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Namibia Culture and Wildlife Adventure

  • 14-day safari and cultural adventure
  • Activity Rating: Light

Trip Details


With deserts that reach all the way to the sea, twinkling salt pans, and lunar-like red-rock landscapes, Namibia is stark, wild, and spectacular. On a variety of safaris and wildlife walks, track animals of all sorts, including cheetahs, desert-adapted elephants and rhinos, and the kudu, zebra, and oryx of Etosha National Park. Meet with scientists to learn first-hand about efforts to preserve Namibia’s cheetahs, leopards, and rhinos. Spend time in San and Himba settlements and get acquainted with the fascinating ancient cultures that make their home in this harsh and mystical land.

Trip Highlights

    • Encounter leopards and cheetahs up close with a Naankuse researcher as founded by National Geographic, and track cheetahs on foot in the Okonjima Game Reserve.
    • Search for rare desert-adapted black rhinos and elephants.
    • Spend two days getting acquainted with the ancient hunter-gatherer culture of the San (or “Bushmen”) people.

Itinerary - 14 Days

Day 1 — Windhoek, Namibia/N/a'an ku sê

Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, and travel to nearby N/a’an ku sê, a research and conservation center focused on protecting Namibia’s wildlife and cultures. Encounter leopards and cheetahs up close and personal with a Naankuse researcher as founded by National Geographic. Stay in the center’s stunning not-for-profit eco-lodge tonight.
N/a’an ku sê Lodge (D)

Day 2 — Okonjima Game Reserve

Travel north to the Okonjima Game Reserve, stopping to browse local handicrafts in the markets of Okahandja. Stretching some 50,000 acres, Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, which seeks to rehabilitate injured or captive predators and mitigate conflicts between wildlife and local farmers. Settle into your private thatched chalet, and then head out on safari. Track cheetahs on foot or leopards in a vehicle, and later, go on a night hike to observe nocturnal creatures such as porcupines, honey badgers, and perhaps a leopard. (2–3 miles walking, 1–2 hours)
Okonjima Camp (B,L,D)

Days 3 & 4 — Tsumkwe

After a morning safari, travel east to the land of the San people, who have lived off this harsh land for millennia. Immerse yourself in their ancient hunter-gatherer culture, taking part in everyday activities such as fire- and rope-making, cooking, and setting traps to catch game. Join community members for a bush walk, tracking game, looking for honey, and foraging for edible or medicinal plants. With luck, our visit will coincide with a traditional elephant or giraffe healing ceremony in the evening. (Day 3: 2–3 miles walking, 1–2 hours; Day 4: 3–4 miles walking, 2–3 hours)
Nhoma Safari Camp (B,L,D)

Days 5, 6, & 7 — Etosha National Park/Ongava Game Reserve

Drive west, stopping to visit Lake Otjikoto, where retreating German forces dumped tons of armaments in 1915 during the British campaign in German Southwest Africa. Arrive at our bush camp on the eastern boundary of Etosha National Park. Enjoy two full days on safari in different regions of the park, and spend a night in the adjacent private Ongava Game Reserve. Spot gemsbok and rare black-faced impalas, look for endemic birds like Hartlaub’s francolin and the bare-cheeked babbler, and catch a glimpse of elephants splashing at the water’s edge.
Mushara Bush Camp; Andersson’s Camp (B,L,D daily)

Day 8 — Damaraland

Enter Damaraland, a stark desert landscape where unusually succulent plants thrive, fed by mists off the Atlantic. We’ll seek out the Himba people, semi-nomadic pastoralists who live in conical homes built of palm fronds, saplings, and mud. Meet with Himba elders to learn about their history and unique traditions—largely unchanged over the centuries. (1–2 miles walking, 1–2 hours)
Damaraland Camp (B,L,D)

Days 9 & 10 — Twyfelfontein/Palmwag Concession

This morning, search for the elusive desert-adapted elephant. Then, at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein, hike into the hills to examine San petroglyphs and discover the geological curiosities of Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes. Continue to the vast, arid landscape of the Palmwag Concession, home to one of the world’s largest natural populations of the rare black rhino. Our camp here is part of the Save the Rhino Trust, which has helped revive the rhino population after the species was nearly wiped out. Go rhino tracking on game drives and walks with wildlife guides, and discover rare flora and fauna. (Day 9: 1–2 miles walking, 1–2 hours; Day 10: 3–4 miles walking, 2–3 hours)
Desert Rhino Camp (B,L,D)

Days 11 & 12 — Swakopmund/Sossusvlei

After a leisurely breakfast this morning you will board your private chartered aircraft for your flight to Sossusvlei. You will fly over the famous Skeleton Coast, flying over shipwrecks, abandoned diamond mining camps, spotting seal and marine bird colonies as well as the giant sand sea (weather permitting). Make a brief stop in the town of Swakopmund for lunch. Fly on to the Sossusvlei clay pan in the southern part of the Namib, renowned for its massive ochre-hued dunes—among the highest in the world. Settle into our eco-lodge within Namib Naukluft Park, and go hiking in Sesriem Canyon, carved into the rock by the Tsauchab River over millions of years. Rise early to experience sunrise over the dunes, when the light accentuates their towering, wind-sculpted curves. As we explore, keep an eye out for springbok, bat-eared foxes, geckos, and other desert wildlife. (3–4 miles walking, 2–3 hours)
Sossus Dune Lodge (B,L,D daily)

Days 13 & 14 — Windhoek

Drive to Windhoek and enjoy free time, then gather for a farewell dinner. The next day, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Galton House (B,L,D; B)

National Geographic Active Expeditions are unique, active itineraries for intrepid travelers that combine spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenge. You'll explore fascinating, off-the-beaten-path places with top guides, and wherever possible, meet National Geographic experts in the field.


This expedition is not currently being offered.

Featured Expedition Moment

Activity Level


This is an easy walking trip. We will be walking 1 to 3 hours (1 to 4 miles) on most days. During hikes and safaris, vehicle support is provided.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

What To Expect

Accommodation Style

We will stay 9 nights in deluxe tented camps, 1 night in an eco-lodge, and 3 nights in a comfortable lodge/guesthouse.

Contact Us: 1-888-689-2557

Call to speak with an Adventure specialist about this trip.