“The Orphaned & the Wild” - Namibia & So. Africa

Animal Immersion

May 10 – 20, 2017

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Our ‘AFS Africoholics’ love wild life and that’s why our safaris over 30 years are always a sell-out. This unique adventure combines two countries in one vacation with expert planning and no prep on your part. You’ll get so up close & personal with animals, this adventure is a photographers dream! We begin in amazing Namibia, famous for its stunning landscapes where sand dunes meet the sea. With more wildlife than people, it harbors a wealth of extraordinary animals and boasts the highest concentration of cheetahs in the world. With no light pollution, at night the dazzling star filled skies will have you awestruck.

Overview

We’ll get involved in animal conservation on a one-of-a-kind experience at Na’ankuse Wildlife Sanctuary. Na’ankuse in Bushmen “God protect Us” and this place is heaven for animals! Hundreds of ill or orphaned African animals are rehabilitated here with round the clock care. Loyal supporters Brad and Angelina fell in love with this place, donating $2 million to partner with the non-profit Na’ankuse Foundation.

Set in breathtaking Savannah, the lodge wins awards of excellence. We booked the 6 lavish villas with extravagant furnishings for you to feel like royalty during your stay. There are thrilling activities such as a cheetah walk, Bushmen Stories under the stars, Carnivore Feedings, playing with baby baboons in the bush and more. It was my favorite African experience of all.
We then fly to Johannesburg to overnight in a very hip hotel and continue on to South Africa’s premier game reserve of Pilanesburg. The huge reserve is home to abundant wild game including the Big 5 (rhino, leopards, cape buffalo, elephants, lions). You’ll love your luxurious home at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge where you’re surrounded with wildlife and majestic beauty.

Here we Get Our Safari On with Game Drives day and night. You can also enjoy rhino trekking, ballooning and a unique walking safari with armed rangers.
This is a soul searching African journey with humbling moments. Come face-to-face with the gentlest of creatures that will touch your heart as well as the biggest wild game on earth that will leave you spellbound. 
Come live a dream!

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Our Glorious Itinerary

May 10 - Depart USA

Fly USA to Windhoek. (Group Air details will come in Trip Tips or you can arrange own air. You may want to go a few days early to add on Etosha N.P., Skeleton Coast and more. We have excellent supplier there to aid you).


May 11 – Welcome to Namibia!

(Group Air arrives approx. 1 PM)

We are met and transferred to Avari Hotel, beautiful 4-star property in the heart of town. Relax by the pool or revel in spa treatments. Great restaurant and casino.

This capital city of Windhoek harmoniously blends European and African cultures with a strong German influence. Population only 370,000. This ‘slice of green in the desert’ is well groomed and walkable. Visitors marvel at how friendly and clean it is here. The throbbing heart is Post Street Mall where you can find anything. At nighttime and shop at Namibia Craft Center. Peruse House of Gems, Safari Den or the National Museum.

There’s a great food scene now with such variety. At night, visit the wine bars or the legendary Joe’s Beerhouse where you can indulge on grilled game that you’ll see on safari like zebra tenderloin, croc hotpot, ostrich skewers and more. Go to www.mynamibia.com.

Overnight: Avari Hotel    B


May 12 – City Tour & Na’ankuse

After breakfast, we have a City Tour to witness the blend of modern and traditional cultures. See Victorian buildings from the era of German colonization which lends to the charm of the city. You’ll learn about the fascinating apartheid history in the township of Katatura. See Christ Church, Old Fort, Parliament gardens and then up the hills for a stunning view of Windhoek from famous Schwerinsberg castle. The highlight is a visit to Tukendjeni Market, a busy place that serves local communities. Here you can try some local delicacies like seafood, dried meats and yummy mopane worms. Everyone loves Windhoek.

In the afternoon, transfer 1 hour to fabulous Na’ankuse for 3 glorious nights. The lodge is nestled in a stone canyon with camel-thorn trees and riverbeds with a backdrop of khomas highlands and Eros mountains. Each day groups will rotate ensuring all experience the same marvelous activities here. Enjoy the pool when you’re not on tour.

Carnivore Feeding Tour: A popular activity that provides great photos. Join your naturalist guide for an informative tour as you visit lions, leopards, caracals, wild dogs and cheetahs. Watch them eat, hear stories how each animal came here and learn so much about their behaviors.

Fresh organic gourmet meals from award winning chefs are included in your stay. Tonight gather for dinner at the main lodge restaurant. Great local wines in the bar.

Overnight: Na’ankuse     B, L, D

Click here to see Naankese video

naankuse


May 13 – Behind the Scenes Tour

During this special activity with Na’ankuse Foundation founder Malice, we depart for a walk with frisky caracals. Then visit the animal food prep kitchen and learn about the research here. You’ll have the chance to socialize with baby baboons and meet their famous 3-legged cheetah Lucky. Spend close-up with three tame cheetahs; Kiko, Aiko and Aisha as well as many other animals from monkeys & warthogs. 

(Cheetah Walk: can be arranged from 8-10am. Walk with the cheetahs into the grasslands with chance to see kudu, jackals, antelope, zebra and more).

Evening tour ‘Bushmen Stories Under the Stars' – the nature guide takes us to an Ancient Sans Skills Academy where we join the Bushmen around a fire to listen to stories, history, their beliefs on animals, stars, the galaxy and universe. They may entertain you with traditional song and dance.

Overnight: Na’ankuse     B, L, D


May 14 – Baboon Bush Walk! (My fav)

We head out into the bush with around 33 bouncing baby baboons for a delightful experience you’ll never forget. You’ll have 2 hours to play with these toddlers and observe their human like behaviors. Best Kodak moment ever!

Afternoon lunch and free time. At 4, book a guided Nature Hike for unique Africa bird sightings or you can do a 2-hour horse ride into the veldt among the giraffes. (Must be intermediate level)

Tonight after dinner, enjoy a bush drive at sunset. We stop for sundowners (cocktails & snacks) and just listen to natures sounds, perhaps hyenas and lions, all under twinkling star-filled Namibia skies!

Overnight: Na’ankuse    B, L, D


May 15 – Jo’Burg

After Breakfast Check-out. Transfer to Windhoek airport for our BA flight to Johannesburg 2-4:30.

On arrival transfer to the beautiful Sandton Sun Hotel for a night in the upscale hip area of Sandton. (Distinct Award winning style with Sun Spa, Grand Café, pool and bar on the sun deck. Skywalk connects hotel to mall on Nelson Mandella Square.) So many venues here to enjoy your evening.

Overnight:  Sandton Sun Hotel    B


May 16 – Morning Free

Depart by coach at 11am to Pillannesburg National Park situated between the Kalahari and Lowveld teeming with big game including the Big 5. Pillanesburg Game Reserve has rare rock formations for geological phenomena and is bursting with wild game too numerous to include here!  55,000 hectares with over 1000 animals and 300 different bird species.

(Sun City is nearby to visit: Valley of the waves, balloon rides, elephant back safari, Kwena Croc sanctuary, nightclubs with live shows and more.)

Check into Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge (meaning Place of the Rocks) for 3 fun nights. Our past groups loved this luxury property for modern comforts, great African cuisines and the sun showers. There’s 2 swimming pools, fitness, tennis and an underground Hide for great pics where you see animals come to the waterhole but they can’t see you!

Animals are most active early morning and late afternoon into the night when predators search for a kill. We’ll Have our first evening Game Drive to get our safari on! Don’t just look for big game like rhinos, lions and such. Our expert rangers will educate you on the hundreds of other thrilling animals enroute.

Overnight:  Kwa Maritane    B, L, D

Click here to see the video

Kwa Maratane


May 17 – Game Drive & Optionals

After coffee service, we depart before sunrise on a morning Game Drive when the park is in its full glory. Then drive back to the lodge for full breakfast buffet. Relax or enjoy the facilities and activities.

Optionals you can book include:  an exciting Bush Walk, an ultimate safari experience so intense and unique with an armed ranger to spot animals large and small (around $48 in Rand). Or you can book Rhino Tracking ($65 limited to 8). Book these options there and not from AFS.  

Join a field guide with satellite equipment to locate the rare white and black rhinos that wear radio frequency tags. You’ll approach them on foot and get a lesson in conservation of these extremely endangered species. Proceeds of your participation goes to anti-poaching methods in Pilannesburg.

This evening we enjoy a Bush Braii experience with a hearty feast under the stars.

Overnight: KWA Maritane    B, L, D


May 18 – Morning & Evening Game Drives

Early optional hot air balloon-ride for an incredible serene experience over the plains of wild life. Champagne breakfast included.

Morning and afternoon Game Drives again today as you never know what you may see with the unpredictability of nature.

Overnight: KWA Maritane    B, L, D


May 19 – Day Free

Transfer to Jo’Burg airport in afternoon for evening flights home to USA.

If you are interested in extending your trip, you can contact [email protected] for information.

 

 


May 20 - Arrive back in USA

Naan Ku Se

Naan

 

KWA Maritane


Activity Level:

2. I have no trouble walking and if necessary, can walk for 3+ miles. Uneven surfaces are not a problem. I do not need a cane or walking device.

Pricing

A $400 deposit + $600 mid-point payment to secure your space. Due to Naankuse villas, strictly limited to 39 participants. We already have 40 requests so don’t delay.

Land Price:  $1995

Not Included:  gratuities, air.

  • International Air: We secured 30 seats for International Group Air on South Africa Airways. NY roundtrip to Johannesburg but you may find cheaper on your own.

    For help on booking air on your own, please call Rizwanna (800) 633-4087 x265  

 

  • Domestic Air: We booked 39 seats on the 2 domestic internal flights: JNB to Windhoek & Windhoek to JNB for $440.  All should book this to be together on same flights for transfer and flights are near full.
  • If you do own air, match our schedule which will be detailed later in our trip tips.

 

Options

Name
Description
Price
Gratuities

This 'option' is a required additional charge for this trip.

It is protocol to tip your drivers, porters and local guides - we have the absolute best. $13 pp per day should suffice as minimum and will be added to your final bill. We will give this to your GTL to disperse accordingly throughout. It’s easier this way. Tips are for local guides, drivers, group meals (except breakfast) and hotel porters that bring bags from bus to lobby.
$80.00
Domestic Air Only
Jo'burg to Windhoek roundtrip
$440.00
Hot Air Balloon Safari
Early morning balloon safari - the ultimate way to round out your African adventure! Your trip starts at sunrise for a 1-hour flight (weather permitting) to view the animals and majestic landscape from up high and down low as you float across the savannah. Upon landing, you are met with champagne and gourmet breakfast in the bush. You will return to your hotel with pictures and stories of a lifetime.
$380.00
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Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS. Group air - Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and are ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until we either group air is set or we advise - dates can change! Itineraries are prepared often a year in advance. Though not likely, AFS and our suppliers reserve the right to change or modify such to meet local conditions. Although rare, hotels can change – all hotel rooms are run of the house. Our prices are based on current taxation structures. In case any revision in taxes, sudden fluctuation in currency levels, change in Visa fees or increase in fuel charges, we will amend our prices and inform you accordingly. Land price is based on minimum number of trip participants.