The Great Namibia Wildlife Safari
10 days with Natural Habitat Adventures Rating:
Day 1: Windhoek, Namibia
Our Namibia wildlife safari begins on arrival in Windhoek. Namibia's capital is a modern, walkable city with an eclectic urban skyline featuring both contemporary and colonial architecture, from German castles and cathedral spires to glass skyscrapers. There's time to relax this afternoon at our boutique hotel in a tranquil neighborhood before a welcome dinner with our Expedition Leader.
Days 2 & 3: Kulala Private Reserve—Sossusvlei Dunes
Fly by light aircraft to Little Kulala, a luxurious retreat within the private 90,000-acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve on the edge of Namibia’s great sand sea. The word namib in the Nama language means “vast,” an apt name for this ancient arid expanse—the world’s oldest desert. Wildlife drives at sunrise take us into Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan surrounded by shape-shifting sand dunes. Framed by intense blue skies, the world’s tallest dunes glow deep carnelian at dawn, changing minute by minute as the sun climbs, to rose, burnt orange and ochre. Inside are diamonds, tucked into the sand mountains by currents, waves and wind. Remarkably, these dunes are home to a host of desert species, including oryx, ostrich, springbok, spotted and brown hyena, aardwolf and bat-eared fox. The rare dune lark’s entire habitat is confined to this area. Discover the desert’s subtle magic on short walks and safari drives. From Little Kulala’s profoundly secluded vantage point, experience some of Africa’s most arresting vistas, including vermilion sunsets and unparalleled stargazing.
Please note: Some departures will spend a third night at Little Kulala Camp in Sossusvlei, and one less night at Desert Rhino Camp in the Palmwag Concession. Check with an Adventure Specialist for details.
Days 4–6: Palmwag Concession—Rhino Tracking
Fly north to the private million-acre Palmwag Concession. Our destination, Desert Rhino Camp, lies at the heart of this vast reserve in Damaraland, one of Africa's last great wildernesses. Few safari locales offer the level of isolation found here. The raw landscape is defined by ancient riverbeds, open plains, stacked granite rocks and deep gorges. Within these stark environs, freshwater springs support healthy numbers of wildlife, including Africa's largest population of free-roaming black rhinos. We'll track this endangered icon in the company of rhino experts from Save the Rhino Trust and researchers based at the camp. To search for rhinos on foot is a rare and exhilarating experience. Taking care to stay downwind, silent and hiding behind scrub bushes, we hold our breath in anticipation of spying this ancient desert dweller. On 4x4 drives, look also for desert-adapted elephant, endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, oryx, gemsbok, springbok,greater kudu and possibly even predators. Birds are abundant, with a number of southern African endemics.
Days 7–9: Etosha National Park—Ongava Private Reserve
We take to the skies once again, bound for the Ongava Game Reserve bordering Etosha National Park. Within this private concession, wildlife thrives while visitors are few. Our focus is the Etosha Salt Pan, the remnant of a huge lake that existed here two million years ago. Bare and dry today, the depression offers Namibia’s best wildlife viewing, with elephant, black and white rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok, oryx, kudu and the diminutive dik-dik drawn to the many life-sustaining waterholes. Birdlife is prolific, and we may see ostrich and raptors. From camp, take guided walks (safety permitting) and night drives on the reserve, traveling into the adjacent national park by day, then retreating to solitude each evening.
Our Namibia safari concludes as we fly from Ongava back to Windhoek to connect with departing flights.
All This Included
Namibia is soul-stirring. Here on the southwest edge of Africa, orange sand dunes rise a thousand feet high against a cobalt sky. Inside are diamonds, tucked into the mountains of sand by currents, waves and wind. The coastal desert is washed by the relentless ocean, while inland the sun bakes the plains into a cracked puzzle of dried mud, pocked with enough grass and thornbush to sustain desert rhinoceros and other rare species. Raptors on high survey arid canyons that slice through vast plateaus. There is water here, too, though its presence is subtle. It is the source of life in the stark Etosha salt pan, whose waterholes attract great numbers of game pursued by feline predators. Springbok, oryx, kudu and dik-dik run to elude them in a great and ancient desert dance.
Windhoek: Olive Grove Guest House
Kulala Wilderness Reserve: Little Kulala
Palmwag Concession: Desert Rhino Camp
Etosha National Park: Ongava Tented Camp
Pre and Post Add-ons
Okonjima AfriCat Extension
3 Days / Year-Round, From $1895
Join the AfriCat Foundation for close-up photography and interactions with Namibia's wild felines on this private 55,000-acre wildlife sanctuary dedicated to carnivore rehabilitation.
Cape Town Extension
4 Days / Year-Round, From $1595
Discover the natural and multicultural highlights of one of the world's most entrancing cities. Explore the Cape Peninsula, visit Cape Point Nature Reserve, see penguins at Boulders Beach and tour the Winelands.
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.