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Damaraland, Kaokoland & Etosha National Park Adventure

Nature Pure

Highlights: Welwitschia mirabillis, Catamaran Cruise, Living Desert Tour, Engravings, wild Damaraland, wild Kaokoland, Etosha NP

 

Tour Information:
Travel Time:  between April and November
Duration:  15 days / 14 nights
Vehicle:  4x4 Vehicle depending on group size
Participants:  as from 2 – 8 Persons
Guide: English speaking guide

 

 Day  Accommodation  Meals Activities
 1  Auas City Hotel   Transfer, City Tour
 2 Lifestyle Apartment B Khomas-Hochland, Welwitschia
 3 Lifestyle Apartment B Catamaran Excursion
 4 Twyfelfontei Country Lodge B/D Living Desert
 5 Palmwag Lodge B/D Engravings
 6 Palmwag Lodge B/D Day Excursion into Damaraland area
 7 Khowarib Lodge B/D  
 8 Khowarib Lodge B/D Excursion into the Desert area
 9 Khowarib Lodge B/D Excursion into the Desert area
10 Omarunga Lodge FB Epupa Falls
11 Omarunga Lodge FB Himba Excursion, Sundowner Drive
12 Uukwaluudhi Lodge B/D Nature Drive
13 Okaukuejo Restcamp B/D Etosha NP
14 Etotongwe Lodge B/D Etosha NP
15 Auas City Hotel B/D  
16 Depature B Transfer

B = Breakfast     D = Dinner     FB = Full Board

Please Note: Accommodations may change due to availability. This can bring changes in the tour price.

 

Included:

Vehicle with costs
Guide and his costs
All transfers
All accommodations as mentioned
All entrance fees into national Parks
14x Breakfasts; 2 lunches (Omarunga Lodge); 11x Dinner
Tips for porterage 

 

Excluded:

All flights
All insurances
All beverages
Goods of personal nature
Tips for any services rendered

Please Note: All optional activities that are not included, can be booked by your guide and will be to the clients account.


Bring along:

Camera with enough memory cards (at least 3x @ 16GB), Windbreaker, Mosquito repellent, Hat, Sun crème, summer as well as winter clothes (where we stay 2 nights, a washing service is offered), goods walking shoes, flexible travel bag (you don’t need more than 12 – 15 kg of goods), etc..

 

 


Tour Description:

Day   1  Windhoek
You will be meet and greeted by your guide at the Hosea Kutako International Airport. Transfer to Windhoek to your accommodation. We undertake a small city tour of Windhoek. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
Accommodation: Auas City Hotel
Meals:   to clients account

This accommodation is a safe place to stay for travellers, is situated in the city of Windhoek, at Mearua Mall Shopping Centre.


Day   2  Swakopmund
We depart at 09h00 from your hotel. Our route takes us in a western direction through the Khomas-Hochland massive and further into the oldest desert, the Namib Desert. Along the way we pass through endless farm land before we visit the Welwitschia mirabillis. Upon arrival, we undertake a short sightseeing tour through Swakopmund.
Accommodation: Lifestyle Apartment
Meals:   Breakfast


Day   3  Swakopmund
The morning we undertake a Catamaran Excursion. From meeting with Pelicans to feeding Seals, and if luck permits, leaping Dolphins and shy Turtles all this and more on our Dolphin and Seal Cruise.
The afternoon is at leisure. However you can visit the best private museum in the country, the Marine Aquarium or just go shopping for some souvenirs. Optionally you can undertake a 2 ½ scenic flight over the desert, which is very recommendable. Please speak to your guide for more activities.
Accommodation: Lifestyle Apartment
Meals:   Breakfast


Day   4  Damaraland – Twyfelfontein
The morning you undertake a Living Desert tour.
Our Living Desert Tour is a unique 4x4 adventure which specializes in bringing the desert to life while sharing the awesome beauty of the Namib Desert with travellers from all over the world. The coastal dune belt may seem barren and lifeless to many people, but in fact it is alive with a fascinating variety of little desert adapted animals, which are able to survive on the life-giving fog which consistently rolls in from the cold Atlantic Ocean.
Come see the Dancing White Lady Spider (Carparachne aureoflava) cartwheel 44 turns per second down a dune to escape the enemy. Admire the transparent Namib Dune Gecko (Pachydactylus rangei) with webbed feet that are equivalent to snow shoes. Learn about the different beetles and insects and how they survive in the dune desert. Follow in the tracks of a legless Lizard (Fitsimmon’s Burrowing Skink), observe Sand Diving Lizards (Meroles Anchieta) dancing on the hot sand, Sidewinder Snakes (Perinquey’s Adder), Desert Chameleons and many more fascinating creatures. Learn about the geology, structure and formation of the desert, and admire the vast and beautiful landscapes while enjoying a scenic dune drive combined with fun and adrenalin.
Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the desert alive and close up.

The afternoon we proceed along the coast line to Henties Bay. From here we go land inwards via Uis to Twyfelfontein.
Accommodation: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner

Twyfelfontein (Afrikaans: uncertain spring), officially known as |Ui-?Ais (Damara/Nama: jumping waterhole), is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain that receives very little rainfall and has a wide range of diurnal temperatures.
The site has been inhabited for 6,000 years, first by hunter-gatherers and later by Khoikhoi herders. Both ethnic groups used it as a place of worship and a site to conduct shamanist rituals. In the process of these rituals at least 2,500 items of rock carvings have been created, as well as a few rock paintings. Displaying one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa, UNESCO approved Twyfelfontein as Namibia's first World Heritage Site in 2007.
Twyfelfontein valley has been inhabited by Stone-age hunter-gatherers of the Wilton stone age culture group since approximately 6,000 years ago. They made most of the engravings and probably all the paintings. 2,000 to 2,500 years ago the Khoikhoi, an ethnic group related to the San (Bushmen), occupied the valley, then known under its Damara/Nama name |Ui-?Ais (jumping waterhole). The Khoikhoi also produced rock art which can clearly be distinguished from the older engravings.[3]
The area was uninhabited by Europeans until after World War II, when a severe drought caused white Afrikaans speaking farmers (Boers) to move in. The farm was later procured by the apartheid government as part of the Odendaal Plan and became part of the Damaraland Bantustan. The white settlers left in 1965.
Topographer Reinhard Maack, who also discovered the White Lady rock painting at Brandberg, reported the presence of rock engravings in the area in 1921. A more thorough investigation was only conducted after David Levin studied the feasibility of farming in 1947. He rediscovered the spring but struggled to extract enough water to sustain his family and his herd. Slowly becoming obsessed with doubts about the capacity of the spring an Afrikaans-speaking friend began calling him David Twyfelfontein (David Doubts-the-spring) in jest. When Levin bought the land and registered his farm in 1948 he gave it the name Twyfelfontein. While commonly being translated as doubtful spring, a more accurate translation for the word twyfel is therefore "questionable" or "uncertain".
In 1950 scientific investigation of the rock art started with an investigation by Ernst Rudolph Scherz who described over 2500 rock engravings on 212 sandstone slabs.[1] Today it is estimated that the site contains more than 5000 individual depictions.


Day   5  Damaraland – Palmwag
After a relaxed breakfast we visit the engravings at Twyfelfontein. A local guide will take you around and explain everything to you.
Further we proceed through breath-taking landscape towards our next destination. Along the way with some luck, we may see some Desert Elephants, Giraffes and other wildlife.
Accommodation: Palmwag Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner


Day   6  Palmwag area
Today we undertake a day excursion into the beautiful landscape of the Damaraland and may come across some rhino and Desert Elephants as well as other antelopes.
Accommodation: Lifestyle Apartment
Meals:   Breakfast


Day   7  Kaokoland – Khowarib
Relaxed we proceed through the rough and fascinate landscape of the Damaraland and Kaokoland to our next destination. Along the way we pass some villages and also stop for some pictures.
Accommodation: Khowarib Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner


Day   8 & 9 Kaokoland – Hoanib River
Our  excursion takes us to the Hoanib River. Here we surge for the adopted desert Elephants and other wildlife. With some luck we may also see some desert lions and rhino. Our experienced guide will try his best to offer us as much as possible.
Accommodation: Khowarib Lodge / Camp
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner


Day  10  Kunene River
After a relaxed breakfast we proceed through the vast landscape of the Kaokoland and some villages to Opuwo, the capital of the Kaokoland. After a short stop we carry on via Okongwati to the Kunene River. The afternoon we undertake a walk to the Epupa Falls.
Accommodation: Omarunga Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner

On the shores of the Kunene River slightly above the Epupa Falls hidden beneath the Makalani palm trees in the shade lies a small paradise, the Omarunga Lodge & Campsite. ,. It is one of the "Gateway’s" of Namibia. 


Day 11  Kunene River
The morning you undertake a visit to a Himba Village where you’re local guide will explain the tradition of the still living nomads, the Himba. The afternoon is at leisure. You also can undertake a walk along the River and observe the bird life along this waterline. Later the afternoon we undertake a sundowner drive on top of a hill, where we have a superb overview of the Epupa Falls area.
Accommodation: Omarunga Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner

The Kaokoland is one of the last largely untouched landscapes of Africa, traffic wise it is barely tapped, a tourist infrastructure does not exist.  Some of the Herero and Himba people living here were able to maintain their traditional ways of life.
Situated on the banks and a short walk upstream from the spectacular Epupa Falls is that Omarunga Lodge hidden in the shade of Makalani palms.  This little paradise is one of the most beautiful cookies in Namibia.  The guest will be here offers sweeping scenes and bird life and pure nature.  Learn the proud OVAHIMBA know each other or simply watch everything around you.
The Lodge offers 14 luxury en-suite and 9 Charlets with ablution block and a swimming pool and a bar.


Day 12  Kaokoland
Relaxed we return via Opuwo and carry on to our next lodge. Along the way we pass some villages of the Himba. The afternoon we undertake a nature drive at the lodge.
Accommodation: Uukwaluudhi Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner


Day 13  Etosha National Park
You are excited??? We leave early to Etosha. Upon arrival our game drive start directly. We stop at various waterhole along the way to find some game.
The Etosha National Park is one of the most important protected areas in Africa.   Surely you will have springbok, zebra, wildebeest and giraffes running in front of the lens.  Probably some big cats, rhinos and elephants will show their face too.  Especially the many water holes that we approach, you may find great opportunities for your personal Photo of the year offer. After dinner you have the opportunity to sit at a floodlight waterhole and observe the wildlife.
Accommodation: Okaukuejo Restcamp
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner

A visit to the Etosha National Park in Namibia will not be complete without staying at Okaukuejo Camp. Dating from 1957, this safari camp has been renovated and modernized without losing any of its game-viewing appeal. Okaukuejo is the administrative headquarters of the Park and also houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, which is tasked with conserving the wide variety of fauna and flora in this part of Namibia. Okaukuejo Camp is situated only 17km from Anderson Gate, the southern entrance to the Etosha National-park
The main attraction of the Okaukuejo Camp is the central floodlit waterhole. Here you can watch animals of all shapes and sizes coming to quench their thirst – starting from daybreak until night-time. You will in all probability see elephant, lion and rhino drinking at the same time! The central part of the Camp houses the restaurant, bar, curio shop, pool and tourist shop where you can buy basic necessities.

Europeans first knew Etosha in the early 1850s when Charles Andersson and Francis Galton visited it. They recorded their early impressions:
…we traversed and immense hollow, called Etosha, covered with saline encrustations, and having wooded and well-defined borders. Such places are in Africa designated ‘salt pans’ …In some rainy seasons, the Ovambo informed us, the locality was flooded and had all the appearance of a lake; but now it was quite dry, and the soil strongly impregnated with salt. Indeed, close in shore, the dommodity was to be had of a very pure quality.
They were amongst the first explorers and trader who relentlessly hunted the area’s huge herds of game. In 1876 an American trader, McKierman, came through the area and wrote of a visit to Etosha:
The Etosha Pan is a vast, bare, open expanse of shimmering green and white that covers around 4,800km², almost a quarter of the beautiful Etosha National Park. At 130 km’s long and up to 50km’s wide in places, it is comfortably the largest salt pan in Africa and is the park’s most distinctive and dramatic feature, visible even from space. The pan was originally a lake but over time the earth’s climate forced the rivers that once fed the lake to change course and flow into the Atlantic Ocean. If one were to try find where the lake once lay today, only the dry baked alkaline clay marks would give you a clue.
In the language of the Ovambo tribe, Etosha means ‘great white place’, a name passed on to the first Europeans to come across this “immense hollow”, Sir Francis Galton and Charles Andersson in 1851, with the help of travelling Ovambo traders. The area was originally inhabited by the Heli/ om- people who were well known hunter gatherers and co- existed in harmony with huge herds of wildlife in the area. It was only in 1851 when the huge pan first became known to Europeans. Explorers Charles Andersson and Francis Galton reached a cattle post called Omutjamatunda which is today called Namutoni. The two explorers provided the first written account of the pan.
It is believed that this natural mineral pan was first formed over 100 million years ago. About 16,000 years ago, the Kunene River in Angola would have flowed all the way to Etosha, forming, for some time, a huge and deep lake. But the river would later change its course due to tectonic plate movement and head for the Atlantic, causing the lake to slowly dry up and leaving the salt pan behind.
San Legend has it that the formation of the Etosha Pan resulted from a small village being raided and everyone slaughtered except the woman. One of the women was so upset by the death of her entire family that she cried until her tears formed a massive lake which eventually dried up and left behind a huge white pan.
Salt springs on the pan have now built up little hillocks of clay and salt which are used by some of the park’s wildlife as salt licks. In the wet season, parts of the pan form rain water pools and in particularly wet years the entire pan becomes a lake once more, standing at about 10cm deep and drawing thousands of migrating flamingos.
Etosha Pan is designated as a World Wildlife Fund Ecoregion and was also used as a backdrop during the filming of 2001: A Space Odyssey.


Day 14  Etosha National Park
Yesterday you photographed no rhino?  Photo Technically course!  Then you have another chance today. Again it comes to stalking past various waterholes in the hope to live to see one or the other.  On our way we come close to the “Etosha Pan” meaning “white waters” in the native tribe language.
Accommodation: Etotongwe Lodge
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner


Day 15  Windhoek
During the morning we leave Outjo and drive via Otjiwarongo and Okahandja back to the capital.  On the way we pass through endless farmland.  We also stop in between for a short lunch break.  Tonight we meet all together for dinner and say goodbye to our guide.
Accommodation:  Auas City Hotel
Meals:   Breakfast, Dinner


Day 15  Departure
Depending on your flight, you will be transfered by your guide to the airport.
 

 

End of the journey
 Our team wishes you a good flight home and a lot of health to a next time.
 

 

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