Rock art in the Namibian Wilds

Prehistoric Bush man engraving sat Twyfelfontein
Prehistoric Bush man engraving sat Twyfelfontein
Rhino drinking in the Etosha National Park
Rhino drinking in the Etosha National Park
Natural stone arch in the sunrise, Spitzkoppe
Natural stone arch in the sunrise, Spitzkoppe
Etosha National Park waterhole
Etosha National Park waterhole
A cheetah at the Africat Foundation
A cheetah at the Africat Foundation
A typical landscape in Etosha National Park
A typical landscape in Etosha National Park
The ’White Lady’ frieze in the Brandberg, the most famous of thousands of mural art sites amid some of the most photogenic scenery in Africa
The ’White Lady’ frieze in the Brandberg, the most famous of thousands of mural art sites amid some of the most photogenic scenery in Africa
Design on the hoof - great herds of zebra as we pass
Design on the hoof - great herds of zebra as we pass
San Bushmen stalking using age-old skills and methods
San Bushmen stalking using age-old skills and methods
Walking up to the site of the ‘White Lady’ frieze
Walking up to the site of the ‘White Lady’ frieze

The rock art of the Khoisan people is a tradition that has continued over thousands of years. This aspect of an ancient culture is brought to life with exciting immediacy by stunning surroundings. Landscapes almost unchanged by humanity are still populated by the same wild creatures depicted in the earliest art.

Leading us are Dr. Paul Bahn, the authority on rock art, and local Namibian guides, whose knowledge of the game and areas is unrivalled. This tour will be dedicated to experiencing all that Namibia has to offer - excursions into the desert, optional dolphin cruises and flights over the dunes make this the trip of a lifetime.

  • Incomparable ancient rock art sites among incredible landscapes
  • Game drives in the amazing Etosha National Park
  • Travel with an expert on rock art, Dr. Paul Bahn
  • Visit and get involved in the Africat Foundation in Okonjima
  • An immersive tour of Namibia, a truly memorable experience

Themes

  • Rock Art
  • Prehistory

Practicalities

  • Small Group
  • Low Single Supplement
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We depart from London and fly overnight to Walvis Bay, via Johannesburg.

 

Day 2

Arriving in the afternoon, we travel to Swakopmund and check in to our hotel. There will be time to unwind at leisure before we meet for dinner in the evening.

Hotel: Hansa Hotel
Meals: Dinner included

Day 3

This morning you can choose to book an optional activity at the Coast or go on an excursion with your Guide Lecturer and local guides to explore the area of the Moonlandscape and the Welwitschia Plains where you will get to see some amazingly desolate views as well as examples of the extraordinary millennia old plants. On the way back, you will also be able to visit the area of the Swakop River which reaches the sea on the southern edge of Swakopmund. The area around the river mouth and the surrounding dunes are rich in both bird life, and unusual plant species. The optional activities at the Coast are either a seal and dolphin catamaran cruise on the Outer Lagoon at Walvis Bay, or joining a Living Desert Tour in the coastal dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The afternoon will be free for us to explore the small but fascinating Swakopmund Museum, where there are on display a variety of indigenous plants, animals, minerals, an archaeological exhibition, the transport system of old, and an array of cultural and historical objects to help us understand more about this part of the world. The exhibition “People of Namibia” highlights the rich cultural history of Namibia’s people with an insight into their traditions and everyday life. Later, you may choose to take part in an optional afternoon scenic flight over the Sossusvlei area of the Namib Desert, returning up the coast over shipwrecks, deserted mining camps and seal colonies etc.

Hotel: Hansa Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today, we plan to drive from Swakopmund to Ameib Guest Farm where we will visit a number of interesting sites, including Phillip’s Cave, an old cave of the San people where they created many interesting rock paintings, including the popular white elephant. Afterwards, we would continue to Ai Aiba. The Ameib Guest farm, however, is currently closed to any visitors so this may not be possible. If that is the case, we will drive instead to Spitzkoppe to visit some of the Bushman rock paintings there, including the Bushman’s Paradise rock paintings, and stay in that area overnight before going on to spend two full days in the Erongo Mountains afterwards. Upon arrival in Spizkoppe, we would take a break for lunch and then explore the impressive granite rock formations of the Spitzkoppe mountain and then explore the rock art sites in the area during the afternoon.

Hotel: Ai Aiba - The Rock Painting Lodge & Omandumba Guest Farm or Spitzkoppen Lodge & Hohenstein Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch & dinner included

Day 5

We start our day with a visit to the “Living Museum” of the Ju/Hoansi-San (also called Bushman). Here, we will gain an insight into the ancient hunter-gathered culture, the lifestyle of traditions of the San. After lunch, we continue to the rock shelter of Ekuta. Considered to be one of the best rock art sites in the whole region, it contains detailed depictions of animals and people carrying equipment, such as bows and arrows.

Hotel: Ai Aiba - The Rock Painting Lodge & Omandumba Guest Farm
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Our accommodation in Ai Aiba is dramatically set against imposing granite boulders in the foothills of the mountain range Steeped in history, these ancient rock formations are the eroded remains of a volcanic complex about 130 million years old. We spend our entire day on a guided walk to thoroughly explore the local rock art here.

Hotel: Ai Aiba - The Rock Painting Lodge & Omandumba Guest Farm
Meals: All meals included

 

Day 7

We spend our day in Omandumba West. The rock art in this area includes rare and valuable paintings, such as the Swarm of the Bees and Torch. After lunch at the farm here, we travel to our next hotel, the Brandberg White Lady Lodge. Once we have checked-in, we explore along the Ugab River, which provides water for the rare desert elephant, as well as giraffe, mountain zebra and the black rhinoceros, which hopefully we will spot during our afternoon here.

Hotel: Brandberg White Lady Lodge & Brandberg Rest Camp
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

We start this morning with a visit to the famous “White Lady” rock painting on the north eastern side of the Brandberg where the peak, which is called Konigstein, is the highest point in Namibia. This area is famous for its numerous rock paintings, although many of those higher up on the mountain can be difficult to access. As a result of these National treasures, the Brandberg has recently been declared a National Monument . The “White Lady” rock painting was discovered by Reinhard Maack in 1917 and is considered to be the most famous rock art figure in southern Africa. This afternoon, we drive on up to the Twyfelfontein area, one of the largest and most important concentrations of rock art in Africa, which was approved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

Hotel: Mowani Mountain Camp & Camp Kipwe
Meals: All meals included

Day 9

We have the opportunity to experience a thrilling game drive along the Aba Huab River Valley to view the local fauna and the native wildlife, including another opportunity to see some of Namibia’s endemic desert elephants. So far on our travels, we will have seen a number of different species of birds, but this location should be particularly good for that and we could spot some semi-endemics such as Monteiro’s hornbill, the Benguela long-billed lark, Ruppel’s Korhaan and the white-tailed Shrike. We then go on to visit Twyfelfontein Country Lodge where we view the fascinating late Stone Age petroglyphs which depict native fauna and hunter-gathered activities. Afterwards, we spend time exploring the large number of prehistoric rock engravings in the Twyfelfontein site, and we can also go on visit the other local attractions of Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes.

Hotel: Mowani Mountain Camp & Camp Kipwe
Meals: All meals included

Day 10

After driving to Kamanjab, we arrive at the rock art site of Peet Alberts Koppie, one of the Dorsland Trekkers and a former owner of Farm Kamanjab. As the second largest rock engraving site in Namibia, we see the giraffe, the largest engraving in Namibia. After lunch, we journey to Etosha National Park. Home to abundant wildlife, it is undoubtedly one of Africa’s great game viewing locations. If there is time, we can head into the Park and visit the restcamp at Okaukuejo, where we should be able to observe a variety of wildlife congregating and interacting at the camp’s waterhole. We then leave the park to stay at our lodge which is situated about 20km south of the Park’s Andersson’s Gate.

Hotel: Etosha Safari Lodge
Meals: All meals included

Day 11

Today offers a full day of exciting game drives in Etosha National Park as we make our way across via Okaukuejo and Halali to the eastern gate to the Park beyond Namutoni. The unique feature of Etosha is a huge salt pan that can be seen from space and game sightings here are almost guaranteed. In the late afternoon we leave the Park and go on to stay at our lodge outside the eastern gate.

Hotel: Mushara Bush Camp
Meals: All meals included

Day 12

The second day in Etosha National Park which will be spent exploring the eastern side of the Park. Time permitting we may return to the area around Halali or to head north to explore Fischer’s Pan. Animals we are likely to see in this wonderful location include elephants, giraffes, kudu, oryx and zebra with a good chance of sighting rhino and lion as well as other animals endemic to this part of the country. Two truly memorable days.

Hotel: Mushara Bush Camp
Meals: All meals included

Day 13

Today we drive south to the reserve at Okonjima, famous for its ‘Africat’ programme. Founded in the 1990s, the Africat Foundation focuses on ensuring a sustainable future for Namibia’s large carnivores, such as leopards and cheetahs, through their conservation efforts. This afternoon we will be tracking some of these animals, a truly unique experience.

Hotel: Okonjima Plains Camp
Meals: All meals included

Day 14

We spend more time today in the area of the Africat programme, with further opportunities to track these incredible animals. In addition to the leopards and cheetahs, we will be on the look out for wild dogs and hyenas. In the evening, we enjoy our last dinner together and take time to look back and recount the many highlights of our tour in this incredible country.

Hotel: Okonjima Plains Camp
Meals: All meals included

Day 15

This morning we leave Okonjima and drive down to Windhoek International Airport, where we catch an overnight flight to London via Johannesburg.

Meals: Breakfast included

Day 16

We arrive in the UK.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All meals included
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

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