After the arrival of the group flights at Windhoek Airport we will depart Windhoek driving north to Okonjima where we will enjoy a morning cheetah tour with the AfriCat Foundation before settling into our first night of camping at Duncan's camp.
The AfriCat foundation is home to a non-profit organization aimed at conserving cheetahs in a natural environment, and with a mission to contribute to the long term conservation of Namibia's large carnivores. AfriCat was created as a result of information gained on Okonjima when it was still a cattle farm losing calves to leopards and the desire and urgent need of sharing this information with fellow farmers.
Today we head north, travelling through many small rural villages before arriving in Opuwo, the Gateway to the Kaokoveld region. On arrival we explore a traditional Himba Village, a journey of culture exchange, learning more about the last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba. We continue onto Ruacana where we camp for the evening.
Leaving Namibia behind, we cross the border into Angola, and from here on will have an interesting drive with opportunities to stop and see the many Himba people who live in the area. These nomadic people of Angola are completely untouched by modern society and live with very little. We will also pass a major stand of enormous Baobab trees. With some imagination - and compared to the prevailing vegetation dominated by bush and grass - this patch could be called a 'forest'.
Day 4 - 6
The next days are long and slow drives (the distance covered per hour is 30 km only) with some exciting 4x4 driving. The scenery changes dramatically from Mopane forests to large open plains. There are more opportunities to experience time with Himba people and a variety of other local tribes only to be found in Angola such as Mucubali, Mucawana, Kimbundu, Muimba and others. There are also opportunities to look at some interesting rock formations along the way. On the third day driving through the heart of Iona National Park we will stop in the ghost town of Espinheira.
Today we head to the coast, leaving behind the dryness of Iona National Park. On our way, we stop at Lake Arco - a hidden treasure located within a canyon where we can relax by the waters and watch the birdlife.
We head for the city of Lubango today, marvelling at the breathtaking Leba pass that winds its way up the mountain to a height of 1845 metres above sea level. Lubango is set in a lush tropical valley guarded by the statue of Christ built high above on the cliffs overlooking the city. This statue is only one of three in the world and is a replica of the one in Rio de Janeiro - one of the few remaining signs of hope and peace.
After a visit of the statue, we make our way into Lubango and up to TundaVala where we spend our afternoon at leisure enjoying the beautiful surroundings and clean mountain air. There is an optional hike to the waterfall where you can take a dip, and enjoy sundowners at the top of the Tunda Vala escarpment. TundaVala is a must see in the city of Lubango. This volcanic fissure climbs to 2600m (8528 ft) above sea level and offers breathtaking views from the edge of the escarpment over rolling hills well above the clouds.
After an early breakfast, we head into Lubango to explore the rich colonial architecture mixed with the confusion of Africa and rich Portuguese heritage. We drive along the mainly good tar road from Lubango heading towards Mongua, stopping at Cahama to look at the abandoned tanks and military vehicles left from the war.
Departing early, we cross the border into Namibia at Oshikango and continue into Etosha National Park. Entering through the North gate, we arrive to Namutoni where we set up camp and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the park.
Today we enjoy a morning game drive in the park before heading to the Waterberg Plateau, close to Otjiwarongo. On arrival we go for short hike in the reserve to view the wildlife on the plateau. The plateau was first envisaged as a reserve for eland, Africa's largest species of antelope. In 1972 it was proclaimed a reserve and has since become a sanctuary for several rare animals.
After breakfast at the lodge, we make our way back to Windhoek, where our adventure ends.