Northern Namibia for the Whole Family

SAFARIS, SKELETONS & SHIPWRECKS

For the sort of adventure that children will never forget, try this family safari through the wilds of northern Namibia. Kaokoland is a vast and empty land, yet one that’s astoundingly magical. And don’t be fooled; it might not look like there’s much amid the desertscapes, but this nine-day trip offers plenty of thrilling encounters and exciting opportunities for kids.

The trip begins with one of Namibia’s best wildlife viewing experiences in the private Etosha Heights Reserve, where tracking white rhino and watching predators stalk across the savannah is the name of the game. Then, it’s across to the Hoanib Valley to look for desert-adapted elephant, before heading even further west to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean and the eerily beautiful Skeleton Coast. A truly unforgettable trip whether you’re eight or 80, we think you’ll agree.

This itinerary can be done as a fly-in, guided, or self-drive safari.

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Price from:

Please enquire for details

Duration:

9 days/8 nights

Departure Dates:

On demand

Min / Max Group Size

Please enquire with reservations /

Trip Begins / Ends

Windhoek / Swakopmund

Includes Mobile Camping:

No

Details, Details

Highlights

  • This itinerary is the perfect mix of culture and excitement, wildlife watching and bewilderingly beautiful landscapes, and is perfect for the whole family.
  • Spend time on Namibia’s enthralling Atlantic coast, and explore historic shipwrecks and watch the seals at the Mowe Colony.
  • Enjoy the benefits of staying a private reserve in Etosha Heights National Park, and explore the area on day and night drives, and walking safaris.
  • Come face-to-trunk with desert-dwelling elephant, track black rhino across the sandy riverbeds, and spot zebra, springbok and oryx in the Hoanib Valley.
  • Meet the nomadic Himba tribe, follow them and their livestock across the desert, and learn about their customs and traditional way of life.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: We’re busy putting the finishing touches to this itinerary, so please get in touch with us for details on price.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations. 

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations. 

Wifi: Wifi is available at Safarihoek Lodge and Hoanib Valley Camp, but not at Shipwreck Lodge.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: For an extra dose of adrenalin-pumping fun, spend two or three nights in Swakopmund and enjoy parasailing, quad biking, sand boarding, camel riding, sky diving… The list is endless!

When to Go & What to Pack

This is a trip that can be done at any time of year, although the wildlife in the Etosha area will peak during the drier, winter months of June through to November. The temperatures in the desert are also cooler during this time – but be prepared for cold mornings and evenings.

Whatever time of year you’re travelling, we suggest you pack cotton clothes in neutral colours, as well as trousers and long sleeved tops. A warm sweater, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses are well worth having, and sun block, insect repellent and lip balm are also important. For footwear, bring sturdy, closed walking shoes and socks (but no need to bring heavy hiking boots). Binoculars, cameras and reference books are a must, and of course, bring your swimming kit! You could also throw in a torch, as well as a medical kit, and of course visas, passports and money. If you wear contact lenses, bring a pair of glasses too – Namibia is a dry and dusty sort of place. And lastly, your luggage must be packed into a soft bag, so it can be squeezed into tight corners in small aircraft and vehicles. 

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Our guides will also work hard to find the animals that you and your family would like to see. They won’t bump you around in a 4×4 for hours and hours, or talk about things you aren’t interested in. They’ll keep things fresh and stimulating, and most importantly, they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep young minds entertained.

 

Highlights

  • This itinerary is the perfect mix of culture and excitement, wildlife watching and bewilderingly beautiful landscapes, and is perfect for the whole family.
  • Spend time on Namibia’s enthralling Atlantic coast, and explore historic shipwrecks and watch the seals at the Mowe Colony.
  • Enjoy the benefits of staying a private reserve in Etosha Heights National Park, and explore the area on day and night drives, and walking safaris.
  • Come face-to-trunk with desert-dwelling elephant, track black rhino across the sandy riverbeds, and spot zebra, springbok and oryx in the Hoanib Valley.
  • Meet the nomadic Himba tribe, follow them and their livestock across the desert, and learn about their customs and traditional way of life.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: We’re busy putting the finishing touches to this itinerary, so please get in touch with us for details on price.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations. 

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations. 

Wifi: Wifi is available at Safarihoek Lodge and Hoanib Valley Camp, but not at Shipwreck Lodge.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: For an extra dose of adrenalin-pumping fun, spend two or three nights in Swakopmund and enjoy parasailing, quad biking, sand boarding, camel riding, sky diving… The list is endless!

When to Go & What to Pack

This is a trip that can be done at any time of year, although the wildlife in the Etosha area will peak during the drier, winter months of June through to November. The temperatures in the desert are also cooler during this time – but be prepared for cold mornings and evenings.

Whatever time of year you’re travelling, we suggest you pack cotton clothes in neutral colours, as well as trousers and long sleeved tops. A warm sweater, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses are well worth having, and sun block, insect repellent and lip balm are also important. For footwear, bring sturdy, closed walking shoes and socks (but no need to bring heavy hiking boots). Binoculars, cameras and reference books are a must, and of course, bring your swimming kit! You could also throw in a torch, as well as a medical kit, and of course visas, passports and money. If you wear contact lenses, bring a pair of glasses too – Namibia is a dry and dusty sort of place. And lastly, your luggage must be packed into a soft bag, so it can be squeezed into tight corners in small aircraft and vehicles. 

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Our guides will also work hard to find the animals that you and your family would like to see. They won’t bump you around in a 4×4 for hours and hours, or talk about things you aren’t interested in. They’ll keep things fresh and stimulating, and most importantly, they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep young minds entertained.

 

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek International) Airport and transfer to Safarihoek, Etosha Heights Private Reserve

It’s your first night in Namibia! After you’ve arrived in Etosha Heights Reserve, celebrate with an evening drive and dinner under the stars in the heart of the wilderness.

Days 2 & 3: Safarihoek, Etosha Heights Private Reserve

The next two days are for exploring the Etosha region, one of Namibia’s wildlife hotspots. Keep your eyes peeled for lion, giraffe, ostrich, hyena and of course, endangered rhino, the symbol of Etosha.

Day 4: Transfer to Hoanib Valley Camp, Kaokoland

After breakfast has settled, you’ll swap the rolling grasslands of Etosha Heights for the dry deserts and sandy rivers of the Hoanib Valley.

Day 5: Hoanib Valley Camp, Kaokoland

Hop in your vehicle and search for desert-adapted elephant, digging deep holes in scorched earth, before visiting the traditional villages of the nomadic Himba peoples.

Day 6: Transfer to Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast

Just when you thought you couldn’t get any more remote, you’ll head west to the Skeleton Coast, a strange yet utterly beautiful slice of Namibian wilderness.

Days 7 & 8: Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast

Some might say this is when the adventure really begins! Visit the seals at Mowe Colony, walk across the lunar landscapes and discover the secrets of the desert, and clamber over the whale-bones and shipwrecks on the coast.

Day 9: Transfer to Swakopmund and depart

Today, you’ll travel down the Atlantic Coast to the pretty town of Swakopmund, and then sadly, it’s departure time.

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Accommodations

In Etosha Heights, cool and comfortable Safarihoek Lodge will be your home. Perched high on a ridge, the 11 thatch chalets have spectacular views across the reserve, allowing for wildlife watching whenever you please. Two chalets have interconnecting doors and convert into a large family unit, and there’s also a dedicated family chalet with a spacious living area. Kids will love the cool swimming pool and there’s also Wifi in the main areas (but perhaps keep that to yourself).

Hoanib Valley Camp is tucked deep into the dry riverbeds and towering dunes of Kaokoland. A joint venture between the local communities and Dr Julian Fennessy, Africa’s foremost giraffe expert, the camp immerses you into the wilds of the desert. And there’s plenty of space for little legs to run around, that’s for sure!

Shipwreck Lodge at the Skeleton Coast is an excellent family choice. Scattered amongst the wind-rippled dunes, the shipwreck-style rooms can accommodate an extra bed, and there are two specially-adapted family units too. At the main area there’s a swimming pool, a restaurant, and an outside deck from which you can keep an eye on any night visitors.

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Wildlife

The species count on this trip starts straight away in Etosha Heights Reserve. The true highlight is tracking the endangered white rhino, for which the area is well-known for, but you should also keep your eyes peeled for furry predators, giraffe, zebra, and lots of plains game. Night drives will also reveal the elusive nocturnal species, including cape fox, aardvark, aardwolf, genet, and the adorable bat-eared fox. You’ll follow that with a drive through the rugged highlands of Kaokoland to Hoanib Valley, past springbok, zebra, and oryx. When you arrive, desert elephant digging deep holes in the river bed are an iconic sight, and there’s also the chance to track black rhino. The Skeleton Coast reveals a remarkable number of desert-dwelling animals, including more famous desert-elephant, and if you’re very lucky, lion and brown hyena.

 

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