland savannah to the capital in the centre of the country. Time permitting, en-route we may stop at the famous wood carvers market in Okahandja or the craft market in the main street in Windhoek to pick up a last few souvenirs. Windhoek is a cosmopolitan melting pot of European architecture with African culture, with a variety of good restaurants to choose from. You will be dropped off at your accommodation of choice, or transferred to the airport for your outward flight.
**Breakfast**

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

Accommodation as specified in the itinerary
All meals as specified in the itinerary
Porterage | Still Mineral Water on Bus
Transportation | Activities as specified
Tourism levy & Government Taxes where applicable
24hrs Medical Evacuation Insurance
Entrance Fees for Fish River Canyon; Namib Naukluft National Park; Twyfelfontein; Petrified Forest;
Living Museum of the Damara; Etosha National Park

EXCLUSIONS
All International / Domestic flights & taxes
Visas | Personal Expenses | Gratuities
Travel & Personal accident insurance
Excursions / Activities not specified

NOTES
Arrival flights on day of departure to be no later than 09h00
Same day flight departures out of Windhoek International are only possible after 19h00

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
All departures are in English on dates below.
6 Apr    
29 Jun
7 Sep
5 Oct
ACCOMMODATION IN NAMIBIA
In Namibia, the accommodation options are categorised as CLASSIC and SUPERIOR. There are are more meal and activity inclusions for the Superior option. 

NAMIBIAN DISCOVERY EXTENSION
For the Namibian Discovery, the tour is extended with an unwinding 2-night package at either The Elegant Farmstead (Classic Option) or the GocheGanas Nature Reserve (Superior Option).

• CLASSIC EXTENSION OPTION
DAY 13 (THU) OTJIHAVERA MOUNTAINS

Departing Etosha, we travel south towards Windhoek, where the following days are spent on a typical Namibian farm. Besides being a haven for birders, the game farm boasts game species such as eland, giraffe and kudu, which we are able to view during an optional afternoon nature drive during the following afternoon (not included).
Classic: The Elegant Farmstead – Breakfast
 
DAY 14 (FRI) OTJIHAVERA MOUNTAINS
We have the morning at leisure for a late sleep in followed by a scrumptious breakfast. During the day we can chose from a palette of aptional activities, including a visit to the Ovitoto Village, a cheetah walk or a scenic drive. The farm offers a rich bird life and there are 11 different animal species to see, eland, kudu, oryx, springbok and giraffes to name just a few. We have the great opportunity to spot animals and take photos while our ranger describes us various fauna, flora and birdlife of the farm. Drinks and snacks will be served while we watch and enjoy the spectacular sunset. Back at the Farmhouse we enjoy a delicious dinner on the terrace and observe the animals at the nearby lit up waterhole. (Dinner is not included)
Classic: The Elegant Farmstead – Breakfast & Nature Drive
 
DAY 15 (SAT) DEPARTURE
Via mountainous terrain we travel to the international airport or you can also be dropped off in Windhoek at your accommodation of choice.
Classic: The Elegant Farmstead – Breakfast
 
• SUPERIOR EXTENSION OPTION
DAY 13 (THU) GOCHEGANAS NATURE RESERVE
Departing Etosha, we travel south towards Windhoek, where the following days are spent on a nature and wellness reserve situated amidst the beautiful and scenic Auas Mountain range.
Superior: GocheGanas Nature reserve – Breakfast, Dinner
 
DAY 14 (FRI) GOCHEGANAS NATURE RESERVE
The entire day is spent at leisure on the game reserve. You can unwind with a wellness treatment in the modern and comprehensive wellness centre or explore the natural surrounding area on a scenic walk or by mountain bike. In the afternoon we embark on a guided open game drive safari. The reserve offers a wide variety of animal species to see, rhino, gnu, zebra, eland, kudu, oryx, springbok and giraffes to name just a few. We have the great opportunity to spot animals and take photos while our ranger describes us various fauna, flora and birdlife of the farm. Drinks and snacks will be served while we watch and enjoy the spectacular sunset.
Superior: GocheGanas Nature reserve – Breakfast, Dinner
 
DAY 15 (SAT) DEPARTURE
We travel via mountainous terrain to the international airport or you can also be dropped off in Windhoek at your accommodation of choice.
Superior: GocheGanas Nature reserve – Breakfast
 
** OPTIONAL DAY TOUR ACTIVITIES IN NAMIBIA**
While our Guided Journeys are carefully designed to cater to everyone’s taste and pace, Thompsons Africa recognises that personal time is important.  Relaxing around the pool in the golden sunshine, catching up with friends and family via email and social media, indulgent spa treatments or catching that highly anticipated world sporting event on television, are important to some but for others, we have a hand-picked selection of our most popular optional excursions for guests to choose from. The ability for guests to tailor their journey by including these excursions and experiences is sure to enhance their quintessential African experience while travelling with us.

NAMIBIAN DISCOVERY – OPTIONAL DAY TOURS
Rates valid 01 Jan 2019 – 31 Dec 2019
Rates available on request.

• CLASSIC PACKAGE
DAY 1 (SAT) – Optional dune drive in the Kalahari Desert
DAY 2 (SUN) – Visit the Garas Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground
DAY 3 (MON) – Visit Fish River Canyon viewpoint, Travel past the Naute dam, visiting the Naute Kristall Distillery towards Lüderitz, Wild Horses of the Namib Desert
DAY 4 (TUE) – Visit Kolmanskop Ghost Town and Diaz Point, enjoy optional oyster tasting in Lüderitz
DAY 5 (WED) – Travel across vast open plains of the southern Namib Desert and Tiras Mountains to the central Namib Desert
DAY 6 (THU) – Excursion to Sossusvlei, visit the surreal Dead Vlei on foot, Sesriem Canyon excursion
DAY 7 (FRI) – Scenic drive through Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons, visit RAMSAR Walvis Bay lagoon
DAY 8 (SAT) – Day at leisure, book any activities with your consultant / guide
DAY 9 (SUN) – Excursion to Twyfelfontein and Petrified Forest. Visit a Living Museum of the Damara tribe
DAY 10 (MON) – Afternoon Etosha game drive in tour vehicle with Sense of Africa Guide
DAY 11 (TUE) – Full day Etosha game Drive in tour vehicle with Sense of Africa Guide
DAY 12 (WED) – Full day Etosha game Drive in tour vehicle with Sense of Africa Guide (optional open game drive vehicle can be booked with the lodge)
DAY 13 (THU) – Travel back to Windhoek or extend your stay in the Otjihavera Mountains near Okahandja
EXTENSION PACKAGE
13 (THU) – Drive to the foot of the Otjihavera Mountains near Okahandja, Optional Nature Drive
14 (FRI) – Afternoon game drive in open safari vehicle or optional activities with the lodge
15 (SAT) – Transfer to Windhoek or Airport
 
• SUPERIOR PACKAGE
DAY 1 (SAT) – Game drive on the private reserve with dune sundowner (including drinks)
DAY 2 (SUN) – Visit the Garas Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground
DAY 3 (MON) – Visit Fish River Canyon viewpoint, Travel past the Naute dam, visiting the Naute Kristall Distillery towards Lüderitz, Wild Horses of the Namib Desert
DAY 4 (TUE) – Visit Kolmanskop Ghost Town and Diaz Point, enjoy optional oyster tasting in Lüderitz
DAY 5 (WED) – Travel across vast open plains of the southern Namib Desert and Tiras Mountains to Sesriem
DAY 6 (THU) – Excursion to Sossusvlei, visit the surreal Dead Vlei on foot, Sesriem Canyon excursion.
DAY 7 (FRI) – Scenic drive through Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons, visit RAMSAR Walvis Bay lagoon
DAY 8 (SAT) – Catamaran marine cruise with fresh oysters and sparkling wine being served
DAY 9 (SUN) – Excursion to Twyfelfontein and Petrified Forest. Visit a Living Museum of the Damara tribe
DAY 10 (MON) – Afternoon Etosha game drive in tour vehicle with Sense of Africa Guide
DAY 11 (TUE) – Full day Etosha game Drive in tour vehicle with Sense of Africa Guidee
DAY 12 (WED) – Full day Etosha game Drive in tour vehicle with Sense of Africa Guide (optional open game drive vehicle can be booked with the lodge)
DAY 13 (THU) – Travel back to Windhoek or extend your stay in the Auas Mountains near Windhoek
EXTENSION PACKAGE
13 (THU) – Drive to the Auas Mountains near Windhoek, Optional Nature Drive / Walk in the afternoon
14 (FRI) – Optional wellness or activities at the lodge. Afternoon game Drive in open safari vehicle
15 (SAT) – Transfer to Windhoek or Airport
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