Fish River Canyon, Kalahari & Namib Deserts
The Fish River Canyon, Namib and Kalahari deserts all have their own surreal landscapes: The rippling vegetated dunes of the Kalahari Desert; the majestic Fish River Canyon – part of the succulent Nama Karoo; the huge dunes and valleys (vlei’s) of the Namib Desert. This tour provides unequalled, often lunarlike terrains.
NOTE: You can depart from Johannesburg by adding an addition that includes one-night accommodation in Windhoek before this tour departs, return airport transfers in Windhoek and return flights from Johannesburg. When booking your tour, merely add the extra called Johannesburg Departure to your booking.
DAY 1. KALAHARI DESERT
Leaving Windhoek, we commence on this exciting Fish River Canyon, Namib & Kalahari Desert and travel into the largest sand mass on Earth, the Kalahari Desert. The landscape is sand dunes held by thorn scrub and the most extensive continuous stretch of sand covering 9 countries.
Lacking permanent surface water, the Kalahari is a challenging place to live except for those who have adapted to flourish here. The Bushmen refer to it as the “Soul of the World”, an emotive description for this area! With its deep red dunes and endless grass plains interspersed with acacia’s and shrubs, it is still home to a surprisingly large amount of specially adapted wildlife. Experience the red dunes, wildlife and plants in this desert environment on an optional nature drive. Overnight at the Intu Afrika Collection
DAY 2. FISH RIVER CANYON
We continue south through arid rocky plains and visit the unique quiver tree forest. Here quirky human-made sculptures of scrap metal welcome you. They set a contrast to this serene, timeless space with Quiver trees and aloes growing amongst huge dolerite boulders, stacked mysteriously, the area is also aptly referred to as “Giant’s Playground”. We continue to our lodge, situated in close vicinity to the Fish River Canyon. Why not explore the area on foot or an optional guided nature drive in the later afternoon highlighting this amazingly diverse landscape. Overnight at the Canyon Village – Breakfast
DAY 3. LUDERITZ – NAMIB
An early rise and afterwards we arrive on the edge of the Fish River Canyon and gaze into this magnificent geological phenomenon. The Fish River is a pencil line at the bottom. The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon on earth and is located in the northern part of the Nama Karoo. The gigantic ravine measures about 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. The Fish River is also the longest interior river found in Namibia. Today its current flow is virtually nothing compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length millennia ago.
Continue past the Naute dam for a stop at the Naute Kristall Cellar and Distillery to taste some of their unique liquors (optional) or enjoy a cup of coffee. Afterwards, head towards the coast and the town of Lüderitz. En-route we stop at Garub where you can see the Wild Horses of the Namib Desert. Arriving in Lüderitz, we suggest a stop at Diaz Café for an optional fresh seafood snack before travelling along the “Große Bucht” towards Diaz Point. You will enjoy a typical Namibian homestay feeling and atmosphere at your overnight guesthouse.
Overnight at Obelix Guesthouse- Breakfast
DAY 4. NAMIB DESERT
The morning starts with an early breakfast and afterwards a visit to Kolmanskop. Kolmanskop, also known as a ghost town, is a deserted Diamond Mining Town in the Sperrgebiet National Park. Once an opulent and decadent town, a monument to the Diamond boom and built to last. Unfortunately, the diamonds ran out. Kolmanskop is a haunting monument today to the thriving past, offering visitor’s unique photo motives into a bygone era.
Travel further across vast plains, stopping for an optional lunch in the countryside town of Helmeringhausen. We continue north along with the Tiras Mountain range to our overnight lodge in the Namib Desert. We are now close to Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon, with some of the highest dunes on Earth towering over the white desert plains. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax at the sparkling pool, enjoy the vast open desert plains, or perhaps take part in optional activities offered at the lodge.
Overnight at The Elegant Desert Lodge –Breakfast
DAY 5. NAMIB DESERT
After an early start we the Namib Naukluft National Park shortly after sunrise. The first rays of sunlight paint the mountains of sand into multiple colours of apricot, orange and red, contrasted against a powder blue skyline. The scenery enraptures our senses and provides an opportunity to capture this impressive landscape on film. You will be captivated by the Deadvlei surrounded by some of the highest dunes on earth and Sossusvlei, where the Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst dunes.
Walk up one of these majestic dunes to admire the desert landscape below and around you. After this experience, we visit the Sesriem Canyon, a life-sustaining natural phenomenon in the heart of the desert. Afterwards, return to our lodge to cool off along the swimming pool or with a refreshing drink. Overnight at the Elegant Desert Lodge –Breakfast
DAY 6. SWAKOPMUND
Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast and afterwards continue the journey approaching the settlement of Solitaire on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park. You feel like you have arrived in the middle of nowhere! Continue via the desolate, rolling hills of the Kuiseb Valley towards the Atlantic Ocean reaching the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay. Visit the shallow lagoon, one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR World Heritage Site. Over 80% of Africa’s lesser flamingos breed in this lagoon and present a breath-taking picture when they appear in groups.
Continue along the scenic route between the dune belt and the Atlantic Ocean to Swakopmund. Here, the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a popular holiday destination in Namibia. The pleasant summer climate and long stretched beaches attract anglers and surfers from all over Southern Africa. Swakopmund is a bohemian mix of German architecture and African rhythms with a laid back attitude. Adrenalin activities, misty mornings and desert heat are in the order of the day. It is colourful, it is vibrant, but most of all, it is pure fun. Overnight at the Hansa Hotel – Breakfast
DAY 7. SWAKOPMUND
Swakopmund is often referred to as the playground of Namibia, it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure activities to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the sometimes strange animals and plants that occur and survive here. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere of this idyllic coastal town. Enjoy a cup of coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many café’s. Or explore the rugged, desert on a day tour, or view the environment from the air on a scenic flight.
Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme activities such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sandboarding on the dunes. Take time to get the feel of the town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and the beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of colour and the bohemian lifestyle.
Overnight Hansa Hotel – Breakfast
DAY 8. SWAKOPMUND TO WINDHOEK
After breakfast and a life-changing experience, we travel to Windhoek. We also drop you off at the nearby airport for your onward flight if you chose the addition – see the note above.
These tours may also interest you:
Namibia Classic Tour (also includes the Namib and Kalahari)
Etosha Explorer (not including the Namib and Kalahari