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Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)

Windhoek to Cape Town
£535 (plus local payment)

Ref: AT071

An exciting tour - beginning in Windhoek, Namibia, and travelling south through the Namib Desert before arriving in Cape Town, South Africa.  Namibia means "open plains" in the ancient Hottentot language and is a country with vast horizons that give a wonderful feeling of space and freedom.  Etosha is a unique National Park.  With its flat open saltpans it is easy to see why the local people all it "The Great White Place". The Namib Desert is said to be one of the oldest in the world, home to some of the world's highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei. The tour will travel down the Fish River Canyon where the river cuts through 100 million years of the earth's geological history before ending in the beautiful city of Cape Town, beneath the majestic Table Mountain.

Who can join: Anyone over the age of 18
Accommodation: Camping
Transfer time: Approx 30 mins
Pick up Point: Urban Camp, No 2 Schanzen Street, Windhoek, Namibia
Meals: Meals included as indicated
Volunteer numbers: Approximately 25

Duration & Fees

13 days£535

USD 390 - Local Payment

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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

2018 Start Dates:

26 Nov | 10 Dec

2019 Start Dates:

7 Jan | 21 Jan | 4 Feb | 18 Feb | 4 Mar | 18 Mar | 1 Apr | 15 Apr | 29 Apr | 13 May | 27 May | 10 Jun | 24 Jun | 8 Jul | 22 Jul | 5 Aug | 19 Aug | 2 Sep | 16 Sep | 30 Sep | 14 Oct | 28 Oct | 11 Nov | 25 Nov | 9 Dec | 23 Dec

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Airport transfer on arrival into Cape Town Airport
  • Pre-trip night dorm room accommodation
  • Fully equipped expedition vehicle
  • Cooking and camping equipment (sleeping bags not provided)
  • Meals as indicated
  • Park fees and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Pre-departure pack and support and advice from Amanzi Travel staff and trip leaders

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • International Flights
  • Airport Departure Tax
  • Departure Transfer
  • Visas
  • Laundry
  • Sleeping bag and pillows
  • Personal items and tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Restaurant meals and drinks

Click here to enlargeStart and Finish Points: Windhoek to Cape Town
Countries visted: South Africa and Namibia
Departure Point Cape Town:  Urban Camp, No 2 Schanzen Street, Windhoek
Check-in time:  08.45 am
Departure time:  To be advised at the pre-departure meeting
Pre-Departure Meeting:  5.00 pm the day before at the departure point

The tour departs from Windhoek in Namibia.  Anyone wishing to explore Windhoek before the tour commences should contact Amanzi Travel who will be able to advise on accommodation and activities, which will be at an additional cost.

ITINERARY

Included Highlights: 

Etosha National Park; Spitzkoppe; Swakopmund; Transfer to Sossusvlei; Namib/Naukluft National Park; Fish River Canyon; Canoeing on the Gariep River and Wine Tasting.

NAMIBIA This sandy yet spectacular country gained its independence from South Africa in 1990 and its largest city, also the capital, is Windhoek. This is a country of compelling beauty and wide horizons dominated by the brooding and desolate Namib Desert which has the highest sand dunes in the world.

Day 1:  Windhoek to Etosha National Park
To-day the tour will make its way across the Park, keeping a look out for the many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in the various regions.  As the vegetation changes so does the animal and bird life that relies on it, and so different sections of the Park offer a variety of different game options.  After a full day of game viewing the tour will exit the Park through Anderson Gate and head to the camp, just 10 kms away.  Perhaps there will be chance for a quick dip in the pool before dinner, followed by a relaxing evening in the very interesting bar.

Days 2 & 3:  Etosha National Park Area (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
To-day's drive takes the group further south through the Namibian countryside to the campsite located in the vicinity of Etosha National Park.

Included Activity:  Game Drive in tour truck
Optional Activity:  Night Drive

Day 4:  Etosha National Park Area to Brandbert (UIS) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
To-day the tour will head down south to the area of the Brandberg.  Depending on time of arrival there may be the opportunity to explore the area.

Day 5:  Brandberg (UIS) to Swakopmund (Breakfast)
To-day will see the tour heading for Swakopmund via Spitzkoppe (day trip).  Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident to-day.  Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants and bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios.  There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit.  Alternatively the lovely beach and promenade make for a great relaxing walk - though bathing in the sea may be somewhat chilly!

Day 6:  Swakopmund (Breakfast)
This day can be spent relaxing or taking part in a myriad of Optional Excursions and Activities.

Optional Activities:  include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and many more.  An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund (see price guide at the end of this document).

Sossusvlei - Sesriem Canyon This salt and clay pan is surrounded by never ending sand dunes which form part of some of the highest dunes in the world - the greatest of which is Dune 45 from where stunning views of the sunrises and sunsets can be seen - wonderful photographic opportunities.  Although Sesriem is not one of the largest or most popular canyons, it makes up for it with character.  The name Sesriem was given to it by the settlers and is Afrikaans - being translated into "six belts".  After returning from their trek the settlers would have to tie six belts together to a bucket in order to scoop water from the canyon.

Days 7 - 8:  Swakopmund to Sesriem (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Leaving Swakopmund, the group will head south to the industrial Walvis Bay before turning inland and toward the desertg.  Continuing the journey the Namib-Naukluft Park will be entered to one of the oldest deserts in the world.  Base will be made at Sesriem, a great place to experience the Namib and its many moods.  A short distance aay is Sossusvlei which is surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world.  Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high.  The afternoon will be spent exploring this amazing area.

Included Activity:  Climbing Dune 45
Including Activity:  A Visit to Sossusvlei

Day 9:  Sesriem to Fish River Canyon (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Heading out early the group will see the sun rise over this beautiful area and then the serenity of the dunes will be left to head south to the Fish River Canyon.  At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep it is the second largest canyon in the world.  The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon.  A road follows the eastern rim giving access to several viewing points from where everyone can take in the spectacular vistas.

Day 10:  Fish River Canyon to Gariep River (South Africa) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
This morning the tour will head further south where, after a short drive, the Gariep River is reached.  This is the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa and camp will be at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river.  This afternoon offers the chance or a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, giving the chance for some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle.  The night brings a chance of some fun at the awesome campsite bar overlooking the river.

Included Activity:  Canoeing on the Gariep River

Day 11:  Gariep River to Cederberg (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Another early morning staff and travel south through the Richtersveld and the town of Springbok before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for the prolific display of Namaqua wild flowers that occurs each spring.  The night will be spent in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms with the chance of sampling some of the nectar of the gods, or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains.  Tonight is the last night under the stars.

Included Activity:  Wine Tasting in the Cederberg Area

SOUTH AFRICA With nine different provinces, eleven official languages and three capital cities, South Africa will most definitely make everyone stop in their tracks - WOW!

Cape Area Starting in the mother city, Cape Town has much to offer, such as the flat topped Table Mountain, which is awesome for hiking and gives a fantastic aerial view of Cape Town from the top.  Then there is the pulse of the city - Long Street - with all the food outlets and entertainment needed on holiday and plenty of day trips for sightseeing with breathtaking views, winelands tours etc.

Day 12:  Cederberg to Cape Town (Breakfast)
The scenic Cederberg area will be left to travel south towards Cape Town, through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piekenierskloof Pass into the Cape Winelands region.  The first sighting of the Mother City's Table Mountain across Table Bay means that the final destination has been reached and tonight's accommodation is in dormitories in one of Cape Town's best loved hostels. 

Day 13:  Cape Town (No Meals)
This morning addresses will be exchanged and everyone will part ways having just experienced the trip of a lifetime!

There is a wide range of activities and excursions available in Cape Town and the surrounding areas, including day trips, short tours and longer tours travelling up the picturesque coast of South Africa.  Why not extend your stay for a few days to  take part in some of the exciting activities available here.  Amanzi Travel can advise on post-tour accommodation and suggest activities and tours.

The above itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road and weather conditions, political situations and group decisions.  All prices and local payments are subject to change.  Due to Tourism Laws in some countries visited there may be a truck and crew change during the trip. 

Arrival transfer and pre-tour accommodation in a dorm bed are included in the tour price. 

Optional Excursions

Cape Town Activities
Abseiling Table Mountain - US$ 110
Cape Point Day Trip - US$ 100
Winelands Day Trip - US$ 160
Whale Viewing (seasonal) - US$ 100
Township Tour - half day - US$ 65

Swakopmund Activities
Quad Biking - US$ 120
Sand Boarding - US$ 80
Township Tour - US$
Skydive - weather permitting - US$ 270

Please note that this is not a full list of the activities available.  There are many more to choose from.  Prices are approximate and can change at any given time. They should only be used as a guideline.

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Windhoek International Airport.  Please make sure to arrive in plenty of time for the trip departure.   All travellers should arrive the day before the tour starts.  Airport pick up and one night's accommodation in a dormitory rooms are included in the cost of the tour. Full details will be in provided in the pre-departure information provided by Amanzi Travel.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can advise and assist with flight arrangements if desired on request.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Windhoek to Cape Town, Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)Windhoek to Cape Town, Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)Windhoek to Cape Town, Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)Meals on tour
Meals and menus vary as food is purchased en-route and is subject to what is available seasonally in the areas travelled through. As the aim is to support the local communities along the way, fresh produce is mainly purchased directly from the local grower and sometimes has an organic appearance.  The safari cooks are able to offer a wide variety of menus with the ingredients available, even if the produce on offer is not the same as that at home. Breakfast spread consists of bread (toast when time permits), spreads and cereals with a hot breakfast every few days. Lunches are mainly prepared en-route with a supply of "build your own" sandwich ingredients available.  Dinners are cooked in the evenings on arrival at the campsite and a wide array of dinner menus is on offer during the safari including curries, stews, pastas, BBQs and even roasts.

Transport on tour
The overland vehicles are custom bult converted Mercedes Benz or MAN trucks that have seating space for all passengers and a storage area for luggage and all trip equipment. The trucks seat between 27 - 30 passengers on the camping trips.  Most seats are forward facing, although some models have a combination of forward, backward and some inward facing seats with tables.  Vehicles have sliding glass windows and the seating area is raised giving great game viewing and photographic opportunities.  Seats are cushioned and there is storage space for personal items such as cameras, snacks and day packs in the seating area.

Participation on tour
These are participation tours and all passengers are expected to help out around the camp. The crew members will set up a rota system and passengers will help with cleaning duties, cooking duties and so on.  This makes it easier for everyone and is a good chance for the passengers to get to know each other.

Click here to view the full interactive mapSouth Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started

Why visit South Africa?

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.

Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.

The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.

Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.

Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.

Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.

Highlights of South Africa

  • Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
  • Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
  • Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
  • See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
  • Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
  • Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
  • Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.

Climate

For Johannesburg:

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 25 °C 10 °C
Winter (May - August) 19 °C 4 °C
Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest


South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.

In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception -  the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).

Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.

Key Facts

Population – 50 million

Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)

Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours

Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00

Click here to view the full interactive mapNamibia - Work At a Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Why visit Namibia?

Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that makes one question whether something so visually fabulous could actually exist. It is characterised by vast open spaces, with breathtaking scenery and great contrasts – ocean, dunes, mountains and deserts. A predominantly arid country, Namibia can be divided into four main regions. The Namib Desert and vast plains of the Skeleton Coast in the west; the eastward-sloping Central Plateau; the Kalahari desert along the borders with South Africa and Botswana; and the densely wooded bushveld of the Kavango and Caprivi regions – a magical undeveloped oasis of waterways and wildlife, providing abundant game and birdlife viewing opportunities.  Despite its harsh climate, Namibia has some of the world’s grandest national parks, ranging from the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, to the dune fields and desert plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park. The Namib-Naukluft Park is superb for hiking, with a number of spectacular trails. It is also home to the renowned dunes of Sossusvlei - said to be the highest in the world - and the fascinating Sesriem Canyon. Windhoek is the country’s geographical heart and commercial nerve centre, with an ethnic mix of people, while surfers, anglers and beach-lovers won’t want to miss Swakopmund, with its lively entertainment and sporting activities.

Highlights

  • Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s finest parks, both in size and diversity of wildlife.
  • The Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest conservation area in Namibia and one of the largest in the world.
  • Two spectacular deserts - the Kalahari and Namib - each with distinctive wildlife and scenery.
  • The Namib, at 80 million years, is the world's oldest desert. Namib means “open space”.
  • The Namib and Damaraland offer remarkably clear skies for astronomers and keen star gazers.
  • Stunning Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon – it is 161km long, up to 27km wide and 550m deep.
  • Sossusvlei are said to be the highest sand-dunes in the world.
  • Superb birding and good fishing is available from the banks of the Kavango and Kunene Rivers on the northern border.
  • Popular self-drive destination with excellent infrastructure.
  • Largely malaria-free.
  • More than 300 days of sunshine per year.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (October - April) 40 °C 20 °C
Winter/dry (May - September) 25 °C 0 °C
Rainfall: October – December “little rains”, January to April more stormy period

The winter months (May - September) range from 25 to 30°C during the day but night temperatures may drop to below freezing. June to August is the dry season with very little rain. This can be a good time for game viewing as wildlife converge at the waterholes.

The summer months (October - April) can reach highs of over 40°C and nights in the 20°C range (in the arid central Namib Desert temperatures can fall to below freezing during the night). This is a summer rainfall area, but overcast and rainy days are few and far between. Welcome thundershowers may occur in the late afternoon, bringing relief to flora and fauna. In October and November, large herds of blue wildebeest, zebra, springbok and oryx migrate from the Namutoni area to Okaukuejo, where they remain until May.

Rainfall is heaviest in the northeast, which enjoys a sub-tropical climate, and reaches over 600mm annually along the Okavango River. The northern and interior regions experience ‘little rains’ between October and December, while the main stormy period occurs from January to April.

Key Facts

Population – 2.1 million
Capital - Windhoek
Currency - Namibian dollar
Language – official language English; most widely spoken is Afrikaans; half of all Namibians speak Oshiwambo as their first language. German is also widely spoken, plus some Portuguese.
Namib – means “open space”
Etosha – means “great white place”
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 264, international access code 00

Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)

I had a wonderful time on the overland tour. I have met some incredible people and seen such wonderful things. Everything was perfect

Lavinia, UK, aged 36

Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)

Amanzi travel were truly amazing when myself and two friends wanted to book a trip to Africa. We were recommended to Amanzi travel by a friend who had previously done a volunteer project through them. We went on the Southbound 21 day overland tour... and what a trip it was, we loved every single minute. Amanzi travel were very accommodating and very helpful with everything from sorting flights, payments etc, even replying to emails on the same day, if not the next, and only a phone call away. A fabulous service with extremely helpful staff, that I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to book a once in a life time experience. I will certainly be using Amanzi travel for my future trips to Africa!

Kerrie, UK, aged 30

Namibian Explorer - 13 Days (Starting in Namibia)

Excellent - Long drives but made worth it by absolutely amazing experiences!!

Bethany, UK, aged 21

Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34

The overland trip was excellent - really well run. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ...   

Amanzi Travel are excellent - professional, informative but with a real personal service ...     The cheetah volunteer project was an absolutely fantastic experience, and the Overland trip was brilliant.

Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34 (Cheetah Volunteer Project and Overland Trip)

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