Group Size: Based on Minimum 4 passengers
Departs: 01 April and 30 June 2021
This Namibia Secrets gives you the chance to experience Namibia in a very personal way. You will have your own professional and experienced safari guide who will enhance your enjoyment of this unique country by making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery. The knowledge, experience, and character of the guides are critical to a successful safari, with intimate knowledge of each area and camp/lodge, allowing them to share the local insights and highlights whilst adding continuity and depth to your safari.
The Secrets camps are designed to offer a true “back to nature” experience with the emphasis being on the experiential aspect of safaris, to go back to the roots of safari, to touch, to smell, to feel and to experience the wild, with one’s feet firmly in the dust that covers Africa. This is an experience that is exclusive in the real sense of the word, as well as being very much away from the pressures of ‘normal’ life!
Day 1 – Windhoek
After landing at Windhoek’s International Airport, about 40 km outside of Windhoek, you will be welcomed by an Ultimate Safaris representative who will transfer you to the Galton House, where you will stay overnight. You will have time to freshen up from your flight and relax before dinner which can be enjoyed out at one of the popular restaurants in town together with your private naturalist guide. (D)
Named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Galton, Galton House 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.
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 walking distance.
Day 2 - Sossusvlei Area
This morning your guide will collect you from the guesthouse and you depart Windhoek in your safari vehicle, driving southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You arrive at Camp Sossus in the mid-afternoon and you will stay here for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. (BLD)
Camp Sossus is built in a naturally formed amphitheatre of a south-facing granite outcrop within striking distance of Sossusvlei, and is ideally positioned to avoid the harsh desert sun. The severe desert climate was a primary consideration in the camp’s design, and tents are protected from the stormy east winds by natural stone walls and shaded by roofs built from almost 500 recycled oil drums. It is also equipped with furniture built in part from recycled metals, Oregon pine floor boards and wooden pallets. As a result of this design, the camp is virtually invisible from any distance and, together with Camp Huab, it carries the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia. The large west-facing windows and south-facing doors allow natural cooling by the predominant afternoon south westerly wind and the tents are stylishly furnished, offering important comforts such as en-suite flush toilets and bucket showers. They also have comfortable twin beds, solar power, a shaded day-bed and a star bed, but the essence of the camp still remains ‘under canvas’ and experiential.
Day 3 - Sossusvlei Area
This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion with your guide into the Namib Naukluft National Park, entering the Park gates at sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate their towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. Once you have explored the dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic breakfast in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You will then return to your exclusive camp in the early afternoon for lunch, stopping off to view Sesriem Canyon along the way. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes). You have the option to head out on another sundowner drive or walk on the Neuhof Reserve later in the day. (BLD)
Day 4 - Swakopmund
This morning you have the option to include a sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund (optional extra at additional cost). Please note that if making use of this offer, it will need to be booked with Ultimate Safaris to fit in with other timings for this day.
The fascinating drive today takes you northwest through awesome and ever-changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay and then continue north to Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air. (BLD)
Here you will have time to explore the town and wander along the waterfront on foot, before heading off for dinner at a popular seafood restaurant together with your guide.
Cornerstone Guest House is a small, private and peaceful bed and breakfast within an easy walk to the seafront and the town centre of Swakopmund on Namibia’s fascinating Skeleton Coast. Occupying a quiet corner of Swakopmund’s old town near The Marine Museum and The Old Brewery, Cornerstone Guest House offers the charm and intimacy of a family-run B&B combined with the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. Within a few minutes from the guest house you can walk to beaches, cafés, restaurants, lively pubs, Swakopmund’s tourist attractions and a variety of interesting shops and markets in the town.
Day 5 - Swakopmund
Today you have the option to head out on optional activities such as the full day Shipwreck Sandwich Harbour excursion, or a boat cruise, sea kayaking, fat biking or scenic flights – this can all be booked at an extra cost. Dinner can again be enjoyed with your guide, at any restaurant of your choice. (BLD)
Day 6 - Damaraland
Continuing your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. Stop at a scenic location for lunch and arrive at Huab Under Canvas in the late afternoon, which can be enjoyed with a sundowner in camp. (BLD)
Huab Under Canvas is an exclusive semi-permanent tented camp located in the Huab Conservancy of Namibia’s Damaraland. This is a remote and unique area, in which visitors are able to track black rhino and elephant, avoiding the often congested Twyfelfontein area. This seasonal camp focuses on a no-frills wilderness experience, with an emphasis on great guiding.
The camp has eight tents, each furnished with twin beds, a bedside table and an armoire for storage. The en-suite bathroom has a flushing toilet, washbasin and a bucket shower; towels and toiletries are complimentary. Additional blankets and hot water bottles are available on request for the cool winter nights. Alongside the tents is a patio, with comfortable chairs where you can relax and unwind.
Day 7 - Damaraland
Today you will spend an exciting and memorable morning out rhino tracking with the assistance of local trackers. It is worth noting that these black rhino form part of one of the only free-roaming black rhino populations in Africa and tracking animals in an unfenced and uninhibited environment is an absolute privilege. You will return to camp for a freshly prepared lunch and with time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you head out again for a scenic nature drive or walk to explore this vast and astounding ecosystem. (BLD)
Huab Under Canvas works together with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) – an NGO that has been instrumental in the preservation of the rare, endangered, desert adapted black rhino. Having barely survived the slaughter in many parts of Africa during the ’80s and ’90s, the black rhino population of Namibia increased substantially since the formation of SRT.
Day 8 - Damaraland
After an early breakfast you will depart from Huab Under Canvas and make your way deeper into the heart of Damaraland to reach Camp Onduli. Along the way you are treated to an exciting 4X4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. As the elephants are mostly active in the mornings you will normally have the best chance to see them. (BLD)
Arrival at Camp Onduli will be in the mid-afternoon, which can either be spent at leisure in the lodge or you may choose to embark on a nature walk with your guide to explore the local area.
Camp Onduli, named after the resident giraffe of the area, is built at the base of two south facing granite outcrops which are connected by a ridge. This location allows for magnificent views of Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, to the south and the dispersed cathedral-like granite inselbergs to the north. The six suites are hidden amongst the granite boulders that nestle the camp and the more temperate climate of central Damaraland allows for naturally ventilated suites, partial open-air bathrooms and largely open communal areas. The camp is designed to maximise the views of this most extraordinary landscape and every space becomes a viewpoint whether from the bed, the desk or the bathroom.
The camp exudes character and meticulous attention to detail meeting all requirements, from large rooms to libraries, rain showers, infinity pool and plenty of places to laze. Food to tantalize the palate after enjoying exceptional activities combines a genuinely unforgettable stay with exceptional quality while blending effortlessly into the natural surroundings.
Day 9 - Damaraland
Today your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). You will then return the lodge for lunch and a siesta, after which you have the option to embark on an afternoon activity again to explore the local area. Further activities on offer at Onduli are Solar E-biking, nature walks with trail treats and nature drives. (BLD)
Day 10 - Southern boundary of Etosha National Park
This morning you will depart with your guide from Camp Onduli and travel towards the southern boundary of Etosha National Park. You will arrive at Etosha Oberland Lodge in the afternoon, which can be spent at leisure at the lodge. (BLD)
The Etosha Oberland Lodge, situated close to the southern entrance of Etosha National Park, combines luxury with a lot of privacy. The main house, with restaurant, pool, bar and a cosy lounge with fireplace nestles in an English style garden which is particularly enticing at teatime. Large mopane trees are home to many private places that have a fantastic view of the wide grassy plain and to the water hole. Guests will observe numerous wild animals while enjoying a sundowner drink on the restaurant terrace after eventful days in the Etosha National Park. Etosha Oberland’s spacious guesthouses are lovingly integrated into their natural surroundings. The chalets and their terraces offer a unique view of the savannah, and tasteful design and stylish decor present the background for an unforgettable stay.
Day 11 - Onguma Game Reserve
Today is dedicated to a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle as you make your way from the southern Andersson’s Gate to Halali (where you may stop for lunch) and then on across via selected waterholes such as Goas, which are normally particularly good for game viewing, to Namutoni Camp in the east. You will have to leave the Park before sunset and head out to stay at the delightful Onguma Tree Top Camp with enough time to relax and freshen up before for dinner. The rest of the evening can be spent game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night. (BLD)
Onguma Tree Top Camp is a place to savour, small bits at a time. Designed for those travellers who would like to truly experience the bush in all its raw splendour. A place where giraffe, zebra, lion, and many other species of antelope come to quench their thirst.
Tree Top Camp is built on wooden stilts amongst the tree tops with full views over one of the most beautiful watering holes on Onguma Game Reserve. The Camp consists of 4 thatched rooms with canvas walls, a deck overlooking the waterhole, a lounge, dining room and interactive kitchen.
Day 12 - Onguma Game Reserve
Another morning is dedicated to a memorable game drive within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You will return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You then return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final ‘safari dinner’ overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole. (BLD)
Day 13 - Omboroko Mountains
This morning you will depart from Onguma to reach Okonjima Bush Camp in time for lunch. After lunch you will have some time at leisure to settle into your comfortable accommodation. In the late afternoon you have the option to embark on a scheduled lodge activity, as offered by Okonjima Bush Camp. (BLD)
The delightful accommodation at Okonjima Bush Camp consists of thatched African style chalets, well-spaced out for privacy in the tranquil bush surroundings, plus a central main Lapa area in the form of a camel thorn pod where meals are taken and activities commence. Each exclusive en-suite chalet is completely private and the green canvas ‘walls’ can be rolled up to give you an 180 degree view so you can lie in bed and watch life in the bush going on around you whilst you relax in total comfort.
Day 14 - End of Namibia Secrets Tour
You will rise early this morning for another memorable guided activity before you return to the Bush Camp for a sumptuous breakfast, if time allows. After freshening up you will depart for Windhoek in the late morning from where your guide will then transfer you to the Windhoek International Airport to check-in for your ongoing flight. (B)
Dates and Pricing
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.