Ultimate Safaris is a Namibian owner-managed Conservation Travel company dedicated to the protection, conservation and sustainability of some of the most pristine and delicate wilderness areas on earth. Our superlative team of specialists works to create artfully crafted itineraries and meticulously organized safaris. These are delivered with professionalism and enthusiasm to our international trade partners who are assured of personal attention and consideration of their every need.
Our Naturalist Guides are the most important ingredient in our life enriching journeys. We hear the same praise from guests about our expert guides time and again: “Ultimate guides are out of this world!” We developed the best full time guiding team in Namibia, striving to match the perfect guide to each safari, thus ensuring out of this world experiences.
Hand crafted to our specifications, the quality of our vehicles is something we take very seriously and are known for. Terrain-appropriate vehicles that are safe, comfortable and reliable are of paramount importance and, along with our rigid policy for regular renewal of safari vehicles, guests are assured of traveling in the very best vehicles on offer in Namibia.
Unique among safari destinations, Namibia offers an experience like no other. Surreal, ever-changing landscapes, ephemeral rivers, desert-adapted wildlife and some of the darkest skies on earth combine to offer unforgettable experiences. Our Journeysmiths craft unique and incredible safaris for travelers, while our Naturalist Guides unveil Namibia’s best for every visitor.
Why Ultimate Safaris
We are a DMC committed to providing world-class experiences for sophisticated and discerning travelers, offering great attention to detail in order to maintain the highest standards when planning and organizing safaris while still delivering excellent value for money. Our aim is to provide safaris that are educational, explorative, fun, insightful, and ultimately life enriching, with benefit for the places and people that we visit as well as for the guests we take there. Read More
It has always been our top priority to recruit and develop the best full time guiding team in Namibia, striving to match the ‘perfect guide’ to any given safari and thus ensuring an out of this world experience for every guest. Our guides are all Namibian, and well known throughout the country; some of them are published writers and photographers, some are lecturers, but all are recognized Namibian personalities.
Knowledge, experience and character can be taken for granted, whilst charisma, passion and motivation combine with these traits to create the perfect guides – Ultimate guides. These are personable, engaging, caring and have a passion for travel and the world around them, thus enriching the lives of our guests as well as the people we take them to visit.
Our product range in Namibia is unparalleled. We book properties of all kinds throughout the country, from basic to luxury. Additionally, we offer a few Ultimate-created unique, award-winning lodges and camps in some of Namibia’s most incredible wilderness areas, as well as a comfortable and charming boutique guest house in the Windhoek suburbs.
For a comprehensive list of why you should consider Ultimate Safaris as your partner in Namibia, visit this page.
Our camps are designed to offer a true “back to nature” experience with the emphasis being on the experiential aspect of safaris. We have recognised a strong desire in many travellers to go back to the original safari concept which allowed guests to touch, smell, feel and experience the wild, with their feet firmly in the dust. This ultimate connection with the earth, culture and wildlife in a very up-close and personal way gives an experience that is exclusive in the real sense of the word, as well as being very much away from the pressures of ‘normal’ life!
Onduli Ridge, named after the resident giraffe of the area, is built at the base of two south facing granite outcrops which are connected by a ridge. Located i nthe heart of Damaraland, this 6-suite camp exudes character and meticulous attention to detail; large rooms and libraries, rain showers, infinity pool, air-conditioned beds, magnificent views, exceptional activities and delicious food.
Learn more about Onduli Ridge here
Onduli Ridge Factsheet
Onduli Ridge high-resolution photos (log-in to Ultimate agent zone required)
Onduli Ridge video
Camp Sossus is built in a naturally formed granite amphitheatre within striking distance of Sossusvlei. The 8-tent camp is solar-powered and built with natural stone walls, shaded by roofs built from recycled oil drums and features comfy interiors and a cool pool for a dip!
Learn more about Camp Sossus here
Camp Sossus Fact Sheet
Camp Sossus high-resolution photos
Camp Sossus video
Huab Under Canvas
Nestled in a grove of mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the //Huab River in Damaraland, //Huab Under Canvas features tents on raised mobile platforms with basic infrastructure such as single beds and solar power, plus and comforts like flush toilets and bucket showers. It is exclusive-use only and best sold for groups of 4+.
Learn more about Huab Under Canvas here
Huab Under Canvas Fact Sheet
Huab Under Canvas high-resolution photos (log-in to Ultimate agent zone required)
Huab Under Canvas video
The Nest @ Sossus
The three suite Nest @ Sossus was designed using the unique structure of a sociable weaver nest as inspiration and it took eight years, including a three-year build, to bring this project to fruition, resulting in one of Namibia’s most extraordinary private villas in terms of both design and décor. Learn more about The Nest @ Sossus.
The Nest Fact Sheet
The Nest high-resolution photos (log-in to Ultimate agent zone required)
The Nest video
Located in Windhoek just ten minutes from the center of town, guests are assured a relaxing stay with friendly and caring service. Communal areas consist of a large lounge, indoor/outdoor dining and a pool. Rooms are very comfortable and early/late departures are accommodated. Learn more about Galton House here.
Galton House Fact Sheet
Galton House high-resolution photos (log-in to Ultimate agent zone required)
Galton House video
Meet Tristan and the Ultimate Safaris team
Tristan Cowley – Director and co-founder
Tristan founded Tou Safaris in 2003, specializing in naturalist guided safaris in Namibia. In 2008 Tou Safaris merged with another like-minded safari company to form Ultimate Safaris, which has grown to be one of Namibia’s most renowned naturalist and specialist guiding safari companies. Ultimate Safaris has grown to a team of 70 staff, and Tristan spends most of his time running operations and marketing, which also involves extensive travel. He still finds time to exercise his extensive guiding experience with the occasional specialist or specific repeat groups. Tristan served as the chairman of TASA (Tour and Safari Association of Namibia), vice chairman of NATH (Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality), on the executive council of FENATA (Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations) and the advisory council to the school of natural resource management at the University of Technology in Namibia.Read More
Martin Webb Bowen – Director and co-founder
Martin came to Namibia from Kenya in 1993 to run the Namibian end of a British safari operation, which quickly developed into a Namibian safari company called SandyAcre Safaris. Initially focused on providing private guided safaris for UK visitors, SandyAcre soon spread into other markets such as the USA, Switzerland, France, Spain and Australia. SandyAcre also acted as a film services support company, and as a sub-contractor for the BBC. SandyAcre Safaris was incorporated into the newly formed Ultimate Safaris in 2008, and Martin now oversees the running of the new company in partnership with Tristan. At various times, they have filled most of the executive positions in private sector tourism associations, as well as acting as trustees for the non-profit Conservation Travel Foundation, which works to assist rural development and conservation initiatives in the areas where Ultimate is most active.
Birgit Bekker – Sales Director
Birgit is a fourth generation Namibian and has worked in tourism for nearly two decades. She has traveled to more than 400 lodges, camps and hotel in the country, and is one of the most passionate Namibians in the industry. She has enjoyed many safaris to the Okavango Delta, gotten soaked by the Victoria Falls and regularly travels to South Africa for work and pleasure. She has also ventured to the UK, Berlin, Iceland and many of the big cities of the US; and while she enjoys big city vibes, she finds rejuvenation in Namibia. The ephemeral river systems, the purple pink colors of the Damaraland and especially the wild isolation of the Kunene region are the places she likes to recharge. She has served on the TASA board for the past three years and is fiercely committed to continuously promote Namibia as a safe, unique and pioneering tourism destination.
Colleen Bleach – North America Journeysmith
From a young age Colleen had an interest in wildlife and travel, especially birding and discovering the little things. Add to this, she lives in a perfect country to develop her passion for photography (which is also why the NamibRand Nature Reserve is her favorite spot in Namibia – this magical place makes it impossible to take a soulless photo). Namibian born, she started her tourism career in South Africa with 3 years in retail travel and then worked for over 13 years at &Beyond, 5 of which were at a lodge in the Sabi Sands. She moved back to Namibia in 2012 and has been with Ultimate since February 2013, where she continues to indulge in her passion for the bush and work with people who share that interest. One of her favorite quotes: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”
Anna Povanhu – North America Journeysmith
Born in Angola, Anna was raised in the former eastern part of Germany. When she flew for the first time in her life on the life-changing journey moving from Angola to Germany as a child, she was inspired by the air hostesses and wanted to be one when she grew up. And her dream came true in 2004 when she was recruited by Air Namibia. During her 5 years of flying with the airline she traveled to Germany, the UK, Angola, Ghana and South Africa. Anna then changed her career direction and became a travel consultant, determined to continue her passion for travel and taking the opportunity to explore her home. She has become a specialist in all Namibian safaris, including designing and planning self-drives, guided and fly in safaris for FIT’s and small groups.
To get to know the Ultimate Safaris guiding team, visit their website.
Community and Conservation
Ultimate Safaris is privileged to be operating in some of the most pristine and delicate wilderness areas on earth. We are dedicated to the protection and conservation of these areas and to the improvement of the quality of life of the communities who are living in, or on the borders of, these unique areas. We believe that the future survival of the environment and the natural inhabitants of these regions lies in the hands of these communities, and that this makes them pivotal in the custodianship of their surroundings. Read More
- Ultimate’s Conservation Travel Foundation focuses on forming and strengthening links between responsible conservation travelers and Namibia’s cultural and natural heritage stakeholders, in an effort towards preservation. The link between travel, conservation and sustainable development enhances the experiences of guests by creating more meaningful and authentic cultural encounters through learning, sharing and giving something back.
- The Foundation is a legally registered foundation where 100% of funds raised are invested in CTF-approved projects. We have set a benchmark for sincere, ethical and transparent socially responsible investment. The Foundation feels that the coalition of funds has a much larger impact on any project or area than smaller donations coming from a variety of different avenues. The Foundation focuses all of its funds to make a difference in the larger scale.
Embarking on a safari with Ultimate Safaris means that our guests, jointly with Ultimate Safaris, give tangible assistance to the Namibian people and their environment in their efforts to achieve economic viability without doing harm to natural habitats and wildlife, so as to utilize both on a sustainable basis for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
Travel Trade Resources
Ultimate Safaris Sample Itineraries (login required)
Ultimate Safaris Photos and Videos
Ultimate Safaris Lodge + Camp Fact Sheets
Ultimate Safaris Pre-Departure Information
Ultimate Safaris Safari Guides + Vehicles
Ultimate Safaris COVID Protocols + Sanitary Measures
Ultimate Safaris Booking Terms + Conditions