Day 8. The Namib Desert: a Walk Among Giants
Today, you take in the otherworldly beauty of the Namib Desert and have the opportunity to stand atop the biggest sand dunes in the world—immense, sculptural sand waves as dramatic and vast as the ocean. You’ve seen them in photographs, but nothing compares to real life. Later, as the sun begins to set, you have the chance to join a desert safari in open top vehicles. The natural beauty you see here is simply unforgettable.
Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge (or similar) (BD)
Day 9. Walvis Bay and Swakopmund
Today, you head back to the coast, this time to Walvis Bay (aka Whale Bay), a deepwater port city named for its historical abundance of southern right whales. Your tour guide advises you to look out for them as well as pink flamingos strutting along Walvis Bay Lagoon. Later, you continue your journey via air-conditioned bus to the coastal city of Swakopmund, famous for its unique examples of German colonial architecture.
Overnight: On board (BD)
Day 10. Spitzkoppe: Namibia's Most Famous Peak
You begin your day with a hearty breakfast, after which you continue your exploration of the Namib Desert. Today, you marvel at the immense, granite peak of the Spitzkoppe—known as Namibia’s Matterhorn. The ancient rock paintings you see here speak to the fascination this famous landmark has long held for humankind. Later, you encounter beaming smiles and friendly laughter at a school (during academic term) for local Damara children.
Overnight: On board (BLD)
Day 11. Etosha National Park: the Great White Place
The seemingly endless, shimmering white plain you stand on is the largest salt flat in Africa—the Etosha Pan. With the mineral crust crunching underfoot and the horizon going on forever, it’s easy to understand why this was named the Great White Place. You watch as elephants, giraffes and countless other wild animals congregate near watering holes while crossing the entire park by bus. If you’re lucky, you might even see the rare black rhino before sunset.
Overnight: Etosha Safari Lodge (or similar) (BD)
Day 12. A Day on Safari and Traditional Barbecue
Today is a safari day, and you jump into a jeep in the golden light of the morning. You set out in search of creatures of the feathered, furry and fanged kind in their natural habitats. Later, you return to your private train, stopping in the evening to enjoy a braai—a traditional African barbecue—alongside your train, beneath a fabulously starry sky.
Overnight: On board (BD)
Day 13. Windhoek and Katutura
This morning’s unique train route is a veritable safari. Your private train passes through game farms where giraffe, antelope and ostrich are often visible from your window. Soon, you arrive in the Namibian capital Windhoek, where you embark on a fun and informative city tour. Among the major sights of the day are the Christ Church—which combines neo-Gothic design with local African sandstone—and the Namibian parliament building. Later in the day, you visit the township of Katutura and a local market, before heading back to relax at your hotel. That evening, you enjoy a special dinner in celebration of your exceptional journey and to say farewell to your fellow travelers.
Overnight: AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino (or similar) (BLD)
Day 14. Farewell Africa!
After your last delicious breakfast in Africa, you get the shuttle to the airport for your flight home. Looking back on your rail adventure, you smile, remembering the amazing sights you’ve seen, feeling that you’ve become a true African explorer. (B)
(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner