Black Rhino

Namibia Under Canvas

Nature & Wildlife
Safari Expeditions
Land-Based Expeditions
Black Rhino

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Namibia Under Canvas

In Namibia, nature rules. This is a land of open spaces, stunning vistas, and unbridled wonder. Photograph breathtaking landscapes of shifting sands, towering dunes, and vast plains as you discover unique desert-adapted wildlife.

Explore the iconic areas of this vast country—dunes, desert, plains and superb wildlife—all while enjoying exclusive accommodations in private reserves and concessions. On this adventure, take in the soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei, desert and denizens of Damaraland, and a multitude of plains game and predators of Etosha National Park. Throughout this Namibia safari, International Expeditions guests savor scenic walks with a talented naturalist guide.

Daily Itinerary

Namibia Under Canvas Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Windhoek, Namibia

    Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel. (D)

  • Day
    2

    Windhoek / Sossusvlei

    After breakfast, board our charter flight to the lovely Camp Sossus. Located in a naturally-formed amphitheater, a stone’s throw from Sossusvlei, the camo is ideally positioned to avoid the harsh desert sun. With one of the lowest environmental footprints of any camp in Namibia, the camp is expertly designed—tents are protected from winds by natural stone walls and shaded by roofs built from almost 500 recycled oil drums. It is also equipped with furniture built in part from recycled metals, Oregon pine floor boards and wooden pallets. Large west-facing windows and south-facing doors allow natural cooling and the tents are stylishly furnished, offering important comforts such as en suite flush toilets and bucket showers, comfortable twin beds, solar power, a shaded day-bed and a star bed—night skies in the Namib are among the most dazzling in the world. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    3

    Sossusvlei

    Depart at dawn to view the sun rise over the dunes; their contrasting shadows, saturated colors, and elegant wind-sculpted patterns are a photographer’s dream. The strange croaking calls of Rueppell’s bustards herald the new day and, with luck, you may even be treated to the classic spectacle of an oryx making its stately progress across the sands. Also keep watch for other desert denizens—springbok, black-backed jackals, and bat-eared foxes. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    4

    Sossusvlei / Swakopmund

    This morning, enjoy a flightseeing tour along the fabled Skeleton Coast. Often shrouded by fog and named for its tricky currents and treacherous rocks, the Skeleton Coast offers views of desolate beaches decorated with multi-colored pebbles, immense, bleached whale bones, and the bare ribs of shipwrecks as you glide above the coastline. Further inland you’ll see the remains of the old diamond mines, hollowed-out dry river beds, and beautiful rainbow-colored saltpans. Land in the quaint, coastal town of Swakopmund, packed with old world charm and numerous German-influences. Savor lunch at the festive German Brauhaus restaurant, then continue to The Delight Swakopmund. In the afternoon take a brief walking tour, with visits to the Swakopmund Museum, the Aquarium, and the Mole, the city’s iconic sea wall and private boat mooring. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    5

    Swakopmund / Damaraland

    This morning, depart overland for the scenic drive to Damaraland, making stops for wildlife viewing and photography along the way. Damaraland is one of the country’s most scenic areas; a huge, untamed, wilderness of prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite outcroppings, and deep gorges. Accommodations for the next two nights are at Camp Onduli, built at the base of granite outcrops with magnificent views of Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, to the south and the dispersed cathedral-like granite inselbergs to the north. The camp is designed to maximize the views of this most extraordinary landscape and every space becomes a viewpoint whether from your bed, desk, or bathroom. Settle in to your generous room, or take a dip in the infinity pool before dinner and overnight. (B,L,D) 

  • Day
    6

    Damaraland

    Spend a full day exploring. A number of fresh water springs along Huab River support healthy populations of desert-adapted elephants and a number of lesser-known yet equally fascinating mammals including the rare Hartmann’s mountain zebra, Kaokoland rock hyrax, peculiar dassie rat, and the adorable rock dormouse. Rosy-faced lovebirds, swallow-tailed bee-eaters, and violet-eared waxbills provide a splash of additional color to the environment. You also have the chance to view Twyfelfontein’s boulders and slabs of red sandstone, itself a living museum boasting some 2,500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife and abstract motifs, a legacy of the area’s original San (or bushman) inhabitants. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    7

    Damaraland / Ongava (Etosha National Park)

    After breakfast, depart overland to the private 125-square-mile Ongava Game Reserve which shares a common border with Etosha National Park. Arrive in the afternoon and check in to Ongava Tented Camp, situated on the slopes of a rocky outcrop. An evening game drive offers the opportunity to spot gemsbok, springbok, both black and white rhinos, (one of the few remaining places in Africa where you can find both), greater kudu, and red hartebeest. Birdlife is prolific and includes 10 of Namibia’s 14 endemic bird species with regular sightings of bare-cheeked babblers, violet wood-hoopoe, Carp’s tits, and the brilliantly-colored, crimson-breasted shrike, Namibia’s national bird. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    8

    Ongava (Etosha National Park)

    Today, explore Etosha, “the place of dry water,” one of the most rewarding wildlife experiences in Africa. Covering over 8,000 square miles, the park encompasses a vast salt pan 80 miles long and is Namibia’s premier game-viewing destination. Stop at waterholes to observe the game gathered there and search for the park’s healthy populations of lions, eland, mountain zebras, black-faced impalas, a number of other antelope species, and a host of birdlife. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    9

    Ongava / Okonjima Nature Reserve

    This morning, head toward the sandstone mountains of the Omboroko range to reach Okonjima—famous for its healthy populations of lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Dinner and overnight at Okonjima Bush Camp. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    10

    Okonjima Nature Reserve

    Search the reserve by vehicle and on foot with a good chance of spotting these elusive cats, and visit both the AfriCat Foundation and the Cheetah Conservation Trust, non-profit organizations dedicated to the conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores. The Omboroko Mountains also support many Namibian avian endemics, notably Hartlaub’s francolin and the shy, but vocal rockrunner, also known as the Damara rockjumper. In the evening, specially designed blinds may yield sightings of lesser known African mammals such as the caracal, honey badger, and South African porcupine. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    11

    Okonjima Nature Reserve / Windhoek

    After breakfast, drive to Windhoek to connect with your independent homeward flight. (B)

Things to Know

What's included in the cost of this expedition?

Intra-tour airfare

Accommodations on group dates

Excursions, activities, and meals as listed in the itinerary

Services of experienced English-speaking guides

Arrival and departure transfers between the group hotel and airport regardless of day or time

Selected beverages included with lunch and dinner

Potable water

Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

Accommodations

Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel

Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel

This elegant 41-bedroom boutique hotel is situated on the prestigious Am Weinberg Estate. The rooms complement the historic character, while modern amenities and 5-star touches ensure the utmost comfort. Courtyard rooms feature doors opening onto a beautiful courtyard or on to your own private balcony where you may sit and breathe in the peaceful ambiance. The spacious suites feature a private bedroom, floor to ceiling windows, a separate lounge as well as a desk space.

Camp Sossus

Camp Sossus

Camp Sossus is an exciting, semi-permanent tented camp offering an exotic desert retreat for avid campers. The eight tents sit in a naturally-formed amphitheatre in a granite outcrop in the heart of the region, perfectly sheltered from the desert winds, and nearly invisible in the beautiful landscape. Sustainability is key at Camp Sossus. Eclectic furniture was built mostly from recycled metals, oil drum lids, and recycled wood. Freshen up in the open-air en suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot bucket showers. Take a snooze in the long twin beds or on the shaded day-bed. All tent lighting is provided by solar power.

The Delight

The Delight

Each room at this hotel is air-conditioned and has a private bathroom, flat-screen TV and coffee machine. The Delight Swakopmund features a restaurant, on-site bar, 24-hour front desk, and free WiFi. Entertainment is easy to find with the Mermaid Casino and Atlanta cinema mere steps away.

Camp Onduli

Camp Onduli

Camp Onduli has only six rooms, nestled amongst the granite boulders that surround the camp, with partial open-air bathrooms, and largely open communal areas. The camp is designed to maximise the views of the extraordinary local landscapes, and every space is set to become a viewpoint whether from your bed, desk, or bathroom. Louvered shutters can be opened completely, blurring the lines between the indoors and the surrounding nature, or closed for complete privacy if preferred. A king size bed cooled by its own ‘climate conditioner’ (the evening breeze) is the perfect place for afternoon siestas and the bed can also be rolled out onto your private deck for a night under a billion stars if that appeals. The camp exudes character and meticulous attention to detail with large rooms, a library, rain showers, an infinity pool, and plenty of places to relax and laze the day away.

Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp is tucked into a hidden valley at the foot of a dolomite hill in the Ongava Game Reserve, which borders Etosha National Park. Eight large, comfortable Meru-style tents all have en-suite facilities, open-air showers, and private verandas. The main area, built of stone, canvas, and thatch, fronts onto a much-frequented waterhole; watching wildlife coming to drink from here or from the swimming pool is a favorite pastime.Ongava's proximity to Etosha allows for game drives in the National Park and on the Ongava Reserve itself. Ongava holds one of the largest rhino custodianships for the Namibian government in the country and is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where guests can see both black and white rhino.

Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp is set within a nature reserve. Each chalet has two queen-size beds, a working desk with telephone, comfortable leather chairs, large glass panels and canvas windows that can be completely opened for unrestricted views of the savanna, as well as an open pavilion, known as a 'Sala,' furnished with a mini bar and sitting area. Public areas include a pool for cooling off, cozy lounge area with inside and outdoor fireplaces, and a dining area that looks out onto a waterhole. Free WiFi is available.

From: $9,990 per person
Duration
11 Days, 10 Nights
Guest Capacity
10 Guests
Trip Type
Land

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Namibia’s wild coast, otherworldly deserts, rugged mountains, stunning wildlife, and rich cultural heritage on this comprehensive itinerary.
  • Discover an abundance of wildlife including unique desert-adapted elephants in Damaraland, as well as black and white rhinos—Namibia is one of the only regions in Africa where both species are found.
  • Photograph the dunes of Sossusvlei, a surrealistic landscape of massive ochre-hued dunes canopied by indigo skies.
  • View over 2,000 rock carvings at Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund and the AfricCat Foundation to learn about the important work being done to preserve these beautiful apex predators.