It's a distinctive feeling to step foot on African soil, described by some of the great explorers as a sense of coming home - and it's true, visiting this land gives a tremendous sense of returning to one's distant roots. The sheer scale of this continent is almost unfathomable; in the north is a vast desert the size of the United States of America; in the centre lies an immense jungle the size of India, and in the south, stretching for thousands of miles are the most fertile savannahs in the world. This is the last place on earth where you can be eye to eye with the greatest creatures on the planet.
We begin in the heart of Namibia, at the spectacular Erindi Private Game reserve. Covering 175,000 acres, this astonishing tract of pristine wilderness is home to the most prolific variety of wildlife in the country, if not the whole of Southern Africa. Having learned how to look after yourself and stay safe in the bush, you will step out on to the land and immerse all of your senses in it each day. Lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe, black and white rhino, crocodiles, black mambas, the rare pangolin and hundreds of other species all roam wild here - to say nothing of the mind-boggling bird life that swoops overhead.
After four nights here in the luxury Old Traders Lodge, we will drive towards the remote north east of the country and spend the next five days and nights exploring some of the most fascinating places in the country. The finale of the trip will be the time we spend with the real masters of this land - the indigenous Ju/’hoansi. Along with other groups, they are known as the San. The ancestors of these remarkable people are considered to have been the first inhabitants of the region and they once roamed all of southern Africa. Now they are found predominantly in Namibia and Botswana. For the next few days we will base ourselves near one of their camps and will walk with them in the bush as they impart on us their astounding knowledge of the plants, trees and animals of their homeland. We will arrive and adapt to their flow. We may be invited to go out tracking or to set bird traps with the men, dig wild tubers with the women or look for poison grubs for their arrows. In the evenings we may be lucky enough to witness their haunting trance dances.
We will be as close as we can to nature during this phase of the trip, camping in the Kalahari in a classic safari style: comfortable bed rolls inside cosy tents, a large canvas tarp with table and chairs as our dining room, and the incredible food to go with it. Sit and relax by the fire, gaze up at the bright band of the milky way stretching across the sky above you and lose yourself in the beauty of Africa.
Having arrived at Windhoek International Airport, you'll be met and transferred by road to Erindi Private Game Reserve where you'll be welcomed and shown to your room before dinner and a good night's rest.
Wake up early, embark on a game drive in an open top vehicle and witness some of the spectacular wildlife in the reserve as the sunrises. Relax after breakfast, then learn how to handle yourself and stay safe in the African bush, both from Daniel as well as local experts. In the afternoon, embark on a game drive and experience different species. At sunset, disembark and enjoy a cool drink and snacks as you watch the sunset and hear the lions growl.
Experience remoter areas of the reserve on morning and evening game drives, hike into the hills to observe ancient rock art and embark on exciting night time game drives in the dark and discover nocturnal creatures as they go about their business.
After breakfast we'll depart Erindi in Land Cruisers and head north east, stopping for lunch and at places of interest along the way.
Explore the beauty of the remote north eastern corner of the country and witness the ancient Bushman way of life.
Depart Bushmanland and head to Windhoek. Settle in to your luxury en-suite room at the Olive Grove Guesthouse and relax after the journey. In the evening we'll move into town to celebrate with a special farewell dinner at the best restaurant in town - Joe's Beerhouse.
Breakfast together at the Olive Grove Guesthouse before checking out and transferring to the airport to catch your flight.
An expedition folder explaining the trip in more detail, including the place and time to meet and your own personal and equipment preparations will be sent to you six months before the trip commences. Not only will this provide everything you need to know about the trip, but it will be a wonderful momento to keep.