Travel by road from Windhoek International Airport to Kulala Desert Lodge (approx 5-6 hours)
Stay at Kulala Desert Lodge for 2 nights
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included
The 23 thatch and canvas chalets at Kulala Desert Lodge are perfectly placed to take advantage of its magnificent setting: amid the famous red sand dunes of Sossusvlei. Each of the chalets is en-suite, and includes a veranda that is perfect for scanning the surreal surroundings. The main lodge transports you to Northern Africa with its exotic decor, and features indulgent comforts like a lounge, cozy pub, delightful dining area, refreshing plunge pool and a wrap-around verandah ideal for gazing out at animals drinking from the adjacent waterhole. In this location, the desert comes alive: the animals defy the harsh surroundings, and the sunrises and sunsets paint the desert in a way that begs to be photographed. Set off on early-morning guided game drives to the spectacular dunes through a private gate on the Tsauchab River, or enjoy a guided walk on the private reserve with incredible views, desert game and smaller desert fauna and flora. Another option (at an additional cost, but well worth it) is early-morning ballooning. Beginning at first light, soar silently above the magnificent sand dunes and vast expanses of desert and plain seeing this dreamy landscape from an incomparable vantage point before landing and enjoying a champagne breakfast. Delightful moments like these are not reserved only for the day, though: at night, mattresses can be moved to the rooftop to sleep beneath a jaw-dropping multitude of stars.
Since it was opened in 1905, Hansa Hotel has cultivated a reputation as a superior property ideally situated in the heart of Swakopmund. In fact, it has won numerous awards attesting to its excellence, including the Best Hotel in Namibia Award (which it has received twice) and an Award of Excellence (which it has garnered five times). Spending time in this German-inspired hotel, it is easy to understand why. The friendly, personalized service complements a relaxed, luxurious atmosphere here, each of the 58 superb en-suite twin or family rooms are individually decorated and feature under-carpet heating, satellite TV, wireless internet and more. In addition, its location in Swakopmund makes it the perfect base to explore the coastline, from visiting the pristine beaches and craft markets to fishing and cruising along the picturesque seaboard. Back at the hotel, unwind in the enclosed, manicured garden courtyard, or take a stroll around town. Later, settle in for a delectable meal at one of the two superb restaurants, and cozy up to the fire at the charming bar where you can choose from the award-winning selection of wines. Revel in the historic charm of this stylish Namibian hotel.
As you look out upon the early-morning mists in Damaraland Camp, the imposing heft of Brandenberg Mountain hovering in the distance and tawny desert landscape surrounding you, you know you are someplace special. A deluxe property set in nearly 200,000 acres of the Torra Wildlife Conservancy, the camp is owned by the local community: a fascinating pastiche of peoples ranging from the Nama-Damara to the displaced Riemvasmakers of South Africa. The result is more than just a business, it is a mission dear to the hearts of those who live here, and the service reflects that level of commitment. The 10 spacious adobe-style thatched lodgings are rustic yet delightfully comfortable, each features an en-suite bathroom including flush toilet and shower with hot and cold running water. The common area is an intimate place to gather, whether taking a dip in the pool, lounging by the fire at the bar or enjoying a lantern-lit, delicious dinner in the fresh air of the Huab River Valley. While you are here, immerse yourself in this wild wonderland: roam the area in 4x4 vehicles, on foot or on mountain bike, keeping an eye out for gemsbok, ostrich and rare desert-adapted elephant as well as other hardy creatures of this arid land. A further highlight is the fascinating expedition to Twyfelfontein, home to the largest collection of prehistoric rock art in Africa.
Set amid the one million acres of the Palmwag Concession, a landscape of rocky hills dotted with scrub and clusters of indigenous trees, is unobtrusive-yet-luxurious Desert Rhino Camp. Sleeping in a bed of crisp, white linen, it may seem as if you are in a luxurious urban hotel, but one step out onto your private verandah, and its striking view of the surrounding desert and the Etendeka Mountains, and you will be reminded of your remote locale. The eight eco-friendly Meru-style canvas tents here, raised on wooden platforms, each feature en-suite bathroom with a flush toilet and shower. Relax in a chair and enjoy the view, and feel free to bring a duvet and get cozy when it is chilly. Enjoy a meal in the tented dining room, which offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains, or around the fire pit where you can relax and socialize with other guests. And of course you can explore this beautifully stark desert landscape in a 4x4 or on foot, searching for desert-adapted animals including elephant, giraffe, oryx, springbok, kudu and the rare Hartmann mountain zebra. Perhaps most interesting of all: this area is home to the largest free-roaming black rhino population in Africa. The camp has a strong partnership with the well-respected organization Save the Rhino Trust, which is almost solely responsible for saving this rare breed of rhino.
Travel by road to Etosha National Park (approx 6 hours)
Stay at Ongava Tented Camp for 3 nights
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included
Constructed from stone, canvas and thatch, Ongava Tented Camp is a delicately designed haven meant to pamper guests while preserving its unique wilderness setting. Conservation efforts have turned this area, formerly unproductive cattle ranches, into a pristine reserve that shares a border with Etosha National Park, the premier wildlife destination of Namibia. Here, plains game like Damara dik-dik, steenbok and klipspringer roam the same lands as predators like lion, leopard and hyena, leading to a superlative game-viewing experience. In addition to game drives, guests can visit hides that overlook waterholes bursting with game, including rare species like black rhino and white rhino. Tracking the majestic white rhino in particular is an invigorating thrill, and one of the highlights of staying here. Back at camp, relax with a drink at the bar, or float lazily in the swimming pool, keeping an eye on the animals at the waterhole while you revel in the slower pace of safari life. The eight meru-style, en-suite tents here were created to embody elegance while also embracing the flat, wide-open expanses surrounding it. Each of the tents features delightful touches like open-air showers and private verandas, and there is even a four-person unit designed for a family foray into the wilds.