Namibia
Namibia Encompassed Tour

Namibia – Namibia Encompassed Tour – a 14 day Small Group Tour from £3695 per person.


Join Undiscovered Destinations on this tour that is perfect for first time visitors to Namibia, taking in many of the country’s highlights.

You will be staying at comfortable lodges and hotels and will experience the dramatic scenery and varied wildlife as we explore the Kalahari Desert, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland and the world famous Etosha National Park.

On this tour we may get to meet the Damara people. Forty five miles inland from the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland is a dramatic and mountainous setting which is home to an impressive array of key species: the largest elephants in Africa, lions, rhino and zebra have all adapted to the driest of dry landscapes. The dominant peak here is the delightful Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, which boasts countless ancient rock paintings.

The region has only recently taken up its name, linked as it is to the ancient and ethnically unique Damara people, who were forcibly relocated here in 1960 by the South African government. A traditionally pastoral and hunter-gatherer people, their way of life was seriously damaged by this move to poor quality soils and many of the tribe moved in time to the Windhoek region. However, much of their cultural integrity remains intact and traditional hide clothing; green, white and blue dress and rituals such as elaborate hunting performances required for a boy to come of age are still prized.

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 Safari Court Hotel or similar. No meals are included today.

(Approximate driving time: 2 hours 45 minutes)

This morning you will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 9:00 and 9:30. We start our journey south on the main highway, traveling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where you bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari. The Kalahari Desert often surprises people when they first see it. It is very different from the Namib. First of all, remember that the Kalahari is not a desert. It receives more rain than a true desert should. The Kalahari is a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here. The Kalahari’s dunes are very different. They are often equally beautiful, but usually greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes its ability to support more flora and fauna than a true desert. Overnight at Kalahari Anib Lodge or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 4.5 hours)

An early morning departure to the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site. We travel via the town of Keetmanshoop for overnight on the Fish River area. Here you have the opportunity of seeing the Quivertree. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dictomously”. These weird looking plants dot the landscape in this part of the world and are locally common, however they are one of the world’s rarest flora species. Overnight at Canyon Roadhouse or similar (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 3.5 hours)

Depart the lodge early today at around 8am so we can get to the lookout point early over the Fish River Canyon lookout point for utterly jaw dropping panoramic views, before later travelling to the port town of Lüderitz. We will stop en route in the Aus Mountains for lunch (not included) and we may have a chance to see the wild horses which inhabit this area. Continue the scenic to Lüderitz where we hope to arrival around mid-afternoon and on arrival, we will take a short orientation of tour the town. Overnight Lüderitz Nest Hotel or similar (BL)

Today there is time to join an optional extra excursion – a marine trip. Take a cruise around Luderitz bay and, weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. Time at leisure to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz. Straight after the marine trip we drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 20 km out of Luderitz.  It was built in the 1920’s during the diamond rush and was abandoned when bigger and better diamonds were found further along the coast. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word “ghost”. Overnight Lüderitz Nest Hotel or similar (B)

Note: The optional boat cruise is subject to availability and, if undertaken, is at your own risk and expenses.

(Approximate driving time: 6 hours)

Turning north, we once again head deep into the ancient southern Namib, travelling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way.  The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding.  The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced and we pass time rounded “koppies” arid terrain and outcrops of tortured rock. Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change and we cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before the terrain begins to give way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib.  We aim to arrive at our lodge during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east. We sleep tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch-Plateau region). The road takes us through the “forbidden Zone” so named because in years gone by, the alluvial diamonds found in Namibia were simply scattered across the desert and we again have time to enjoy sunset over the mountains. Overnight at Sossusvlei Lodge or similar (BLD)

A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes, we head into the heart of the dune field, reaching Sossusvlei on foot, trekking the last 5 km through the dunes.  Landscape photo opportunities abound in the cool of the morning, with dawn’s soft light first illuminating the dunes from crest down the back slope, then blazing orange everywhere, creating a powerful contrasting vista across the whole desert.  We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, also visiting dune 45.  Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib.  The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographer’s heaven. As the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch, escaping the heat of the afternoon.  As the day cools off in the late afternoon, we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.  Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon. Return to the lodge for the overnight. Overnight at Sossusvlei Lodge or similar (BLD)

(Approximate driving: 5-6 hours)

Drive to the Solitaire, where you will be transferred to Swakopmund. Afternoon arriving at the coastal town of Swakopmund. Unwind and refresh at the end of the day in the warm and uplifting atmosphere of the Delight hotel, before savouring some of Swakopmund’s fine cuisine. Overnight The Delight Hotel or similar (B)

Today is a day at leisure for you to relax or explore the town independently which can be done on foot. Alternatively, an optional marine cruise can be arranged and paid for locally on the Walvis Bay Lagoon where sightings of dolphins, seals and many species of sea bird are common. There are many other optional (not included) activities that can be done from Swakopmund including a Skeleton Coast scenic flight. Overnight The Delight Hotel or similar (B)

Note – Your guide will be available today as well to escort you to any optional activities.

(Approximate driving time: 4 hours)

Today our journey continues to the ruggedly beautiful Damaraland. We will stop to view the prehistoric rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, which boasts the largest known concentration of Stone Age petro-glyphs in Namibia with approximately 2,500 engravings. Also, in the area is the geological curiosity of the perpendicular slabs of basalt known as the “Organ Pipes”. Located in the southern Kunene Region, in the centre of Damaraland’s rough terrain, Khorixas was previously the capital of Damaraland prior to Namibia’s independence. Most of the inhabitants are from the Damara ethnic group. The town is located close to an accumulation of enormous fossilized tree trunks, about 280 million years old called The Petrified Forest, as well as Twyfelfontein, the site of approximately 2000 rock carvings which were, in 2007, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at Damara Mopane Lodge or similar (BD)

Today is a day at leisure to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of Damaraland, this vast desert landscape is known as one of the most beautiful regions in Namibia. Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful, Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape featuring open plains, ancient valleys and spectacular rock formations. Optional excursions can be arranged locally with the lodge – please contact us prior to the departure for details. Overnight at Damara Mopane Lodge or similar (BD)

(Approximate driving time: 5 hours)

We depart early at 8am for our journey to Etosha National Park, an immense, saline desert, covering over 12,400 square miles, and the habitat for 114 species of animals and 340 species of birds. It has been described as the best game reserve on the African continent. We will arrive in time for an afternoon game drive in the park in our tour vehicle and stay in the park until around sunset. In the park we hope to see elephant, rhino and hopefully lion. The terrain ranges from dense bush to large open plains where animals roam freely. This afternoon in our transport we drive along the network of gravel roads that crisscross the Park, visiting the various viewpoints and the permanent waterholes around which animals congregate. There is something enigmatic in the vast silent grey-white pan that covers the reserve. Overnight at Etosha Safari Camp or similar (BD)

A full day exploring Etosha National Park at leisure, visiting the many waterholes throughout the park. After experiencing the incredible and renowned wildlife sightings Etosha has to offer, return home to the easy-going warmth and friendliness of your camp for the night. Overnight at Etosha Safari Camp or similar (BD)

(Approximate driving time: 5 hours)

After breakfast we depart around 8am travel back to Windhoek, arriving mid-afternoon. A picnic lunch will be provided. On the way we will make a short stop to visit the Okahandja Woodcarvers market for souvenirs. Upon arrival in Windhoek, transfer to the airport for departure. Please do not book flights departing before 17:00 today. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Single Supplement from £345.

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 - Namibia Encompassed 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

Tour exclusions.

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

PJ was an exceptional guide. We were very impressed by his enthusiasm and energy plus his knowledge of the country, flora and fauna was incredible. We all felt sure that without him we wouldn’t have seen some of the wild life in the Entosha National Park as some of the animals were hard to find with the migration season underway. I have some superb photographs of animal behaviour that I knew nothing about before I came away.

I was very impressed by the standard of the accommodation and food provided. Without exception, the lodges and hotels were clean and modern and the service friendly and efficient. Disappointed not to find oryx/zebra steak, springbok casserole, gnu sausage and other culinary delights waiting for me to consume when I got home. What a come down!

 

Mrs R. Rennie, U.K.