Experience

Ultimate Namibia: A Desert Driving Adventure

A mystifying land of such mindblowing diversity, the best way to see Namibia has to be behind the wheel of a 4×4. Venturing across every terrain and passing by elephant traffic, it connects you with the country in such an authentic way that you’ll never want to leave. Set off on a 14-night journey through Namibia where you’ll tuck into bush breakfasts amongst the dunes at sunrise, spend the afternoons catching sight of rare rhinos and while away the evenings gazing at the Milky Way from NamibRand’s Dark Sky Reserve. As much or as little you’d like to see of Nambia, home to the highest sand dunes in the world and an 80 million-year-old desert, this self-driving journey ensures that you’ll do so in the utmost luxury and style.

HIT THE ROAD

After a quick overnight in Windhoek, you’ll wake ready to kickstart the adventure as you get behind the wheel of your luxury 4×4. The drive out of the city will take you straight into stunning landscapes as you pass through the famous Spreetshoogte Pass, before checking in at the luxurious Little Kulala for two nights and settling into the adventure. The next morning will see you out before dawn for a breakfast amongst the burnt orange dunes of Sossusvlei before clambering across the Namib Sand Sea to Deadvlei and its iconic gnarled camelthorn trees. For the highlight of today though, you’ll have to wait for nightfall. In one of the emptiest parts of Namibia; the skies couldn’t be fuller. Lie beneath the NamibRand Nature Park’s Gold Standard Dark Sky Reserve’s blanket of stars and gaze up at the Milky Way that fill the midnight blue sky.

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A COUNTRY OF CONTRASTS

Next up is Swakopmund, surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and offering unbridled adventure with the next few days filled with sand-boarding on the dunes, kayaking with seals, tandem skydiving above the coast and quad biking through Namibia’s contrasting landscapes. The next morning, you’ll head north to Twyfelfontein and the stunning Mowani Mountain Camp. Tucked away amongst the dusty boulders of the desert and lying between the dry Uggb and Huab rivers, nestle down under the stars for two nights in this lodge like no other. Visit the pre-historic rock etchings and paintings the area is known for during the day and arrive at Burnt Mountain for sunset. As the sun falls behind the volcanic rock, flames seem to lick the top of the mountain, making for the most spectacular sundowner experience.

INFAMOUS COASTLINES

Tomorrow, you’ll drop the keys and take to the Namibian skies as you soar above the desert to the Skeleton Coast, a unique spot where rolling sand dunes meet crashing Atlantic waves. There’s simply nowhere else like it with the strong currents, treacherous fog and shifting underwater sandbanks that have littered the coast with the wrecks of many an explorers’ ship. On this strip of coast dubbed “The Land God Made in Anger” by locals, you’ll spend two nights at Shipwreck Lodge. Let somebody else get behind the wheel as you head out to the Hoanib River Delta in an open 4×4, driving past remnants of campsites that once belonged to the San people of Namibia, scattered between the wrecks.

THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE

Next up is the quintessential safari experience with a Namibian twist. Staying at Hoanib Valley Camp, you can expect to see desert elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions and even rare black and white rhinos moving freely through the vast mountains and wild landscape. Heading out into the game reserve at both dusk and dawn will take its toll, so snooze the afternoons away in the shade and be woken only be the sound of elephant calves splashing around in the waterhole. Take a dip in the plunge pool and feel the African sun beating down on your skin before spending the night dining beneath the stars listening to only the crackle of the campfire.

RARE BREEDS

The next morning, you’ll be driven to Ongava Lodge on the border of Etosha National Park. Home to rare black and white rhino – two nights here will see you heading out at sunrise each morning to see the wildlife in their natural surroundings. In the afternoon, you’ll switch things up as you join expert guides to track animal footprints in the sand. From there, it’s onto Okonjima Luxury Bush Camp. A one-of-a-kind safari where, alongside the AfriCat Foundation, you can help with their work to rehabilitate cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas and leopards, mornings will begin with tracking cheetahs on foot, before an afternoon game drive through the acacia thicket and a fireside sundowner in the middle of the reserve to finish. Do it all with the knowledge of helping out one of Africa’s greatest species before returning home the next day with a camera roll of stories to tell.

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