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Image by Joe McDaniel

Sossusvlei, Swakopmund & Etosha NP, Namibia

Namibia in a Nutshell

£6,595 pp sharing

At a Glance

Dates: September 17th - September 30th, 2025

Extension: No extension currently offered.

Prices: £6,595 pp sharing (with a £500 single supplement)​, excluding flights.

In a sentence: Combine some of the continent's most striking scenery with its finest desert wildlife in this well-rounded itinerary.


Namibia is truly a superb safari destination. From the life-giving headwaters of the Okavango that support bustling ecosystems in the Caprivi Strip to the arid deserts that dominate much of the country, there is so much to see here, particularly for those interested in wildlife. This itinerary takes guests to the highlights of this wonderful region, visiting the towering dunes of Sossusvlei and then Namibia's wild Atlantic coastline. Besides offering a spectacular introduction to the natural beauty of Namibia, these areas also boast tremendous wildlife - the dunes around Sossusvlei protect gemsbok, springbok and even brown hyena, whereas the waters around Swakopmund are home to Heaviside's dolphin and abundant birdlife. The jewel in Namibia's crown, though, is undoubtedly the world-famous Etosha National Park. A thriving 'Big Five' reserve, Etosha also boasts impressive densities of unusual species including cape fox, brown hyena, honey badger and much more. Whereas most itineraries simply race through Etosha, pausing briefly at its waterholes and camps, our visit savours this sensational game-viewing experience. Without a doubt, this is an itinerary for those really looking to get under the skin of Namibia.


Day One


On arrival into Windhoek, you will be met by a Pictus Safaris representative and transferred directly to your comfortable local hotel. There will be a pre-tour briefing in the hotel this evening, but the remainder of your day is set aside for rest and relaxation after a long inbound flight.

Day Two


This morning we begin our tour in earnest! Our first drive of the tour takes us south from the capital, on good roads for slightly over four hours. On arrival, there will be a chance for you to settle in to your comfortable lodge accommodation just a short drive from Sossusvlei, ahead of a late afternoon 'nature drive'. Whilst Sossusvlei is not first and foremost a safari destination, there is a rich diversity of wildlife surviving in the seemingly arid dunes, and your drive may reveal the presence of species including gemsbok and springbok. If very lucky, as the light fades, guests may even spy predators such as brown hyena as your first day proper in Namibia draws to a close. Dinner is served at the lodge this evening before some well-earned rest.

Day Three


This morning starts early, as we head to one of the highlights of any visit to Namibia - Deadvlei. This other-worldly landscape, famous across the world for offering panoramas of vast dunes surrounding dead trees emerging from a white salt pan, is sure to entrance visitors. At first light, we will head directly to the main gate and proceed at pace towards Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, aiming to reach these particularly photogenic areas whilst the light is still soft enough for photographs. Our first port of call will be to clamber up one of the many huge sand dunes in this area to admire the end of the sunrise over the Kalahari Desert. From here, we will be sure to spend plenty of time enjoying the contrasts of the white vleis against the blue sky and orange dunes - it will be difficult to tear ourselves away!

Eventually, though, our time in Sossusvlei will come to an end, as we head west towards the Atlantic and our next destination of Swakopmund, a drive of around five-and-a-half hours. Arriving by early evening, dinner will be served in our hotel before our day comes to a close.

Day Four


Swakopmund is known as Namibia's adventure capital, but is also home to a surprising array of wildlife. Our stay here begins this morning with a marine cruise in the harbour waters around the town. These sheltered waters are home to a booming population of brown fur seals (many of which follow the boats here in search of an easy meal), as well as the much rarer and localised Heaviside's dolphin. The birdlife is excellent, with great white pelicans easily seen, and greater flamingo and sooty tern also present in good numbers. Following our return to land and a relaxed lunch, our afternoon will be spent birding the coastline and estuary and soaking in the natural beauty of this area - with luck, we may even spy Heaviside's dolphin playing close to shore as we travel. We again dine in our hotel this evening.

Day Five


Our full day today is spent touring Sandwich Harbour, exploring the desert as its dunes descend precipitously into the Atlantic Ocean. This really is a fantastic way to see the contrasts of this bizarre landscape, with much of the morning spent enjoying the challenging driving and stunning views, with lunch served overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Our afternoon will be spent exploring the desert at a more sedate pace, seeking out large mammals (including springbok and black-backed jackal) but also many of the desert's weirdest inhabitants including golden mole and fog-basking beetle. By early evening, we return to Swakopmund for our final night in the town.

Day Six


Today is very much a travel day, leaving our Swakopmund hotel behind after breakfast and embarking on a six-hour drive north. We may choose to break our journey with leg stretches at the Cape Cross fur seal colony and the scenic Skeleton Coast, before we head inland to our comfortable lodge nestled on the Etendeka Plateau. Whilst our stop here is intended solely to break up the long journey towards Etosha, Etendeka is a hugely interesting area, and as we drive we recommend keeping your eyes peeled for species such as Kaokoveld slender mongoose and Etendeka round-eared sengi. After a long day of travel, the excellent hospitality at our stopover lodge will be very welcome indeed, and we are sure the excitement will be palpable as we reach Etosha tomorrow.

Day Seven

Etosha NP - Dolomite

Today is a particularly exciting day, as we only have three hours of driving between us and Etosha. Arriving by mid-morning, we will embark on our first game-drive proper of the tour as we head to our lovely camp. These remote western reaches of Etosha are much quieter than famous areas like Okaukuejo and Namutoni further east and, whilst game densities are lower, time spent here can be richly rewarding. En route to camp, we will likely encounter our first 'big game' of the tour - bush elephant are common, and we may bump into black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, brown hyena and much more in this area. Game-viewing in Etosha is largely centred around watering points, which draw in wildlife, often in impressive densities. Whilst generic game for which Etosha is famous, including giraffe, zebra, gemsbok, springbok, greater kudu and impala (of which there is a localised black-faced race), is abundant here, we may choose to focus on species today that thrive in the arid and rocky habitat around Dolomite. Cape fox, honey badger and even caracal are better seen here than elsewhere in the park.

After a chance to settle in to camp, our afternoon game drive will focus on large predators. Lion are particularly well-seen here, and leopard and cheetah are present albeit rare. Brown hyena and cape fox are also worth spending time seeking out before returning to camp at sunset.

Day Eight

Etosha NP - Dolomite

Our full day today is spent enjoying the quiet, western region of Etosha on morning and afternoon game drives. Whilst our focus is flexible depending on the interests of the group, we recommend dedicating significant time today to patiently staking out the few waterholes to be found here, as processions of game come and go to sate their thirst. This is often particularly rewarding for those seeking shots of Etosha's 'white elephants', pachyderms with skin stained white by the dust of this vast salt pan. When not enjoying these spectacles, we will make a further effort to locate one of several large prides of lion that frequent the area or, if very lucky, the resident leopard may be showing on the koppies around Dolomite Camp.

Day Nine

Etosha NP - Halali

Following a final morning drive near Dolomite today, we head east during the late morning to the busier, but wildlife-dense, centre of Etosha and Halali Camp. We settle in to our more basic accommodation over lunch, before heading out to explore this new area. This part of the park is relatively well-watered and vegetated, and the wildlife densities here can be truly impressive. As well as generic game, this area boasts impressive numbers of lion, black rhino and bush elephant. Leopard, although not present in high numbers anywhere in the park, are perhaps best seen here, and there is always the chance of a real rarity such as honey badger on the roads around camp. 

Returning to camp this evening, you may choose to spend the hours after dinner at the camp waterhole, floodlit through the night to allow views of the wildlife that comes to drink. This is a popular activity, and the viewpoint is often crowded, as black rhino, leopard, lion and spotted hyena are frequently seen here. For an extra fee, you may choose to head out further afield on a night drive, which increases your chances of spying big cats and brown hyena.

Day Ten

Etosha NP - Halali

Our full day is spent on morning and evening game drives from Halali today, stopping off regularly at waterholes to enjoy highly-likely sightings of lion, black rhino and elephant.

Day Eleven

Etosha NP - Namutoni

Our extended stay in Etosha is a real privilege, and this morning we head to the far east of the park and Namutoni. Our afternoon is spent much as it has been in Halali, seeking out waterholes to enjoy the rich diversity of game they draw in. Namutoni is the best area of Etosha for both cheetah and white rhino, and these two remarkable species will be real focusses for us this afternoon.

Day Twelve

Etosha NP - Namutoni

Our final full day in Etosha is spent in the Namutoni area, focussed once more on cheetah and white rhino. Should any key species have eluded us to this point, we will of course make a final effort to locate them, in what we are sure will be a hugely satisfying end to a productive week's game-viewing. 

Day Thirteen


We leave camp at first light this morning, with a seven-hour drive ahead of us to our superb lodge just east of Windhoek. A final dinner will be enjoyed as a group tonight, with time to reminisce about the sightings we have enjoyed.

Day Fourteen

Tour End

This morning guests are transferred back to Windhoek Airport for their homeward flights.

Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.

Dates and Prices

This tour will run in September 2025, aiming to take advantage of the dry season when wildlife populations congregate around water sources. The tour will run from September 17th to September 30th, 2025.

The cost of this trip is £6,595 per person excl. flights. This includes all meals, accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included, but water is. There is a £500 single supplement for this tour. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £2,000 must be paid.

Flights and Visas

Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as or to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Windhoek at the end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost.

British nationals do not require a visa to enter Namibia for visits of up to 90 days. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa.

Weather and What to Bring

The weather in Namibia in September is mild and dry, with maximum temperatures of around 28 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 13 degrees Celsius. It will feel colder than this on early mornings.

A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat. 

Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars.

Safety and Security

Namibia is amongst the safest and most stable destinations in Africa - there are currently no security issues in any of the areas visited by this tour.

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