July 5 – 16, 2015
Experience the unique luxury of Namibia’s most beautiful safari lodges and get to know the country, its people and wildlife, from an insider’s view. From cheetahs to fairy circles, the earth’s oldest desert to the its clearest nighttime stars, Namibia will steal your heart.
I visited Namibia in my capacity as conservation photojournalist writing for National Geographic’s Big Cat News Watch in 2011 and was blown away by a country so magical, vast and open that I’ve been determined to return and share this life-changing experience with all of you.
Working with numerous cheetah conservation researchers in-country, I’ve maintained friendships since that journey, keeping up-to-date on new developments, needs and progress to tailor this trip in accordance with the big cats and wide-open spaces from an insider’s vantage-point.
Join me this July as we travel through Namibia for the cheetah!
Itinerary details to Okonjima, Etosha, NamibRand, N/a’ankusê:
$8200 per person sharing
Day 1 Arrival
Namibian Captial City of Windhoek
Meet & greet happy hour orientation & welcome dinner
Am City Tour including a very interesting introduction to Namibian history at the National Museum of Namibia (called The Alte Feste).
Visit to the Genocide Memorial Statue, Sam Nujoma Statue & inauguration of the Independence Memorial Museum & briefing on the history of genocide by a local historian.
Shopping at the Crafts Market in the town square & lunch
We meet the Minister of Tourism and learn of Namibia’s groundbreaking ecotourism model and the state of conservation.
Dinner at the famous gourmet culinary school NICE
Overland travel to AfriCat Onkonjima Lodge
AfriCat, founded by Namibian farmers turned conservationists, has been a dedicated player in carnivore conservation for over twenty years. Their large private nature reserve is home to cheetah and leopard, wild dog, brown and spotted hyena. Focused on environmental education, carnivore conservation, research and community support, with a strong carnivore rehabilitation program, this team of passionate guides, researchers and educators keep a watchful eye over all animals on the private nature reserve while successfully restoring the land from its cattle farming history.
Evening Carnivore Tracking & Dinner
Am Tracking Carnivores on Foot or by Game Vehicle & Conservation Talk
Meet AfriCat’s ‘working ambassador’ cats! Visit their Information and Carnivore Care Centre and learn about some of this Foundation’s work and these endangered, amazing & beautiful animals!
Fly to Etosha National Park
The world-famous Etosha National Park has some of the best game viewing in all of Africa. Staying just outside the park on the Oguma Private Game Reserve, we’ll have the rare opportunity for nighttime game drives.
The areas with thicker vegetation are home to elephant (some of the largest in Africa due to the vitamins and nutrients found in the ground), the endangered black rhino, leopard, cheetah, lion and spotted hyena. Lions are camouflaged in the pale- golden color of the grasslands, while giraffes rise high above most of the dry vegetation.
Birders will love the rainy season in Etosha. After good rains the salt pan fills with water attracting a cloud of flamingos. More than 340 bird species have been counted in Etosha National Park.
One of the largest savannah conservation areas in Africa, Etosha National Park is world renowned for its spectacular wildlife: elephant, black and white rhinoceros, lions, leopards, cheetahs, large herds of springbok, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and a multitude of other fascinating species, big and small, interacting in their natural environment.
Evening Game Drive & Dinner
Our safari adventure continues with game drives deep into the park and a special nighttime drive option on our home at the Onguma Private Reserve
We depart Etosha with a scenic flight into the NamibRand Nature Reserve
High-end luxury with low-impact tourism, the NRNR model has created a paradise for lovers of remote lands and conservation success stories.
Wolwedans Camps are exclusive within the reserve to maintain high-end luxury with low-impact on the environment
About NamibRand Nature Reserve:
The largest private nature reserve in Southern Africa, extending over an area of 780 square miles. The Reserve shares a 100km border with the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the west and is bordered in the east by the imposing Nubib Mountains. Virtually all facets of the Namib Desert are represented on the Reserve – sand and gravel plains and stretches of savanna alternate with mountain ranges and vegetated dune belts.
A place near and dear to my heart, NamibRand Nature Reserve is Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. You won’t see a brighter starry night anywhere else. The magic of the cosmos and the daytime landscapes where zebra, springbok and ostrich roam will steal your heart. As a photographer, I can’t get enough of this breathtaking landscape.
Guides from the Wolwedans Collection are trained in aspects of astronomy and spend time with guests sharing stories about the constellations, as well as unbelievable views of the moon and planets such as Jupiter or Saturn.
When it comes to carnivores, NRNR’s conservation partnerships has overseen the return of the cheetah and leopard to this prey-abundant land. You will see the national animal of Namibia, the breathtaking desert antelope – the oryx, in great numbers here.
And if that wasn’t enough, have you heard of Fairy Circles? Mysterious circles by the thousands paint the veld with polka-dots that so far defy scientific explanation. The Himba people say it is the breath of a dragon from underneath the earth’s crust whose fire burns the surface into near-perfect circles..
We are very pleased to inform you that Namibia’s second World Heritage Site, the Namib Sand Sea, was approved on the 21st of June 2013!
Morning Game Drive
lunch and afternoon relaxation
Evening Game Drive
Dinner and Conservation Chat with NamibRand Wildlife Rangers
Namibrand Nature Reserve http://www.namibrand.com
Optional hot air balloons with champagne brunch
Safari by Horseback
lunch and afternoon relaxation with
Cheetah Researcher talk and facilitated discussion with Marcy
Evening Game Drive
Dinner and Star-gazing
Depart NamibRand via scenic flight across the desert to N/a’ankusê Lodge & Wildlife Foundation
Afternoon arrival to N/a’ankusê Foundation & Lodge
We’ll spend a beautiful night at the stunningly appointed N/a’ankusê Lodge and visit the wildlife sanctuary that is home to cheetah, baboon, wild dog and more. We’ll get up close to N/a’ankusê’s famous cheetah friends, Aiko, Kiki & Aisha.
Evening drinks / conservation chat with dinner by N/a’ankusê’s gourmet chefs.
Marlice van Vuuren, one of Namibia’s most well known conservationists, and her husband Dr. Rudie van Vuuren started N/a’ankusê Foundation in 2006 with two aims – to protect and conserve Namibia’s vulnerable wildlife and to improve the lives of the marginalised San community.
With a philosophy of ‘conservation through innovation’, the van Vuurens have created a unique business model that supports their three reserves working on carnivore conservation and Clever Cubs San School and Lifeline health clinics in Namibia
A visit to the Clever Cubs School will enlighten about the San people’s rich culture and the their future through education and strong familial ties.
Farewell dinner at N/a’ankusê Lodge with transport to Windhoek Int’l Airport or optional 3 day Skeleton Coast Excursion
3 day Skeleton Coast Excursion (inquire for Skeleton Coast option)
This journey is powered by Altruvistas who provides us with ethical, comprehensive, and philanthropic travel-planning services so that we can have the adventure of a lifetime in Namibia. They offer us a culturally insightful, engaging, comfortable, and worry-free journey that synergistically benefits the local economy, our Namibian hosts, and highlights the conservation we together are doing in the world on behalf of cheetahs and their environs.