2019 October 30 to November 11 – Sold Out
Explore the heartland of Namibia, one of the most sparsely populated countries in Africa. Our gay tour of Namibia is a journey through a virtually undiscovered wilderness. We will show you all the wonders that Africa is known for. We’ll hike through deserts, and bike through otherworldly terrains. We’ll sleep under the stars and get up close and personal with the animals. After you see Namibia, Africa will never be the same. Read a blog post about the making of this tour.
We invite you to join our friendly gay group to explore the diversity of Namibia. Because of its sparse population, Namibia has a richer variety of wildlife than many of its neighbors. During this tour we will stay in 6 different habitats in which to observe the animals, even camping for two nights for an unforgettable experience. From some of the highest sand dunes in the world in the Kalahari Desert to the rugged Atlantic coastline to the wide savanna, this gay safari tour will take us on a scenic exploration of this remote country in Africa. For this reason, we will create a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
We will be transferred from the airport to our cozy lodge less than an hour southeast of the city. The hotel is a spot of lush greenery in the red sand desert, the perfect place to end our day of travel. Because many flights arrive later this evening, no group activities are scheduled until Day 2.
As a result of long flights the day before; we will ease into the tour and enjoy a game drive today. We will enjoy our Welcome Dinner this evening and have time to get to know one another. Then rest and relax…..your wake-up call has been scheduled for the morning.
After an early morning game drive (with luck we may spot cheetah or leopards), we’ll begin our journey south and west, through the cities of Mariental and Maltahohe to our trailhead. We’ll arrive in the early afternoon and stretch our legs with a hike to our first camp. Trained local guides will teach us to spot the wide variety of wildlife that calls this desert home. Finally, we’ll dine under the vast expanse of the Namibian night sky tonight. It certainly will be a new experience for most.
We’ll take a 4-hour hike through the bush this morning before relaxing with a long break in the shade so we can enjoy lunch. Desert-adapted wildlife, such as ostrich, springbok, and gemsbok sparsely populate the region. The aptly named dune lark is a species of bird that only makes its home here because it is dependent on the area’s characteristic sands. We’ll continue just 2 more hours to our next camp, which is ready for us to partake in snacks and sundowners before sleeping under the stars again tonight. Creatures such as bat-eared fox and aardwolf may be spotted at night in the cool desert air.
Our 3-hour morning hike concludes at the lodge, where we’ll have another delicious lunch. This afternoon we transfer to our exotic and luxurious accommodations in the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. The Desert is part of the Namib Naukluft National Park that stretches 250 miles south of Walvis Bay between the west coast and the escarpment that runs parallel more than 70 miles inland. Its huge dunes and flat valley floors create the archetypal view of the Namib.
This morning we enjoy a beautiful sunrise bicycle ride among the highest dunes in the world (with our van available for non-cyclists). A bit later we’ll set off into the Namib Desert with our experienced guide for an amazing walk on mostly hard compacted sand. Our guide will certainly show us how to walk on sand dunes with the least amount of effort. We’ll visit Big Mama, a huge sand dune overlooking the Sossusvlei clay pan. Then a 4×4 shuttle will take us back to the tour vehicle just in time for lunch at the lodge. The afternoon is free to relax, with some guests choosing to take an optional late afternoon small airplane tour all the way to the Atlantic Ocean at just 500 ft (150 m) above the ground. This special hour-long flight takes us to the Forbidden Coast, over undulating dunes and canyons, and hence is by arranged pending minimum participation.
After an exquisite hike or bike ride through Kuiseb Canyon, we’ll head to Swakopmund, a German colonial town situated on the Atlantic Ocean. Namibia was under German, South African and United Nations control for most of the 20th Century, but has been stable and independent since 1990. For that reason, we’ll see many of the cultural influences at work in this urban center.
Swakopmund has so many optional excursions to choose from, such as a flight along the Skeleton Coast and farther to the Himba people, or a jaunt into the moon landscape where you can see ancient rocks over a billion years old and the largest desert plants. You may also enjoy a day trip into the desert with quad bikes (the local name for ATVs) or a boat trip departing from neighboring Walvis Bay to see marine species such as pelicans, flamingos, cape fur seals, and Southern Right Whales. Our guide will certainly help make arrangements for you today if you would like, or you may prefer to rest and relax after a very busy week of hiking and biking.
Today we visit Spitzkoppe, an impressive granite mountain formation, to view the ancient rock paintings of the Khoisan (formerly referred to as the Bushmen). We’ll cycle and hike here and then head to our welcoming wilderness lodge, nestled among amazing rock formations.
We will marvel at the cracked earth of the Etosha Pan today. The surrounding savanna is home to huge herds of mammals and wildlife. We’ll check into our luxurious lodge and enjoy a game drive while in an open vehicle.
This morning we’ll take another game drive to see animals such as lions, giraffes, black rhinos, springboks, gemsboks, kudu, and many more antelope, as well as plenty of birdlife. Our afternoon is at leisure before joining up for a cozy dinner together.
Due to today being a long drive, we’ll stop for a while along the way. We have arranged a bicycle tour with a local wilderness lodge. After stretching our legs, we’ll hop back in our vehicle and finish our journey to our downtown hotel in Windhoek. Tonight we will certainly enjoy our farewell dinner.
We will transfer to the airport today, and those with late afternoon or evening flights may enjoy an optional midday trip to Katutura Township.
Price includes: Arrival and departure transfers between Windhoek International Airport and our lodging; hotel or luxury tented lodging for 9 nights plus camping for 2 nights; all breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners; Transportation between lodges in comfortable vehicles; Game drives and guided walks/bike tours with professional and knowledgeable local guides; Use of bicycles during any rides outlined in the itinerary; Complimentary bottled water in vehicles and during meals; Professional local guides accompanying the group; Professional HE Travel tour director (with minimum participation); All applicable lodging taxes and gratuities for baggage handling (where available); All park entry fees; Complimentary baggage tags. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Airfare to and from Windhoek International Airport; International departure taxes; Visas; Vaccinations or medications recommended by your physician prior to travel; 4 lunches and 3 dinners; Activities shown as “optional”; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, and telephone calls; Gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director.
Optional Tour Choices:
$1200 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom where available)
$70 Township Visit with a tour of the local social hub, the Katutura Market
Chartered Light Aircraft Tours: Variable Price dependent upon the number of Passengers who sign up. Please let us know your interest. The final price will be determined 30 days prior to the trip, and payment will be due for flights at that time.
Day 5: A one-hour flight from Sossusvlei touring the Forbidden Coast area south of Swakopmund in the area known as Lange Wand and Sesriem Canyon. The estimated maximum per-person price for this flight is $610, with the price decreasing as more people sign up for the flight.
Day 7: A two-hour flight from Swakopmund touring the Skeleton Coast to the north: Swakopmund, Rössing Mine, Spitzkoppe, Brandberg & Ugab River, Damaraland, Neapolitan lava flows, Cape Cross, Skeleton Coast, Shipwreck, Salt Pans & Swakopmund. The estimated maximum per-person price for this flight is $965, with the price decreasing as more people sign up for the flight.
“Of the many exotic locations I have visited, Namibia has given me the most lasting memories. I can still remember watching the Magellanic Clouds rising in the sky. I’ve never seen a more beautiful sky. I Absolutely loved seeing the Himba people for the first time. I’ve dreamed of seeing them since I was a small boy and reading about Africa in National Geographic. I highly recommend this tour. ” – Zachary Moses, Key West, FL (Director of Adventure Tour Development)
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts and ends in Windhoek, Namibia.
Some challenging desert hikes and bike rides are offered during this trip. Days may be very hot and certainly very dry. Proper fitness and attention to hydration are necessary to enjoy this trip.
We will spend 9 nights in lovely hotels or luxury tented lodging with private facilities. We will spend two nights sleeping under the stars on comfortably appointed cots. Bathroom and shower facilities will be available at our campsites.
According to the U.S. Department of State Travel website: “Bearers of U.S. passports who plan to visit Namibia for tourism for less than 90 days can obtain visas at the port of entry and do not need visas prior to entering the country.”
Because these requirements can change, please consult their website for the most up-to-date travel information for Namibia. If you are not an American citizen, please confirm your travel requirements with the Namibian embassy in your country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website lists detailed guidelines for travelers to Namibia. Their website advises “Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.”
HE Travel Tour Director: Tipping your HE Travel tour director is at your discretion. Rest assured that he or she works hard behind the scenes to ensure that your vacation is a wonderful, adventurous, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your HE Travel host is there to deal with any snags or hiccups so that you can enjoy your well-earned holiday. We suggest $5 to $10 per traveler per day depending on the level of service you receive.
Local Guides: $2 – $3 per guest per day
Hiking/Camping Crew: $4 – $5 per guest per day.
Restaurants: The customary tipping for waitstaff is 10-15% of the total. When dining independently, you can use that guideline. For included meals we share together, your HE Travel host will take care of the bill and tips, unless stated otherwise before the meal.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174