8-Day Namibia Desert & Wildlife Safari

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Windhoek
(Namibia)

Windhoek
(Namibia)

Can start any day

SUITABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS

Suitable for all ages

Can be customised

Overview
Cost
Activities & Transport
Travel Advice
Map
Images

This 8-day safari visits Namibia’s famed desert sands as well as one of the country’s premier wildlife reserves. The safari includes the iconic sites of Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei, a private excursion into the dunes with a specialist desert guide, a marine wildlife cruise in Walvis Bay, a guided walk around Swakopmund and wildlife viewing in Erindi Private Game Reserve.

This safari is a private journey with your own guide/driver.  It can be further customised to suit the number of days you wish to travel, and can also include other destinations.

There are daily flights to Windhoek direct from Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Frankfurt, Johannesburg-OR Tambo and Victoria Falls.

From US$3300 per person, based on two adults in a double/twin room.

Children under 12 receive a discount.
The cost excludes regional flights but we can book these for you.

COST INCLUDES:

  • Fully escorted safari with private guide/driver including all on-road costs
  • All accommodation (en-suite)
  • Most meals (as noted in itinerary)
  • N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary “Carnivore tour”
  • Sossusvlei & Dead Vlei guided excursion
  • Namib Desert guided excursion
  • Walvis Bay marine wildlife cruise
  • Erindi Private Game Reserve game drives
  • All entrances and National Park fees
  • All local taxes

COST EXCLUDES:

  • International flights to/from Africa
  • Regional flights
  • Erindi Private Game Reserve “Cheetah Walk”
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature, such as drinks and laundry (unless specified)
  • Tips for all guides, drivers, domestics, porters and wait staff

ACTIVITIES

  • N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary “Carnivore Tour” game drive.
  • Sossusvlei & Dead Vlei excursion with Compass Odyssey guide.
  • Guided excursion in the Namib Desert with a specialist guide.
  • Marine wildlife cruise in Walvis Bay with a specialist guide.
  • Guided walk around Swakopmund with Compass Odyssey guide.
  • Game drives in Erindi Private Game Reserve with reserve guide.

The N/a’an ku sê and Erindi game drives may be shared with fellow lodge guests. The Namib Desert excursion is with a private guide. The cruise may be shared with other passengers (maximum 8).

TRANSPORT

  • Airport transfers and all road travel in an air-conditioned 4×4 SUV vehicle.
  • Marine wildlife cruise in a twin-hulled ski boat.
  • Game drives in custom-designed open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles.

WHEN TO VISIT

Namibia lies in the southern hemisphere with summer from December to February and winter from June to August.  The climate is generally very dry and pleasant all year round, however it depends on your location as to the specific weather you can expect while on safari.

The country receives most of its rain in the hot, humid summer months between October and March, then cools down and becomes drier between April and September.

In the savannah safari regions of Etosha, Erindi and eastern Damaraland, October to March is known as the “wet season”.  This is characterised by hot humid days and afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures can get very high but can also be followed by cool, comfortable nights if there has been rain. Travelling in these regions during autumn and winter offers clear and warm days with cool to chilly evenings. Known as the “dry season”, the temperature from dusk to dawn can become very cold, sometimes dropping below freezing. The months of May and June are considered the best time to visit as there can still be some greenery in the landscape but there is no risk of rain plus there are fewer visitors compared to the peak months from July to September, when especially the Etosha camps can be fully booked.

In Namibia’s drier regions to the south of the country which includes the iconic Namib Desert sights of Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei, the summer months are very hot but lack the high humidity and rainfall experienced in the savannah regions. It can also be the best time for photography as there is less haze and dust. The winter months are the peak season for visitors simply because the daytime temperatures are more pleasant and mild, however the evenings and early mornings can be exceptionally cold.

 

VISAS

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your time in Namibia, and it is a good idea to bring a few photocopies in case you lose the original. In addition to a passport, children under 18 years of age entering Namibia with only one parent or with parents who have a different surname are required to produce additional documentation upon arrival. See here for further information about travelling with children.

Although most visitors are not required to obtain a visa before entering Namibia, this is not applicable to all nationalities. Compass Odyssey does not issue visas nor can we complete visa applications for our travellers. While we will obviously assist our travellers with the documentation required for any visa applications, it is the responsibility of our travellers to investigate the visa requirements for their journey and to complete any necessary applications.

An immigration form needs to be completed when entering and departing Namibia. This form requests information such as passport and birth particulars, as well as contact details within Namibia. Prior to your safari, you will be sent a Safari Dossier that provides addresses and contact information for all your accommodation in Namibia.

 

TRAVELLER’S HEALTH

Yellow Fever and malaria are the two major health considerations for travellers coming to Southern Africa.

Yellow Fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and approximately 200,000 cases occur each year with the vast majority of these occurring in parts of Africa and Central/South America.  A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is not required for entering Southern Africa unless you are coming from – or you are in airport transit for more than 12 hours within – a country deemed to be infected with Yellow Fever. The World Health Organisation lists the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as being free from Yellow Fever. For further clarification on Yellow Fever, refer to tables 4-23, 4-24 and 4-27 on this page of the website for the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Malaria is present in the far north and north eastern regions, where Namibia borders Angola and Zambia. There is low to no risk of malaria in all other areas. See here for further information. A number of other tropical diseases are present in Southern Africa but generally the biggest health risk you will face on your safari is usually an upset tummy (often caused by dehydration) or a cold. For complete peace of mind, we of course recommend you visit your local GP or Travel Health Clinic.

 

Itinerary
DAY 1-8: NAMIBIA

Day 1Welcome to Namibia

Our local guide, Elvis Nghimutina greets you today at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport – named in honour of one of the original opponents to South African rule after WWI – and transfers you to our nearby bush accommodation in the N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary, where this afternoon’s “Carnivore Tour” game drive affords close-up viewing of the sanctuary’s resident lions, leopards, wild dogs and others. During dinner, Elvis will offer a few words of wisdom to help you feel comfortable with being in Namibia, while giving a brief overview of the exciting itinerary that lay ahead.

Staying close to Windhoek tonight allows you to acclimatize and settle into a relaxed, healthy rhythm for the remainder of your safari. This can take a day or two due to the uncomfortable combination of the city’s relatively high altitude (1,660m or 5,440ft) and the long-haul flight most travelers endure to get here.

Accommodation: N/a’an Ku sê Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary

Meals:
Lunch & dinner

Day 2Naukluft mountain range & the Namib Desert

Today you are treated to a wonderful scenic drive to Sesreim and the dunes of the Namib Desert. Traveling mostly on graded, gravel roads you descend down into the Naukluft Valley and its panoramic mountain vistas. The scenery remains stunning as you approach the easternmost edge of Namibia’s famed desert dunes, where sand and savanna meet and free roaming wildlife such as springbok, oryx (also called gemsbok) and ostrich can often be seen from your lodge. Our aim is to provide plenty of time for you to soak up this harsh yet beautiful landscape. We therefore provide a stay of two nights at Sossusvlei Lodge, located at the entrance to Namib-Naukluft National Park which encompasses one of the world’s oldest and driest desert regions.

Accommodation: Sossusvlei Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located at the entrance to the Namib-Naukluft National Park

Meals:
Breakfast, packed lunch & dinner

Day 3Namib Desert including Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei

Today our guide, Elvis takes you to the desert sands overlooking the well-known and photogenic landmarks of Dune 45, Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei. Later today you explore Sesreim Canyon and can visit Elim Dune to marvel at the splendor of an African sunset.

As you travel down the valley of the Tsauchab River to Sossusvlei, you are dwarfed on either side by huge sand dunes. At times, you pass close to groves of dead camel thorn trees, testimony to a bygone era when there was much more water. During the drive you can hope to see oryx, the fabled desert antelope, as well as springbok, ostrich, bustards, jackal, bat-eared fox and hyena. At the end of the tarred road is a short, though at times bumpy, ride along a sandy track to the two iconic vleis of Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei. Vlei is an Afrikaans term for a marsh or pan of water.

Accommodation: Sossusvlei Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located at the entrance to the Namib-Naukluft National Park

Meals:
Breakfast & dinner

Day 4Namib Desert & Swakopmund

You now call in to the home of Gideon David – better known as Boesman and an old friend of Compass Odyssey. Married to Japanese wife Yuri and the subject of an episode of the BBC’s “New Lives In the Wild”, Boesman is our local bare-footed desert guide and also a keen farmer, and this morning we take an informative tour of his farm and its resident desert dunes. Along the way he shows us that the Namib Desert is alive and thriving with specialized animal and plant life, the great majority of it utilized in some way by the nomadic Bushmen (also collectively called the San people). After this fascinating morning, you travel to Namibia’s barren Atlantic coastline to the quaint resort town of Swakopmund, via the stunning Gaub and Kuiseb mountain passes.

Accommodation: Hotel Deutsches Haus
Mid-range 3-star hotel located in Swakopmund

Meals:
Breakfast & lunch

Day 5Walvis Bay marine wildlife cruise

This morning you travel the short distance south to Walvis Bay and discover this port town’s prolific bird and marine life on an entertaining and informative cruise in the protected bay, followed by a decadent on-board lunch of locally cultivated oysters and sparkling wine. This afternoon is yours to explore Swakopmund, often best experienced on a meander around the town’s German-influenced centre with your guide.

Your cruise around the bay offers sightings of up to three species of dolphin – Atlantic bottlenose, Dusky, and the endemic Heavyside – as well two species of whale – Humpback and Southern-Right. The crew will also be on the lookout for Cape fur seal, Leatherback turtle, Mola mola (Sunfish) and with a bit of luck, Orca (Killer whale). Birders won’t be disappointed, with close-up viewing of pelican, cormorant, Cape gull, Caspian tern and a number of wader species.

Accommodation: Hotel Deutsches Haus
Mid-range 3-star hotel located in Swakopmund

Meals:
Breakfast & lunch

Day 6Erindi Private Game Reserve

You now venture inland to the central Erongo Highlands and Erindi Private Game Reserve. Over 70,000ha (170,000 acres) in size, this former cattle farm has been rehabilitated into a pristine wilderness reserve, boasting a range of diverse landscapes habituated by an almost unparalleled array of free-roaming wildlife. You arrive here in time for lunch followed by an afternoon game drive.

Accommodation: Old Traders Lodge
Luxury 4-star lodge located in Erindi Private Game Reserve

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 7Erindi Private Game Reserve

Today offers morning and afternoon game drives with Erindi’s guides, who are well-known for their knowledge and enthusiasm. When combined with possible close-up sightings of the bigger predators (such as lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog) and herbivores (such as elephant, giraffe and hippo), a great day beckons.

There is also the option to partake in a private “Cheetah Walk” (Additional cost and subject to availability). During early 2000, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and Erindi Private Game Reserve teamed up to help the cheetah of Namibia. CCF rehabilitates problem cheetah from various areas in Namibia. At the end of their rehabilitation process, Erindi is able to give animals like these a safe home within the reserve. More than 10 cheetahs have been released on Erindi and due to years of exposure to people walking near them, these re-wilded cats are incredibly accepting of us on foot during the “Cheetah Walk”.

Accommodation: Old Traders Lodge
Luxury 4-star lodge located in Erindi Private Game Reserve

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 8Farewell

This morning you travel via the nation’s capital, Windhoek and can visit a local craft center for some final souvenir shopping (time permitting). Elvis then returns you to Windhoek Airport for an afternoon flight departure – daily direct flights are available to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Frankfurt among others.

During this safari you will witness Namibia’s natural and wild beauty, be exposed to her diverse cultures and history, and experience genuine African hospitality. Thank you for visiting Namibia on this Compass Odyssey safari. ǃHaese mugus (“See you soon”).

Meals:
Breakfast