South Africa to Namibia Classic 4x4 Self-Drive Adventure (11 days)
Bordering on South Africa, Namibia’s southern region has a lot to offer in terms of wild desert landscapes and outdoors activities, from canoeing on the Orange River through the other-worldly desert scenery of the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park to the jaw-dropping majesty of the Fish River Canyon, Africa’s largest canyon.
Southern Namibia may not be a prime safari destination but what it lacks in famous wildlife it makes up for in sublime desert scenery: sandy plains dotted with quiver trees, jagged granite mountains, and imposing rock formations. The standout highlight of southern Namibia is the Fish River Canyon, but the rest of the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is also full of desert wonders, including the richest diversity of succulent flora in the world. On the coast, Lüderitz is an intriguing colonial town, while nearby Kolmanskop, a ghost town, is one of Namibia’s most photographed places and lies on the edge of the Sperrgebiet National Park, Namibia’s newest national park. Most of the park, a diamond mining area that was closed to the public for a century, remains inaccessible, but travellers can now visit on guided expeditions to explore a rich succulent biome, a huge rock arch and two mysterious ghost towns. At Namibia’s border with South Africa, the Orange River meanders its way through wild desert landscapes. Taking a paddle down the river in canoe for a few hours or a few days is the perfect way of taking in this southern beauty at a slow pace. Further north, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is a vast concession on the edge of the Namib-Naukluft National Park where you see desert wildlife such as oryx and springbok against a backdrop of apricot-coloured dunes and silvery plains.
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What to Expect on This Safari
This popular itinerary can be customised to match your budget and travel dates by adding/removing a few days or selecting different lodges
- Collect your vehicle today and start your journey up the Northwest Coast of South Africa. Depending on the time of year you travel, the route is a rainbow of colours when the wild flowers of Namaqualand bloom.
- Travel as far north as Springbok, where accommodation will be arranged for you at Naries Namaqualand Lodge.
Namibia | Fish River Canyon
- An early start to the day and you'll be crossing the border from South Africa into Namibia. In general the border crossings are an easy affair, but depending on the time of year, and if the locals are on holiday, it could be a bit drawn out.
- Continue on to the Fish River Canyon where two nights accommodation will be arranged for you at Fish River Lodge, an iconic ecofriendly lodge perched on the rim of the canyon.
Fish River Canyon
- After breakfast, enjoy a half-day morning hike into the canyon and surrounds so that you can experience a bit of this iconic area. You'll stop at midday for a packed lunch near the canyon's waterfalls before heading back. Depending on the season, you have the option of having a dip in the crystal pools.
- Dinner and overnight at Fish River Lodge.
- Today you contine north to the small but historic town of Aus. Discover the rich past of this corner of Namibia on a guided walk. You'll be able to see evidence of the war that took place between the Germans and the South African national forces, as well as the remnants of a Prisoner of War camp.
- Accommodation is arranged for you at Klein-Aus Desert Horse Inn, which is located just outside the town on the side of a hill, where all the chalets have views of the changing Namibian landscape.
Kolmanskop | Luderitz
- Today is a great day of sight-seeing. You can start by stopping at Kolmanskop, a ghost town that has become a living museum. Continue on to the coastal town of Luderitz. The German influence is very strong here, from architecture to food.
- En-route back to your accommodation, you'll pass by the view-point for the wild horses of Aus. Late afternoon is usually a good time to stop off as you may be lucky enough to see them at the drinking hole.
- Overnight at Klein-Aus Desert Horse Inn.
Namib-Naukluft National Park
- Travel from Aus to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It's typical Namibian dirt road all the way, so be sure to travel carefully.
- Accommodation will be arranged for you at the Hoodia Desert Lodge where you will spend the next two nights with breakfast and dinner included.
- This morning is an early start but well worth it. An excursion will be arranged for you with the lodge to the famous Sossusvlei. You could drive yourself, but the last bit of the route is for experinced 4x4 drivers only.
- Return back to the lodge in the late afternoon for some rest and relaxation and a view of the gorgeous Namibian sunset.
- Depart in the morning and travel onwards to Swakopmund on the West Coast of Namibia. Be sure to stop off at Solitaire, where they claim to bake the best apple pie in Namibia.
- On arrival in Swakopmund, spend the afternoon relaxing and getting to know the town.
- Overnight at The Delight Hotel.
- Today is an adventure of contrasts. After a short visit to Walvis Bay, you'll meet the majestic Skeleton Coast; where the desert fades into the Atlantic Ocean.
- On request you can have a lovely picnic in an unspoiled environment with terrific scenes and landscapes as a background. Sandwich Harbour is a paradise for ornithologists and photographers from all over the world. Our way back leads us through the large Kuiseb delta, also home to many bird species, jackal, brown hyaena, springbuck and many more. This tour is truly a great outing.
- Overnight at The Delight Hotel.
- Spend today at your leisure in and around Swakopmund.
- Last night at The Delight Hotel.
End of Journey
Travel to Windhoek airport today where you will return your rental vehicle and connect with your flight home.
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