Etosha National Park – Windhoek – Sossusvlei
6 Days / 5 Nights:
Refernce: 6 Day Taste of Namibia – Camping
The 6 day Taste of Namibia tour is a combination of our 3 day Etosha safari and our 3 day Sossusvlei tour. It’s designed to show you the very best of iconic Namibia, from the breathtaking landscapes of Sossusvlei and Sesriem to the unforgettable wildlife of the country’s premier Big Game location, Etosha National Park.
This safari can also be combined with two of the world’s natural wonders, the Okavango Delta and the mighty Victoria Falls can also be included by combining this trip with our 10 day Delta and Falls Safari.
TOUR SUMMARY: 6 Day Taste of Namibia – Camping Option
Destination Accommodation Nights Basis Room Type
Etosha National Park Okaukuejo Campsite 1 L & D Campsite
Etosha National Park Namutoni Campsite 1 FB Campsite
Windhoek Guesthouse Tamboti 1 B & L Standard Room
Sossusvlei Sesriem Campsite 2 FB Campsite
L & D: Lunch & dinner
FB: Dinner, bed, breakfast and lunch
B & L: Breakfast & lunch
Windhoek – Okaukuejo camp, Etosha National Park (450 km) (LD) (camping)
You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 08:00 & 08:30
Travelling north, you pass through some of the country’s best established commercial farmland and stop at quaint towns along the way, arriving at Anderson Gate by mid-afternoon. After entering Etosha we game drive our way through to Okaukuejo, Etosha’s main rest camp and resort where we will check in and set up camp.
After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot.
The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics. Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.
Etosha National Park
The Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premiere game viewing experience, situated in the northwest of Namibia and is an area well known for its wildlife. Vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains attracting a diversity of wildlife. In the heart of the Park is The Etosha Pan – a shallow depression that covers an area of 5000sq kilometres. Dry and shimmering for most of the year, the pans fill up with water after good rains to a depth which is seldom deeper than 1m. In the dry season wildlife is attracted to perennial springs and waterholes that makes for excellent game viewing.
Within the park are three large public rest camps catering for the more budget orientated traveller. There are several smaller establishments on the outskirts of the park on private land offering a more intimate and comprehensive experience. All of these establishments offer excellent value for money.
Overnight: Okaukuejo Campsite
Okaukuejo is located 17 km from the southern entrance of the park, Anderson Gate. Okaukuejo is the oldest tourist camp in Etosha and it also functions as the administrative centre of the park. Okaukuejo is also home to the Etosha Ecological Institute. It is situated at the western end of the Etosha Pan. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, shop, swimming pool, kiosk and camp sites.
The main attraction of this camp is that it overlooks a permanent waterhole which is floodlit at night. Here a wide diversity of wildlife congregate and interact from lion to rhino to elephant and antelope. The spectacle starts at dawn, with animals coming in large numbers to quench their thirst. The activity continues throughout the day until late at night. In the early evenings, it is not uncommon to have black rhino, elephant and lion all drinking at the same time.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
Okaukuejo – East Etosha, Namutoni region (FB) (camping)
A full day’s worth of game driving awaits and we leave early to enjoy the cool morning air, making our way to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park.
Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan, a shallow depression that is dry for the greater part of the year, but fed by moisture from perennial springs on the fringes. The pan covers about 25 percent of the park. The game viewing is excellent throughout the year and we have the chance to spot a few new species that are not normally seen on the Okaukuejo side of the park.
We stop at Halali camp for a rest and a leisurely lunch and there is time to visit the waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing to the eastern side of the park and our camp next to Fort Namutoni.
Overnight: Namutoni Campsite
Built into an old German Fort Namutoni Campsite has a unique atmosphere. Within the fort you will find ample facilities. From the walls of the fort you can enjoy an elevated view of the King Nehale Waterhole allowing for great game viewing without leaving the camp. The walls of the fort are also and excellent spot for sundowners. There is hardly a better way to end a day in the bush and Namibia than to marvel at the colours of the setting sun.
The Camp is situated in the eastern part of Etosha National Park and is accessible via the Von Lindequist Gate. Its close proximity to Fisher’s Pan makes Namutoni a hotspot for birders. Two restaurants, a craft shop, a pool and a viewing deck overlooking King Nehale Waterhole make the fort a great place to relax at lunchtime or after evening game drives. The African Fusion restaurant will introduce you to local flavours, while The Steakhouse offers popular western dishes. A superette, curio shop and petrol station allow you to stock up on everything that is necessary and nice. The camping area has generously spaced sites with plug point and communal ablution facilities on either side of the campsite.
East Etosha – Windhoek (500km) (BL)
Be prepared for the long, scenic transit back to Windhoek. We pass through towns and rural areas, stopping in the small town of Okahandja, the home of Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The stalls operate on a local co-operative basis and offer a vast array of truly Namibian souvenirs.
We are due back in Windhoek late afternoon/ early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return. This night’s accommodation is included in the price of the safari, but dinner will be for the client’s own account.
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court.
Overnight: Guesthouse Tamboti
Guesthouse Tamboti, one of the first registered B&B’s in Windhoek, is looking back on many years of experience in the accommodation sector. We are situated in a quiet residential area, within walking distance to the City centre.
We have15 en-suite non- smoking rooms (2 Singles; 10 Doubles & 3 Family Rooms) all with air-conditioning, television, telephone and fridge.
Bed & Breakfast
Windhoek – Sesriem area (350 km) (FB) (camping)
You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 08:00 & 08:30
We travel out over the Eros Mountains and along scenic roads on our way south-west to the desert. We also pass over part of the Naukluft Mountains, which are of particular interest for the ancient geological history of this part of the country. Heading down from Namibia’s central plateau by way of the beautiful Remhoogte Pass, we reach open plains and the tiny settlement of Solitaire.
We cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before the terrain gives way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
Overnight: Sesriem Campsite
Located perfectly at the entry to Sossusvlei inside the park gate is Sesriem Camping, just a short drive from Sesriem Canyon and right beside the gate into the desert
It is perfect for campers who want to experience the beauty of the Namib Desert with the sun setting over the Elim dune then the stars emerging until they fill the sky above you and the clicking of the desert barking Geckos and distant howl of the Jackal. Sit by the fire and imagine what you will.
After a good night’s rest its up early (one hour before sunrise) for a drive to the Sossusvlei where you can climb a sand dune and watch the colours change as the sun rises over the horizon slipping its morning warmth over the Namib desert dunes.
Sesriem area – Sossusvlei – Sesriem area (camping) (FB)
A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes, we head into the heart of the dune field, reaching Sossusvlei on foot, trekking the last 5 km through the dunes. Landscape photo opportunities abound in the cool of the morning, with dawn’s soft light first illuminating the dunes from crest down the back slope, then blazing orange everywhere, creating a powerful contrasting vista across the whole desert.
Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or ostrich makes it essential to remember your camera!
We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting dune 45. As the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch, escaping the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.
Named for its location 45 kilometres past the town of Sesriem, Dune 45 is renowned for its elegant shape, which – along with its position close to the road – have earned it the distinction of ‘most photographed dune in the world’. If you’re not keen for the strenuous hike to the top of Big Daddy, Dune 45 is a more forgiving alternative, standing at only 80 metres and featuring a much gentler gradient.
Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers heaven. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei – other attractions in the area include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet its plains.
Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon.
This ancient clay pan was once an oasis, studded with acacias and fed by a river that suddenly changed course, leaving the earth to dry up along with the trees it previously supported. So dry were the climatic conditions that the trees never decomposed – instead they were entirely leached of moisture so that today, 900 years later, they remain as desiccated, blackened sentinels dotting the pan’s cracked surface. Surrounded by the red-pink dunes of the Namibia Desert, they create a surreal spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.
Sesriem area – Windhoek (450 km) (BL)
After breakfast we begin our journey back to Windhoek following a different route, ascending the massive Gamsberg Pass in the Khomas Hochland Mountain Range on our way back to civilization. We are due back in Windhoek late afternoon / early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return. Your accommodation tonight is not included in the price of the safari.
~END OF SAFARI~
It is strongly recommended that you purchase comprehensive personal travel insurance before you embark on your safari. Travel insurance is for your own protection and we consider it to be an essential part of modern international travel.
Maximum group size is 14 people, with a minimum of 1 participant. Transport for up to 5 people will be in a minibus and for 6 people and more in a specialised vehicle.
The style of safari is limited participation, you will be asked to assist in pitching and striking down your own tent. There will be a camp assistant to complete all the other campsite chores. Your guide and assistant will do all the shopping, cooking and day-to-day organization of the safari. Unless otherwise specified, all safaris will be conducted in English.
The tents are canvas dome type, which are easy to assemble. Your mattress is approximately 5 cm thick with its own mattress cover and each client has a camp chair with backrest.
Clients are limited to one soft, barrel type bag per person with maximum weight of 15kg, one medium sized hand luggage bag, one medium sized camera bag and a sleeping bag.
We suggest a sleeping bag range of “3 – 4 season”. Sleeping bags can be hired by prior arrangement for a cost of N$100.00 per 6 day trip. When selecting your clothing please be aware that Namibian summer temperatures (December – March) can reach 45*C and winter temperatures (June – September) can be as low as -5*C. The rainy season is between December and April.
All evening meals on camping safaris (unless stipulated) are cooked on an open fire. Salads and fresh vegetables will be served daily where readily available. Fresh fruit will also be supplied when possible. We cater for vegetarians, but please notify us prior to departure.
Namibia is a low risk malarial destination, but we recommend seeking professional medical advice, enabling you to make informed decisions on personal malaria protection.
All tap water in Namibia has been purified or comes directly from boreholes and is safe to drink. In some areas the water can be brackish, your guide will advise you daily on this and where to purchase bottled mineral water.
Electrical plugs are 220 V and are 3 pin (round pin as opposed to square pin, the same as in South Africa). Adaptors can be purchased in Windhoek. It is possible to re-charge batteries at some campsites.
The Namibian Dollar (N$) has a fixed 1-1 exchange rate to the South African Rand (ZAR). ZAR notes and coins are legal tender in Namibia.
Airport transfers and pre-and-post safari accommodation can be arranged on request.
It is customary in Namibia to tip 10% at restaurants. Your guide and assistant can be tipped at your own discretion, but we ask that the guide be tipped separately from your assistant.