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Scheduled safari

Namibia under Canvas

"A real back to nature safari through the best parts of Namibia"

Price $4000 USD
Country
Namibia
Duration
9 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge and Canvas
Kids Min Age
16

Namibia is a vast country, even by African standards, covering an area approximately twice the size of California and four times the size of the United Kingdom, but with a population of a mere 2 million. This gives one of the lowest population densities in the world. It is also an ‘ageless land’; visible through our heritage of rock art created by stone-age artists and geological attractions such as the petrified forest where fossilised tree trunks have lain for over 280 million years. When added to the space and silence, these factors all contribute to a feeling of antiquity, solitude and wilderness.

The climate is typical of a semi-desert country. Days are warm to hot and nights are generally cool. Temperatures are modified by the high plateau in the interior and by the cold Benguela Current that runs along the Atlantic coastline. Except for the first few months of the year, the country is generally dry with very little rain.

This Namibia Under Canvas Safari affords you the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country 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 our guides are critical to a successful safari which is why we ensure that they are both personable and very professional. Your guide will have an intimate knowledge of each area and camp/lodge that you visit, allowing them to share the local insights and highlights whilst adding continuity and depth to your safari. It goes without saying that they all know exactly what a “True African Safari” is all about. Not only are our guides highly qualified, each has a specific area of expertise. Together they possess the breadth and depth of knowledge to allow them to answer questions and satisfy the interests of each of our guests. The presence and company of your guide will turn your safari into an experience of a lifetime!

The Under Canvas 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!

Since most of the camps are semi-permanent and seasonal, there is a degree of compromise required concerning some of the frills and other ‘add-ons’ that you might expect in a permanent tented camp or lodge, but there is still a strong focus on ensuring guests’ comfort. Those prepared to forego some conventional ‘necessities’, so that they are unencumbered by buildings and all the paraphernalia that goes with them, will be able to go to sleep hearing only the noisy silence of the desert and to wake up to a chorus that announces the start of a new day. It is the kind of intimacy that can only be achieved by taking guests to the most wild, remote and private places, and giving them access to exclusive areas away from the beaten path.

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

highlights

  • Travel with one of Namibia’s most reputable and well-known naturalist guides.
  • Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation and learn more about conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats.
  • Sleep under canvas in the tree tops overlooking one of the most productive waterholes on the Onguma Private Game Reserve.
  • Memorable and exciting guided game drives within the renowned Etosha National Park, from the vantage point of a specially modified, air conditioned 4×4 with pop tops.
  • Explore the Damaraland region whilst staying at the exclusive-use //Huab Under Canvas.
  • Search for desert adapted elephant in ephemeral river systems.
  • Track for the endangered black rhino in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust.
  • Visit and explore Namibia’s central coastal region with canyons, dunes and lagoons.
  • Explore the private Namib Tsaris Conservancy on exploratory nature drives and guided walks whilst staying in the exclusive-use Camp Sossus.
  • Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes at Sossusvlei and enjoy a magic box picnic in the Namib Naukluft Park afterwards.
  • Enjoy spectacular star gazing of the Milky Way on the Namib Tsaris Conservancy.
  • Enjoy refreshing moments in desert pools on the Namib Tsaris Conservancy.

map and overview

start dates

2 April 2020 - 11 April 2020
7 May 2020 - 16 May 2020
28 May 2020 - 6 June 2020
16 July 2020 - 25 July 2020
20 August 2020 - 29 August 2020
24 September 2020 - 2 October 2020
1 October 2020 - 10 October 2020
8 October 2020 - 17 October 2020
22 October 2020 - 31 October 2020

detailed itinerary

Day 1: Windhoek to Eastern Etosha National Park via Okonjima

This morning Ultimate Safaris will collect you from your various accommodation establishments or from the Windhoek International Airport (assuming you land before 07h00). You then depart Windhoek in your safari vehicle with your private guide and set off on your journey.

On your way to Onguma Tree Tops you will visit the Okonjima’s AfriCat Day Centre, a wonderful highlight with which to start your safari. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary which focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa’s big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. You will arrive in time to embark on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the centre. Here you will learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation and will also get to meet some of the Foundation’s special captive carnivore ambassadors.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no tracking of wild cats on this visit and should that be required a pre-overnight extension should be booked.
After the excursion you will enjoy a light lunch before you journey continues further north via the small towns of Otjiwarango, Otavi and Tsumeb arriving at Onguma in the late afternoon. You will have time to freshen up and relax before dinner and the official safari briefing with your guide.

Overnight: Onguma Tree Top Camp

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Okonjima AfriCat visit (local drinks included)

Day 2: Eastern Etosha National Park

Today is full of exciting game viewing within the eastern section of Etosha National Park, with the option to go on across towards Halali or to concentrate on the areas closer to Namutoni and north to Fischer’s Pan. You also have the option to return to the camp for lunch, or spend the entire day in the park to maximize your game viewing experience.

Etosha National Park: Etosha National Park, translated as the ‘Place of Mirages’, Land of Dry Water’ or the ‘Great White Place’, covers 22 270 km², of which over 5,000 km² is made up of saline depressions or ‘pans’. The largest of these pans, the Etosha Pan, can be classified as a saline desert in its own right. The Etosha Pan lies in the Owambo Basin, on the north-western edge of the Namibian Kalahari Desert. Until three million years ago it formed part of a huge, shallow lake that was reduced to a complex of salt pans when the major river that fed it, the Kunene, changed course and began to flow to the Atlantic instead. If the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world.

Etosha Pan is the largest of the pans at 4 760 km² in extent. It is nowadays filled with water only when sufficient rain falls to the north in Angola, inducing floods to flow southward along the Cuvelai drainage system. The Park consists of grassland, woodland and savannah. Game-viewing centers around the numerous springs and waterholes where several different species can often be seen at one time.

Overnight: Onguma Tree Top Camp

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Etosha Game Drives with Guide (local drinks included)

Day 3: Etosha National Park / Onguma Game Reserve

Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a shared game drive with a local guide 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.

Onguma Game Reserve: Situated on the eastern side of Etosha National Park and bordering Fisher’s Pan, Onguma Game Reserve has more than 20,000 hectare of protected land and wildlife. The nature reserve boasts over thirty different animal species consisting of plains game such as kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, hartebeest, zebra, impala and many more roam freely, as well as predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard, being common residents of the area. Onguma Game Reserve is now proud to be home to a family of black rhinos! More than 300 bird species can also be viewed at Onguma Game Reserve.

Overnight: Onguma Tree Top Camp

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, AM Etosha & PM Onguma Drive (local drinks included)

Day 4: Drive from Eastern Etosha National Park to Damaraland

This morning after breakfast you will continue your safari to the heart of Namibia, Damaraland, traveling through farmlands and the small towns. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present-day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’. You enjoy a delicious Magic Box picnic en route and arrive in time in time to enjoy fireside sundowners at your exclusive //Huab Under Canvas. Please note that today is a long day of travelling, rewarded with another 3 night stay at your next camp.

Huab Under Canvas: Located in a core desert adapted black rhino area in the //Huab Conservancy, Huab Under Canvas is nestled in a grove of Mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the //Huab River in the heart of Damaraland. Protected from all the prevailing winds and sun, the camp is virtually invisible from anywhere around and it carries arguably the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia. Eight guest tents are raised on mobile platforms and have basic infrastructure such as single beds, cupboards, solar power and some important comforts such as en suite flush toilets and bucket showers. The common area includes a dining room, small lounge (with central charging station), fireplace deck and a plunge pool. However, 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; and Stellar Escapes (our version of ‘sleep outs’).
//Huab Conservancy: The //Huab Conservancy is largely sparse semi-arid mountainous savanna, with wooded ephemeral river valleys separating hills and plains and it boasts some of the most magnificent views in Damaraland. As it has a number of natural springs providing water throughout the year for desert-adapted wildlife, the area is home to desert-adapted Elephant, black Rhino and general plains game, including Kudu, Giraffe, Springbok, Oryx, Klipspringer and Steenbok, as well as predators such as Cheetah, Leopard, spotted and brown Hyena.

Overnight: //Huab Under Canvas

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and nature based activities with Guide (local drinks & limited laundry included)

Day 5: 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.

//Huab Under Canvas works together with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) – an NGO that has been 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.
Desert Black Rhinoceros: Namibia is home to the larger of two subspecies of the black rhinoceros found in southern Africa. The only population that remains in the wild, unfenced and outside reserves occupies an arid range in the western Kaokoveld. Their preferred habitat is the mountainous escarpment, but they follow ephemeral rivers into the northern Namib as well, especially when conditions are favorable after rains. They are the only black rhinoceros in Africa that are internationally recognized as a “desert group”. Like desert-adapted elephant, they cover great distances. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day.

To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. One of the few animals to eat fibrous Welwitschia leaves; they even feed heavily on the milkbush (Euphorbia virosa) with its sharp spines and toxic latex, presumably because of the high water and fat content. They are physical defenses of dryland plants without apparent harm. Once widespread in the subcontinent, black rhinoceros are an endangered species. The smaller subspecies, Diceros bicornis minor, does not range into Namibia.

Overnight: //Huab Under Canvas

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and nature based activities with Guide (local drinks & limited laundry included)

Day 6: Damaraland

Today you continue your adventures exploring Damaraland, enjoying the freedom to discover the fascinating landscapes with your private naturalist guide both by vehicle and on foot. Damaraland is a surprising refuge for desert adapted wildlife that may include elephant, giraffe, oryx, springbok and even some predators such as lion. However, as with any wildlife sightings in Namibia, this depends on many factors including seasonality so specific sightings are never guaranteed. The wildlife roams large tracks of unfenced desert landscapes and finding game can be challenging, but this is all part of the adventure of exploring this wild untouched gem of Namibia. Today’s focus will be largely on tracking the elusive desert adapted elephants in the ephemeral river systems, an activity which will mean spending most of the day out. Your guide will take along a delicious picnic lunch and you will return to camp in the late afternoon.

Desert Adapted Elephant: In habitats with sufficient vegetation and water an adult elephant consumes as much as 300 kg of roughage and 230 liters of water every day of its life. Consider what a herd of them would eat and drink in a week or a month or a year. African elephant in a desert? Well, yes! Not only elephant, but other large mammals like black rhinoceros and giraffe as well. Their ranges extend from river catchments in northern Kaokoveld as far south as the northern Namib. Apart from the Kunene River, seven river courses northwards from the Ugab provide them with possible routes across the desert, right to the Skeleton Coast. The biggest are the Hoarusib, the Hoanib, the Huab and the Ugab Rivers. Desert adapted elephant in Kaokoland and the Namib walk further for water and fodder than any other elephant in Africa. The distances between waterholes and feeding grounds can be as great as 68 km. The typical home range of a family herd is larger than 2,000 km², or eight times as big as ranges in central Africa where rainfall is much higher. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day.
To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. Not a separate species or even a subspecies, they are an ecotype unique to Namibia in Africa south of the equator, behaviorally adapted to hyper-arid conditions. Elephant in Mali on the southwestern fringe of the Sahara Desert are the only others known to survive in similar conditions.

Overnight: //Huab Under Canvas

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and nature based activities with Guide (local drinks & limited laundry included)

Day 7: Damaraland to Swakopmund

After an early breakfast and departure the drive today takes you south past Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and west to meet the coast at Henties Bay. You then continue south to the coastal town of Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for the night.

You stay on the eastern outskirts of the town, overlooking the Swakop River valley and desolate desert dune landscapes. Tonight includes dinner at a popular restaurant which specializes in locally harvested fresh seafood as well as other local and international dishes.

Swakopmund: Swakopmund resembles a small, German coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea. It boasts a charming combination of German colonial architecture blended with good hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, craft centres, galleries and cafés. Swakopmund had its beginnings as a landing station in 1892 when the Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site. Settlers followed and attempts to create a harbour town by constructing a concrete Mole and then iron jetty failed. The advent of World War 1 halted developments and the town sank into decline until half a century later when infrastructures improved and an asphalt road opened between Windhoek and Swakopmund. This made reaching the previously isolated town quicker and easier and it prospered once again to become Namibia’s premier resort town. Although the sea is normally cold for swimming there are pleasant beaches and the cooler climate is refreshing after the time spent in the desert.

Overnight: Desert Breeze
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (local drinks included)

Day 8: Swakopmund to Namib Tsaris Conservancy, Sossusvlei

After an early breakfast you depart on a fascinating drive which takes you south-east through awesome and ever-changing desert landscapes via the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons to meet the dunes at the settlement of Solitaire. A picnic lunch will be had en route and you will continue onto the Namib Tsaris Conservancy, where you will spend your final two nights of your safari at the exclusive-use Camp Sossus. Arrival should be in the mid to late afternoon with enough time to acquaint yourself with the camp and enjoy a hot bucket shower before dinner.

NOTE: As an alternative to the drive from Swakopmund to Sossusvlei you may like to take a scenic light aircraft flight over Sossusvlei and along the Diamond Coast (optional extra at additional cost), allowing you a bird’s eye view over the Sandwich Harbour and salt pans, the Namib Sea Sand, abandoned mining camps and two shipwrecks,. Your guide will drive to meet up with you in Sossusvlei later in the day. Please note that if making use of this offer, flights will need to be booked exclusively with Ultimate Safaris for absolute logistical reasons.

Overnight: Camp Sossus
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and nature based activities with Guide (local drinks included)

Day 9: Namib Tsaris Conservancy / Sossusvlei

This morning you will need to rise early for a magical excursion with your guide to Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft National Park, normally setting off before sunrise to enter the park at sunrise and capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves. The Sossusvlei area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and 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 Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree.
You will return to camp for a late 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 and to enjoy a magnificent final safari sundowner.

Overnight: Camp Sossus
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and nature based activities with Guide (local drinks included)

Day 10:

After a leisurely breakfast this morning you will depart from Sossusvlei and return to Windhoek, driving northeast up the Great Escarpment and through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands. A tasty picnic lunch will again be served en route and arrival in Windhoek should be by the mid-afternoon.
Upon your arrival in Windhoek you will be transferred to your accommodation establishment of choice, or out to the Windhoek International Airport (transfer to be booked additionally) if flying out in the evening – departure flights must be no earlier than 18h00 to allow sufficient time for the journey back to Windhoek, or a final night in Windhoek can be arranged at additional cost if required. A final night in Windhoek is highly recommended!

Breakfast & Lunch

price

GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
(MINIMUM 2 / MAXIMUM 7 PAX)

LOW SEASON: (commencing in April, May, June & November 2020)

ZAR/NAD 58,492.00 per person sharing

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
ZAR/NAD 12,272.00 single supplement

HIGH SEASON: commencing in July, September & October 2020

ZAR/NAD 64,107.00 per person sharing

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
ZAR/NAD12,350.00 single supplement

 

INCLUDED:

  • Accommodation as stated above.
  • Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
  • All meals.
  • Services of a registered and experienced naturalist English-speaking safari guide.
  • Entrance fees and excursions as described in above itinerary.
  • Mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
  • Local drinks at meals (this includes water, soft drinks, beers and table wine).
  • Onguma afternoon property drive in open game viewer with camp guide.
  • Welcome pack.

EXCLUDED:

  • International, regional & local flights to Namibia and airport taxes.
  • Return airport transfers from Windhoek International Airport – Windhoek – Windhoek International Airport.
  • Pre and post safari accommodation in Windhoek.
  • Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary such as scenic flights.
  • All premium and imported wines, champagnes and spirits
  • Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost) – //Huab Under Canvas will offer a limited complimentary laundry service to assist with a ‘mid-point laundry’ opportunity.
  • Gratuities.
  • Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).
  • ENTRY VISA FEES.BANK CHARGES (as per bank or 3.5% commission for VISA/MASTER and 4.5% commission for AMEX).

additional information

Note:

You have the option to extend your safari for an additional night or two at Okonjima, staying at their delightful Luxury Bush Camp before the main safari begins. This affords you the opportunity to get a more in-depth insight into the work being done by the AfriCat Foundation as well as getting to see more of leopard and other big cats in the wild.
Costs for this extension would be as follows (includes the transfer from Windhoek at 09h00 to Okonjima prior to the start of this safari, your guide meeting you at Okonjima on the official Day 1 of this safari):

1-NIGHT EXTENSION:
ZAR/NAD 12,284.00 per person sharing

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
ZAR/NAD 1,540.00 per person

2-NIGHT EXTENSION:
ZAR/NAD 20,901.00 per person sharing

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
ZAR/ NAD 3,080.00 per person

 

HANDY TIPS:

 Visas/Passports: Please ensure: 1) that you have pre-arranged your entry visa if required; 2) that your passport is valid for at least six months after your scheduled departure date from Namibia; 3) that you have a minimum of 2 consecutive clear pages for visas. If this is not the case, there is a danger of being turned away by the Immigration Service on arrival at the airport – assuming your airline has agreed to bring you and risk a fine in the first place.
 Health: No vaccinations are mandatory but please consult your doctor for medical advice. Parts of Namibia are considered to be malarial so we recommend the use of anti-malarial prophylactics (normally Malarone), especially if visiting during the Namibian summer (December to April) – subject to advice from your own doctor.
 Luggage: Is strictly restricted to 20 kg (including photographic equipment) per person in a soft, hold all type bag. If adding extensions that involve light aircraft transfers the luggage limit may be reduced further to 15 kg in soft bags (please enquire if this may apply to you). If required, any extra luggage can be stored at our base when visitors are away on safari.
 Vehicles: Vehicles used are normally specialized 4×4 safari vehicle, equipped with pop up roofs, air-conditioning and fridges for drinks and snacks.

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