Namibia Dune Explorer

Safari Overview

This 8-day Namibia adventure safari is perfect for those that want to see the fantastic country in a slightly different way.  While you would normally enjoy your safari from a vehicle, we have found an even better way of experiencing all that Namibia has to offer.

You will still see everything that you would in the traditional way, but on this safari, you will get much closer to the fauna and flora, have more fun and be more active in the process!

You can look forward to riding an electric bicycle or fatbike in the Namib desert, a desert hike, sandboarding or quad-biking in the dunes, and maybe even kitesurfing or kayaking in the Atlantic! Add incredible scenery, wildlife, cuisine, and photograph opportunities while we create memories that will last a lifetime. Get ready for an amazing Namibia adventure!

Safari starts and ends in Windhoek

*This private guided safari can be booked on request for a date that suits your travel plans*


• Sossusvlei-
Top Namibian attraction with huge red dunes and much to do and see
• Namib-Naukluft National Park-
Part of the Namib Sand Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Swakopmund & Walvis Bay-
Quaint coastal towns with German-influenced architecture and cuisine and also Namibia’s adventure capital
• Riding a bicycle and hiking in the Namib Desert, the oldest desert on Earth
• Prolific wildlife, including fascinating mammals, birds and smaller creatures

Day 1        Windhoek to the Kalahari
Day 2        Exploring the Kalahari
Day 3-4     Namib Desert & Sossusvlei
Day 5        To Swakopmund via Solitaire
Day 6        Living Desert Experience & Fatbike Tour
Day 7        Swakopmung & Walvis Bay
Day 8        Windhoek Departure

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY 1:
Start of safari in Windhoek, transfer to the Kalahari

Welcome to incredible Namibia!
Your exciting adventure starts the moment your Nature Travel guide picks you up at your hotel, guesthouse or even at the Hosea Kutako International Airport just outside Windhoek.  We start our adventure with a drive southward towards the beautiful Kalahari savannah of the south of Namibia.

Our journey today is about 3 to 4 hours long, but it is well worth it!  You will start getting a feel for the Namibian landscape that we at Nature Travel love so much. It is all about wide expanses and undulating sand dunes at first glance. But when you look a little closer you start seeing all the small things that make this a wonderland…plants, insects, small mammals, birds and more than all survive and thrive in this seemingly inhospitable environment. 

Upon arrival at our lodge, you will realise that this is the place of the famous red sands of the Kalahari.  The laid-back homely atmosphere at our lodge makes everyone feel instantly welcome, and the food and service are top-notch. 

We hope to arrive in time for an afternoon game drive on the private game reserve. We will look for Gemsbok, Common Wildebeest, Common Ostrich, Cape Porcupine, Sociable Weavers with their massive nests, Steenbok, Springbok, Kori Bustard, Hartebeest and other interesting fauna and flora.  We will remember to stop and watch the sunset – in the Kalahari, they are better than almost anywhere else on earth.

Day 2:
Full day exploring the Kalahari

We will start the day with a dune walk, guided by one of the lodge’s expert local guides, learning about the fauna, flora and geology of this area.

The highlight of our day is the self-guided E-bike (Electric Mountain Bike) tour of the game reserve. This is an incredibly fun way of seeing the Namibian landscape and its fauna and flora, and we guarantee you will have a great time. The bikes are of very good quality and can handle this harsh environment with ease. Although the bikes are electrically powered, you still have to pedal to engage the powerful motor, so there’s still a little bit of work to do. We will return to the lodge for lunch and some time to relax in your room or around the pool or bar area.

Pack your camera for a late afternoon guided sundowner drive. The optimum time to experience the Kalahari colours is when the sun dips in the late afternoon and lights up the sand as if glowing from an inner fire. At this time the Earth seems to pause for the Kalahari’s magic; you will love it!

Day 3:
Transfer to the Namib Desert

We embark on a short walk on the lodge’s walking trails just to loosen the legs up before we check out.

We’re off to the Namib-Naukluft National Park.   It is home to some of the rarest and weirdest plant species in the world, including the Welwitschia, large lichen fields, several aloe species, cluster figs, acacia thorn trees and many different Euphorbia species. The park boasts some fantastic animal species too, including Steenbok, Springbok, Gemsbok, Greater Kudu, Hartmann’s subspecies of Mountain Zebra, Dassie Rat, Chacma Baboon and Klipspringer. Additionally, over 200 bird species have been documented in the park and surrounds.

Importantly, the park includes the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world, that extends far beyond the borders of the park and includes the whole of western Namibia. 

Our beautiful lodge lies at the foot of ancient fossilised dunes, with amazing landscape features all around. In the afternoon you can grab a trail map and go and explore the surrounding desert by electric fatbike or by foot on one of the walking trails. It is really a fun activity!

Day 4:
Full day exploring the desert, including iconic Sossusvlei

It’s an early start today as we are off to our full-day excursion into the “heart of the Namib”, iconic and world-famous Sossusvlei.

Situated within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. ‘Sossusvlei’ literally translates to “dead-end marsh”, as it is the place where the dunes come together preventing the Tsauchab River from flowing any further, some 60km east of the Atlantic Ocean. However, due to the dry conditions in the Namib Desert, the river seldom flows this far and the pan remains bone-dry most years. 

Early morning at Sossusvlei is the best time for photographs and not too hot yet. We will have plenty of time to enjoy some of the many highlights that surround Sossusvlei itself:
• Dune 45, the most photographed dune on earth (situated 45 km past Sesriem on the road to Sossusvlei)
• Hiddenvlei, perfect if you are looking for solitude in the desert
• The magnificently tall Big Daddy dune
• Deadvlei, a world-famous paradise for photographers, as it is punctuated by blackened, dead acacia trees, in vivid contrast to the shiny white of the salty floor of the pan and the intense orange of the dunes
• Sesriem Canyon, a narrow gorge of 1 km long and up to 30 m deep slashed into the earth by the Tsauchab river millions of years ago. The name derives from the Afrikaans for the 6 lengths of ropes that were needed to haul water out of the gorge to the top with containers in days gone by.

We will certainly keep our eyes open for any interesting species of fauna and flora, including mammals like Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, Gemsbok, Springbok, Klipspringer, Steenbok, Common Duiker, South African Ground Squirrel, Cape Hare, Yellow Mongoose, Common Rock Hyrax, Bat-eared Fox, and even Leopard if we are very lucky.

Avian specials in this area include Verreaux’s and Martial Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Lanner and Pygmy Falcon, Burchell’s and Double-banded Courser, Kori and Ludwig’s Bustard, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Double-banded and Namaqua Sandgrouse and more. There are of course also many reptiles in attendance, so look out for Namaqua Chameleon, Puff Adder and much more.

Day 5:
Transfer to Swakopmund via Solitaire

We are heading for the coast!  The drive will take about 4 hours, and takes place entirely in the Namib Sand Sea, one of Namibia’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog. 

On our way to Swakopmund, we will make a quick stop at the legendary small desert oasis town of Solitaire, a meeting place for tourists from all over the globe for more than 60 years. Solitaire is not only famous for being the only fuel stop between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund, but also for McGregor’s Bakery, which proudly serves its world-renowned fresh apple pie on a daily basis. Try one, they are delicious!

The town of Swakopmund is a heady mix of South African, Namibian and German cultures, architecture, languages and cuisine. It is the most popular holiday destination in the country for both locals and foreigners.

Nearby, Walvis Bay, Namibia’s major harbour town, is well known for its lagoon and prolific birdlife. The Walvis Bay lagoon and salt pans are regarded as the most important coastal wetland in southern Africa, as over 150,000 migrant birds spend the summer months there. Over 150 different bird species have been recorded in this region, along with 11 types of chameleons, lizards and geckos, and 13 species of mammal (including Pygmy Rock Mouse, Littledale’s Whistling Rat and Setzer’s Hairy-footed Gerbil) that also reside in the area.

Day 6:
Living Desert Experience and Fatbike City Tour

Today you will have the whole day to explore this wonderful town and all the activities that are on offer.
We kick off the day with a Living Desert Experience, a unique adventure indeed and a real eye-opener!

We will encounter and learn more about the fascinating wildlife of the Namib Desert with the help of a local expert. This seemingly dead environment supports a wealth of animal and plant life that have adapted in wonderful ways to survive and thrive here, mostly thanks to the life-giving fog that constantly rolls in from the cold Atlantic Ocean.

We will look for geckos, scorpions, snakes, lizards, birds and beetles as well as the incredible plant life that survives in this harsh and seemingly inhospitable environment. Some of the special creatures we might see include the almost transparent Namib Sand Gecko (with its comical webbed feet), Namaqua Chameleon, Shovel-snouted Lizard (that seems to dance across the hot sand), Tractrac Chat, Wheel Spider (that cartwheels down dunes to escape) and even Peringuey’s Adder. We will also learn about the geology, structure and formation of the desert, and admire the vast and beautiful landscapes while enjoying a scenic dune drive combined with fun and adrenalin.

In the afternoon we will head out for an Old City Fat Bike Tour. On this scenic bike ride, we will cycle past some of Swakopmund’s historic buildings and landmarks, learning how this charming town started and why Swakopmund is still one of Namibia’s favourite places to visit.

Day 7:
Full day in and around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (many options available)

Today we have a full day in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay to spend as we want to. The sky really is the limit! We can make several suggestions as to what you should do in the area. There is so much to do, and you can choose how active or adrenalin-filled you want your day to be.
Some of the optional activities you can choose include:

• A dramatic scenic airplane flight over the Namib Desert, to see how the seldom-present waters of the Kuiseb River stop the advance of the red sands of the Namib, experiencing the vastness of the magnificent dune formations as you fly south to Sossusvlei and then return along the coast passing over long-gone mining settlements, lonely shipwrecks, seal colonies, colourful salt works, Windhoek Harbour and finally back to Swakopmund.

• Stand-up and lie-down sandboarding in the dunes of the desert. All the necessary equipment will be provided and you will receive instructions. Despite the fact that there are no ski lifts on the dunes, sandboarding is great fun for everyone where some serious speeds can be achieved!

• Quadbiking in the desert. This is one of the best ways to experience the breathtaking scenery of the oldest desert in the world, including riding up along the top of Namibia’s famous dunes from where you will enjoy once-in-a-lifetime views of the desert, sea and Swakopmund. You will receive instructions (these bikes are really easy to ride and you don’t need any previous experience) and after the engines are revved up an experienced guide will lead you through the Swakopmund River mouth into the dune belt, where you will feel the freedom of riding through one of nature’s great wildernesses.

• If you don’t like the idea of a quad bike, you can still enjoy the same spectacular desert scenery under your own power, with a scenic fat bike desert ride. You will enjoy the thrill of cycling up and down Namibia’s famous dunes whilst taking in the breathtaking scenery of the oldest desert in the world. The normal route is around 12 to 14km (7.5 to 9 miles) long and includes cycling in town, through the dry riverbed and up and down stunning dunes. Although everyone appreciates the amazing scenery, a relative level of fitness and knowing how to ride a bicycle is required to fully enjoy this tour.

• Open sea kayaking to Pelican Point, giving you the opportunity to kayak amongst the inhabitants of the permanent seal colony at the tip of the Pelican Point Peninsula about 35 km outside of Walvis Bay. You will be picked up in a 4×4 vehicle and taken on a scenic drive along the Walvis Bay Lagoon and the salt mines to Pelican Point, stopping along the way to take pictures of the amazing pink flamingoes, pelicans, large flocks of cormorants and great variety of other birds and wildlife. After a safety briefing on how to use the equipment and the local sea conditions, you will kayak for about 90 minutes amongst the South African Fur Seals; a special experience indeed! The kayaks are moulded plastic sit-inside double or single kayak, very stable and suitable for inexperienced paddlers too.

• A Catamaran cruise on the Atlantic ocean is another fantastic activity you can choose. You will either go aboard the 45ft Silverwind, the 60ft Silversand, or the 40ft Silvermoon, to enjoy an adventure-packed tour to Pelican Point and Walvis Bay’s beautiful bay area. Depending on the time of year you have the chance of encountering dolphins, whales, turtles, seals and Mola Mola (sunfish), all while feeling like a king and enjoying sparkling wine, fresh oysters and other mouth-watering snacks aboard the spacious and comfortable catamarans.

• If you are a birdwatcher, we can arrange an expert local guide (or you can take the nature Travel guide with you) for some birdwatching at the world-famous Walvis bay lagoon and salt works. You could see some special species like Damara Tern, Great White Pelican, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Crowned, White-breasted and Bank Cormorant, Terek and Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-necked Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit, Common and Spotted Redshank, and many others.

• There are many other activities that can be arranged, including kitesurfing, skydiving, jogging, horse riding and more!

*Please note: most of the activities for today need to be booked well in advance, so we will kindly ask you to let us know which of these you would like to partake in before the tour starts. This will allow us to make tentative bookings, ensuring a booked place for you in whatever activity you decide to do.

Day 8:
Morning activity, then transfer to Windhoek and Departure

Unfortunately, our amazing Namibia Dune Explorer tour has come to an end. We will enjoy breakfast together at the guesthouse, check out and say our goodbyes and head back to Windhoek.  It is a beautiful drive back up onto the escarpment, and it will take us about 4 hours. 

We will drop you off at the Hosea Kutako International Airport for your onward or homeward flight, or at your hotel or guesthouse if you are staying for an extra day in Windhoek. 

*Please note: Extensions to Etosha National Park, the Caprivi strip, Zimbabwe, Botswana or South Africa can easily be arranged. This safari can also be shortened or lengthened according to your specific personal preference. 

For more information on this active safari or for any other related queries, please email us at