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Extension: Namibia’s Etosha National Park

Program Number: 19836RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/17/2013 - 2/22/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Namibia
Price starting at: $2,470.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Natural History
Meals: 13; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Discover Namibia's greatest national park, Etosha, and the diversity of wildlife residents in this protected area. Learn about animal behavior and the unique adaptations that plants and animals have made in order to live in this arid region, and look at the conservation issues facing Namibia today. This extension program provides a fascinating contrast to the wildlife reserves visited during the main program "African Safari: a Close-up on Wildlife" (#13938).


• Explore Etosha National Park, one of the world's best game viewing areas, home to hundreds of bird and animal species including the Big Five (lion, leopard, cape buffalo, elephant, rhino).
• Examine current conservation issues in Namibia and discover the unique desert adaptations of the local plants and animals.
• During game drives in the park, witness hundreds of colorful bird species that flock to Etosha in the summer.

Activity Particulars

Bumpy and dusty game drives in open-air safari vehicle that requires stamina, flexibility and stability getting in and out.

This program may only be taken as an extension to program #13938, "African Safari: a Close-up on Wildlife." Please refer to the day-by-day itinerary if you plan on booking your own flights for correct arrival and departure dates.
Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Itinerary Summary

Overnight flight to Johannesburg (South Africa), 1 night; flight to Windhoek (Namibia), 1 night; coach to Etosha National Park, 3 nights; flight to Johannesburg for start of program #13938.

Overnight flight to Johannesburg (South Africa)
1 night
Flight to Windhoek (Namibia)
1 night
Coach to Etosha National Park (Namibia)
3 nights
Flight to Johannesburg for start of program #13938

During an expert-led exploration of Windhoek, discover Namibia’s colonial history and how that has shaped the country today. On game drives within Etosha National Park, view rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, oryx, springbok, red hartebeest and giraffe while local specialists give insight into animal behavior. Further educational study exposes the adaptations local flora and fauna have made for living in the desert and examines Namibia’s conservation efforts.
Lodging: modern lodges with spectacular views.


A photographer’s dream, Namibia is renowned for its wide-open spaces, desert elephants and some of the world’s most spectacular sand dunes. Known as “Africa’s Gem”, it provides visitors with a wide variety of sights including rusty shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast, sculpted Sossusvlei Sand Dunes of the Namib Desert, exotic Himba people still living a nomadic pastoral life, and a diverse array of wildlife at watering holes in Etosha National Park.

Johannesburg: Tuscan-themed hotel with lake view. Windhoek: Boutique hotel with personalized service. Etosha National Park: Luxury safari camp with spacious bungalows.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Elegant Guesthouse
  Windhoek, Namibia 1 night
   Etosha Safari Camp
  Etosha National Park, Namibia 3 nights
 The Elegant Guesthouse
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: Located in the trendy suburb of Klein, Windhoek and near the city center, the aptly named Elegant Guesthouse features contemporary styling alongside natural stone and other distinctive African touches. This boutique hotel prides itself on personalized service and warm hospitality. Guests are treated to fabulous breakfasts, fine teas and coffees, and the opportunity to relax in a peaceful setting surrounded by the capital city’s urban charms.
  Contact info: Corner of von Eckenbrecher and Ziegler Street
Windhoek,   Namibia
phone: +264 61 301934
  Room amenities: The six luxurious double rooms have en-suite bathrooms and are equipped with a TV, telephone, safe and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Twenty-four hour wireless internet access is free of charge: simply obtain the password for your wireless device at the reception area. Coffee and tea, available throughout the day, are also complimentary. A generous, healthy breakfast buffet is included. An electrical gate ensures complete security and privacy, and a beautiful garden with swimming pool offers an oasis of calm amid the urban environment. The comfortable lounge has TV, DVD and a library. Laundry service is available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call Program Provider Call Program Provider for current price, toll-free 888-596-6377

 Etosha Safari Camp
Type: Lodge
  Description: Etosha Safari Camp, situated on a small hillock near the southern entrance of Etosha National Park, provides a comfortable base from which to explore the park. All of the 50 chalets are nestled amongst the mopane trees, and the verandas provide an inviting place to relax with views over the surrounding bush. Each chalet boasts artistically painted floors and furniture created by local craftsmen, as well as air conditioning, mosquito nets and a spacious, private bathroom. The main lodge area, which comprises the restaurant and bar, is styled as a traditional shabeen, or typical township bar, and brims with African joie de vivre.
  Contact info: N/A
Etosha National Park,   Namibia
phone: +264061230066
  Room amenities: Each bungalow is equipped with air conditioning, mosquito nets and spacious bathrooms with running water, as well as a private verandah overlooking the surrounding bush.
  Facility amenities: Facility amenities include: a swimming pool, main restaurant and bar area, laundry facilities and a series of walking trails. There is no wireless availability at Etosha Safari Camp.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins with the flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Windhoek, Namibia departing at 12:00pm You will be staying at The Elegant Guesthouse that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 5:00pm in Johannesburg, following arrival of flight from Windhoek; extension group is met at the Johannesburg airport and transferred to hotel for start of main program #13938. You will be staying at Etosha Safari Camp the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. US passport holders need a minimum of six blank visa pages (not amendment/endorsement pages at back) given the amount of entries and exits for programs #19836 and #13938. No visa necessary for South Africa or Namibia. Signed liability waiver required for participation.
  Parking availability:
No parking is needed.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Windhoek
  Nearest airport:  Windhoek, Namibia
  Transportation to site: The first flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek is included in the extension program cost, so the group arrives in Windhoek on the same flight. The arrival transfer to the guesthouse is provided in a hired coach. If you wish to arrive in Windhoek earlier than the group, taxis are available (although not recommended for safety reasons) or a private airport transfer can be arranged. Approximate transfer time to the lodge is 15 minutes, and the price for the private transfer is $52 for one person or $35 per person for two or more people.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Johannesburg
  Nearest city or town:  Johannesburg
  Nearest highway: R21
  Nearest airport:  Johannesburg International Airport
  Transportation from site: Group transfer from the last location in Etosha National Park to the Windhoek airport included for everyone. The flight from Windhoek to Johannesburg is also included in the extension program price. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, the extension group is met at the airport and transferred to the hotel for the start of program #13938, African Safari: a Close-up on Wildlife (transfer included for everyone).
Elevation Note: Windhoek is approximately 5500 feet and Etosha N.P. is approximately 3800 feet in elevation.

Equipment Requirements: Suggested equipment: binoculars, camera, flashlight.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures
(Sunday, February 17)
 Morning: Late morning departure from New York-JFK on an overnight flight to Johannesburg. Other departure cities are available, but may require an overnight stay in Johannesburg due to flight arrival times.

Day 2: Arrival / Windhoek
(Monday, February 18)
 Morning: Morning arrival in Johannesburg, South Africa, where you then connect to a commercial flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek, Namibia.
 Afternoon: Mid-afternoon arrival in Windhoek where you clear customs and are met for a transfer to the guesthouse, located in a quiet suburb of Windhoek. After settling in to your rooms, your group leader leads a short orientation walk around town; alternately, you may choose to relax by the pool and recuperate from the long travel you've just finished. Your local group leader gives an orientation and group introduction session prior to dinner.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: The Elegant Guesthouse
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Windhoek City Tour / Drive to Etosha National Park
(Tuesday, February 19)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast you take a short city tour of Windhoek before starting the six hour drive to Etosha National Park.
 Lunch: Packed lunch provided.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival at the lodge where you settle into your rooms before your group leader gives an overview of Namibia including its history, politics, local peoples, etc. If time allows, a short excursion into Etosha National Park is done in the coach to explore a bit of the park and to see what wildlife can be found.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
Accommodations: Etosha Safari Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Desert Adaptations of Plants and Animals
(Wednesday, February 20)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Embark on an all-day field trip into Etosha National Park. Etosha is well-known for its diversity of wildlife; within Etosha, 114 mammal species including rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, oryx, springbok, red hartebeest and giraffe can be found. Birds are also plentiful with over 340 species recorded. Visit some of the best waterholes within the park where you have a chance for up-close viewing of the park's plentiful wildlife. Your local guides give insight into the flora and fauna seen.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch eaten within the park.
 Afternoon: Your game drive within the park continues. Your group leader gives a lecture on the unique adaptations of desert animals and plants. Arrive back at the lodge in the early evening and have time to freshen up before dinner.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
Accommodations: Etosha Safari Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Conservation Issues in Namibia
(Thursday, February 21)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Embark on an early morning game drive within the park searching for animals not seen yesterday. Return to the lodge in the late morning.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: For those who wish, a field trip into the park is offered, searching for animals that may have eluded you so far. Alternately, you may choose to relax by the lodge’s pool and take in the desert scenery. Your group leader gives a lecture on the conservation issues facing Namibia and its national parks.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
Accommodations: Etosha Safari Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fly to Johannesburg / Start of Program #13938
(Friday, February 22)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Early morning departure for the ground transfer back to Windhoek and the airport.
 Lunch: Packed lunch provided.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the airport and check-in for the mid-afternoon commercial flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you clear customs and are met for the transfer to the hotel where you meet up with the rest of the group for the start of Road Scholar program #13938, "African Safari: a Close-up on Wildlife."
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Orientation session and group introductions for program #13938.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Time Opportunities
  Windhoek Alte Feste
Built as Windhoek’s fort in 1890, the Alte Feste is now a museum displaying Namibian historical artifacts and documents. On Saturdays, the museum is open 10 a.m.–12:45 p.m. and 3–6 p.m. There is an entrance fee.
  National Gallery
The National Gallery houses a permanent collection of significant Namibian artists and exhibitions by local and international artists are a regular occurrence. Entry is free. On Saturdays, the museum is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  Self-guided Visit of Windhoek
Take a self-guided walk around the center of Windhoek. The downtown area has a museum, numerous shops and galleries, craft market and a fountain made out of 33 meteorites. Estimated walking time is 25–30 minutes, without stops.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Adventuring in Southern Afica

Author: Allen Bechky

Description: This comprehensive guide to game parks throughout Southern Africa includes an overview of the region, tips on watching wildlife and good descriptive information on each park or nature reserve.

Cry of the Kalahari

Author: Mark Owens, Delia Owens

Description: A thoroughly readable version of Born Free, set in Botswana (and just as weepy about the animals). This is the book that got the Owens family thrown out of Botswana, in part because of their opposition to fencing the land.

Exploration of Africa, From Cairo to the Cape

Author: Ann Hugon

Description: This jewel of a book chronicles 19th century exploration of Africa with hundreds of contemporary paintings and prints, brief chapters on the expeditions and a very useful chronology.

Lost World of the Kalahari

Author: Laurens van der Post

Description: Originally published in 1958, this poetic book is the story of a quest to find the San people in the desert. It has become a classic romanticized tale of an encounter between a literate European and a “noble savage.”

Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa

Author: Kenneth Newman

Description: This classic field guide features hundreds of color plates, a comprehensive checklist – and information on habitat and distribution.

Running Wild

Author: John McNutt

Description: An authoritative, illustrated account of the behavior, ecology and conservation of wild dogs. Author John mcnutt is a founder of the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project.

Silent Thunder, In the Presence of Elephants

Author: Katy Payne

Description: In this memoir, Katy Payne relates stories of research, discovery and conservation in Africa. An acoustic biologist, Payne has worked on communication among elephant populations at Amboseli National Park, Etosha and Sengwa.

Southern Africa Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide

Author: Mike Unwin

Description: A popular, photographic guide to the mammals, birds, reptiles and habitats south of the Zambezi. With 300 color photographs and illuminating text.

Southern, Central, and East African Mammals

Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart

Description: A compact guide to 152 mammals.

The Eye of the Elephant

Author: Mark Owens, Delia Owens

Description: Mark and Delia Owens, having set up camp in the Luangwa River Valley in northern Zambia among the elephants, are drawn into an ugly struggle with the local people.

The Harmless People

Author: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Description: A classic study of the Bushmen of the Kalahari. It’s an account of the author’s fieldwork, strong on the character of the people.

The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals

Author: Jonathan Kingdon

Description: The most complete African mammal guide available.

The Myth of Wild Africa

Author: Jonathan Adams, Thomas McShane

Description: A no-holds-barred attack on old-style conservation in Africa, provocative and dead-on. The authors explore the fallacy of an untouched continent where animals roam freely in sanctuaries.

The Safari Companion

Author: Richard Estes

Description: An encyclopedic guide to the behavior of Africa’s mammals by a noted scientist.

The Scramble for Africa

Author: Thomas Pakenham

Description: A well-written, meticulously researched history of the Victorian land grab in Africa. The book includes especially good portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.

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