Tour 3: "Through the Desert(s)"
Departure point: Windhoek,
End point: Windhoek
17- Day tour through Namibia with a side trip to the Kalahari and to the Augrabies Falls in South Africa.
The main attractions: Windhoek – Kalahari – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Augrabies Falls – Fish River Canyon – Namib Desert – Sossusvlei – Swakopmund – Windhoek
Gold category: 16 x Overnight with breakfast at accommodation as indicated (subject to change), 9 x Dinner, 2 x Lunch, 1 x dune drive in 4x4 vehicle, 1 x cellar tour at a winery (Omaruru), 2 x Safari in open vehicle, detailed itinerary, notes on worthwhile attractions along the route, travel tips and restaurant recommendations as well as upcoming events, 24 hour emergency numbers, VAT and tourism tax. Included in price
Silver category: 16 x Overnight at accommodation as indicated (subject to change), 14 x Breakfasts (Daily excluding the Kgalagadi Park – bookable locally, depending on planned activities), 1 x Dinner, 1 x Lunch, 1 x dune drive in 4x4 vehicle, 1 x cellar tour at a winery (Omaruru), 2 x Safari in open vehicles, detailed itinerary, notes on worthwhile attractions along the route, travel tips and restaurant recommendations as well as upcoming events, 24 hour emergency numbers, VAT and tourism tax.
Upon request (please include intended month/year of travel) we will happily send you the rates.
Day 1: Welcome to Namibia – Morning arrival in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. After completing customs and immigration formalities, you should still exchange money at the airport. Collect your rental vehicle, check-in at the hotel is possible as from 13:00. In the afternoon a visit to Windhoek town is recommended, where you will still find evidence of the German colonial history. For example, the 'Tintenpalast' (Ink Palace), the 'Alte Feste' (Old Fort) and the 'Reiterdenkmal' (Equestrian Statue).
Day 2: Kalahari – On your way south you might want to visit the Hardap Dam, Namibia's largest water supply dam. Continue to the edge of the Kalahari for tonight's accommodation. Opportunity to participate in a sun downer drive to the red dunes of the Kalahari.
Day 3: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Enter South Africa and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The park lies partly in South Africa and partly in Botswana. The border is open and therefore not restricting the freedom of movement of the animals. Despite the dryness and low rainfall, the area supports numerous eland, gemsbok and springbok. Also lions and cheetahs are frequently seen.
Day 4: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Another day to explore the landscape and wildlife of the park. Various activities, such as game drives, are bookable at your accommodation.
Day 5: Augrabies Falls – Passing Upington you will soon reach Kakamas as well as your accommodation for tonight.
Day 6: Augrabies Falls – A whole day for the Augrabies Falls, which are among the five largest waterfalls on earth. The Orange River plummets down into a narrow, more than 140 metres deep gorge, carved by itself. The locals call the falls 'Ankoerebis' (Place of big noises). Particularly in late summer, when the river carries a lot of water, the roaring waters fully justify the name. Explore the National Park on foot, per bicycle or as part of a guided tour in an open vehicle.
Day 7: Back to Namibia – From the impressive Augrabies Falls, continue back into Namibia through the Nakop Border post. Then on to the Fish River Canyon where your accommodation is situated. The Fish River Canyon is the second largest in the World.
Day 8: Fish River Canyon - One way to begin this day will inspire only about 50% of travellers ..: getting up EARLY! But, it is worth it! A short walk at the canyon at sunrise will excite even the late sleepers: The sun conjures up a Symphony of colours in the rock, the impressions are overwhelming. You have all day to explore the canyon. The canyon offers breathtaking views from various lookout points. If you didn't know that you were in Namibia, you could easily think that you have landed on the moon!
Day 9: Southern Namib – Continue to the southern border of the Namib Naukluft Park – to the Succulent and Nama Karoo biomes. A certainly rewarding experience: a trip to the wild "Desert Horses of the Namib". These horses are a mystery. No one knows exactly where they come from. It is believed that they are descendants of horses of the German colonial troops; but no one can tell for sure. Somehow these horses managed to adapt to the harsh desert life. They can manage up to six days without water.
Day 10: Lüderitz – No program is planned for this day. But well worth the trip, is a visit to the ghost town of 'Kolmanskop', an old, now deserted diamond town, and on to Lüderitz, the absolutely charming small town on the Atlantic.
Day 11: Sesriem Canyon – Northbound via Helmeringhausen to Sesriem Canyon, a gorge about 50 m deep, which the Tsauchab River has milled out of the rock over millennia. Although water seldom flows in the Canyon, it promises a refreshing bath now and again in the summer months.
Day 12: Sossusvlei – The next trip is a 'must': Passing Sesriem Canyon you get to Sossusvlei, a large clay pan in the middle of the ancient Namib Desert. The pan is surrounded by up to 300 meter high sand dunes, which shine a beautiful red colour in early morning light. Even in the dry season one often sees oryx antelopes and springbok here. You should start this excursion early in order to avoid the extreme midday heat at the Vlei.
Day 13: Northern Namib – Travel through the Namib Naukluft Park via the Guab- and Kuiseb Passes to Walvis Bay. Visit Walvis Bay, the third largest city of Namibia, and drive along the bay, a paradise for sea birds such as the Flamingos. Short drive to Swakopmund. Visit Namibia's – despite the cold water temperatures – most favourite seaside resort. The city offers a wide selection of restaurants.
Day 14: Swakopmund – Recommendation for today: A short trip back to Walvis Bay. There you can enjoy the 'Dolphin Cruise' form about 09:00 – 12:00 including champagne and oysters. Seals and dolphins often accompany the boat. Take some time for the rest of the day to explore Swakopmund. There are also flights over the desert and the coastline on offer.
Day 15: Erongo Mountains – From the Atlantic coast the route turns inland in a north easterly direction. Through the Namib the route leads to Usakos. Along the way you can see the Spitzkoppe, the "Matterhorn of Namibia" in the distance. Driving along the Erongo Mountains, you reach the small town of Omaruru. Here you will find one of the few wineries of Namibia. During a guided tour of the cellars and the vineyards you will get an insight into the making of the local wine. For lunch typical local cuisine will be enjoyed. Soon you will reach your accommodation, a game lodge. In the afternoon enjoy an open vehicle safari on the Farm.
Day 16: Direction South – This morning you will go on another exciting safari. Continue to Okahandja. Here it is worthwhile to visit the wood carvers market and the Herero Grave Complex. Many Herero leaders are buried here. Soon you will reach your lodge where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Day 17: Souvenirs – Last morning in Namibia with time to relax or to do some last shopping. In the afternoon drive to Windhoek Airport, return the rental vehicle and then check in for your onward flight.
Gold: 1 x Hotel Heinitzburg, 1 x Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, 2 x !Xaus Lodge, 2 x Dundi Lodge, 2 x Canyon Lodge, 2 x Klein Aus Vista / Desert Horse Inn, 2 x Sossus Dune Lodge, 2 x Hotel zum Kaiser, 1 x Epako Game Ranch, 1 x Na'ankuse Lodge
Silver: 1 x The Elegant Guesthouse, 1 x Auob Lodge, 1 x Nossob Camp, 1 x Twee Rivieren, 2 x Vergelegen Guest House, 2 x Canyon Road House, 2 x Klein Aus Vista / Desert Horse Inn, 1 x Desert Camp, 1 x Namib Desert Lodge, 2 x Cornerstone Guesthouse, 1 x Omaruru Game Lodge, 1 x The Elegant Farmstead (Historic Otjisazu)