Yoga Safari in Namibia with Shari
"A true back to nature experience in breath-taking landscapes"
"A true back to nature experience in breath-taking landscapes"
Sole Yoga Holidays is beyond excited for their first African Safari & Yoga Adventure in magnificent Namibia, October 8-18, 2021. They had been dreaming of this fascinating country of desert, untouched landscapes, exotic wildlife and nature reserves. Teaming up with safariFRANK to put together an unforgettable 11-day/10-night itinerary covering various locations in this captivating country.
“Imagine a morning yoga practice by the famous sand dunes, seeking desert adapted elephants and dining under the magical stars. We can’t wait to share it all with you!”
This private guided safari and yoga adventure allows us the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country in our own personal way. You will have your very own professional and experienced safari guide who will enhance our enjoyment of this unique country by making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery. The knowledge, experience and attitude of the guides are critical to a successful safari experience and we are so thrilled to have found the perfect team to guide the group for this very special retreat.
One or two times per day we will practice yoga in a variety of amazing locations. Imagine a morning practice under a thatched roof with uninterrupted views of the nature reserve. Or, an afternoon session on a wooden deck overlooking the stunning savanna. This will be the most wonderful and unforgettable yoga experience in nature. Your host, Shari will guide you through a vinyasa flow and meditation as well as restorative sessions as needed. As always, Shari will listen to what the group needs and adjust accordingly for the best yoga experience!
1 Night Galton House
2 Nights Camp Sossus
1 Night The Delight
2 Nights Camp Onduli
2 Nights Etosha Oberland Lodge
1 Night Onguma Etosha Aoba
1 Night GocheGanas
Shari discovered the unlimited and positive effects of a consistent yoga practice over 15 years ago in San Francisco, California. Her journey included numerous disciplines, but it wasn’t until Ashtanga Vinyasa that she found her true yoga passion and was certified in 2010 in Florence, Italy (her other passion!). She now enjoys teaching a vigorous, playful and challenging vinyasa flow and core class accompanied by an equally dynamic playlist. She hopes through her teaching she can inspire others with the grace and love that she has found.
Shari has been leading yoga retreats and holidays with Sole Yoga Holidays for over 5 years in amazing locations from Greece to Israel to Zanzibar to Morocco and all over her adopted and gorgeous country, Italy.
Namibia is a vast country, even by African standards, covering an area approximately four times the size of the United Kingdom but with a population of a mere 2 million – one of the lowest 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. Added to the space and silence, these 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 private guided 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 attitude of our guides are critical to a successful safari which is why we ensure that they are both personable and very professional.
Your guides will have an intimate knowledge of each area and camp / lodge that you visit, allowing them to share the local highlights whilst adding continuity and depth to your safari. It goes without saying that they 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 particular interests of each of our guests. Your guides will turn your safari into an experience of a lifetime!
Welcome to Namibia!
Arrival at the Hosea Kutako Windhoek International Airport. Our representatives will meet you in the arrival hall of the airport.
The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and recuperate from your flight. This evening Shari and your safari guide will meet up with you at your guesthouse to join you for dinner.
Windhoek: Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, nestles among rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the east, the Auas Mountains to the south and the Khomas Hochland in the west. It is a meeting place between Africa and Europe, the modern and the old. In the capital’s main street, well-preserved German colonial buildings are in sharp contrast with modern architectural styles, while Herero women in their traditional Victorian dresses mingle with executives dressed in the latest fashions. Centrally located within Namibia, Windhoek is an excellent starting point for an adventurous holiday for many visitors to the country and an ideal base from where to explore the rest of Namibia.
Enjoy a morning yoga session with Shari before your guide collects you from your guesthouse. You then depart with your guide in your private safari vehicle through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way to Camp Sossus located on the Namib Tsaris Conservancy where you stay for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. This afternoon you have the option to explore the surrounding area with your guide, perhaps by foot, ending with sundowners overlooking the vast desert plains. Alternatively, you may prefer to indulge in a late afternoon yoga session with your yoga instructor.
Namib Tsaris Conservancy: The Namib Tsaris Conservancy is nestled between the Nubib and Zaris Mountains, close to the Great Namib Sand Sea and the famous Sossusvlei Dunes. The Conservancy was founded by Landscape Conservationist Swen Bachran in 2010, and it serves as a natural buffer from the harshest desert conditions and a refuge that is vital to wildlife through the dry season. Eight years of intensive work to reverse sixty years of inappropriate farming practices, including the removal of 89 km of internal fencing, the installation of wildlife watering points, the improvement of road networks, the rehabilitation of land and the reintroduction of wildlife that historically occurred here, has resulted in one of the most picturesque and ecologically sound tracts of land in the area. The Conservancy has gravel plains, mountainous areas with dry river valleys as well as a large raised plateau which towers above the desert below, and it is now home to some of largest concentrations of wildlife in the area, including Oryx, Springbok, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, Burchell’s Zebra, Kudu, Hartebeest, Giraffe, Steenbok, Klipspringer, Bat-eared Fox, and Aardwolf, as well as predators such as Leopard, Cheetah and Spotted Hyena. Plans for the acquisition of adjoining land to extension of the Conservancy are ongoing, as well as dropping fences to neighbouring like-minded conservation areas.
This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion with your guide into the Namib Naukluft National Park, entering the park gates at sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate their towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. 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 the dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic breakfast in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to Camp Sossus in the early afternoon for a late lunch, stopping off to view Sesriem Canyon along the way. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes). Alternatively, you have the option to explore the surrounding area with your guides on foot or take part in a late afternoon yoga session with your yoga instructor.
Sossusvlei: This most frequently visited section of the massive 50,000km² Namib Naukluft National Park has become known as Sossusvlei, famous for its towering apricot colored sand dunes which can be reached by following the Tsauchab River valley. Sossusvlei itself is actually a clay pan set amidst these star shaped dunes which stand up to 300m above the surrounding plains, ranking them among the tallest dunes on earth. The deathly white clay pan contrasts against the orange sands and forms the endpoint of the ephemeral Tsauchab River, within the interior of the Great Sand Sea. The river course rises south of the Naukluft Mountains in the Great Escarpment. It penetrates the sand sea for some 55km before it finally peters out at Sossusvlei, about the same distance from the Atlantic Ocean. Until the encroaching dunes blocked its course around 60,000 years ago, the Tsauchab River once reached the sea; as ephemeral rivers still do in the northern half of the Namib. Sand-locked pans to the west show where the river previously flowed to before dunes shifted its endpoint to where it currently gathers at Sossusvlei. Roughly once a decade rainfall over the catchment area is sufficient to bring the river down in flood and fill the pan. On such occasions the mirror images of dunes and camel thorn trees around the pan are reflected in the water. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. Another, famous for its gnarled and ghostly camel thorn trees, is Deadvlei which can be reached on foot over 1km of sand. Deadvlei’s striking camel thorn trees; dead for want of water, still stand erect as they once grew. They survived until about 900 years ago when the sand sea finally blocked the river from occasionally flooding the pan.
Sesriem Canyon: Sesriem Canyon has evolved through centuries of erosion by the Tsauchab River which has incised a narrow gorge about 1.5km long and 30m deep into the surrounding conglomerates, exposing the varying layers of sedimentation deposited over millions of years. The shaded cool depths of the canyon allow pools of water to gather during the rainy season and remain for much of the year round. These pools were a vital source of water for early settlers who drew water for their livestock by knotting six (ses) lengths of rawhide thongs (riems) together, hence the canyon and surrounding area became known as Sesriem.
Enjoy a morning yoga session with your yoga instructor before heading off on a fascinating drive with your guide as you travel northwest through awesome and ever-changing desert landscapes of the Namib Desert, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons. You will meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay and then continue north to Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for the night. There will be time this afternoon to explore the town and wander along the waterfront on foot or a late afternoon yoga session with your yoga instructor, before heading off to dinner with your guide at a popular restaurant in Swakopmund which specializes in fresh seafood.
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 modern hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, craft centres, galleries and cafés. Swakopmund had its beginnings as a landing station in 1892 when the German Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site. Settlers followed and made attempts to create a harbour town by constructing a concrete Mole and then an iron jetty – which attempts were ultimately unsuccessful. The advent of World War one halted developments, and the town sank into decline until half a century later when infrastructure 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 time spent in the desert.
Enjoy a morning yoga session with your yoga instructor before continuing on your safari today as your journey leads past the Brandberg Mountain in the distance into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland and to Camp Onduli where you stay for two nights. A late afternoon yoga session with your yoga instructor can be done, should time permit.
Damaraland: Damaraland is typified by displays of color, 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 created rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendor which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’. Damaraland is largely communal land in which wildlife conservancies have been developed to encourage local people to protect and value the animals with which they share this region. Desert adapted wildlife that can be seen include oryx, steenbok, springbok, ostrich, bat-eared fox, cheetah, black rhino and the elusive desert adapted elephant. The ephemeral rivers that traverse the desert plains also create an oasis for other game that browse more vegetated habitats, such as kudu and giraffe.
Today you explore the Damaraland area in complete privacy, enjoying the freedom to explore the fascinating landscapes with your private guide – and there is plenty of opportunity to disembark your vehicle and explore the area as required. Damaraland is a surprising refuge for desert adapted wildlife that may include elephants, giraffe, oryx, springbok and even some predators such as lion, though as with any wildlife sightings in Namibia, it is season dependent and never guaranteed. The wildlife roam large tracks of unfenced desert landscapes and sightings can therefore be at times challenging, but part of the adventure of exploring this wild untouched gem of Namibia.
Desert Adapted Elephant: In habitats with sufficient vegetation and water an adult elephant consumes as much as 300kg of roughage and 230l 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. Finding an African elephant in a desert? Well, yes, and not only elephant, but other large mammals as well, such as black rhinoceros and giraffe. 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 2,000km², 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.
Enjoy a morning yoga session with your yoga instructor, should time permit, and set off after breakfast on your journey to the outskirts of the southern border of the Etosha National Park. Along the way your guide will take you to visit a Himba ‘Living Museum’. At the Living Museum you will be able to meet some of the local community who will be happy to demonstrate elements of their traditional lifestyle. The Himba are one of the last truly traditional peoples of Namibia and they are normally nomadic, but those that have settled here are now firmly established and unlikely to move on. A picnic lunch will also be enjoyed en-route and arrival at Etosha Oberland Lodge will be in the late afternoon. End off the day with a late afternoon yoga session with your yoga instructor.
The Himba: The Himba, Tjimba and other Herero people who inhabit Namibia’s remote north-western Kunene Region are loosely referred to as the Kaokovelders. Basically, Herero in terms of origin, language and culture, they are semi-nomadic pastoralists who tend to tend from one watering place to another. They seldom leave their home areas and maintain, even in their own, on which other cultures have made little impression. For many centuries they have lived a relatively isolated existence and were not involved to any noteworthy extent in the long struggle for pasturelands between the Nama and the Herero. The largest group of Kaokovelders is the Himba, semi-nomads who live in scattered settlements throughout the Kunene Region. They are a tall, slender and statuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly bearing. The women especially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skins against the harsh desert climate. The homes of the Himba of Kaokoland are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The men build the structures, while the women mix the clay and do the plastering. A fire burns in the headman’s hut day and night, to keep away insects and provide light and heating. A family may move from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing for their goats and cattle. A Himba woman spends as much as three hours a day on her toilette. First, she bathes, then she anoints herself with her own individually prepared mixture which not only protects her skin from the harsh desert sun, but also keeps insects away and prevents her body hair from falling out. She uses another mixture of butter fat, fresh herbs and black coals to rub on her hair, and ‘steams’ her clothes regularly over the permanent fire. Men, women and children adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, anklets and belts made from iron and shell beads. With their unusual and striking designs, these items have gained a commercial value and are being produced on a small scale for the urban market. Sculptural headrests in particular are sought-after items.
Enjoy a morning yoga session with your yoga instructor, should time permit. Today is dedicated to a full day of exciting game viewing within the Etosha National Park with your guide from your private safari vehicle as you explore the southern and central parts of the park. Lunch may either be enjoyed in the park at one of the rest camps or return to the lodge for lunch and head off back to the park in the afternoon with time to freshen up before dinner.
Etosha National Park: Etosha National Park covers 22,270 km², of which approximately 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 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 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. The Park boasts some 114 mammal and over 340 bird species. Wildlife that one might see includes elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger and warthog, as well as the endemic black faced impala.
Enjoy a morning yoga session with your yoga instructor, should time permit. Today you will be driving from the Southern part of the Etosha National Park to the Eastern side on a full day game drive with lunch to be enjoyed at the Halali Rest Camp located in the central parts of the park. You leave the park through the Von Lindequist Gate before sunset and head out to stay for the night at Etosha Aoba Lodge which is located on the outskirts of the eastern boundary of the park.
Enjoy an early morning yoga session with your yoga instructor, should time permit, before departing back to Windhoek, passing through small towns and farming communities to arrive at the Gocheganas Nature Reserve. Bid farewell to your guide and relax by making use of the facilities of the wonderful Gocheganas Spa. Later this afternoon you depart on a game drive to end off your Namibian safari.
This morning can be spent relaxing at the Wellness Center, if time allows, before an your driver will collect you for your transfer out to Hosea Kutako International Airport, getting you there in time to check in for your ongoing flight. On arrival at the airport you will be assisted with your check-in and onward flight arrangements.
Retreat Limited to 10 people
Spaces Secured with a 1200€ non-refundable deposit
NOTE: THE USD/AUD/GBP PRICE AS INDICATED ELSEWHERE IS JUST INDICATIVE AND IS BASED ON EXCHANGE RATES AT THE TIME OF PUBLISHING.
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