With deserts that reach all the way to the sea, twinkling salt pans and lunar-like red-rock landscapes, Namibia is stark, wild and spectacular. On a variety of safaris and wildlife walks, track animals of all sorts, including cheetahs, desert-adapted elephants and rhinos, and the kudu, zebra and oryx of Etosha National Park. Meet with scientists to learn first-hand about efforts to preserve Namibia’s cheetahs, leopards and rhinos. Spend time in San and Himba settlements, and get acquainted with the fascinating ancient cultures that make their home in this harsh and mystical land.
Encounter leopards and cheetahs up close with a Naankuse researcher as founded by National Geographic, and track cheetahs on foot in the Okonjima Game Reserve.
Search for rare desert-adapted black rhinos and elephants.
Spend two days getting acquainted with the ancient hunter-gatherer culture of the San (or “Bushmen”) people.
Activity Level: Easy
This is an easy walking trip. You will be walking 1 to 3 hours (1 to 4 miles) on most days. During hikes and safaris, vehicle support is provided. Participants always have the option to rest a day and ride to the next hotel. Click here for a description of all activity levels.
Itinerary - 14 Days
Day 1 — Windhoek, Namibia/N/a'an ku sê
Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, and travel to nearby N/a’an ku sê, a research and conservation center focused on protecting Namibia’s wildlife and cultures. Encounter leopards and cheetahs up close and personal with a Naankuse researcher as founded by National Geographic. Stay in the center’s stunning, not-for-profit eco-lodge tonight. N/a’an ku sê Lodge (D)
Day 2 — Okonjima Game Reserve
Travel north to the Okonjima Game Reserve, stopping to browse local handicrafts in the markets of Okahandja. Stretching some 50,000 acres, Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, which seeks to rehabilitate injured or captive predators and mitigate conflicts between wildlife and local farmers. Settle into your private thatched chalet, and then head out on safari. Track cheetahs on foot or leopards in a vehicle, and later, go on a night hike to observe nocturnal creatures such as porcupines, honey badgers and perhaps a leopard. (2–3 miles walking, 1–2 hours)
Okonjima Camp (B,L,D)
Days 3 & 4 — Tsumkwe
After a morning safari, travel east to the land of the San people who have lived off this harsh land for millennia. Immerse yourself in their ancient hunter-gatherer culture, taking part in everyday activities such as fire- and rope-making, cooking and setting traps to catch game. Join community members for a bush walk, tracking game, looking for honey and foraging for edible or medicinal plants. With luck, your visit will coincide with a traditional elephant or giraffe healing ceremony in the evening. (Day 3: 2–3 miles walking, 1–2 hours; Day 4: 3–4 miles walking, 2–3 hours) Nhoma Safari Camp (B,L,D)
Days 5, 6 & 7 — Etosha National Park/Ongava Game Reserve
Drive west, stopping to visit Lake Otjikoto, where retreating German forces dumped tons of armaments in 1915 during the British campaign in German Southwest Africa. Arrive at our bush camp on the eastern boundary of Etosha National Park. Enjoy two full days on safari in different regions of the park, and spend a night in the adjacent private Ongava Game Reserve. Spot gemsbok and rare black-faced impalas, look for endemic birds like Hartlaub’s francolin and the bare-cheeked babbler, and catch a glimpse of elephants splashing at the water’s edge.
Mushara Bush Camp; Andersson’s Camp (B,L,D daily)
Day 8 — Damaraland
Enter Damaraland, a stark desert landscape where unusually succulent plants thrive, fed by mists off the Atlantic. We’ll seek out the Himba people, semi-nomadic pastoralists who live in conical homes built of palm fronds, saplings and mud. Meet with Himba elders to learn about their history and unique traditions—largely unchanged over the centuries. (1–2 miles walking, 1–2 hours) Damaraland Camp (B,L,D)
Days 9 & 10 — Twyfelfontein/Palmwag Concession
This morning, search for the elusive desert-adapted elephant. Then, at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein, hike into the hills to examine San petroglyphs and discover the geological curiosities of Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes. Continue to the vast, arid landscape of the Palmwag Concession, home to one of the world’s largest natural populations of the rare black rhino. Your camp here is part of the Save the Rhino Trust, which has helped revive the rhino population after the species was nearly wiped out. Go rhino tracking on game drives and walks with wildlife guides, and discover rare flora and fauna. (Day 9: 1–2 miles walking, 1–2 hours; Day 10: 3–4 miles walking, 2–3 hours) Desert Rhino Camp (B,L,D)
Days 11 & 12 — Swakopmund/Sossusvlei
After a leisurely breakfast this morning, you will board your private chartered aircraft for your flight to Sossusvlei. You will fly over the famous Skeleton Coast, flying over shipwrecks and abandoned diamond mining camps, spotting seal and marine bird colonies as well as the giant sand sea (weather permitting). Make a brief stop in the town of Swakopmund for lunch. Fly on to the Sossusvlei clay pan in the southern part of the Namib, renowned for its massive ochre-hued dunes—among the highest in the world. Settle into your eco-lodge within Namib-Naukluft Park, and go hiking in Sesriem Canyon, carved into the rock by the Tsauchab River over millions of years. Rise early to experience sunrise over the dunes, when the light accentuates their towering, wind-sculpted curves. As we explore, keep an eye out for springbok, bat-eared foxes, geckos and other desert wildlife. (3–4 miles walking, 2–3 hours) Sossus Dune Lodge (B,L,D daily)
Days 13 & 14 — Windhoek
Drive to Windhoek and enjoy free time, then gather for a farewell dinner. The next day, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Galton House (B,L,D; B)
Pricing starts at $6,500 per person, double occupancy (March-April) and $7,695 per person, double occupancy (May-December). For a single room, add $1,150. International airfare to/from Windhoek and airfare within Namibia is not included in the adventure cost. The group flights within Namibia total approximately $1,400 (subject to change).
Group Size: 8–16
Accommodations (hotels, tents and cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single accommodations, and if such are available, you can pay a single supplement fee. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we can assign a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, a single supplement fee will apply.
See special terms and conditions for this adventure.
Namibia Cultural Adventure
Group or Custom Journeys
Starting at $6,500 Per Person