Closing date: 30 May 2019
Think ‘Namibia’ and chances are an image of towering dunes will pop into your head – a great butterscotch whip of sandy peaks crowning the Namib Desert. But there’s more to this extraordinary country than sky-scraping sand dunes. Namibia combines desert, coast, wildlife and adventure better than any other destination. It’s little wonder it was voted ‘top country’ in this year’s Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards.
Now, the Namibia Tourism Board, in partnership with Osprey, Imagine Travel and South African Airways, are offering one lucky winner a self-drive holiday for two to Namibia. You’ll get a chance to track desert-adapted elephant from a tented camp in rugged Damaraland, enjoy three nights on safari in Etosha National Park and spend time at Okonjima – home of the AfriCat Foundation. The prize, worth over £6,000, includes two return flights to Namibia with South African Airways, plus a bundle of backpacks from Osprey worth over £850.
Namibia is the perfect self-drive destination – the roads are well-maintained, traffic is light and you don’t need a 4WD. One of the most rewarding circuits loops through the northern half of the country, joining the dots between Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland and Etosha. After a night in the old German colonial city of Windhoek, the drive west towards the desert sweeps you into Namibia’s vast arid landscapes, the road arrowing towards empty horizons shimmering under intensely blue skies.
The sense of space is mesmerising. Namibia gets its name from a Nama word meaning ‘vast place of nothingness’, but the Namib is anything but a void. In fact, it’s one of the most diverse and beautiful deserts in the world. Burnished apricot in the early morning and late afternoon, Sossusvlei’s dreamy sand dunes can be scaled on foot for head-spinning desert vistas, or you can sink to your hands and knees to discover a graffiti of insect and lizard tracks scrawled in the sands. You can even get a vulture’s eye view by taking a dawn hot air balloon flight.
At Swakopmund, where defiant desert meets seething ocean, Namibia’s adrenaline charged seaside town offers everything from fish and chips to sandboarding and skydiving. The desert scenery is bewitching – join a 4WD tour and you can experience ‘singing dunes’, where the wind makes the sand hum, and find ‘living fossil’ plants in the form of the unusual Welwitschia.
To the north of Swakopmund lies Damaraland, where the Namib takes on a new guise of gravel plains pimpled with rust-red mountains. Ancient rock art adorns the UNESCO site of Twyfelfontein, while elephant and black rhino roam the arid wilderness. A couple of nights based at a camp like Etendeka provides a chance to track these rare and elusive creatures on game drives and guided walks.
Namibia’s prime wildlife spot lies further north. Etosha National Park ranks alongside Africa’s finest safari destinations. Large concentrations of wildlife, including lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra and rhino, congregate around waterholes at the edge of Etosha’s seemingly boundless salt pan. On game drives in the park, you will be captivated by the procession of animals arriving to drink. Private game reserves such as Ongava, which borders Etosha, offer a superb base for self-drive travellers. Not only are there few other visitors, but you also have the added advantage of being able to go on walking safaris and night drives.
The northern Namibia self-drive circuit has one final wildlife highlight as you head south from Etosha to Windhoek. Established by the AfriCat Foundation to rehabilitate cheetah and other predators displaced by farming, Okonjima gets you up close and personal with Namibia’s big cats – including a chance to track notoriously shy leopard on AfriCat’s enormous reserve.
This amazing prize is brought to you by the experts who know Namibia best. South African Airways offer daily overnight flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg, with easy onward connections to Windhoek, leaving up to three times a day.
On the ground, Imagine Travel do all the heavy lifting, providing their specialist knowledge to every guest. Their travel experts know their destinations inside out, allowing them to hand-pick unique experiences that delve beneath the surface of the country.
Finally, to alleviate packing woes, Osprey – innovative backpack creators since 1974 – are giving away a bundle of gear to use on any adventure. Osprey products are created with a pioneering spirit, designed to be used on the highest mountains, the remotest islands and the rolling deserts in between.
The Namibia Tourism Board, in partnership with Osprey, Imagine Travel and South African Airways, are offering one lucky winner an 11-night self-drive holiday for two to Namibia. The prize includes:
• 2 x return flights from London to Namibia, courtesy of South African Airways
• 11-night self-drive holiday for two to Namibia including accommodation and safari activities, courtesy of Imagine Travel
• 2 x Osprey Rolling Transporter 90s
• 2 x Porter 30 backpacks
• 2 x Skarab 22 hiking daypacks
• 2 x Ultralight Packing Cube sets
• 1 x £10 gift card for orders over £50
For a chance to win this amazing prize, simply answer the following question:
Roughly how high is the tallest sand dune in Namibia, known as Dune 7?
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