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Faces of Namibia

Faces of Namibia 14 nights from £3999 per person including international scheduled flights and sharing a double room.

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Namibia

With its well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders, touring Namibia is truly a pleasure. Visit the capital of Windhoek and the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund to discover remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. To properly appreciate this extraordinary country you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes that Namibia has to offer.

These include – the impressive Fish River Canyon Park, the vast Etosha National Park teeming with local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert and of course the Namib Desert stretching for nearly 1000 km along the magnificent Atlantic coastline. Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.

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Windhoek

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court.

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Day 1:                    Travelling

Depart London Heathrow for your overnight flight via Johannesberg to Windhoek.

Day 2:                    Galton House, Windhoek

Bed & breakfast are included

On arrival, collect your luggage and clear immigration.  You will be transferred to Galton House where the afternoon and evening are free to relax.

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Galton House is Windhoek’s newest accommodation establishment. Named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Galton, it has a relaxed but efficient style which creates a very welcoming atmosphere. Impressive wildlife photography adorns the walls whilst the rest of the interior is a combination of modern minimalistic and understated chic.
A mere ten minute drive from the centre of town and perched on the edge of Windhoek’s northernmost affluent suburb of Eros, guests staying here will be ensured of peace and tranquillity. There is Wi-Fi throughout the property and the eight guest rooms all have wired internet connectivity and satellite television. There is a coffee/tea station available in the reception area and these can also be provided in the rooms on request.
The communal areas consist of a large lounge, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a swimming pool, an early arrival/late departure day room (including toilet, shower, changing and re-packing facility) as well as understated garden areas. There is also a delightful ‘al fresco’ dining area by the pool where freshly prepared and very tasty meals are served (including lunch and dinner). A number of shops, restaurants and supermarkets are within easy striking distance.

Etosha National Park

The Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premiere game viewing experience, situated in the northwest of Namibia and is an area well known for its wildlife.  Vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains attracting a diversity of wildlife. In the heart of the Park is The Etosha Pan – a shallow depression that covers an area of 5000sq kilometres. Dry and shimmering for most of the year, the pans fill up with water after good rains to a depth which is seldom deeper than 1m.  In the dry season wildlife is attracted to perennial springs and waterholes that makes for excellent game viewing.

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Within the park are three large public rest camps catering for the more budget orientated traveller. There are several smaller establishments on the outskirts of the park on private land offering a more intimate and comprehensive experience. All of these establishments offer excellent value for money.

Day 3:                    Etosha Safari Camp, Gondwana Collection, Etosha National Park

Bed & breakfast are included

Starting in Windhoek we travel north to the Etosha National Park, where guests can optionally book a game drive in open vehicles. The park is home to 4 of the Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. The Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor, von Lindequist. At the lodge enjoy the unique and local flair, designed around a shebeen – the name for the traditional bars in Namibia – with a camp fire and live music.

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Etosha Safari Camp is situated just 10 km south of Andersson Gate on the C 38 between Outjo and Okaukuejo. 50 twin-bedded chalets nestle among Mopani trees and impart a feeling of living in the lap of African nature. Each of them is equipped with mosquito gauze, air conditioning and its own bathroom and small veranda. Special attractions are the Okambashu Restaurant and the Oshebeena Bar, styled like a typical little township bar and brimming with African joie de vivre.

Etosha Safari Camp is the perfect base for safari excursions into Etosha – with an experienced guide on the daily game drive or by yourself in your own car.

Day 4:                    Halali Resort, Etosha National Park

Bed & breakfast are included

Today your guide again takes you on a game drive in the Etosha National Park. We may encounter animal species we have not seen the previous day and look forward to any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. Game viewing in the park is largely focussed around the waterholes, some of which are spring fed and some supplied from a borehole, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, in excess of 340 bird species. Popular game species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as Black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here. An extensive network of roads link the over 30 water holes allowing the visitor an opportunity to do a real game viewing safari over the stretch of the park as each different area will provide different encounters. Our home tonight is one of the camps inside the Park.

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Strategically located halfway between Okaukuejo and Namutoni, Halali is situated at the base of a dolomite hill, amongst shady Mopane trees. A flood-lit waterhole which is viewed from an elevated vantage point provides exceptional wildlife viewing throughout the day and into the night.
Accommodation is provided in family chalets, two and four bed bush chalets and double rooms – all converted with large sliding doors to the outside, to allow visitors to experience and benefit from the peace and tranquility of the natural surroundings. Other facilities include a restaurant, bar, shop, swimming pool, kiosk and camping facilities.

Ovamboland

Ovamboland is very different from the rest of Namibia with and environment which allows for crop farming and hence has a significantly higher population, indeed more than half of the country’s population lives in this unique part of Namibia.  The landscape is mostly flat and monotonous with scattered small settlements and when the rains are good Owamboland is covered with large pans.  Most of the Ovambo are small-scale farmers working the poor soils by hand. Oshakati is the biggest town in the region and to the south is the Etosha National Park which is accessible via the King Nehale Gate.  Aside from agriculture people earn income selling their local art ware – intricately weaved baskets, pottery, beautiful jewellery and animal wood carvings.

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Day 5:                    Protea Hotel Ondangwa, Ovamboland

Bed & breakfast are included

This morning we traverse the remainder of the park and exit from the northern gate, the King Nehale Gate. We continue traveling into the “Region of the 4 O’s” (locally referred together as “Owamboland”), home to eight Oshiwambo groups that constitute the largest tribe found in Namibia. The area is Namibia’s most populated area by a long stretch, habituating over 50% of the population. It is an eclectic mix between communal, subsistence farming, fishing when necessary and the energy of formal and informal business sectors. Here we visit a local homestead where highlights include a traditional “Kraal” inhabited by local residents and learn about the Oshiwambo’s local life, culture and customs.

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Situated in the cultural heartland of Namibia, this oasis is about 90km from the spectacular Etosha National Park in the far north of the country. Protea Hotel Ondangwa’s recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The hotel has event space consisting of a conference centre and a meeting/conference room. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. It’s a hotel that complements your travel style. Protea Hotel Ondangwa offers 90 air-conditioned, en suite rooms and has a restaurant, bar and conferencing facilities.

Kaokoveld

The Kaokoveld is a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region that takes in the harsh beauty of the Skeleton Coast and the coppery sands of the northern Namib Desert. The area is inhabited by three main ethnic groups – the Damara, Herero and Himba people – each with their unique customs, traditions and rituals.

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Day 6:                    Opuwo Country Lodge, Kaokoveld

Bed & breakfast are included

Traversing Ovamboland, enjoy the diversity of small villages and kraals, expanding pans and majestic palm trees with cattle, goats and donkeys roaming freely. We continue to Kaokoveld and arrive at our lodge in Opuwo, set high on a hill that allows us a magnificent view over the untouched landscape. Opuwo is a contrast of people that have remained true to their traditions and cultures and those that have embraced western culture, living in harmony side by side. In the afternoon we visit a traditional Himba village. The Himba have managed to maintain much of their traditional lifestyle, perhaps owing to the fact that the land they inhabit is extremely harsh and unyielding that it has been rarely coveted by the colonialists and commercial farmers. Today the Himba live as they have for centuries.

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Opuwo Country Lodge is situated on a northwest facing hilltop just outside the town of Opuwo.
An awe-inspiring 360º view of the surrounding area gives visitors a spectacular vantage point of the surrounding area.
With luxury and standard accommodation, air conditioning, as well as well-appointed camping sites, the Lodge is the ideal base from which to explore the Kaokoland. Deck chairs and umbrellas set the scene for a relaxed day around the pool or a welcome respite from the heat after a hard day’s drive. Next to the pool is the Bar and Restaurant where guests can enjoy ice cold refreshments and mouth-watering meals. The lodge is unfortunately not suitable for guests in wheel chairs.

The lodge is within easy reach of Kaoko-Otavi, Epupa Falls and Swartbooisdrift, popular destinations for visitors to the area.

Road conditions between Kamanjab and Opuwo are in excellent condition (tarmac). The 85 km to Ruacana is also a tarmac road and in excellent driving condition.

Brandberg

The Brandberg (‘Fire Mountain’) Massif is Namibia’s highest peak, with its zenith, the Königstein (‘King’s Stone’), standing at a whopping 2573 metres above sea level. Named for the vivid shade of orange it sometimes turns at sunset, the Brandberg has been sacred to the San people for centuries, and the Tsisab Ravine at its base is permeated with over 45 000 ancient San rock paintings, including the famous ‘White Lady’.

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Day 7-8:                                Brandberg White Lady Lodge, Brandberg

Bed & breakfast are included

After breakfast on day 7 we travel further south into Damaraland, one of the least populated and last true wilderness areas on earth. The area exhibits neither fences nor boundaries in its vast, stony desert landscape. It is marked by endless vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys and mountain massif which bring the traveller close to nature. It’s also the home of the unique desert elephant and a free roaming rhino population. Our lodge is situated along a dry riverbed and in close proximity to the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain and home to the famous “White Lady” rock painting (2.579m) a spiritual site of great significance to the San (Bushman) tribes. With more than 45 000 rock paintings, this is the largest open-air museum on earth.

Brandberg White Lady Lodge is named after the San paintings for which the Brandberg became famous.  It is a place where you will feel at home and enjoy a true warm-hearted hospitality, “tranquility” is name of the game. At the Lodge you find a fully licensed restaurant, a well stocked bar, comfortable lounge and a large pool area.  And if you are lucky you might bump into a dessert adapted elephant.

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On day 8, start the morning with a visit to Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2500 pictures some 6000 years ago. The reddish sandstone boulders seem to glow in the fierce heat, yet ancient Bushman and Damara sheltered from enemy and spied on game from these surreal rock formations. After a visit to a Living museum of the Damara to learn about how these people lived in the past, their beliefs, traditions and customs, we travel back to our lodge. In the afternoon we have the option of searching for the desert elephant on a guided nature drive or doing a hike to see the White Lady painting at Brandberg.

Erongo

The Erongo Region is one of the largest of the 13 regions found in Namibia and received its name for the majestic Erongo Massif that dominates the area around Karibib, Omaruru and Usakos. The region reaches up to the Atlantic Ocean and includes the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, its northern boundary ending at the Ugab River where the Skeleton Coast National Park begins its stretch to Angola.

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Day 9:                    Omaruru Guesthouse, Erongo

Bed & breakfast are included

Departing we travel towards the picturesque Erongo Mountain range. En route we visit a local living Museum of the San to see and learn more on the ancient traditions and life style of this ancient Bushman community. Arriving at our guesthouse you have enough time to spend at leisure along the sparkling pool, or explore the small town of Omaruru and its surrounds that includes one of only 3 wine farms in Namibia. Omaruru is a quirky town with a plethora of small arts and crafts shops, cafes’ and small art or photography galleries, being almost a mix of a gentile European retirement town, African engagement and touristy and arty enterprise. Especially unique and worth a visit is the Crystal Kellerei, one of only two wine farms situated in this Desert country, with a lovely lunch of local produce and cheeses. Enjoy the magical sunset from the Franke Turm, a stone tower built by the colonial Germans forces in honour of Major Victor Franke, to which your guesthouse has access.

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The Omaruru Guesthouse has 20 comfortable and well-appointed rooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. A healthy breakfast awaits you on the verandah, where friendly staff will tend to all your needs and make you feel right at home.

Delicious meals are served at your request, in the cosy and inviting atmosphere of our dining room. During your stay you will enjoy our big shady trees and the saltwater swimming pool. Experience the magical sunset around our fireplace and marvel at the African sky whilst sipping your favourite ‘Namibian Sundowner’.

Swakopmund

Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it very popular.

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Day 10:                 Europa Hof Hotel, Swakopmund

Bed & breakfast are included

We travel to the Atlantic Ocean town of Swakopmund. Having arrived in Swakopmund, the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a very popular holiday destination in Namibia. Its pleasant summer climate and long stretched beaches attract anglers and surfers from all over Southern Africa. For the international guest, Swakopmund is a bohemian mix of German architecture and African time, a laid back attitude with adrenalin activities, misty mornings and desert heat. It is colourful, it is vibrant, but most of all, it is fun.

The Hotel Europa Hof has been part of the Swakopmund town picture since the beginning of the 20th century even if not in the same form or under the same ownership. The years that the hotel has been under German management have left a distinct impression that is typical for Swakopmund. This is not only noticeable by the distinct German architecture but also in the food that is on offer in the restaurant.
In the hotel and restaurant, German and Namibian qualities are being harmonized combining European and Namibian values giving it a unique flair that is so typical for Swakopmund and Namibia as a whole. This combination is what attracts so many visitors to Swakopmund and is perfectly embodied in the Hotel Europa Hof. The Hotel is ideally situated away from traffic or noise but is still within 3 min walking distance from the beach, the city centre and most major tourist attractions.

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Solitaire

There’s not much to do or see in the small village of Solitaire, but it nevertheless an important stop on the way to Sossusvlei, providing the only petrol station, general store and post office between Sesriem and Walvis Bay. Solitaire also has a small bar and famous apple pie.

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Day 11-12:                           Solitaire Guest Farm & Desert Ranch, Solitaire

Bed & breakfast are included

Swakopmund is often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”, it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. Embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town whilst enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many café’s. Alternatively explore the rugged, sweltering desert on a day tour, or view this awesome, environment from the air on a scenic flight. Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme adventures such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sand boarding on the dunes. You have the option to participate in a dolphin cruise from Walvisbay, enjoying the view of the desert from the Atlantic Ocean whilst sipping sparkling wine and enjoying light snacks. In the early afternoon we continue with our journey via two geologically amazing canyons (Kuiseb and Ghaub) and via endless desert plains into the vicinity of Sossusvlei. The Guestfarm is situated near Solitaire offering true Namibian hospitality within the magnificent desert vistas.

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Solitaire Guestfarm & Desert Ranch is located in the town of Solitaire in Namibia, at the base of the Rand Mountains with spectacular views of the Namib Desert. Guest accommodations feature a choice of comfortable en suite rooms in the 1950’s farmhouse, or for extra privacy, a spacious luxury house. Guests can relax in the onsite swimming pool, enjoy the natural surroundings on a walk or take a sunset drive. The guest farm offers an excellent base from which to explore the Sossusvlei area.

On day 12, rise early, as we will forever remember the picture of a sunrise over the mighty dunes of the Namib Desert. This is the desert that the country derives its name from, the seas of sand of which have been declared a World Heritage site. Gaze at the bright splash of sun-baked sand combined with the mighty play of shadows cast onto the layside of the dunes. We travel to Sossusvlei where we visit Dead Vlei, a surreal white clay pan surrounded by monumental dunes and dotted with age-old Camelthorn tree skeletons. Before traveling back to our lodge, we visit Sesriem Canyon, a 30-meter deep gauge incised into the desert floor by the Tsauchab River, the same river that suddenly ends at Sossusvlei.

Safari Holiday in Namibia

 

Day 13:                 Galton House, Windhoek

Bed & breakfast are included.

After breakfast we travel back to Windhoek where you will be dropped off at your hotel. The tour ends here.

Day 14:                 Departure

Enjoy some free time before your transfer to the airport for the return flight to London Heathrow via Johannesberg.

Day 15:                 Arrival back into Heathrow.