Desert Explorer

from £1599 7 nights | Year Round Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Year round


This is a very special trip for those fascinated by desert scenery.  Discover the contrasts of the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, explore the scenic NamibRand Nature Reserve, climb some of the highest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei and spend a night sleeping under the stars.


  • Discover both the Kalahari and Namib Deserts
  • Sleep out under the stars at Namib Dune Star Camp
  • Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes
  • Explore the picturesque NamibRand Nature Reserve; an International Dark Sky Reserve

80 percent of Namibia is made up of desert and this eight-day holiday enables you to discover Namibia’s stunning desert scenery in depth.

The Namib Desert is often referred to as the world’s oldest desert.  Spend five nights discovering its many faces including some of the highest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei and the picturesque NamibRand Nature Reserve.  You will also visit the Kalahari which is a fossil desert meaning it is often a lot greener.  All of this area provides amazing star gazing possibilities and you can spend a night sleeping out under the stars and two nights in the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Africa.

Contact our Namibia experts now

Extend your stay

This holiday can be easily combined with our Northern Namibia Highlights to allow you to see more of Namibia. Please contact us for more information.

The scale of the Namib Desert will blow your mind, but I love the detail in the sands too. Getting down on your hands and knees you’ll discover all kinds of animal graffiti, from the ’tank tracks’ of tok-tokkie beetles to the S-bends of sidewinder adders.

Will Gray, Travel writer

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Windhoek
Arrive at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek International) Airport, where you will receive your rental vehicle. Once you have sorted out all the formalities for your vehicle, drive to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. After checking-in at your accommodation, you can explore the city. Windhoek is a city of many contrasts; modern skyscrapers blend with historic buildings from the German colonial era. Windhoek attractions you may wish to explore this afternoon include the Christ Church (Christuskirche), the capital’s best-recognised landmark, the National Museum of Namibia which houses an excellent display on Namibia’s independence and Katutura, a former apartheid-era black township. Windhoek has a selection of restaurants for you to dine at this evening; Joe’s Beerhouse is a Windhoek institution.
Days 2-3: Windhoek – Namib Desert
Today you will drive south into the Namib Desert. The Namib Desert is commonly referred to as the world’s oldest desert, dating back at least 55 million years. The desert is a large expanse of moving gravel plains and dunes of all shapes and sizes. Part of the desert, towards the centre incorporates the Namib-Naukluft National Park, which is the largest park in Namibia (50,000 square kilometres) and the third largest in Africa. The Namib Desert is largely unpopulated so there is no light pollution making it one of the best places in the world to stargaze. In 2013 a large part of the desert became a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name of ‘Namib Sand Sea’. You will spend one night at Namib Dune Star Camp, where you can roll your bed out onto the deck and enjoy a night sleeping out under the stars. The following day, you will drive to the Sossusvlei area.
Day 4: Discover Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon
Today is free to explore Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon. The best time to visit Sossusvlei is close to sunrise, avoiding the heat of the midday sun and taking advantage of the natural light to bring out the best of the strong and constantly changing colours of the dunes - warm tints of apricot, orange, red and maroon, which provide excellent photographic opportunities. Sossusvlei itself is a large, white, salt and clay pan. However, the name ‘Sossusvlei’ is often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area, including Deadvlei and other neighbouring rust-coloured sand dunes. A climb up the dunes is rewarded by spectacular views and is highly recommended. The most popular dunes to walk up are Dune 45 (80m), one of Sossusvlei’s most iconic dunes, and Big Daddy which at 325m is the highest dune in the area, boasting great views of Deadvlei. Close to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei is a clay pan characterised by dark, dead camel thorn trees which stand in stark contrast against the white pan floor. This afternoon you may wish to visit Sesriem Canyon. Shaped by the Tsauchab River over millions of year
Days 5-6: Sossusvlei – NamibRand Nature Reserve
Before leaving the Sossusvlei area this morning, you may wish to partake in a sunrise hot air balloon ride over this magical landscape; an unforgettable experience. Leaving the Sossusvlei area, you will have a short drive to the NamibRand Nature Reserve; one of the largest private reserves in Namibia at almost 200,000 hectares. It is also an International Dark Sky Reserve (the first place in Africa to be given this title), boasting one of the darkest skies measured on Earth and offering unparalleled star-gazing. The nature reserve offers incredible contrasting scenery including red sand dune fields, purple granite mountains and grassy valleys. The NamibRand experience is primarily about nature and landscapes rather than wildlife, but you are likely to see oryx, kudu, springbok and ostrich here. You will spend two nights at Wolwedans, where all activities are included. You can choose to explore the scenic NamibRand Nature Reserve on scenic drives or on walking safaris.
Day 7: NamibRand – Kalahari Desert
Today you will drive east to the Kalahari. The Kalahari is not a true desert as it receives more rain than a true desert should. It is technically categorised as a fossil desert, meaning that the dunes are usually greener than the Namib Desert and at the start of the year can be covered in flowers. The best known of the Kalahari's inhabitants are the San Bushmen, a nomadic hunter-gatherer tribe that have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 20,000 years. The Kalahari is a great destination for birders and here you may see raptors including the martial eagle and lappet-faced vulture. Other wildlife in this area includes giraffe, zebra and meerkat.
Day 8: Kalahari - Windhoek
Drive north back to the capital city; Windhoek where your holiday ends.

Accommodation Options

This holiday is based on the accommodation shown below.

Olive Grove Guesthouse, Windhoek

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Guesthouse

Olive Grove Guesthouse is situated in a quiet suburb of …

Namib Dune Star Camp, Namib Desert

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Namib Dune Star Camp is situated on the crest of ancient…

Desert Homestead Lodge, nr Sossusvlei

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Located 30km south-east of Sesriem, Desert Homestead Lod…

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, NamibRand Nature Reserve

  • Grade: Deluxe
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Located in the picturesque NamibRand Nature Reserve, Wol…

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, Kalahari Desert

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Built atop and amidst the huge red parallel Kalahari Dun…

Upgrade to stay at Sossus Dune Lodge

Stay at the only lodge situated within the Namib Naukluft National Park and visit Sossusvlei before the park gates open, beating the crowds and experiencing this magnificent site in solitude.



From township tours in Windhoek to hot air ballooning over Sossusvlei, Namibia offers a range of optional activities you can choose to include on this holiday. Contact our Travel Specialists for more information.

Hot Air Ballooning over Sossusvlei

Experience magnificent views on a once-in-a-lifetime hot ai…

Katutura Township Tour, Windhoek

Explore Windhoek’s township, Katatura visiting two local …

Windhoek City Tour

Discover the highlights of Namibia’s capital city, Windho…

Prices & Dates

Airfares start from around £700 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price.

When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

Prices from £1,599 per person, based on 2 sharing

Price Includes
7 nights accommodation; 2 nights on a bed & breakfast basis, 3 nights on a half board basis and 2 nights on a fully inclusive basis ● 8 days Hyundai Tucson (or similar) car rental ● All activities when staying at Wolwedans ● Meet & Greet

Price Excludes
International flights • Additional meals and excursions not specified above ● National park fees ● Travel insurance • Gratuities ● Car rental contract fee



FREE hot air balloon ride over Sossusvlei

A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Free hot air balloon ride worth £366pp

How to book

Book this trip

So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

travel guaranteeWe will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.

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Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668

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