ITINERARY – NAMIBIA 2018
DAY 1 – 30 June – Windhoek, Sesriem
30 th of June arrival to Windhoek a capital City of Namibia, according to time schedule of the booked flight, but not later than at 9:30 am. In case of later arrival please consider to come one day before the scheduled date. Immigration formalities. Transfer to the car rental spot (arranged by Milesaway). Driving and camping equipment use explanation (takes usually approx. 2 – 3 hours). Purchase of supplies necessary for the next days of travel (the next well stocked shop will be available in 3 days). It’s tarmac and gravel road to the first of our night stops – in this case a campsite near the entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park – where we check in and set the tents on top of the vehicles. The desert site includes all the necessary facilities WC, shower and kitchen. There is a possibility to join for dinner at the nearby lodge (own expenses). Recommended due to great game meat they offer. For those first night photographers (armed with a tripod and releaser!) there’s the chance of a fantastic photo of the night sky. Distance: approx. 330 km (asphalt, gravel). Accommodation: in tents on the roofs.
DAY 2 – 1 July – Sossusvlei, Sesriem
There’s your first camping breakfast of course, but why not take an optional hot air balloon flight over the desert and combine that with a Champagne breakfast? The flight has to take place at sunrise; pilots flying at this time need to avoid the subsequent air currents that would limit their control over the balloon late during the hot day. So far I haven’t met anybody yet who has not been deeply impressed by such a spectacle, although the price may be an obstacle. After breakfast it’s then off to Sossusvlei, well known as the place with the highest dunes in the world. With its changing colours and wonderful scenery it’s an area where you could easily spend a whole day. As well as walking through the dunes, there’s the possibility of climbing the highest of them all at 300 metres. Afterwards, it’s back to camp for the night and dinner (own expense). Distance: approx. 150 km (asphalt, gravel, official sand trails). Accommodation: in tents on the roofs.
DAY 3 – 2 July – Sesriem, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund
After breakfast we’ve got a long drive to Walvis Bay, along which the temperature drops more than 30 degrees to around 18 degrees celsius near the ocean. There are a few surprises on the way, including the area of Solitaire where we can enjoy some… apfelstrudel (yes, apple strudel), then we can stop for coffee at… the Ritz. Within Walvis Bay itself we can see flocks of pelicans happily feeding. Our afternoon drive is to Swakopmund, a town where everywhere you look you’ll find evidence of a German colony, that was founded at the beginning of the last century. For the evening we advise against sleeping on the roof as it can get pretty cool and humid, so our accommodation tonight is one of the greatest guest houses in town. I would recommend dinner at the best restaurant in the area where they serve delicious seafood. But if fresh fruit of the ocean is not your thing, there’ll also be something for our burger fans and vegetarians (own expense). Distance: approx. 350 km (gravel). Accommodation: guest house with breakfast.
DAY 4 – 3 July – Swakopmund and the surrounding area
Breakfast at the guest house. There’s time for some minor shopping after which you can decide – optional, of course – whether you’d like to go quad biking, kayaking where seals bask in the bay, sandboarding, parachuting, enjoying a scenic flight over the Skeleton Coast, relaxing with a good cup of coffee, or get a glimpse of our first sighting of the Himba. There’s also the chance to visit Sandwich Bay by boat (depending on the tides), or taking the road in the direction of the uranium mine at Husab, the latter where you can gaze at the desert lunar landscape and the famous Welwitschia plants, commonly referred to as living fossils. It’s then back to the hotel and for dinner (own expense). Distance: depends on the activity. Accommodation: guest house with breakfast
DAY 5 – 4 July – Swakopmund, Cape Cross, Damaraland
After breakfast we leave Swakopmund (remembering to do a little shopping and refuelling on the way?) The lunch and dinner will be on own expenses today. We transfer to the Cape Cross Seal Colony where – between 10:00 and 17:00 – we can find one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world (more than 100,000). Along the way we can see the wreck of a ship that ran aground. This part of Namibia, south of Angola, is called the Skeleton Coast. After visiting the seal colony we continue our drive to the Damaraland region where we find the famous rock formations at Twyfelfontein and… if lucky – Desert Elephants. Tonight’s accommodation is in on a charming campsite. Distance: 540 km (saline asphalt and gravel). Accommodation: campsite, breakfast on it’s own
DAY 6 – 5 July – Damaraland, Etosha
After breakfast we drive towards Etosha, but beforehand we’ll check with the park rangers whether we’ll be anywhere near the elephants or black rhinos or not (thought we’d better mention that). Along the way we see members of the Himba, one of the last nomadic tribes in the world. Perhaps – thanks to a close kinship – we’ll also get to see the visually impressive Herero tribe in garments similar to those worn by colonial Europeans. We arrive close at Okuakuejo gates. Here, in a gated complex, we’ll spend the night in tents on the roofs of our cars. Dinner will be at our own expense (there is a great restaurant on spot). Distance: 300 km. Accommodation: in tents on the roofs
DAY 7 – 6 July – Etosha Pan – eastern gate park
After breakfast (own expenses) we enter the park and we will venture between different water holes in the Etosha Pan, located in the east of Etosha National Park. We then depart the park and take lunch in one of the comfortable lodges, with half board and an overnight stay in tents or villas. (You know, if I ever get the opportunity to do so, I’d stay here forever:)). Now we do have a rule at Milesaway: after several days of long trips and so much energy and effort in the dust and mud, we expect to give our safari participants a break by staying in an interesting place at a very high standard where they can relax. Crash out a bit even. This does, of course, affect the price, but you get a great park ranger, relaxation, atmosphere and food. (I think we can all be forgiven for such extravagance). Now I do encourage you all to buy two game drives from the Etosha local ranger, for one afternoon (on arrival), and the second in the morning. They usually guarantee great pictures! Our stay in the lodge includes two nights, and the price of breakfast and dinner.Distance: 150 km (driving through the park). Accommodation: in lodge/ luxury tented camp with half board.
DAY 8 – 7 July – Etosha
If you feel suitably refreshed (and redeemed), then we have the option of a second trip into the Etosha game Driving Ranges that have been scheduled before dawn, usually the time in which predators are finishing their nightly catches, allowing us the very likely opportunity of witnessing their feast. Then it’s back to the lodge for breakfast and relaxing by the pool. Volunteers can go out into the park on a stand-alone game drive. In the evening there’s dinner and, of course, our second night. Distance: riding in the park. Accommodation: in lodge with/ luxury tented camp half board.
DAY 9/10 – 8/9 July – Etosha, Grootfontein at the border with the Kalahari, San tribe, Waterberg National Park
After breakfast we drive towards Grootfontein. Our journey today is short, and we’re heading in the direction of the Kalahari Desert to meet the San Tribe. We’ve planned “being with the San” activities. As we can’t booked them in advance we will take the decision on spot. Unlike the many places in Namibia that have created Himba villages that virtually cater only for the tourist, the place we’re visiting is authentic. We’ll be sleeping in a bush camp in our tents complete with sanitary “bush” facilities (breakfast, lunch and dinner on our own). The next day we will head towards Waterberg National Park. The smallest of namibian Parks offers great animal sightings. Distance & Accommodation: day 9 – 200 km, roof tents, day 10 – 180 km, depends on actual available option, camp or bungalows – TBC (meal – own expense).
DAY 11 – 10 July – Waterberg, Windhoek
After an early breakfast we have a long drive towards the capital of Namibia. The entire route runs along well maintained and empty tarmac road. On the way there’s the possibility of stopping for a picnic lunch. When we get to Windhoek there’s the chance to buy souvenirs in the city centre. After that’s done, we drive to a small but pretty hotel, near to which there’s a great restaurant with good wines from Stellenbosch. Tonight we spend dinner on our own.
Distance: 310 km (asphalt road) Accommodation: small hotel/ guest house with breakfast.
DAY 12/13 – 11/12 July – Windhoek, home or onward journey
Breakfast, followed by a program of shopping depending on the return flight. We return the vehicles and transfer to the airport. Then it’s back to Europe or other destination. The arrival should take place on the 14 th day of our journey. And that’s it! So I bid you farewell – it’s the end of our Namibian safari and Milesaway – until the next adventure!