Large cat safaris

Highlights of Namibia - Family Group Tour

Fantastic value group mobile camping safari for families taking in the highlights of Namibia with game drives in Etosha National Park and the incredible Sossusvlei Dunes.

Small Group Adventure 12 days

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Itinerary

Overview

  • Affordable Group trip specifically for families
  • Mobile Camping (semi - participatory) & good quality gueshouse accommodation
  • Spot lion, elephant and rhino on safari in Etosha National Park
  • Explore the spectacular desert dunes in Sossusvlei & Sesriem
  • See Ancient Bushman Rock Paintings

Namibia is a wild and vast country with stunning wild scenery and superb safari in Etosha National Park. With this fantastic value group trip for families, accommodation will be in a guest hous ein Windhoek and at the coast, the rest of the time you will be camping in some beautiful locations and all you will have to do is put up your tent whilst your guide and camp assistant put up the rest of camp and prepare wholesome meals over the fire. Starting off in Windhoek, the first stop on your journey will be in the Namib desert, where you can view the vast dunes and get a real sense of the desert-scape. You then continue on to the coast, where you can enjoy wind-swept beaches and the chance to go and view dolphins and whales on a boat trip.

After viewing Namibia's marine life, you then head inland to the mountains in Damaraland, where you can see some fascinating geological rock formations and also some ancient Bushman rock engravings. You then continue on to Etosha National Park, where you will go on game drives with the hope of seeing black rhino, elephant, lion and many other plains game. You will be based in this park for a few days, before heading back to Windhoek via the Waterberg Plateau.

This trip has great appeal for families. Driving times have been kept to a minimum where possible and activities chosen to engage adults and children alike. With monthly departures (twice monthly in high season) with maximum 14 guests (minimum three) this trip is perfect for families who prefer to travel in a group, or who wish to keep costs down. The trip can also be done on a private basis, please ask for details.

Depending on group size the safari is in a specially modified 14-seater Toyota Dyna with pop-tops, large windows and seats with good leg room. Smaller groups will be in a standard mini bus or double cab. The dome tents are easy to assemble and a 5 centimetre thick mattress and camp chair with back rest is provided. Most meals are included and prepared over open camp fire. Camping is in private campgrounds with shared bathroom facilities. Dome tents are provided with a 5 centimetre thick mattress and camp chair with back rest is provided. You will be expected to put up your own tent. Most meals are included and prepared over an open camp fire. Whilst in town (Swakopmund and Windhoek), good quality guest house accommodation is included.

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVE AND RELAX IN WINDHOEK
On arrival at Windhoek Airport, you will be met and transferred by road to your accommodation. The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax, enjoy the pool and perhaps explore the city.
Meals Included: None
Accommodation: Galton House in a family room
Transport: Private transfer from Windhoek Airport to guest house

DAY 2: NAMIB DESERT
After breakfast it will be an early departure between 08h00-08h30 to a central meeting point. Once all participants have arrived, you will meet your guide and depart south for the desert. The journey will take you through the Khomas Hochland range of mountains with lunch en-route and a comfort stop in the small town of Solitaire. You will arrive in camp for late afternoon, in time for a refreshing swim in the pool and to enjoy the sunset over the Nauklauft Mountains. You will be camping outside of the national park and your first camp-fire dinner will be prepared over the open fire.
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping
Transport: Transfer to meeting point to meet other participants and departure of your trip. Distance 350 kilometres.

DAY 3: NAMIB DESERT
Today is a pre-dawn start to enjoy the desert sunrise. On arrival at Sossusvlei, you will enjoy breakfast and prepare for a walk, spending the morning exploring the area and visiting dune 45, which is the star dune in the Sossusvlei area. You will return to camp to avoid the heat of the day, before heading off on an afternoon excursion to the Sesriem Canyon. Late afternoon swim and campfire dinner
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping

DAY 4: SWAKOPMUND
Depart north-west to the seaside town of Swakopmund which is on the Atlantic coast. You will stop en route at the N/a’an ku se Namib Conservation Centre, which is set on a private 500 hectare area with an educational centre and purpose built enclosures. The purpose of this centre is to rehabilitate and release carnivores such as cheetah and leopard who have come into conflict with human interaction. This is also a sanctuary, as some cheetah cannot be released. Continuing the tour, you will cross the Tropic of Capricorn, the Gaud and Kuiseb pass and down the dry river bed over the canyon which opens into desert landscape. The desolated “Namib gravel plains” brings you to the coastal town of Swakopmund for some relaxation and to enjoy some guest house accommodation. Dinner will on your own account tonight, but the guide will suggest a group meal, we recommend trying the excellent seafood in Swakopmund.
Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: Guest house accommodation
Transport: Travel from Namib Desert to Swakopmund. Distance 300 kilometres.

DAY 5: SWAKOPMUND
This morning your guide will take you to Walvis Bay which is about half an hour away for your dolphin cruise. This turbulent coast line is home to many ship wrecks and you will see one such example whilst out, along with the oyster cultivating platforms, the lighthouse, birds, seals before going on to look for the three types of dolphins found in this area; Heavyside Dolphins, Dusky Dolphins and Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. Sparkling wine and snacks will be served on board and you may spot seasonal whales or leather-back turtles. When you return to Swakopmund the remainder of the day will be at leisure. There are a number of optional adventure activities on offer from micro-light flights, quad biking, surfing, dune boarding, fishing trips and even sky diving available. You may want to spend time exploring the town which has a great stretch of beach, open-air curio market, Namibian National Marine Aquarium or simple enjoy a good coffee and cake whilst watching the world go by.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Guest house accommodation

DAY 6: DAMARALAND
Early departure, travelling north with the first stop at Cape Cross where you will see thousands of Cape Fur seals. From here heading inland in an easterly direction back into the desert, you will visit the small town of Uis, an isolated mining town which is the best place to buy rough semi-precious stones which Namibia is known for, such as Amethyst and Tourmaline. Pass the ancient Bushman spiritual site of Brandberg Mountains, Namibia’s highest peak at 2573 metres. Stop and explore Burnt Mountain which is a hill at the foot of a twelve kilometre long volcanic ridge and the nearby gorge which houses the Organ Pipes which are five metre high tall, angular dolomite columns. Camping and dinner around the fire in the nearby Twyfelfontein area
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping
Transport: Travel from Swakopmund to Damaraland. Distance 350 kilometres.

DAY 7: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Early start to view the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein with local guide. Continue travelling to the famous Etosha National Park, staying in Okaukuejo which ewnjoys an excellent location on the western side of the park. After your evening meal around the fire, you will head to the floodlit waterhole which is a great draw card for black rhino, elephant, lion and a number of plains game. Due to the arid nature of this park, wildlife tend to congregate at these watering holes, particularly in winter when drinking water is at a premium (June – October)
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping
Transport: Travel from Damaraland to Etosha National Park. Distance 380 kilometres.

DAY 8: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Full day game driving with packed lunch, returning in the evening to the Okaukuejo campsite
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping

DAY 9: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Today journey across the park to the eastern side of the park, stopping a various waterholes en route and enjoying a leisurely lunch at Halali rest camp which is in the middle of the park and has a waterhole and swimming pool. Days ends well before sunset at Namutoni camp site for dinner and evening game spotting around the waterhole.
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping

DAY 10: WATERBERG
Travel south out of the park, stopping at the Cheetah Conservation Fund for a walking tour of the Educational centre, cheetah museum, clinic and chance to see Cheetah been fed. After lunch continue on to the Waterberg Plateau which has lovely views over the surrounding savannah with brick red sandstone formations and lush green vegetation. This park was originally created as a sanctuary for endangered species from the northern regions of the Caprivi such as roan and sable antelope, tsessebe and Cape buffalo
Meals Included: All meals
Accommodation: Camping
Transport: Travel from Etosha National Park to Waterberg. Distance 350 kilometres.

DAY 11: WINDHOEK
Last day’s journey to Windhoek, stopping at Okahandja which is Namibia’s largest wood carving market, a perfect spot to purchase some lovely Namibian souvenirs. Arriving into Windhoek mid-afternoon for last night at Galton House or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: Galton House
Transport: Travel from Waterberg to Windhoek. Distance 330 kilometres.

DAY 12: DEPART
Day at leisure, check out is 11am but change facilities are available to freshen up before your return journey. Spend the day exploring the city of Windhoek or relax around the pool. A guided city tour can be pre-arranged to include the city centre, the Katatura Township and Xwama Cultural Village. Windhoek has a good selection of museums, galleries, libraries and even Botanical gardens worth a visit.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Transport: Road transfer from guest house to Windhoek Airport.

Details

Getting there

Excellent connections via South Africa with regular flights from Johannesburg and some options from Cape Town. Air Namibia do operate via Frankfurt. Flight from London to Windhoek via Johannesburg start from £780 -£1280 per person

Extensions to Botswana and the Victoria Falls are possible with regular connections.

Flight prices on this route are always cheaper booked in advance, particularly when flying during UK school holidays. If you are booking anything less than a month prior to departure expect to pay through Virgin and BA tend to offer flight sales around September and October, which are worth looking out for.

Please let us know your preferred departure airport and we would be pleased to quote for a flight inclusive ATOL protected package.

Price includes

Inclusive of road transfers to and from Windhoek Airport, pre and post guest house accommodation in Windhoek with breakfast, 9 night guided trip with meals and activities as mentioned, camp assistant and two nights in guest house in Swakopmund, all camping equipment, park fees, camping fees and sleeping bag (you are welcome to bring your own.

Exclusive of all drinks, additional meals and activities, towel, pillow, gratuities, visa fees, comprehensive travel insurance, medical precautions and items of a personal nature

Maximum group size is 14 people and minimum number of 3 people. Transport for up to 6 people will be in a minibus and for 7 people and more in a Toyota bus / truck.

Minimum age is 5 years and children are the full responsibility of accompanying parents / guardians who will be required to sign a responsibility waiver.

When is best?

The months from June to October are winter in Southern Africa but temperatures during the day are comfortable reaching early 20 degrees Celsius. It can be chilly at night but you can keep comfortable with layers. This is the time of the least / no rainfall making the vegetation less dense and the game easy to spot.

This trip runs all year round and would be fine in the summer months in this arid area, traditionally rainfall is for the most part a heavy short downpour in the afternoon.

Is it for me?

This safari has been specially designed for families with small children. The minimum age is 5 years and there is a discount for all children 12 years and under. Driving distances have been kept down to a minimum, (as far as possible in a big country like Namibia - there are still a few long drives), and highlights have been chosen to appeal to adults and children.
Please note this is a participatory group mobile camping experience. Camping tends to be in remote locations with shared bathroom facilities. Participatory camping means that you will be expected to help put up your own tents (camp meals etc. are prepared for you by the cook).

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam K reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

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