1 Start Windhoek.
The starting point for this trip is the Arebbusch Lodge. For those on the group transfer, we spend sometime in the capital city to change money and collect supplies and then drive to the Arebbush Lodge on the outskirts of the city. Stay: Arebbusch Lodge or similar.
2 Drive through Namib-Naukluft Park to Sesriem.
Today we embark on our longest drive of the trip as we head southwest through the spectacular scenery of the Namib-Naukluft Park to our first campsite at Sesriem. This National Park, one of the largest in the world, is home to one of the driest and oldest deserts on earth. It contains the finest desert scenery in Africa, if not in the world, with towering jagged rock formations and incredible lunar landscapes. (350kms / 7hrs). Stay: NWR Sesriem Campsite or similar.
3 Sossusvlei Dunes and the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre
Today we spend all day in the Namib Desert. Rising early we catch the tallest sand dunes in the world in the best light and have the opportunity to climb one of the dunes as the sun rises, truly one of Africa's greatest sights. We can either walk to Hiddenvlei or catch a transfer (optional extra) to Deadvlei where ancient acacia trees in the desert form an eerie scene. If we're lucky we may see gemsbok or ostrich among the sand 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. (200kms / 3hrs). Stay: Solitaire Guest Farm or similar.
4 Travel through Namib Desert to Swakopmund via Walvis Bay.
A long, but very scenic, drive through the Namib-Naukluft Park to Swakopmund. En route we visit Walvis Bay for lunch and to see local flamingos. Swakopmund is a small German colonial resort town with quaint cake shops and coffee houses and a centre for adrenaline activities. (300kms / 5.5hrs) Stay: Prost hotel or similar.
5 Full day in Swakopmund with optional activities.
Today is spent in and around Swakopmund. There is time to go fishing, relax on the beach, or enjoy a cream tea and a seafood dinner along the front. If you're keen for some action, there are enough options for the whole family - take an optional dolphin watching cruise, experience the thrill of quad biking over the sand dunes or try the popular new sport of sandboarding. Stay: Prost Hotel or similar.
6 Drive to Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain.
After a relaxing start we leave the cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean behind and head inland towards Namibia's highest mountain, Brandberg, in Damaraland. The Damaraland area is famous for the desert elephants which roam in the Ugab River. Star gazing is normally spectacular from this remote area (250kms / 4.5hrs). Stay: Bradberg Whilte Lady Lodge (camping) or similar.
7 White Lady Painting & Vingerklip
We begin our day with a short drive to Brandberg, where we will enjoy a walk through valley 45 for approximately 1.5 hours. Along the way we will view beautiful, granite rock formations and a variety of birdlife. The valley takes us to the famous ‘White Lady' rock painting which, along with a number of other small paintings and engravings, are thought to have been left by Bushmen at least 2000 years ago. Afterwards we will drive towards the Khorixas area where we should pass various Himba and Herero women selling crafts from the roadside. There is also the possibility of spotting Desert elephants and meerkats on the way. We will arrive at our accommodation after lunch and then in the afternoon we can view Vingerklip, a striking pinnacle of rock balancing vertically on its own (driving 230kms / 4hrs). Stay: Khorias Lodge or similar.
8 To famous Etosha National Park.
The first day is spent with a scenic drive to Etosha. We should arrive in time to do a late afternoon game drive before setting up at our camp. Our itinerary allows plenty of time to really enjoy this fabulous game park. (240kms / 3.5hrs) Stay: Okaukujo Camp or similar.
9-10 Two days on game drives in Etosha.
Etosha is a huge park of mixed forest and grassland centred around a large salt pan. Etosha is home to a great variety species, which are generally easy to find as the animals congregate at different times around the waterholes. Wildebeest, zebra, impala, springbuck, kudu, elephant, giraffe, lion and even rhino are all common sights here. Take plenty of camera memory and lots of patience and you will be rewarded by one of the greatest game spectacles in Southern Africa. Etosha is also a good place for birds, with plenty of water birds on the lakes (when filled with water), and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees. While in Etosha we typically stay within the park on some or all of the nights (subject to availability) and some of these are located next to waterholes. These camps also offer optional night drives which you can book and pay for on arrival. Stay: Namutoni Camp or similar.
11 To Otjiwarongwe
After a relaxing start to the morning, we drive via Tsumeb and Otavi where we can stretch our legs before stopping at Otjiwarongo for lunch. We then spend our final night of camping under the African night sky on a private farm. (380kms / 6hrs). Stay: Otjiwa Safari Camp or similar.
12 Trek at Waterberg Plateau.
This morning we drive to the Waterberg Plateau, a 200 metre high gigantic flat-topped plateau covered with bushveld. It is one of the more fertile areas in Namibia and very colourful especially after the rains. Here there are several walking trails, including one leading to a spectacular viewpoint near the top of the plateau for a great view. In addition to a guided walk, there are many smaller walks that can be explored without a guide. (120kms / 2hrs) Stay: NWR Waterberg Lodge or similar.
13 Transfer to Windhoek; depart Windhoek.
A drive of three and a half hours or so brings us back to Windhoek. Those not travelling with the group to London will leave us during the day. (320kms / 3.5hrs).