During this safari, you will be staying at Onguma The Fort, Mowani Mountain Camp, and Wolwedans Dunes Lodge.
Onguma The Fort
Onguma The Fort is unlike any other, the only one of its kind in Namibia. It is built in exactly the right spot to give guests a stunning sunset view, overlooking the beautiful scarceness of the Etosha pan, decorated only with its wild animals and camel thorn trees. Upon arrival at The Fort, you will be received by not only friendly staff, but also massive raw walls, stunning stone clad features, and a huge tower with the views toward Etosha and Fisher's Pan.
The Fort has a classical African feel combined with a touch of Moroccan and Indian flavors, characterized by a selection of beautiful antique windows and doors. Each of the huge chalets is set apart, with an entrance hall, large bedroom with windows opening onto a view of the veldt, a separate bathroom with his/her sink, and both an indoor and outdoor shower.
The dressing area offers a gown, safe, and plenty of space for luggage. There's a tea/coffee station, fridge, and mini car, along with complimentary sherry. A safe and Wi-Fi are available in the lodge. The main area has a beautiful lounge and indoor/outdoor dining and deck overlooking the waterhole, pool, and drink deck. There are a cozy library area and plenty of nooks and crannies to find a little peace and quiet if you don't want to sit in your room.
Don't forget to head to the top of the fort and enjoy a spectacular viewpoint. The new water-level hide will provide hours of game viewing opportunities for you. Additional activities include game drives on the reserve and in Etosha, night drives on the reserve, and walking trails.
Mowani Mountain Camp
Mowani Mountain Camp offers a choice of style of rooms with 6 standard chalets, 6 view rooms/chalets, and a luxury mini-suite and suite, all with magnificent desert views. Open-air en-suite bathrooms and private decks give you great views of Damaraland and the reliability of nearby Twyfelfontein with its San engravings and paintings contrasted by the elusive desert-adapted elephants.
The Twyfelfontein Conservancy has been protecting the southern most roaming ground of the black rhino and elusive desert elephant.
Sustainable eco-tourism and community upliftment are of the utmost importance at Mowani. Activities focus on the local area with morning game drives (4-6 hours) searching for desert-adapted elephant and other game including zebra, kudu, springbok, and giraffe. There's also a 2-hour excursion to Twyfelfontein, Namibia's first UNESCO world heritage site, and hikes in the surrounding area. Whilst at the lodge, you can relax by the pool, enjoy a sundowner over the surrounding granite hills, and relax in the lounge and dining area. Please note there is a limited internet.
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge is perched on top of a dune plateau, overlooking panoramic vistas in all directions and capturing the beauty of the desert in one of Namibia's most beautiful locations.
The building style is a combination of wooden structures and canvas blinds, opening up to the desert beyond. The lodge reflects the ambiance of a tented camp but provides the comfort and protection of a permanent building. Each of the nine spacious chalets (most have double beds) with en-suite bathrooms, sports, and a private veranda which connects you to vast stretches of untouched sand. Sleeping with your canvas blinds open is just like sleeping under the stars. The en-suite bathrooms are large and a flask of hot water is delivered to your room for tea/coffee. There is a limited internet. The main complex, which has completely been rebuilt during 2003, consists of two lounges, a number of sundowner decks, a fireplace, a tea deck, a library, the wine cellar, and two dining rooms, along with a swimming pool, surrounded by a wooden deck and shaded areas. All communal areas of the lodge open out onto decks with superb views. Activities are focused around the NamibRand Nature Reserve on which the lodge is found with nature drives and walks. Wolwedans really should be treated as its own destination rather than as one to explore Sossusvlei (around 1.5 hours to Sesriem gate).
Day 1: Onguma The Fort, Etosha National Park
You arrive at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), clear customs and immigration, and continue through to the arrivals hall. Then, you will meet your safari transfer representative and transfer to the Eros Airport (ERS) where you are introduced to your pilot and commence on your flight to the Etosha National Park. From the Mokuti airstrip, you will be transferred to Onguma Plains Camp where you will be accommodated for the next 2 nights.
Originally part of the greater Etosha Game Reserve, it now shares a border with Etosha. The reserve covers an area of 38000 hectares and incorporates ecological substrata such as savannah, bushveld, omuramba, and dry pan. It is an age-old and well-worn migration routes, once used by elephant and buffalo wander through Onguma’s three dry riverbeds.
The reserve boasts over thirty different animal species and plains game roams freely on the reserve and predators, although not easy to spot, are nevertheless common residents of the area. Onguma also became part of an innovative custodianship project relating to the black rhino when six black rhinos were darted in Etosha National Park and transported to the reserve. Here, they are protected and monitored.
More than 300 bird species can be viewed at Onguma and boasts the biggest breeding colony of white-backed vultures in Namibia. During the summer months, Onguma becomes a bird-watchers’ paradise with thousands of species migrating to wetlands created by the seasonal rains. Activities include half-day drives to Etosha and half-day drives and guided walks on the reserve.
- Accommodation: Onguma The Fort
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 2: Onguma The Fort, Etosha National Park
After a leisurely breakfast, you enjoy a guided drive into the Etosha National Park for a full day of game viewing. This Park consists of 22,270 square kilometers of saline desert, savannah, and woodlands and is one of the largest parks in Africa. Its definitive feature is the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of approximately 5,000 square kilometers. Of the 114 mammal species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as the black rhino and black-faced impala.
The former is endemic to north-western Namibia and south-western Angola. Etosha’s current population of approximately 300 black rhinos represents one of the few growing populations in the world. Etosha’s elephants are reputed to be of the largest in Africa, the tallest ones measuring up to 4 meters at the shoulder. Their tusks are, however, relatively small, due to genetic defects and mineral deficiencies in their diet.
- Accommodation: Onguma The Fort
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 3 - 4: Mowani Mountain Camp, Damaraland
After breakfast at leisure, you meet your pilot and commence on your flight to Damaraland where you land around noon. Mowani Mountain Camp is set in the Twyfelfontein Conservancy between the Ugab and Huab Rivers. Discover the pool deck, lodged between the boulders where you can soak up the sun whilst enjoying a refreshing drink and admire the breath-taking views from your deck chair.
Lunch is followed by a siesta and an afternoon excursion to the ancient rock engravings of Twyfelfontein. You return to the camp for sundowners and dinner. Mowani is taken from the word Míwane, meaning ‘place of God’ and it is here, that you will find the true meaning of peace and tranquility. From the moment you arrive, you will be spoiled with the services and attention of the staff.
The camp consists of 12 luxury tents, all with en-suite facilities, decorated beautifully in East African style. Comfortably hidden in your own private hideaway, you have your own wooden deck offering an open view of the wonderful Damara landscape. The following morning, after breakfast, you will join a game drive down the riverbed in search of the rare desert elephant.
- Accommodation: Mowani Mountain Camp
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 5 - 7: Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, Namib
After breakfast, your charter flight will commence towards the coastal town of Swakopmund. Upon arrival at the Swakopmund Airport (SWP), a transfer representative will take you into Swakopmund for lunch (own account). After lunch, you transfer back to the Swakopmund Airport (SWP) and commence on your flight to Wolwedans, situated in the heart of the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
The Wolwedans Dunes Lodge aims at providing a unique experience close to nature, yet without compromising any comfort and style. The entire lodge is constructed on wooden platforms and overlooks the panoramic vistas in the 185,000 hectares NamibRand Nature Reserve in all directions, capturing the desert in an intimate and memorable way. The building style is a combination of wooden poles and large canvas blinds that open up to the desert beyond.
Each of the 9 spacious chalets has en-suite bathrooms as well as the four-bedded family chalet, a careful selection of furniture, light-colored linen as well as the selection of accessories, giving the Dunes Lodge a distinct natural charm. The main complex, also built on stilts, consists of a bar and lounge, sundowner decks with a fireplace, and a spacious dining room. The following day (day 6), you depart from Wolwedans at 06:30, heading south to the Fish River Canyon.
You stop over for a coffee and view of the canyon (northwest edge) and from here fly like a bird over the canyon for a while before continuing northwest to Luderitz. You visit Kolmanskop “ghost town” and enjoy a seafood lunch followed by a tour of this historic town.
You depart from Luderitz in the afternoon and fly along the coastline to Spencer Bay, observe the Otavi shipwreck, and fly north along the coast to Sylvia Hill and "Lange Wand" before turning inland where you circle over the impressive Sossusvlei Dunes before turning home. Depending on weather conditions, an alternative route is at pilot's discretion. Excursion time is the whole day returning late afternoon with flying time totaling around 4.5 hours.
On your final day, you absorb the unique NamibRand Nature Reserve landscape during a morning and afternoon excursion by Landrover through the dunes, endless grassy plains, and mystical mountain formations. You could encounter large and small desert animals, learn about their unique habits, and explore the ancient hunting spots of the Bushmen. You revel in the incredible landscape around you and Wolwedans’ commitment to caring for guests and nature alike.
Here in this land of stretching blue skies, endless plains, and countless creatures enacting nature’s savagely exciting passion play, you will find beauty feeding your soul, tranquility to clear your mind, and space for your imagination to fly. Optionally (depending on tours and season), you could join a day safari with picnic lunch en-route, arriving back at the lodge for sundowners and dinner.
- Accommodation: Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks
Day 8: Departure
You awake in the pristine desert dawn and soak in the atmosphere and landscape from your bed whilst enjoying early morning tea. After breakfast at leisure, you are transferred to the airstrip to bid Wolwedans farewell and commence your return flight to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in time for your outbound flight.