- Spot wildlife on a safari in Etosha National Park
- Discover shipwrecks along the famous Skeleton Coast
- Explore the German-colonial seaside charms of Swakopmund
- Get a taste of the Namib Desert in Sesriem
- Visit a cheetah conservation project
|Day 1||Arrive in Windhoek & Explore the City||Windhoek|
|Day 2||Transfer to Etosha National Park, Afternoon Game Drive||Etosha National Park|
|Day 3||Transfer to Swakopmund, Explore Independently||Swakopmund|
|Day 4||Transfer to Sesriem, Sunset Walk||Sesriem|
|Day 5||Visit a Cheetah Conservation Project, Transfer to Windhoek & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek & Explore the City
Welcome to Namibia! Your driver will be waiting at the airport to take you to your Windhoek hotel. Once you've settled in, head out to explore Namibia's thriving capital. You'll notice that the city has a distinctly European feel due to its German-colonial legacy. Wander past Gothic churches, leafy parks, and imposing fortresses, then stop to eat some braai (barbecue) at a local restaurant. Must-see historical sites include the pretty white-trimmed Christuskirche (Christ Church) and the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), now the Namibian parliament building.
Discover Windhoek's fascinating history on an optional city and township tour. The trip starts in the heart of the city at Christuskirche and takes in landmarks like the Alte Feste (Old Fort) and Parliament Gardens. From the city center, you'll weave through the suburbs into the vibrant Katutura township, home to around two-thirds of Windhoek's population.
Learn about Katutura's stirring past as a segregation site during apartheid and visit the market, known as the "Single Quarters," where you can try Namibian delicacies like fried mopane worms and kapana (meat grilled on an open fire). Make a stop at Penduka, a craft initiative that provides unskilled women in the township with the chance to earn a living and support their families. At the end of the tour, return to your hotel in the city.
Day 2: Transfer to Etosha National Park, Afternoon Game Drive
This morning, your driver will collect you for the four-hour journey north to Etosha National Park. The park is known by the Indigenous Ovambo people as "the great white place" for its mammoth salt pan. At 1,900 square miles (4,920 sq km), it's the biggest in Africa and is visible from space. Etosha is also home to hundreds of birds and animal species; look out for everything from zebra and impala to giraffes, big cats, elephants, and even endangered black rhinos. In the rainy season, water floods the salt pans creating lagoons that attract migratory birds like flamingoes that feed on the lagoon's algae.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Enjoy an afternoon game drive through Etosha, visiting the park's many spring-fed waterholes. During the dry season, the animals congregate around these vital water sources, providing the best wildlife viewing in Namibia. Your guide will park beside the waterholes, where you can spot African predators, grazing game, and colorful birdlife. You'll return to your lodge just before sunset. Relax around the lodge's floodlit waterhole for more animal sightings while your guide prepares dinner over an open fire.
Day 3: Transfer to Swakopmund, Explore Independently
Today's journey takes you through Damaraland, a dramatic land of gorges, grasslands, and burnt-orange mountains. Along the way, you'll stop to meet the area's Indigenous Herero, Himba, and Damara women, who sell handmade arts and crafts. These women are the ancestors of Damaraland's nomadic hunter-gatherer people, who are responsible for creating the region's UNESCO-listed collection of prehistoric rock paintings. Enjoy a roadside lunch in the shadow of Namibia's tallest mountain, Brandberg, known as "fire mountain" for its sunrise and sunset glow, and chat with some locals.
The trip continues down the remote Skeleton Coast, where the Atlantic collides with the dunes of the Namib Desert, creating a veil of thick fog responsible for numerous shipwrecks, one of which you'll get to explore. Your drive ends in the coastal city of Swakopmund, where you'll spend the rest of the day exploring independently. This former German port was originally occupied by the Herero people and lies at the mouth of the Swakop River. Stroll along its peaceful streets lined with European-style timber houses, stopping to visit the Swakopmund Museum or National Marine Aquarium.
As the adventure hub of Namibia, you can also arrange tours from Swakopmund into the desert for dune buggy riding or sand boarding. Head to nearby Walvis Bay for a boat trip to Cape Cross, where you'll witness the world's largest breeding colony of Cape fur seals. Finish the day with a walk on Swakopmund's beach with its wooden pier, followed by a feast of bratwurst and Bavarian beer in a German-themed restaurant.
Day 4: Transfer to Sesriem, Sunset Walk
Today you'll drive four hours south through the Namib Desert, via Kuiseb Pass and Solitaire, to Sesriem. Take a short walk around Sesriem, a small town that lies on the border of Namib-Naukluft National Park. The town is named for its 100-foot (30 m) deep canyon, which was formed up to four million years ago by the Tsaugab River. Early explorers collected water from its depths using ses (six) riem (leather rope straps) to lower a bucket into the canyon. Bask in sunset views over the hulking Naukluft Mountains, surrounded by orange-red desert scenery dotted with Namibia's famed quiver trees.
As an optional activity, take a cruise from nearby Walvis Bay to spot various birds and marine life, including dolphins and albatrosses. The trip takes you along the bay's tidal lagoon to Pelican Point and the seal colony at Cape Cross. As you sail, dine on fresh oysters and bubbly while a guide teaches you about the marine ecosystem. You could also enjoy a scenic flight from along the Skeleton Coast or Diamond Coast, getting a bird's eye view of famous landmarks like the Eduard Bohlen and Shawnee shipwrecks, the Rössing and Husab Mines, and Spitzkoppe's granite peaks.
Day 5: Visit a Cheetah Conservation Project, Transfer to Windhoek & Depart
This morning, visit a local cheetah conservation project. Namibia has the world's largest population of these endangered cats and is at the forefront of conservation efforts. During the tour, you'll learn about the organization's work rescuing and caring for these beautiful big cats. You'll also get the opportunity to take photos of some of the project's resident cheetahs.