Cheetah Safari: Join me in Namibia

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.

Namibia holds the world’s largest cheetah population thanks to diligent NGOs like Cheetah Conservation Fund, AfriCat and more.

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

Day 2

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

NICE, Windhoek

Day 3

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

Day 4

AfriCat Foundation

 

 

Am Tracking Carnivores on Foot or by Game Vehicle & Conservation Talk

Breakfast

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!

Day 5

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.

Onguma Tented Camp at night

About Etosha:
The abundance of wildlife in Etosha is astounding.

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

Day 6

Etosha

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

Day 7

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 Collection Dunes Lodge

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!

Day 8

 

Namibrand Nature Reserve

Morning Game Drive

lunch and afternoon relaxation

Evening Game Drive

 

Dinner and Conservation Chat with NamibRand Wildlife Rangers

Day 9

Namibrand Nature Reserve http://www.namibrand.com

Morning :

Optional hot air balloons  with champagne brunch
or
Safari by Horseback

lunch and afternoon relaxation with

Cheetah Researcher talk and facilitated discussion with Marcy

Evening Game Drive

Dinner and Star-gazing

Day 10

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.

Day 11

Tour at the N/a’ankusê Foundation & Carnivore Conservation Sanctuary

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

12 Departure

Or

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.

To register  please fill out the registration form and return it to malia@altruvistas.com

 

2 Comments

  1. Amy
    Posted 16 Jan ’16 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I am very interested in the project that Marlice is working on, and I would love to participate. I am not interested in tourist activities but I would like to learn more about the efforts to maintain the population of wild Cheetas in Africa. I am Canadian and live on a tight budget, is there any affordable opportunities to make a volunteer contribution for a short time? I would love to have the experience and once I am financially able to do so would like to pursue this as a career.

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