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The Curious Conservationist

Safari Type: Guided Safari

Duration: 9 nights / 10 days

Price as from

Low Season (01 January 2015 – 30 June 2015): ZAR 29 700.00 Per Person

High Season (01 July 2015 – 31 October 2015): ZAR 31 150.00 Per Person

Departure: Any day of the week according to client requirements

Introduction

This journey takes you to some of Namibia’s highlights, such as the Namib Desert and the coastal town of Swakopmund, as well as some unique wildlife conservation centres.

A range of excursions will have you mesmerised by the beautiful landscapes, and allow you special insight into some of Namibia’s conservation efforts, which play a vital role in protecting our wildlife and environment for future generations

Included services

  • Accommodation and meals as specified in the above itinerary
  • Services of a qualified ENGLISH speaking driver / guide
  • Fuel & Transportation in an air-conditioned VW Kombi or similar
  • Bottled water on board of vehicle while in transit only
  • Activities / Excursions as specified in above itinerary
  • Entrance & Admission Fees were applicable
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
  • Namibian Bed Levy
  • – 15% VAT (Value Added Tax)

Excluded Services

  • Additional meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Beverages
  • Optional Extra Activities / Excursions
  • Items of personal nature i.e. telephone calls, bar bills, laundry etc.
  • Gratuities and Portage
  • Personal Travel & Luggage insurance
  • All Flights arrangements

Day 1

day1On arrival at the Windhoek International Airport you will be welcomed by a representative of Namibia Travel Connection, who will present you with your travel vouchers and assist you with the collection of your rental vehicle. From here you will proceed to the capital city, Windhoek. The remainder of the day can be spent sight seeing or shopping.

Windhoek is often described as a city with a “continental” atmosphere due to its architecture (historical buildings dating back to the German colonial rule), cuisine, culture, dress and educational institutions. Windhoek portrays the colour, sounds and tempo of a modern African city with its displays of African drums and woodcarvings on the pavements, which contrast with the elegant shops offering sophisticated SWAKARA garments and Namibian gemstones. Sidewalk cafes offer Namibian style breakfasts (Fruhschoppen) which can be enjoyed with a glass of sparkling wine or locally brewed draught beer. In addition to steak houses and coffee bars serving snacks, the city has a wide range of a la carte restaurants offering German, French, Taiwanese, Portuguese, Italian, African and Chinese cuisine.

Your overnight accommodation will be at UTOPIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL / similar on a bed and breakfast basis.

(Lunch and dinner today will be for your own account.)

UTOPIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL: This modern and up-market Boutique establishment is located in the most tranquil suburb in the heart of Windhoek, on the pristine 5300 square meter property of the Utopia MediSpa, the first and only medi spa in Namibia. The Utopia Boutique consists of 7 luxurious en-suite rooms, all with balconies overlooking the Klein Windhoek River, large plasma screen TV’s, full DSTV, wi fi access and air conditioning.

At The Utopia Boutique and Medi Spa we have only one vision and that is to rest, rejuvenate and refresh you. Guests have access to the fully equipped gym and can even consult the resident biokineticists. All meals are available at the Fresh ‘n Wild café located on the premises and you can enjoy a sundowner or sample some of the finest South African wines at the café. Our restaurant offers a fresh approach to food and catering. Our daily creations are made using only the freshest and healthiest ingredients.

Windhoek International Airport – Windhoek City = ± 45 Km

Day 2

Day2After breakfast, depart Windhoek and journey south towards the Namib Desert – the oldest desert in the world – and to Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate, an oasis on the edge of the desert and unique in the world for its combination of wine production and landscape conservation.

80km from the world famous Sossusvlei, Neuras is a 14,400ha nature reserve home to free roaming mountain zebra, kudu, springbok, ostrich, warthog, jackal and many other exotic animals. Wine and Conservation were made for each other here at Neuras: Not only is it known as the “driest vineyard in the world”, but it is also works to conserve the fauna and flora in the area, and reintroduce wildlife species that previously occurred here. All profits from wine sales and tourism go directly towards N/a’an ku sê’s charitable projects, protecting and conserving threatened carnivores.

Arrive in time for lunch and in the afternoon participate in the Neuras Winery Tour. On this 3 hour tour you will take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards and marvel at the breathtaking panorama of the Naukluft mountains before you, while learning about Neuras’ unique micro climate and how making wine in the desert is possible. Also visit the cellar, and experience firsthand the artistry and technical skill that transform grapes into fine wine at one of the world’s most unique vineyards. Then savour these wines on their home ground, within sight of the vines on which they grew and of the cellar in which they were produced and matured, while enjoying a delicious cheese platter.

Overnight accommodation at NEURAS: N/A’AN KU SE WINE & WILDLIFE ESTATE including lunch, dinner, breakfast and an afternoon Winery Tour.

NEURAS: N/A’AN KU SE WINE & WILDLIFE ESTATE: We offer accommodation in stone built en-suite chalets, shaded by large acacia and ebony trees, with linen and towels provided. Guests can choose from a self-catering option using one of our two fully equipped kitchens, with a braai under tall, shady trees. Alternatively guests can stay on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis and enjoy our welcoming and homely restaurant, indulging in a menu of refined simplicity which includes locally inspired flavours paired with a selection of Neuras and other award winning wines. Paired with your taste, presented with passion, guests can be assured of an unforgettable culinary experience, in breathtaking surroundings, matched by the finest wine Namibia can offer.

There is a swimming pool for cool dips after a hot day in the desert and sundowners can be enjoyed in the stone-built lapa. Pleasant short walks amongst the trees and along the dry river bed or to the springs can be undertaken at one’s leisure.

Activities on offer:

  • Vineyard Tour: Take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards and learn about Neuras’ unique micro climate and how making wine in the desert is possible.
  • Cellar Tour: Experience firsthand the artistry and technical skill that transform grapes into fine wine.
  • Wine Tasting: Sample some of the wines with a delicious cheese platter.
  • Neuras Winery Tour: combination of all three of the above (3 hours)
  • Into the Wild: Join our carnivore research team as they monitor carnivore movement in the Neuras Estate through ancient San Bushman skills and cutting edge technology.
  • Wonders of the Sky: Book a guided birding tour to view some of the more than 200 bird species here.
  • Canyon Tour: Visit the Neuras “Honey Canyon” and learn more about how the ancient San lived here. On this activity you will pay a visit to the 14th longest cave in Namibia and see the very rare “Elephants Foot” plant.
  • Tsauchab Excursion: The Tsauchab River rises in the Naukluft and Tsaris Mountains and flows through the Sesriem Canyon and beyond. It is an ephemeral river that crosses the Namib Desert, but does not reach the ocean because it is blocked by the northern movement of dunes, called Sossusvlei.

Windhoek City – Neuras = ± 360 Km

Day 3

After breakfast, join the carnivore research team for the Into the Wild tour. On this tour, learn how the team monitors carnivore movement in the Neuras Estate daily, through both ancient San Bushman skills and cutting edge technology.

Return to the lodge for lunch “al fresco” style, at the stunning ancient palm trees and fountains. The remainder of the afternoon will be leisurely, sipping on wine, lazing around the tranquil fountains, bird watching and experiencing the beautiful tranquillity and silence of the Namib. You can end the day with a short drive to the Honey Canyon, and sip on sundowners as you watch the Namibian sun set…

Overnight accommodation at NEURAS: N/A’AN KU SE WINE & WILDLIFE ESTATE including lunch, dinner and breakfast. Into the Wild Tour and Sunset Drive included.

Day 4

Day 4Early morning departure and travel to Sesriem and the famous dunes at Sossusvlei, and spend the day exploring these beautiful areas.

Namibians say that no part of the desert is more stunning than Sossusvlei, with its monumentally high dunes, the shadows of their sinuous crests continually changing as the day waxes and wanes. Gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand, with the highest estimated at 325 m. The warm tints of the sand, ranging from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red contrast vividly with the dazzling white surfaces of the deflationary clay pans at some of their bases.

Sesriem Canyon is a small yet picturesque canyon carved into the Tsauchab River over millions of years, resulting in a narrow gorge of about 1km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30-40 metres, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time when early pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs (‘Ses Rieme’) together to draw water from these pools.

In mid afternoon, depart for Solitaire Guestfarm, home to The Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre, a unique tourism and conservation centre, in partnership with the N/a’an kuse Foundation. The aim of this project is to solve human-wildlife conflicts in Namibia through sound scientific research on densities, home ranges and territories of Cheetahs, Leopards and Hyena. In addition to their important research project and carnivore releases, they offer a unique educational cheetah tracking safari for visitors.

Overnight accommodation at SOLITAIRE GUESTFARM DESERT RANCH including dinner and breakfast.

Day 41SOLITAIRE GUEST FARM DESERT RANCH: The perfect base from which to explore Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon, or to simply relax for few days. The Farm is situated at the foot of the rugged Rand Mountains with a breathtaking view over the vast Namib Desert and beautiful Naukluft Mountains. It is a cosy privately owned guest farm, co-owned by Walter and Simone Swarts who live on the farm and oversee the day to day operations. The Swarts’ business partner and good friend is the renowned explorer, adventurer and geophysicist Pasquale Scatturo. Walter, Simone and Pasquale envisioned a facility where conservation could be sustained through low impact eco-tourism. To achieve this vision Solitaire Guest Farm engaged in a partnership with the N/a’an ku sê foundation by making their land available for the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre which opened in June 2011.

Enjoy one of our authentic African themed en-suite rooms, our luxury self catering house or camp at our peaceful campsite with amenities.

Neuras – Sossusvlei – Solitaire Guest Farm = ± 305 Km

Day 5

Day 5Today you will take part in the unforgettable 2 hour Walking with Cheetah activity at the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre. Accompany our expert wildlife biologists, Matt and Kate, on an incredible wild cheetah tracking safari. During the drive you will learn about the carnivore research at the centre, how radio-telemetry works as you track the wild cheetahs, and then walk alongside the cheetahs in a spectacular landscape promising a truly unique experience.

Cheetahs aren’t the only wildlife in the area – at Solitaire Guest Farm Desert Ranch you can meet their tame springbok, oryx and meerkats. There are also various hiking trails you can undertake in the area – from a 6 hour stamina challenge to a scenic 2 hour walk.

Overnight accommodation at SOLITAIRE GUESTFARM DESERT RANCH including lunch, dinner and breakfast, as well as a Walking with Cheetah activity.

Day 6

Day 6After a leisurely breakfast depart in a northerly direction towards the coastal resort town of Swakopmund. Follow the gravel plains of the Namib Desert through the spectacular Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons, and visit the erosional feature of Moon Landscape and Namibia’s ancient plant species, the ‘Welwitschia Mirabilis’. Proceed to Rossmund Lodge, located a few kilometres outside of Swakopmund.

Swakopmund is considered Namibia’s premier coastal resort and is a popular destination with Namibians as a welcome respite from the heat of the interior. The town is also noted for its Old World charm and relaxed atmosphere. Founded in 1892 during the period of German colonial rule it served as the territory’s main harbour for years. Today this quaint town nestled between desert and ocean is enhanced by lush green lawns, palm trees and carefully tended gardens. There is a good selection of restaurants and coffee shops selling traditional German cakes and pastries, while the coastline and the desert respectively offer many options for adventure or relaxation.

Your overnight accommodation will be at the ROSSMUND LODGE / similar on a bed & breakfast basis.

Lunch today is not included. Dinner can be enjoyed at Rossmund Lodge (but should be booked in advance), or at one of the restaurants in Swakopmund – Dinner will be for your own account.

ROSSMUND LODGE: The Rossmund Lodge is situated on the northern banks of the Swakop River, approximately 6kms from Swakopmund. The Lodge forms part of the 18-hole Rossmund Golf Course, uniquely set in the Namib Desert. It is one of only five registered all-grass desert golf courses in the world. The lodge is beautifully positioned, with 360° vistas of the fairways, and a striking backdrop of the Namib Desert sand dunes. Its location beyond the coastal mist belt, which frequently engulfs Swakopmund, permits guests to enjoy longer spells of sunshine and pleasant weather.

The reception area houses an attractive bar, lounge and breakfast room. Meals can be eaten inside or outside beneath the wavering palm trees on the patio that overlooks both the golf course and the surrounding wilderness.

Accommodation is provided for in Chalets or VIP Luxury Chalets, which all have en-suite bathrooms, a fireplace, satellite TV, mini bar, tea/coffee station and private patio. The family suites have a separate lounge area. The beautiful rock swimming pool provides a welcome relief for golfers and guests alike and is a terrific spot to soak up the Namibian sunshine and desert tranquility.

Both golfers and non-golfers may stroll freely around the course. Here, herds of free-roaming springbok can be seen, and guests can spend many a happy hour identifying the variety of bird species including bokmakierie, chestnut vented tit babbler, fiscal shrike, rock kestrels, white-backed mousebirds and guinea fowl to name but a few.

Various Birding Tours and Desert Excursions are also offered by the lodge.

Solitaire – Rossmund Lodge = ± 300 Km

Day 7

Day 7This morning, enjoy a Dolphin Cruise in a Catamaran at the Walvis Bay Lagoon. Visit oyster farms, the wreck at Pelican Point, the lighthouse and the seal colony. Look out for dolphins, whales, leatherback turtles and Sun fish, and get up close and personal with seals that visit the Catamaran. For those interested in birdlife, there are plenty of marine birds to see.

Sip on sparkling wine and indulge in oysters and snacks before heading back to shore.

Then spend some time exploring the picturesque coastal town of Swakopmund and the harbour town of Walvis Bay, before heading back to Rossmund Lodge.

Arrive at Rossmund Lodge in time for dinner, and afterwards you will join the Namib Desert Night Walk. This night walk offers an excellent opportunity to see some rather shy and inconspicuous creatures that remain hidden during the day. Trained guides with an intimate knowledge of the Namib Desert’s sensitive eco-system will accompany you on your desert night walk, where you may encounter a variety of gecko’s, spiders, gerbils, scorpions and other desert creatures.

Your overnight accommodation will be at the ROSSMUND LODGE / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. A Namib Desert Night Walk is also included.

Lunch will be for your own account.

Rossmund Lodge – Swakopmund – Walvis Bay – Swakopmund – Rossmund Lodge = ± 80 Km

Day 8

Day 8Today’s journey takes you inland, passing through Windhoek, to N/a’an ku sê Lodge & Wildlife Sanctuary. Marlice van Vuuren, one of Namibia’s most well known conservationists, and her husband Dr. Rudie van Vuuren started N/a’an ku sê Foundation in 2006 with two aims – to protect and conserve Namibia’s vulnerable wildlife and to improve the lives of the marginalised San Bushman community. Their Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe home for orphaned and injured animals who cannot be released back into the wild, and their Carnivore Conservation Research Project researches and protects threatened wild cheetahs, leopards and brown hyena. In addition, their Clever Cubs School provides free educational for San Bushman children while their Lifeline Clinic provides healthcare to the Sam Bushman Community in Epukiro.

Arrive in the afternoon and the remainder of the day will be at leisure.

Your overnight accommodation will be at the N/A’AN KU SE LODGE & WILDLIFE SANCTUARY including dinner, bed & breakfast. Lunch today is not included.

N/A’AN KU SE LODGE & WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Experience Spectacular African Wildlife and Pure Nature, situated only 42 km east of Windhoek and a twenty minute drive from Windhoek International airport. The area is a natural savannah paradise with riverine vegetation, lush grass plains and magnificent mountain views. N/a’ankuse is perfectly situated to start or finish your trip to Namibia.

N/a’an ku sê’s is crafted from ecologically clean material including solid logs and glass to complement the beautiful wilderness setting. Guests will find six luxurious, individual chalets and a tranquil dining area with stunning views, bar and swimming pool. All rooms are lavishly appointed and have been designed to offer total privacy and comfort in harmony with their surroundings. Rooms boast large twin beds, air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and each has its own private veranda with views overlooking the beautiful bush veldt. With a range of enjoyable activities, including exciting carnivore feeding tours, you are sure to enjoy an unforgettable African holiday.

The N/a’an ku sê’ Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe haven for various orphaned and injured African wildlife. We strongly believe the wild belongs in the wild and direct all our efforts towards long term rehabilitation. But sadly not all of the animals who come to N/a’an ku sê are able to be released back into the wild. Only those that can’t, mostly for reasons of human impact, remain on the sanctuary. We provide a safe sanctuary for lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and baboons. Our Sanctuary also provides a home to a bat eared fox called Ore, a duiker called Sylvie, a zebra called Benny, a vervet monkey called Scarlett as well as several meerkats, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and rabbits.

The Sanctuary is based at our beautiful reserve which hosts an abundance of wildlife and roaming game including giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, springbok, eland, jackal as well as wild cheetahs and leopards. These animals are all protected within this conservation area and our guests and volunteers can enjoy seeing the wildlife on a daily basis driving around the reserve.

Swakopmund – N/a’an ku sê Lodge = ± 420 Km

Day 9

Day 9Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast at the Lodge with the sanctuary’s owner and one of Namibia’s most popular conservationists, Marlice van Vuuren, before meeting some of the animals. You will play with and feed the baby baboons, see the precious Wild Dogs, meet some of the beautiful semi-tame cheetahs and have the rare opportunity to walk with tame caracals through the veldt. You will also go behind the scenes in the animal food preparation area, learn more about the carnivore conservation project, see the Clever Cubs school and meet the San Bushman community.

Return to the lodge for lunch, and in the afternoon you can take part in a Carnivore Feeding Tour, or a Cheetahs Up Close Tour.

Full Carnivore Feeding Tour: Join our exciting and informative full carnivore feeding tour for a unique wildlife experience. During the course of this tour you will visit and feed many animals including lion, leopard, wild dogs, baboons, caracal and cheetahs. You will hear their stories about how they came to N/a’an ku sê, learn more about their behaviour in the wild and see them being fed by our experienced guides. An excellent opportunity for fantastic up close photographs.

Cheetahs Up Close: You will enjoy a blissful hour spending time with our 3 semi-tame cheetahs, Aiko, Kiki and Aisha. Either Rudie or Marlice van Vuuren, our inspirational founders and directors, or one of our expert field guides, will introduce you to these incredible animals, tell you the story of how they came to be at the sanctuary and be on hand to take photographs of this special moment.

You will have the unique opportunity to stroke these magnificent animals and hear their delightful purr as they relish the attention and lick your hand in affection.

Your overnight accommodation will be at the N/A’AN KU SE LODGE & WILDLIFE SANCTUARY including all meals, and activities as specified

Day 10

After breakfast, and an additional activity (time permitting, at an extra cost), you will depart to Windhoek International Airport in time for your departure flight. Check in is at least 2 hours prior to flight departure.

N/a’an ku sê Lodge- Windhoek International Airport = ± 31 Km

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