Travel by road from Windhoek International Airport to Kulala Desert Lodge (approx 225 miles)
Kulala Desert Lodge is situated within the arid Namib Desert on the private 37 000ha Kulala Wilderness Reserve, and is closest to the iconic red dunes of the Sossusvlei. The lodge comprises 15 thatched and canvas "kulalas" ("to sleep" in Oshiwambo) with en-suite bathrooms and verandas. Each unit is built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes and has a deck on the flat rooftop where bedrolls are placed for guests to sleep under the myriad stars that Namibia's clear skies portray. The main area, with décor inspired by northern Africa, has a lounge, bar, dining area, plunge pool and wrap-around veranda overlooking the waterhole – a perfect location to view and photograph the desert vista. The overall setting is a true delight to the senses, bringing together the rhythm of Namibia, wholesome meals and intimacy. A waterhole in front of camp attracts a number of local wildlife (such as gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and jackal) and provides a perfect location to view and photograph the desert scenery. Early morning guided nature drives to the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei are through a private gate on the Tsauchab River. World-famous Sossusvlei is an enormous clay pan, flanked by the famous red sand dunes that stand out starkly against the blue sky. These dunes have developed over millions of years, the wind continuously transforming the contours of this red sand sea. The 'vlei' itself only fills after rare heavy rainfall when, in a complete turn-around, it becomes a spectacular turquoise lake. Nature drives and walks are also offered on the private reserve with those incredible views, and to catch a glimpse of the denizens of the desert. Another option, at extra cost, is early morning ballooning, beginning at first light. The balloon safari offers a truly unique experience to soar silently above the magnificent sand dunes and desert, with a champagne breakfast being served at your landing site.
Travel by road from Kulala Desert Lodge to Swakopmund (approx 170 miles)
Private Boat Cruise at Walvis Bay
Travel by road north-west via the Kuiseb Canyon with its dark, craggy canyons and via a moon-like landscape of flat gravel plains (with stops along the way that include viewing the extraordinary Welwitschia plants). You arrive at the grand Hansa Hotel in Swakopmund in the late afternoon. On your second day you explore the ice-blue Atlantic coast, from the port towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund to its incredible marine mammals. A private boat cruise at Walvis Bay and down the coast to Sandwich Harbour (weather permitting) provides a unique chance to see the diverse pelagic (ocean-going) birdlife, Cape fur seals and rare Heaviside’s dolphins up close. This activity is rounded off with a private seafood lunch, before returning to the hotel in the afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the charming town of Swakopmund before meeting in the evening for dinner. The grand three-star Hansa Hotel forms part of Swakopmund's architectural culture and dates back to 1905, making it one of the oldest hotels in Swakopmund. It is ideally situated in the centre of Swakopmund within easy walking distance of town and the beach. The en suite rooms are individually decorated; some are street facing whereas others are facing the garden or inner courtyard. Other amenities included colour TV, direct dial telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer and a safe. The luxury of the hotel, its excellent cuisine and friendly service are well known and appreciated countrywide and overseas.
Travel by road from Swakopmund to Damaraland (approx 170 miles)
Travel a distance up the legendary Skeleton Coast (named for the numerous shipwrecks the treacherous shores have claimed over the years) to the Cape Cross seal colony with thousands of Cape fur seals. (Note: The tour will visit Cape Cross only if you have not seen large populations of seals on the boat cruise from Walvis Bay.) From here you drive the back roads through the game productive Ugab riverbed, travelling north past the Brandberg Mountain – the second largest monolith on earth – to Damaraland. Damaraland is a land of stark desert beauty. Early morning mists, generated by the clash between the icy Atlantic Ocean and the warm desert air of the Skeleton Coast, drift inland along the canyons, providing sustenance to the flora and fauna of the region. Rare succulent plants abound in this harsh countryside. Your activities include explorations on foot, by mountain bike or 4x4 vehicles, viewing springbok, gemsbok and ostrich, and tracking the unique desert-adapted elephant. On the way through this area, you are treated to some remote petrified forests and experience the Gai As spring with its archaeological stone circles. This all-day excursion with lunch en route, ends with your arrival at Damaraland Camp. Damaraland Camp accommodates guests in 10 comfortable tented rooms, with en-suite facilities including flush toilets and showers with hot and cold running water. (Laundry facilities are limited due to the low rainfall in the area.) The dining room and pub are combined under canvas, and an open fire is enjoyed on calm evenings. A lovely feature of the camp is its unique rock pool.
Travel by road from Damaraland to the Palmwag Concession
You depart Damaraland Camp and drive into the Huab riverbed to search for desert-adapted elephants, before heading north to the mountainous and rocky paradise of the massive Palmwag Concession. Desert Rhino Camp is situated in the 1-million-acre private Palmwag Reserve in north-west Namibia, between Etosha and the Skeleton Coast – few places on the planet can offer this level of privacy and wilderness experience. This reserve has a number of freshwater springs that support healthy populations of animals including desert-adapted back rhino and elephant as well as large populations of the rare Hartmann\'s mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok and kudu. The predator population is the largest outside of the Etosha National Park including lion, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyaena. Bird life is prolific and diverse featuring most of Namibia\'s endemics. Welwitschia plants (ancient and highly unusual succulents) dot the plain in front of the camp. The speciality of the area is its growing population of the rare desert-adapted black rhino (the largest concentration in the world outside a national park), which are monitored and protected by the Save the Rhino Trust. Desert Rhino Camp accommodates guests in 7 large East African-style Meru tents, each with an en-suite bathroom and a classic bucket shower that is filled with hot water whenever needed. Lights are powered by solar panels and the tented dining room offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains. On the second day, the highlight is rhino tracking on foot or by vehicle; other activities include day and night nature drives.
Travel by road with game viewing en route from Desert Rhino Camp to Etosha National Park (approx 210 miles)
At Etosha National Park you experience the pinnacle of game viewing – while accommodated in the privacy of an exclusive bush camp situated on an extensive private game reserve, Ongava, just on the outside of Etosha. Within Etosha we visit numerous perennial springs and pans, encountering a myriad of differing species. Ongava Tented Camp is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the 30 000 hectare, privately owned Ongava Game Reserve. Accommodation is in ten large comfortable walk-in tents each with en-suite facilities, including flush toilet and a hot shower. All meals are enjoyed in the thatched dining area that overlooks an active waterhole. The camp also has a small pool. Activities include day and night game drives; walks and hides are available on the private reserve. Ongava has resident White Rhino and Black Rhino, and you may be fortunate to see both species.
Sefofane charter flight Etosha - Skeleton Coast Research Camp
Enjoy a breathtaking scenic flight over dramatic desert landscapes to the exclusive Skeleton Coast Research Camp situated in a private concession in the Skeleton Coast Park. This is one of the most inhospitable but hauntingly beautiful places on the planet: desolate and uninhabited. It has everything, from roaring sand dunes, windswept plains, towering canyons and saltpans to seal colonies and shipwrecks. Full-day explorations in 4x4 Land Rovers will take all these in, picnicking on the way. Included are cultural visits to the remote villages of the Himba people. Skeleton Coast Research Camp comprises 5 Meru tents nestled between granite rocks. Surrounded by pure wilderness, this camp is truly remote and the perfect setting for a serviced style of camping. The camp is outfitted with necessary comforts and equipment, essential elements to the old and relaxed manner of early explorers.