Highlights: Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon, Luderitz, Kolmanskop, Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay area, Damaraland, Etosha National Park, Waterberg.
Day 1 Windhoek
Upon your arrival at the international airport you will pick up your vehicle at the kiosk and proceed to Windhoek the capital city of Namibia. There after you will travel through mountains to Windhoek the capital city of Namibia where your accommodation has been reserved for you on your behalf. You will enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants or at your hotel. Windhoek is often described as a city with a ‘continental atmosphere. This can be described to its architecture-historical buildings dating back to German colonial rule – as well as to its cuisine, culture, dress codes and educational institutions. At the same time Windhoek has the color, sounds and tempo of a modern African city. Pavement displays of African drums and woodcarvings from the north contrast with elegant shops offering sophisticated Swakara garments and Namibia gemstone set in individually designed pieces of jewellery. While some display clothing, silver and glassware imported from Europe, others stock casual and colorful garments from West Africa.
Day 2 Kalahari Desert
This morning after breakfast you will be travelling to the Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari is not a true desert as it receives too much rain, but it is actually a fossil desert. So do not expect to find the tall sand dunes associated with Sossusvlei’s, the landscape is more one of golden grass and small red dunes. You will have dinner at you lodge where you will spend the night. The Kalahari Desert – or Kgalagadi, as it is known in Botswana – stretches across 7 countries – Botswana, Zambia, the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It’s coverage in Namibia is called a ‘desert’ principally because it’s porous, sandy soils cannot retain surface water, but in some areas annual rainfall can be as high as 250mm, which accounts for the luxuriant grass cover during good years The best known of the Kalahari’s inhabitants are the San Bushmen, numbering only a few thousand and squeezed into inhospitable pieces of land, where they are often exploited as cheap farm labour. The term ‘Bushmen’ is best known referring to nomadic hunter-gather people, also called ‘Basarwa’, (in Botswana) and ‘San’ (in Namibia and South Africa.) The words San means ‘foragers’ and in modern times, (unfairly) conjure up negative connotations of backwardness, low esteem, alcoholism and even banditry But the Bushmen are a proud people, and are keen to demonstrate their origins and knowledge of living in the bushveld. They still retain some specific cultural and linguistic characteristics such as the very interesting and unique ‘click’ language, and listening to is a wonderful experience in itself. Five types of click sounds are known to exist, with a certain ‘sucking action of the tongue’ being responsible for the noise. Each has a different position of the tongue, and combined with the way the air is released, results in different sounds.
Day 3 Fish River Canyon
Today after breakfast you will be driving Deep South to the fish River Canyon where you accommodation for the following two nights is situated. The fish river canyon is the second-largest natural canyon in the world. Set in a harsh, stony plain, dotted with drought-resistant succulent such as the distinctive quiver tree or kokerboom, aloe dichotoma, and Euphorbia Gregaria, the canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon that took 100 of millions of years to evolve. While is full length is 160 km – the width is up to 27 km and deep to 550 m – its most spectacular section is the 56-km stretch between the northernmost and southern most viewpoints. Because the river flows intermittently there is always water in some of the pools except in very dry years. Containing small and largemouth yellowfish, sharptooth catfish tilapia and common carp the pools are also frequented with the water monitor or leguan. Baboon, rock hyrax, ground squirrel and klipspringer are often seen in the canon while the presence of leopard and mountain zebra is indicated by tracks at waterholes.
Day 4 Fish River Canyon
Today after breakfast you can visit the Fish river canyon and in the afternoon you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia, but its flow now is a puny trickle compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length in ages past. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants such as succulents. The river flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer; and when it ceases to flow it becomes a chain of long narrow pools on the sandy rock-strewn floor of the chasm.
Day 5 Luderitz
Today after breakfast you will be travelling to Luderitz where your accommodation has been reserved for you on your behalf. Luderitz was initially referred to as Agra Pequena, meaning little Bay, by the Portuguese, whose navigator Bartolomeu Diaz erected a stone cross on Dias Point on 25 July, 1488. Heinrich Vogelslang, agent of the German merchant from Brement, Adolf Luderitz, landed at Angra Pequena on 9th April, 1988, to establish a trading station. Following the negotiation with the Khoekoe chief, Josef Fredericks from Bethanie, he purchases the land within an 8 km radius of Angra Pequena. In April 1884 this lad became part of the Protectorate of the German Empire, making the beginning of German colonial control in Namibia, referred o then as Deutsch-Suidwest-africa Lüderitz is renowned for its old-world charm and distinctly German colonial architecture. Set around the bay with their gables winding stairs, verandas, turrets and bay and bow windows, buildings have a unique character all of their own. One of the most striking is Goerkehause built in 1909on the slope of Diamond Mountain. Dinner can be enjoyed at one of the local restaurants.
Day 6 Helmeringhausen
This morning after breakfast you will be travelling to Helmeringhausen where your accommodation for the night is situated at Hammerstein lodge. Helmeringhausen is a settlement in southern Namibia in the Berseba Constituency in the Karas Region. It is located 200 km northeast of Lüderitz and 500 km south of Windhoek on the crossing of the national roads C14 (Goageb – Walvis Bay) and C13 (Rosh Pinah – Helmeringhausen), and the road D414 (Aus – Mariental). Helmeringhausen was founded as a farm by a member of the Schutztruppe, the colonial armed force of Imperial Germany.
Day 7 Sossusvlei Region
This morning after breakfast you will travel to Sossusvlei where your accommodation for the two nights has been reserved for you. Many people say that no part of the desert is visually more stunning than Sossusvlei with its monumental high dunes. The gigantic star –shaped mountains of sand – one of the largest was measured from the base to be 325 m high – are a sough-after topic for artists and photographers. Sossusvlei’s mountainous dunes lie at the end of an erosional trough formed by the Tsauchab River. They are shaped by strong multi-dimensional winds, primarily the southwester, and the three to five sinuous crests, which meet at the highest point to give them the star shape. Dinner will be served at the hotel
Day 8 Sossusvlei Region
This morning after breakfast you can visit the Dead Vlei. Dead Vlei is an old salt pan named for its eery dead appearance in the Namib Desert which had no water since the river changed its course. The old acacias died 500 years ago, but as there is no humidly in this place, they did not rotten, forming a dead forest. In the late afternoon you will visit then Sesriem Canyon, Walking through the canyon takes you on a journey back to 10-20 million years ago, when sedimentary layers of gravel and sand were deposited and cemented together by lime. The ledges are now inhabited by pigeons, raucous pied crows and chattering starlings. But look a little higher and you might see a lanner falcon or the soaring spread of a lappet faced vulture with a wingspan of 2.6m.
Day 9 Walvis Bay
This morning you will travel through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyon, you can visit the Vogelfederberg before travelling to the coastal town of Swakopmund where your accommodation for the night has been reserved for you. Swakopmund is much loved by Namibians as a welcome respite from the heat of the interior. It is also popular amongst visitors because of its old-world charm and relaxed atmosphere. Founded in 1982 during German colonial, it served as the territory’s main harbor for many years. Today this quaint desert town, hedged by desert and sea, is enhanced by lush green lawns, palm trees and carefully tended public gardens. It has a wide choice of hotels, pensions and restaurants, and several coffee shops. The coast with its desert hinterland offers many options, both for adventure and for relaxation. Dinner can be served at a one of the many local restaurants that Walvis Bay has to offer.
Day 10 Walvis Bay
This morning after breakfast you can take part in one of the many activities that are offered in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay area. These activities ranges from dolphin cruises, quad bikes, sand boarding, and sandwich harbor tour and paragliding; thereafter you can spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 11 Damaraland
This morning after breakfast you will travel further north, along huge lichen fields to Cape Cross, a fur of seal reserve where at times over 80 000 animals frolic in the waves of the Atlantic. Thereafter you will continue via the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, into the Damaraland. Thereafter you continue your journey into the heart of Damaraland. Damaraland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, a huge, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region that offers the more travelers a more adventurous challenge. Here there are prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Towards the west, the geography changes dramatically with endless sandy wastes, that incredibly are able to sustain small, but wide-ranging, populations of desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, ostrich and springbok. These animals have adapted their lifestyles to survive the harshness of the sun-blistered, almost waterless desert spaces. Elephant move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to 70km in a day in search of food and water and unusually, do not destroy trees in their quest for food.
Day 12 Palmwag Concession
Today after breakfast you will be travelling to Palmwag concession. Palmwag is a paradise on the Uniab River in northwest Damaraland – a vacation opportunity with a difference. Waving palms whispering in the wind, spectacular surroundings which harbour the famous desert elephant, the rare black rhino, giraffe, zebra, gemsbok and many other wild animal species, sunsets to dream of – this is Palmwag Lodge, one of Namibia’s oldest and most popular tourist rendezvous. The lodge offers 30 beds in 2-3-bed thatched bungalows, and 10 beds in luxury en-suite tents, 8-bed family unit (child friendly), a fully licensed restaurant, swimming pool under shady palms, and a very cozy “pool bar” and lapa. Morning and afternoon game drives are offered daily. The well laid-out hiking trails let you enjoy and discover the neighbouring nature. With early booking, we offer guided full day excursions as well as overnight safaris through the breathtaking landscapes of the Damaraland.
Day 13 Kaokoland
Today after breakfast you will travel to kaokoland in the Kunene region, known as the home to the Himba people who have kept their ethnic individuality and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoland and also home to the desert Elephant as they adapt successfully to life in arid areas. The Himba people are semi-nomadic people who still live and dress according to ancient customs and traditions, and they treck from one watering place to the next. With the Tjimba and other Herero people who inhabit Kaokoland, the traditional name of Namibia’s remote northern-western Kunene region, they are informally referred to as the Kaokovelders. The Himba live in scattered settlements throughout the region. Their homes are simple coned-shaped structures made of saplings bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The Himba are tall, slender and statuesque people, renowned for their beauty and photogenic qualities.
Day 14 Etosha National Park
This morning after breakfast you can visit the Twyfelfontein Rock engravings. The name means ”Doubtful fountain” as was given by local farmer who was in doubts that a spring which existed in the area can support cattle for a long enough time. Twyfelfontein is the largest known concentration of Stone Age petro glyphs in our country. Although the area was declared a national monument in 1952 some engravings were damaged and even removed. There are approximately 2 500 engravings around Twyfelfontein. The age of engravings has not been determined precisely but there is evidence that area was occupied as early as 6 000 years ago. You can also visit the Burnt Mountain, Petrified Forest and the Organ Pipes, all geological phenomena depicting the creation and evaluation of landmasses. There After you will travel to Etosha National Park where your accommodation for the night has been reserved for you on your behalf. Dinner will be enjoyed at the lodge.
Day 15 Etosha National Park
This morning after breakfast you will be travelling to Halali camp where your accommodation for the night has been reserved for you on your behalf. Halali is strategically located halfway between Okaukuejo and Namutoni in Namibia’s Etosha National Park. It is surrounded by some of the most popular water holes in the Park. The resorts name, of German origin, is derived from the bugle call made to announce the end of a hunt. Halali has a secluded, scenic, flood-lit waterhole. Namutoni and Okaukuejo’s waterholes are situated in the midst of the accommodation areas. At Halali, the waterhole is a short walk from the camp. The major benefit here is that you will not be disturbed or distracted when viewing the abundant game.
Day 16 Etosha National Park
Today after breakfast you will travel to the eastern part of the park which is more vegetated. Namutoni is situated on the eastern side of Etosha pan, just inside the von Lindequist entrance to Etosha National Park. It is an improbably beautiful Beau Geste-style fort situated in an area dotted with graceful makalani palms, Hyphaene petersiana. It derives its name from the old German fort around which it is built and it overlooks the King Nehale waterhole. The presence of this fort undoubtedly gives Namutoni more character than the other rest camps inside the park. It is also the closest rest camp to the picturesque Fischer’s Pan, so expect great concentrations of water birds around here when it’s wet – including a breeding colony of flamingos. Namutoni Camp consist bush chalets and double rooms. All rooms have en-suite facilities of a bath and shower, a toilet, mini-bar, air-conditioning and a tea/coffee station. Mosquito nets are fitted to the front and back doors.
Day 17 Waterberg Plateau
Today you proceed down south to the Otjiwarongo area, your destination being the Waterberg Plateau Park where you will spend the night. Waterberg was the site of one of the major turning points in Namibia’s History. The Waterberg Plateau Park is ecologically diverse and rich and has over 200 different species of bird and some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain. Geologically, the oldest rock stratum is over 850 million years old and dinosaurs tracks were left there some 200 million years ago. The first human inhabitants were the San people, who left rock engravings believed to be several thousand years old. This site is also home to one of the major turning point in Namibian History. It was here, on the foothills, that the Herero people lost their last and greatest battle against the German Colonial forces at the beginning of the century. The Herero were forced to retreat from the Waterberg and headed eastward to British Betchuanaland.
Day 18 Windhoek
This morning after breakfast you will be travelling back to Windhoek where you will be dropped off at the airport depending on the time of your departure flight.
Pelican Point Tour
Experience the 40km drive to Pelican Point across the oceans’ edge of the Namib Desert. Here we start kayaking past the lighthouse, around Pelican Point to the seal colonies.
Excellent bird viewing is available, delightful seals, and Heavyside Dolphins come to play around your kayak.
• Duration : 5-6 hours (Kayaking 2 – 2.5 hours)
• Departure time: 07.30 am. This early start is to allow for the fact that the wind in Walvis Bay tends to start to increase during the late morning early afternoon and an early start allows for maximum kayaking time.
• Kayaks: Single and double seater
• Minimum persons 2
• Maximum persons 12
• No prior kayaking experience required
Refreshments provided : Tea, coffee & brötchens NAMIBIA – ACTIVITIES
A 50km scenic 4×4 drive takes you to one of the most photogenic places in Namibia. A place with red beaches and waves running up dunes depending on the tide. On windy days, the sand plays patterns on the dunes and during late afternoons the shadows change it to one of the seven natural wonders on earth. Sandwich Harbour is a natural bay that has awed and inspired many a visitor and traveller. With its rolling dunes falling into the ocean and the large lagoon, this unspoiled bay is a haven for birds and marine life, while creating the most amazing feeling of grandeur and beauty in such a stark environment. The bay also has a very interesting history when Namibia was still known as South-West Africa and a German Colony, but that we will share with you when you join us on a visit to Sandwhich Harbour. Enjoy lunch with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer on top of a dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The secret is peace, tranquillity and timelessness.
What to see on the route:
We depart from the Walvis Bay at 8h30 and our first stop is the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a Ramsar site with an abundance of bird life, known for its big population of Flamingos. Your guide will point out the different birds. From there we depart to the top of a dune overlooking the salt mine… colours, colours and more colours!!! After our stop we drive through the Kuiseb Delta, a dry river covered with hardy desert vegetation changing to open salt pans until we reach the Namib Naukluft Park border, our first interdiction to the Atlantic Ocean. From here we stick to the beach and stop at all interesting sightings, fishermen, birds, shells, seals and many more. As we continue driving, the dunes reach closer to the ocean creating an experience of a lifetime. DUNE DRIVING – Up to 45m!
Other interesting sights:
Ample Bird life and if lucky the Dune Lark, Black-back Jackal, Springbuck, Ostrich and a variety of desert adapted plants.
The Topnaar drive is a 2-3 hour scenic and educational drive. Depart from the Walvis Bay and our first stop is the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a must for the keen bird watcher. More than a hundred bird species and the biggest population of Flamingos in Southern Africa. Our next stop is the Walvis Bay Salt works, colours, colours, colours! This also is our first introduction to dune driving, an unforgettable experience of which you will still talk about for the rest of your holiday. The package offered is scenery, adventure, traditional people, wildlife and a million photo opportunities. And last but not least, the Topnaar tribe, a semi nomadic tribe, an offshoot of the Nama tribe and part of the Khoisan genetic group. There are 2 Topnaar groups, the Southern #Aonin group and the Northern !Gomén group. The !Gomén Topnaars settled close to Sesfontein and the #Aonin Topnaars at the mouth of the Kuiseb River. They live a life that relies on herding goats, but also are also adapted to the dry coastal desert environment of the Namib. The relatively rich plant life of the Kuiseb River Valley provided them with additional sources of food, particularly the well-known !Nara melon.
TOPNAAR TOUR ( Quad Bike Tour )
The Topnaar route is a 2 hour scenic and educational drive. We depart from the Photo Ventures’ office which would give you the chance to get used to the quads before we get to the dunes. It would take approximately 3-4 minutes to reach the dunes. Once we reach the dunes, a whole new world opens up with beautiful landscapes, magical colours and the unbelievable life of animals and people and their survival in the desert. This tour would offer you an unforgettable experience of which you would still talk about for the rest of your holiday. The package offered is scenery, adventure, traditional people wildlife and a million photo opportunities.
What is to be seen on route:
Abundance of birdlife at the Walvis Bay Lagoon. And if lucky, the Dune Lark in the dunes.
Ancient animal footprints from the time when the Kuiseb Delta had a lot more water.
Desert vegetation, plants adapted to survive in extreme conditions and plants known as the survival of the Namib, the !Nara melon.
Wildlife, not the Big Five but a very interesting Small Five. Lizards, geckos, scorpions, snakes and many more.
DOLPHIN & SEAL TOUR
The ‘classic and original’ Walvis Bay dolphin cruise. Departing from the Waterfront Jetty, skimming the harbour and lagoon all the way to Pelican Point. On route likely sightings include dolphins, seals, whales, sunfish and an abundance of bird life.
Highlights: Pelican Point, oyster farms, Walvis Bay Harbour and Pelican Point Lighthouse.
Common Sightings: Bottlenose and Heavyside Dolphins, Cape Fur Seals, Mola Molas, penguins, Leatherback Turtles, whales (July-November).
Bird Sightings: Flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Cape Gannet, Black Oystercatcher.
After the Marine Cruise you disembark onto the Lighthouse Jetty or the beach at Pelican Point. Boarding 4×4 vehicles the beach & dune adventure to Sandwich Harbour begins… with lunch being served in the dunes.
KAYAK TOUR ( Walvis Bay )
Eco Friendly Adventure
Tours to Pelican point, visiting the Cape Fur Seal colony, accompanied by dolphins, pelicans, cormorants and other friendly marine and bird life. All tours start early in the morning, due to the fact that the prevailing weather conditions in Walvis Bay offer a calm period up to about 1pm. The early afternoon sees the start of increasing wind strength from the south-west which makes kayaking very uncomfortable in the lagoon. A prompt early start each morning helps us cover the full range of sights to be seen.
Safety and other features provided by Namibia Kayak Tours include:
• Safe kayaks with paddles
• Compass (Tour guide only)
• Whistle (Tour guide only)
• Flares (Tour guide only)
• Personal Floating Device (PFD)
• Mobile Phone Communication (On land)
• Radio Communication (On water)
• First Aid Kit
• Bottled water on each kayak
• Dry bag for your camera
BEACH & DEEP SEA FISHING ( Walvis Bay )
Gone Fishing! The Namibian coast is world renowned for its commercial fishing industry as well as its recreational angling spots. Anglers from all over the world flock to the coast to try their hand at fishing, whether from a ski boat or from the beach. Many anglers are tempted to wrestle with a strong Bronzy Whaler or Copper Shark or to catch the largest cob (kabeljou).
Fishing by Ski-boat last for approximately 6 hours. This tour takes place between Vierkantklip and Mile 14. All fishing gear, bait and tackle are provided. Lunchboxes and refreshments are also included.
• Depart: 08h00 (Swakopmund Mole, you will be collected at your accommodation establishment)
• Return: 15h00
• Large variety of fish can be caught, e.g. Kabeljou (cob), Steenbras, Black tail, Barbel, Spotted Gully shark and Hound shark.
This tour is ONLY available during November to March. Snoek and Yellow tail are caught approximately 40 – 60km from shore.
All fishing gear, bait and tackle are provided. Lunchboxes and refreshments are also included
• Depart: 08h00 (You will be collected at your accommodation establishment)
• Return: 15h00
Deep Sea Fishing
• Depart: 08h00 (Swakopmund Mole, you will be collected at your accommodation establishment)
• Return: 15h00
This tour takes place between Swakopmund and Mile 108.
Different species can be caught such as Kabeljou, Steenbras, Blacktail and Galjoen. A variety of shark such as Copper shark (weighing up to 160kg), Spotted Gully shark and Hound shark can be caught.
Edible fish caught are cleaned and packed for you to take along and enjoy. All fishing gear, bait and tackle are provided.
Lunchboxes and refreshments are also included.
Upon request, we also cater for a small informal beach braai. Nothing beats the taste of freshly caught fish on the grill!
SOSSUSVLEI CLASSIC FLIGHT ( Swakopmund )
The Sossusvlei Classic Flight is the most popular scenic flight, and guarantee’s to be the highlight of your holiday! The light aircraft takes off and lands from Swakopmund airfield, over the Namib Desert, past the Walvis Bay Airport to the Kuiseb river. It’s low-level all the way along the Kuiseb River onto the Desert Ecological Research Unit, Gobabeb, founded in 1959, passing further on to Tsondabvlei, towards Sesriem and it’s Canyon, and on to the highest shifting sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei: No part of the desert is visually more stunning than Sossusvlei. The warm tints of the sand range from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red, vividly contrasting with the large white clay pans at some of their bases. From Sossusvlei it’s into the Diamond Restricted Area, flying over the remains of three old diamond camps and crossing the coastline at Conception Bay passing:
Colonies of Cape fur seals.
The shipwrecks of: The passenger liner ‘Eduard Bohlen,’ stranded in 1909. She lies 250m away from the shore. Further along the coast is the ‘Shaunee,’ stranded in 1976. Along the coast with the Atlantic surf on the one side and the ‘long wall’ (Namib Dunes) on the other, you reach Sandwich Harbour, a wetland of international importance and protected by the Ramsar Convention. The highest recorded density of lesser and greater flamingo’s was recorded at low tide with 7,791 birds/km. In harmony with the surroundings you will find: Namibia’s coastal salt mines, south of Walvis Bay, attracting thousands of birds.
Walvis Bay, Namibia’s major harbour town and a former enclave to South Africa, which was incorporated into Namibia on March 1, 1994, the next destination. Midway between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund we pass the Langstrand Holiday Resort and the Dolphin Park Recreation Resort before landing at Swakopmund airfield. Flight Time = ±2hr 15min Distance = 630km
FORBIDDEN COAST SCENIC FLIGHT ( Swakopmund )