The tour starts at Arebbusch Lodge in Windhoek. The afternoon can be spent exploring or relaxing, perhaps taking a dip in the pool or watching the many native birds that swoop overhead. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening to discuss the adventures to come. Stay: Arebbusch Lodge (or similar).
Today we head southwest through the spectacular scenery of the Namib-Naukluft Park to Sesriem. This national park, one of the largest in the world, is home to one of the driest and oldest deserts on Earth. It also has towering, jagged rock formations and an incredible lunar landscape, so be prepared for great photo stops. Driving: 186mi-217mi (300km-350km) ; seven hours Stay: Sesriem Campsite (or similar) (B/L).
Today we spend much of our time in the Namib Desert. Rising early, we catch the tallest dunes in the world in the best light and can climb one as the sun rises. We can either walk to Hiddenvlei or catch a transfer (optional extra) to Deadvlei, where ancient acacia trees form an eerie desert scene. If we're lucky, we may see gemsbok or ostrich among the dunes.
In the afternoon, we visit Sesriem Canyon before joining a guide to see the cheetahs at the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre (please see Responsible Travel section) ; depending on time, we may go tomorrow morning. We then continue to our next camp approximately one-hour away. Driving: 124mi (200km) ; three hours Stay: Solitaire Guest Farm Campsite (or similar) (B/D).
We take a long but very scenic drive through the Namib-Naukluft Park to Swakopmund. En route, we visit Walvis Bay for lunch and to see flamingos. Swakopmund is a small German colonial resort town with quaint cake shops and coffee houses and a centre for adrenaline activities. Driving: 186mi (300km) ; 5hr 30min Stay: Prost Hotel (or similar) (B).
Today is free to enjoy one of the many optional activities here. On the water, go deep-sea fishing; in the desert, try sandboarding and quad-biking; and in the sky, fly over the skeleton coast. Or spend the day enjoying the fantastic local Viennese-style cakes, walk along the beach or nearby dunes, or just watch the world pass in this town which seems strangely out of place in Africa. Stay: Prost Hotel (or similar) Meals included: Breakfast Join us to celebrate Exodus' 50th anniversary! Select departures of this trip feature extra inclusions to mark the occasion: a desert wildlife tour, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag. For departure dates, see the Dates & Prices tab.
After a relaxing start, we leave the cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean behind and head inland towards Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia, in Damaraland. The Damaraland area is best-known as being home to desert elephants that roam in the Ugab River. Star gazing is normally spectacular from this remote area. Driving: 149mi (240km) ; 3hr 30min Stay: Brandberg White Lady Lodge campsite (or similar) (B/L/D).
We begin our day with a short drive to Brandberg, where we enjoy a walk through a valley for approximately 90 minutes. Along the way, we view beautiful, granite formations and a variety of birdlife. The valley takes us to the White Lady rock painting which, along with several other small paintings and engravings, are thought to have been left by San hunter-gatherers at least 2,000 years ago (please note that if elephants walk into this area then it might be too dangerous to do the walk- in this case we will typically go on a game drive looking for elephants).
After, we drive towards the Khorixas area, where we should pass various Himba and Herero women selling crafts from the roadside. We may also spot desert elephants and meerkats on the way.
In the afternoon, we can view Vingerklip, a striking pinnacle of rock balancing vertically on its own. Driving: 155mi (250km) ; 4hr 30min Stay: Sophienhof camp (or similar) (B/L/D).
We begin with a short drive to Etosha, a huge national park of mixed forest and grassland centred around a large salt pan. We should arrive in time for a late afternoon game drive before setting up camp. Our itinerary allows plenty of time to enjoy this fabulous wildlife-watching destination. Driving: 93mi (150km) ; two hours Stay: Okaukuejo Camp (or similar) (B/D).
Etosha is home to a great variety of species, which are generally easy to find as the animals congregate at different times around the waterholes. Wildebeest, zebras, impalas, springbucks, kudus, elephants, giraffes, lions and even rhinos are all common sights here. Bring plenty of camera memory and patience and you will be rewarded by one of the greatest game spectacles in southern Africa.
Etosha is also a good place to spot birds, with plenty of water birds on the lakes (when filled with water), and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees. In Etosha, we typically stay within the park on some or all the nights (subject to availability) and some of these are next to waterholes. These camps also offer optional night drives, which you can book and pay for on arrival. Stay: Namutoni Camp (or similar) Meals included: Breakfast (x2), Lunch (x1), Dinner (x1).
Leaving Etosha behind, we head towards the Waterberg Plateau. This 656ft (200m) high plateau topped by bushveld is one of the most fertile areas in Namibia. There are several walking trails, including one leading to a spectacular viewpoint near the top of the plateau. You can also take an optional 4x4 game drive. Driving: 186mi (300km) ; five hours Stay: Waterberg Camp (or similar) (B).
We have free time this morning to relax or explore the Waterberg Plateau a little further.
Later, we head back to Windhoek stopping at a crafts market on the way. Driving: 199mi (320km) ; 4hr 30min Stay: Arebbusch Lodge (or similar) (B).
The trip ends after breakfast. Free time before your flight can be spent relaxing at the accommodation or exploring Windhoek, where there are museums and shops. Alternatively, arrange a township tour of Windhoek or visit the nearby Daan Viljoen game reserve (see Optional Excursions section) (B).