1. Etosha National Park and Overnight in a Tented Camp
Guests spend two days one night in the park viewing wildlife from the safety of our air-conditioned vehicles (this time around the central region of the pan). Lunch (guests’ own account) can be enjoyed in the park. The night is spent in a tented camp inside or close to the park. (Full day, including an overnight in a tented camp; distance traveled: ± 250 km).
The train remains stationary overnight at Oshivelo Station. Guests return to meet the train At Otjiwarongo Station on day 07.
1. suSossvlei Fly-in
We depart from Swakopmund, flying in a light aircraft over the Namib Desert and along the Kuiseb River. After passing over Tsondabvlei, the only known breeding area of the Lappet Faced Vulture in southern Namibia, we land at Sesriem, from where 4×4 vehicles take us to the highest shifting sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei. No part of the desert is visually more stunning than here. The warm tints of the sand range from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red, vividly contrasting with the large white clay pans at some of their bases. Lunch will be enjoyed at Sossusvlei Lodge, after which the light aircraft will fly us over these earlier visited shifting sand dunes. From here we fly over the remains of three old diamond camps in the Diamond Restricted Area and cross the coastline at Conception Bay. We pass over colonies of Cape Fur Seals, as well as the “Eduard Bohlen” and “Shaunee” shipwrecks. With the Atlantic surf on the one side and the “long wall” (Namib Dunes) on the other, we reach Sandwich Harbor, a wetland of international importance. After leaving Walvis Bay behind us, we land back in Swakopmund.
(Full day, including lunch; distance covered: ± 630 km; minimum of 5 participants required)
2. Epupa Falls / Ovahimba Fly-in
We depart Swakopmund early morning in a light aircraft for a low-level scenic flight past the Brandberg and over Damaraland and Kaokoland towards Epupa Falls. After arrival at Epupa we are driven to an Ovahimba village in the area – accompanied by a guide and translator. Spend the morning with the Ovahimba in their ‘kraal’. The Ovahimba are a tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists who still live and dress according to ancient traditions. They are tall, slender and statuesque people, characterised by their proud yet friendly bearing. The women are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments. The Ovahimba rub their bodies with red ochre and fat to protect their skin against the scorching sun. On this day we will also be able to see the majestic Epupa Falls. The falls are a series of cascades where the Kunene River loops a total of 60 meters. With its richly coloured rock walls, variety of trees and waving Makalani Palms, the Epupa Falls offer much to see and experience. Lunch will be served at the Omarunga Camp on the riverbed of the Kunene River. In the afternoon we fly on to Opuwo to refuel, then fly along the Uniab Riverbed in search of Desert Elephant, Rhino, Giraffe, Mountain Zebra and other game up to the river mouth area, turning southwards. We return along the treacherous Skeleton Coast. The Skeleton Coast Park stretches from the Ugab River in the south to the Kunene River, which forms the northern border with Angola. The Skeleton Coast is littered with whalebones, shipwrecks and remains of sailors and explorers. The flight further passes over Torra Bay, Palgrave Point, Toscanini, the Cape Cross Seal Reserve and Henties Bay, before we land back in Swakopmund.
(Full day, including lunch; distance covered: ± 1410 km; minimum of 5 participants required)
3. Sossusvlei – “Classic Flight”
Take to the skies on a journey over richly contrasting desert and coastal scenery. Fly over the Namib Desert and see the dry Kuiseb riverbed, which is the dune belt’s natural border. Soar over imposing sand formations to Sossusvlei, where the world’s highest shifting sand dunes are to be found. As you hover above the coastline, have a glimpse at shipwrecks, seal colonies and flamingos at Sandwich Harbor. Feel free as a bird as you pass over the salt flats of Walvis Bay and the picturesque town of Swakopmund before touching down to reality.
(Duration: ± 2h30; minimum of 5 participants required)
4. Conception Bay Flight
This flight affords stunning views of Swakopmund and its surroundings, including the Swakop River, Richthofen Farm, the Moon Landscape, Goanikontes Oasis, Namib Desert Park, Rössing Mines, Khan River, Walvis Bay, Kuiseb River, White Mountain, Conception Bay, the “Eduard Bohlen” shipwreck, seal colonies, the “Shaunee” shipwreck, the “Long Wall” dune ridge, Sandwich Harbor, the salt pans, Walvis Bay Harbor and Guano Island.
(Duration: ± 1h20; minimum of 5 participants required)
5. Quad Bikes
To explore the dunes, guests are equipped with fully automatic quad bikes. No prior experience is needed as this is a fully-guided tour. The dune sea teems with a multitude of insects and animals. These remarkable dune dwellers live their whole life in permanent contact with grains of sand. Their ties to this habitat are so binding that they cannot exist without it. Evolution has adapted these creatures by means of a complex array of extraordinary body structures, functions and behavioral traits.
(Morning; duration: ± 3h30)
The train departs Swakopmund midday for Windhoek.