Namibia – The African Adventure
Namibia is a country in south west Africa with a western border in the Atlantic Ocean and the land borders with Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. A vast interior plateau located at an altitude of 700-1,500 metres above sea level covers most of the country. Its highest point is the Brandberg peak, rising 2,606 metres above sea level. The plateau descends in the west with a steep slope towards a narrow coastal plain in the direction of the Namib Desert. To the south, the plateau is bordered by the Oranje River Valley and to the east by the Kalahari Basin.
In Namibia, you can visit the national parks, see the Hobe – world’s largest meteorite near the Grootfontein city, discover Epupa Falls or a group of granite peaks and inselbergs Spitzkoppe. During the fascinating trip to the Opuwo village, you can by the observer of the melding of traditional African cultures and the contemporary world. These areas are inhabited by the Himba, an indigenous people, who live in small homesteads in located far away from each other clay houses. Considered one of the last nomadic people in the world, they breed cattle and are living in a fully traditional way. Himba people wear modest leather clothing and cover themselves with a cosmetic mixture of butterfat, ochre pigment and powdered herbs.
Since most of the country are a vast Namib and Kalahari deserts, it is worth to turn off the tourist trail for a little while to get some very unique experience.
Namibia is characterized by its open spaces, wonderful landscapes, close-knit relationship with nature, amazing Himba, Herero, Bushmen, Owambo and Kavango people and lack of mass tourism. If you are a fan of the calm atmosphere of the completely empty extensive areas, sleeping in the wild bushes under the stars, watching wild animals and beautiful sceneries, it is a right place to choose. This amazing country gives you a chance to discover wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and the opportunity to explore its fascinating cultures.
THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS
Namib Desert & its Dedvlei (“Dead marsh”) – the world’s oldest desert
Epupa Falls – a series of large waterfalls create by the Cunene River on the border of Namibia and Angola. The name “Epupa” is a Herero word for “foam”.
Etosha National Park – one of the largest national parks in the world which spans the area of 22,270 km2
Going through the Tropic of Capricorn, the circle of latitude at the southern solstice, thus the southernmost latitude where the Sun can be seen directly overhead.
The Skeleton Coast – a cemetery of the remains of the shipwrecks caught by offshore rocks,
The Spitzkoppe – also called Materhorn of Namibia, is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs. One of them, a Little Spitzkoppe, lies nearby at an elevation of 1,557 m above the floor of the desert below.
Damara Living Muzeum – a living museum founded by Damar’s contemporaries, presenting life of their ancestors.
A visit in the village of Himba tribe – for generations, according to tradition,
Himba people wear their traditional clothing made of animal leather even for a quick shopping in the town, in contrast to the colorful, maxi dresses worn by Herero women.
A round trip – we change the accommodation every day to a different campsite. Our vehicles are Toyota Hilux cars caring the tents on the roofs. The route is mixed – asphalt/gravel.
Warsaw – Frankfurt – Windhoek
A flight to Frankfurt, a departure in Namibia.
(approx. driving time – 1 h, about 60 km)
After our arrival in Windhoek in the morning, we will pick up the cars from the rental company in the afternoon and go shopping. Later we will go for a group afternoon walk and sightseeing of the located at an altitude of 1,650 m above sea level capital of Namibia, where we will have a unique chance to experience its contrasting landscape – set along the main street of the city, modern office buildings and skyscrapers next to the slum district od Windhoek and an endless savannah. The tour covers the colonial monuments of the city, but also its living part and the streets full of people in traditional clothing of local cultures, including wearing oufits made of leather and driving taxis Himba people alongside the yuppies dressed in shiny suits.
For those willing, they can visit a cheetah farm (an additional fee – approx. 45 EUR) to watch the cheetahs and lions feeding.
The program also includes a dinner in one of the best Namibian restaurants offering antelope dishes and excellent seafood from the local farms.
Windhoek – Sesriem,
(approx. driving time 4 h, about 300 km)
We will leave Windhoek in the morning, taking one of the highest roads in Namibia. We will cross the Gamsberg Mountains and cover the Spreetshoogte pass, one of the steepest mountain passes in South Africa (1,780 m above sea level, gradient up to 22%) or the Gamsberg pass, the longest and highest pass in Namibia, at an elevation of 2,347 metres above sea level.
Next, we will visit the unique Solitaire inn, a welcome stopover located in the desert, where we will enjoy the iconic apple pie, a sweet good initiated over twenty years ago by Moose, a descendant of the former Scottish settlers of McGregor. Moose gave this place a special character – he transformed the former car repair building in the middle of the desert to a warm, cosy bakery that smells of bread, pies and coffee. No wonder this place attracts travelers from all over the world for so many years! We will spend the evening by the fire, having a freshly baked venison steaks and tasting excellent wine.
Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Solitaire,
(approx. driving time 2 h, about 140 km)
At dawn, we will go deep into the oldest desert in the world, the Namib Desert. We will watch the sunrise with the sand taking on an intense red color from the viewpoint. Those willing will have a chance to climb the highest dune in the world called Big Daddy at an elevation approx. 300 metres above sea level to see the ranges of red sands stretching to the horizon. We will also visit one of the most beautiful as well as photogenic places in the world – the Deadvlei valley, where the trunks of withered acacia trees still can be seen. They are a testimony to the fact that water used to flow there in the past. During a few hours’ stay, we will feel the unique peace and quiet of the desert and the power of the scorching African sun at the same time. That’s why our next stop will be a bar where to enjoy some cold drinks and have a delicious lunch. After a moment of relax, it will be time to see the deep, picturesque Sesriem canyon, which was repeatedly filled with water almost to the edge of its cliffs, traces of which can still be seen on its steep walls.
Solitaire – Swakopmund,
(approx. driving time 3.10 h, about 270 km)
On this day, we will cross the beautiful Naukluft Mountains and the Tropic of Capricorn. Although it is not a particularly scenic spot, it is geographically important due to the fact of being the point over which the Sun once a year “turns back” its apparent journey through the sky and this is the exact moment when astronomical summer begins in the northern hemisphere, and winter begins in the south.
Our further route will lead us through beautiful mountain passes and canyons with various layers of rocks and a clearly visible, very interesting geology of Namibia.
We will spend the afternoon and evening in Swakopmund, a colonial town where the first port was built in 1892. The town, in addition to being beautiful, has a very nostalgic vibe, combining the beauty of colonial architecture and the difficult, poignant history of this country, its inhabitants and colonizers. The turbulent history, however, has passed and contemporary Swakopmund is an idyllic, multi-cultural, colorful town with a picturesque pier, reaching the depths of the ocean.
We will have dinner in one of its excellent restaurants serving seafood.
Swakopmund – Cape Cross – Spitzkoppe,
(approx. driving time 3.5 h, about 280 km)
In the morning, those willing will have a chance to choose the additional attractions (additional fee).These include a sightseeing flight with a light aeroplane (approx. EUR 250), an ocean cruise (approx. EUR 60) or a quad ride through the sand dunes (approx. EUR 30/1 h). Around noon, we will pass through a part of the Skeleton Coast, the usually foggy and monotonous wastelands, where we will see one of the numerous shipwrecks that crashed against the offshore rocks of this unfriendly, salt-lined and inhospitable coast. During our visit on the Skeletal Coast, we will see the world’s largest seal colony, which shocks with the number of animals (about 80,000 – 200,000 seals!) and their closeness to the visiting humans. After this experience, we will drive through the picturesque orange and red mountains of Erongo and Pontok with the characteristic, surrounded by granite rocks of the abstract shapes and colours Spitzkoppe peak. The mountains were the filming location for 2001: A Space Odyssey movie. What is more, the Spitzkoppe area is one of the best places in Namibia for star gazing, thanks to the exceptionally clear air and the real darkness not disturbed by any lights from the civilization.
Spitzkoppe – petrified forest –Damara village – Twyfelfontain,
(approx. driving time 4.5 h, 300 km)
During the 7th day of our adventure we will visit another two of the amazing attractions of Namibia:
– petrified forest full of dead trees that turned to stone – many of them are of millions years old,
– Damara village, where we will get to know this disappearing culture, see the old Damaran costumes, clothing, dances and songs, and learn the tribes’ way to kindle a fire or make tools.
We will spend our evening camping by the fire.
Twyfelfontain – Palmwag,
(approx. driving time 2 h, about 130 km)
The day will start with a visit to Twyfelfontain, an archaeological site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The site is located in a charming valley, where the Bushmen tribe made 2,500 rock carvings and the oldest of them are about 6,000 years old. Later we will go to the picturesquely situated Palmwag campsite, located on the banks of an ephemeral river, a great place to observe wild animals. The camp is sometimes visited by elephants or smaller predators. Our afternoon and evening will be dedicated to relax by the swimming pool while enjoying the beautiful surroundings or having a glass of fine wine on the viewing terrace of the restaurant.
Palmwag – Opuwo
(approx. driving time 3.5 h, 240 km)
After breakfast, we will continue our journey through the semi-arid areas of Kaokoland to the north of Namibia, where there is a shortage of water and therefore an increasing lack of vegetation. However, in a rocky wasteland, this is the place where we will see a spring forming a small Ongogo waterfall and will be able to have a swim in a pond.
Our next stop will be Opuwo, northernmost town where Western culture blends with the traditional culture of Namibia. On the streets we will meet Himba people, dressed in the tribes traditional costumes made of leather, Herero women wearing very decorative and colorful maxi dresses, a remnant of the Victorian fashion introduced by missionaries over a hundred years ago in this place. The town has a unique character- with its only 5,000 inhabitants it is the capital of northwestern Namibia and, like every other capital city, it is the center of life and trade in the region, bringing together people of various cultures and professions. In Opuwo, we will spend the night in the bungalows of a beautiful hotel and enjoy a swim in the infinity pool located above the vast savannah.
Opuwo – Epupa Falls,
(approx. driving time 3 h, 200 km)
On this day we will leave early enough to visit the Himba village before the midday heat. In the village we will have a chance to talk to the inhabitants about the culture and the past of the last of the African nomads. Himba live their life as their tribe did several hundred years ago. They still wear modest, traditional clothing made of leather and cover their bodies with a mixture of ochre, butterfat and herbs, which makes them look like fabulous fairy tale characters. Himba people are cattle herders, they also keep other, smaller animals and travel with their herds in search of the pasture and water. Meeting people who live in such an extremely different way than the one that we are so used to, will allow us to have a more broad look at the diversity of cultures and our way of living.
After visiting Himba village, we will stop at Okongwati village for a cold drink at a local roadside bar. Later we will head to the located on the border with Angola Epupa Waterfalls. Its surroundings, the lush oasis of green makalani palms, look extraordinary against the backdrop of red rocky hills covered with scarce vegetation.
We will spend the evening enjoying the fire by the river, relaxing under the palm trees with a glass of wine before another day of our African adventure.
Epupa Falls – Opuwo – Etosha National Park,
(approx. driving time 5h, about 350 km)
We will leave the Epupa Falls in the morning and drive to the Etosha National Park, one of the largest national parks in the world. It is inhabited by 144 species of mammals and 340 species of birds. During the safari, we will probably see the largest predators, elephants, rhinoceros and various types of large and small antelopes living in their natural environment.
The first safari day will be dedicated to visit the western part of Etosha, and after reaching the camping located in the park, we will enjoy a beautiful sunset in the savannah straight from the nearby observation tower.
Olifantsrus – Okakuejo – Halali,
(approx. driving time 5 h, about 350 km)
At the dawn the next day we will go on a safari to the middle part of the park. We will enter the surface of the dry salt lake of Etosha, and spend the hot afternoon at the Okakuejo camp, where we will have lunch, drink some coffee and cool off in the swimming pool. In the afternoon, we will explore the eastern part of Etosha, and spend the night at the Halali campsite located in the park. The great thing about choosing this place is the waterhole. Located only 300 meters from the campsite, it is known for attracting predators, elephants and rhinoceros in the evenings.
Halali – Onguma,
(approx. driving time 3 h, about 180 km)
We will start the next day with a safari, this time in the eastern part of the park. We will reach Fort Namutoni and learn about some really interesting stories from the colonial times related to this place. After a little moment of relax in a local cafe, we will leave the park to stay at the campground in a private animal reserve located right next to Etosha. In the afternoon, we will get a well-deserved rest by the swimming pool, waiting for animals visiting the waterhole situated only several dozen meters from the pool and the terrace of the atmospheric restaurant.
Onguma – Hoba – Waterberg,
(approx. driving time 4,5 h, about 350 km)
As soon as we finish our cup of coffee on the restaurant’s terrace, admiring the beautiful sunrise, we will head towards the Hoba meteorite. Its main mass is estimated at more than 60 tonnes, which makes it the largest known intact meteorite. Hoba fell to Earth about 80,000 years ago and has never been moved from where it fell because of its enormous weight. You can not only see the meteorite – the visitors are also allowed to touch it!
After this unique visit, we will drive to the camping located in another national park at the foot of the Waterberg plateau. It is important to know that the Waterberg plateau is under strict protection. Depending on the time of arrival, we will be able to go for a walk towards the plateau or take a guided tour (additional fee, approx. EUR 30) to track animals and admire the extraordinary ecosystem of this place. We will spend our last evening surrounded by the Namibian nature by the fire or in a restaurant.
Waterberg – Windhoek,
(approx. driving time 3 h, about 300 km)
After breakfast, we will prepare the camping equipment and the cars to the upcoming return. Later we will drive back towards Windhoek. On the way to the capital city, we will stop in Okahandji to visit its famous craft market to get some original souvenirs. Upon arrival in the capital, we will return the cars and check in at the hotel. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in one of the most popular Namibian restaurants.
Windhoek – Frankfurt,
(approx. driving time 1 h, about 100 km)
In the early morning, after breakfast, we will have some free time for shopping and preparation for the journey. For those willing (an additional fee, approx. EUR 20), there will be an organized trip to Katutura, created during the apartheid, historically important slum district. A large proportion of Windhoek’s inhabitants still live there in their modest households. During the trip, we will visit the local Katatura market, try the famous kapana (a special kind of beef or mutton baked on a plate), see both the poorer and richer parts of the district and, depending on the size of the group, visit one of the tin houses (niestety nie wiem jak jest taki konkretnie blaszany dom?) and a local bar.
In the afternoon we will go to the airport to check in and get on a plane with our heads full of wonderful Namibian memories.
Frankfurt – Warsaw
Transfer to the aiport in Frankfurt for a plane to Warsaw.
DATES AND PRICES
13th – 28th November 2022
25th February – 11th March 2023
2700 € per person in case of 4 people in a car;
2 900 € per person in case of 3 people in a car;
3200 € per person in case od 2 people in a car.
The price includes: transfer from and to the airport in Windhoek, Toyota Hilux car rental with tents on the roofs and the necessary camping equipment, maximum insurance for rented cars, accommodation – 10 nights on campsites and 4 nights in hotels in double rooms with breakfast, costs of entry to the Sossusvlei National Park, entry to the Etosha National Park, entry to Cape Cross, entry to Twyfelfontain, entry to the Hioba meteor, care of at least two guides, tourist insurance.
The price does not include: flight tickets, fuel for the car, meals (except for breakfast in the case of hotel accommodation), visas to Namibia, own expenses
● Namibia officially gained sovereignty in 1990, making it Africa’s youngest country and one of the youngest countries in the world.
● The average temperatures range between 17°C to 30°C in summer and 7°C to 20°C in winter.
● Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world with its 80 millions years.
● Twyfelfontein is home to some of the oldest cave drawings in the world – around 6,000 years old.
● You can find the largest non-subglacial underground lake, Dragons Breath Cave, in Namibia.
● Etosha, the most famous national park of Namibia, covers the area of the Netherlands.
● Among others, you can meet a lion, an elephant, a rhino, a giraffe and a leopard there.
● The name Namibia comes from the word “Nama” and translates as “a vast place of nothingness.”
● Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world after Mongolia.
● One liter of fuel in Namibia costs about PLN 3.20.
● The country has rich deposits of diamond, uranium and gold.
● Namibia is home to the largest population of cheetahs in the world.
● Namibia is believed to be one of the safest African countries.
● Namibia takes nature conservation seriously. In fact, more than 40 percent of the country area is under protection.
● Namibia became the first country in Africa to incorporate environmental protection into its constitution.