Best of Namibia
Truck charter Africa 13 days. Cape Town, South Africa to Windhoek, Namibia
Countries visited: South Africa and Namibia
Comfortable lodge accommodation
Maximum number of passengers 12
Venture Co can sort out your flights: it’s best to use an ‘open jaw’ flight for this itinerary; this is where you fly in to one city (Cape Town) and come home from a different one (Windhoek). You could also extend this trip to see Victoria Falls: there’s an airport on the Zimbabwe side of the falls, and another on the Zambia side. Depending on what your overall plans are, there are pros and cons for each option. We suggest you arrive in Cape Town one day early because things in Africa tend to run on “Africa time”!
Best of Namibia: Truck Charter, Africa. Explore the best of Namibia in your own vehicle.
Day 1: South Africa the Cederberg Region
Leave Cape Town heading north-west towards the Cederberg Mountains. This is the heart of the ‘fynbos habitat’: a unique collection of plants that include the iconic Protea (South Africa’s national flower) and ‘Rooibos’ which may well be the way you begin your day! Rooibos is better known as ‘Red Bush Tea’. As you round Table Bay you get a classic view back to Table Mountain, and then we head into the countryside.
Visit a working Rooibos tea farm and see the plants on the slopes of the Cederberg which is their natural habitat. A short drive takes you to Blommenberg, a small town at the northern tip of the Cederberg Wilderness Sanctuary.
Day 2: crossing in to Namibia
Namaqualand in Spring (July, Aug and Sept) is a natural wonder: free from intensive farming and the use of herbicides, this semi-arid area explodes with colour as the wild flowers bloom. Travel on through Namaqualand to reach the Orange River which is the border with Namibia. The Orange River (known locally as the Gariep River) rises in the Drakensberg Mountains of Lesotho, but instead of flowing to the near-by Indian Ocean, flows the other way, right across the continent to the Atlantic.
Cross the border in the afternoon and settle in to your chalet at Bundi Basecamp on the bank of the river.
Day 3: Namibia – Gariep (Orange) River – Fish River Canyon
The Orange River was initially named after the Dutch royal House, which isn’t really relevant today, so it’s reverted to the KhoeKhoe name Gariep …. which translates as “river”! Anyway, there’s time for a canoe trip (not included) on the river-river before heading inland to the mellow Ai-Ais hot springs. This lodge and spa sits at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon and the natural hot springs here are said to be really good for rheumatoid arthritis.
Day 4: Fish River Canyon, Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground
We need an early start this morning and drive to the rim of the Fish River Canyon to watch the the morning sunrays filter through to the canyon floor. Stretch your legs with a gentle walk along the rim; then continue west and head for Keetmanshoop to find Quiver Tree Forest and The Giants Playground. The latter is named for the way in which the massive dolerite boulders have been balanced one on another creating rock formations and a series of mazes. The Quiver Tree in Namibia get its name from the San Bushmen who use the hollowed branches for quivers. The Latin name is Aloidendron dichotomum because the branches are literally dichotomous and divide in pairs, always pairs, as the tree grows.
Day 5: The Namib-Naukluft National Park
Every journey has some long travelling days and today is one of those: we travel deep into the Namib Desert. Our destination is the dune fields that cover the western reaches of the Namib desert. Long dusty roads and sparsely populated farmlands offer a glimpse into the vastness of rural Namibia: how is it possible to make a living farming such arid land? To the west lie the starkly beautiful red dunes and to the east the grey-green grasslands stretching away to the escarpment and the promise of more moisture. This evening we stay near the appropriately-named hamlet of Solitaire, which basically consists of a petrol station which has a really decent restaurant, and a bizarre collection of 1930’s cars! The star-scape tonight will be stunning: zero light pollution and the air is so dry that clouds are very rare; and all this to the accompaniment of the Barking Gecko which sounds like a small dog crossed with an owl.
To read more about this amazing stretch of the Namib click here
Day 6: Dune 45 in the Namib-Naukluft National Park
The Namib really is a stunning desert: colourful, full of wildlife surprises and with horizon upon horizon stretching away.
A brisk climb up Dune 45 offers the perfect vantage point to gaze upon the changing colours of the desert. Continue to Sossusvlei and walk onto the bone-hard pans at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. Tonight you can finally tip the red sand from your shoes and spend the night under the magnificent desert stars.
Day 7: The Atlantic Coast and Swakopmund
Trundle west across the Tropic of Capricorn and gradually descend to zero feet above sea level and the coastal town of Swakopmund. It’s a surprisingly large town, but with a distinctly Teutonic-Edwardian feel! There’s even a shop that specialises in needle-point and crochet: somewhat unexpected! Take a brief stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon, hoping to catch a glimpse of the flamingos that feed in the shallows. Swakopmund has become a bit of an adventure centre and there is a host of activities on offer, some sea-based and others desert-based.
Day 8: explore Swakopmund
Explore the town at your leisure: not to be missed is the selection of excellent coffee shops and bakeries that offer a delightful range of German-inspired treats. Swakopmund offers all the conveniences of a small city including a menu of adrenaline-fuelled adventures including a dolphin cruise, skydiving, sandboarding and quad biking. We spend the whole day here.
O/night: as last night.
Day 9: Swakopmund to Brandberg
The Brandberg (Burning Mountains) are the highest mountains in Namibia and home to the famous White Lady, one of more than 45,000 rock paintings in this area. This morning we will make the 1-hour hike to visit the painting that is believed to be around 2,000 years old. (Please be advised that the walking trail crosses rough terrain along the gorge of the Tsisab River). Continue to the village of Kamanjab.
Day 10: Twyfelfontein
Explore the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings in the Kunene Region. This area has been inhabited for 6,000 years by the Khoi San; this particular area was (and remains) a shamanist ritual site. Over 2,500 rock paintings have been created which is probably the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa.
Day 11: Etosha National Park
Rise early this morning and enter Etosha National Park by about mid-day. Etosha presents some of the most unique game viewing experiences in Africa: remember David Attenborough’s film showing dozens of black rhino congregating together by a waterhole at night? Rhinos were believed to be solitary animals, but in fact they do hold regular meetings! That footage was shot here in Etosha. There is also a healthy population of Painted Wolves, amongst other species, within the arid park.
Day 12: full day in Etosha National Park
There is an extensive network of vehicle trails that you can explore at your own pace, in your own vehicle. Take the full day to travel around the park and see what turns up: no two days on safari are ever the same and the suspense before that special sighting is addictive!
O/night as last night.
Day 13: Windhoek
There’s time for one last game drive this morning before heading south to the capital, Windhoek. Take a short guided, walk through the city centre and have the opportunity to view some its better known landmarks. Your trip comes to end after the completion of the city walking tour.
Included in the price
Fully equipped truck (12 seater)
Accommodation based on twin-share
Driver and guide
Meals as shown in the table below
Entrance fees to National Parks.
Visit to the Rooibos Tea Farm
Walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon
Visit to Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground
Sesriem Canyon walk
Hike up Dune 45
4×4 shuttle to Sossusvlei / Deadvlei
Guided desert walk at Swakopmund
Visit and explore The Brandberg White Lady
The Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings
Etosha: game drives in your own vehicle
Windhoek city walking tour with guide
Visas (if required)
Entrance fees associated with optional activities