Namibia, A Land of Contrasts
It is not difficult to understand why Namibia appeals to the discerning traveller. It is a country of spectacular and varied scenery, friendly people, a great climate and stunning wildlife. Famed for its beautiful and ever-changing landscape, Namibia boasts two major deserts, a central plateau, canyons, vast open vistas and large protected reserves and parks. Our escorted tour includes many highlights and features comfortable accommodations in tried and tested hotels and lodges. Excursions, park fees, tips and just about everything else you will need is included and the tour will be personally escorted by Richard and Dawn Furlong together with an experienced Namibian guide. Due to demand we are offering two departures for 2016.
Photo credits: Cheetah viewing © AfriCat/Okonjima. Namib Naukluft dunes © Namibian Wildlife Resorts. Cheetah © AfriCat/Okonjima. Deadvlei © Namibian Wildlife Resorts. Elephants in Etosha National Park © Namibia Tourism.
Our Inside Track
Many visitors to Namibia join a standard tour perhaps booked in the UK but normally arranged and operated by a Namibian company. These tours tend to feature whistle-stop itineraries, tourist class accommodations and limited content with lots of optional extras. That's not our style. We always prefer to do our own research and contract suppliers direct, so Richard Furlong undertook an extensive recce in Namibia inspecting accommodations and meeting local guides and experts.
Following this first-hand experience we designed a quality itinerary covering plenty of ground but staying two or more nights in all but one location. With Furlongs Travel you will enjoy higher standard accommodations and benefit from meals, excursions and sightseeing included in your tour price. Park entry fees and tips are also covered. We plan meticulously and organise discreetly, which means you enjoy your holiday free of any day-to-day niggles. Proprietors Richard and Dawn Furlong will personally escort the tour and an experienced Namibian guide will accompany us throughout.
While Namibia is promoted as an all-year-round destination, there are certain times of the year more comfortable than others in our opinion. Many tourists visit from July through to October but during this period accommodations can be over-stretched and wildlife viewing congested. The unbiased advice from many local guides is to visit during April, May and June. By this time any rains are normally well finished and daytime temperatures average a pleasant 25C. Humidity is generally low. The landscape colours are particularly attractive in these months, there is plenty of opportunity to view big game and there are fewer tourists about!
Furlongs Travel has organised escorted tours since 1986 and in Namibia since 2010 and are officially registered with Namibia Tourism as a foreign tour operator.
2016 Tour Dates
Tour 1: Monday 25th April to Wednesday 11th May 2016
Tour 2: Friday 27th May to Sunday 12th June 2016
Itinerary - 17 days
Day 1 - Depart UK
We fly with South African Airways, departing Heathrow early evening. Dinner is served in flight. (D)
Day 2 - Arrive Namibia
We land in Johannesburg and transit to our Namibia flight. Our main luggage is checked through. On arrival in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, we are met by our local guide and transfer by private coach to the WINDHOEK COUNTRY CLUB RESORT. This full service hotel is located on the outskirts of town and provides well-appointed bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, gardens and swimming pool. (B,D)
Day 3 - Windhoek to Sossusvlei
We drive southwest through an upland region of rolling hills dissected by deep river valleys. Passing the table-top Gamsberg Mountains we traverse from the interior to the Namib Desert. On route we will spot for wildebeest, kudu, oryx and impala. It is a great drive and a perfect introduction to Namibia’s stunning scenery. Close to the Namib Naukluft Park we arrive at SOSSUSVLEI LODGE (April 2016 tour) or SOSSUS DUNE LODGE (May 2016 tour) for a 2-night stay. (B,D)
Day 4 - Namib Naukluft Park
Taking advantage of our prime location we begin to explore the Namib Naukluft Park at sunrise. The colours on the sand dunes in the early morning are breathtaking. You may walk across the dunes and visit a dry pan area known as Deadvlei. Later, we visit Sesriem, a 30 metre deep canyon carved by the Tsauchab River. This afternoon enjoy some free time before a delicious dinner. (B,D)
Day 5 - Namib Naukluft Desert
Following the Namib Desert north we reach the Atlantic coast at Walvis Bay. Half an hour further on we arrive in Swakopmund, a town characterised by a wealth of well-preserved German colonial buildings. German is still widely spoken here and typical German cakes and confectionery can be enjoyed in the town’s cafes. Well-known historic buildings include the old Railway Station and Magistrate’s Court. We stay at the HANSA HOTEL for two nights. (B,D)
Day 6 - Walvis Bay / Swakopmund
Walvis Bay is the centre of Namibia’s fishing industry and its major port. The nearby wetlands are internationally renowned for large concentrations of waders, flamingos and shore birds, and the large natural harbour welcomes dolphins, seals, pelicans, turtles and sun fish. Included this morning is a guided harbour wildlife cruise aboard a privately chartered catamaran. This afternoon, free time in Swakopmund. Time to shop! (B,D)
Day 7 - Swakopmund to Damaraland
Heading north we pass the dramatic Erongo Mountains as we head for DAMARALAND. This region is named for the Damara herders who inhabit the area. Here we stay two-nights at DAMARA MOPANE LODGE. (B,D)
Day 8 - Ugab Terraces
The Damaraland region is famous for its magnificent scenery and you may join an optional tour (at no extra cost) to see the Ugab Terraces, home of a dramatic rock formation called Vingerklip or ‘finger of stone’. (B,D)
Day 9 - Damaraland to Etosha
A short drive to Etosha National Park, as we enter via the Anderson Gate for a two-night stay at OKAUKUEJO RESORT. Staying inside the park offers a real bonus because you may view wildlife at the resort waterhole long after the park gates are closed to day visitors. (B,D)
Day 10 - Okaukuejo, Etosha
Included game drives with our experienced guide and private coach, plus options to join alternative local game drives if you wish. Time to sit and enjoy the magnificent Okaukuejo waterhole too. (B,D)
Day 11 - Etosha National Park
Departing Okaukuejo we explore more of Etosha National Park. We plan to visit the Etosha Pan and we will be watching for game en-route. The potential is good, with big cats, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, and wildebeest all possible. After a lunch break we drive to NAMUTONI RESORT for our two-night stay. (B,D)
Day 12 - Namutoni, Etosha
Namutoni is situated inside the park at the east end near Fischer’s Pan which often holds water for much of the year. Enjoy our included game drive with our private coach and guide, plus options to join alternative local game drives if you wish. (B,D)
Day 13 - Central Highlands
South via Tsumeb and Otavi, we pass the Central Namibian Mountains and the Waterberg Plateau before arriving at OKONJIMA for our 3 night stay. (B,D)
Day 14 - Okonjima / Africat
Privately owned by the Hanssen family, Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a charitable organisation set up to conserve and protect threatened cheetah, leopard and other wild cats. Today we will observe some of the programme at work and learn more about these beautiful animals. (B,D)
Day 15 - Okonjima / Africat
Activities during our stay may include game-viewing in purpose built vehicles, cheetah tracking on foot, a bushmen trail and an introduction to the AFRICAT programme. There are also bird watching and nature trails. (B,D)
Day 16 - Depart Okonjima
After breakfast we depart Okonjima and drive south to Windhoek for our flight via Johannesburg onward to the UK. (B,D)
Day 17 - Arrive UK
Flying overnight, we arrive in Heathrow early this morning. (B)
Our hand-picked, tried and tested lodges and resorts ...
The Windhoek Country Club Resort is a luxury, full service hotel on the outskirts of Windhoek. Bedrooms are spacious and well appointed, and public space includes a restaurant, gardens and swimming pool.
For the April/May 2016 tour we'll stay at Sossusvlei Lodge which is situated on a private 40,000 hectare reserve immediately adjacent to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Accommodation comprises individual bungalows, part brick and part luxury tent. Each has en-suite shower, toilet and wash-basin plus a terrace overlooking the savannah. Lodge facilities include a restaurant, bar, terrace, water-hole, small swimming pool and shop. For the May/June 2016 tour we'll stay at Sossus Dune Lodge which is located at the base of a mountain with views of the distant dunes of the southern Namib Desert to the west. Accommodation here is in spacious en-suite chalets built primarily from wood, canvas and thatch, and linked together by raised wooden walkways. Sossus Dune Lodge also boasts a restaurant, bar, souvenir shop and swimming pool.
Located in the centre of Swakopmund, the Hansa Hotel dates back to 1905 and forms part of the rich architectural culture of the city. This 4-star full service hotel features comfortable rooms, a charming lounge, small garden, plus an excellent restaurant. Shops and attractions are nearby.
Damara Mopane Lodge is situated in Namibia’s Damaraland region, which is known for its amazing landscapes and rock formations. Mopane Lodge is generously laid out in the midst of diverse gardens of a different kind ... each of the cottages sit in a vegetable and herb garden surrounded by a low wall. The gardens supply fresh ingredients for the restaurant. The main building, its walls adorned by copies of the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, is surrounded by Mopani trees. There is a large swimming pool for chilling out and a viewing point for relishing sunsets and the star-studded sky.
Okaukuejo & Namutoni Resorts in Etosha
Both Etosha resorts have a floodlit water hole for game viewing plus restaurant, shop, post office and swimming pool. Residents have exclusive access to water-hole viewing in the early morning and during the evening and night when the park gates are closed. Standard rooms offer comfortable accommodation with private facilities. Upgrades to Bush Chalets, Waterhole Chalets and Premier Waterhole Chalets may be available.
Okonjima Plains Camp
Situated halfway between the capital Windhoek and the Etosha National Park, the 55,000 acre Okonjima Game Reserve has some of the best accommodation in Namibia. The new Plains Camp design honours the Okonjima cattle-farming history. The Barn area - AKA "the Lapa" or Gathering Place - includes the dining and lounge areas, a pool and the curio-shop. To one side there are 14 standard rooms each with a small verandah, two double beds, a mini-fridge, a coffee/tea station, two roof-fans, twin basins and a large shower, a room safe and a telephone to contact reception. Standard rooms are spacious and comfortable and feature views across the grassy plain but if you really wish to treat yourself you may wish to upgrade to the new View Rooms which sit to the other side of the Barn. The new View Rooms are set further apart than the Standard rooms providing more privacy and are even more spacious with a large verandah, two double beds, a mini-fridge, a coffee/tea station, two roof-fans, twin basins and a larger, twin shower, a room safe and a telephone to contact reception. Okonjima is home to the Africat Foundation, the world’s leading cheetah and leopard rescue and release programme. Visitors are able to observe some of the programme at work and learn more about these amazing and beautiful animals. Leopards and cheetahs are frequently seen, giving you opportunity to observe these magnificent predators from a hide, or radio-tracked from purpose built game viewing vehicles. Other Okonjima activities include wildlife tracking on foot, an informative bushman walk, bird watching and self-guided walking trails.
Photo credits: Entrance to Sossusvlei Lodge © Sossusvlei Lodge, Vingerklip © David/Jenny Jones (Guests in 2009), Okonjima Main Camp lapa © Okonjima.
Holiday costs, shown below, are inclusive of all the essentials and much more besides ...
- International economy class scheduled flights with South African Airways including in-flight meals.
- 1-night at Windhoek Country Club.
- 2-nights at Sossusvlei Lodge or Sossus Dune Lodge.
- 2-nights at Hansa Hotel Swakopmund.
- 2-nights at Damara Mopane Lodge in Damaraland.
- 4-nights in Etosha (Okaukuejo and Namutoni Resorts).
- 3-nights at Okonjima.
- Breakfasts and dinners daily.
- Excursion to the Namib Dunes.
- Visit to Sesriem Canyon.
- Walvis Bay Harbour Wildlife Cruise.
- Damaraland excursion.
- Etosha Game Drives from Okaukuejo and Namutoni.
- Okonjima activities subject to local conditions : Introduction to the Africat Foundation, leopard viewing, cheetah tracking, bushman walk.
- Daily entry fees for the Namib-Naukluft Park and Etosha National Park.
- Airport transfers, tour transportation and sightseeing by private coach.
- Local English speaking guide accompanies the tour throughout.
- Current airport and prepaid taxes.
- All tips.
- Comprehensive travel tickets.
- Tour personally escorted by Richard and Dawn Furlong.
Namibia 2016 tour price
Early booking saves £1,000 per couple!
The provisional tour prices are ...
£4,240 per person sharing a twin or double room.
£4,740 per person for single / sole occupancy.
The provisional early booking tour prices are ...
£3,740 per person sharing a twin or double room.
£4,240 per person for single / sole occupancy.
Why "provisional" tour prices? Flights have been requested but have not yet been finalised as airline reservations are not open for dates so far in advance. South African Airways are expected to confirm our flights in late May 2015 for the Apr/May 2016 tour and in late June 2015 for the May/June 2016 tour. Currently advertised tour prices are therefore provisional although we do not anticipate they will change. Advance reservations for these tours are now open on a non-obligation basis. Subject to availability you may tentatively reserve your places without paying a deposit. Simply let us know how many places you may require and which tour dates are your 1st and 2nd choice. When flights are finalised we will reconfirm details and only then ask you if you wish to commit and pay a first deposit.
Early booking discounts are £1,000 per couple or £500 per single traveller and are subject to availability and are capacity controlled. Please enquire for further details.
At three destinations there is a choice of accommodation. At Okaukuejo Resort in Etosha National Park the tour price includes a twin, double or sole occupancy standard room. These room types are located near the resort’s main facilities, reception and restaurant. Some rooms are on their own and others are together in short terraces. Subject to availability you may upgrade to a spacious Bush Chalet featuring a double bedroom, bathroom, and lounge. Bush Chalets are set in pairs and located between the main buildings and the waterhole. There are also Waterhole Chalets which feature a double bedroom, bathroom and small terrace and are located in pairs and closer to the Okaukuejo waterhole. Finally, Premier Waterhole Chalets feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a first floor terrace and are closest to the waterhole. Supplements are payable for these optional room types. The following supplements are not per night, they are the total amount to add to the holiday price.
- Okaukuejo Bush Chalet: Add £25 per person (for twin, double or single)
- Okaukuejo Waterhole Chalet: Add £35 per person (for twin or double, not available for sole occupancy)
- Okaukuejo Premier Waterhole Chalet: Add £85 per person (for twin or double, not available for sole occupancy)
At Namutoni Resort in Etosha National Park the tour price includes a twin, double or sole occupancy standard room. These are located together in small terraces situated off wooden boardwalks near the old Fort, swimming pool and waterhole area. Subject to availability you may upgrade to a spacious Bush Chalet featuring a double bedroom, bathroom and lounge area. Bush Chalets are situated in a private area not far from the waterhole. There are no accommodations immediately adjacent to the waterhole at Namutoni. The supplement for Bush Chalet accommodation is shown below. This supplement is not per night, it is the total amount to add to the holiday price.Etosha National Park the tour price includes a twin, double or sole occupancy standard room. These are located together in small terraces situated off wooden boardwalks near the old Fort, swimming pool and waterhole area. Subject to availability you may upgrade to a spacious Bush Chalet featuring a double bedroom, bathroom and lounge area. Bush Chalets are situated in a private area not far from the waterhole. There are no accommodations immediately adjacent to the waterhole at Namutoni. The supplement for Bush Chalet accommodation is shown below. This supplement is not per night, it is the total amount to add to the holiday price.
- Namutoni Bush Chalet: Add £35 per person (for twin, double or single)
At Okonjima Plains Camp accommodation is in spacious and comfortable "standard" rooms (anything but standard in our opinion!) that overlook the bush. Subject to availability you may upgrade to even more spacious and luxurious "view rooms". The supplement for the new luxury view room accommodation is shown below, once again this is the total amount to add not a per night charge.
- Okonjima Deluxe View Rooms: Add £135 per person (for twin or double occupancy only)
Flights included in the tour are economy class with South African Airways. Flights may be upgraded to business class subject to availability and a supplementary charge. These upgrades are normally available only on the flights between UK and Johannesburg. The short connections between Jo’burg and Windhoek in Namibia are generally economy class only. Please note, additional deposits are payable if you wish to book a flight upgrade - please ask for details.
Not included in the tour price are items of a personal nature, or certain specialised activities that may interest a limited number of people, for instance sightseeing flights and extra game drives. Some of these optional activities will be bookable in advance and details will be circulated to all guests prior to departure. If you'd like more specific details now, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
This A-to-Z section gives you useful travel information about the Namibia tour including health advice, passport requirements and details about our airport services. If you have any questions not covered here, please don't hesitate to contact Richard or Dawn.
We offer discounted airport parking and airport hotel reservations, please ask for details.
Deposit and Payment Terms
First deposit is £750 per person. Second deposit is £750 due 1st October 2015. Balance is due 90 days before departure. If you book within 90 days of departure the full holiday cost is payable.
This flight-inclusive tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you make a booking and pay your first deposit or the full amount, you will be supplied with a Booking Confirmation and an ATOL Certificate. Please check to ensure that everything you booked is listed on these documents. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk. For further details about ATOL Certificates please visit www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.
Flights included in the tour are likely to be South African Airways economy service which includes in-flight refreshments. Subject to availability and a supplementary charge you may upgrade to Business Class. These upgrades are normally available only on flights between UK and Johannesburg. The short connection flights between Jo’burg and Windhoek in Namibia are generally offered only in economy class. Please note, business class seats are strictly limited in number and therefore subject to availability at the time you enquire. Supplements are subject to change and your upgrade price will be confirmed at the time of booking. Additional deposits are payable if you wish to book a flight upgrade. Please ask for further details.
Current flight times feature a departure from Heathrow around 19:00 hrs on "day one" and a return to Heathrow around 07:00 hrs on "day seventeen". Times are subject to change.
Some of our Namibian destinations are remote so this tour calls for relatively good health. Some of the holiday excursions may involve walking trails, sometimes on uneven terrain. None of the included walks are overly long however, and naturally it is up to you what you decide to do. If we've scheduled a walk and you'd prefer to sit and read a book, that's perfectly fine. Please consult your GP or local travel clinic for appropriate health information and vaccination advice for Namibia. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you may care to visit the websites of the NaTHNaC (National Travel Health Network and Centre) and NHS Scotland’s Fit for Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website http://www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo also publishes essential travel tips and up-to-date information about travelling abroad. You may telephone them on 0870 6060290.
It is a condition of booking that you have comprehensive and adequate travel insurance for this tour. We recommend "Holiday Extras Travel Insurance", but we are happy for you to arrange your own cover so long as it provides suitable cover. For details of the recommended insurance please call Holiday Extras direct on 0800 171000 and quote "Furlongs WZ679", or click here.
Breakfasts will generally be buffet style and dinners will be a mix of served meals and buffets. Menus will vary and we deliberately highlight local specialities. There is an emphasis on game, meat and fish dishes but we will do our best to assist with special diets you may require or allergies you may have.
The local currency is the Namibian Dollar. The Namibian dollar is fixed one-to-one to the South African Rand, which is also legal tender in Namibia. Prior to departure Furlongs Travel offers clients a foreign currency service free of commission and full details will be circulated to guests. Most major credit cards can be used at our hotels and in Namibian cash machines. Debit cards are less widely accepted.
Passports and Visas
British nationals can enter Namibia for a holiday or private visit of up to 90 days without a visa. Before leaving for Namibia you should ensure your passport is valid for at least six months upon entry and you must have at least one completely blank page for Namibian Immigration to use. Our flights transit in Johannesburg, South Africa, and we pass through an immigration control but do not need to handle luggage as this is checked through. If you may wish to visit friends or relatives or extend your holiday independently in South Africa you should be aware that while the South African authorities state officially that only one blank passport page is required for entry, there have been reports that some officials insist on two blank pages. We therefore recommend you have a total of three blank pages if you propose to add a visit to South Africa to our Namibia tour. Immigration regulations may change from time to time and it is your responsibility to check requirements prior to travel.
Some of our chosen lodges and accommodations in Namibia have a limited number of rooms so rooms for sole occupancy are strictly limited for this tour. A holiday single supplement also applies. If you are travelling alone but happy to share please advise us and we will try our best to arrange a twin-share for you.
Terms and Conditions
Reservations are subject to our standard terms and conditions.
In Namibia's capital Windhoek and some other areas tap water is treated and deemed safe to drink, however we recommend you drink bottled water at all times.