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Namibia

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Escorted 4x4 Namibia

                  HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights

An exclusive escorted 4X4 Trail.

A visit to Solitaire.

Drive across the Namib Desert from East to West.

Namib Naukluft Park Unique scenery at Kuiseb Canyon & absolute breathtaking views offered by the contrast created by the rock formations edged against the red sand dunes.

On the northern side of the Kuiseb come across the most southern examples of the Welwitschia mirabilis plant, endemic to the Namib Desert.

Itinerary

This adventure departs from Solitaire and then returns to Walvisbay.

 

It is a self Drive safari with a minimum of 12 adults and a maximum of 20.

DAY 1: OVERNIGHT SOLITAIRE

Min 12 pax max 22 pax

Everybody assembles at Solitaire. It is time to get last minute supplies and filling to the brim on fuel needed for the next 6 days. Since many of the group members might have been to Sossusvlei (one of the highlights of Namibia), it is not included as part of this itinerary. Tonight you will have the opportunity to meet the guides and fellow travelers. After a detailed briefing of what to expect the next couple of days, you will be treated to a nice meal around the campfire.

DAY 2: SOLITAIRE TO KUISEB

We depart Solitaire and enter the Namib Naukluft Park, 35kms north of Solitaire - restricted Namib area. This is the start of a unique adventure offering you aspects of the Namib not generally experienced by the normal 'tourist'. We cross the Namib plains more or less on the same 'ox-wagon route' that was followed by the earlier settlers, German Schutztruppe (on horseback &camels) and 'transport ryers' in the late 1800's.

 

The route leads to the Kuiseb River and then the area is slowly changing from the typical Namib Plains into a colorful landscape of red sand dunes separated by grassy plains. The Kuiseb Canyon offers unique scenery with the southern bank formed by massive red sand dunes, the northern bank by pitch black rock formations and in the riverbed massive trees and the dry sand bed creates a kaleidoscope of green and white. We proceed westwards along the edge of the canyon until we reach a spot were the dunes falls right into the river near Homeb.

 

Depending on the status of the river (might be in flood) we will 'slip' into the river enjoying its unique ecosystem of trees and abundance of birds. We will cross over onto the northern bank of the Kuiseb Canyon, enjoying the absolute breathtaking views once again offered by the contrast created by the rock formations edged against the red sand dunes. On the northern side of the Kuiseb we will come across the most southern examples of the Welwitschia mirabilis plant, endemic to the Namib Desert. Although the plant looks as if it has many leaves, it has only two shredded by the wind over years. Their scientific name comes from the first European to describe it, Friedrich Welwitsch, and mirabilis from its marvellous ability to survive in such harsh, apparently waterless conditions. The night is spent under the desert sky!!

DAY 3: DESERT CROSSING!!

The Namib Desert follows the coast of Namibia for approximately 2000 kilometers. It varies in width from 80 to 200 kilometers where it meets the Namib Escarpment. The most important climatic feature of the Namib Desert is its sparse and highly unpredictable annual rainfall. The annual rainfall ranges from 5 mm in the west to about 85 mm along its eastern limits. Our aim with this trip is drive ‘across’ the desert from east to west experiencing the dramatic change in the environment. From Homeb, we head southwest into the 'sand sea'. On the way to Conception Bay massive dunes are negotiated and once again ever-changing scenes of beautiful landscapes are experienced. Driver skills are improving as the dunes offer more and more challenges. The dune straits are massive, and the dunes are even more impressive. Most of the dunes are in excess of 150m high!! Once again we will make camp amongst the dunes, enjoying the unique experience of camping amongst massive dunes.

DAYS 4 & 5: CONCEPTION BAY AND 'GHOST TOWNS'

In the area between Conception Bay and Meob Bay the mining settlements of Holsatia, Charlottenfelder and Grillenberger were established and no form of engine-driven transport was available during the first 15 years of exploration. Transporting of supplies and mining equipment were effected mainly from Swakopmund by ship and the cutter Viking via Sandwich Harbor, Conception Bay and Meob Bay. Various shipping casualties occurred, such as when the Eduard Bohlen intended to off-load mining equipment and was consequently lost at Conception Bay (1909). During 1912/1913 a light railway from Conception Bay to Conception Water and an 80-kilometer pipeline linking the settlements were constructed. It is not totally clear as to how many prefabricated buildings were erected at the various settlements, as only the foundations of some of these are today still visible.

 

Namibia's exploration by Europeans commenced from this coastline as early as 1485, although the inhospitable Namib Desert barred access to the interior. Probably the first European to set foot on Namibian soil was the Portuguese Diogo Cao or Diogo Cam, followed by Bartholomeu Diaz two years later, on 8 December 1487. This date represented the holiday of "Maria's Conception". Therefore the bay received the name" Santa Maria da Conceicao" (Conception Bay). Today you will most likely see vast flocks of birds, drive past Cape Fur seal colonies, visit the wreck of the E Bohlen near Conception Bay (1909) and see various ‘relics’ dating back to the diamond mining era. In November 1914 all the people in this area were requested to stop operations and to proceed to Swakopmund up country. This order came as a result of an expected invasion of allied troops.

 

Tonight you will be camping in the Conception Bay area. ('Leeukoppie' or 'Conception Water' – depending on progress and/or weather)

DAY 6: 'LANGEWAND' TO WALVIS BAY

The dune belt opens up between Meob Bay and Conception Bay, but immediately after Conception the dune belt stretches right onto the beach. From Conception Bay you will be driving on the beach with magnificent scenery. You will experience freedom – BIG TIME!! We are heading northwards towards Sandwich Bay passing the wreck of the Shawnee and negotiating 'Langewand' where massive dunes end in the sea. There is only a very limited time span to negotiate this stretch of beach. After Langewand the trail once again leads into the dunes, circumnavigating the Salt Pan 'extensions' of Sandwich Harbor. The dunes are still getting progressively larger to offer an ever-changing new experience of ultimate dune driving

Rates & TERMS

Included

Communication Radios for all Participating Vehicles.

Tea/Coffee and Fruit Juices Supplied with Meals.

'Communal' camping equipment. (eg. braai grid, cooking facilities & equipment, tables, wash-up facilities, shower, toilet etc.)

Rates and Dates

R8000 per person.

23 to 28 August.

11 to16 October.

25 to 30 October.

15 to 20 November.

28 December to 2 January

Excluded

Tent, Folding Chair & Sleepwear. (Bedroll, Tent etc.)

Eating Utensils. (Cutlery, Plate, Bowl, Glass & Mug)

Own Snacks & Refreshments. (Alcoholic Beverages, Cool Drinks etc.)

Torch (Flashlight) & Batteries.

Camera.

Sunglasses & Sun Tan Lotion.

Clothing (very hot and very cold), Toiletries & Towels.

Prescribed Medicine.

Small Bowl or Collapsible Wash Basin.

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