Namibia
Desert Dreams Tour

Namibia – Desert Dreams Tour – an 11 day Small Group Tour from £2195 per person.


Namibia is characterised by desert. Distances are vast, and for the most part the country comprises arid plains and other-worldly dune seas. There’s a contemplative beauty in this enigmatic landscape that’s hard to define, yet it is profound.

However, despite the harshness of the habitat, wildlife is present in vast numbers – a visit to Etosha National Park confirms this irrefutably. Elsewhere, aspects of Germany’s colonial influence are a reminder that you can’t blame the French and the British for everything.

Discover Namibia on this great value tour of the country as we visit many of the ‘must-see’ sites . On this tour there are many activities included, but we also allow a degree of flexibility and for you to either spend time relaxing at the lodges or taking the optional activities.

Join the weekly departure from Windhoek as we travel through the Kalahari Desert and take a photo at the famous red dunes of Sossusvlei.

The tour finishes at Etosha National Park, where the watering holes make it a wonderful place to view the wildlife. Covering over 12,400 square miles, and the habitat for 114 species of animals and 340 species of birds, Etosha National Park has its focal point as a vast salt pan.

However, it is the water holes which make it’s such a wonderful place to view wildlife: thousands of animals come to drink here and sightings of many of the game species can be virtually guaranteed. The broad grasslands which provide endless grazing for the wildlife are a dramatic contrast to the aridity of elsewhere. Elephants grow to unusually large proportions on the nutrient rich trees, giraffes, lions and even leopards are relatively often seen and this is one of the best places on earth to view the endangered black rhino.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Moderate

Tour style

Traveller

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive in Windhoek and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure with no guided activities. Overnight at Olive Grove or similar

(Approximate driving time: three hours)

Today we head for Mariental, a flourishing market town in the heart of Southern Namibia, administrative capital of the Hardap Region. Named by local Rhenish (German Lutheran) missionaries after Maria the wife of the area’s first colonial settler, Herman Brandt, Mariental was founded in 1912 as a railway stop between Windhoek and Keetmanshoop. Our lodge is a relaxed and down-to-earth stopover which offers a taste of the Kalahari, the desert that occupies vast tracts of eastern Namibia, southern Botswana and northern South Africa. In the late afternoon we take a sundowner drive through surrounding arid and semi–arid areas, brown sands and red dunes. Overnight at Kalahari Anib Lodge or similar. (BD)

After a leisurely breakfast we depart on a scenic drive through an area just north of Sossusvlei, overlooking striking fossilised dunes.  The journey features an unfolding dramatic landscape with many opportunities for photo stops. After arrival the afternoon is free, or there’s time for one of the lodge’s optional activities, such as an afternoon dune drive. Overnight at Namib Desert Lodge or similar. (BD)

Sossusvlei is the oldest desert on earth, home to some of the strangest flora and fauna on the continent. Today there’s an early start as we plan on driving to some of the highest sand dunes in the world to catch the sun as it rises over a sea of red dunes, some up to 300m high. The first rays of the sun light up the dunes with a deep orange glow – a photographer’s ‘golden hour’. It is a wild, beautiful and romantic spot, with sparse vegetation skirting the few water courses flowing in from the Tsauchab River. Here springbok and ostrich are often seen. Later, we explore the narrow, cool passageways of the Sesriem Canyon on foot. The canyon is small but very picturesque – many plants grow in the shade and shelter it offers, and its permanent water attracts several species of birds and animals. Sesriem means ‘six thongs’, referring to the six lengths of rawhide rope needed by early settlers to haul up a bucket of water. In the afternoon there’s time to relax before a sundowner dune drive in the Namib Desert. Overnight Namib Desert Lodge or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: four hours)

Travelling via Solitaire the Kuiseb Canyon, we pass awe-inspiring landscapes as we cross the Namib gravel flats towards the Atlantic Coast and Walvis Bay. Continuing the short journey to Swakopmund, we’re surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Culturally and architecturally, Swakopmund is strongly influenced by its German colonial legacy, examples of Germanic architecture characterising the town. On arrival we will have short orientation tour and afterwards explore on foot, perhaps visiting the Swakopmund Museum, the National Marine Aquarium or the Crystal Gallery. Overnight Delight Swakopmund or similar. (B)

Today is free to relax or explore the town independently. Alternatively, Swakopmund has myriad adventure activities, including skydiving or dune surfing… Other options include the Living Dunes experience, learning about the flora and fauna of the desert, scenic flights over the Namib and the Skeleton Coast, or a catamaran voyage in search of marine wildlife. Please contact us for further optional excursions. Overnight at Delight Swakopmund or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four hours)

Today we aim to reach the rugged beauty of Damaraland. We stop en route to view prehistoric rock engravings at Twyfelfontein’s UNESCO World Heritage Site for the largest known concentration of Stone Age petroglyphs in Namibia – approximately 2,500. Nearby, we also visit a curious geological structure of perpendicular slabs of basalt known as the ‘Organ Pipes’. The town of Khorixas lies at the centre of Damaraland’s rough terrain and was the region’s capital prior to Namibia’s independence. Most inhabitants here are from the Damara ethnic group. The town is close to a remarkable accumulation of enormous fossilized tree trunks, over 280 million years old, known as The Petrified Forest and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Overnight at Damara Mopane Lodge or similar. (BD)

Today there’s time to relax an enjoy the lodge’s tranquil surroundings amid Damaraland’s vast and hauntingly beautiful desert landscape. For those preferring to keep active, the lodge offers several self-guided walking trails, from one to three hours, and a hike to a nearby lookout ideally sited for spectacular desert sunsets. Overnight Damara Mopane Lodge or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

Today we leave early for Etosha National Park, an immense, saline desert, covering over 32,000 square kilometres that provides a habitat for 114 species of animals and 340 species of birds. Etosha has been described as the best game reserve on the African continent. We arrive in time for an afternoon game drive and stay in the park until sunset. We spend some time observing animals visiting Okaukuejo waterhole, hoping to see elephant, rhino and hopefully lion. Overnight at Etosha Safari Camp or similar. (BD)

Today we explore the park’s numerous waterholes and underground springs, each of which attracts large herds of animals, including springbok, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe. The park’s landscape varies from dense bush and wildlife-filed plains. However, at its heart is Etosha Pan, a silent grey-white salt pan almost 130km by 50km. Geologists believe the pan was formed some 12 million years ago from an immense inland lake about the size of Holland. Shrunk to its present size it’s a gigantic depression – flat, saline and silvery, a mysterious place of mirages and dust-laden images. Overnight at Etosha Safari Camp or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: five hours)

We depart after breakfast for the journey back to Windhoek, arriving mid-afternoon. On the way we stop at Okahandja Woodcarvers market, a great place for souvenirs, before heading to the airport and onward flights. Please contact us for extensions in Namibia or South Africa. (B)

Please note:  if you are leaving Namibia today do not book flights departing prior to 4pm.

Dates & Price.

This tour is based on arrival in Windhoek on a Sunday and operates like this until 31 October 2020. Please contact us for availability.

Prices

Prices for this tour are from £2195 per person based on twin/double share in low season.

Tour Notes

From £185 per person.

Return flights from London to Windhoek start at £650 in low season. Contact us for a quotation.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Namibia - Desert Dreams Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Transport throughout the tour
  • Services of English-speaking tour leader/guide
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary: Sossusvlei Excursion & Park Fees; Afternoon Dune Drive @ Gondwana Namib Park; Twyfelfontein & Burnt Mountain Excursion; Game Dives in Etosha as per itinerary
  • Tour Guide & Vehicle & Fuel
  • Water on vehicle

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Tips (discretionary)

Namibia was a great success. The wildlife was so much better than we were expecting and the guys there really know their stuff!

I. Hatter, UK