Experience the vast arid plains of Namibia, filled with wildlife, on this Africa overland tour. Departing from Windhoek, we head to big game country and spend two days exploring Etosha National Park. From Etosha, we travel into the remote Kunene region to visit dramatic Spitzkoppe and the Brandberg Mountains, where we view rock art by the traditional San.
Then we drive to Swakopmund, Namibia's 'Adventure Capital' for optional adventure activities and sightseeing. Then we make our way south into the ancient Namib Desert. Catch a glowing sunrise over the red-orange desert from the top of Dune 45 before going to Sossusvlei and Deadlvei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, then walk in Sesriem Canyon. From the striking pans and ochre dune fields we continue to the spectacular Fish River Canyon, via the Quiver Tree Forest and Giants' Playground. The final stretch of our overland adventure takes us into South Africa through Namaqualand to the rugged Cederberg Mountains and on to Cape Town.
Experience wild Africa on this affordable overland safari. Make friends and memories for life: spectacular landscapes, incredible animals and a journey that'll stay with you for years to come.
On the first morning of this Namibia to Cape Town Overland Safari, you meet up with your safari crew in Windhoek. Boarding our overland safari truck we set off north from Namibia's capital city, travelling to the famous Etosha National Park.
In the late afternoon, we arrive at Etosha, the top wildlife destination in Namibia. Entering Etosha Park the wildlife adventure begins as we proceed to our overnight camp, located inside the national park. We spend the first two nights of our overland tour at rest camps in Etosha, which feature floodlit watering holes offering excellent game viewing opportunities. Make your way to the waterhole after dark to watch for nocturnal wildlife and sit back around the campfire listening to the night sounds of the African bush around us.
Day two, a full day of wildlife viewing in Etosha Park! We explore the fringes of Etosha Pan in our elevated safari truck visiting watering holes and scanning the dramatic landscape for wildlife and birds. With its 120 km-long dry lakebed, Etosha offers phenomenal game-viewing, due to the sparse vegetation of the pan and the life-giving waterholes dotting the bush.
Etosha National Park is rated as one of Africa's best game viewing destinations, hosting a surprising abundance of animals and birds given the arid environment. Keep an eye out for elephants in the more bushy areas, as well as rhinos and elusive leopards. Common wildlife sightings in Etosha include lions and an array of herbivores - zebras, gemsbok, impalas, springbok and giraffes. Hosting over 340 bird species, birding enthusiasts will be rewarded with a variety of sightings, from the martial eagles and kori bustards to bee-eaters and ostriches.
This Safari comes with an optional Activity Package. This is an additional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. This itinerary includes these items. Ideally, we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this, so you can pick and choose. African Budget Safaris will give you a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package, once we hear from you. See Full Pricing Information on the Pricing Tab for the cost of the Activity Package.
Early this morning we hop back on our safari truck and continue our search for wildlife and birds as we leave Etosha.
Exiting Etosha we make our way into the remote and sparsely-populated Kunene Region of Namibia. Passing through rugged, rocky landscapes snaked with dry-riverbeds we head to Kamanjab, south-east of Etosha.
On day four we travel to the Brandberg Mountains, Namibia's tallest peaks. This afternoon, we head out on a short hike to the famous White Lady rock painting of Brandberg. Our walk takes us through rugged terrain, along the usually dry Tsisab River gorge. After walking for about an hour we reach the well-known rock painting created by the San around 2000 years ago. This is the most famous of the over 45000 rock paintings found in the Brandberg area.
As evening approaches we watch a glowing sunset over Brandberg which means 'burning mountain' - so-named for the way its granite face reddens as the sun dips below the horizon. We stay at a lodge based at the foot of the Brandberg Mountains tonight.
Leaving Brandberg on day five, we continue across the arid gravel plains of former Damaraland, making our way to Spitzkoppe. Known as the Matterhorn of Namibia, the dramatic exposed granite peaks of Spitzkoppe form one of the most iconic landmarks in the country, rising up to 700 metres above the surrounding plains. Arriving atSpitzkoppe, we take a guided walk through the incredible towering rock formations in the middle of the otherwise flat plains. Walking around the foot of the granite massif with a local guide we stop to view old San rock paintings created by the original inhabitants of Southern Africa.
From Spitzkoppe we drive to the icy Atlantic coast and the quaint town of Swakopmund, where we’ll be told of the many activities on offer in and around the coastal town. An optional dinner at a local restaurant allows us to sample tasty local dishes. We spend two nights in Swakopmund.
Day six is yours to enjoy at leisure - sightseeing and doing optional activities. For the adrenaline junkies amongst us, Swakopmund offers a whole range of thrilling adventure activities including sandboarding, skydiving and quad biking. For those less inclined to high-adventure, dolphin cruises are a popular option, or you can simply amble along the sea, walk around the German-influenced town and enjoy a leisurely lunch. The town is small enough to explore on foot, featuring beautiful colonial-era architecture, quaint shops and eateries serving delicious cuisine.
From the charming town of Swakopmund, we travel south into the ancient Namib Desert. Along the way, we pause at the Walvis Bay lagoon to view the abundant birdlife at this Ramsar site, often including large flocks of flamingoes.
Leaving the Atlantic we proceed to the red-orange sea of dunes in the Namib. After settling in at our desert lodge, we are taken on a guided afternoon walk through this starkly beautiful ecosystem. Our guide tells us more about the flora and fauna of the Namib and the incredible survival techniques of the traditional San as we walk.
We get an early night tonight, but before you turn-in don't forget to look up and marvel at the star-studded desert sky - it is breathtaking.
Waking before dawn, we drive into the Namib Desert and hike up Dune 45 to catch the vivid colours of sunrise over the desert. The changing hues and shifting shadows of the dunes at sunrise will leave you awe-struck!
After admiring the sweeping desert views from the top of Dune 45 we take a 4x4 drive to Sossusvlei in the Namib-Nauklft National Park. Exploring the strange landscapes of the stark Sossusvlei and Deadvlei pans on foot is an unusual and visually striking experience. Take a walk amongst the gnarled dead trees scattered across the cracked clay pans, encircled by ochre dunes.
Leaving the tall Sossusvlei Dunes and surreal-looking clay pans behind we drive to Sesriem Canyon. Here we enjoy a short walk through the incredible passages of Sesriem Canyon, carved into the rock over millions of years by the Tsauchab River. After admiring the deep canyon we return to our lodge near Solitaire for another night under starry desert skies.
On day nine we travel east to Keetmanshoop, the capital of southern Namibia.
This afternoon we visit the Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanshoop. Some 250 quiver trees constitute this forest, declared a national monument in 1995. The quiver tree forest includes specimens between 200 and 300 years old making it an important ecological site.
Our day begins with a visit to Giants Playground, a bizarre landscape strewn with unusual stacks of large dolerite boulders about 160 to 180 million years old.
From the rock formations of Giant's Playground, we drive south along the deserted roads crossing the open gravel plains of southern Namibia. Our next overnight stop is at the Ais-Ais hot springs, where you can take a soothing soak in the mineral pools.
This afternoon we visit the Fish River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on the planet, 160 km long and 27 km wide in places. Walking along the rim of the massive canyon in the late afternoon we get to watch the shifting shadows and colours of sunset over this natural wonder.
This morning we travel further south to the Gariep River, commonly known by its former name - the Orange River. We spend our final night in Namibia at a lodge along the banks of the Orange River.
In the afternoon you have the chance to go canoeing on the Orange River. Paddling along the river in a canoe is the best way to take in the rugged scenery and spot birds and even small animals. Alternatively, you can explore on foot, cool off in the river and laze on the riverbanks.
Travelling further south today, we cross the Gariep, which forms the border with South Africa. Our drive takes us through the Namaqualand region of the arid Northern Cape Province. This part of South Africa is famous for its spectacular wildflower displays in spring (around August/September) so you may see the rolling hills covered in multi-coloured flowers in the season.
Continuing south we head to the rugged Cederberg Mountain region of the Western Cape. The Cederberg is known for its stunning rock formations, San rock art and fantastic hiking trails. On our last night, we tuck into a hearty South African meal together, at the lodge just outside the town of Citrusdal.
On our final morning, we visit a rooibos tea farm in the Cederberg. This region is famous for the endemic rooibos plant which is found growing wild on the mountain slopes here. At the farm we see rooibos plants being cultivated to produce the very popular rooibos herbal tea, as well as buchu plants, also used to make a healthy tea.
Leaving the fertile tea and citrus farms of the Cederberg, we travel down to Cape Town, the final destination on our affordable overland tour. Nearing the city we pause in Tableview to get the best view of Table Mountain from across the bay and take some photos. In the picturesque city of Cape Town, we sadly say goodbye and part ways.
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