NAMIBIAN EXPLORER OVERLAND North | Accommodated
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12 Day Namibian Explorer North Overland Comfort

R20,950

+ Single Supplement ZAR 1790

+ Optional Activity Package ZAR 900


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Tour Style Accommodated
Countries Visited South Africa, Namibia
Starts Cape Town
Ends Windhoek
Group Size Max 20
Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older

This 12 Day budget accommodated Namibian Explorer starts in Cape Town and spots all the highlights of Namibia.

 

 

Tour Overview

Departing from Cape Town
Ends in
Windhoek

This Cape Town to Windhoek overland is an action-packed budget safari. We travel through diverse scenery, desolate deserts, pounding Atlantic seaboards, game parks, and the wilderness of the Etosha National Park. Experience them all by a variety of exciting adventure activities that will give you the ultimate adrenaline rush.  

Included

  • Meals - 11 Breakfast, 11 Lunch, 8 Dinner
  • Accommodation
  • Registered guides
  • Transport per itinerary

Excluded

  • International Airfares
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Visa costs
  • Border taxes
  • Passports
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal taxes (including departure and border taxes)
  • Activity Package and Optional Activities
  • Unscheduled or optional national / game parks and other activities
  • Gratuities
  • Sleeping bag if needed
  • Restaurant meals (other than those listed)
  • All drinks - Alcohol, Soft Drinks, Bottled Water
  • Snacks
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips
  • Laundry
  • Other items of a personal nature

SKU: ACM0429
 

Itinerary

Day 1

Cape Town – Cederberg Region, South Africa

We depart from Cape Town and are given one last opportunity to stop in Table View. On the way to the Cederberg we will be treated to some delicious wine tasting at a local vineyard. Upon arrival at our lodging for the evening, we are given a full briefing of our tour by our resident guides.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Marcuskraal Campsite
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Cape Town to Citrusdal ±270 km
Activity Package: Wine tasting and Traditional dinner

Day 2

Namibia – Gariep (Orange) River, South Africa

We journey through the Northern Cape and Namaqualand today, making a stop off at the isolated town of Springbok to gather any last supplies. Once we have crossed the Namibian border, we arrive at our charming chalets that overlook the sparkling Orange River that creates a natural divider between South Africa and Namibia.

Originally called the Nu Gariep (‘Great River’) by the native Nama people, the Orange River was named by Colonel Robert Gordon – a Dutch explorer who once commanded the Cape garrison for several years. It is said that Gordon named the river in honour of William of Orange, but a more popular belief is that it was simply named so because of its colour. Presently, it is known by its original name (Gariep River) and it the longest river throughout South Africa, stretching to a distance of 1800 kilometres. Rising in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, where it is known as Sengu, it flows west through South Africa and out into the Atlantic Ocean once it reaches Alexander Bay. On its lengthy voyage, the river boasts a wide selection of beautiful landscapes. It passes through rough mountainous terrains and never-ending dune fields. The Orange forms part of the international border that runs between South Africa and Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho, and numerous provincial borders within South Africa.

Though the river does not run through any main cities, it plays a crucial role within the economy of South Africa by providing water to be used for irrigation and hydroelectric power. The Orange River is also responsible for diamond deposits all along the coast of Namibia. For millions of years this river acted as a transportation system that took diamonds from volcanic pipes within Kimberley, South Africa out into the ocean. From here, currents would take the diamonds north where the surf would catch them and place them into the Namib dune fields.

Accommodation: Two per room: Felix Unite Cabanas or Norotshama Lodge
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Citrusdal to Orange River ±500 km
Border Post South Africa: Vioolsdrift, Tel: +27 (27) 277 618 760, Open 24 hours. Namibia: Noordoewer, Tel: +264 (0) 63 297 122, Open 24 hours.

Nomad - Norotshama lodge, Namibia

Day 3

 Namibia – Gariep (Orange) River – Fish River Canyon , South Africa

We get the chance to partake in an optional canoe trip down the Orange River this morning, or we could choose to stay behind at camp and devote our time to unwinding next to the river. Following a tasty lunch, we head north toward Fish River Canyon and embark on a hike in picturesque settings along the rim in order to put into perspective just how enormous and incredible this natural wonder is. In the later day, we make our way back to Ai-Ais to check in to our lodging for the night and to delight in the marvellous hot springs offered by our resort.

Meaning ‘burning water’ in the local language of Nama, Ai-Ais refers to the sulphurous thermal hot water springs situated at the bottom of the mountains and at Fish River Canyon’s southern end. The Ai-Ais (pronounced ‘eye-ice’) springs originate from deep beneath the riverbed and create a haven in this tremendously dry area. These hot springs were used by the German military troops as a base camp during the Nama uprising. This area was once again used as a base in 1915 by South African troops mending from injuries incurred during the South-West Africa Campaign. The springs were declared national monuments in the 1960s and subsequently became a conservation area. The Ai-Ais camp was officially opened on the 16th of March, 1971. The hot water, heavy with sulphur, chloride and fluoride, has an average temperature of approximately 60 degrees Celcius and is known to be a relaxing curative.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Ai Ais Resort
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Orange/Gariep River to Fish River Canyon ±250 km
Included Highlight: Scenic walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon
Optional Activity: Half-Day Canoe Trip

Day 4

 Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

The Namib-Naukluft National Park is one of Namibia’s greatest geographic wonders. At 50,000 square kilometres, it is one of the biggest parks in all of Africa. The Sossusvlei desert region has enormous sand dunes as well as extraordinary scenery. Our lodging for the evening is located just outside of the Park.

An ecological reserve in the Namib Desert and the biggest game park in Africa, the Namib-Naukluft National Park covers an enormous section of land and contains an unexpectedly large assortment of animals that survive in this dry area, including snakes, geckos, strange insects, hyenas, gemsbok and jackals. Most of the Park’s life is sustained by the cool ocean mists that come from the Atlantic sea as well as the occasional rainfall. Fog is brought in by the winds that also aid in constructing the Park’s gigantic sand dunes whose burnt orange hue is an indication of their age. The colour changes over time due to the iron within the sand becoming oxidized like rusted metal, therefore the older the dune, the brighter the dune’s colour.

The Namib-Naukluft’s dunes are the highest in the world, with the famous Dune 45 which peaks at over 170 metres. The dunes were given numbers in order to create an easier navigation system for travellers and in a strike of pure coincidence, Dune 45 is in fact 45 kilometres from Sesriem Canyon. Meaning ‘open space’ in the local Nama tongue, the ‘Namib’ name progressed, eventually forming ‘Namibia’ meaning the ‘land of open spaces’.

The current boundaries of the Park were decided upon in 1978 by the merging of the Namib Desert Park, the Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park, portions of Diamond Area 1 and some other portions of surrounding government land. The Park includes Sossusvlei which is an enormous clay pan situated in the centre of the Namib Desert, renowned for its surrounding tall, red sand dunes that together create a massive sea of sand. Another ‘wow’ factor of the Namib Desert as well as the entrance point to the western region of the Namib-Naukluft Park, the Sesriem Canyon was created by the forces of the Tsauchab River which chiselled the canyon out of grainy rock throughout the past 2 million years. During the uncommon rainfalls in the Naukluft Mountains, the river evolves into a rapidly strong current of water that has, over the years, formed the canyon into what it is today – now one kilometre long and approximately 300 metres wide.

The water that pools in certain areas of the canyon quenchers the thirst of a wide selection of wildlife who have adapted to living in these extraordinarily dry settings.  Sesriem is an Afrikaans word meaning ‘six belts’ and was named so due to the fact that early explorers and settlers were required to fasten six belts together in order to lower buckets down into the canyon to retrieve fresh water.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Hammerstein Lodge or Taleni Desert camp
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Fish River Canyon to Namib Naukluft ±620 km

Nomad - Taleni Desert Camp

Day 5

Sossusvlei Dunes – Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

We devote today to spending time exploring the Namib-Naukluft National Park, beginning with a hike up Dune 45 for a spectacular view as well as an incredible photographic opportunity. Later in the day, we will have the option of being transported to Sossusvlei where we embark on a brief walk into Sesriem Canyon during the afternoon.

One of the most ancient and enormous deserts in the world, the Namib Desert stretches over an area of approximately 90, 000 square kilometres along Namibia’s Atlantic Ocean Coast. Having survived tremendously dry weather conditions for the last 55 million years, the Desert is known as the second oldest desert in the world (beaten only by Chile’s Atacama Desert). It experiences less than ten millimetres of rain per annum and is almost completely desolate, characterised by vivid scarlet dunes, some reaching heights of over 3000 metres – the tallest in the world. A portion of the Namib Desert includes the Naukluft Mountains as well as the Namib-Naukluft Park which is considered to be one of the biggest national parks throughout Africa. In spite of tough conditions, a wide selection of fauna and flora can be seen in this desert. There are also some extraordinarily unusual species of plants and animals that can only be found in this particular desert.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Hammerstein OR Taleni Desert Camp
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered.
Route: Taleni to Naukluft Area ±150 km
Included Highlight: Walk into Sesriem Canyon, Hike up Dune 45, 4×4 shuttle to Sossusvlei / Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon

Day 6 - 7

Swakopmund, Namibia

Today we meet a local expert guide who will lead us on a walk through the desert. Adventuring on foot, we will be educated by our guide about the delicate ecosystem surrounding us. Following this, we cross the Tropic of Capricorn on the way from the Atlantic Coast. Finally, we make our way to the adventure capital of Namibia, Swakopmund. Here you will be provided with all the information you require about the various Optional Activities on offer.

Swakopmund was founded in 1892 by German settlers and was planned to be the primary harbour of German South-West Africa. However, with the elevated amount of traffic between Germany and its colony, a port of its own was established due to Walvis Bay, situated just 33 kilometres south, being in British possession. The decision of where to build this port landed on a site just north of the Swakop River where water was freely available. With its Bavarian-style buildings, including the Altes Gefängnis prison (now converted into a public library), the prominent German architectural influence is still very evident within the town of Swakopmund. The town was originally known as ‘Tsoakhaub’, a word that was derived from the culture of Namaqua and, directly translated, means ‘excrement opening’ which is an unpleasant, but unfortunately very accurate description of the Swakop River waters when they once flooded and carried masses amounts of mud, sand, vegetation and animal corpses out into the Atlantic Ocean. This name was shortly changed to ‘Swachaub’ by German settlers, and with the declaration of Swakopmund as an independent region of German South-West Africa in the year 1896, the current use of the name ‘Swakopmund’ (meaning ‘estuary of the Swakop’ in German) came into play. Swakopmund is encircled by the Namib Desert on three sides and by the icy Atlantic waters to the west and therefore experiences a pleasant, balanced climate.

Though rainfall is scarce, the cold current of the Benguela provides moisture to the region in the form of fog that reaches as far as 140 kilometres inland. The animals and vegetation of the area have adapted to this spectacle and now rely upon this fog as a water supply. Swakopmund is renowned for its incredible selection of adventure activities, including skydiving, sand boarding, quad biking and more. Your local guides will help you with your decision on which activities you should partake in, however, if you wish to devote some time to relaxation, feel free to explore the town and enjoy the wide selection of coffee and souvenir shops available here.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Stay@Swakop OR Amampuri  or similar
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Naukluft Area to Swakopmund ±380 km
Activity Package: Guided Desert Walk With Local Expert
Optional Activities: Dinner Out Swakopmund, Dolphin cruise, Skydiving, Sandboarding, Quad biking

Nomad - Amanpuri Travellers Lodge Room

Day 8

Khorixas, Namibia

Heading inland today, making our way to Khorixas, we make a stop at  Spitzkoppe and enjoy the granite monoliths with the guide. We pay a visit to the Petrified Forest that is situated in an old river channel. Described as ‘an occurrence of fossilized trees’, this forest was declared a national monument on the 1st of March, 1950.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Igowati Lodge or Khorixas Lodge
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Swakopmund to Khorixas ±320 km
Included Highlight: Visit Spitzkoppe and explore with a local guide

Day 9

Himba Tribe – Outjo, Namibia

Travelling toward Kamanjab today, we drive through Damaraland where we spend some time with several of the Himba people who are pastoral and easily identifiable by their original hair and dressing styles. We end the day by visiting the petrified forest in the outskirts of the town. Continuing to our camp for the night, we prepare for the following two days in Etosha National Park.

Descendants of the Herero people, the Himba continue to speak a dialect of the ancient Herero language. There are approximately 20,000 – 50,000 Himba people residing in the area of Kunene, where they have recently constructed two villages in Kamanjab. The Himba are livestock farmers who, in this arid, rough and mountainous region, breed cattle and goats. These are some of the most photographed people in the world because of their stunningly unique style of dressing as well as their fascinating lifestyle. Their style is characterised by revealing clothing made from goat skin and they accessorise with an assortment of jewellery made of shells, copper and iron – in accordance to the tribe’s hierarchy. The scarlet colour of their skin and hair is a combination of butter, ash and ochre which aids in shielding them from the severe temperatures of the desert.

Usually, the women are left to care for the children and to perform daily tasks such as the milking of livestock, whilst the men are responsible for sorting out political duties. Their villages are comprised of family farmsteads which are huts constructed around a central fire and livestock pen. Both the livestock and fire are crucial to the beliefs of the Himba in ancestor worship, the fire signifying ancestral guarding of the community.

Located a short 20 kilometres outside of town, an expertly led guided trip around the villages will give you an incredible insight into the lifestyles of the Ova-Himba – the last traditional tribe in Namibia. It will also provide incredible photographic opportunities. Here you will learn about the milking ceremony, the smoke bath, and be educated about the beliefs of the holy fire, ancestors and herbal medicine.

You will also be informed about the jewellery and hair styles that indicate the status of each individual tribe member within their society, as well as their magnificent bond with nature, their cattle and children. The money that is generated from these outings aids in sustaining the tribe in their day to day lives, affording them to purchase provisions and necessary medicines as well as giving them the opportunity to take proper care of the children in the communities.  Please bear in mind that the village is not an exhibition and you are kindly asked to respect the ways of the Himba as they would respect yours. This being said, you will be given a chance to enter the inside of one of these incredible people’s homes in order to experience their remarkable culture.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Etotongwe
Facilities: Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Khorixas to Outjo ±340 km
Activity Package: Himba Tribe Visit
Included Highlight: Visit the Petrified Forest

Day 10 - 11

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Making our way southeast to Etosha National Park, we are treated to incredible views of the vast landscapes as well as game viewing from our truck during our game drives. We enter the park and set up camp for the night. The park is a place where you will experience the most unique game viewing in Africa. After your game drive, we travel back to the campsite and we relax at their beautiful floodlit waterholes and watch animals visit for an evening drink during the night.

Etosha means ‘Great White Place’ and is dominated by an enormous salt pan which makes up part of the mighty Kalahari Basin. Originally a lake nourished by the Kunene River, the Etosha pan spreads across an entire quarter of the Etosha National Park.

The lake was dried up more than a few thousand years ago, and is currently a dust bowl made of salty clay which, from time to time, floods to the brim with water from the scarce rainfalls. This briefly provides water to the wildlife and fuels the growth of a certain type of algae that draws in birds and flamingos by the thousands. However, massive collections of wildlife congregate all through the entire year at the perpetual springs situated on the pan’s edges. This incredible abundance of wildlife makes Etosha National Park one of South Africa’s most supreme and significant game reserves. The Park covers an area of 22,270 square kilometres and is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and astonishingly, 1 species of fish.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Namutoni or Okaukuejo OR Halali OR Mokuti or Toshari Lodge
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Outjo to Etosha National Park ±170 km
Included Highlight: Afternoon and Full game drive

Etosha National Park

Day 12

Windhoek, Namibia

On our way to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, we make a stop at a local craft market where you can purchase genuine African artworks, including carvings and paintings. Upon our arrival in Windhoek, we embark on a brief tour around the lovely city in our truck and our tour comes to an end here.

Accommodation: Own Arrangements / Post tour accommodation can be booked through us
Route: Etosha National Park to Windhoek ±450 km
Included Highlight: Drive through Windhoek with the truck, Craft market stop en-route
Optional Activity: Dinner Out Windhoek

 

Activities

The Activity Package allows you to pre purchase select popular activities, reducing the amount of money you need to take on tour. It is not compulsory.

  • Wine tasting & traditional dinner ZAR200
  • Guided desert walk with local expert ZAR350
  • Himba Tribe visit ZAR350


Other Activities

  • South Africa Orange River Half day canoe trip
  • Namibia Swakopmund Quadbiking
  • Namibia Swakopmund Sandboarding
  • Namibia Swakopmund Skydiving
  • Namibia Swakopmund Dolphin Cruise
  • Namibia Swakopmund Dinner out
  • Namibia Windhoek Dinner out

 

Dates

Tour datesEnquire
   

Price

R20,950

+ Single Supplement ZAR 1790

+ Optional Activity Package ZAR 900


View next year's price





R20,950

+ Single Supplement ZAR 1790

+ Activity Package (Optional) ZAR 900

Small Group Departures ZAR 27250

View next year's price

Currency conversions estimated

Best Price Gaurantee!
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