Tiras Mountains, Windhoek, Swakopmund, Sesriem, Aus and Southern Namibia
We will be collected from the Hosea Kutako International Airport on arrival and transferred to the volunteer centre at N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides a safe haven for injured, orphaned or conflict animals. Whenever possible the goal is to re-introduce the animals into the wild. Only animals too ill, abused or habituated remain at the sanctuary. Depending on our arrival time we have the opportunity to meet with the team and meet some of the animals that we will be working with before we join the N/a’an ku sê team for an induction presentation and a lovely welcome braai as our evening meal.
A leisurely breakfast and after breakfast we will be transferred to Chameleon Backpackers centrally located in Windhoek. Time permitting we have the opportunity to join one of the optional activities that Chameleon Safaris has to offer, pop into their office and have a chat with one of the consultants. Enjoy your evening with a delicious “potjiekos” at the Chameleon Backpackers’ bar.
This morning we start our tour of Namibia, with a pre-departure meeting at 7h30 and hitting the road shortly after. We drive via Okahandja and Usakos to the lagoon in Walvis Bay, where we will enjoy a light lunch. Here we have the opportunity to see many species of wetland birds, including the Greater and Lesser flamingo. We aim to arrive in Swakopmund mid-afternoon and you have time to explore this quaint little town on foot. Our guide will be happy to recommend a good restaurant for our evening meal, or we can join for a group meal (own expense).
Today we leave Swakopmund at 11h30 so we have the time to enjoy an optional activity. For the adrenaline junkies this could be flying down a sand dune head first at 60km/h on a sandboard, exploring the dune field on a quad biking tour or discover the “old city” of Swakopmund on a fat bike (e-bike option available). Whatever we choose, we depart Swakopmund no later than 11h30 and drive through the Namib Desert via the Kuiseb Pass, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, stopping briefly in Solitaire and arriving at our camp late afternoon. We set up our tents, and enjoy the sunset over the Namib Desert while listening to the barking geckos. There is a pool and bar available, dinner is prepared by our guide. An early night is recommended.
A pre-dawn departure from camp this morning means we can enjoy the dunes at first light. We drive down an ancient river bed, surrounded by towering dunes and our first stop is at the famous Dune 45 where we have the chance to climb to the top to enjoy the sunrise. On descent we replenish our energy and enjoy breakfast before continuing on into the Sossusvlei area. We explore this unique area on foot, heading into Dead Vlei with its large expanse of bleached cracked clay and skeletal camel thorn trees, contrasting with a backdrop of huge dunes with their ever-changing colours. We have the opportunity to climb the dune at Sossusvlei before we return to Sesriem for lunch and a swim or siesta during the heat of the day. Mid-afternoon we visit the Sesriem Canyon before your guide drops you at Elim’s Dune for a short and educational sunset walk back to camp through the desert. Dinner tonight is prepared by our guide.
We pack up camp and enjoy breakfast before heading south through some of the most spectacular desert landscapes in Southern Namibia. Our destination today is the small outpost of Klein Aus, nestled in the Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park. We arrive early afternoon and set up camp. For the active there is a short optional unguided hiking trail. Permits and a map are available at reception. We enjoy a beautiful sunset and dinner prepared by our guide over an open-fire.
After an early breakfast we make our way from Klein Aus to the ghost town, of Kolmanskop, situated 15km outside of Luderitz. During a diamond boom in 1910 Kolmanskop quickly became one of the richest towns in Africa boasting the southern hemisphere’s first X-ray machine, a bowling alley and luxury housing. As the diamond boom came to an end and the town’s inhabitants abandoned the area Kolmanskop became a ghost town. After our tour we continue our adventure to the small town of Luderitz, situated on the rocky shores of the Atlantic Ocean and well known for its unique and colourful colonial-style buildings. We stop at Diaz Point, the famous site of the Original Diaz Cross and enjoy a picnic lunch. On return to Aus, we keep our eyes peeled for the wild horses of the Namib Desert that roam between Luderitz and Klein Aus. While the details of how these horses came to live in the desert are still a mystery, the mere fact that they have survived in the harshest of conditions is impressive, and any sighting of them is one to celebrate. We arrive back at camp late afternoon and can relax before enjoying another incredible sunset over the Aus Mountains.
We enjoy another early start this morning as we pack up camp and head east. Our first official stop is at the well-known Hell`s Bend viewpoint of the Fish River Canyon. Here we have the opportunity to overlook the second largest canyon in the world. The Fish River Canyon was formed millions of years ago by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust. After lunch we continue our adventure heading to our last destination; The Quiver Tree Forest. It is located just north-east of Keetmanshoop and here approximately 250 quiver trees can be found. The forest grew spontaneously and the oldest trees are estimated to be around 200-300 years old. The Quiver tree (Kokerboom in Afrikaans) is also Namibia’s national tree, and the forest was declared a national monument in 1995. The last night on our adventure is spent camping under the stars with meals prepared by our guide. This is an excellent location for photographing the stars should you be an avid photographer (permits are available for night photography of the quiver trees at additional cost).
After a tasty cooked breakfast, we start the day with a chance to really explore the Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground, a geological phenomenon of dolerite rocks that appear to have been stacked by giants. From here we begin our journey back to Windhoek passing Brukkaros Mountain, an extinct volcano which is 650m above the surrounding area. We pass through the small towns of Mariental and Rehoboth before arriving at Chameleon Backpackers in Windhoek late afternoon. Dinner tonight is at own expense in one of Windhoek’s excellent restaurants and our guide will be happy to make some suggestions.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and the option to join a FREE City Walking tour so be sure to book a flight after 14h00. We will be transferred to the International Airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight departure.