- TOURS & SAFARIS
- ABOUT US
Min: 2 Max: 14
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.
Relax near the water hole and watch a variety of game come to drink. Optional Activity: hop onto one of the game drive vehicles to track some game.(L,D)
An early morning nature drive into Kalahari before leaving for the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site and Quivertree Forest- (although these trees are also found around the Fish River Area). 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.
The recently re-furbished Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa & Resort, (re-opened in August 2009) is at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon and offers an excellent place to relax in and around the thermal baths & heated swimming pool, especially after a hot, dusty day’s drive, the resort is set at a sulphurous hot spring, which makes perfect sense as the name ’/ai-/ais’ means ’burning water’ in the local Nama language. (B,L,D)
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.
Time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination, the tiny town of Aus. We sleep tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch-Plateau region).(B,L,D)
We are up with the dawn this morning for the short drive to Luderitz, we travel on the main road and keep a sharp look out for the unique Namib wild horses. These horses are the only feral horses in Namibia and have, very unusually, become adapted to an existence with very limited water. Where they originated from is un-clear, some people think they are the descendants of the horses used by the German cavalry during the First World War. Another theory is that they originally came from a horse farm that used to be run by a German Barron, (von Wolff), in the very early colonial days.
We arrive in Luderitz in time to join an optional extra excursion, a trip on an old wooden sailing ship, “The Sedina”. We take a cruise around Luderitz bay and, weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. If the weather conditions are suitable we turn off the engines and come back to Luderitz under sail.
Straight after the Sedina trip we drive out to Kolmanskop (Optional activity), 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”.
During the middle of the day there is 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.
Returning to Klein Aus Vista in the late afternoon, 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. (B,D)
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. (B,L,D)
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.
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 around 16:00 and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return. (B,L)
© Chameleon Safaris 2018