Namibian Adventurer Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Family Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
Namibia
Programmes:
Family
Trip Code:
FAN
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

15 Days Flight Inclusive
13 Days Land only
8 Min age

Trip Overview

The sun is rising and we are sat atop one of the highest dunes in the world. A burst of orange and red explodes on the surrounding landscape as warm rays caress the shifting sand. We are in Sossusvlei. Over the coming days we explore the country’s amazing diversity, sit by watering holes watching wildlife, hike through rock formations to ancient engravings, enjoy Viennese style cake shops, meet traditional tribes and discover a country where the desert scenery changes with every turn and the night sky sparkles with countless stars.

At a Glance

  • Travel in an overland truck with standing space and reference library
  • Group normally 4 to 12, plus leader
  • 4 nights lodges and 1 night chalet, all en suite, 7 nights camping
  • Some long drives

Trip Highlights

  • Climb the highest sand dunes in the world
  • Fantastic wildlife viewing at Etosha National Park
  • Optional quad-biking or sandboarding at Swakopmund
  • Full service camping - no need to lift a finger!

Is This Trip for You?

Drive times on this trip are moderate and we will normally arrive at our destination by lunch time or just after lunch. We will rarely exceed 5 hours driving in one day, but some of the areas we visit are remote so the roads can be bumpy at times. There will be breaks on the longer drives and there is also a reference library on board the vehicle. It will be cooler during UK summer months so please ensure that you bring adequate warm clothing, especially for the evenings when the temperature can drop quickly when the sun goes down. It can also get very warm in UK winter months so bear this in mind when packing. We use a combination of lodges, chalets and campsites. There is a minimal time difference and we also visit some malaria areas. Activities such as climbing the sand dune at Sossusvlei and the walk to the White Lady painting could be challenging for younger children but there is the option to skip them.

Group

The trip is led by an experienced and knowledgeable safari guide/driver. All camping chores including cooking, washing up and erecting and dismantling of tents is done for you.

Child min age:
8

Child max age:

14
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Windhoek.

    The starting point for this trip is the Arebbusch Lodge. For those on the group transfer, we spend sometime in the capital city to change money and collect supplies and then drive to the Arebbush Lodge on the outskirts of the city.
    Arebbusch Lodge or similar

  • Day 2

    Drive through Namib-Naukluft Park to Sesriem.

    Today we head southwest through the spectacular scenery of the Namib-Naukluft Park to our first campsite at Sesriem. This National Park, one of the largest in the world, is home to one of the driest and oldest deserts on earth. It contains the finest desert scenery in Africa, if not in the world, with towering jagged rock formations and incredible lunar landscapes. (300-350kms / 6-7hrs)
    NWR Sesriem Campsite or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Sossusvlei Dunes and cheetah tracking

    Today we spend all day in the Namib Desert. Rising early we catch the tallest sand dunes in the world in the best light and have the opportunity to climb one of the dunes as the sun rises, truly one of Africa's greatest sights. We can either walk to Hiddenvlei or catch a transfer (optional extra) to Deadvlei where ancient acacia trees in the desert form an eerie scene. If we're lucky we may see gemsbok or ostrich among the sand dunes. In the afternoon we visit Sesriem Canyon before continuing onto our camp an hour away. We visit the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre where we can join biologists working on a cheetah tracking and conservation project (depending on time we may go cheetah tracking tomorrow morning). (200kms / 3hrs).
    Solitaire Guest Farm or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Travel through Namib Desert to Swakopmund via Walvis Bay.

    A long, but very scenic, drive through the Namib-Naukluft Park to Swakopmund. En route we visit Walvis Bay for lunch and to see local flamingos. Swakopmund is a small German colonial resort town with quaint cake shops and coffee houses and a centre for adrenaline activities. (300kms / 5.5hrs)
    Prost hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Full day in Swakopmund with optional activities.

    Today is spent in and around Swakopmund. There is time to go fishing, relax on the beach, or enjoy a cream tea and a seafood dinner along the front. If you're keen for some action, there are enough options for the whole family - take an optional dolphin watching cruise, experience the thrill of quad biking over the sand dunes or try the popular new sport of sandboarding. (200kms / 6hrs)
    Prost Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Drive to Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain.

    After a relaxing start we leave the cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean behind and head inland towards Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg, in Damaraland. The Damaraland area is famous for the desert elephants which roam in the Ugab River. Star gazing is normally spectacular from this remote area (240kms / 3.5hrs).
    Bradberg Whilte Lady Lodge (camping) or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    White Lady Painting & Vingerklip

    We begin our day with a short drive to Brandberg, where we will enjoy a walk through valley 45 for approximately 1.5 hours. Along the way we will view beautiful, granite rock formations and a variety of birdlife. The valley takes us to the famous ‘White Lady’ rock painting which, along with a number of other small paintings and engravings, are thought to have been left by Bushmen at least 2000 years ago. Afterwards we will drive towards the Khorixas area where we should pass various Himba and Herero women selling crafts from the roadside. There is also the possibility of spotting Desert elephants and meerkats on the way. We will arrive at our accommodation after lunch and then in the afternoon we can view Vingerklip, a striking pinnacle of rock balancing vertically on its own (driving 230kms / 3.5hrs).
    Khorias Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    To famous Etosha National Park.

    The first day is spent with a scenic drive to Etosha. We should arrive in time to do a late afternoon game drive before setting up at our camp, which has an excellent waterhole for viewing game at night! Our itinerary allows plenty of time to really enjoy this fabulous game park. (240kms / 3.5hrs)
    Okaukujo Camp or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Days 9-10

    Two days on game drives in Etosha.

    Etosha is a huge park with a mix of forest and grassland surrounding a large saltpan. Etosha is home to a great variety and number of game, which is easy to find as the animals congregate at different times around the waterholes. There are waterholes near the camps, and it is not uncommon for us to spend many hours watching a gala performance of animals: wildebeest, zebra, impala, springbok, kudu, elephant, giraffe, lion and even rhino are all common sights here. Those with patience are frequently rewarded by one of the greatest game spectacles in Southern Africa. Etosha is also a good place for birds, with plenty of water birds on the lakes and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees. While in Etosha we move from Okakuejo to a camp in either Namutoni or Halali (they both have waterholes). These camps now offer optional night drives which you can book and pay for on arrival.
    Namutoni Camp or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 11

    To Otjiwarongwe

    Relaxing start in the morning. We then drive to Otjiwarongwe area with a break for lunch and then camp on a private farm.(430kms / 7hrs).
    Wesrand Camp or similar

  • Day 12

    Trek at Waterberg Plateau.

    This morning we drive to the Waterberg Plateau, a 200 metre high gigantic flat-topped plateau covered with bushveld. It is one of the more fertile areas in Namibia and very colourful especially after the rains. Here there are several walking trails, including one leading to a spectacular viewpoint near the top of the plateau for a great view. In addition to a guided walk, there are many smaller walks that can be explored without a guide. (120kms / 2hrs)
    NWR Waterberg Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Transfer to Windhoek; depart Windhoek.

    A drive of three and a half hours or so brings us back to Windhoek. Those not travelling with the group to London will leave us during the day. (320kms / 3.5hrs)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Lodges, Chalet & Camping

The lodges and chalet we use are all located in natural settings and generally have good facilities such as a bar and swimming pool. The campsites used are secure and have full ablution blocks and generally swimming pools as well.

Please note that due to the limited amount of accommodation within Etosha National Park, it may be necessary to sleep outside the park on some or all of the nights that we are there. This will not impact on the number of game drives that we have within the park.

Single accommodation (available on request)

Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can't guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Single supplement from £215.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners.

Please allow approximately GBP10 per meal per person for meals not included. Camp meals will be wholesome and plentiful, but do not expect cordon bleu cuisine and please note it is not always easy to get a wide range of fresh vegetables. However, generally the standard of food is good. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that the availability of certain products can be minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free. Please be prepared for this - you may be best advised to bring these items from home.

Transportation

The vehicle normally used for this trip is a specially modified safari vehicle with twelve seats for clients. Seating is forward facing and the windows are large and easy to open. Smaller groups may be in a Mercedes Sprinter or Hilux/Land Cruiser. People are expected to move around to permit everyone a chance to have a window seat. The roof opens for game viewing and there is plenty of legroom and packing space. All vehicles carry a reference library and icebox. On certain departures we may use an alternative vehicle - this will be a Mercedes Benz Sprinter with sliding windows, library and fridge. These are comfortable, especially for long journeys on gravel roads.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

Namibia is in the Southern Hemisphere, therefore essentially has the opposite seasons to the UK. The summer months of June, July and August, whilst clear and warm during the day, can drop down to single figures and even freezing at night. Between September and May it is considerably warmer with the time between October and April being the hottest, when it often reaches 30degC. However it is always a dry heat and the temperature does drop at night. The wet season is between November and February (this can vary a month either side), but this is not a bad time to go as the desert blooms after rainfall and it never rains for very long.

Weather Charts

Windhoek

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 15 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of South African Airways or Air Namibia (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up-to-date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 13 days starting and ending in Windhoek

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Windhoek in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions - sent approximately two weeks before departure.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients, so no matter which flight you choose to arrive on you will be met and transferred to your hotel. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance; unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel; transfers to other hotels in the same city may attract an extra charge; transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times.

The last night of the trip will be spent in the Waterberg Plateau Park and the tour finishes in Windhoek. If your return flight home departs before the group flight you may have to get a private transfer from Waterberg to Windhoek. Please ask a member of our sales team for more details.

Location start:
Windhoek
Location end:
Windhoek

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Sleeping bag (3/4 season if travelling in UK summer months - otherwise 2 season)
Pillow
Towel
Torch
Sun hat
Sun cream
Water bottle
Soft holdall
Good walking shoes/ trainers
Clothes for hot and cool (sometimes cold) weather
Lightweight waterproof gear (on the off-chance that there's rain)

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn't yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. On your trip the tap water is safe to drink and the vehicle has a water tank. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout and all you need to do is bring a bottle to re‐fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

If while packing you find a spare bit of space in your bag please be sure to check out our partner ‘Pack for a Purpose’ to identify items that are needed locally by schools and medical clinics. Your Tour Leader can assist with donating the items. http://www.packforapurpose.org

Optional Equipment

Please note the temperature in July and August can get really cold, especially at night. We strongly recommend you bring plenty of warm clothing if you're travelling at these times of the year.

Reading List

Namibia: the birth of a Nation G. Kinnock

A photographic record.

This is Namibia  Peter Joyce

Namib: Dawn to Twilight Bergarot

History of Southern Africa  K Shillington (Longmans 1987)

Good, readable history of the region.

Land Mammals of Southern Africa  R.Smithers

Birds of South Africa  Ken Newman

Maps

The best maps at present are the 1/4000000 scale Michelin map number 955 which covers Southern Africa and the Geocentre map of Southern Africa.
www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/namibia/

Practical Information

Passport

Namibia

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Namibia

Visas for Namibia are not required for UK or Commonwealth passport holders. Other nationalities should check before travelling.
Please ensure you have a one full blank page in your passport.
If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling.

Please note that if flying via South Africa you will probably have to pass immigration there. New regulations, as of the 1 Oct 2014, mean that children under 18 will have to have an unabridged birth ciritificate showing the names of both parents. If the child is travelling with only one parent they will need to have an affidavit from the other parent, of no more then 3 months, confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death cirtificate of the deceased parent.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Namibia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Namibia's Timezone:
Africa/Windhoek WAST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Namibia's Electricity:

220 Volts. Plug types D & M; establishments often take the large 3 round pin plugs as used in South Africa.

Namibia generally uses large, 2-round pin plugs (the same as in S. Africa) which are not normally found on multi-plug adaptors. It is possibel to find adaptors at Heathrow airport or upon arrival. Nearly all the campsites/lodges provide a power point where you can charge your camera batteries. The power point is normally in a communal area like the kitchen or bar. Most of the vehicles are fitted with an inverter to allow you to charge your batteries while on the move (using European style plugs) also, but obviously space is limited so you should not rely on this being available.

Money

Namibia's Currency

The national currency of Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 16.6 to the GBP,  13 to the USD, 9.9 to the CAD, 14.6 to the EUR, 9.9 to the AUD and 9.5 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

Credit cards are widely accepted, and there are cash machines in the main towns and the airport, but you should not rely on this for all your money. Most hotels and restaurants accept credit cards.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Optional Excursions (approximate costs, depending on group sizes)

There are several optional activities in Swakopmund, such as ocean fishing, canoeing, quad-biking and sandboarding but there's plenty to occupy you if you don't participate. These prices are approximate.

Deadvlei transfer (if not walking on Day 3, one way) N$ 150

Quad-biking N$ 500 (for 2hrs); N$300 (for 1hr)

Dolphin Cruise N$ 500

Flight over Sossousvlei N$ 3500

Ocean fishing N$ 950

Township Tour N$ 500

Desert Night drive (Day 3) N$ 200

Sandboarding:

Lay Down N$ 300

Stand up N$ 400

Etosha late-afternoon safari N$600

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Tipping is obviously entirely optional but we recommend approximately £1-2 (US$1.50-3) per person per day.

Kid looking at Elephants and waterhole, Etosha, Namibia

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

 

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

Family trips

On all trips the staff are there to help ensure the holiday runs as smoothly as possible and, in the unlikely event that it does not, to sort out the best possible alternatives. What they cannot do is act as child minders or babysitters; they will treat your children as 'young adults', but it is your responsibility to look after your young ones. During free time or if you decide to opt out of part of the itinerary, you are responsible for your family and any arrangements that need to be made. Under no circumstances should this responsibility fall on our staff or any of your fellow travellers outside of your immediate family.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.