13-day Best of Namibia Family Adventure Safari (Self-drive)
If they’ve been cooped up in a musty old classroom for too long, go get ‘em. Take ‘em out. Out out. Watch them feel the closeness of animals, watch them watch the wild, watch the free. Going on a safari with children really is a life-changing experience. The landscape is an enormous outdoor classroom and Namibia’s one funky teacher.
|Price||from USD 6,719 pps|
|Highlights||Damaraland, Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund|
Accommodation; Meals (SQ); Vehicle hire; Meet and Greet; Airport Transfers; 24-hour support; Comprehensive tour file with detailed itinerary, map, route descriptions, booking vouchers, contact numbers and useful information
International flights; Personal travel insurance; Entry visas; Fuel; Park entry fees; Staff gratuities
This is a 13-Day Best of Namibia Family Adventure Safari. It fits in most of the best bits in just under 2 weeks. Lodges are family friendly and you get a day for adrenaline friendly activities on the the coast. Being a self drive means you get to be as flexible and self-contained as you want. Useful if your kids decide to spend hours following prints and identifying poo.
Day 1: Windhoek ( 1 night )
It’s happening. You’ve landed in the capital city. Windhoek. There’s no going back. But chill. Today you can get yourself sorted. Admire the sites. All cathedral spires and German castles.
On the way: You’ll be met by Simone who will help you with the car rental paperwork. She’ll also give you your travel documents and welcome pack. This is a jam packed, gold star heap of marvellous stuff. Full of loads of information and a darn good read.
When you're there: If there’s time explore the city. The rest of the day, just chill. Or do both. Explore and chill. Check out the massive meteorite. Children tend to like massive meteorites. This one’s called Gibeon. It fell before humans had even bothered to evolve. Pre history. Pre historic. It’s by Post Street Mall. There are also several museums. The Trans-Namib Railroad Museum might interest children the most seeing as it’s is full of old rail cars and trains. There’s also Zoo Park which is a good place to sit and have some lunch - buy it from a biltong shop in the mall to get in to the African mood. Useless fact coming up. 5000 years ago they say this was the site of a Stone Age elephant hunt. Gotta have stories like this up your sleeve when you’re travelling with children. Maerua Mall has lots of shops, a place for kids, a jumping area and bowling. For dinner tonight, head into town to try out one of Windhoek’s restaurants.Standard Accommodation
Day 2 & 3: Sossusvlei ( 2 nights )
Have breakfast which is included and plan the conversation for today’s drive. If you’ve been cribbing up on all things Africa, good. In just under 2 weeks you could become one of the most inspiring teachers your children have ever had. Or the most annoying. Concentrate. You’re driving remember? To the great Namib Desert. Sossusvlei to be precise. It’s 350km away and will take approximately 5 to 6 hours. Head south from Windhoek to your lodge for the next 2 nights. Excellent.
On the way:So. Seeing as you’re driving you get to make choices. The first is this one. Do you go via the Spreetshoogte or Remhoogte Pass.
Spreetshoogte is the steepest mountain pass in Namibia. A real life long and winding road. Drops are more than 3000 feet. Happy to drive it? Then do it. The views are unbelievable. And worth it. Mountains, desert, incredible colours and if you’re lucky, wild horses. The Remhoogte pass isn’t as steep, so it’s easier to drive. There’s not such a good view but it’s still good. Extremely good if you’re chicken.
When you're there:And then, there she is. The great, vast Namib Desert. Stretching for 1000km along the Atlantic Ocean. You’re heading to Sossusvlei. Think high. Think pink. Think orange. Vivid, vivid sand dunes. Lots of iron in the sand hence the colours. The older the dune, the redder the colour. Go watch the sunset. Go to bed. Wake up early for breakfast (Day 3) and then head to the entrance to Sossusvlei, the Sesriem Gate. Welcome to the largest sandbox in the world. This is the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest conservation area in Africa.
Animal eye spy? Ok. Look out for antelope, ostrich, zebra, jackal. Good supply of insects and reptiles here too. Think beetles, geckos and snakes. Spend the whole day exploring the highlights: Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei, Dune 45, Big Daddy, Elim Dune and the Sesriem Canyon. Many are over 200m high. Return to the lodge for lunch or arrange a packed lunch to have in the dunes. Head home in the late afternoon for a rest. Ready to go again? Kids old enough to climb? Dune 45 is worth a go and if they manage that maybe you can go for Big Daddy? Definitely head to the clay pan and dead trees of Deadvlei. Climb the dunes or stay at the bottom and play in the sand. The kids not you. You have dinner and bed & breakfast on these days. Optional extras include a hot air balloon safari and/or nature drives.Standard Accommodation
Day 4, 5 & 6: Swakopmund ( 3 nights )
Already the kids may have climbed some of the world’s highest sand dunes and it’s only day 4. Now you’re heading to the adrenaline hub of Namibia. Swakopmund’s the name, fun’s the game. Sossusvlei to Swakopmund is approximately 350km and will take 5 to 6 hours in the car.
On the way:Have breakfast, head north. First stop is Solitaire. STOP!!! Quick, quick, reverse, reverse. This is the last chance saloon. Fill up with petrol and run to the only bakery and cafe from now to Walvis Bay. Sorted? Good. Head west. Cross the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons and via the Namib Gravel Plains to the coast. Another choice now. You can go via Walvis Bay to Swakopmund but the recommended detour is via Ganab to the Welwitschia Plains and Moon Landscape. Surreal, stunning.
When you're there:This is the famous, fabled Skeleton Coast. Barren. Eerie. Harsh. Shipwrecks and skeletons. Once definitely human, now more likely whale. You have 2 full days here. And there’s loads to do in both Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The Sandwich Harbour excursion will showcase the Skeleton Coast in all its glory. Older children (and you) might fancy kayaking on Walvis Lagoon. Alongside seals and pelicans. Want an ocean safari? Try a dolphin trip - look out for whales too. Or head to the dunes to go quad biking, or sand boarding. Sand boarding is a great way for older children and teenagers to have an active day in the desert, remember it’s tough work climbing up the dunes - not boarding back down them, that’s a delight. Little children can get a taste of surfing fun on the instructor's back. Want some culture now? Try the Living Desert Tour. You’ll have bed & breakfast in Swakomund. For lunch and dinner there are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from.Standard Accommodation
Day 7 & 8: Damaraland ( 2 nights )
After all the rushing about in Swakomund you’ll be glad to chill out in the car today. You’re heading to Damaraland. It’s a long drive, approximately 7 to 8 hours, 445km. But it’s a good one. All mountains, open plains and rock formations. Red, orange, damn even ochre. Everywhere. Colour, space, silence. Then. A small person speaks. “Are we nearly there yet?”
On the way: Great detours today. Plan it or go with the flow. Head north along the Skeleton Coast, via Henties Bay and visit the Cape Cross seal colony. Cute, crazy, fascinating and smelly. You could also stop at the Lichen Fields as well as the ship wreck between the small town of Wlotskasbaken and Henties Bay. Backtrack, backtrack. Back to Henties Bay. Then head inland through the wide open plains to Uis. Finally you’ll travel north to the Twyfelfontein area.
When you're there: Time now to clamber over rocks and look look at ancient Bushmen rock engravings. The Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings were proclaimed a national monument in the 1950s and are stuffed with ancient art. The rock formations of Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain are stunning too. Then just stand and look. You’re a world away from modern life. Feel alive. Rejuvenated. Stuck in the the middle of nowhere in Damaraland. Well, hopefully not stuck. Just happily. Metaphorically. You’ll see the Brandberg Mountain, the highest in the country. You could visit Namibia’s Open Air Museum which shows you the way of life of the Damara people. Walk around the huts, watch craft making and see traditional medicines. And if your kids want wildlife now is your chance to channel your inner guide. Drive west to the Huab River and look for poo. Elephant sized. Where there’s poo, there’s a clue. Did that just rhyme? Apologies for that. But keep looking, they roam freely here, the great desert adapted elephants. Other game include oryx, springbok and ostrich. You have dinner and bed & breakfast included.Standard Accommodation
Day 9: Etosha National Park - South ( 1 night )
If you failed miserably to spot animals in Damaraland do not despair. Tell the kids you’re going to try a different route and head to Etosha. It is vast. And packed. Don’t tell them it’s a national park brimming and abundant with animals. Make out you’re just a super hot safari guide. You’re looking at a 4-5 hour drive to get there. Damaraland to Etosha (south) is 325km.
On the way:After breakfast, drive east towards Khorixas stopping at the Petrified Forest. Lots of fossils and large tree trunks that have "turned to stone" through a process of diagenesis. Read up on that and impress the family. From Khorixas head east to Outjo and then north to your lodge. It’s close to the southern entrance of Etosha, the Anderson Gate. You’ve arrived.
When you're there: Depending on how often you stop today, you should arrive at your lodge in time for lunch (optional extra). If there’s time and you’re up for it you can go into Etosha for an afternoon game drive. The first stop is Okaukuejo where you pay your entry fee (included). There’s a shop so stock up on drinks and snacks. Etosha is big but you will see other vehicles. But there are still off the beaten tracks and loops for you to explore. Right in the middle of the park is a massive salt pan. Go on then. Stand there. Jump in the air. Put phone in to selfie mode. Etosha is a good place for children to see animals simply because they can SEE. Vegetation is low-growing over flat open plains. There’s only grass for animals to hide in. Hiding in grass is useless if you’re an elephant or a giraffe. Zebra and rhino aren’t skinny enough to disappear behind a blade either. You can get lucky and see lion and leopard too.Standard Accommodation
Day 10 & 11: Etosha National Park - East ( 2 nights )
Want more? Etosha is one of Africa's great game parks. There’s 114 species of mammal and 340 species of birds. You’re now going from Etosha south to Etosha east. It’s a full days game drive through the park
On the way: Go slow. You’ll see more and not alarm the animals. Travel east and stop at numerous waterholes along the way. There are loads of them dotted around the park, accessible by good roads and well signposted. They’re the perfect spots to park up and just watch. Here come the local wildlife. Coming for a drink and a bit of socialising.
When you're there: 1 full day is set aside for game viewing but there are options. You can either go for the day or alternate morning and afternoon drives. If you do go in the morning you could take packed lunch (optional extra) and eat it overlooking one of the waterholes. You’ll then continue on through the park to the eastern side.Standard Accommodation
Day 12: Damaraland - Erindi Private Game Reserve ( 1 night )
Private reserves offer something different to the national parks. For a start they make their own rules. There are also fewer cars so you often get a closer look at the wildlife. Today you’re off to the Erindi Private Game Reserve. Erindi means ‘the place of water’ in Herero. Etosha (east) to Erindi is 460km and will take approximately 6 hours.
On the way: Once you leave Etosha you’ll head via Tsumeb, Otavi & Otjiwarongo to the reserve. Erindi lies in the triangle between Okahandja, Otjiwarongo and Omaruru.
When you're there: This is a peaceful place. You can sit at the waterhole in front of the lodge and watch animals as they come and go. There are crocodiles and hippos too, which you won’t have seen in Etosha. In fact, there’s 71 000 hectares of mountains, bush and open savannah. Erindi is one the biggest privately owned game reserves in Namibia. You could see rare and endangered species like white and black rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard. There are lots of optional extra activities which you can organise with the lodge.Standard Accommodation
Day 13: Windhoek ( Departure / End of Tour )
And that’s it. You’re holiday is ending.
On the way: Drive back. To the airport. Erindi to Windhoek is 180km and takes approximately 2 to 3 hours.
When you're there: Your guide will drop you at the airport in time for your departure flight. Keep in mind that you need to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight and the airport is a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from town.
|3||Standard||Low Season||USD 6,719 pps|
|3||Standard||High Season||USD 7,441 pps|
|4||Standard||Low Season||USD 8,008 pps|
|4||Standard||High Season||USD 8,932 pps|
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