This luxury Namibia itinerary features all the highlights of this starkly beautiful land, from the wildlife filled Etosha National Park to the dunes of the Skeleton Coast and beyond. Your journey starts on the outskirts of Windhoek, at Omaanda, a luxurious lodge in a private conservancy with over a dozen rhino and an active waterhole which you can enjoy on your very first day. This experience sets the theme for the following three nights at two of the best locations on either side of Etosha National Park, Onguma followed by Ongava. Both lodges are in private concessions allowing off-roading, night drives, with the option of spending days in and around the salt pans of the neighboring National Park. From Etosha you'll continue on to Onduli in Damaraland, an entirely different landscape where you can track desert adapted rhino and elephant on electric bikes no less (or in a vehicle for those more traditionally minded). The fantastic rock art is not to be missed in this region either. The only way you'll want to leave is by the promise of something as extraordinary as Hoanib Valley and the Skeleton Coast, your next two destinations. The drive between these camps is so spectacular, we've offered a road transfer here, so you don't miss out. The Hoanib Valley is not only rich with wildlife and spectacular desert scenery, but also home to the Himba people, and a visit with them is part of your itinerary. Desert scenery is always changing, and the drive to the Skeleton Coast is a treat, ending at the Shipwreck Lodge you will be pinching yourself to make sure it's not a mirage. The ocean is great for swimming on a hot day and perfect to lull you to sleep on a chilly night. Here you can let your inner child loose and play in the dunes on sand-boards or ride dune buggies. From Shipwreck Lodge you'll fly over yet more spectacular scenery, shipwrecks and whale bones, to reach Namibia's signature red desert dunes at Sossusvlei. AndBeyond's Desert Lodge is home for your final 3 nights, where you can enjoy some of the best star shows on the planet, the highest dunes, a surprisingly large amount of desert adapted wildlife, and yet more spectacular scenery.
Situated just 30 minutes east of Namibia’s Windhoek International Airport, Zannier Reserve stretches for 900 square kilometres. It is known for its scenic savanna-covered landscapes inhabited by a vast variety of wildlife. Commonly spotted species include: leopard, giraffe, warthog, antelope, ostrich and jackal. It is also home to the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary which provides a refuge for injured or abandoned rhinos and elephants. Visitors can look forward to spotting an array of wildlife, soaking up the beautiful views, and enjoying a guided safari to track the animals.
Omaanda, meaning rhinoceros in Oshiwambo, is a five-star lodge set within the Zannier Reserve by N/a’an ku sê, an incredible private animal conservation reserve of 9,000 hectares in the countryside surrounding Windhoek. Overlooking the boundless savannah, the lodge offers 10 comfortable round thatched huts, paying tribute to the traditional architecture of Ovambo. It also features a restaurant and a cozy bar, overlooking a heated infinity pool. A spa and a boma complete the lodge facilities, offering a typically local place to meet and mingle by the fire.
Situated east of Etosha, bordering Fisher’s Pan, Onguma Game Reserve is one of Namibia’s best-kept secrets. The reserve offers visitors the opportunity to experience Africa in all her beauty and diversity. Onguma Game Reserve features over 34,000 hectares of protected land scattered with a variety of wildlife including plains game, black rhino, kudu, giraffe, zebra, lion, cheetah, leopard and more than 300 bird species. The seasonal rains attract thousands of migrating birds to the Fisher’s Pan wetland area. The neighboring Etosha National Park is home to a rich array of wildlife, including four of the Big 5. Visitors can enjoy game drives, guided walks and rhino research drives within the private reserve as well as wildlife safaris into Etosha National Park to view abundant game in the largest national park in Namibia.
In the local Herero language, Onguma means, “the place you don’t want to leave.” With a stunning main building and seven tents providing private, exclusive accommodation, Onguma Tented Camp, certainly lives up to its name. Like the bush where soft air blows against sharp thorns, Onguma Tented Camp is a study in contrasts. Textures such as stone, suede, linen and steel create a setting that is sleek and modern but also inherently of the earth. Inspired by a photograph of an Oryx on Etosha’s Fisher’s Pan, the interior echoes the colors of its natural surrounds. Grey, charcoal, black, white, and creams, together with a touch of muted or unexpectedly bright green, adds sophistication and earthiness to the atmosphere of this seven tent camp.
Sharing the southern boundary with Etosha National Park, the prolific 30,000-hectare private Ongava Game Reserve is considered one of the top private game reserves in the region, enjoying global recognition for exceptional conservation, groundbreaking research and exciting safari experiences. The landscape is characterized by vast open plains dotted with salt plans and abundant wildlife. Visitors can easily access Etosha through Andersson’s Gate in the south.
Ongava Tented Camp is a classic safari style camp tucked in a hidden valley at the foot of a dolomite hill in Ongava Game Reserve bordering Etosha National Park. Eight large comfortable Meru-style tents all have en-suite facilities, open air showers and private verandas; the family unit sleeps four. The main area, built of stone, canvas and thatch, fronts onto a much-frequented waterhole; watching wildlife coming to drink from here or from the swimming pool is a favorite pastime. Ongava’s proximity to Etosha allows for game drives in the Etosha National Park and on the Ongava Reserve itself. Other possibilities include guided walks, birding and visiting hides. Ongava holds one of the largest rhino custodianships for the Namibian government in the country and is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where guests can see both black and white rhino.
Set in the Kunene Region of northwestern Namibia, Twylfelfontein is a spectacularly scenic area, featuring one of the largest and most important concentrations of rock art in Africa. The name ‘Twyfelfontein’ translates to ‘Fountain of Doubt’, which refers to the perennial spring situated in the impressive Huab Valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain. It was this spring that attracted Stone Age hunters over six thousand years ago, and it was during this time that the extensive group of rock engravings and paintings were produced. Visitors can look forward to basing themselves at some wonderfully shady campsites along the Aba-Huab riverbed, while exploring over thirty different sites of these sacred records of ritual practices relating to traditional hunter-gatherer communities.
Onduli Ridge, 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 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.
Straddling the Angola/Namibia border, the Kaokoveld is a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region that takes in the harsh beauty of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and the copper sands of the northern Namib Desert. The area is inhabited by three main ethnic groups – the Damara, Herero and Himba people – each with their own unique customs, traditions and rituals. The coastal Kaokoveld Desert stretches over 45,000 square kilometers and is home to the renowned prehistoric welwitschia plant. A diverse variety of wildlife can be found in the desert including: giraffes, desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, a variety of endemic reptiles and many different bird species.
Located in one of the most beautiful areas of Namibia, the camp and its surrounds are truly breathtaking with many visitors feeling time spent here is a life affirming experience. The north western area, Kaokoland, is identified by its vast open desert wilderness, towering dunes and swathes of rocky mountains. Tucked into the backdrop are six guest tents exuding a modern safari style that reflects their surrounds in the furnishing and design.
Your days are spent exploring this spectacular area, understanding its unique geology, wildlife and culture. Home to one of the last great nomadic tribes, the iconic Himba, as well as the identifiable Herero, there is plenty of opportunity for cultural interaction. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation, with whom this is a joint venture, add a wealth of specialist knowledge to your morning and afternoon drives, searching for the desert-adapted elephant, giraffe, lion, black rhino and mountain zebra. Alternatively, there are few better places to spend restful time contemplating the beauty around you than from the privacy of your veranda before enjoying exceptional hosting and dining.
Stretching from the Swakop River to southern Angola, the Skeleton Coast is known as the ‘Land God Made in Anger’ and is remoteness at its best. Thousands of miles of sandy desert dotted with shipwrecks meet with the cold waters of the Atlantic and somehow an amazing array of wildlife and flora manages to survive in this harsh but beautiful environment. Ocean fog creeps over the shoreline caused by the warm dry air of the Namib Desert colliding with the cold Benguela current. This otherworldly area is home to a diversity of wildlife including seabird colonies, Cape fur seals, zebra, gemsbok, desert-adapted elephant, lion and much more. Surfing enthusiasts are drawn to these powerful waves and photographers flock from around the globe to snap a shot of this eerie shipwreck graveyard and for the unrivalled maritime photographic opportunities. This coast is desolate but breathtakingly beautiful.
The lodge is located in the famous Skeleton Coast Central Concession between the Hoarusib and Hoanib Rivers in the Skeleton Coast Park, only 45 km north of Möwe Bay. The lodge is situated on the southern bank of the Huarusib River Mouth, nestled between the dunes with a view of the Atlantic Ocean where the cold Benguela current pushes a refreshing breeze over the shipwreck shaped cabins. The size of the concession area is approximately 146,600 hectares situated in Northwestern Namibia.
Spanning an area of 172,200 hectares and encompassing four distinct ecosystems, the Namib Rand Reserve is among the largest privately owned game parks in Southern Africa. Founded to conserve the unique environment and wildlife species of the south-western Namib Desert, the park’s mix of dunes, mountains, rocky outcrops, sandy flats and gravel plains provides habitats for a diversity of mammals – including hyenas, jackals, foxes, antelopes and various wild cats – as well as a plethora of bird species, reptiles, insects, frogs and flora. Visitors can discover the mysterious ‘fairy circles’, which dot the landscape and sip on sundowners while watching the sunset over this unspoilt ancient landscape. Having been named Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, it is one of the least light-polluted areas in the world, so don’t miss this excellent star gazing opportunity.
Cradled against the ancient mountains, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is renowned for its luxurious accommodation overlooking the starkly beautiful Namib Desert. Designed to capture the splendor and solitude of the desert, just ten stone and glass suites spread out along the curve of the escarpment, allowing absolute privacy. Each air conditioned suite is furnished to complement the majestic hues of the desert and features a private veranda, split-level bedroom and living room with fireplace, ensuite glass-encased bathroom and outdoor shower. The suites are equipped with a star-viewing skylight, discrete music system and custom-stocked personal bar. The guest area, where walls have become windows that fold away completely, boasts unimpeded desert vistas. The split-level lodge boasts a fire-lit bar, comfortable sitting room, wraparound veranda and Safari Shop. A fine selection of wines from an impressive walk-in wine cellar complements the delicious meals. Guests can escape the desert heat with a revitalizing midday dip in the pool, fed by water from an underground spring. At sunset, animals are drawn to a nearby waterhole, enhancing desert sundowner drinks. A state-of-the-art observatory and resident astronomer provide insight into the magnificent constellations of Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve.
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