The dunes rise hundreds of metres into the sky. This is a landscape associated with the Sahara but this is Namibia, in the south of Africa. The mangled blackened trees of the Dead Vlei give further indication this is a land of strange parched beauty not found anywhere else; a land of beautiful extremes.
We begin our Namibian adventure in Sossusvlei, an awe-inspiring landscape of other worldly sand dunes. We visit one of the most unique and photographed landscapes, the Dead Vlei, and then walk in the impressive Sesriem Canyon. The next stop is at Rostock Ritz, to enjoy walks in the panoramic rocky dunes to see game such as zebra and antelope as well as birds along the way. We travel away from the desert to the cool breeze of the Skeleton coast to the quaint German inspired town of Swakopmund and visit Walvis Bay with its thriving colonies of sea lions, great flocks of flamingos and perhaps large pods of dolphins.
Next we travel north to Okonjima, to get up close to some of Namibia’s large carnivores, particularly leopards and cheetahs at the AfriCat (conservation) Foundation. Our accommodation here is fantastic and allows us to have a real African bush experience and with a view from our bedrooms to the plains beyond.
Botswana offers some of the most thrilling wildlife encounters in the world. From Rundu on the border of northern Namibia and the banks of Kwando River, we travel through the Bwabwata National Park to Chobe National Park for a boat trip and a game drive in search of the Africa’s “Big Five” and more. We then continue on to Victoria Falls for a guided tour of the great falls.
Namibia is a vast country and although we are only concentrating on its north, the distances between the centres, and particularly as we move into Botswana, can be long. Many of the roads are without tarmac and can be dusty and bumpy, so bring along your sense of adventure – and a cushion!