NAMIBIA

guided self-fly expeditions

YOUR JOURNEY AT A GLIMPSE...

 

Namibia is the soul of Africa, characterized by vast open spaces, breath-taking scenery and great contrasts – ocean, dunes, mountains, deserts and fascinating wildlife.

 

This vast desert country of rolling dunes and swirling mists stirs the spirit and moves the heart.

 

Exploring Namibia from the seat of a light aircraft is by far the best way to experience this captivating desert country. From the spectacular Fish River Canyon in the south, the rolling dunefields in the centre and the jaw dropping wildlife of Erindi Private Game Reserve,  a self-fly safari will allow you to experience the best Namibia has to offer in the air and on the ground.

The below 16 day (17 nights) itinerary for exploring the south and central sections of Namibia is just a suggestion of what is on offer and we look forward to handcrafting a flying expedition that ticks all your boxes of what you would like to experience when exploring this exceptional country from above.

  • Experience the world’s second largest canyon, carved out over millennia by the ephemeral Fish River. 

  • Get up close and personal to the endangered black rhino in Erindi Private Game reserve, with 80,000 hectares of pristine Big 5 bushveld.

  • Experience the Namib Sand Sea; A UNESCO world heritage site and ogle at some of the oldest and largest dunes in the world.

  • Be introduced to some of the hidden life beneath the sands on a living desert tour with specialist guides and expect to meet desert denizens such as sidewinders, desert chameleons and desert adapted reptiles.

  • Explore the spectacular coastline of the Dorob National Park by 4x4 over giant sand dunes that sweep down to meet the Atlantic Ocean to spectacular effect.

  • Enjoy a day out on the Atlantic Ocean on a catamaran, drinking Champagne and eating oysters whilst exploring the sea and bird life of the Walvis Bay wetlands.

  • Track desert adapted elephant, rhino and giraffe in the red rock hills of Damaraland.

  • Wander the ethereal shores of the Skeleton coast and discover ancient wrecks, track the illusive sand wolf, visit one of the biggest colonies of Cape Fur Seals in the world and be awed by the isolation and solitude of this savage yet beautiful coastline.

  • Meet the nomadic tribes of the Himba and San Bushman and get a glimpse of what it may be like to live in the ways of old and to understand the moods and whimsy of the desert.

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PREPARATION

DAYS 1-3

On arrival in Johannesburg and once settled in, we will give a briefing on what to expect on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. During the next two days we will assist you in obtaining your South-African pilot license validation and successfully completing your validation flights. We will be with you every step of the away to ensure the process of obtaining your validation is as seamless as possible.

Your training and assistance will be provided by Sling Aircraft or, if prior requests were made, we will use a variety of pre-approved flights schools if you wish to obtain your validation in another aircraft.

Depending on the time required to obtain the above, we will schedule excursions to the Apartheid Museum, a tour of the fascinating township of Soweto, or a tour of the Origin of Mankind, Maropeng.

There will be detailed daily briefings on what to expect on your Namibian Expedition and ensure you are 100% prepared for the days ahead.

Johannesburg has various accommodation options of which you will be informed before your booking is finalized.

THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

DAY 4

Departing Johannesburg early in the morning we take a leisurely flight to Upington, a small town in the northern Cape Province of South Africa and our launch pad into the desert world of Namibia. Expect an easy 3-4-hour flight over the grasslands of the Free-State and the barren landscapes of the Northern Cape before landing at Upington, the principal town of the Green Kalahari at around midday.

We will transfer to our accommodation nestled between the mighty Orange River and rolling vineyards of this quaint little town. We will spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the beautiful scenery and sampling some of the strikingly individualistic varietal and blended wines made only in this arid wine growing region of South Africa before tucking into a sumptuous South African dinner.

Accommodation suggestions: Olive Tree | Villa Borghesi |River Place Manor | Africa River Lodge | Oranjerus

Included: Bed & Breakfast, Avgas**

 

* depending on availability or similar. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

THE MIGHTY FISH RIVER CANYON

DAYS 5-6

 

Rising early on the morning of day 5, we clear customs and immigration before heading north over the border to Keetmanshoop in Namibia. On this short 2-hour flight over the southern region of Namibia, we will fly over sandy plains dotted with Quiver trees, jagged granite mountains, and imposing rock formations. The start of a remarkable journey into the world's oldest desert.

At Keetmanshoop, we will clear Namibian customs and immigration before heading off over vast desert plains and wind chiseled mountains that characterize the southern Namib to our first stop; the grand Fish River Canyon.

We will be staying at Canon Lodge in the Gondwana Canyon Park for two evenings. An oasis of verdant gardens nestled between round granite boulders and endless bird song.

Expect some real German hospitality, a warm and cosy restaurant and a refreshing swimming pool. Enjoy a tall glass of Namibian Tafel Lager or Windhoek Draught while watching the sun go down over the swaying grasslands and sandstone hills.

Rising early on day 6 we will head out on a one-hour scenic flight over the jaw dropping landscape of  the world’s second largest canyon, returning for a scrumptious breakfast. In the afternoon various activities will be on offer including a guided drive to the edge of the Fish River Canyon, a sunset game drive through the quiver tree and euphorbia forests or hike or e-bike the rocky hills surrounding the lodge.

Accommodation suggestions: Fish River Lodge |Gondwana Canon Lodge or similar. Dependent on availability *

Included: All meals and activities | local wine and beer | Avgas **

* depending on availability or similar. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

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THE TOWERING DUNES

Sossusvlei - DAYS 7-8

After a leisurely breakfast, we fly north over the Tiras and Nubib mountain ranges and watch the golden grasslands and desert plains be replaced with ever growing dunefields, starting with the partly vegetated pro Namib dunes that grow in stature and size reaching their zenith at over 230m high at the achingly beautiful Sossusvlei, our destination for the next 3 nights.

Here we will explore one of the oldest, driest and most pristine places on Earth, the Namib Naukluft National Park and the NamibRand Nature Reserve which together form one of the largest protected wilderness spaces on earth.

The spectacular dunes at Sossusvlei, arrayed in magnificent hues of orange, tower over a vast, dry pan. Over 230 metres (750 feet) high and constantly twisted and shaped by the wind, these breath-taking dunes are among the highest in the world.

Sossusvlei is a belt of giant dunes that extends from the small frontier village of Sesriem deep into the Namib Naukluft National Park, and culminates around the surreal white clay pans of Deadvlei and Sossusvlei that during unusual wet sessions can periodically fill with water.​

For the next two days, we will explore these other worldly landscapes from above and on the ground.

A 1.5 hour scenic flight is included exploring the spectacular Dune fields of Sossusvlei and Namibrand from above. From your birds-eye perspective, be captivated by the rolling dunes, marvel at the fields of inexplicable fairy circles and craggy mountain ranges. Spot herds of Oryx running across the red dunes and Zebra, Ostrich and Springbok roaming the desert plains.

Here we will explore the dunes by 4x4 and on foot, be enchanted by a star feast each and every night – complete with our resident astronomer, walk across ancient sands and climb the heights of ‘Long Dune’, and be mesmerized in morning or late afternoon desert drives that continue after nightfall.

We will step back in time and bring to life the history of the area and its people. Strap on our walking shoes and roam back to the ancient San Bushmen era.

Accommodation suggestions: Sossusvlei Dessert Camp | Sossusvlei Desert Lodge | Wolvedans |

Included: Full Board, Excursion to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, Avgas**

* depending on availability or similar. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

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WHERE THE DUNES MEET THE SEA

Swakopmund - DAYS 9-11

DAY 9: After breakfast we head out on what must be one of the most beautiful flights on earth. Leaving Sossusvlei behind us we will embark on a 2.5 hour scenic flight heading west across the Dune Sea to Conception Bay on the Atlantic coastline, from there we head north along the pristine coastline of the Naukluft and Dorob National Parks, spotting shipwrecks, seal colonies and vast flocks of Flamingo on our journey to the quaint seaside town of Swakopmund.​

The charming little seaside town on Namibia’s western coast retains a strong German flavour – from the cobbled streets and picturesque buildings down to the typical German restaurants and pubs and is an ideal place to relax after a few days in the desert; wash off the sand and sample some of the finely-brewed local beer and renowned Swakopmund fare such as fish, lobster and the utterly delicious Swakopmund oysters.

DAY 10: After breakfast we head south to the coastal village of Walvis Bay for a full day tour of the Dorob National Park wetlands by catamaran and then the rolling coastal dune fields by 4x4. This Marine Dune day gives you the ultimate combination of leisure cruise and big dune driving exploring the breathtaking Sandwich Harbour of the Namib Naukluft National Park.

Eat oysters and drink Champaign on a half day ocean cruise exploring the oceanic wonderland of this tidal lagoon. Explore the Cape Fur Seal colonies, spot dolphins, whales and the illusive sun fish. Get up close and personal to the incredible birdlife that breeds in profusion on one of the most important wetlands in Africa, including thousands of flamingo and other wading birds, and a host of endangered and endemic species.

After the cruise, you will be picked up by a 4x4 and head south through the Kuiseb River Delta over the rolling dunes towards Sandwich Harbour, where you will be served lunch on the edge of a high dune with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Expect to see some unusual desert dwelling species of flora and fauna such as the black-backed jackal, fog-basking beetle, dancing spider, springbok, oryx, brown hyena and ostrich.

We return to Swakopmund at around 18:00 for a shower before heading off for dinner at one of the delightful restaurants on offer.

Accommodation suggestions: Hotel Zum Kaiser | Hansa Hotel | The Delight | The Strand

Included: Bed & Breakfast, Excursion to either the inland desert or Conception Bay, Avgas**

 * depending on availability. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

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IN SEARCH OF THE DESERT ELEPHANT

Damaraland - DAYS 11-12

Day 11: Have a late breakfast or a wander around the quaint little town of Swakopmund before heading off to the airfield and departing for our next destination …the spectacular Damaraland.

Flying north we leave the dunefields behind and head over the gnarled and twisted landscapes of the Moon Valley following the Ugab river as it snakes its way across the desert plains towards Brandberg or "Mountain of Fire"; Namibia’s highest mountain.

 

Here we enter one of the most beautiful areas of Namibia that features an endless expanse of massive, untamed and ruggedly beautiful mountains and valleys that are home to the illusive herds of desert adapted elephant, rhino, zebra and lion that eke out an existence in this near-barren landscape.

Arriving at our lodge for a late lunch, the rest of the day can be spent around the swimming pool or sauntering around the lodge grounds. We will indulge in a spot of star gazing before a dinner around a roaring fire.

DAY 12: After an early breakfast we embark on an early morning 1 hour scenic flight over the jaw-dropping landscapes of Damaraland, over sand rivers and hidden oases. After lunch we will enjoy a game drive over the red rock hills in search of desert adapted wildlife before tucking in to another scrumptious dinner.

Accommodation suggestions: Huab Lodge  | Damaraland Camp | Camp Kipwe | Mowani Mountain Camp

Included: Full Board, Game Drives, Game Walks, Avgas**

 * depending on availability. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

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INTO THE WILD

Erindi Private Game Reserve - DAYS 13-14

After an early breakfast we leave behind the geological wonderland of the Damaraland and head south west towards our next destination situated in the deep game rich bushveld of Erindi Private Game Reserve.

Here we will explore close on 80 000 hectares of pristine bushveld and immerse ourselves in the conservation and cultural initiatives of this unique Big 5 wilderness area.

For the next two days we will enjoy what Erindi has to offer with its variety of activities on offer including game drives, walking with Cheetahs, visiting a traditional San Bushman village and honing your tracking skills, or partaking in a guided bush walk.

Accommodation options: Old Traders Lodge*

Included: Full Board, Game Drives, Guided Bush Walk, Visit to San Village, Avgas**

 

* depending on availability or similar. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

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HOMEWARD BOUND 

DAYS 15-17

On day 15 we start our journey home via Keetmanshoop to Upington where we will spend our last evening enjoying a traditional South African dinner. The next day we fly back to Johannesburg.

Accommodation options: Upington (Various)*

Included: Bed & Breakfast, Avgas**

 

* depending on availability. All accommodation will be confirmed before bookings are finalized.

** Avgas for set number of hours (confirmed before all bookings)

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Price Guide for 16 night Southern Namibia self-fly expedition

$USD 619 -750*

Per person, per day ( 2 people sharing an aircraft and accommodation)

Single Supplement (accommodation per person per night):  $USD 55-152*

Single Supplement (aircraft per person per day): $USD 95

* Price dependent on accommodation options (mid-range to high-end)

Total estimated flying time: 33 hours (including 4.5 hours scenic flights)

Included:

Sling TSi Aircraft Hire (or similar depending on availability)

Pilot License Validation and flights

Meals - as indicated

Avgas (33 hours) - additional Avgas will be available

Airfield pick-up and drop-offs

Excursions - as indicated

Taylor make your journey...

 

This unforgettable journey showcases just a few of our favorite experience combinations in this iconic destination. 

It is merely an example from which you can use to start dreaming and creating your own adventure.

We build the itinerary around you. The time you have available and the things you want to experience dictate how we plan and execute your bespoke safari. All expeditions are personally guided by one of our top professionals. Our network of specialist guides, photographers, chefs, animal behaviorists, wildlife researchers and local guides are on hand to help build your personal safari experience.

Various accommodation options are available at the different locations.

Choice of accommodation depends on availability and budget.

 

We have provided a price range for each safari as the final price is dependent

on your choice of accommodation options.

 

We will recommend options depending on your requirements, budget and availability.