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Luxury Namibia Safari – 9 Days

TOUR SUMMARY

You are invited to join us on our Namibia Luxury Safari!  Ranked 5th as the most beautiful country in the world, Namibia is hauntingly beautiful and one of the world’s natural treasure troves. This Platinum fly tour will focus on all these stunning attractions on offer.

Sossusvlei and the Namib Naukluft is seen as the single most beautiful desert on planet Earth. Dead Vlei, inside the Sossusvlei area, is an astounding expanse featuring trees petrified by centuries with little or no rain, and it often renders first time visitors to speechless astonishment; it is truly an astonishing Spiritual experience.

We fly to Swakopmund and experience a Whale & Dolphin tour, amongst many others before boarding the luxurious Desert Express Train heading for Windhoek.

We then fly to Etosha National Park; undoubtebly Namibia’s wildlife highlight. This eden is found in an arid area, and before the rain arrives, Etosha hosts a population of animals near its watering holes that is unrivalled anywhere in the world. Some of the waters of the Okavango Delta passes through the lush vegetation of the Caprivi Strip, whilst the deserts to the South of the country, offer certainly the most spectacular places on earth to view Lions, Lopards, Cheetah, Oryx and desert Elephants. This is especially true at Okaukuejo camp where visitors can sit at the water hole to watch millions of animals come and go to quench their thirst.

Highlights:

  • Sossusvlei dunes
  • Whale & dolphin boat trip in Wavis Bay.
  • Board the luxury Desert Express Train to Windhoek.
  • Safaris in Etosha Park.

Your Jewel of Africa Safaris tour guide will meet you upon arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek. A short drive will take you to the Eros airport from where you will fly to Sossusvlei situated in the Namib Desert – the oldest desert in the world. Enjoy some leisure time before embarking on a sunset drive.

Return and enjoy a gourmet buffet dinner, with an array of food you could only imagine!

OVERNIGHT:   Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Dinner

A very early morning wake-call will be followed by a short drive to Sossusvlei and Dune 45, which we will try to reach as the sun rises.

Sossusvlei is a mud pan surrounded by red dunes as high as 300 meters. It runs from north to south thus giving you the perfect opportunity to photograph these dunes as soon as the sun rises. The eastern side is light up while the western side is shade and makes for amazing pictures.

Start to make your way back to the lodge, but fist you will pay avisit to the nearby Sesriem Canyon. Sesriem Canyon is located approximately 4.5km from the entrance gate of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The Tsauchab River has shaped the Canyon over millions of years and it is one of the few places in the area that holds water all year round.

Arrive back in time for lunch. The rest of the day is spent at leisure and you are free to do a quad bike trip in to the dunes.

OVERNIGHT:   Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Breakfast & Dinner

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airstrip for your flight to Swakopmund. You will be taken to your hotel to check in and freshen up.

The rest of the day is dedicated to leisure time and you are free to explore Swakopmund on your own pace. Sundowner drinks will be served at the bar before enjoying a gastronomic dinner at the hotel.

OVERNIGHT:   Zum Kaiser Hotel

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Breakfast & Dinner

Depart after breakfast to Walvis Bay harbor for an exiting boat trip in the protected lagoon area of Walvis Bay, where the water is calm and abundant with bird life. Experience the thrill of dolphins leaping out of the water alongside the boat, seals that board the boat and fed by hand, fresh oysters and cold champagne on the calm waters of Walvis Bay lagoon. This tour is very popular with visitors to the coast, as it shows them an area that the average visitor doesn’t have access to.

After lunch, experience the sheer thrill of riding a quad bike through Namibia’s dunes. An experienced guide will lead you through the Swakopmund River mouth into the dune belt towards the “Amphitheatre. Experience the freedom of riding through the ever-shifting sands of the Namib Desert.

OVERNIGHT:     Zum Kaiser Hotel

MEALS:              Breakfast & Dinner

A lazy late breakfast is at the order of the day. Spend some last minute shopping in Swakop before you depart for the train station. You will board the luxurious Desert Express train to Windhoek. It has twenty-four air-conditioned compartments with an elegant lounge, an unique bistro bar and spacious restaurant will serve you with the best Namibian cuisine. Uniquely shaped large windows allow you to experience the incredible scenery to be seen as the world flies by.

The journey from Swakopmund to Windhoek departs Saturdays from 14h30. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner drink as you witness the sun setting over the open savannah plains. A mouth-watering gourmet three-course dinner is served in the restaurant. The train eventually makes its way to a secure and quite siding for the night.

OVERNIGHT:   Desert Express Train

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Full Board

Breakfast is served from 07h00 while the train continues its journey to Windhoek. The train makes a scheduled top at Okapuka Game Ranch, where you will witness lions being fed. The train eventually arrives at the historical Windhoek Station.

Your guide will take you to the airport for your flight to Etosha. You will be transferred to your lodge to check in and freshen up before your afternoon safari in Etosha National Park.

OVERNIGHT:   Ongava Lodge

                         TRIP ADVISOR

MEALS:            Full Board

Rise early today to take advantage of the best animal viewing opportunities as you prepare for a full day safari in Etosha.

The Park is world renowned for its amazing wildlife. Massive elephants, black and white rhinoceros, lions, leopards, cheetahs, large herds of oryx and springbok, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe roam these vast plains. A multitude of other fascinating species, big and small, interacting in their natural environment.

OVERNIGHT:   Ongava Lodge

MEALS:            Full Board

Check out after breakfast and fly back to Windhoek for your flight back home or to Johannesburg. This where the tour ends.

OVERNIGHT:   None

MEALS:            Breakfast

INCLUDED AND EXCLUDED

INCLUDED:

  • The services of a superior tour guide and lodge rangers.
  • Pre-tour documentation with all-inclusive travel information.
  • Welcome kit in Africa with animals and birds checklists, postcards and many more.
  • All ground transfers in air-conditioned vehicles, including fuel and toll fees.
  • Only the best hotels, lodges, and camps selected for all programs.
  • Full Board – all meals, drinks, beer, wine; from start to finish.
  • Travel amenities include safari duffle bag, bush hat, luggage tags, flashlight, etc.
  • Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks and fruit juices on board while in transit.
  • International return flights from Johannesburg to Windhoek.
  • Domestic flights during the tour.
  • All tips and gratuities for lodging, hotel staff, guides and rangers, etc.
  • All porterage included at airports, hotels, and camps.
  • Laundry services.
  • All activities as specified.
  • Conservation and entrance Fees.
  • Guaranteed departures.
  • Sundowner bush cocktails when on safari.
  • Bush walks with expert safari rangers.
  • On-site shopping and shipping assistance.
  • Airport transfers for all travelers, at any time.

EXCLUDED:

  • International flights to and from South Africa – ask us for a quote.
  • Telephone calls, laundry, & other incidental personal expenditure.
  • Travel & Medical insurance.
  • Visas

ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

  • This is a privately guided, Platinum Fly tour run exclusively for you.
  • A self-drive option is available for this tour.
  • Can depart any day and can be tailored to suite your needs.
  • Can be booked by single travelers – a single supplement will apply.
  • There is no minimum age requirement – children of all ages are welcome.
  • In case an accommodation is fully booked, we will suggest a similar lodge/hotel.
  • You can book your own flights to and from South Africa online or through your travel agent. Please feel free to ask our in-house travel agent for a quote.
  • Please confirm availability with us before you book your flights.
  • If you fly in to Johannesburg and you arrive later than 09:00 on the day your safari tour starts, we recommend that you book in at a hotel nearby to recuperate and get rid of your jetlag.
  • All activities are subject to prevailing weather conditions.
  • Prices are subject to price hikes, fuel increases, etc. Prices are fixed upon the official reservation and receipt of a 20% deposit.
  • Jewel of Africa Safaris is a registered professional tour operator with the necessary permits and insurance cover to transport International Tourists. All our driver-tour guides are Satour & Theta accredited, medically cleared, hold Professional Driving Permits and are accredited First Aid practitioners.

FAQ's

Is Jewel of Africa Safaris part of a Professional Body?

Jewel of Africa Safaris is been a member of the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA). SATSA is the tourism industry’s watchdog and guarantees high standards of service, good quality tourism services and product and a trustworthy accreditation with the association itself.

How long has Jewel of Africa Safaris been in business?

Jewel of Africa Safaris is a registered tour operator with the necessary permits and insurance cover to transport International Tourists. We have been conducting quality safaris and tours in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe since 2001.

Is Jewel of Africa Safaris’ guides registered with the authorities?

All our driver & tour guides are Satour & Theta accredited, medically cleared, hold Professional Driving Permits and are accredited First Aid practitioners.

Do you have booking system with a secure payment gateway?

Our on-line booking system allows you to do EFT’s (Electronic Transfer) through a secure payment gateway in your own currency, avoiding high exchange rates and excessively high transfer fees charged by banks. Credit card payments are levied by an extra 6.5% via a very safe third party company.

Safety issues?

Our guides will continuously ensure your safety by informing you of a potentially unsafe or dangerous situation may arise. We will never allow ourselves to get caught up in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, let alone putting you in that situation.

The same as you would do back home; keep an eye on your valuables, passports, money and cameras when walking in a crowd. Avoid walking in the cities at night and leave your valuables in your hotel safe. This is where our guides are of great importance to you. They will brief you on potential hazardous scenarios. If you are one of Jewel of Africa’s self-drive clients, you will find all the precautions in our tour documentation.

What do I need to pack for my safari tour?

  • Sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, hat or cap, and sunglasses.
  • A quality camera with a lot of memory cards and a pair of binoculars.
  • Swimming clothes at the lodges or Kruger Park.
  • Cool, long pants and shirts in summer for around the campfire.
  • A warm jacket or sweater for wintertime as it becomes cold on evening safaris.
  • Comfortable walking shoes and a few god pairs of socks.
  • Neutral colored clothing (green, brown, khaki, beige) for bush walks.
  • A flashlight.
  • Insect repellent, but are freely available here in South Africa.
  • Power supplies and adapters for South African. We run on 220V.
  • All your medication normally used, including some anti-allergic ointment or pills.
  • Some US dollars in cash when are traveling to Botswana, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
  • Formal dressing if traveling on the Blue Train, Rovos Rail or staying in 5 star lodge

Do I need a visa?

All visitors traveling to the Southern African necessitate a valid passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. The passport entry obligation for travelers entering South Africa is a minimum of two blank pages in their passport. If visitors are traveling via South Africa to more than one African country, then the visitors must ensure they allow for adequate pages for each country to be visited. They must also have a minimum of two blank visa pages for each re-entry into South Africa.

Currently American passport holders do not require visas for South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana, but do require visas for Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, or Tanzania. Visas may be purchased at the point of entry for a nominal fee, accept for Kenya. Please check with the website of the country that you intend to visit to confirm.

Should I get traveler's insurance?

Insurance should include the cancellation of the trip to Africa, emergency evacuation, medical, repatriation, and cover against loss, damage or theft of personal luggage, money, and goods. Ask your travel agent for travel insurance.

Should I take any medical precautions before going to Africa?

Before you arrive in South Africa, check with your local doctor or health department for the latest health precautions of which malaria is the most important. Medication it is strongly recommended and is taken as a precaution. You are only required to have vaccinations if you are traveling from a region where yellow fever is prevailing, in which case an immunization will be required against the disease.

Are your tours child and family friendly?

Most of our safari tours are fitting for families and children of all ages are accepted.

Money matters?

South Africa has one of the most advanced banking systems in the world. Banks use world-class technology and facilities, and cash is available with major credit cards from thousands of ATMs countrywide. Forex traders are available at airports and shopping malls. Most of the larger hotels also offer money-changing facilities.

Visa and MasterCard credit cards as well as debit cards, are accepted throughout South Africa, and in most key centers in Botswana and Namibia. About 50% of establishments in tourist areas in Zimbabwe and Zambia will accept credit cards. A 3 – 5% levy will apply. Traveler’s checks are accepted in South Africa.

Make sure that you bring along some cash for spending money, tip, drinks, etc. US Dollars, Euros, and Pounds can easily be converted to Rands (ZAR) at the airport. At the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone, you will be able to use ZAR, US$, Euros, and Pounds at curio markets, while most lodges will accept these currencies. Foreign currency will be a problem at Victoria Falls, so we recommend to bring enough small value notes (20’s, 10’s, 5’s and 1’s).

Electricity?

All of the Southern African countries make use of a 220 – 240V electricity supply via their national networks. It is important to make sure that the equipment you plan to bring along on tour or safari is compatible. European, Australian and New Zealand adaptors are available in South Africa and come in both formats of two or three pins. USA and Canada adaptors are also available and most stores in large malls and shopping centers. The USA and Canada adaptors are not converters and will lower the voltage from 220V to 110V.

In Zambia, the wall sockets will match the UK’s 220V supply, and adaptor plugs that fit that standard may be used. If you plan on purchasing an adaptor plug while in South Africa, do not buy it on the flight over to South Africa, as some airlines sell adaptors that are not locally well suited. Some airlines sell adaptors, which are not locally compatible. Rather buy it here after you have arrived.

Medical amenities?

Generally speaking, medical facilities in South Africa are very good is considered to be the best on the African continent and our private hospitals are considered world class. The general practitioners, nurses, and medical staff are trained at top medical institutions in the country. Some of the specialists obtained their medical degrees while undergoing training in western countries like the USA and the UK. The standard of healthcare in South Africa, particularly in the urban and coastal areas, are of world standard.

Communication?

Most people wishing to visit the remote safari areas of Southern Africa to get away from civilization so to speak, is the major reason for going, however all major centers in South Africa will have access to the internet. Cell phone coverage is better than the run-of-the-mill, but unfortunately not available in every corner of the country, particularly when visiting a safari lodge. All hotels we use will offer Internet facilities and a fair number will offer free WiFi, but for most hotels it is expected to pay for the service. International airports are the exception and both Johannesburg and Cape Town will have WiFi hotspots.

It is advisable to purchase a local SIM card when you arrive in South Africa and to do that, you will need to present your passport. This enforced by law to prevent terrorists (amongst many others) from attaining untraceable cell phone numbers. International roaming service is not automatically enabled on cell phones. You will need to contact your service provider to activate the international roaming feature.

Tipping?

Tipping is a general practice in South Africa. A large number people in the tourism industry that serve you, is pretty much dependent you their tips as many of them do not get a fixed salary, like waiter for example. Others do get a salary, but are encouraged to deliver a better service to increase their income from tipping.

Here is some information on tipping in South Africa.

  • In restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard.
  • Petrol attendants at gas stations – from R2 up.
  • Porters at airports – between R5 and R10 per luggage.
  • Hotel porters – between R10 to R20 per porter service.
  • Taxi drivers – between $2 and $10, depending on the distance.
  • Rangers and trackers – between $10 and $20 or more per day for both.
  • Site guides (e.g. a guide at the ostrich farm) – $10 per person.
  • Guides – anything between $20 and $100 per day, but $100 is the norm.

Visa & Passports?

Countries Passport? Return ticket? Visa?
USA Yes Yes No
UK Yes Yes No
Canada Yes Yes No
Other EU counties Yes Yes No

It is important to organize your own visas through your nearest embassy or consulate. We cannot be held liable if you arrive without the necessary visas immigration officials will be obliged to refuse you entry in to South Africa.

Requirements for entering South Africa?

  • A valid passport that will be endorsed for the length of your anticipated stay.
  • Your passport should have at least TWO blank pages in it.
  • A valid visa, if required – see the list above.
  • A return or onward ticket.
  • Adequate funds.
  • Yellow fever certificates – if your journey passes through yellow fever prone areas.

Visa requirements?

Depending on your nationality (see the list above), you may or may not need a visa to visit South Africa. Please the Department of Home Affairs’ website for the list of countries that are exempted – http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

Where to make enquiries about visas?

Visit the South African Home Affairs website for more detail – http://www.dha.gov.za. You could also visit the website of the “South African offices abroad” to apply for a visa in your own country – http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm

If traveling to Zimbabwe or Zambia, you are expected to secure your entry visa at the port of entry in US Dollar only. No other currency is accepted; credit or debit cards, checks, or travelers checks will not be accepted for purchasing your visas. The current going rate for visas to these two countries are between $50 and $100 per person. It is recommend having at least an adequate supply of small value notes to the amount of between $200 and $300 for personal expenses. Old bank notes, notes with ink marks, notes with writing marks on them, or notes that have been overly folded will not be accepted.

Note: 

The Department of Home Affairs’ website (www.dha.gov.za) has complete details on visa requirements and exceptions and the relevant forms that you can download. If you are subject to visa requirements, you should apply for your visa at least a month before you plan to arrive here. Do not arrive in South Africa without it; wait for it to be issued before you travel. No visas are issued at South African ports of entry.

WEATHER

South (& Southern) Africa is truly blessed with amazing weather. The official months for:

  • Summer: December, January, and February.
  • Autumn: March, April, and May.
  • Winter: June, July, and August.
  • Spring: September, October, and November.

This in theory however as we experience only summer and winter over here. Our weather is very predictable. Summer arrives in the first week of September; normally the 5th, and temperatures range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.

Winter arrives in the first week of June. We actually only have 2 months of winter – June & July and by mid August things start to warm up again. Winter temperatures range from zero (normally 5 degrees) at night to 25 degrees Celsius during the day. Winter daytime temperatures in the Kruger can reach 28 to 30 degrees.

The rainy season in the old Transvaal starts on 10 October to the date. The old folks believed that if it rains before President Paul Kruger’s birthday (10 October), it is going to be a very good rainy season. If it rains before his birthday, they believed it would be a bad rainy season. Transvaal is now divided into the Gauteng-, Northwest-, Limpopo-, and Mpumalanga Provinces.

For detailed information about the weather, please visit the South African Weather Service’s website to find out more – www.weathersa.co.za

GREAT BOOKS TO READ

Nothing gets you prepared for a safari like a good book. From field guides to fictional masterpieces, there are a slew of reading options to help crystallize your vision of Africa: the sights, the sounds, the unbridled adventure to come.

Follow this link to a website called Longitude for a list of recommended books that we believe will enhance your experience so much more!