The Great Namibia and South Africa Adventure
DestinationSouth Africa: Cape Town, Sabi Sand, Johannesburg. Namibia: NamibRand Nature Reserve, Etosha National Park
Brilliantly Choreographed Contrasts
This inspired journey brings us a quartet of heart-stirring African contrasts.
After an overnight in suburban Johannesburg, we begin in the brilliantly conceived chalets of Kwessi Dunes in solitudinous NamibRand Nature Reserve, exemplar of the country’s epic sceneries, followed by a three-night stay at the imaginative Onguma the Fort, surrounded by the peacefulness of Etosha National Park’s dry, archetypally vast landscapes, and free-ranging animals. Then we’re off to the iconic One&Only in forever zesty Cape Town and the gorgeous Cape Winelands, a dissimilar but no less bedazzling experience.
We finish in Sir Richard Branson’s Safari Lodge or his nearby Rock Lodge, tucked into his private Ulusaba Game Reserve, part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a varietal land of acacia-dotted savannahs, riverine forests, and rocky bluffs, graced with 150 mammal species, 470 avians, and 300 tree species, ranging from monumental baobabs to winsome ilala palms.
I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.True at First Light
- Game drives, safari walks, and star-gazing from the observatory at Sir Richard Branson’s Ulusaba Game Reserve.
- Intimate, comprehensive Cape Town touring: towering Table Mountain, spectacular, super-verdant Cape Peninsula (penguins aplenty!), Victorian-era towns, the festively multi-cultural Malay Quarter, a heartfully inspiring Micato-AmericaShare project, and more.
- Expert guides and facilitators at every step of the way, plus our unique 24-hour Concierge Service.
- The timeless immensity and marvelous desert-adapted animals of Namibia’s Etosha National Park experienced on game drives and on foot.
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Your adventure begins today as you enplane for Africa.
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, we’ll be met and escorted to the airport’s InterContinental Hotel for an overnight stay. After a relaxing dinner, we’ll have a trip briefing.
Namibia is renowned for its eloquent landscapes, and the NamibRand’s 772 square and private miles have been gently loquacious for many millenniums:
Wavy— often amazingly red— sand dunes and jagged mountains, ghost trees and racing antelopes, and a night sky so lucid that NamibRand was designated Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. A place where time goes to take a long time out.
Our intimate camp, Kwessi Dunes—with only 12 air-conditioned chalets, each with a separate star-gazer room, few other NamibRand camps to ensure that our wanderings in the reserve are wonderfully solitary. We strike out with our Safari Director on morning and afternoon game drives and nature walks, stopping to hike up a delicately wind-patterned sandwave, investigate mysterious fairy circles, catch sight of desert-adapted bat-eared foxes, watch springbok, steenbok, and gloriously horned kudu as they go about their day (with antelopes and us on the lookout for the Reserve’s small but healthy population of big cats). And after a dip in Kwessi Dunes’ pool, or a quad bike zip on the dunes, an optional horseback jaunt or hot-air balloon flight, we dine in the camp’s view-rich lodge, looking forward to marveling at the “Milky Way arching the heavens,” as Elspeth Huxley wrote, “like a vast and incandescent plume of frozen smoke.”
We fly due north across relentlessly gorgeous Namibia to Etosha National Park, another land of gigantic, gently overpowering solitude and vast views across flat, animal-thronged plains dotted with stalwart camel thorn trees. In respectful contrast to that uncompromising nature, our Onguma the Fort’s detached chalets offer lush, Moroccan-themed furnishings and a full range of modern amenities, not to mention a private deck from which to catch what just may be Southern Africa’s most theatrical sunsets.
Onguma is set in a private reserve next to 8,600-square mile Etosha National Park, home to 114 mammalian species, including a fine population of rare black rhinos. Our game outings take us to the life-giving water holes that attract elephants, lions, baboons, and heartbreakingly elegant antelopes, including tiny dik-diks. We revel in Etosha’s immense natural grandeur, knowing that a very different kind of natural and human-made magnificence awaits.
Cape Town has proudly vaulted to the top tier of the world’s favourite cities. It was recently ranked the world’s number one Place to Go in The New York Times’ annual list—it “takes your breath away,” says the Times. Cape Town’s cultural, artistic, and culinary life is perhaps Africa’s most bubbly, and our hotel, the sublime One&Only, right on the fizzy Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, is stage centre on one of the continent’s grandest shows.
The great city is graced with a theatrical setting in a natural amphitheatre giving way to Table Bay, ringed with Devil’s Peak, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and the monarchical, ever-enchanting Table Mountain, the viewful top of which we’ll reach via one of the planet’s most astonishing aerial cableways. We’ll give Cape Town a thorough and fascinated look and make the dramatic drive down the Cape Peninsula, travelling through the Cape Floristic Region, a unique bit of natural magic, home to more than 6,000 plants found nowhere else in the world, ending at the imposing and world-historic Cape of Good Hope. Along the way, we’ll pay our respects to the gaily tottering penguins at Boulders Beach, and enjoy lunch at the stylish Foodbarn Restaurant in Noordhoek. And on one of our Cape days, we’ll drop in for a visit to the Red Hill Community Centre and Library, one of Micato- AmericaShare’s South African projects.
“At Ulusaba, we have set out to create the most beautiful game reserve in Africa,” says Sir Richard Branson. There’s no doubt that Branson & Co. are giving Ulusaba their best effort, which—as you know—entails a lot of creative, sumptuous, high-spirited best.
We fly northeast from Cape Town to Ulusaba Private Game Reserve—in the vast Sabi Sand Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park—and immediately begin to savour our lodgings’ —either Sir Richard’s Rock Lodge or Safari Lodge— distinctive mix of down-home hospitality and thoughtful luxury. Our rooms are designed to give us an intimate feel for life in the bush (some are built tree-house style); we watch from our private veranda as animals stroll by on their way to the nearby watering hole, we swim in the lodge’s pool, dine al fresco (or restaurant-style, or in our room), and pay visits to Ulusaba’s well-populated animal troops and solo stars by 4-wheel drive vehicle or on guided walks.
…for flights home.
To and from Home | Every date is a guaranteed departure
|Jan. 05 – Jan. 19||Apr. 13 – Apr. 27||July 27 – Aug. 10||Oct. 05 – Oct. 19|
|Jan. 12 – Jan. 26||May 04 – May 18||Aug. 10 – Aug. 24||Oct. 12 – Oct. 26|
|Feb. 02 – Feb. 16||May 18 – June 01||Aug. 17 – Aug. 31||Nov. 02 – Nov. 16|
|Feb. 16 – Mar. 02||June 01 – June 15||Aug. 24 – Sep. 07||Nov. 16 – Nov. 30|
|Mar. 02 – Mar. 16||June 15 – June 29||Aug. 31 – Sep. 14||Dec. 14 – Dec. 28|
|Mar. 16 – Mar. 30||June 29 – July 13||Sep. 14 – Sep. 28||Dec. 21 – Jan. 04|
|Mar. 30 – Apr. 13||July 13 – July 27||Sep. 28 – Oct. 12||Dec. 28 – Jan. 11|
To and from Home | Every date is a guaranteed departure
|Jan. 04 – Jan. 18||Apr. 12 – Apr. 26||July 26 – Aug. 09||Oct. 04 – Oct. 18|
|Jan. 11 – Jan. 25||May 03 – May 17||Aug. 09 – Aug. 23||Oct. 11 – Oct. 25|
|Feb. 01 – Feb. 15||May 17 – May 31||Aug. 16 – Aug. 30||Nov. 01 – Nov. 15|
|Feb. 15 – Mar. 01||May 31 – June 14||Aug. 23 – Sep. 06||Nov. 15 – Nov. 29|
|Mar. 01 – Mar. 15||June 14 – June 28||Aug. 30 – Sep. 13||Dec. 13 – Dec. 27|
|Mar. 15 – Mar. 29||June 28 – July 12||Sep. 13 – Sep. 27||Dec. 20 – Jan. 03|
|Mar. 29 – Apr. 12||July 12 – July 26||Sep. 27 – Oct. 11||Dec. 27 – Jan. 10|
Price Per Person
Land arrangements, per person (2022)
|Dec 15 – Jan 10||Balance of Year|
|Internal Flights on Safari||$2,350||$2,350|
Ask us about a private vehicle for your Classic Safari.
Internal Flights: Johannesburg/ Windhoek/ Kwessi Dunes/ Onguma/ Windhoek/ Cape Town/ Skukuza/ Ulusaba/ Skukuza/ Johannesburg. Connections may apply.