Kaoko-Damara, a guided Safari in Namibia, exploring the untamed beauty of Kaokoland and Damaraland, venturing into the Erongo region, and discovering game-rich protected areas.
Kaoko-Damara, a guided Safari
a comprehensive guided adventure tour through the captivating landscapes of Namibia, exploring the untamed beauty of Kaokoland and Damaraland, venturing into the Erongo region, and discovering game-rich protected areas.
Undoubtedly, one of the most renowned and comprehensive adventure tours catering to nature, culture, and landscape enthusiasts, as the north-western region of Namibia remains unspoiled by mass tourism and exudes remarkable diversity!
Your journey commences with immersive game viewing in picturesque wilderness areas, offering ample opportunities to capture stunning wildlife photography. We will guide you through the captivating landscapes of Erongo, Kaokoland, Damaraland, and the Hobatere Concession Area.
The semi-desert expanse of north-western Namibia, coupled with the geologic and scenic marvels of Damaraland and Kaokoland, holds a special allure. Here, you’ll be captivated by the pastoralist OvaHimba and Damara people, as well as the awe-inspiring desert vistas. Of particular interest are the Hoanib Valley and the Etendeka Formation, renowned for their unique charm. Visitors flock to this region in anticipation of encounters with the legendary desert elephants, elusive desert lions, and the endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebras.
Picture the thrill of spotting an elephant amidst contrasting mountains, framed by towering winter thorn trees, or photographing mountain zebras in volcanic landscapes. Perhaps you’ll even have the opportunity to spot a black rhino amid the thousands of olive-green Euphorbias dotting the red landscape.
Within private nature reserves, we endeavor to showcase a diverse array of African wildlife, including magnificent big cats such as leopards, lions, and cheetahs. You’ll also have the chance to observe and photograph brown hyenas and numerous bird species, making it an optimal location for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.
We are very happy to extend this journey into the deep northwest to the Skeleton Coast. Since this area is offered at a very high price, we have offered this as a possible extension for the time being.
Days 1 & 2
- 2 nights at a comfortable lodge in the middle of a private nature reserve.
- Dinner, bed and breakfast
- 2x game drives in open game vehicles guided by well-trained rangers.
We’ve chosen a lodge right along the Omaruru Dry River, where animals frequently gather at the waterhole due to supplementary feeding. While this may reduce the wilderness effect, it’s ideal for families seeking close encounters with various species.
You’ll stay at a sought-after lodge known for well-guided game drives, offering opportunities to spot predators like lions and leopards. It’s a medium-sized lodge where you can mingle with other tourists. Some animals are tagged, potentially impacting the wildlife experience, but overall, the experiences and photo opportunities are fantastic.
Although animal density is somewhat lower here, the accommodation and services are top-notch, and the crowds are manageable. Game drives yield ample wildlife sightings, and the diverse flora supports a wide variety of small animals and birds.
Biodiversity: Arrival & drive into a wildlife rich nature reserve
In the heart of the Acacia Savannah on the central high plateau, a captivating red sandy hilly landscape beckons, promising an array of exquisite photo opportunities. Here, you’ll discover remarkable sights like the towering termite mounds and the graceful umbrella acacias.
Our itinerary includes a two-night stay in this mesmerizing location, where locally guided game drives await to immerse you in a diverse array of wildlife encounters. The late afternoon game drives, guided by knowledgeable locals, come highly recommended, often leading to thrilling sightings of majestic pachyderms and elusive big cats.
For a leisurely wildlife-watching experience, you can unwind at the lodge’s waterholes, where giraffes, numerous antelope species, and a plethora of vibrant birdlife provide endless opportunities for observation and photography.
1 night directly at the Ugab Terraces with beautiful views and high-quality ambience.
Dinner, bed and breakfast
The „Vingerklip“ & Namibian Monument Valley
Unpredictably, limestone reefs rise from a landscape adorned with termite mounds. The Ugab Terraces, while not as vast as America’s Monument Valley, boast a striking erosion valley that’s a geological marvel. The centerpiece is an enormous rock formation known as the “Vingerklip,” translating to “Rock Finger.”
You can embark on a brief hike through the steep Mopane savannah, tracing these dramatic reefs up to the colossal stone finger, standing tall and imposing in the midst of this unique terrain.
Additional Days in Etosha Park?
2 nights in the central area of the National Park at a good private lodge outside the park or in a semi-state Waterhole Chalet directly at the world famous Okaukuejo Waterhole.
Dinner, bed and breakfast
The private lodges in the central area tend to be quite spacious and popular among tourists. While this may not be a concern for many, it can lead to crowding, especially considering most of your time will be spent in the park.
Although Okaukuejo does offer more affordable double rooms, we’ve opted for and charged for chalets situated near the waterhole. Please be prepared for higher visitor numbers in this area and be understanding when it comes to accommodation and service… but do note that the location near the waterhole is highly coveted.
For those seeking solitude and superior accommodations, we highly recommend choosing one of our handpicked, top-rated boutique lodges outside the park. This will ensure a more exclusive experience away from the crowds.
Etosha National Park – central
The “Great White Place,” an expansive expanse covering over 4000 km2, stands as a canvas of vast emptiness, its borders adorned with ever-shifting vegetation. Our journey takes us through a arid forest, leading into an endless grassy steppe where zebras roam freely. This expanse transforms once more into an acacia savannah, where graceful giraffes graze, and if we’re fortunate, we may spot lions seeking respite in the shade of dense mopane trees.
In this realm, wildlife has grown accustomed to the presence of vehicles, providing exceptional opportunities for both game viewing and photography. Along the way, you’ll encounter several antelope species, including springbok, red hartebeest, wildebeest, steenbok, dik-dik, and even the rare black-nosed impala and oryx. Predators such as lions make frequent appearances, while leopards and cheetahs may grace us somewhat less often. Pachyderms, including both rhino species and elephants, also call this place home, with giraffes gracefully towering above the trees. Additionally, there’s an abundance of small animals and a vibrant avian presence to observe and admire.
Our Safari Cruisers, specially converted for game viewing, have wide-window seats and the lever roof is opened at the water points. You can thus comfortably take photos sitting and standing up.
Days 4 & 5
- 2 nights at a lodge situated directly on the Otjovasandu dry river, in the middle of the Mopane savannah near large winter thorn acacias.
- Full board
- 2x local guided game drives / night game drives
Hobatere Communal Nature Reserve in Damaraland
If you’ve chosen the extended drive through Etosha National Park’s western region, expect a captivating journey filled with surprises. You’ll visit waterholes where Africa’s wildlife frequently gathers, providing unforgettable encounters.
This area offers unspoiled natural beauty, with endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebras, abundant antelope, and graceful giraffes. While lions, leopards, cheetahs, and elephants roam here, spotting them requires a bit of luck and experience.
Bird enthusiasts will delight in species like the Bare-cheeked Babbler, Little Sparrowhawk, and Scops Owlet, often found in the lodge’s garden.
For nighttime adventures, the lodge offers thrilling night drives where you might spot aardvarks, porcupines, genets, bat-eared foxes, spring hares, and other nocturnal wonders, adding a touch of enchantment to your safari experience.
Days 6 & 7
- 2 nights at a rustic tented lodge on the Kunene River at the Epupa Falls
- 1 night at a good lodge just outside Opuwo, the core of Kaokoland
- Dinner, bed and breakfast
- Locally guided game drive to a Himba village. Contact, communication and opportunities for photography by the local guide (mostly Himba himself).
Kaokoland & the Himba at Epupa Falls
We journey towards the Kunene River, marking the border between Angola and Namibia. Along the way, we encounter vibrant herds of cattle, a colorful mix of lean creatures with long horns, often accompanied by oxpeckers, providing excellent bird-watching opportunities. Interestingly, these herds are tended by Himba people, and as we continue, we start to see the first settlements, offering us a glimpse into the traditional life of these pastoralists.
Guided by a local Himba guide, we visit a “Kraal” or village, where we learn about their customs, such as the application of ochre fat by the women. The Himba guide acts as a cultural bridge, allowing us to capture moments through photography without concern for causing offense.
Our journey continues to the remarkable Epupa Waterfalls, a natural wonder that serves as a playground for wildlife, local residents, and a handful of tourists.
Days 8 & 9
- 2 nights at a strategically located lodge on the Hoanib Dry River.
- Dinner, bed and breakfast
- locally guided game drive: Desert Elephant Experience ( Full Day )
The lodges in this area are quite expensive, they are very remote and will have to pay concession fees. We have chosen a cheaper option for you, but you have to drive 60km to start the drive in the Hoanib Dry River. You can drive directly from the lodge in an open four-wheel drive, but we recommend driving your own car to Sesfontein and then changing to the open four-wheel drive safari-vehicle!
classic & luxury:
This is a truly unique luxury tented lodge situated on the Hoanib and Obias Dry River. Here you get a fully-inclusive adventure at the highest level in the middle of the real wilderness of Namibia. You have the highlight of the Hoanib right on your doorstep and thus a good starting point to search for the desert elephants and many giraffes in this dry river full of gigantic winter thorn acacias.
Hoanib, River of the Desert Elephants
Vast stretches of fine sand dunes weave their way through a rugged terrain, bordered by slate, sandstone, and granite mountains. Valleys, adorned with lush grass, meander through the landscape, while dry rivers are often flanked by dense stands of mopane trees. This captivating medley of landscapes creates a truly breathtaking experience.
Venturing far beyond the typical tourist circuit, the untouched wilderness of Namibia beckons for exploration. We invite you to journey into the Hoanib Valley, where a sandy, arid riverbed is graced by towering Winter-thorn acacias, providing the essential pods that sustain desert-dwelling elephants.
The dry rivers of Kaoko and Damaraland serve as linear oases and the natural habitats of the desert elephant. We’ll embark on extended game drives in search of these magnificent creatures, and if fortune smiles upon us, we may even catch a glimpse of lions. It’s worth noting that this is one of the last semi-desert wilderness areas where elephants, rhinos, and lions still coexist in their natural habitat, making it a truly remarkable and unique destination.
Additional programme – “once in a lifetime” in the Skeleton Coast Park
- 2 nights where the Atlantic Ocean, linear oasis of the Hoarusib, the Skeleton Coast and the fantastic landscapes of the Namib meet.
Accommodation class: luxury
- Full board
- locally guided game drives leading to encounters with desert elephants and some wilderness surprises!
Shipwreck Lodge, an experience in the Skeleton Coast Park… unique solitude
Yes, it still exists, this one abandoned place in the world that is truly beautiful and unique in untouched wilderness… without ever having to meet the neighbour or other any tourists. No one is allowed here! Except, for now, you!…The Skeleton Coast Park offers in its rough desert nature wonderful nature observations in extremely changeable completely untouched rugged, yet stunningly beautiful, wilderness – landscape.
Yes, it still exists, that one abandoned place in the world, a realm of unspoiled beauty and unique untouched wilderness. Here, you won’t encounter neighbours or other tourists—this place is strictly off-limits to everyone, except for you, at least for now.
The Skeleton Coast Park is a haven of raw desert nature, offering incredible opportunities for observing the ever-changing, untamed, and strikingly beautiful wilderness landscape.
Additional Days at Hoarusib?
- 2 nights at Hoarusib on Okahirongo, one of Namibia’s most individual and exclusive lodges.
Accommodation class: luxury
- Full board
- locally guided drives in the Hoarusib and surroundings
Hoarusib, pristine desert paradise
The Hoarusib River, another one of those linear oases, meanders its way through the “deep” Kaokoland. Yet, it remains easily accessible for exploration through guided four-wheel drive tours. This well-planned journey allows you to immerse yourself in both the upper and lower Hoarusib, offering excellent chances to witness the kind of breathtaking moments typically reserved for television.
As we traverse the Hoarusib riverbed, we’re continually captivated by ever-changing landscapes and surprisingly diverse wildlife. This segment of the trip is especially intriguing because it feels untouched by tourists and still uncharted. Later on, we venture into the western Hoarusib, unveiling an entirely new facet of this arid paradise.
Days 10 & 11
- 2 nights in high quality safari bungalows overlooking the Etendeka Mountains and the palm grove of the Uniab River.
- Class: Comfort Bungalow
Dinner, bed and breakfast
- “Rhino tracking day game drive
- Sundowner game drive
- Guided walks
The lodge at Palmwag offers well-equipped tented chalets for rent at a reasonable price. Meals are included and can be taken in the lodge restaurant.
classic & luxury:
The lodge at Palmwag has different rooms. We have chosen the comfort room in both versions for you, as these have a beautiful view and are privately arranged.
Damaraland & Etendeka
Nestled within the basaltic Etendeka Formation of Damaraland lies the Palmwag spring, ensconced amidst dense reeds and swaying Makalani palm trees. This oasis of water exerts a magnetic pull on the desert’s denizens, drawing in desert elephants, giraffes, and a variety of antelopes like springbok and oryx. Amidst the backdrop of poisonous Euphorbia bushes, one might even catch glimpses of small herds of the endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebra.
The dry rivers of Damaraland serve as the habitat for desert elephants, black rhinos, and desert lions, making them a sought-after destination in this semi-desert landscape. Consider taking an optional locally guided day tour designed to introduce you to the endangered black, also known as hook-lipped, rhinoceros. During this excursion, you’ll also have the opportunity to observe other wildlife, including desert elephants on the move and, on occasion, the elusive and skittish desert lions.
Additional programme – Hiking in the wilderness
- 2 nights on a high-quality ecocamp in the middle of the Etendeka.
- “All inclusive”
Alternative – Hiking in the wilderness, insight into the real Damaraland
You will be picked up as the four-wheel drive route takes you deep into the real wilderness of the Etendeka volcanic landscape. On the way there, our guests could already observe desert lions and see desert elephants grazing in the red scree between the thousands of Damara spurge bushes. The area is “breathtaking” and the wilderness camp is an accommodation in its own highly individual way. We recommend this alternative for active nature and landscape lovers, as some of the activities are on foot, but without the stress of hiking.
The lodge, more of a high-end camp in the mountainous wilderness, operates very close to nature and has a very nature-friendly “low impact approach”. You feel like a guest in nature here and are travelling in an environmentally friendly way.
Days 12 & 13
- 2 overnight stays amidst exemplary gigantic granite bubbles at a specially chosen lodge.
- Dinner, bed and breakfast
- Guided tour to the petroglyphs at Twyfelfontein
- Guided four-wheel drive game drive into the dry river Awa-Huab to look for the desert elephants.
The lodges in this fascinating landscape are actually all very comfortable. We have chosen a rustic but comfortable tented lodge for you, which is very centrally located and built into a pretty landscape.
Even in the classic version, we let our clients dig a little deeper into their pockets here, as this lodge, magnificently built into the round rocks, is a highlight in itself. The sunset at the viewpoint is said to be “the most beautiful in Namibia”… look forward to it! – individual bungalow
At a fantastically situated, extremely stylish lodge, we have chosen a Luxury View Room for you, the Mountain Suite would also be possible. A Swiss regular customer recently told me “you would not be able to get over your amazement here”..
Notable attractions in the region include the ancient petroglyphs at “Twyfelfontein,” which date back to 4000 – 6000 years ago, the intriguing “Burnt Mountain,” and the basaltic wonder known as the “Organ Pipes.” Remarkably, around 200 million years ago, colossal primordial “cordaites” trees were transported here in massive mud floods from Central Africa and buried in layers of mud. Under conditions that lacked oxygen, petrification occurred, and today, these “fossilized trees” stand as a peculiar and remarkable geological formation.
Amidst this geologically captivating desert landscape, the dry Huab River winds its way westward. The towering Ana trees, also known as “winter thorn acacias,” produce red pods that are a favored food source for desert-dwelling elephants. We’ll take you off the beaten track to get up close to these magnificent creatures, ensuring a unique and memorable encounter.
Days 14 & 15
- 2 nights in a fairytale landscape surrounded by monstrous granite spheres in a selected lodge
- Dinner, bed and breakfast
The Erongo truly shines at Ameib, where you can embark on captivating hikes to the Bulls Party, a remarkable cluster of granite boulders, and Phillip’s Cave. We’ve arranged a cozy farm-style guesthouse nearby for your first evening. The following day, you’ll stay in a well-appointed tented chalet, providing excellent access to the Bushmen of the region.
For your first night, we’ve selected a strategically positioned and charming lodge nestled amidst the granite mountains, offering superb hiking opportunities and convenient access to the local Bushmen. On the second evening, we’ve chosen a rustic-natural lodge right in the heart of the Erongo, where you can indulge in wonderful hikes and enjoy game and bird watching.
Perched high atop the Erongo Mountains, this intimate and exclusive lodge boasts exceptional cuisine, breathtaking vistas, and personalized attention. While the access roads to the Bushmen are a few kilometers away, the quality and uniqueness of this lodge experience more than compensate for the distance.
Spitzkoppe & the mighty Erongo
Even from a distance, Namibia’s most iconic “island mountain,” the Spitzkoppe, rises like a natural monument from the flat gravel expanse of the Namib Desert.
On the smooth granite walls of this majestic formation, ancient Bushmen have left vivid depictions of hunting and wildlife. The landscape resembles something out of a fairytale, offering enchanting photo opportunities at every turn.
The enormous granite spheres of the Erongo Mountains are equally impressive, and visitors often feel dwarfed by the towering rock formations created by ancient volcanic activity. As you explore, keep an eye out for legendary rock paintings, unique bird species native to the area, and fascinating semi-desert flora, making it a captivating destination for hikers and walkers.
For those seeking a deeper cultural experience, consider the optional Bushman Walk. Here, you’ll meet authentic Bushmen who will enlighten you with a short walk, teaching you essential skills such as setting traps, using herbal remedies, and hunting. You’ll also witness how effortlessly a fire can be kindled and discover the artistry in crafting jewellery from ostrich eggs.
Good weather for departure…
Departure today or tomorrow?!
Many night flights to Europe or the Americas are available, allowing our guests to make a choice regarding their last day arrangements. Some prefer to combine the airport transfer with an afternoon check-in, while others seek to explore the city further or eliminate the stress of their final day.
For those who wish to extend their stay, we can arrange additional accommodations within Windhoek or offer stylish lodging options near the airport. Furthermore, some guests opt for extra components, such as a fly-in experience to the Caprivi, the Okavango Delta, or a few days in captivating Cape Town. We aim to provide flexible choices to enhance your travel experience.
We hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again soon
As we travel along the east-west connecting route today, we’ll move efficiently to ensure that you have ample time in the capital. Whether you wish to shop for Namibian handicrafts as souvenirs or savor a final delicious game steak paired with Namibian beer, there’s time to enjoy these experiences.
In the afternoon, we’ll provide transportation to either the airport or a recommended accommodation, and we’ll arrange a transfer for you as needed. Safe travels, and until we meet again!
Indicative prices for 2024
|1 Person||$ 12'397.00||$ 15'353.00||$ 17'358.00|
|2 Persons||$ 7'891.00||$ 10'676.00||$ 12'538.00|
|3 Persons||$ 6'388.00||$ 9'117.00||$ 10'932.00|
|4 Persons||$ 5'637.00||$ 8'337.00||$ 10'129.00|
|5 Persons||$ 5'186.00||$ 7'870.00||$ 9'647.00|
|6 Persons||$ 4'886.00||$ 7'558.00||$ 9'326.00|
|7 Persons||$ 4'671.00||$ 7'335.00||$ 9'097.00|
|single room supplement||$ 512.00||$ 1'384.00||$ 1'962.00|
We are happy to answer frequently asked questions in advance
The cooler months, may to september, are perfect for this trip, as it doesn’t get so bitterly cold in the northwest, but the summer, i.e. from October to December, is blisteringly hot and dusty.
Start and end point Windhoek is common, but a bit further and it takes longer.
Walvis Bay International is served daily by several airlines and is excellent for this trip, but you have to stop over, which is very inconvenient for many.
Yes, we know our way around and the vehicles are well tested. Although the northwest is very vast, we find good accommodation and need not fear man or beast.
As offered, the trip is already extremely varied and impressive. Of course, the experiences in Hoarusib and at the Skeleton Coast are a tad “more of everything”, but very expensive, although extremely impressive. If you love animals, you should definitely add a few days in Etosha!
We prefer to let our guests stay at upmarket lodges at various very remote accommodations. The budget lodges are very rustic and not so strategically located.
An offer especially for you! Simply let us know your change requests in this form.
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This Safari was last updated on 30. November 2023 @ 15:58.