Swakopmund – Sossusvlei – Helmeringhausen – Lüderitz – Fish River Canyon – Quiver Tree Forest – Kalahari Desert – Windhoek – Swakopmund
Depart from Swakopmund and travel through the oldest desert into the Namib-Naukluft Park. After a short lunch break proceed via the impressive Kuiseb and Gaub Canyons in a southerly direction and experience the unsurpassed scenery of the rugged Naukluft Mountains to our left and the dune landscape to our right. Overnight at a lodge, camp or guest farm 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. Breakfast packs at Sossusvlei. 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”. Afterwards we continue south via the Tsarishoogte-Pass. Lunch en route. Dinner /bed/ breakfast at a guest farm or other accredited accommodation near Helmeringhausen.
Today we drive south along the awesome loneliness of the “Schwarzrand” and pass through the historical village of Helmeringhausen. Our destination is the harbor town of Lüderitz. Our route takes us via the scenic Neisip Plain, past Aus and through the restricted diamond area and its unforgettable moon landscapes of endless desert vistas and bizarre rock formations. Lunch en route and a stop over at Garub to view the Wild Horses of the Namib Desert. 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 travel to 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. Lunch en route. Dinner / bed / breakfast at one of the fine accommodation establishments near the Canyon.
After breakfast we 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. After a short lunch break we continue north towards our overnight destination in the red dune landscape of the Kalahari. Lunch packs en route. Dinner / bed / breakfast at a lodge in the Kalahari desert.
Drive along the Auob River in a northerly direction through the Kalahari Desert. 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. We pass through the historical villages of Stampriet, Hoachanas, Uhlenhorst and Dordabis, strongholds of the formerly thriving Karakul-wool industry. Time permitting visit the oldest Karakul weavery of Namibia. Arrive in Windhoek in the late afternoon. Lunch en route. Dinner / bed / breakfast in accredited accommodation in Windhoek.
After breakfast embark on a short tour of the City of Windhoek. Afterwards depart for our return journey to Swakopmund. Visit the wood carvers market in Okahandja, and, time permitting, 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 Swakopmund in the late afternoon.