15 Days / 14 Nights

Cape Town South Africa To Windhoek Classic Namibia

Arrive/Cape Town – Karoo – Kakamas – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (South Africa) – Fish River Canyon – Aus – Tiras Mountains – Namib Desert – Windhoek/Depart

Introduction

Accommodation preview

Destinations

Basis

Start

End

Duration

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott

Cape Town

Cape Town B&B Day 1 Day 4 3 Nights
Rolbos Guesthouse Karoo B&B Day 4 Day 5 1 Night
Kalahari Gateway Hotel and

Conference Centre

Kakamas B&B Day 5 Day 7 2 Nights
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (South Africa) B&B Day 7 Day 9 2 Nights
Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Fish River Canyon B&B Day 9 Day 11 2 Nights
Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn Gondwana Collection Namibia Aus B&B Day 11 Day 12 1 Night
Kanaan Na’an ku se Desert Retreat Tiras Mountains D,B&B Day 12 Day 13 1 Night
Sossusvlei Lodge Namib Desert D,B&B Day 13 Day 15 2 Nights
Not Included Windhoek Airport back home Breakfast Day 15 Day 15 Not Included

Key
B&B: Bed and Breakfast
D, B&B: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 1: PROTEA HOTEL FIRE & ICE BY MARRIOTT CAPE TOWN, CAPE TOWN

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and a top international destination. Large numbers of tourists flock to Cape Town to enjoy this unique city with its fascinating history, interesting culture, natural beauty, award winning wines and laidback lifestyle. Whether you are a serious tourist or just want to lie on the beach and enjoy life, Cape Town will satisfy your needs.

Day Itinerary

Arrival at the Cape Town International Airport. After having cleared customs, you proceed to the arrival hall and proceed to the car rental kiosk to collect your rental vehicle. After collection, proceed to your hotel where the remainder of the day is set aside for leisure.

Directions – Cape Town International Airport [CPT] to Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott Cape Town
Distance: 20.04km  Travel Time: 21 minutes
GPS co-ordinates for Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott Cape Town: S 33° 55′ 37.437″ E 18° 24′ 41.103″
Head south (0.3 km)

Keep left (0.3 km)

Slight right (0.4 km)

Slight left toward Airport Approach Rd (48 m)

Keep right to continue toward Airport Approach Rd (0.1 km)

Slight left onto Airport Approach Rd (2.1 km)

Merge onto Settlers Way/N2 (10.2 km)

Keep right to continue on De Waal Dr/N2 (1.1 km)

Take the M3/De Waal Drive exit toward Cape Town (0.3 km)

Continue onto De Waal Dr/M3 (3.1 km)

Slight left onto Jutland Ave/M3. Continue to follow M3 (2.0 km)

Turn left onto Bree St. Destination will be on the right (0.1 km)

Overnight: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott Cape Town   

This ultra-chic hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Cape Town and is a mere 5 minutes from the V&A Waterfront. Set within walking distance of tourist attractions such as the hip night life of Long Street as well as 15 minutes from Cape Town’s famous beaches, Camps Bay and Clifton. Mingle with fellow guests and locals, or enjoy our crisp glass bar, a coffee brewery by day and party ticket by night featuring signature milkshakes and cocktails.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 2: PROTEA HOTEL FIRE & ICE BY MARRIOTT CAPE TOWN, CAPE TOWN

Day Itinerary

The following two days are spent exploring the vibrant city and its surroundings. Possible tours / activities: Cape Town City Tour – Explore the town by means of a city tour on a hop-on hop-off double decker bus. The ideal place to start this tour is at the Tow Oceans Aquarium in the centre of the V&A Waterfront. A Winelands tour whilst in Cape Town is a must and can be pre-booked through our offices. Visit the V&A waterfront, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve Sea Point and don’t forget a visit to the top of Table Mountain!

Optional

V&A Waterfront

Cape Wine lands Day Tour

Cape Point

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Sea Point

Table Mountain

V&A Waterfront

Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront has become South Africa’s most visited destination. Set against a backdrop of magnificent sea and mountain views, exciting shopping and entertainment venues are intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments. The Waterfront is the heart of the tourist industry in Cape Town.

Cape Winelands Day Tour

Cape Winelands Day Tour is a beautiful and scenic excursion whereby participants make their way from Cape Town to the picturesque Winelands, visiting South Africa’s most famed wine regions, including Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Aside from excellent wines, these areas offer tasty cuisine and historical masterpieces, including the Taal Monument, located atop a hill overlooking Paarl.

Cape Point

This is the real Cape Point, the southernmost point on the peninsula. Cape Point is a spectacular sight, covered in endemic fynbos and home to breathtaking bays, beaches and rolling green hills and valleys, just 60km outside of Cape Town. Cape Point falls within the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world – it is home to nearly 20% of Africa’s flora. Cape Point is open daily and is a must-see.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

On the lower slopes of Table Mountain, the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens showcases some of the Cape’s rich flora. Taking centre stage here is the unique ‘fynbos’ vegetation. Those who work up an appetite while exploring this garden paradise can visit the restaurant or tea room, which are fully stocked with delicious meals, yummy treats and refreshing beverages. In summer, Sunday music concerts provide sunset entertainment. Kirstenbosch is rated as the seventh best of its kind in the world.

Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point lies at the south-western tip of Africa and offers great views, a restaurant and a funicular which takes you up to the old lighthouse.  The spectacular scenery coupled with zebras, baboons, deserted beaches and plenty of fynbos to make this one of the Cape’s must see destinations.

Sea Point

Sea Point is an Atlantic Seaboard suburb in Cape Town, South Africa. Located a few kilometres from Cape Town’s City Centre, the expensive suburb is densely populated, enjoying the beach front location and features local schools including the Sea Point High School, The French School of Cape Town, Tafelberg Remedial School and the Herzlia Weizmann Primary. The Green Point stadium and park are a walking distance from the suburb. Residents and tourists have the privilege to enjoy walking, cycling or jogging on the paved beach front promenade.

Table Mountain

Without a doubt it is Table Mountain that makes Cape Town the unique city it is. Rising up over 1000m above sea level, it is the icon that makes Cape Town instantly recognizable. It is a symbol, a playground, a spiritual retreat and a big draw card for tourists. So intertwined with the identity of Cape Town is Table Mountain that a visit to the city isn’t complete without having walked or taken the cable car to the top.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 3: PROTEA HOTEL FIRE & ICE BY MARRIOTT CAPE TOWN, CAPE TOWN

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 4: ROLBOS GUESTHOUSE, KAROO

Karoo

Extending across 400,000km² of the country, the Karoo is South Africa’s largest ecosystem and its semi-arid scrublands shelter a surprisingly rich diversity of plant, bird and animal life. Composed of the Great and Little Karoo, this vast semi-desert region may seem harsh and unforgiving to some, but to others, it’s a sanctuary of peace and silence with its own unique, compelling beauty. The Karoo’s landscape is characterised by rugged mountains hiding ancient caves giving way to vast undulating plains peppered with indigenous succulents and grazing ostrich and sheep. Highlights of the area are the fossil trail in the Karoo National Park and the annual Olive Festival in the small town of Prince Albert.

Day Itinerary

Departing Cape Town in the morning, proceed through the Cedarberg Mountain Range to Citrusdal, where most of South Africa’s citrus fruits are grown and where the famous ‘rooibos tea’ is produced. Your journey continues via Clanwilliam through breathtaking mountain scenery to Calvinia, where you will spend your first night. Very worthwhile is a visit to the Calvinia Agricultural Museum, where the history of the settlement area is documented. Your guest house is situated within the town and offers you personal service and a friendly atmosphere.

Citrusdal

Surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, citrus orchards and indigenous ‘fynbos’ flora, this Western Cape hamlet is a traditional farming settlement that offers a glimpse into typical rural South African life. Citrusdal is a useful supply stop en route to the Cederberg or Koue Bokkeveld, but there are more enticing places to stay outside of town. Just a few minutes away is a lodge with a pool and several spa baths fed by hot spring water, and the surrounding area is permeated with scenic hiking trails and dotted with remote camping spots and holiday chalets.

Clanwilliam

Located in the scenic Olifants River Valley, the town of Clanwilliam is the ‘Rooibos Capital of the World’. The town features an array of tea houses and historical buildings. It is conveniently situated next to a large dam perfect for water skiing, swimming, and fishing. Visitors can enjoy a tour at the Elandsberg Rooibos Estate to view the unique tea-making process, learn about the town’s history at the Old Gaol Museum, explore the ‘Rooibos Route’ and enjoy a cup of tea at one of its many stopovers namely, The Rooibos Teahouse. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacularly scenic surrounds including: the Cederberg Mountains, the West Coast and the annual wildflower splendour of Namaqualand.

Directions – Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott Cape Town to Rolbos Guesthouse

Distance: 424.99km   Travel Time: 4:22 hours

Overnight: Rolbos Guesthouse        

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 5: KALAHARI GATEWAY HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, KAKAMAS

Kakamas

The pretty, underrated farm town of Kakamas rests on the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape, near the border with Namibia and just south-west of Upington. Boasting gorgeous natural springs, excellent wine tasting opportunities and a private game reserve, the town is a little-known destination with much to offer. Visitors can relax in the stunning, turquoise The Riemvasmaak Hot Springs which have been converted into pristine pools set deep in the ravines, surrounded by wild fig trees.

Animal lovers can spot leopards and a huge array of brightly coloured birds at the Khamkirri Private Game Reserve, while gourmands can indulge in a range of spectacular flavours at the wine estates and world-class restaurants. Other highlights include: functioning water wheels on the canals, the historic German war graves, and a range of outdoor sports.

Day Itinerary

After breakfast, you depart Calvinia and travel via the Hantam and Rebunie Mountains towards the Augrabies Falls. The entire route takes you through the magical scenery of the Northern Cape and offers you marvellous photographic opportunities. Your accommodation for the night is situated in the town of Kakamas, famous for its hospitality and history. Relax in the tranquil surrounding of your lodge and get spoilt with the renowned variety of meats from the carvery restaurant in the evening.

Directions – Rolbos Guesthouse to Kalahari Gateway Hotel and Conference Centre

Distance: 407.44km   Travel Time: 4:03 hours

Overnight: Kalahari Gateway Hotel and Conference Centre 

Kalahari Gateway Hotel & Conference Centre offers tranquillity and seclusion away from the bustle of city life. The hotel has easy access to the attractions in and around Kakamas. Guest accommodations feature 26 elegant hotel rooms, 5 luxury units and 14 self catering units. The hotel provides an excellent destination choice for both business and leisure travelers. Guests can enjoy the atmosphere created by a clever combination of days gone by and the modern, mixing rural with urban.

Basis: Bed and Breakfast

DAY 6: KALAHARI GATEWAY HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, KAKAMAS

Day Itinerary

After breakfast, you travel the short distance to the Augrabies Falls. With vast quantities of turbulent water plunging from a height of 65m, the Augrabies Falls forms the 6th largest waterfall in the world and the largest in South Africa. This usually placid river churns through a narrow gorge just above the falls before cascading into a pool 92m across and 130m deep. Legend has it that this frothing cauldron of black water guards a fortune in alluvial diamonds. The thundering cascade of water led the original Hottentot residents to believe that evil spirits were active here, and so they named the waterfall Ankoerebis, “place of big noises”. Apart from the falls, you have several beautiful hiking trails in the Augrabies Park leading to Arrow Point (1 hour), to the Potholes (1 hour) and the Moon Rock (1 hour).

Optional

Augrabies Falls

Just outside the town of Upington, the waters of the Orange River drop some 60 metres into a Rocky River gorge, forming the Augrabies Falls. The cascading water causes a beautiful, thundering noise so it is not surprising that the Khoi people called it “the place of big noises”.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 7: TWEE RIVIEREN REST CAMP, KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (South Africa)

Situated between the borders of Botswana and Namibia, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park covers nearly 10,000km² of orange sand dunes, solitary trees, dry river beds and scattered grasses. However, since no barrier separates Kalahari Gemsbok National Park from the adjacent Gemsbok National Park of Botswana, an area of 36,000km² lies open for Africa’s wildest animals to roam freely. This dry, stark, hauntingly beautiful desert land is part of Africa’s first transfrontier park, ensuring that conservation is the top priority for this vast ecosystem and its inhabitants.

Day Itinerary

This morning you travel north to the town of Upington, your gateway to the Kalahari Desert and its main attraction, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. In the afternoon you can already explore the Kgalagadi Park and stop at a variety of waterholes to view some of the animals inhabiting the area. Red dunes, sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob show antelope and predator species off to spectacular advantage. Kgalagardi is also a haven for birders, especially those interested in birds of prey.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Botswana)

For a different type of wildlife experience, many tourists head west to the least populated part of South Africa, where the famous Kalahari Desert or, as it is now known, the Kgalagadi, starts. One of the jewels of the desert, it is a beautiful wilderness of grasslands and red sand dunes protected by the cross border reserve between South Africa and Botswana. The South African part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park used to be known as the Kalahari Gemsbok Park. The park is renowned for its predator and raptor viewing, and not surprisingly, its gemsbok or oryx; the elegant grey, black and white antelope with their rapier-like horns.

Directions – Kalahari Gateway Hotel and Conference Centre to Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Distance: 334.69km   Travel Time: 3:30 hours

Overnight: Twee Rivieren Rest Camp       

In a setting such as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park’s, where striking red sand dunes are offset by sparse, hardy vegetation and resilient desert wildlife, Twee Rivieren camp possesses the character and stature of a desert camp to be remembered. Occupying an impressive position on the dry Nossob river bed, the camp is particularly well noted for its seasonal migrations of desert herbivores, such as blue wildebeest and red hartebeest, as well as the ever-trailing predators, yielding exciting hunts and game viewing from virtually all corners of the camp. This camp is the administrative headquarters of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park as a whole, and the largest rest camp within its borders.

Basis

Bed/Room Only

DAY 8: TWEE RIVIEREN REST CAMP, KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)

Day Itinerary

In the early morning enjoy watching the herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest grazing in the riverbed, or huge black-mane lions resting in the shade of imposing camel thorn trees, which also serve as the vantage point for leopard and many raptors. Formed from the amalgamation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park comprises an area of over 3,6 million hectares – one of the very few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the world. After an eventful game viewing day, travel back to your rest camp in the late afternoon, where you enjoy dinner in the African-style restaurant.

Basis

Bed/Room Only

DAY 9: CANYON LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, FISH RIVER CANYON

Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon is located in the northern part of the Nama Karoo. It is the second largest canyon on earth, featuring a gigantic ravine that measures in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep. The FishRiver is the longest interior river found in Namibia, but its flow at present is a trickle compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length in ages past. It cuts deep into the plateau that is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought resistant plants such as succulents, euphorbia’s and lonely quiver trees.

The river flows intermittently, usually coming down in flood in late summer, and when it ceases to flow it becomes a chain of long narrow pools on the sandy rock-strewn floor of the chasm. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais provides an oasis in the desolate rocky wastes.

Guided and unguided walks into the canyon are possible during April to September, it is however strictly forbidden to climb into the canyon as a day visitor. In the canyon you may encounter several species of mammals, such as wild horses, Mountain Zebra (Hartman Zebra), Kudu, Klipspringer, Leopard, Steenbok, Baboon and Springbok.

The most common rodents include mice, rats, dassies, and dassie-rats. Bird life includes surprises like Pelicans, Black Eagles, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, Lovebirds, Wild Ostrich and various species of waterfowl and wading birds, like Herons. In the natural pools of the Fish River are found an abundance of fish, such as barbled catfish and yellow fish.

Day Itinerary

Having enjoyed breakfast (not included), travel out of the park in a southerly direction to reach the Namibian border at Rietfontein. Having checked through the border post, you first travel via the red sand of the Kalahari and then over endless rocky plains interspersed with majestic mountain ranges to your next lodge, situated in close vicinity of the Fish River Canyon.

Your charming chalets are nestled between huge granite rocks and afford you an unforgettable view onto the untouched plains of the Nama Karoo, a half desert covering the southern and central parts of Namibia. In the late afternoon, you have the option of taking a scenic walk up a granite hill to enjoy the sundowner with a cold drink in hand before returning to your lodge for dinner.

Directions – Twee Rivieren Rest Camp to Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Distance: 487.59km   Travel Time: 6:16 hours

Overnight: Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia     

Canyon Lodge in Gondwana Canyon Park is just 20 km away from the Fish River Canyon. 25 natural stone chalets with air conditioning, en suite bathroom and thatched roofs, nestle between massive granite boulders and convey a sense of living in the lap of nature. Enjoy delicious meals at the restaurant and be transported to the pioneering days of farming by the carefully arranged décor. Read a book at leisure on the terrace shaded by trees or relax at the swimming pool with vistas beyond the Fish River Canyon.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 10: CANYON LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, FISH RIVER CANYON

Day Itinerary

After breakfast, travel the short distance to the Fish River Canyon, set in a harsh, rocky plain dotted with drought-resistant plants. With a length of 170km and an average depth of 550m, the canyon represents the second largest canyon on earth after the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Take a scenic walk along the rim of the canyon to explore the area and to experience the play of shadows within the canyon as the morning progresses.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 11: KLEIN-AUS VISTA DESERT HORSE INN GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, AUS

Aus

This region is typified by the Succulent Karoo. The distinctive climatic characteristics of the Succulent Karoo make it different from all other deserts in the world. Rainfall is reliable and predictable, falling mostly in winter, and prolonged droughts are rare. The Succulent Karoo’s botanical diversity is unparalleled by any other arid region on earth and is the world’s only plant hotspot that is entirely arid.

This eco region is home to greater than 5,000 higher plant species, nearly 40 percent of which are endemic, and 18% of which are threatened. It has the richest succulent flora in the world, harbouring about one-third of the world’s approximately 10,000 succulent species. Other unique features include the diversity of miniature succulents (435 spp.) and geophytes (bulb-like plants 630 spp.).

The eco region is also a centre of diversity and endemism for reptiles and many invertebrate taxa, especially monkey beetles (Rutelinae: Hoplinii). The Namib Desert eco region to the north is characterized by extremely low and variable summer rain (less than 50 mm per year), and extremely sparse plant cover, dominated by ephemerals. To the east lies the Nama Karoo eco region, a low open shrub land with variable grass cover and highly variable rain that falls mainly in the late summer months.

Day Itinerary

After experiencing the Fish River Canyon, you travel further west to the edge of the Namibian escarpment and the Succulent Karoo.

Your lodge awards you a magnificent view onto the desert plains, which unfold in a carpet of flowers and an explosion of bright colours after the winter rains. It is one of the 20 most important biomes in the world and counts as the most species diverse desert on earth. It is also the home of the world-renowned wild horses of the Namib Desert which you can visit in the afternoon.

Optional

Wild Horses of the Namib

Fighting for a life in freedom they hold an irresistible fascination: the Wild Horses of the Namib in south-western Namibia. For centuries their origin was shrouded in mystery. Their habitat, the barren plains around Garub on the eastern fringe of the Namib Desert, is no paradise; nevertheless they have managed to adapt to the harsh conditions.

Their forebears, once in the service of man, gained freedom for themselves: a life in the vastness of the Namib, away from human civilization, according to the rules of their own horse society. Perhaps this is the reason for the fascination of thousands of visitors every year.

Plans for moving the herd to farms have been discarded by now: it has been decided that also in future the horses’ place is in Namib Naukluft Park.

Directions – Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia to Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn Gondwana Collection Namibia

Distance: 286.40km   Travel Time: 3:16 hours

Overnight: Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn Gondwana Collection Namibia       

Located in the Aus Mountains at 1,400m above sea level, Desert Horse Inn affords grand vistas of mountain scenery and sweeping desert plains. It consists of 24 spacious and tastefully decorated en suite rooms. Relax with sundowners on the wooden deck before enjoying a 3-course meal in the restaurant. Exchange travel experiences and recommendations at the evocative Wild Horse Bar or at the cosy fireplace in the lounge.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 12: KANAAN NA’AN KU SE DESERT RETREAT, TIRAS MOUNTAINS

Tiras Mountains

Situated in southwestern Namibia at the edge of the world-renowned Namib Desert, the Tiras Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for visitors who venture to this red granite wonderland and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this region.

Namibian landscapes are synonymous with tranquillity, serenity and endless open spaces and the magnificent Tiras Mountains encapsulate this quiet charm. Nature lovers flock here for an off-the-beaten-track experience in one of Namibia’s most beautiful areas.

Visitors can enjoy thrilling 4×4 mountain and dune tours, nature walks, game and bird viewing as well as excursions through quiver tree forests and to ancient rock paintings on granite rocks. Visitors can relax at one of the luxurious farm lodges after a wonderful day of activities, or get up close with nature while camping in this beautiful desert wilderness.

Day Itinerary

Before continuing into the southern Namib Desert, we recommend an early morning excursion to Kolmanskuppe; a Ghost Town established after the first diamonds were discovered here in 1908. In the 1950s, no more diamonds were found, and the town was left in the relentless hands of the Namib Desert. Travelling north, your next stop is situated in solitude desert landscape along the foot of the stunning Tiras Mountains and the scenic D707 route.

Recommended

Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop

Amongst the sands of the Namib, the crumbling buildings of a small, once-luxurious town emerge from the drifting dunes. This ghost town is Kolmanskop, a reminder of the wealth of a time when diamonds could be picked by hand from the desert and a remarkable photographic opportunity with few equals anywhere on earth.

To the imaginative but uninformed, the “Sperrgebiet” (forbidden diamond territory) conjures up images of watchtowers, electric fences, barbed wire and ferocious guard dogs protecting the restricted area. This may tickle the fancy but could hardly be further from reality.

In fact, for most parts there is nothing – nothing but the limitless desert and the occasional forlorn notice board with its stern WARNING! WAARSKUWING! WARNUNG! ELONDWELO! And then you find Kolmanskop, a deserted Ghost Town in the Sperrgebiet – once a cosmopolitan center where diamonds were lying around like “plums under a plum tree”, a town built to last…until the diamonds ran out.

Today Kolmanskop stands as a haunting monument to the day’s boom and bust, where once opulent homes, shops, hospital and theater surrender slowly to the relentless heat and encroaching desert sand.

D707

The D707 turns west of the C13, first over a little pass with quiver trees, to then follow the half circle formed between the Koichab dunes and Tiras Mountains. There is quite some game to be seen, mainly springbok, Oryx and ostrich, as well as the occasional flower. But it’s the landscape with a folly of earth colours that really struck. The Tiras Mountains are of a very dark plum colour; most Koichab dunes feature the same too-orange-to-be-true ochre as Sossusvlei, whereas other dunes are beige. The plains in between are covered in yellow grass, dotted with the occasional green camel thorn tree. And all this under a steel blue sky! Just mountains, grass and dunes may sound monotonous, but the view is simply just breathtaking and a must see route through the southern plains of the diverse Namib.

Directions – Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn Gondwana Collection Namibia to Kanaan Na’an ku se Desert Retreat

Distance: 141.6km    Travel Time: 2:09 hours

Overnight: Kanaan Na’an ku se Desert Retreat   

This enchanting reserve borders the Namib Naukluft Park with its breath taking photogenic dune belt to the west and the Tiras Mountains to the east. Kanaan N/a’an ku sê Desert Retreat is situated on 33 000 ha of unspoilt nature. Contrasting landscapes are never-ending, with rippled sand dunes glowing in the magical light of sunrise and sunset.

Stay in one of our comfortable rustic en-suite rooms; get served homely meals and refreshing drinks in the old farm house amid a most beautiful scenic setting. Kanaan is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, geologists, hikers or for those looking to get away from it all.

In the dedicated hands of the N/a’an ku sê team, the Kanaan N/a’an ku sê Desert Retreat focuses on the rehabilitation of the land to serve a purpose other than being a photographer’s paradise – conservation and protection of the wildlife and environment. A get-away also for campers looking for a once off experience at our campsite 707 situated amidst a most beautiful landscape. Bookable only to one group at a time. Facilities include ablution and kitchen area.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 13; SOSSUSVLEI LODGE, NAMIB DESERT

Namib Desert

The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, and although it stretches along the entire length of Namibia’s coastline, the Namib commonly refers to the vast sea of sand from Luderitz to Swakopmund. For a big sandy desert the scenery is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part.

Because of how old it is the Namib is home to numerous species that don’t occur elsewhere and although no humans live in the desert an amazing array of flora and fauna manages to survive here. Famous species include the Welwitschia – a living fossil plant, endemic chameleons, fur seals along the coast, brown hyenas, jackals and remarkably one of Africa’s largest antelope the Gemsbok. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means “vast place” and vast it certainly is.

Day Itinerary

This morning you travel via endless plains and along striking mountain ranges into the Namib Desert, the oldest desert on earth. Your lodge is situated close to Sesriem, the gate to two of Namibia’s most celebrated attractions: Sossusvlei, with some of the highest dunes on earth, and Sesriem Canyon. Both are moulded and shaped by the brute force of the Tsauchab, a non-perennial river that meanders through this majestic ocean of sand with its ever-changing colours.

At your lodge, you have a wide variety of activities on offer, some of which include scenic nature drives, sundowner drives or quad bike rides over the private nature reserve. Alternatively, relax on the large verandah of the lodge with a view onto a frequented waterhole.

Directions – Kanaan Na’an ku se Desert Retreat to Sossusvlei Lodge

Distance: 204km       Travel Time: 3:00 hours

Overnight: Sossusvlei Lodge        

Situated at the Entrance Gate to the Namib Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei Lodge offers direct access to the towering red sand dunes, the famous pan of Sossusvlei, the scorched black trees of Dead Vlei and the remarkable depths of the Sesriem Canyon.

The 45 individual luxurious accommodation units at Sossusvlei Lodge are carefully laid out to perfectly blend in with the magnificent surrounding natural environment. Each fully air-conditioned unit has a patio, en-suite bathroom with shower and a spacious bedroom under canvas with adobe-style plaster walls to give the visitor a distinctive sense of being close to nature.

Experience the true art of Hospitality with the thoughtful touch of attentive staff to contribute to a truly memorable experience. Facilities include a sparkling pool, bar, beer garden and an al fresco terrace where one can enjoy exquisite food, award-winning wines and magnificent views of the floodlit waterhole.

The Sossusvlei Lodge Adventure Centre provides a range of activities including Quad-Biking, Guided Excursions, Sun-downer Trips, Hot Air Ballooning, Scenic Flights and much more to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 14: SOSSUSVLEI LODGE, NAMIB DESERT

Day Itinerary

The best time to experience the Sossusvlei area is at sunrise when the light paints the dunes and desert palette into deep red, apricot and purple – this part of the day is also the most forgiving, as you are not exposed to the hot afternoon sun when clambering one of the mighty dunes.

From Sossusvlei visit Dead Vlei, a surreal white clay pan surrounded by monumental dunes and dotted with age-old camelthorn trees. Travelling back, visit the Sesriem Canyon, an 18 million-year-old gorge eroded into the conglomerate floor. Having returned to your lodge, cool off in the sparkling pool or take a refreshing drink in the bar overlooking the waterhole.

Recommended

Sossusvlei

Dead Vlei

Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei’s rich ochre sand dunes offer one of the most mind-blowing sights you will ever experience. Their oscillating crests rise to an astonishing 320m and, with their air of timelessness, create an unforgettable wilderness in the heart of the world’s oldest desert.

Dwarfed by the sheer size of the highest dunes on earth, your ascending footprints look like insect trails leading into infinity. The solitude is immeasurable and your place in the great scheme of life takes on a curious insignificance. The white vleis (clay pans) contrast sharply against the red sand and vast blue sky, while fog-dependent animals and plants seek shelter from the sweltering heat underneath the sand and age-old camel thorn trees.

One of these pans, referred to as Dead Pan, is a large ghostly expanse of dried white clay, punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees, carbon-dated as being between 500 and 600 years old. During this time the flow of the Tsauchab River into the pan was stopped by the formation of a dune belt – hence the trees died, now forming part of Namibia’s own Salvador Dali “painting”.

Dead Vlei

This ancient clay pan was once an oasis, studded with acacias and fed by a river that suddenly changed course, leaving the earth to dry up along with the trees it previously supported. So dry were the climatic conditions that the trees never decomposed – instead they were entirely leached of moisture so that today, 900 years later, they remain as desiccated, blackened sentinels dotting the pan’s cracked surface. Surrounded by the red-pink dunes of the Namib Desert, they create a surreal spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 15: END OF ITINERARY

Day Itinerary

After a relaxed breakfast, travel up the Khomas plateau to Windhoek, where you return your rental vehicle and where the tour ends.

Directions – Sossusvlei Lodge to Hosea Kutako International Airport [WDH]

Distance: 360.23km   Travel Time: 4:46 hours

Included

Meals:
12 Breakfasts, 3 Dinner
All meals as specified in the itinerary
Activities as specified
Accommodation as specified
Tourism levy & Government Taxes where applicable
Deluxe Travel planner

Excluded

All International / Domestic Flights & taxes
Rental Vehicle
Visas
Travel & Personal accident insurance
Personal Expenses
Excursions / Activities not specified
Gratuities

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