Itinerary – Great Round Trip Through Namibia (12 Days) (Tour KAL13)
Swakopmund – Cape Cross – Twyfelfontein – Etosha Game Park – Waterberg – Windhoek – Kalahari – Fishriver Canyon – Lüderitz – Sossusvlei – Swakopmund
Depart from Swakopmund and drive north to the Cape Cross seal reserve and view a large colony of 80,000 to 100,000 Cape Fur Seals. This area is also of historical significance as the Portuguese explorer named Diego Cao, the first European to set foot in Namibia, erected a stone cross in honor of King João II of Portugal. Lunch packs en route. Travel into the interior of the country, through rugged landscapes past the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, to Twyfelfontein, (meaning doubtful fountain). Dinner / bed / breakfast at a lodge or camp near Twyfelfontein.
After breakfast we visit an amazing variety of rock engravings and paintings, which are estimated to be some 6000 years old. We also view the “Organ Pipes” with its bizarre Dolerite columns and the “Burnt Mountain” with its interesting geological features. Lunch en route. Proceed to the Etosha National Park, one of the major game reserves in Africa. Dinner / Overnight at one of the three Rest Camps.
A full day of game viewing in the Etosha National Park. This park is one of the major sanctuaries for wildlife in Africa. The area was proclaimed a game reserve as far back as 1907. The size is 22,270 km² and it consists mainly of bush and grass savannah. This type of landscape provides excellent opportunities for game viewing at the numerous waterholes or in the open countryside. There is a game-viewing drive after breakfast until late afternoon with a break for lunch. Dinner/ bed / breakfast at a rest-camp.
After breakfast depart for Tsumeb and visit Lake Otjikoto, which was formed when the roof of a karst cavity collapsed and the cavity filled up with water. Travel southwards and visit the Hoba-Meteorite near Grootfontein. This is the world’s biggest meteorite. It weighs some 60 tons and its age is estimated to be approximately 190 to 410 million years. After a short rest with lunch packs continue to Otjiwarongo, the capital of the North. Dinner / bed / breakfast at the Rest Camp at the “Waterberg” or a guest farm in the vicinity of the Waterberg.
Travel to Windhoek via the historic town of Okahandja, the former tribal centre of the Herero people. Visit the wood carvers market. Afterwards visit the graves of the great Herero chiefs, and the old cemetery with graves of members of the German “Schutztruppe”. Lunch en route. Arrive in Windhoek during the afternoon and embark on a short tour of the City of Windhoek. Attractively nestled between mountains, it was established by the Germans in 1890 and is the capital of Namibia. The city possesses a unique charm due to its harmonious blend of African and European cultures. Dinner / bed / breakfast at an accredited accommodation establishment in Windhoek.
Drive from Windhoek to Dordabis and visit the oldest Karakul weavery of Namibia. Continue south via Uhlenhorst and Stampriet through the red dune landscape of the Kalahari. The Kalahari is not really a desert but rather a savannah-like thornveld well covered in trees and plants with an average summer rainfall of 250mm. Lunch packs en route. Dinner / bed / breakfast at a lodge near Stampriet.
After Breakfast travel to Keetmanshoop, the main town of the south, where we see some historical buildings including the “Klipkerk”, a church built in 1895 from roughly hewn Dolerite blocks. We also visit the Quiver Tree Forest – a concentration of about 250 of the extraordinary tree plants, Aloe dichotoma. Bushmen used its hollow branches as quivers. Lunch packs en route. Afterwards continue south to our overnight destination: Dinner / bed / Breakfast at one of the fine accommodation establishments near the Fish River Canyon.
Visit the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world and undoubtedly the finest natural wonder in Namibia. This gigantic ravine, in places almost 500 meters deep, has been gorged out of vast undulated plains in the course of millions of years. Afterwards proceed to the coastal town of Lüderitz via Seeheim and Aus. This route takes you through unforgettable moon landscapes of endless desert vistas and bizarre rock formations past Garub where the Wild Horses of the Namib may be seen. Lunch en route. Dinner / bed / breakfast at a well-appointed hotel or guesthouse in Lüderitz.
The morning is spent in Lüderitz, the first German settlement in Namibia, named after the merchant Adolf Lüderitz from Bremen, who bought this area from the Nama in 1883. This small harbor town is perched on rugged black rock, offset by the deep blue waters of the bay. The numerous historical buildings reflect the interesting history of this town, which is intimately linked to the German colonial era. We visit the “ghost town” of Kolmanskop, (where diamonds were first discovered in Namibia), as well as Diaz Point where a limestone-cross (Padrao) was erected in 1488 by the famous Portuguese seafarer Bartholomew Diaz. After lunch we travel to Aus for our overnight stay. Dinner / bed / breakfast at a lodge at Aus.
After breakfast you may want to visit the ruins of the Prisoner of War Camp for German soldiers dating from 1915. Afterwards drive along the awesome loneliness of the “Schwarzrand” past the historic village of Bethanien to Maltahöhe. As we drive down Tsaris Pass we descend into the spectacular dune landscape of the Namib desert. Dinner / bed / breakfast at a lodge near Sesriem.
Early in the morning we depart on an excursion to Sossusvlei, a large clay pan in the center of the Namib Desert surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world. Make the effort and climb one of the spectacular dunes and the sight of the dynamic and living desert may overwhelm you. Afterwards we visit Sesriem Canyon: As a result of erosion over many centuries, a narrow gorge of about one kilometer in length was formed about 30 to 40 meters deep. Early explorers had to tie six lengths of thongs together to draw water from the pools in the canyon, hence the name “Sesriem”. Lunch en route. Dinner / bed / breakfast at a lodge near Sesriem.
After breakfast we embark on our return journey to Swakopmund and travel via Solitaire and the scenic Kuiseb and Gaub Canyons into the Namib Naukluft Park. We pass the waterholes Ganab and Hotsas where, with a bit of luck, one can see ostriches, springbok, oryx and mountain zebras. Then on to the Welwitschia Plain, where the endemic Welwitschia plant occurs in large numbers, and past the so called “moon valley” – a fascinating rock formation which is millions of years old. Arrive in Swakopmund in the late afternoon.