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Stunning South of Namibia Tour


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights: Kalahari semi desert, Quiver tree Forest, Mesosaurus Fossils, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei and Swakopmund.

 

Tour Info:

Duration: 11 Days - 10 Nights

Vehicle Options: VW Caravelle or Similar

Minimum Guests: 2 Persons, Maximum 6

(should the group be bigger, a coach will be used)

Tour Guide: English Speaking Guide

 

 

TOUR SUMMARY

Day

Accommodation

Meals

Activities

1

Auas City Hotel

 

Transfer

2

Auob Country Lodge

B/D

 

3

Canyon Road House

B/D

Quiver Tree Forest, Mesosaurus Fossils

4

Canyon Road House

B/D

Fish River Canyon

5

Desert Quiver Camp

B/D

Old Missions House

6

Desert Quiver Camp

B/D

Sossusvlei, Sesriem Canyon

7

Life Style Apartment

B

Ghaub- & Kuiseb Pass, Welwitschia

8

Life Style Apartment

B

Catamaran Excision

9

Life Style Apartment

B

Living Desert Tour

10

Auas City Hotel

B/D

 

11

Departure

B

Transfer

B = Breakfast                  D = Dinner            

PS – we may use other accommodation, this will lead to a price change.

 

 

Included:

·                    All accommodation as mentioned       

·                    10x Breakfast, 0x Lunch, 6x Dinner

·                    Guide with his/her expenses

·                    Vehicle with its expenses

·                    All activities as mentioned

·                    All entrance fees (Quiver Tree Forest, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei)

·                    Tips for Porter

·                    VAT, Bed Levy’s

 

Excluded:

·                    All flights

·                    All private insurances

·                    All other excursions not mentioned (this will go to clients account directly)

·                    All beverages

·                    Goods of personal nature

·                    All other tips

 

Bring along:

·                    Please keep in mind, that where you stay two days or more, washing service is offered

·                    Camera with enough memory cards

·                    Hat and sunscreen

·                    Windbreaker

·                    Good walking shoes

·                    Flexible travel bag

·                    Clothes for summer and winter

 

 

Itinerary:

 

Day   1                 

Meet and greet by your guide at the Hosea Kotako International Airport. Transfer to Windhoek and check-in.

Accommodation:  Auas City Hotel

Strategically located near the CBD, Windhoek Show grounds and major routes, the Auas City Hotel is the ideal venue for the overnight traveller and corporate executive alike. All rooms have individually controlled air-conditioning and tea/coffee-making facilities. Wireless internet access is available in all bedrooms, public areas, conference rooms and restaurant.

Accentuate your stay in our unique and stylish hotel by spending a magnificent evening in our new restaurant, Haiku. The eatery radiates charm and atmosphere, and specialises in top quality Japanese Cuisine, overlooking the secure landscaped garden and swimming-pool.

Whether it's a business meeting or a team building activity you are looking for, Auas City Hotel will exceed all your expectations. Join us and be at home with our friendly and efficient team.

 

 

Day   2                 

We depart at 09h00 from your hotel. Our route takes you in a southern direction via Rehoboth – Homeland of the Bastard Community to Mariental where we stop for a lunch break. Further we proceed eastwards and then south through the Kalahari Semi Desert to our lodge. Should we have enough time left you can take part on a nature drive.

Accommodation:  Auob Country Lodge

Auob Country Lodge, a green oasis in the Kalahari landscape, is situated on the banks of the dry Auob River. The small town Gochas is only 6 km away. The gem in the Kalahari offers 26 en-suite double rooms, a restaurant, a lapa, a TV room and a lounge with fireplace for chilly winter evenings. The red dunes of the Kalahari are in strong contrast to the white calcareous rocks of the valley formed by the Auob River. In an area of 8000 ha around the lodge, various antelopes, giraffe, smaller mammals and many bird species can be seen. The plants in this area are well adapted to the harsh conditions of the Kalahari. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at the swimming pool or discover the surrounding area on foot, horseback or on a sundowner drive. A bar is at your disposal. Auob Lodge is easily accessible by road or plane. The private landing strip is suitable for various size planes (co-ordinates: S24.49 E18.46). Auob Lodge is the ideal first night stop-over on your tour to the south. Beautiful Kalahari landscape en route to Quiver Tree Forest and Keetmanshoop.

 

 

Day   3                 

A long day is awaiting us. We leave early and drive through endless sheep farms through the beautiful Kalahari Semi Desert to reach the Quiver Tree Forest and the Mesosaurus Fossils. After the guided tour we proceed via Keetmanshoop to a private Wine Estate for a lunch break. Here we get a look into the wine making of Namibia. You continue along the Fish River to you next lodge.

Accommodation:  Canyon Road House

Canyon Roadhouse

Fill up on smiles at this extraordinary and out-of-the-ordinary lodge. Resembling a roadhouse with a large red roof, the lodge is a veritable treasure-house and a 'must-do' stop when visiting the canyon. The outside area hints of the wonderland interior with its rusty old Chevys and Fords from a bygone era adorned with corky quiver trees and desert flora. Park your vehicle and step inside. As if you have entered an Aladdin's cave (an Aladdin interested in the good old days of the automobile, that is), the large doors open onto an International truck serving as the reception desk, a 'pompstasie' (filling station) bar and an assortment of classic vehicles and transport paraphernalia assembled with an innovative and creative flair - and a good deal of humor. Restaurant tables are placed in between and several cars serve as zany fireplaces in the chilly winter months.

Canyon Roadhouse has more than a fascinating interior. Large attractive rooms, positioned around courtyards, make the Roadhouse a comfortable - and convenient - base when visiting the Fish River Canyon, just fourteen kilometers away. The canyon resort has a swimming pool, a campsite, a terrace to enjoy Roadhouse specialities like Amarula cheesecake (and the best cappuccino for miles around) and a walking trail through the hills.

 

The Mesosaurus Fossil Site and Quiver Tree Dolerite Park, is situated in southern Namibia, 38kms north east of the town of Keetmanshoop. It is set in an area that includes the Mesosaurus Fossil Site, The Quiver Tree Forest, (with over 5,000 specimens) and eroded dolorite rock formations. Not only is it the ideal setting to view and photograph these attractions, but it is within easy reach of Fish River Canyon and Ai-Ais hot springs

Many guests enjoy the breath-taking scenery when admiring the harsh and unforgiving landscape, but find it difficult to imagine that they are actually standing at the bottom of an ancient lake.

 

  

Day  4              

After breakfast you will visit the World’s second largest Canyon – the Fish River Canyon. The afternoon is free and you may relax next to the pool or take part on a nature drive.

Accommodation:  Canyon Road House

The Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia is second only in grandeur to the USA’s Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is absolutely magnificent and breath-taking in its immensity.

 

Rock strata’s of purples, pinks and greys stretch along a 100-mile (161km) course. Yet it comes as something of a shock when you arrive at the canyon, as you have no idea it is there. It drops vertically by 1,800ft (550m) out of a flat arid plateau without any warning, even though at some points it is 17 miles (27km) wide!

According to the San Bushmen the twists and curves were carved by the serpent, Kouteign Kooru, in an attempt to escape capture. However, geologists say it was initially created by a fracture in the earth's crust 500 million years ago. Erosion and the action of glaciers then further deepened the canyon.

In the base of the canyon only remnants of the great Fish River remain and all you can see from the viewpoints are distant emerald pools. After rains the energetic stream tries to muster up enough energy to be called a river. It is down here in the canyon floor here that hikers pit themselves against the elements on one Southern Africa’s most famous and popular hiking trails. The hike covers a distance of 54 miles (86km) over 5 days in the base of the canyon, with absolutely no facilities whatsoever. You have only what you carry on your back and whatever water you can find in semi-permanent pools. Because of its arduous nature, the National Park's office insists on a certificate of fitness before you are allowed to commence the walk. The reason for never turning back, is that your hike ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs, where you can dip your sore feet and weary body in therapeutic hot water.

 

 

Day   5                 

On time we depart via Seeheim, Bethanie – here we visit the oldest stone house in Namibia, further to Helmeringhausen for a lunch break. We continue via the Zaris Pass through the upper Namib to our Lodge.

Accommodation:  Desert Quiver Camp

Desert Quiver Camp is situated on a private reserve around 5km from the Sesriem Gate entrance to the Namib-Naukluft Park and the famous desert dunes at Sossusvlei. The clay pan known as Sossusvlei (the gathering place of water) is Namibia's main geographical draw card. Huge red sand dunes dwarf the pan itself and the immediate desert surrounds come alive on rare occasions the Tsauchab River flows to Sossusvlei itself. Desert-adapted wildlife can survive, existing on sparse vegetation that pepper the dunes. Visitors to Namibia and Desert Quiver Camp marvel at the sheer size and beauty of the Sossusvlei region which includes the much-photographed Deadvlei, Hiddenvlei and the more secluded Nara Vlei.

Desert Quiver Camp is a new self-catering accommodation establishment in the area, it is part of the same group of lodges, and situated close to, the well-established and very popular Desrt Camp. The swimming pool provides welcome respite from the hot desert sunshine and overlooks both Elim Dune and the immediate grasslands. There are 2 communal bomas which can be booked in advance, both equipped with cooking and wash-up facilities, ideal for large groups who wish to dine outside together. The lodge offers a big-screen television in the bar where current news events and the latest major sporting events can be viewed. Coupons can be bought at reception for those who need a Wi-Fi connection and order forms for self-catering food are also available. There is a private chef on site who can prepare braaied (barbequed) meals on request. Alternatively the restaurant and facilities at the nearby Sossusvlei Lodge can be used although meals must be booked in advance.

Guests stay in 24 uniquely designed, stylish self-catering chalets. Each unit has an en-suite bathroom with a hand basin, toilet and shower. The large bedroom is equipped with twin beds, a fold-out sleeper couch accommodating 2 small children (under 12) and ample shelves and clothes hanging space. The small but well-appointed kitchenette has a 2-plate stove, 'under counter' fridge and a wash up area, opposite a seating and dining area for 4.

Great views of granite outcrops, the immediate environment and wandering wildlife can be enjoyed from the shaded verandah, braai and wooden bench. Private parking is available. To assist self-catering guests 'Utility Boxes' can be collected from the reception at Desert Quiver Camp. They are filled with a decent selection of cooking and eating utensils. Order fresh food and supplies here as well.

 

Bethanie (often in German Bethanien, and in  English: Bethany, previously Klipfontein, Khoekhoegowab: ǀUiǂgandes) is a village in the Karas Region of southern Namibia. It is ranked as one of the oldest settlements in the country. It is situated on the road C14 between Goageb and Walvis Bay, 100 km west of Keetmanshoop. It has a population of about 2,000.

The area around Bethanie originally belonged to the Red Nation. At the beginning of the 18th century the ǃAman (Bethanie Orlam), a subtribe of the Orlam people, obtained settlement rights and settled here. As missionaries started travelling north from the Cape Colony in the early 19th century, they established mission stations on their way. The London Missionary Society founded the town, but, because of a shortage of missionaries and presumably because of the cooperation between the London and Rhenish Missionary Society at the time, they instead sent a German.

Reverend Heinrich Schmelen arrived in 1814 as missionary of the Kaiǀkhauan (Khauas Nama) and their leader Amraal Lambert. The Schmelenhaus was built the same year, long considered the oldest structure in Namibia, and currently a National Monument and memorabilia museum. It was later discovered that the church and the pastor's house in Warmbad, both destroyed in 1811, were older than the Schmelenhaus, and that the fortification of llKhauxa!nas predates all European constructions. Schmelen also initiated the building of a chapel which was in ruins when James Edward Alexander visited the village in 1837.

In 1822, Schmelen left Bethanie after becoming dissatisfied with his missionary work among the local tribes, who refused his repeated and impassioned pleas to attend church and an ongoing conflict between Amraal Lambert's Orlam and another Namaqua tribe living at the station. Livestock and men were killed, and buildings burned. According to James Edard Alexander, Schmelen had "tried in vain to prevent the people of the station exchanging their cattle at Lüderitz... for fire-arms and ammunition" and saw no end to the local conflicts.

The original church was built in 1859, and also still stands today.

In 1883, Bethanie was the scene of the historical land sale at the house of Namaqua chief Josef Frederiks ll that would eventually establish Imperial Germany's colony of German South-West Africa. Adolf Luderitz in May 1883 obtained the area of Angra Penquena (today the town of Lüderitz) from Frederiks for 100£ in gold and 200 rifles. Three months later on 21 August, Frederiks sold Lüderitz a stretch of land 140 kilometers (87 mi) wide, between the Orange River  and Angra Pequena, for 500£ and 60 rifles. This area was far bigger than Frederiks had thought, as the contract specified its width as '20 geographical miles', a term that the tribal chief was not familiar with: 1 German geographical mile equals 7.4 kilometers (4.6 mi), whereas the common mile in the territory was the English Mile, 1.6 kilometers.

 

Day   6                

Before sunrise we get up and ready for the breath-taking drive by sun rise towards Sossusvlei. Here you have the opportunity to climb on one of the dunes and get the feeling of freedom. Afterwards we return and visit the Sesriem Canyon before we get back to our lodge. The afternoon you can relax next to the pool or undertake a walk on the lodge ground.

Accommodation:  Desert Quiver Camp

The Sesriem Canyon

On the way to Sossusvlei approximately 6 kilometers from the park entrance is the Sesriem Canyon. The Tsauchab river hollowed about one kilometer long and 30 meter deep gorge into the rock. The canyon is said to be caused by a continental shift two to four million years ago in the 18-million year old rocks.
Previously settlers pulled buckets filled with water up from the depths with six knotted belts. Therefore, the canyon was named after the Afrikaans word “Sesriem” meaning “six belts”.

Above the canyon there is a car park from which visitors can descend into the ravine via a small path. In especially hot weather, when the sun is high in the sky, the narrow meter wide gorge sheds pleasant cool shade from above. The light that does cascade through the cracks creates impressive shadows on the steep rock walls. The river bed is nearly almost dry with only a few water-filled pools that are used by the animals as watering holes. When you walk through the gorge you are met by an idyllic pool, perfect for a refreshing swim. The small pools are filled after the rainy season and it is spectacular to see the fresh glistening water. The canyon wides, flattens and empties out into a shallow river bed that leads into the Sossusvlei inside.

 

Sossusvlei

Situated in the largest conservation area in Africa (the Namib-Naukluft National Park), Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. Characterised by the large red dunes that surround it, Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt and clay pan and is a great destination all year round. The dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world, reaching almost 400 meters, and provide photographic enthusiasts with wonderful images in the beautiful morning and evening light.

Sossusvlei literally translates to “dead-end marsh”, as it is the place where the dunes come together preventing the Tsauchab River to flow any further, some 60km east of the Atlantic Ocean.  However, due to the dry conditions in the Namib Desert the River seldom flows this far and the pan remains bone-dry most years.  During an exceptional rainy season the Tsauchab fills the pan, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness this spectacular site. Photographic enthusiasts are spoilt with a glassy “lake” holding reflections of the surrounding dunes.  When the pan fills it can hold water for as long as a year.

Despite the harsh desert conditions in the area, one can find a wide variety of plants and animals that have adapted to survive.

All of the attractions surrounding Sossusvlei are easily accessible as all but the last 5 kilometers of the 65 kilometer drive to the vlei is tarred. Shuttles provide access to the last 5 kilometers, should you not have a 4×4 vehicle.

 

 

 Day   7                  

After a relaxed breakfast we depart to the coast via Solitaire, the Ghaub- and Kuiseb Pass to Ganab for a picnic lunch in the desert. We continue through the oldest desert of the world – the Namib Desert to reach the Welwitschia mirabillis before we end our journey at the coast at Swakopmund.

Accommodation:  Life Style Apartment

Swakopmund Lifestyle Bed & Breakfast and Apartments is a privately-owned establishment with the advantage of having a wide choice of accommodation options. It suits individual travellers, self-drive tourists and families who prefer the convenience of a centrally located venue.

There are a number of excellent restaurants and pubs within walking distance, and one of Swakomund's main draw cards, the beach, can also be easily reached. The main seaside area is called the Mole and the town's most iconic symbol is the jetty, now popular with walkers and line fishermen. The Germanic history of the town is reflected in of the many restored buildings, monuments and private enterprises.

 

Welwitschia mirabillis

Weird, peculiar, wonderful, strange, bizarre, fascinating, and of course, unique, are the kind of words that are used to describe the welwitschia. It is one of the few things on Earth that can truly claim to be one of a kind. There really is nothing like it.

Description

An adult welwitschia consists of two leaves, a stem base and roots. That is all! Its two permanent leaves are unique in the plant kingdom. They are the original leaves from when the plant was a seedling, and they just continue to grow and are never shed. They are leathery, broad, strap-shaped and they lie on the ground becoming torn to ribbons and tattered with age. The stem is low, woody, hollowed-out, obconical in shape and sturdy. It grows to about 500 mm in height. The largest recorded specimen is in the Messum Mountains and is 1.8 m high, and another on the Welwitschia Flats near the Swakop River is 1.2 m tall and 8.7 m wide. Carbon dating tells us that on average, welwitschias are 500-600 years old, although some of the larger specimens are thought to be 2000 years old. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. Growth occurs annually during the summer months.

The sexes are separate, i.e. male plants and female plants. The male cones are salmon-coloured, small, oblong cone-like structures, and the female cones are blue-green, larger and more tapering. At Kirstenbosch, they flower from midsummer to autumn. The male flower has a sterile, modified pistil-like structure, which exudes nectar (50% sugar content) from a modified stigma-like structure. The female cone has exposed stigmas and also produces a nectar droplet.

 

Day   8                  

The morning you take part on a Catamaran Dolphin cruise. The afternoon you explore the city. Ask your guide to assist with any other activities.

Accommodation Life Style Apartment

 

From meeting with Pelicans to feeding Seals, and if luck permits, leaping Dolphins and shy Turtles all this and more on our morning Dolphin and Seal Cruises

.

Description
From meeting with Pelicans to feeding Seals, and if luck permits, leaping Dolphins and shy Turtles all this and more on our morning Dolphin and Seal Cruises

Come join us aboard our 45ft Royal Cape Catamaran Silverwind or 60ft Simonis Catamaran Silversand or on our 40″ Admiral Motorized Catamaran and experience the Bay in luxury, style and comfort!

Our morning Dolphin and Seal Cruisesft are from 08:30 (Check-in Time) till +-12:30.
We depart from the Walvis Bay Waterfront and continue our route into the beautiful bay area, which holds more splendor than can at first be seen a shipwreck, lighthouse, oyster platforms, different bird species, seals and an abundance of marine life are just some of the attractions.

In season, the larger mammals like the Southern Right Whale and the
Humpback Whales may be spotted and with a bit of extra special luck, the mighty Killer Whales (Orcas) might make an appearance.

Sightings of the Mola Mola (Sunfish) and the Leatherback Turtles also keep our guests on the lookout!

All this can be experienced while comfortably relaxing in the saloon, on the trampolines or on deck, whilst enjoying a glass of Sparkling Wine and our delicious trade-mark snacks.Inclusions-Sparkling Wine.

 

 

 

Day   9                  

Today you explore the desert and try to find the “Little Five”. Again the afternoon is to your relaxation.

Accommodation:  Life Style Apartment

 

Our journey begins in Swakopmund and leads us across the Swakop River towards the local dune belt between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. This dune belt is about 30km long and 5km wide and supports an impressive wealth of fauna and flora. Establishment slowly drive along the foot of the dunes, taking precaution not to drive on the gravel plains and cause any unnecessary damage to the environment. The gravel plains are protected and home to nesting Damara Terns, which are endemic to this area. Driving along gravel plains leaves scars, which can take up to 100 years to recover. Conservation issues and the geological structure of the desert will be discussed in detail en route. Plenty of time is available for frequent stops to take photos of the dunes and the surrounding environment.Your guide will stop continuously to look for tracks (known locally as reading the bushman paper), to determine which animals were active the night before and wherever possible will try to catch some of them to show you. Great care is taken in sharing knowledge with you on each desert animal, including emphasis on special adaptations and perfect design used for survival in the desert. Time and care is taken to ensure each animal is returned safely to its home.

Establishment cross the dune belt from East to West in a 4x4 vehicle, lending opportunity to incredible views of the desert landscape and an adrenalin packed journey where experienced knowledge of sand driving is essential. Enjoy a tea and coffee break on top of the dunes overlooking spectacular scenery packed with emotion and beauty.

THE NAMIB DESERT: The Namib Desert is approximately 2000 km long, extending along the entire coastline of Namibia from northern South Africa into southern Angola. It is the oldest Desert in the World, dated between 2 and 40 million years of age.The Namib is recognised as a desert because of its low rainfall and high evaporation rates.Rainfall varies from 15mm a year along the western coast, to 100mm a year along the eastern boundary. Evaporation is around 3500mm per year. Two factors influence the Namib Desert, namely: cold ocean currents and high air-pressure zones.

 

Day 10                 

Relaxed we return back to the capital city via Usakos, Karibib and Okahandja – here you have the opportunity to visit a wood craft market. Our drive takes us through endless farmlands. The evening we have a welfare dinner and say goodbye to our guide.

Accommodation:  Auas City Hotel

 

 

Day 11                  

Depending on your flight details, your guide will transfer you to the airport.

 

 

End of the tour

Our team wishes you all the best and a safe return. Hope to see you again.

 

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