our clients return from Namibia awestruck by its dramatic landscapes, DESERT-ADAPTED wildlife and the sense of freedom that comes from exploring one of the world's least densely populated countries.
Namibia contains some of Africa’s largest private reserves and top conservation experiences, all of which co-exist in the territories of the native, remote tribes. A Namibia flying safari or safari holiday can combine the giant red sand dunes of Sossusvlei, coastal life in quirky Swakopmund, remote camps in Damaraland, and a wildlife-packed safari in Etosha National Park. For those of you itching for adventure, a Namibia self-drive holiday
will not disappoint, and the well-maintained and signposted roads allow even the most amateur road trippers to enjoy the open roads, big skies and contrasting scenery of this lesser-travelled country. Our favourite bush camps and safari lodges harmoniously merge luxury and under-stated elegance with the remote wilderness of Namibia’s stark landscapes, offering guests supreme comfort without removing the sense of adventure.
TO S&A DO LIST
Consider travelling with one of our guides for all or part of your journey – in Namibia, it's not just the obvious attractions of Sossusvlei and Etosha, but rather the stories, the people, the fascinating culture, the geology, the unique stories behind the weird plant life, that makes this destination come alive
If there is one flight you want to do in Namibia it’s the scenic flight from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund or vice versa (it’s also available as a 1½ hour scenic circuit from Swakopmund) which gives you everything you expect of the Skeleton Coast – shipwrecks, endless dune fields, dunes reaching the beach, seal colonies, even an abandoned diamond camp
Sleep under the stars, be it at Tok Tokkie, Little Kulala, or Huab Under Canvas’ Stellar Escapes. Fall in love with the night skies again and rediscover the Milky Way
Sleeping under the stars in Namibia is a must, and Little Kulala have created the optimum stargazing experience with their private rooftop sleeping platforms whilst nearby Sossusvlei Desert Lodge have their own observatory and a professional astronomer who is always on site. Both lodges offer incredible views across the red, arid landscape towards the majestic mountains beyond and guests here can explore the reserve on quadbikes, take on beautiful hiking trails through the dramatic landscape or watch the sunrise over the giant red sand dunes of Sossusvlei from a hot air balloon. There are also a range of more affordable options in the Sossusvlei region and one of the few that offers air conditioned units and an excellent Sossusvlei excursion with their guide is Hoodia Desert Lodge, a pleasant lodge is set in a broad and peaceful desert valley around 20km west of the park gate at Sesriem. Further south, very remotely situated on the gravel plains of the Namib amongst the remarkable desert landscapes of the impressive Namibrand private reserve, guests at Wolwedans Boulders Camp are treated to a luxury canvas tented experience in one of Africa’s wildest places. Activities are centred on gentle nature drives through the stunning scenery.
With a population of 2 million in a country the size of the UK and France combined, there is no better place than Namibia to escape for unpolluted skies, dramatic scenery and vast remoteness; the kind that gives you goosebumps when it finally sinks in how far you are from civilisation. The remote Hoanib Camp is a two hour' flight from Windhoek and flying in a light aircraft at 10,000 feet affords incredible views of the changing scenery - mountains, streatic rock formations and dry ephermal rivers. Striking in both location and style, Hoanib Camp's eight luxury suites look over a busy waterhole, which attracts plenty of elephants. Nature drives, walks and scenic flights to the Skeleton Coast are the main activities on offer here - we would also highly recommend a visit to their recently completed Research Centre, where you can learn more about resident researcher, Flip Stander's desert lion conservation. Further north, close to the Angolan border, lies one of the most remote lodges in the country, and probably the world, Serra Cafema Camp. Set in an area of mind-blowing desert and river landscapes, with subtle but interesting wildlife and fascinating Himba tribes-people, the camp's eight private suites are raised on wooden decks amongst the sparkling sand of the desert and lush vegetation of the Kunene River with breathtaking views over the Angolan Mountains. Finally, Swakopmund may not be its official capital, but it's Namibia's adventure and extreme sports capital and a convenient gateway and ideal stopover for trips heading south into the Namib Desert, or northwards along the Skeleton Coast into Damaraland and on to Etosha Park. Adventure activities here include scenic flights, sandboarding, quad biking but our top picks would be the kayaking, the catamaran boat cruise, and Tommy’s Living Desert Tours. A good central base here is The Strand Hotel, located on the beach promenade next to a variety of excellent restaurants, including its own microbrewery.
A close second to the Skeleton Coast in terms of unique topography and wildlife experiences is the flat-topped mountain, dry riverbed and rocky plained scenery of Namibia's Damaraland, a region which is well-known for its large population of desert rhinos and desert elephants. One of our all-time favourite camps, Desert Rhino Camp offers a rare opportunity to track the highly endangered black rhino with an on-site research team from the Save The Rhino trust. Few wildlife sightings can compare on an adrenaline level with coming up close to a black rhino on foot. The camp itself is full of personality thanks to the close-knit staff who love nothing more than to sing and dance in to the small hours of the night! Mowani Mountain Camp is a stunning lodge built in to the huge boulders – the mountain suite in particular is knock-out – whilst Damaraland Camp oozes personality and warmth, which comes from the tight-knit family of fun-loving staff from the local Torra Conservancy, a model of how community-based tourism can, and does, work. Aside from the people and community aspect, the pristine wilderness is an outdoor playground with various hiking trails in the neighbouring rocky outcrops, ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site and guided game drives in search of the desert-adapted species; elephant, rhino, brown hyena, cheetah, giraffe and oryx, amongst others. Bordering the game-rich Etosha National Park, Little Ongava is a small and intimate camp with just three suites, the perfect base for a more conventional safari with the potential to see both black and white rhino on the Ongava Private Reserve. And finally, Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation, is the perfect place to start or finish a safari holiday in Namibia. Here you can experience one of the best cheetah rehabilitation projects in the world, tracking cheetah on foot and doing game drives to locate the reserve’s elusive leopards, which have been radio collared.
Those looking to connect with the earth, culture and wildlife in a very up-close and personal way can now head to some of the most wild and remote places in Namibia for a true “back to nature” experience. Because the reserve is private, the number of vehicles and guests is extremely low, so you really can feel a deep sense of peace in this wonderful place. Here Wolwedans Private Camp is a cosy two room camp for the exclusive use of a single group of guests, who also benefit from having a private guide and vehicle. Activities are centred on gentle nature drives through the stunning scenery, plus fabulous opportunities for ballooning, horse-riding and scenic flights. Further north in the Huab Conservancy in Damaraland, Huab Under Canvas is located in a core desert adapted black rhino area, nestled in a grove of Mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the Huab River. With provision for up to eight tents, this camp is also booked on an exclusive basis. Protected from all the prevailing winds and sun, the semi-mobile camp is virtually invisible from anywhere around and it carries arguably the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia. Tents are raised on mobile platforms and have basic infrastructure that allows for important comforts such as en suite flush toilets, but the essence of the camp remains Under Canvas, mobile and experiential. Activities include tracking desert adapted rhino which is completely private and done in an area that has the highest tracking success rate in north western Namibia; exploring the upper and less crowded Huab River in search of desert adapted elephants; nature walks and scenic game drives; as well as the possibility of visiting some nearby prehistoric rock engravings.
There are few capital cities where you can land at the international airport to be greeted by 360 degrees of nature reserve and farmland, and not a skyscraper (or even a house) in sight. First impressions of Windhoek are; impeccably clean, organised and hilly. Sally and Alice Travel Co., and our clients, particularly enjoy the intimate and owner-run Olive Exclusive boutique guesthouse. For a real treat book one of their spacious, individually-themed Premier Suites, each comes with a private plunge pool. For those who prefer to take in the city views from a 'turreted' vantage point, the family-owned and run Hotel Heinitzburg, originally a 19th century castle, is now a 16-bedroomed luxury hotel. Aside from the views, service and attention to detail, the real wow factor here comes from their fine dining restaurant and sundowner terrace.
LOOKING TO EXTEND YOUR TRIP?
Combine the dramatic scenery and wilderness in Namibia with the prolific wildlife and luscious floodplains of northern Botswana, or head for some beach chill-out time in Mozambique...