DAYS 1 – 12: SOUTH AFRICA & NAMIBIA
You will start your epic overland journey in the charming and beautiful city of Cape Town, home to the stunning Table Mountain. With its stunning coastline, dominating mountain and modern cityscape, Cape Town is one of Africa’s most appealing cities. Your overland tour includes one night in Cape Town so it is well worth arriving a few days early to give yourself time to experience everything that this fantastic city has to offer.
With vineyards on its doorstep, adventure activities around every other corner and plenty of restaurants and cafes to while away the time, this is a fantastic holiday destination in its own right. It’s a great place to kick back and relax on one of the beautiful beaches, or if you’d rather get active, hop inside the revolving cable car and set off on one of hundreds of hiking trails that criss cross Table Mountain to it’s summit, stopping off to admire the views of Camps Bay down below. If you’ve got any energy left you can even strap on a harness and abseil all the way down. Other attractions in the city include the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Robben Island and the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
From Cape Town you begin your overland journey north, stopping off in the wine region of Citrusdal where you have the option of some wine tasting in the evening.
Passing through Namaqualand, you arrive at Noordoewer, next to the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River – the natural border between Namibia and South Africa. You have the opportunity to take a canoe or raft out on the beautiful Orange River before heading west into the desert lands of Namibia towards the dramatic scenery of the Fish River Canyon where you will have time to explore and take in the beautiful sunset over the canyon. Fish River Canyon is one of the great natural wonders of Africa. It is one of the largest canyons in the world, ranking close to the dimensions of the Colca Canyon in Peru and the Grand Canyon in the U.S.A.
Your next stop will be Sesriem which will be your base for exploring the fabled sand dunes of the Namib Desert and the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The most spectacular dune fields are found near Sesriem Canyon, a 30m deep canyon through the mountains. The dunes themselves are stunning with magnificent red/orange tones from the brightly coloured sands. They are in fact the highest in the world and are home to a plethora of animal life. The sight of the graceful oryx wandering along the base of these massive dunes is beautiful to see.
Dune 45 is the most famous of the dunes, standing at over 170m tall, it is composed of 5 million year old sand that is detritus accumulated by the Orange River from the Kalahari Desert and then blown here. Climbing the dune to witness the incredible shifting colours of the Namib deserts at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. We will also have an included guided walk through the Dead Vlei to learn about the delicate desert ecosystem.
You will then head for Swakopmund, an old German colonial town which has become the adventure capital of the region. This is a place for the adrenaline junky as there are some excellent adventure activities that you could try. Some of the most popular include sandboarding, quad biking across the beautiful dunes and tandem skydiving over the desert.
Continuing up the coast you will stop off at Cape Cross, home to about 200,000 Cape Fur Seals, a sight, sound (and smell!) to behold. You will then turn east, towards the stunning mountains of Spitzkoppe. There are some excellent hikes in the area, which is rich in plant life, and there are also nearby San rock paintings to explore.
Etosha National Park is one of the world’s pre-eminent wildlife areas with good chance to see the ‘Big Five’. You will stay in the park for two nights giving us plenty of opportunity for game drives in your truck! At the first of the campsites you will stay in, Okaukuejo, there is a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night.
Leaving the park behind you head for Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. The German architecture of the older buildings lends the town a historic atmosphere. Good examples of this German architecture can be seen in a number of buildings but the best are the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus.