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Adapted Desert Elephant Tour

15 Days

This unique safari is going to take us to the grand highlights of Namibia: Etosha National Park's abundant wildlife, the seal colonies on the Atlantic coast and the dunes of Sossusvlei (highest dunes in the world). But what will keep us busy during this amazing journey is the search for an animal, which should not be found in a desert habitat: the pachyderm. The desert elephants have adapted to the harshest living conditions. This safari will take us off the beaten track in an attempt to meet these prehistoric survivors. We will stay close to nature for about a week in search of the desert elephants. It is a unique experience, which also provides excellent opportunities for photography. During this trip in the Kunene region, we will also cross paths with different species such as giraffes, springboks, oryx, zebras, and a small population of lions.

Desert Elephant Safaris Namibia Waterhole, Etosha National Park Seals at Cape Cross


  • The abundant wildlife of Etosha National Park
  • The search for desert adapted elephants
  • The free ranging fauna living outside national parks
  • The incredible landscapes of Kaokoland and Damaraland
  • Camping in the middle of the wilderness
  • The seal colony of Cape Cross
  • The great sand dunes of Sossusvlei
  • All meals and activities included

Desert Elephant Safaris program

Day 1:

Windhoek – Otjiwarongo

Meet and greet at the airport with immediate departure towards Etosha in northern Namibia. We will overnight at a lodge en route near Otjiwarongo.

Day 2&3:

Etosha National Park – Okaukuejo

We reach Etosha National Park at Anderson gate and will set up our camp for two nights either at Okaukuejo or Halali, depending on availability. These two days will be spent searching for Etosha's great wildlife. A waterhole lit overnight allows us to observe animals such as elephants and black rhinos that are regular visitors during the driest months.

Day 4:

Etosha – Khowarib Schluss

In the morning, we will patrol the western side of Etosha where animals are still present. We might be rewarded with the sight of elands or Hartmann zebras. We exit the park at Galton Gate and start heading off the beaten track towards the Hoanib River. We will sleep in bivouac in nature near the Khowarib Schlucht.

Day 5:

Khowarib – Hoanib

In the morning, we will refuel at Sesfontein and then head towards the Hoanib River. This is where we will start searching for elephants. They regularly roam this dry riverbed to feed and drink. They dig holes to find the precious liquid when not available otherwise. We will set our camp in the wild.

Day 6&7:

Hoanib – Purros

Today we follow the trail used by elephants when they move from Hoanib to Hoarusib Valley. We will reach a community campsite at Purros, well equipped with toilets and showers. During these two days, we will search for elephants in this rocky region. We will have opportunities to cross the paths of giraffes, springboks and oryx that roam near the Hoarusib Canyon.

Day 8

Purros – Hoanib

We are heading back to Hoanib River using a different trail. In the morning, we may have the chance to encounter one of the last black rhinos roaming free outside Namibian national parks. We will arrive at the Hoanib right next to a waterhole where we will search for elephants and lions. Bivouac in the wilderness.

Day 9

Hoanib – Palmwag

We will spend our last moments by the river before returning to Sesfontein, then back to the main road toward Palmwag. We will be setting up our camp at a campsite by the Uniab River. Later in the afternoon, we will search for animals surrounded by spectacular landscapes of tabular mountains. Natural springs attract an abundance of wildlife such as elephants, Hartmann zebras, oryx, giraffes and kudus ...

Day 10

Palmwag – Huab

Today we explore the southern part of Damaraland. We will notice a change of scenery with different landscapes when we search for the elephant herds living in the Huab Valley. There is permanent water in some parts of the river but sometimes elephants use the water points of the local farmers who share their land with wildlife. We will set our camp at a beautiful scenic spot.

Day 11

Huab – Brandberg west

We navigate across an endless plateau that separates the Huab and Ugab valleys and where we usually spot ostriches and springboks. We will stop at a petrified forest situated off the beaten track and at some interesting volcanic formations. We reach Brandberg West and then set up our bivouac for the night just before enjoying sunset.

Day 12

Brandberg – Swakopmund

We slowly return to civilization before Cape Cross where we stop to visit a seal colony where thousands of them are present. It's a beautiful scene. Heading south, we will arrive in Swakopmund, a coastal town with an interesting German colonial architecture. We check in at the hotel by early afternoon and you are free to book any activities such as a scenic flight over the Namib Desert (optional). We will meet for dinner at one of the town's seafood restaurants.

Day 13

Swakopmund – Sesriem

Heading south, we pass Walvis Bay and enter the Namib Naukluft National Park travelling towards Kuiseb Pass. We later cross the Tropic of Capricorn before taking a break in Solitaire and reaching Sesriem campsite in the afternoon. You may visit Elim dune in your free time.

Day 14

Sossusvlei – Namibgrens

Early in the morning we will head towards the highest dunes in the world. We will arrive by sunrise to walk around and admire Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei in the magical light. We will return to the campsite before lunchtime and visit the Sesriem Canyon. We then start heading towards the Khomas Hochland. We will overnight in confortable villas for our last Namibian night.

Day 15

Namibgrens - Departure

The road back to Windhoek will take two hours. You may walk around Namibia's; capital city depending on when your flight is. Lunch will be at your own expense. A transfer will be scheduled according to flight departure.


Route map for Desert Elephant safari

Please take note that most of this safaris itinerary takes place across wild areas which are sometimes difficult to access. Some dirt roads and general conditions of travel might be tiring. Therefore, we advise participants to be in good health. For security reasons, we are equipped with satellite communication.

Transport & travel

We drive over around 3 500 km of asphalt and dirt roads in fair to poor conditions aboard 4X4 Toyota Land-Cruiser, fully equipped with 12 v fridge, 12 v cigar lighter plug to charge cameras, video cameras (please provide you own adaptor cables).

Lodging – Accommodation

This 15 days / 14 nights journey is composed of:

  • 1 night in a comfortable standard lodge, day 1
  • 1 night at hotel / guesthouse, day 12
  • 1 night in a comfortable villa, day 14
  • 6 nights camping in campsites with toilets and showers, day 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 13
  • 5 nights camping in wild bush camps, day 4, 5, 8, 10 & 11

We supply: spacious tents that are easy to set (sleep two) with a comfortable mattress and a sleeping bag. Tables, chairs...

Meals & beverages

Our desert elephant safaris are on full board basis (except Windhoek on the day of departure).

Breakfast and dinner are taken at restaurants while staying at lodges and hotels. Lunch en route or at restaurant according to availability.

Your guide will serve you well-cooked fresh meals during camping and at Namibgrens Villas.
Continental breakfast
Lunch supplied with salads, cold meat, cheese, bread and fruit...
Excellent meals prepared and cooked on the fire for dinner.

We supply drinkable water, tea and coffee while camping. Table and extra drinks (as well as mineral water) are at your own cost.


Price on request.

Please contact us for special requests at Safaris may be customised.

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Safaris price includes:

  • Welcome and transfer from and to the airport
  • Transport on board of 4X4 vehicles and petrol
  • A professional tour leader
  • Full board accommodation
  • All excursions and visits as mentioned in the program
  • All park entrances and concession fees
  • VAT 15% and Bed Levy 2%
  • Satellite connection (prices of communication not included)
  • We support Desert Lion Conservation. NAD 100 pp. are transfered to the association via Tourism Supporting Conservation

The price does not include:

  • International Air flight ticket
  • Beverages except drinkable water, coffee & tea while camping
  • Optional activities
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Cancellation insurance, repatriation and lost luggage's cost

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