Day 1 – USA to Johannesburg
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Welcome to Johannesburg, South Africa
Upon arrival into Johannesburg you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Johannesburg is the economic heart of South Africa, the central focus of Egoli ('Place of Gold'), as the Sotho name for Gauteng suggests. The largest and richest city in South Africa, Johannesburg's lifestyle is a fast-paced and hectic one. No-one could have imagined the repercussions when an unemployed miner found a stone bearing traces of gold here in 1886, an event that led to the discovery of the world's richest natural treasure trove.
People flocked to the Johannesburg area from all ends of the earth, and the open pastoral landscape changed almost overnight. Shantytowns sprang up and were rapidly transformed into modern concrete cities. Johannesburg became 'The Gold Capital of the World', and the entire country was catapulted into an economic boom. Today the shantytown remains, a vast and sprawling tin-roofed expanse that houses millions of extremely poor blacks. Astonishingly, the opulent and luxurious mansions of the rich are located less than a mile distant, behind high walls and razor wire.
Despite its sociological problems, which intimidate many people away from exploring Johannesburg, the city is not to be written off as tourist destination. For those interested in South Africa's history and culture, Johannesburg offers fascinating museums. A thriving café culture and a thrumming nightlife exist in many of Johannesburg's suburbs. The townships are also interesting to tour.Starting Accommodation:
InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport Hotel
Day 3 – Johannesburg to Sossusvlei
This morning you will transfer from your Johannesburg hotel for your flight to Namibia.
Internationally known as a photographer’s dream, Sossusvlei with its monumental dunes was formed by multi-directional winds. The photogenic lure of this area is breathtaking, boasting exceptional scenery, as well as a wild and romantic spirit. It is made up of a vast, dry clay pan over which towers a sea of magnificent sand dunes, reputedly the highest dunes in the world. When it has rained sufficiently, the main pan draws flamingos and other aquatic birds to the area.Starting Accommodation:
Little Kulala Camp (B, L, D)
Day 4 – At leisure, Sossusvlei
Unique and breathtaking in its beauty, Sossusvlei is situated in the Namib Naukluft Park. The photogenic lure of this area is breathtaking, boasting exceptional scenery, as well as a wild and romantic spirit. Why not experience the unimaginable magic of flying above the desert in a hot air balloon?
Spend the day enjoying the activities offered at Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp. Morning and afternoon game drives will be the main activities scheduled for the day. This area is mainly renowned for physical beauty and not for game viewing. Possible wildlife sightings include oryx, cape fox, jackal, springbok, ostrich, aardwolf, spotted hyena and many desert species of plants.
Optional activities available from the lodge includ excursions to Sossusvlei Dunes. hot air balloons at Sesriem (on request, additional cost), nature drives on the property, nature walks on request, or an optional night drive after dinner to look for bat-eared foxes and aardwolf.Starting Accommodation:
Little Kulala Camp (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Sossusvlei to Damaraland
Fly over the dunes of the Namib and Sossusvlei continuing westwards on to the Atlantic and then up the Skeleton Coast before turning east and flying to Damaraland.
Damaraland is renowned for its interesting flora and fauna dominated by rugged mountain ranges and steep escarpments, scorched by a relentless desert sun and inhabited almost exclusively by the unique semi-nomadic Himba tribe. Game species include desert elephant, black rhino, ostrich and springbok. If you want to be inspired by one of Mother Nature’s rarest beasts, searching for the endangered Desert elephant in Damaraland is a must.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 6 – At leisure, Damaraland
Damaraland Camp is situated in the Huab River Valley, arguably the most pristine wilderness area in Namibia, 90km from Torra Bay in the Torra Conservancy. It is lauded as one of the country's best camps, with sensational views of the surrounding desert plains, ancient valleys and soaring peaks of the Brandberg Mountains.
Activities at Damaraland Camp revolve around exploring the Haub River system, featuring guided nature drives and walks. Morning and afternoon drives in search for desert-adapted elephant are a great favourite. Gemsbok, greater kudu, springbok, and occasionally lion, cheetah, elephants and black rhino can be spotted. Interesting flora such as euphorbias and shepherd's trees can be viewed on the way to some of Africa's best known rock engravings, including the famous Twyfelfontein etchings.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 7 – Damaraland to Etosha National Park
Transfer from Damaraland to Etosha National Park on a charter flight.
Etosha is dominated by a massive mineral pan, the floor of which was formed around 1,000 million years ago. The word ‘Etosha’ means ‘the great white place of dry water’. The heart of this area is an expanse of shimmering images created by this vast salt pan. The game viewing at Etosha National Park is excellent and visitors can expect to see many buck species, elephant, giraffe, rhino and lion and, if fortunate enough, leopard and cheetah.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 8 – At leisure, Etosha National Park
Today you will enjoy some of the many excursions available at Ongava Game Reserve. Activities include game drives in open 4x4 vehicles into the Okaukuejo area of Etosha where lion, elephant (seasonal), gemsbok, springbok, black rhino, greater kudu and red hartebeest can be seen at numerous waterholes and fringing habitats. Apex predators like leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena also occur in this area.
In addition, hikes and walks with guides are enjoyed on the private reserve. Ongava has resident white and black rhino - one of the few private reserves in southern Africa - allowing guests staying at Ongava the unique opportunity to see both of these charismatic species. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.
Most general game are present on the reserve as well as within Etosha, including springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, Burchell's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra, waterbuck, red hartebeest, giraffe, eland and the endemic black-faced impala. Elephant and lion move between the Park and the reserve and both black and white rhino can be seen.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 9 – Etosha to Windhoek
This morning enjoy breakfast and your morning game activity before you check out and transfer to Windhoek.
Windhoek combines the modern city architectural style with that of the German colonial era. The city is a bit provincial, although the atmosphere does have cosmopolitan flare as well. You will spend the night here before your morning departure flight.Starting Accommodation:
Heinitzburg Hotel (B)
Day 10 – Windhoek to USA (Via Johannesburg)
This morning completes your Swain Destinations Namibia journey. You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.