The Beautiful South
Safari Type: Guided Safari
Duration: 13 nights / 14 days
Price as from: On Request
Departure: Any day of the week according to client requirements
The southern reaches of Namibia are steeped in history that was fundamental in the development of this young African country. On this guided Safari emphasis is not only placed on the diversity of this region when visiting the Kalahari Desert, the Fish River Canyon, the town of Aus, the Namib Desert, and Swakopmund, but also on the significant historical background of these regions. To end the tour we visit Etosha National Park.
- Kalahari Desert
- Fish River Canyon
- Quiver Tree Forest
- Desert Horses
- Kolmanskop Ghost Town
- Namib Naukluft Park
- Moon Valley
- Namibia’s highest Mountain Range
- Petrified Forest
- Etosha National Park
- The tours are quoted on half board basis or as per programme except for Windhoek and Swakopmund.
- Services of a qualified driver / guide
- Fuel & Transportation in an air-conditioned VW Microbus / similar
- Bottled water on board of vehicle while in transit only
- Excursions as described in above itinerary
- Entrance & Admission Fees were applicable
- Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
- Namibian Bed Levy
- 15% VAT (Value Added Tax)
- Additional meals (as stated in the itinerary) and beverages
- Optional Extra Excursions
- Items of personal nature i.e. telephone calls, bar bills, laundry etc.
- Gratuities and Portage
- Personal Travel & Luggage insurance
- Flights arrangements
On arrival at the Windhoek Airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to Namibia’s Capital City, Windhoek. Overnight at WINDHOEK COUNTRY CLUB RESORT (similar) on a bed & breakfast basis (lunch and dinner are for the clients own account).
We depart from Windhoek in a southerly direction towards the Kalahari. On route pass through the small settlement of Rehoboth before arriving at the western boundary of the Kalahari Desert. Rehoboth is home to the “Baster Community” a fiercely independent people who are the descendants of a group of farmers of mixed European and Khoisan blood. These people first migrated to the area from the Cape in 1870 where they established a settlement at the site of an abandoned Rhenish Mission Station. Midday arrival at the Intu Afrika Game Ranch including a late afternoon nature drives activity in open safari vehicles. Overnight accommodation will be at the INTU AFRIKA GAME RESERVE / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. (Lunch is for the clients own account.)
Departure continuing in a southerly direction on route through the southern Karas Region via the small towns of Mariental and Keetmanshoop, one of the oldest established towns in Namibia and the capital of the south. Excursions on route will be included to the “Quiver Tree Forest”; an outcrop colonized by an Aloe tree species (Aloe dichotoma) and the basalt formations of the “Giants Play Ground”. Late afternoon arrival for overnight accommodation at the CANON LODGE / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. (Lunch is for the clients own account,)
This morning will be spent conducting an excursion to the third largest canyon in the world and the second largest in Africa, the Fish River Canyon. This impressive geological formation had its origins some 1’800 million years ago and has had evidence of human “habitation” for over 50 000 years. While its full length is 160km – the width is up to 27km and the depth up to 550m – its most spectacular section is the 56-km stretch between the northernmost and southernmost viewpoints. In the late morning, depart Fish River Canyon heading west through the small town of Aus, famous for its’ Desert Horses, to the harbour town of Luederitz. The sheer isolation of Lüderitz, the curious way in which the 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. Lüderitz was initially referred to as Angra Pequena, meaning Little Bay, by the Portuguese, whose navigator Bartolomeu Dias erected a stone cross on Dias Point on 25 July 1488. The Lüderitz Peninsula is characterised by numerous bays, lagoons and un-spoilt stretches of beach. Overnight accommodation at THE NEST HOTEL/ similaron a bed & breakfast basis. Lunch en route is included. (Dinner is for your own account,)
This morning a visit to Kolmanskop, Namibia’s most famous ghost town, is included. The rest of the day will be spent visiting the Town of Luederitz, Agate Beach and Diaz Point. Completely abandoned and almost covered by sand, Kolmanskop is situated about 10km inland from Lüderitz. It was named after transport driver Johnny Coleman, who lived in the tiny settlement of Aus at the turn of the century. During a fierce sandstorm he was forced to abandon his ox wagon on the small incline from where Kolmanskop can be seen. In 1908 the railway worker Zacharias Lewala found a sparkling stone amongst the sand he was shoveling away from the railway line near Kolmanskop. When it was confirmed this was a diamond news spread sparking a frantic diamond rush and causing fortune hunters to converge in droves on Kolmanskop. The town’s development reached its pinnacle in the twenties. In spite of, or probably because of, the isolation and bleakness of the surrounding desert, Kolmanskop developed into a lively little haven of German culture. When richer diamond deposits were discovered further south operations were moved to Oranjemund. Today the ghost town’s crumbling ruins bear little resemblance to its former glory. Overnight accommodation at THE NEST HOTEL/ similaron a bed & breakfast basis. (Lunch & Dinner is for your own account,)
Departing from Luederitz, today we follow the main route in a north-westerly direction following the eastern boundary of the Namib Desert towards the Namib Naukluft Park. An excursion on route will be included to the Duwisib Castle before a late afternoon arrival at the Sossusvlei Lodge. The Duwisib Castle was built in 1907 for Hans Heinrich von Wolf and his American heiress wife Jayta. The fort was designed by Willi Sander, renowned for designing Windhoek’s, Heinitzburg Castle. Stone for the castle was quarried some three kilometres away while other material and furnishings were imported from Germany via Lüderitz. Overnight accommodation at the SOSSUSVLEI LODGE / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis only. Lunch is included on route.
Conduct an early morning excursion along the path of the ancient Tschaub River into the Namib Sand Sea including a visit to the famed Sossusvlei, Dune 45 and Deadvlei. Many visitors to Namibia say that no part of the desert is more stunning than Sossusvlei, with its monumentally high dunes, the shadows of their sinuous crests continually changing as the day waxes and wanes. Gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand, the highest estimated at 325 m. The warm tints of the sand, ranging from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red, contrast vividly with the dazzling white surfaces of the deflationary clay pans at some of their bases. An afternoon excursion will be conducted to the Sesriem Canyon, a small yet picturesque canyon carved over millions of years into the Tschaub River. Overnight accommodation will be at the SOSSUSVLEI LODGE / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis only. (Lunch is for the clients own account.)
Departing from the central Namib Region today’s route continues in a northerly direction along the eastern boundary of the Namib Naukluft Park passing through the small settlement of Solitaire on route to the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons. Continue across the “gravel plains” of the Namib Desert on route towards Namibia’s premier coastal resort town, Swakopmund. Excursions on route will be included to the erosion feature of the “Moon Valley” and to Namibia’s ancient plant species, the “Welwitschia mirabilis”. Late afternoon arrival and overnight at the SWAKOPMUND HOTEL / similar on a bed & breakfast basis only. Lunch will be included on route. (Dinner will be at a local restaurant and will be for the clients own account.)
While in Swakopmund an excursion will be conducted to Namibia’s largest commercial harbour, Walvis Bay and the Walvis Bay Lagoon, protected under the RAMSAR Convention as an important wetland. The lagoon is renowned for its seasonal abundance of both the Greater and Lesser Flamingo species. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to explore Namibia’s premier coastal resort town, Swakopmund. Today this quaint town nestled between desert and ocean is enhanced by lush green lawns, palm trees and carefully tended gardens. There is a good selection of restaurants and coffee shops selling traditional German cakes and pastries, while the coastline and the desert respectively offer many options for adventure or relaxation. Overnight accommodation will be at the SWAKOPMUND HOTEL / similar on a bed & breakfast basis only. (Lunch & Dinner today will be at a local restaurant and will be for the clients own account.)
Early morning departure from Swakopmund in a northerly direction on route through the National West Coast Recreational Area towards the small fishing town of Henties Bay. An excursion included on route is a visit to the Cape Fur Seal Colony at Cape Cross. In 1486, the first European to set foot on the coast of Namibia, Diago Ciao, erected a cross in honour of John 1 of Portugal at a site now known as Cape Cross 115 km north of Swakopmund. In addition to being of historical interest, Cape Cross has a breeding colony of Cape Fur seals. Leaving the coast continue in an easterly direction crossing the “gravel plains” towards the abandoned mining town of Uis, and Namibia’s highest Mountain Range. The Brandberg is 2573m at its highest point and renowned for the famous work of bushmen art, “the White Lady”. Late afternoon arrival and overnight accommodation at the TWYFELFONTEIN COUNTRY LODGE / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis only. (Lunch today is for the clients own account.)
Twyfelfontein is one of the richest areas of rock engravings and Bushmen paintings in Namibia. A guided walking excursion will be conducted to some of the engraving sites. Interesting geological features in the area include the Burnt Mountain and the dolomite columns known as the “Organ Pipes”. Departing from Twyfelfontein continue towards the small town of Khorixas. An excursion can be conducted to the Petrified Forest, with approximately 50 examples of petrified trees dating back some 260 million years. From Khorixas continue on route towards the small town of Outjo. This small farming centre has its origins as a hunting and trading centre and was first inhabited by the early European explorer Tom Lambert in 1880. An excursion on route includes a visit to the Vingerklip or “Rock Finger” formation in the Ugab River Valley, which was formed approximately 30 million years ago by water erosion. From Outjo continue in a northerly direction for an afternoon arrival at OKAUKUEJO RESORT / similar situated inside Etosha National Park, dinner is included. (Lunch for clients own account)
Today’s Etosha National Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then German government and is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Consisting of saline desert, savannah and woodlands, its definitive feature is the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression. For the greater part of the year the pan is a bleak expanse of white, cracked mud which, on most days shimmers with mirages. Seeing vast herds of game against this eerie backdrop, referred to in the local vernacular as the ‘great white place of dry water’, makes the Etosha game-viewing a unique experience. Of the 114 mammal species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as black rhino, cheetah and black-faced impala. Etosha’s current population of more than 700 black rhino represents one of the few growing populations of black rhino in the world. About 340 bird species occur in Etosha, about one third being migratory. For the greater part of the year (the dry season) Etosha’s animals and birds are dependent on about 30 springs and waterholes. These provide excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities. During the rainy season, especially the bird life at the main pan and Fischer’s Pan is worth viewing. Overnight at OKAUKUEJO RESORT / similar on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. (Lunch is for clients own account).
A short game drives takes us out of the National Park and south to the farming town of Outjo. Located in a cluster of low hills is the town of Outjo, an important cattle farming center. The history of the town and surroundings is depicted in the Outjo Museum, where the focus is on gemstone and wildlife. Otjiwarongo provides a convenient stop over on route to the north of the country. As, with most towns in central Namibia the name Otjiwarongo originates from the Herero language, which translated means “place of the fat cattle” or “beautiful place”. Given the central role that cattle play in the Herero culture, both meanings are appropriate. Overnight at OKONJIMA MAIN CAMP / similar on a full board basis including activities.
After breakast we depart Okonjima and continue to the town of Okahandja where we will stop at the craft market. From there we continue to Windhoek and onto the Windhoek International airport in time for your outbound flight. (Lunch is for clients own account).