Namibia: Sand and Safari

New itinerary for 2020! It’s time for a new mental image of Africa. With its wind-rippled desert sands, sky-scraping dunes, and white-dusted salt pans, Namibia is prized as much for its unique landscapes as for the wildlife that have adapted to survive in this arid ecosystem. Southern Africa is home to some of the most iconic and charismatic animals on the planet, and Namibia is one of the best places to find and photograph them.

After meeting up in Windhoek, our small group will set off for some of the most unforgettable days of your life. We’ll visit the red dunes of Namib-Naukluft National Park, photograph the camel-thorn tree skeletons of Deadvlei, search for desert-adapted elephants and rhinos in the shadow of Brandberg Mountain, and gaze upon ancient art painted onto granite cliffs some two thousand years ago by the San “Bushmen.” The capstone to our journey will be spent in the spectacular Etosha National Park, where we’ll find the continent’s tallest elephants, a unique sub-species of giraffe found nowhere else, at least three types of wild cats, four types of mongoose (plus the iconic meerkat), the giggle-inducing dik-dik, and lots more.

Expedition Highlights:

  • From African lions to savannah elephants, giant geckos to endangered rhinos, we’ll get up close with some of the most charismatic wildlife on the planet on daily hikes, game drives, and walking safaris.

  • Ponder the meaning of life as we take advantage of some of the planet’s darkest night skies and gaze into the heavens in awe of the staggering scale of the universe.

  • Visit Deadvlei, home of the world’s tallest sand dunes. It’s a place so dry that the camel-thorn trees, dead for nearly a century, can’t even decompose. Their sun-scorched, blackened trunks stand silent and lifeless, a forest of tree skeletons, twisted and gnarled as if they once reached towards the skies asking for help escaping their desiccated fate.

  • Cruise across Etosha’s 5000 square kilometer salt pan as you watch the sun rise over the African grasslands. Keep your eyes and ears open for the thirty-five different kind of raptors that make a home here, alongside the world’s largest bird (ostrich) and the planet’s heaviest flying bird (kori bustard).

  • Seek out Southern Africa’s largest colony of pink flamingoes - then take a short stroll to a massive Cape fur seal rookery.

  • Hike in the shadow of Brandberg Mountain in search of two thousand year-old rock paintings and engravings, while scanning the dunes for desert-adapted oryx, jackals, and foxes.

Photos by Lucas Bustamante.