Namibia self drive holiday, big cat conservation
Description of Namibia self drive holiday, big cat conservation
Namibia: a land of vast, open spaces, sweeping deserts, wild coastline, tall dark-sand dunes as high as skyscrapers, and diverse wildlife: all of which can be reached on this two week self drive itinerary. Because of the mainly-gravel roads, we recommend a 4x4 vehicle to give traction and height which affords views across the expansive landscapes. This is not a mass tourism destination: roads are empty, lodges are small and distances to drive will range from 4 – 6 hours, but the rewards are great: the lack of light pollution makes star gazing immensely rewarding; seeing the sunrise over the towering sand dunes at Sossusvlei is a photographer’s dream; kayak alongside frolicking seals and dolphins off the coast; track desert adapted elephant on foot and in vehicle in the stark landscapes of Damaraland, and watch for predator activity in Etosha National Park: renowned for sightings of lion, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, etc. End your trip at a reserve dedicated to conservation work with endangered species: learn about how these animals have come to be endangered, and the work being undertaken to ensure their survival.
We always offer small, locally owned luxury lodges for road trips around Namibia, with a focus on Namibian culture and cuisine. From our years of experience, we recommend that the best time to go to Namibia is during the dry season, June-October, as this is not only when temperatures are manageable but also when you will get the best wildlife viewing. During these months temperatures range from 20 °C-25 °C, although they do dip at night time. The temperatures start to soar as high as 40 °C during the rainy season which, in Namibia, is between Dec-March.
We will provide you with detailed maps, driving directions, mobile phone pre-programmed with all supplier contacts, and 24/7 support should you require it on the ground. You will cover some distance, but never feel rushed: the spectacular scenery, endless horizons and unique experiences make a road trip in Namibia one to remember.
11 Reviews of Namibia self drive holiday, big cat conservation
Reviewed on 26 Apr 2022 by Michael MooreFabulous...Driving the dunes in Sandwich Harbor. Other highlights include Sossusvlei, Etosha, and Okonjima. Best lodges were Oberland, Kulala, and Mushara. Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Dec 2019 by Vicky CowapThe most memorable part of the holiday was seeing the wildlife and experiencing the scenery. Fabulous accommodation and great food. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Aug 2019 by Bev CloughThe safari was the most memorable part of the trip. Read full review
Reviewed on 20 May 2019 by Nicky ParsonsThe most exciting part was the day when we saw over 60 elephants arrive and play at a waterhole in Etosha, followed by watching 3 cheetahs asleep at the side of the road. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Aug 2019 by Julia LovellThe safari at Etosha mountain lodge was the highlight of the trip. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Feb 2019 by David FawcettThe scenery is amazing and shipwreck lodge is special - all the lodges were very good. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Apr 2018 by Linda SykesThe most memorable moment was driving through ever changing landscapes and the beauty of the desert. The unfailing cheerfulness of the staff at the lodges and their wonderful singing. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Mar 2017 by Liz TreadwayThe whole holiday was amazing though for me the desert dunes at Sossusvlei take some beating. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Nov 2016 by Lindsay ComerAmazing!! The space, the colours, the diverse landscapes, from desert to seaside to safari! Read full review
Reviewed on 18 Oct 2016 by Jean ShepherdThe lodges and safari trips were excellent. We enjoyed the independence of driving ourselves but it was great to have experienced guides especially in Sossusvlei and tracking desert elephants in Damaraland and and in Okonjima looking for leopards. Read full review
Reviewed on 21 May 2013 by lisa roseExcellently organised with great places to stay and awesome sights. The best part was being in Hidden Vlei, all alone and surrounded by the peace and quiet and with the most amazing view. Read full review
PlanetThe lodges that we use support a variety of projects to protect their environment, and use income generated from tourism to support such projects. For instance, in Damaraland, one lodge planted indigenous plants which are harvested and replanted around the lodge and waterhole. They reduce, reuse and recycle all refuse and use energy saving bulbs as well as solar geysers to reduce their carbon footprint. The lodge was also designed with this mind – a high roof and ventilation ducts - resulting in a temperature change from inside and outside, of no more than 5 degrees on hot days.
One of the lodges we use in Sossusvlei once stood on an area used for subsistence goat farming, with very little indigenous wildlife remaining in the area. By creating a reserve, the land and its wildlife have returned to their former glory. This camp is powered by a hybrid system, combining solar energy and a diesel-powered generator. Thanks to the solar energy, the generator only needs to operate for eight hours a day as opposed to 24 hours. In addition, each guest tent has its own solar geyser that provides hot water. Every effort to conserve water has been made by using water efficient devices in the camp for both guests and staff. Reducing our need extends to power, as energy-efficient lights and appliances have been used. In order to reduce our use of bottled water, reverse osmosis filtration is done on site to provide guests with high quality drinking water.
In Etosha National Park, one of the lodges we use has developed an Anti Poaching Unit - in response to an increase in poaching rhinos on their reserve. Since the APU has been on site, they have seen a drastic decrease in poaching instances. Due to their conservation initiatives, they have successfully apprehended poachers on multiple occasions and continue to collect evidence to assist in successful prosecution.
PeopleAll visits to the rock art sites in Damaraland are lead by local guides and fees paid for these tours are reinvested directly back into the local community. There is little employment in this area and tourism brings in much needed revenue.
We use accommodation that is small and locally owned, ensuring that the costs are retained in the local economy. Our local ground handler is particularly supportive of local community projects and the company has formed a partnership with the Windhoek SOS Children’s Village which offers a home to around 118 orphaned children aged between 3 & 18. We encourage our clients to bring a few gifts such as clothes, shoes, toys, English books, crayons and colouring books. In addition, SOS supports the local community to help children who have lost one or both parents to be cared for in their own extended families wherever possible. The aim of the trust is to give tangible assistance to African people and their environment in their efforts to achieve economic viability without doing harm to natural habitats and wildlife, thus utilizing both on a sustainable basis for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
The lodges that we use have a variety of projects to support local communities and the environment: for instance, in Damaraland, one lodge is currently in the process of setting up a community vegetable garden from which they can purchase their vegetables for their restaurant.
In Etosha National Park, one of the lodges we use has provided the local community with the opportunity to economically benefit from operations on their reserve. As well as creating jobs at the lodge, they created a 500-hectare vegetable farm located on the borders of Etosha and Oshivelo township. Currently 94 hectares are under irrigation and Oshivelo Farming aims at developing another 150 hectares in the foreseeable future. Water is sourced from strong boreholes on the property. The farm has been developed to the extent that it is now one of the top 5 vegetable producers in Namibia. The farm employs 180 local people (80% women) who were previously eking out an existence, unemployed.