top of page
IMG_9172.HEIC

NAMIB DESERT EXPEDITION

Join this unforgettable and transformational experience by crossing the oldest sand desert in the world

*** LADIES ONLY ***

11-20 NOV 2024

"I didn't think I was going to make it...
But now that I have conquered the Namib Desert
I know that I can achieve anything in life!"

IMG_9254.HEIC

Have you ever had a bucket-list that included travelling to some amazing places?

Would you like to go on a money-can't-buy experience?

Would you want to do something that's so unreal, you can't believe you're even considering it?

Would you like to spend an unforgettable time with likeminded women from all over the world?

Have you ever wanted to go on a safari and see giraffes, zebras, rhinos and the likes?

YES? THEN THIS EXPEDITION IS EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING FOR YOU!

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

DEINE BENEFITS

Die Coaching Retreat Reise in die Weite der Mongolei ist die perfekte Kombination aus unvergesslichen Erlebnissen, tiefen kulturellen Einblicken, atemberaubender landschaftlicher Schönheit und wirkungsvollem Coaching.

Hier geht es um dich und dein Leben!

 

Du wirst…

 

...dich auf eine Reise der Inspiration und Transformation begeben.

...Klarheit darüber erlangen, was dich wirklich glücklich macht und wie du dies erreichst.

...lernen, dir mit einfachen Schritten ein leichteres, zufriedeneres und erfolgreicheres Leben aufzubauen.

...die gegebenenfalls vorhandenen Sorgen und die Schwere des Alltags schrittweise verringern.

...realisieren, dass du Flügel hast und lernen, wie du diese ausbreiten kannst.

HOW IT STARTED...

My first trip to Namibia was in 2008. I instantly fell in love with the beauty and vastness of the countryside, the incredible cultural diversity, the deep traditions of the local tribes as well as the spectacular safari experiences. 

Over the years I have come back twelve times, first on my own, then with my partner, then more and more with international clients and guests.

 

I have organised photography safaris, 4x4 off-road expeditions, deep cultural encounters with the remote tribes of the Himba and San the as well as thrilling overnight desert drives. 

 

Never in my wildest dreams would I have considered to cross the mighty Namib Desert on foot!

Until my Singaporean friend and Co-Chair of WOAM called me and said: "Can you arrange a trip to Namibia for an international all female group?" "Of course, I'd love to!" Knowing my friend I asked how extreme she would like the tour to be? Jokingly, I added: "We could walk across the desert!" "That would be great!" was her reply...

In September 2023 we were the first all female team to cross the Namib Desert on foot: 17 women from 12 nationalities, 5 days of hiking, 120 kilometres!!! What an experience!

After my first post on social media my inbox flooded with messages along the lines of: "I want to join the next one!" "What next one?" I thought. As more and more excited requests came it I made plan: there will be another one in 2024. So here we are!

Join me and a group of women from around the world on the Namib Desert Expedition. But better be quick as there are only a few slots left. 

IMG_1372.JPG
IMG_8823.HEIC

SONJA PIONTEK

German BUNTE Magazin calls her a 'powerhouse of inspiration'.

Sonja Piontek is a bestselling author, esteemed executive coach, top 100 keynote speaker and founder of the award winning boutique travel agency Sonnenkind Pte Ltd. The dynamic German looks back on an international executive career with BMW and has lived in six countries. She left the corporate world in 2017 to properly spread her wings and pursue what she is most passionate about: organising money-can't-buy experiences and helping others unleash their potential so they can create what she calls a "living legacy".

„Namibia is one of my favourite countries in the world. I have come here twelve times and have even published a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC book on Namibia.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 2.58.07 PM.png
IMG_1208.JPG

WHY NAMIBIA AND WHY THE NAMIB DESERT? 

Namibia is one of the most amazing countries in the world.

 

Namibia is considered the safest country to visit in Africa.

The Namib Desert is the oldest sand desert in the world and one of the last almost untouched places on earth.

There is something incredibly powerful about being in a place as remote as the desert.

Crossing the Namib on foot is a true money-can't buy experience!

IMG_9256.HEIC

KARINE MOGE

Our expedition was magnificent and something quite powerful and unique.

IMG_9258.HEIC

TESTIMONIALS

IVY RUSSEL

didn't think I was going to make it... But now that I have conquered the Namib Desert I know that I can achieve anything in life!

IMG_3165.heic

AUDREY BRANDT

My expedition to Namibia with Sonja was one of the best trips of my life!  

WHAT TO EXPECT

The Namib Desert Expedition is unique in many ways and a true money-can't-buy experience!

On top of the opportunity to cross the world's oldest sand desert you will experience an African game drive safari, go on an exciting 4x4 off-road drive, see the picturesque historic town of Swakopmund and spend a day and a night with the ladies of Penduka. Penduka is a charity helping women in need and is located in Katatura - Windhoek's poorest township.

 

The trip has deliberately been curated like this to give you a full "Namibian experience" and let you see different aspects of this beautiful country.

IMG_4289.JPG

DAY 1 - SAFARI LODGE 

  • Early morning arrival at Windhoek International Airport

  • Scenic drive to the impressive Okapuka Safari Lodge

  • Settle into your spacious safari cottages

  • Enjoy a fresh salad on the terrace as ostriches roam by

  • During our private afternoon safari game drive we will see giraffe, rhino, oryx, zebra, springbok and many more antelopes 

  • First joint sundowner drinks in the bush as the African sun sets

  • Welcome dinner and briefing at Okapuka Safari Lodge

  • Overnight at Okapuka Safari Lodge

DAY 2 - LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN

  • As the bush awakens we slowly start our second day in Africa

  • After a hearty breakfast we say goodbye to Okapuka and head south on a scenic drive towards the desert

  • For the first night of our expedition we will camp on the shores of the dry riverbed of the Kuiseb river

  • It is here that we meet the entire team that will be supporting us during our desert crossing, including the desert professionals, the medic as well as the phenomenal kitchen crew

  • You will be surprised how comfortable your mattress and sleeping bag are as you lie down in your cosy tent

20230910_184357.jpg
DSC09399_edited.jpg

DAY 3 - FIRST DAY IN THE DESERT

  • Day one of our desert crossing starts with a healthy breakfast to prepare us for the day

  • The first kilometres in the desert are especially exciting as we find our rhythm, check our gear and get to know better our travel companions

  • As we are go deeper into the desert we start to understand the magnitude of the desert, it's vastness and prehistoric beauty

  • En route we have two "pit stops" every day to replenish, eat, drink and have a laugh with the support team

  • It is here that we check in with the medic to make sure we are fine - after all, in this extreme terrain it all comes down to prevention

  • After an eventful first day we are thrilled about the freshly cooked dinner and the stunning location of our camp 

DAY 4 - SECOND DAY IN THE DESERT

  • We proceed further into the Namib desert, deeper into the sea of sands and climb our first big dunes

  • The vastness of this place is as impressive as it's solitude, the lack of noise as unreal as the regular change in scenery

  • We are taken by so many different things...

  • During our two stops we replenish on electrolytes, snacks and fruits and have a chat with the support team that prepares these stops and our camp but is otherwise nowhere to be seen during the day

  • As we finish our hike another stunning camp location awaits us

  • We take our dinner by the bonfire before we retreat under a million stars

IMG_9188_edited.jpg
IMG_9100.HEIC

DAY 5 - THIRD DAY IN THE DESERT

  • Another unique day of crossing one of the harshest yet most spectacular places on earth awaits us as we head further west towards the Atlantic Ocean's coast

  • Over and over again we witness the tiniest signs of life in this seemingly inhospitable habitat - from miniscule flowers to beatles or lizards

  • As we reach tonight's camp, we are at awe with the petrified rock formations that shine in the golden light of the setting afternoon sun

  • The resident desert fox curiously explores our group and the camp - she is barely afraid as we are probably the first guests to ever stay at her "home"

DAY 6 - FOURTH DAY IN THE DESERT

  • On we go on our epic quest to cross the oldest sand desert in the world

  • Navigating the vast desert and finding the best path across the dunes has almost become a routine, yet something that is carefully monitored as a team, to ensure we safely get to the next stop or the final destination of each day

  • As we reach our camp for the night it becomes clear that we have become the biggest fans of our chefs who spoil us with the most incredible dishes after a long day's hike 

IMG_2690.HEIC
IMG_9417.HEIC

DAY 7 - ARRIVAL AT THE ATLANTIC COAST

  • Our goal was to cross the Namib and make it to the place where two giants meet and the roaring Atlantic Ocean crashed into the mighty Namib Desert 

  • Today is a long walk and the salty plains seem to drag on for eternity

  • At some stage however, we make out the silhouette of a boat - the Eduard Bohlen - a shipwreck that has become a symbol of the harsh, unforgiving nature of the desert and the Skeleton Coast

  • A huge celebration starts as we realise that we have all made it safely across the oldest sand desert in the world

  • Our last camp is right on the beach 

DAY 8 - OFFROAD ADVENTURE TO SWAKOPMUND

  • Our last day in the desert is quite an adventure, too

  • In order to get back to civilisation we take a several hour long 4x4 drive along the Atlantic coast, through the endless sea of sands and across massive dunes

  • Along the drive we encounter colonies of seals, flocks of flamingoes, pelicans and possibly even oryx and other desert antelopes

  • The popular ocean resort of Swakopmund welcomes us with cafés, local markets and lovely craft shops 

  • We celebrate our success in one of the town's famous restaurants before we withdraw into our comfy beds

IMG_2942_edited.jpg
6b886db5-b080-4cdd-923b-afba97c5e5f0.jpg

DAY 9 - SUPPORTING THE TOWNSHIP WOMEN 

  • Over the past days we have received so much that it is now time to give back

  • Instead of staying in another fancy safari lodge near the capital Windhoek we head to the township of Katatura, one of the country's poorest settlement and stay at the women's initiative Penduka

  • The ladies welcome us with open arms and new friendships are formed as we dive deep into their world

  • We hand over the many gifts we brought along (clothing, stationary, toys, old cellphones, etc) and tears flood every eye

  • Our last night in Namibia is filled with heartfelt hugs, deep gratitude and never ending smiles

DAY 10 - FAREWELL 

  • It is time to say our farewells to an amazing country, new friends from around the world and a cracker team

  • We are going to take home from this expedition: wonderful new friends, an incredible feeling of achievement, unforgettable memories, once in a lifetime experiences, deep gratitude, million dollar shots and the most awesome stories to be shared

Screenshot 2024-01-05 at 5.03_edited.jpg

LET'S HAVE THE TOILET TALK... AND MORE

"These have to be the coolest toilets I have ever used on any trip. A proper loo with a view!"

There is no need to "rough it", so we bring camping toilets and set them up near our camps.

There is also no need to sleep on thin yoga mats and wake up cold, miserable and with a stiff back. That's why we bring comfortable mattresses, warm sleeping bags and pillows so you rest well!

And last but not least, there is no need to have crap food in the desert, that's why we bring a spectacular kitchen crew that prepares awesome fresh meals, including vegan, gluten free options, etc.  

IMG_8894_edited.png

HOW TOUGH IS IT?

Most people imagine a desert crossing to be incredibly tough.... It's actually not as tough as it might sound. You do obviously need to have a certain level of base fitness, but you don't need to be a beast. There are moments that are challenging (mentally as well as physically, like in the video) but overall it is simply rewarding, fun and do-able!

THIS EXPEDITION IS FOR YOU IF...

  • You want to go on a true bucket list experience

  • You are excited about diving deep into unknown territory

  • You are keen to do something physical 

  • You are excited about going on this expedition with likeminded ladies from all over the world

  • You want to see the prehistoric beauty of the Namib Desert first hand

  • You want to see rhino, zebra or giraffe

  • You are at a point in your life where you say: now is my turn!

IMG_2690.HEIC

THIS EXPEDITION IS NOT FOR YOU IF...

  • You are totally unfit and hate to move

  • You don't want to compromise on having 24/7 social media access

  • You expect a super luxurious setup in the vastness of the Namib Desert

  • You are not adventurous

  • You don't like people

  • You are a bore...

IMG_5851.heic
IMG_1216.JPG

THIS IS WHAT YOU GET

Included in the expedition price

  • Several preparation sessions online before the start of the expedition

  • Detailed expedition packing list and recommendation for gear

  • This tour will personally be hosted by Sonja Piontek 

  • Sonja will be supported by Namibia's leading desert professionals who know the Namib better than anyone else

  • Also joining us on this expedition will be one of Namibia's most experienced desert medics with years of work in and around the Namib

  • Accommodation is in twin rooms for the first and the last two nights and single tents for better comfort while in the desert

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and heaps of snacks (special dietary requests like allergies, intolerances, vegetarian, vegan, etc. can be catered for despite the fact that we are deep in the Namib desert)

  • Water, soft drinks, juices, coffee, tea

  • All land transportation during the tour including airport shuttles

  • Exclusive program including a safari game drive and overnight stay in one of Namibia's leading safari lodges, the desert expedition with the most experienced team the country has to offer, single tents with comfortable mattresses, daily permits for being allowed in the desert, warm sleeping bags and pillows to ensure proper sleep at night, camping toilets with a stellar view, a thrilling 4x4 day excursion with off-road cars to get back out of the desert, a lovely stay in Swakopmund and last but not least the visit at Penduka, getting to know and supporting the ladies in the foundation in the country's poorest township

  • A personalised certificate stating your achievement

Not included in the tour price

  • Flight to and from Windhoek 

  • Insurances 

  • Visa (if needed)

  • Alcoholic drinks, tips, souvenirs, etc

  • Your personal desert gear like poles, drink bladder, electrolytes, etc.

  • The gifts you are going to bring for the ladies at Penduka

Tour price

  • EARLY BIRD (until 31st March 2024)                         5800 EUR 

  • Normal tour price (from 1st April 2024)                    7800 EUR

FAQs

How tough is it going to be?

You might ask yourself: can I do it? Crossing the desert will be physical and at times a mental and physical challenge, but it is definitely do-able as long as you are semi fit. You clearly don't have to be a beast as we will take it slowly, and take one step at a time. It isn't a race!

What will temperatures be like?

November is one of the best months to cross the desert as it is not too hot during the days. Temperatures might go up to the high thirties during noon times but due to the arid climate it doesn't actually feel too bad. At nights it can however get rather cold in the desert, even down to single degree temperatures, so warm clothing is recommended. The cold nights make for beautifully crisp air in the mornings and comfortable starts into the days.

Will it be safe?

We want this expedition to be safe, just as much as you. We are therefore working with the most experiences local professionals with decades of experience in the desert. Accompanying this tour will also be a local medic with years of experience up her sleeve, as in the desert it is all about prevention (blisters, dehydration, heat stroke) - we have not had a single issue in the past and clearly want to keep it this way. 

Will I need a visa?

Most nationalities do not need a visa to enter Namibia or can easily get a visa on arrival at the airport in Windhoek. To be on the safe side, please check the following website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Namibia

When exactly and where does the tour start and end?

The tour starts in the morning of 11 November 2024 and ends after breakfast on 20 November 2024. In order to not miss the safari game drive, you should arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek no later than noon on 11 November. 

Will we have cellphone coverage and wifi?

The beauty of the expedition is that during the time in the desert you will not have any connection! We will of course carry a satellite phone in case of emergencies.

What if...?

We have an experienced medic in the team, during the walks we carry radios, the medic is never far from us. We also carry a satellite phone and if for whatever reason you cannot continue to walk, you can go in one of the support vehicles.

Why is the tour price relatively high?

It is quite a bit of money, but it isn't actually a lot for what you get. First of all, Namibia is a relatively expensive country. Secondly we have an extensive program before and after the actual expedition including a stay at one of Namibia's leading safari lodges, a full day off-road excursion to get back out of the desert, a stay in the quaint town of Swakopmund as well as the experience of spending the night in the women's initiative "Penduka". Most importantly however, organising a safe (!!) and high level expedition in one of the harshest and most remote areas of this planet is a massive undertaking and logistical quest. Compromising on experience and safety is not an option for us!

 

By when shall I make my booking?

The sooner the better as many slots are already taken and we fill slots on a first come, first serve basis. Also the Early Bird rate ends on 31 March 2024.

 

Can I bring my friend(s)?

Most definitely yes! During the Expedition in 2023 some BFFs joined and it was wonderful to be able to experience something as spectacular as this together. 

Can I bring my children?

If they are over 16 and girls then most definitely yes.

 

How can I secure my slot(s)?

Simply click on the bottom below and register via the online registration form.

 

I have more questions...

No problem, just send a message to info@sonjapiontek.com and we will get in touch.

What are the next steps?

Secure your slot and get ready to go on this incredible Namib Desert Expedition.

IMG_9354.HEIC
bottom of page