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12 Day Namibian Camping Tour

INTRODUCTION:

Namibia is a vast country with a surface area of 824 268 km2, it is about four times the size of the United Kingdom and 27 times the size of Belgium. Blessed with bountiful sunshine, an abundance of wildlife and an intriguing variety of flora and fauna. Attributes that make it a country to which visitors return again and again are the friendliness and cultural diversity of its people, and above all, the pristine quality and extraordinary beauty of its landscape. The country derives its name from the Namib Desert, a unique geological feature renowned for the unusual and haunting quality of its landscape.  Far from being lifeless and barren, this narrow strip of moist coastal desert features an unusual variety of desert-adapted flora and fauna. The country can be divided into four distinct topographical regions.  Of these the most definitive is possibly the Namib Desert, which consists of a 50 km – 140 km wide coastal plain extending along the entire coastline, interspersed with dune belts, dry riverbeds and deeply eroded canyons.  The central plateau, which runs from north to south, has an average altitude of between 1,000 m and 2,000 m.  This plateau gradually falls away towards the east, where a sandy strip of land merges into the level expanse of the Kalahari Desert.  Dense, bush covered plains to the north-east of the Etosha Pan included the high-rainfall areas of Kavango and Caprivi, typified by woodland savannah and riverine vegetation. With a dry climate, typical of a semi-desert country, droughts are a regular occurrence.  Average day temperatures in the summer vary from 20◦C – 34◦C and average night temperatures in the winter from 0◦C – 10◦C.  The Benguela Current is also the prime determinant of the climate of the Namib, as it reduces rainfall and causes the omnipresent fog typical of the coast.
INCLUDED IN PACKAGE:
Destinations:    Namib Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei & The Sesriem Canyon, The Skeleton Coast, Damaraland, Etosha National Park & Waterberg Plateau Park
Dates:    02nd May 2011- 13th May 2011
23th May 2011 – 03rd June 2011
Duration:    12 Days / 11 Nights
Accommodation:    En-suite accommodation and camping facilities at the following: Safari Court Hotel, Sesriem campsite, Alte Brücke Resort, Camp Xaragu, Okaukuejo campsite & Waterberg Plateau Park campsite
Transfers:    All road transfers
Meals:    Meals as listed in itinerary

EXCLUDED FROM PACKAGE:

•    All International and/or Domestic flights
•    Gratuities
•    Optional activities
•    Travel insurance
•    Laundry
•    Beverages
•    Items not specified

TOUR PROGRAMME

Day 1:
Hosea Kutako International Airport- Safari Court Hotel
A representative from SafariWise will meet you at Hosea Kutako Airport. We transfer to our overnight accommodation at Safari Court Hotel. The four star Safari Court Hotel is situated on 13 hectares on the outskirts of Windhoek.  The hotel offers the largest local selection of first class accommodation and catering with a difference.

Accommodation:         Safari Court Hotel
Meals:                Dinner
Included activities:        Afternoon at leisure
Optional activities:        N.A.

Day 2:
Safari Court Hotel – Sesriem Campsite
After breakfast we depart to Sossusvlei area.  Sesriem is the gateway to the sand dune desert and is the location of the National Park campsite for this area. Set in a beautiful landscape with mountains to the east and dunes to the west. The camping area at Sesriem receives its name from a nearby canyon, the Sesriem Canyon. Early pioneers who came to the area and wanted to get water from the canyon had to tie six leather thongs to the handle of their bucket in order to draw water from the top of the canyon. These thongs were called “leer riems” in the Afrikaans language and the word for six in the same language is “ses”. The area became known as “Ses Riems” which was corrupted into English as Sesriem. The dunes of the Namib Desert have developed over a period of many millions of years. It is thought that the vast quantities of sand were deposited into the Atlantic Ocean by the Orange River. This material was subsequently moved northwards by the Benguela current to be dumped back onto the land by the surf. The coastal dunes developed as a result of this and were shifted further and further inland by the wind. Wind continuously reshapes the patterns of the huge dunes of the Namib Desert. It timelessly forces the grains of sand on the flat windward slope upwards to the crest of the dune. Here they fall down in the wind shade. The leeward slope is therefore always considerably steeper than the windward side.

Accommodation:         Sesriem Campsite
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner
Included activities:        Scenic drive to Sesriem
Optional activities:    N.A.

Day 3:
Sesriem campsite
A very early start before sunrise we drive to Sossusvlei in time to see the beautiful Namib sunrise. Sossusvlei, Namibia’s famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 metres, the highest in the world. Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in this area, does the vlei fill with water. As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time. After lunch, we visit the Sesriem Canyon, one of the amazing features of the Namib.  Here the Tsauchab River has carved a gorge – up to 30 meters deep and about 1 km long – into the conglomerate gravels deposited some 15 – 18 million years ago during a wetter phase in the history of the Namib.  From the parking area a track leads to the canyon floor and a walk into Sesriem is like descending through the layers of time.

Accommodation:         Sesriem campsite
Meals:                Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Included activities:        Sossusvlei & Sesriem excursion
Optional activities:    Hot air ballooning: The duration of the excursion is approximately 3½ hours. The Hot Air Balloon flight itself takes about one hour and ends with an exclusive Champagne Breakfast at the landing spot in scenic nature. The breakfast is followed by a Nature drive back to the Lodge. Due to the extreme desert temperatures, this activity is only offered in the mornings. The balloon rises as the sun rises! The first light hour of the day is known to be the most spectacular, especially in the desert with the rich contrast of colour and shape on the towering sand dunes of the Sossusvlei Area, on the vast desert plains and surrounding mountain ranges. Ballooning is strictly weather permitting for everyone’s safety. Should there be wind the ride will have to be postponed to the next day.

Day 4:
Sesriem Campsite – Alte Brücke Resort Swakopmund
After breakfast we drive northwest to the coastal town of Swakopmund. As we travel towards the Atlantic Coast we see the scenery change from sand dunes to dark craggy canyons and then to flat gravel plains. The Walvis Bay lagoon takes pride of place as regards scenic attractions in the area. A tranquil stretch of water, its natural beauty is accentuated by thousand of flamingos, which gather at these rich feeding grounds.  Altogether some 80,000 wading birds can be seen on the lagoon. Swakopmund is situated on the coast and surrounded by desert.  It offers a wide variety of attractions in an atmosphere unique in its appeal. The influence of German architecture, dating back to the turn of the last century, can be seen.  Occupying a quiet corner of Swakopmund’s old town near the marine museum and the old brewery, Cornerstone Guesthouse offers the charm and intimacy of a family-run B&B combined with the modern amenities of a luxury hotel.

Accommodation:         Alte Brücke Resort
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic Lunch
Included activities:        Scenic drive to the town of Swakopmund
Optional activities:    Quad biking, sand boarding, boat fishing, ballooning, & scenic flights over the Skeleton Coast

Day 5:
Swakopmund Area
Spend the day exploring Swakopmund. We have included a choice between two activities, a dolphin cruise or Tommy’s Living desert tour.

Accommodation:         Alte Brücke Resort
Meals:                Breakfast
Included activities:    Dolphin cruise or Tommy’s Living desert tour
Optional activities:    Quad biking, sand boarding, boat fishing, ballooning & scenic flights over the Skeleton Coast

The Living Desert Tour:
Originally developed by Tommy himself, is a unique 4×4-adventure drive through the dunes outside Swakopmund, Namibia. Just the drive in the dunes is an amazing experience, but Tommy will show us a lot more than sand. The tour takes us from the vegetated, life-rich eastern side of the dunes, right through the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean on the western side of the dune belt. Tommy introduces us to some of the fascinating, hidden life in this apparently barren landscape that is part of the Namib Desert. Here we can find creatures endemic to the Namib: the sidewinder (Peringuey’s Adder), the Palmato gecko with its transparent skin and beautiful colours – we dig into the dune side to find this nocturnal desert-dweller. We track the large Namaqua chameleon, and watch it enjoy brunch. Then it is a dash to catch the swift sand-diving lizard. We find out how the area’s plants and small animals survive the harsh climate, and how they obtain water for life. We also track a FitzSimon’s Burrowing skink across the dune face, in hopes of catching this legless lizard. Along the way Tommy will explain the variety of dune colours. At the end of the tour, weather permitting, we experience a ‘roaring’ dune. Other characters to be found in the dune belt are the ‘dancing’ White Lady spider; the Parabuthus Villosus black scorpion; the occasional horned adder
or sand-snake; desert wasps, fish-moths, crickets and several beetle species, and many more. A Living desert tour with the enthusiastic Tommy is educational, fun and an unforgettable experience. We see the
desert and dunes with new eyes. The photographic opportunities are endless too: make sure those batteries are charged before we leave!
This half-day tour leaves at 8am in the morning, and returns at approximately 1pm. Tommy also offers an optional night activity: The Living Desert Night Walk takes us on a captivating three hour outing into the
dunes with fluorescent lamps. We will see the nocturnal creatures moving around, and Tommy will track the more reclusive living things too.

Dolphin Cruise
The ski boats depart from the Tanker Jetty at the Walvis Bay Harbour. We go along the coast to the Bird Island and foreign boats, and then cross to Pelican Point. Friendly seals come join us on the boat to be fed, while dolphins swim around enjoying the fun. Fresh oysters, snacks, champagne, beer and soft drinks are served at the seal colony before we return to Walvis Bay via the Lagoon.

Day 6:
Swakopmund – Camp Xaragu (Damaraland)
Today we drive north along the skeleton coast. After Henties Bay we turn right on the C35 which heads northeast across an amazing flat, barren plain: Certainly one of the Countries most desolate and scenic roads, passing the magnificent Brandberg mountains. The Brandberg Mountains measure about 30km by 23km at its base and is 2.573m at its highest point, this ravine-split massif of granite totally dominates the surrounding desert plains.
The fauna and flora of Damaraland is typical of the Pro-Namib region and plant species include the magnificent Welwitschia, Moringa and a variety of the Commiphora species. The Desert adapted elephant, rhinoceros, giraffe, springbok, zebra, oryx and ostrich include some of the wildlife which can be found living in total harmony with the community.

Accommodation:         Camp Xaragu – camping
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner
Included activities:        Scenic drive from the coast to Camp Xaragu in the Damaraland
Optional activities:        N.A.

Day 7:
Camp Xaragu (Damaraland)
Explore Damaraland. The slopes above Twyfelfontein are littered with large rock slabs, with the largest concentration of rock engravings in Africa. The engravings are mostly of animals, but there are also human footprints, animal spoor and some abstract motifs. We also visit the Organ Pipes, which are exposes in a gorge; roughly 100m long and reach a maximum height of 5m. We go in search for the Desert adapted elephant.

Accommodation:         Camp Xaragu – camping
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner
Included activities:    Excursion to the rock paintings, Organ pipes & Burnt mountain. Along the way we search for a sighting of the Desert adapted elephant.
Optional activities:        N.A.

Day 8:
Camp Xaragu – Etosha National Park
When it was originally proclaimed at the turn of the century the Etosha Park consisted of an area of 100,000 square kilometers. This was the largest reserve on earth but in the 1960’s political pressure resulted in the Park being reduced to its current size Etosha, meaning “Great White Place”, is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1000 million years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up. The pan now is a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds. Etosha Pan is surrounded by sweetveld Savanna plains, which sustain extraordinary numbers of wildlife.  Etosha is home to 114 mammals and some 340 bird species. It houses large numbers of globally endangered or threatened species, most notably black rhinoceros and African elephant.  Because of its size, the park serves as a genetic reserve for various species of animals and plants. Okaukuejo, located 17 km from the Southern entrance of the park, was the first tourist camp to open in Etosha. Okaukuejo is famous for its flood-lit waterhole, where visitors can observe at close quarters a

spectacle of wildlife congregating and interacting.  Okaukuejo is the main administrative centre and headquarters of the Etosha Ecological Institute, where research and nature conservation management in Etosha are conducted.

Accommodation:         Okaukuejo campsite – camping
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner
Included activities:        Game drives and game viewing at the floodlit waterholes
Optional activities:        N.A.

Day 9 & 10:
Etosha National Park
Game drives in the park.

Accommodation:         Okaukuejo Campsite – Camping
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner
Included activities:        Game drives in the park
Optional activities:        N.A.

Day 11:
Okaukuejo Resort – Waterberg Plateau Park
After breakfast we depart to Waterberg Plateau Park.  The wildlife at Waterberg is as big a draw here as the scenery, as the high cliffs of Waterberg have long been used to protect its population of rare and endangered animals. White rhino, roan and sable antelope all have good populations here, thriving for some years, whilst they were rare or absent from elsewhere in Namibia. There’s a colony of fairly rare Cape vultures here, and a really good mix of birdlife – about 200 species are on record. Visiting on a short 1-2 night visit, you’ll be struck by the number of diminutive steenbok who seem to live around the rest-camp – along with the rather less welcome troops of baboons. Although the game drives can sometimes be productive here … they advice visitors to come in search of the scenery – and let any wildlife sightings here be a bonus. There are a number of short walking trails around the camp that you can explore by yourself. If you’re relatively fit, then we recommend one that goes up to a look-out point on the top of the plateau; the view is magnificent!

Accommodation:         Waterberg Plateau Park
Meals:                Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner
Included activities:    Hiking trails around the camp
Optional activities:        N.A.

Day 12:
Waterberg Plateau Park
After breakfast we transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. En-route we visit the Okahandja craft market on our way to Windhoek.

Accommodation:         N/A
Meals:                Breakfast
Included activities:    Okahandja craft market en-route to Windhoek
Optional activities:    N.A.

Quoted price: 2011

Days 1 – 12
GBP 1,400.00 per person sharing
GBP 200.00 single supplement

Notes:
a) The costing for the Tour Programme is based on a minimum of six (6) guests.
b) This is a quotation and is valid for set departures for 2011 tours only.
c) No reservations have been made and all accommodation, flights and transport are subject to availability.
d) Should any of the accommodation mentioned not be available, we reserve the right to substitute it with an alternative suitable venue, which might affect the final quoted price.
e) Quoted price is also subject to availability, fuel/gas price and possibly exchange rate fluctuations.
f) 15% non-refundable deposit is required on confirmation of safari.
g) Full payment is required sixty (60) days prior to arrival.

Please consult our webpage, www.safariwise.com.na for the Terms & Conditions.

Please call on the office of SafariWise™ for bookings and/or enquiries:

SafariWise™
PO Box 2796
SWAKOPMUND
Namibia

2 Phillip Street
SWAKOPMUND
Namibia

TASA Member No.: S19
NTB Reg. No.: TSO00076

Tel        +264 64 405 220
Fax        +264 64 405 220
Mobile        +264 81 124 9391 (Neil)
Mobile        +264 81 129 9391 (Berdene)
Skype        safariwisenamibia

neil@safariwise.com.na
berdene@safariwise.com.na
info@safariwise.com.na

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