Namibia Discovery

Trip Code: UBKN

Why we love it

Your dining experience in Lambert's Bay will be one to remember. This open-air restaurant, Muisbosskerm, was rated by National Geographic as having one of the 'Top Ten Sea Views to Dine For', Take a canoe adventure down South Africa's longest stream, the picturesque Orange River, The scale of Fish River Canyon is staggering, but stunning African birdlife and a colour-changing sunset makes it so much more than one of the world's largest gorges, As eerie as they are fascinating, the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei can be seen in all their blazing glory from the top of Dune 45, Enjoy plenty of time for seaside leisure in Swakopmund, amid the dramatic breakers of the Atlantic Ocean, Etosha National Park is one of the best places in the world for wildlife-spotting, and you'll enjoy a full day of game drives here

Is this trip right for me?

This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘big five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland

You don't need to be a super-fit athlete to go on an overland safari, but you will need a good level of physical resilience and movement, especially for entering and exiting the vehicles, and for taking long trips on bumpy roads. There's also a half-day canoe trip along the Orange River.

Namibia summer ( Nov-Mar ) can be very hot and humid with maximum temperatures around 30-35°C and peaks of over 40°C in the desert.

As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

You may also want to check out our Amazing Southern Africa trip if you have more time to explore in southern Africa.

Important information

1.A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

3. This trip finishes on arrival in Windhoek on Day 13. Please do not book any flights out this evening. The Airport is located 1hr drive out of Windhoek and although we generally make it back to the hotel in Windhoek by 5:00pm, it can be difficult to get to the airport in time for flights.
4.Please make sure that passengers are aware that overland trucks used on this itinerary are not air-conditioned.

5.Clients will not be at Sossusvlei in time for dawn/sunrise. This is because they stay outside of the park gates and they do not open early enough for visitors to make it for sunrise.

6.The weight of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the packing space and weight restrictions of the truck. The weight limit for luggage on all of our trucks is a maximum of 15-20kgs per person, plus a maximum of 5kgs for your day pack. Backpacks shouldn’t have an external frame unless it can easily be removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people’s luggage. We strongly advise passengers to travel with a backpack or a duffel bag, and it is essential that no hard suitcases be brought on tour. For valuables, like passports, we offer a safe on each vehicle that is shared by all passengers to keep their documentation safe during their journey.

7.The minimum age for this trip is 15 at the time of travel. Any travellers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian, or in lieu of a legal guardian, by an escort over the age of 18, appointed by their legal guardian. The legal guardian or their designee will be responsible for the traveller under the age of 18 day to day’s care. If a legal guardian elects to designate an escort in their lieu, they will be required to complete and sign a relevant document, to delegate their authority.

8. BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP:
Exit South Africa - Groblers Bridge (Groblersbrug)
Enter Botswana - Martin's Drift
Exit Botswana - Kazangula Road
Enter Zimbabwe - Kazangula Road

What to bring/pack

We recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Closed in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses.

RECOMMENDED:
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented camps at night. Some properties have limited outdoor lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
- A waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives.
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1 litre capacity. Our vehicles have large tanks of treated water for refills.
- Camera with good zoom.
- Binoculars.

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate.
- A good book, a journal or smart phone with music (and a power bank).

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
Luggage is stored in a dedicated compartment at the back of our overland vehicles. Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential. Please do not bring hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other passengers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. Use your hotel safes and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. airline tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER:
We recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera and/or a power bank. Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion. Bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and lodges have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.

CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:
When packing, be aware that there are a wide range of cultural differences for women in Africa. We recommend our travellers dress modestly, with skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches., PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA
While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned.
Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

Physical rating

 
2

A basic level of fitness is required to be able to enjoy this trip to the fullest. The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day.

Joining your group

Cape Milner Hotel, 2a Milner Road, Tamooerskloof, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA, Phone: 27 (21)4261101

The Cape Milner is a sophisticated, comfortable hotel in the Tamboerskloof region of central Cape Town. All rooms have a refined, contemporary decor, ensuite bathrooms and fabulous views of Table Mountain. Tea and coffee making facilities are included as is WiFi and flat screen TV's. The hotel facilities include an elegant dining room, outdoor pool, glass-roofed bar, a small gym and many lounge areas.

Joining instructions

If you have pre-booked an airport transfer please look out for our representative holding an Intrepid board with your name at the arrival terminal. Please do not go with anyone else. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time.

If you are unable to find your driver please phone our local South Africa office on +27 11 471 7400 or +27 828229407. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.

If you are making your own way to the hotel there are safe and reliable airport taxis which will cost around ZAR300.

Finishing your trip

Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel, 13 Jan Jonker, Windhoek, NAMIBIA, Phone: +264 61 209 0900

Situated in the upmarket suburb of Klein Windhoek, 30 minutes from Hosea Kutako International Airport, Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel is luxury accommodation in the Namibian capital. The intimate boutique hotel has only 41 rooms, ensuring that guests enjoy tailored, attentive and detail focused service at all times.The hotel’s elegant architecture wraps around a heritage building, creating an inviting courtyard. The hotel also features three upmarket lounge spaces, including the Sky Lounge, boasting panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Guests also have access to two upmarket restaurants and a delicatessen within the broader estate precinct.

If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 12

Lunches included: 11

Dinners included: 9

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

LODGE-PACKED MEALS:
There are a number of days on this itinerary where your breakfast or lunch will be a ‘packed picnic meal’ provided by our lodge. Packed meals usually consist of a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a juice, and a snack such as potato chips/crisps, nuts, muffin, or a muesli bar. On some days your crew will shop and prepare lunches themselves using the truck picnic gear and utensils. This usually happens when we have early morning game drives and want to get into the park by sunrise, are out in National Parks all day, or in some instances, en-route to our next destination when there is little or no alternatives.

Climate & seasonal information

Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring warm winter clothing such as wool pullover and a jacket. Also consider thermals, gloves and a woolly hat.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's local Operator: +27828229407

Accommodations

If you require a Sleep Apnea Machine to sleep please ensure that it is battery operated. Lodges and Permanent Tented Camps are often powered by generators which are turned off during the night.

Transportation

Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Our fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air.

There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience that is right for you.

African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.


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