- Windhoek – Kalahari (280 km) (LD) (camping)
- You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 07:30 & 08:00
- We start our journey south on the main highway, travelling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where you bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari. The Kalahari Desert often surprises people when they first see it. It is very different from the Namib. First of all, remember that the Kalahari is not a desert. It receives more rain than a true desert should. The Kalahari is a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here. The Kalahari’s dunes are very different. They are often equally beautiful, but usually greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes its ability to support more flora and fauna than a true desert.
- Late this afternoon we hop onto an open vehicle for a late afternoon sunset drive.
- Kalahari – Fish River Canyon area (500 km) (BLD) (camping)
- An early morning departure to the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site.
- We travel via the town of Keetmanshoop for overnight camping on the Fish River area. Here you have the opportunity of seeing the Quivertree. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dictomously”.
- These weird looking plants dot the landscape in this part of the world and are locally common, however they are one of the world’s rarest flora species.
- Fish River area – Luderitz (430 km) (BL) (Accommodation)
- The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon.
- The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust over 500 million years ago.
- Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view.
- Early morning we head to the main view point where we can see how impressive this canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos and to spend some time experiencing this amazing sight.
- Viewing from the top we can see the river sparkling in the sunlight far below us, and can barely imagine how many millennia it took for the forces of erosion to carve such a magnificent vista.
- Time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination, the coastal town of Lüderitz where its colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay, on some days a deep iridescent blue, on others grey and stormy, the crisp fresh climate, fishing boats bobbing up and down on the Atlantic horizon, penguins and seals diving beneath the waves, give the town a curious other-worldly allure.
- We aim to arrive at our guest house during the late afternoon. Dinner will be at client’s own expense tonight.
Luderitz – Aus (125 km) (BD) (camping)
- There is time to join an optional extra excursion, a marine trip, take a cruise around Luderitz bay and, weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. N.B: The boat cruise is subject to availability and, if undertaken, will be for the clients own risk and expense.
- Time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz.
- Straight after the marine trip we drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 20 km out of Luderitz. It was built in the 1920’s during the diamond rush and was abandoned when bigger and better diamonds were found further along the coast.
- The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word “ghost”.
- We sleep tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch-Plateau region).
- The road takes us through the “forbidden Zone” so named because in years gone by, the alluvial diamonds found in Namibia were simply scattered across the desert and we again have time to enjoy sunset over the mountains.
- Aus – Sesriem (340 km) (BLD) (camping)
- Turning north, we once again head deep into the ancient southern Namib, travelling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding. The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced and we pass time rounded “koppies” arid terrain and outcrops of tortured rock.
- Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change and we cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before the terrain begins to give way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
- Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Sesriem (120 km) (BLD) (camping)
- A pre dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes and driving into the heart of the dune field, we reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 5 km through the dunes.
- The walk is like nothing else, in the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes creating a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect.
- We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting dune 45, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.
- Sesriem – Windhoek (350 km) (BL)
- After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization.
- We are due back into the city in the late afternoon / early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return
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