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This affordable Southern Africa Camping Safari explores top wilderness areas, game parks and travel destinations in South Africa and Namibia.
Start in Cape Town with the cultural experience of a Cape Flats township tour and travel north to Namibia via the Cederberg Mountains and Orange River. This budget camping tour takes you to the Namibia's Fish River Canyon, from there you venture into the world's oldest desert in the Namib-Naukluft Park to climb the Sossusvlei dunes and explore the stark Dead Vlei on foot.
This safari adventure visits Swakopmund for adventure activities and sightseeing and then goes on to the San Bushman rock paintings in the dramatic Spitzkoppe area. Next its off to Etosha National Park for top-notch game viewing, before heading to Namibia's capital, Windhoek, where this camping adventure ends.
Experience the wide-open spaces, vast silence and open skies of Africa on this diverse journey through the breathtaking landscapes of Southern Africa!
This budget camping safari starts in Cape Town, known as the "Mother City" of South Africa.
Leaving the landmark Table Mountain and the scenic city of Cape Town behind we make our way to the Cape Flats for a township tour of some of Cape Town's famous informal settlements. Our Cape Flats township tour gives us a chance to experience the vibrant local township culture. Visit community projects and meet some of the local people in South Africa’s dynamic informal settlement areas. This exciting township excursion offers insight into the turbulent history and current state of the country, as well as the daily lives of these South Africans.
Our journey continues north through changing landscapes of South Africa's Western Cape, starting with Winelands, fruit farms and rugged hills.
We spend our first night of camping under African stars in the northern part of the Western Cape Province en route to the Orange River. We stay near the small town of Citrusdal and the Olifants River at a campsite with views out over the majestic Cederberg Mountains. Here you have the option of doing some wine tasting to sample the locally produced wines.
On the first night, you will have time to get to know your fellow travellers a little better and get into the swing of being on the road in Southern Africa.
We recommend that you arrange to spend a few days in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town before your safari adventure. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town has something for everyone, from outdoor activities and wine route tours to world-class shopping and a lively nightlife.
On day two we travel through open fields of wildflowers (in spring) to rockier and more arid terrain closer to the Namibian border. Leaving Namaqualand and the Northern Cape of South Africa behind we cross into Namibia at Vioolsdrift.
With its source in Lesotho’s Drakensberg Mountains, the Orange River is South Africa’s longest river and almost traverses the continent of Africa. We camp on the banks of the Orange River, officially named the Gariep, on day two of this Southern African Safari, enjoying a marvellous African sunset. Swim in the river, relax in unspoilt nature and hike up to the viewpoint above the campsite to take in the views over this wild terrain.
This afternoon or tomorrow morning you can embark on an optional canoe trip on the Orange River, which is famous for its canoeing trips!
The camp is remote but not too basic, with facilities including hot showers, flush toilets and grass-covered camping sites. Unwind at the camp's bar and soak up the peaceful river setting under a blanket of bright stars.
Enjoy the optional canoe trip on the Orange River, if we didn't go yesterday, looking out for birds and other creatures. Alternatively, take a swim in the river and relax at camp, before continuing further north into Namibia. This beautiful Southern African country is a desert land of stark contrasts, best known for its impressive red-orange sand dunes.
We drive to the Fish River Canyon, arguably the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world. This beautiful natural wonder is around 500m deep and over 160km in length. We explore this scenic area enjoying spectacular views over the sharp “Hell’s Bend” corner of the canyon. We camp overnight not far from the immense canyon in this rugged part of southern Namibia.
From the Fish River Canyon, we continue our drive north heading into one of the oldest deserts in the world, the Namib.
Sesriem lies close to the Namib Naukluft National Park, serving as a good base for exploring this arid park. The Namib-Naukluft Park incorporates a vast swathe of the Namib Desert, as well as the Naukluft Mountains in what constitutes Africa's second largest game park.
Tonight we camp under starry Namibian skies in the desert near Sesriem, watching for wildlife at the waterhole where oryx are often spotted.
This morning we head into the Namib-Naukluft Park, one of the largest game parks in the world and Namibia’s largest conservation area, covering 50 000 km² of dunes, plains, mountains and pans.
Early this morning we climb to the top of the famous Dune 45 to watch the changing colours and shifting shadows of the open desert. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the glowing colours of the dune fields and stark pans today. In the Sossusvlei area, we see some of the tallest dunes in the world. After surveying the desert from the dune-top we have breakfast. Then we take a shuttle closer to Dead Vlei, walking the last stretch to the striking pan. Surrounded by towering ochre dunes the Dead Vlei pan is a remarkable sight with its white clay floor and contrasting dead trees.
From the barren pan and bright dunes, we head to Sesriem Canyon to walk in the narrow gorge. Layer-upon-layer of sedimentary rocks has been exposed in the narrow gorge over the ages of erosion. Leaving the Sesriem area, we head to the small town of Solitaire in the Khomas Region of Namibia, and our camp nearby.
Next, we journey to the Atlantic coast, stopping to take photos when we cross the Tropic of Capricorn. We arrive in Swakopmund where the cool Atlantic ocean breeze and chill waters offer a welcome change from the heat of the desert.
After the silence of the Fish River Canyon and Namib Desert, we explore the vibrant town of Swakopmund, located between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. The quaint town of Swakopmund is Namibia’s premier beach resort, featuring palm-lined avenues and seaside promenades. The town features museums, art galleries, colonial architecture and other places of interest.
Take a sightseeing stroll through the German-influenced town and relax at one of the street-side cafes, or get your adrenaline pumping on one of the adventure activities. There are plenty of adventure activities to choose from at Swakopmund including kayaking, quad biking, sand boarding and skydiving as well as scenic flights and guided desert walks.
Only breakfasts are included in Swakopmund, allowing you to fit other meals in with your activities, which sometimes include meals.
Departing from Swakopmund our safari adventure takes us inland, travelling into the former Damaraland area of Namibia. Making our way to Spitzkoppe, we drive through the remote Erongo Region.
Spitzkoppe is one of the most iconic landmarks of Namibia, located in an undeveloped area scattered with exposed granite formations. We explore the area on foot to see the ancient rock paintings of the San Bushmen once living here as hunter-gatherers. The most impressive of these rock paintings is called “Bushman Paradise”.
The peculiar rock formations reach up to 1728m above sea level, offering spectacular views. Explore this dramatic area of Namibia, soaking up its stillness. Witness the ever-changing colours of the rock formations, especially at sunrise and sunset, when they take on intense orange-red hues.
Our Spitzkoppe Camp, located at the base of the rocky mountain, is owned and maintained by the local community. All proceeds from our stay go to the local community at Spitzkoppe.
From Spitzkoppe we continue journeying north through the rugged Kunene Region to the famous Etosha National Park. The "Great White Place" - Etosha is dominated by a vast salt pan of the same name.
We stay in Etosha Park for the next two nights, camping near watering holes, which are floodlit at night for exciting nocturnal game viewing. This opportunity to watch wildlife at the watering holes after dark is the game viewing highlight of a trip to Namibia! Commonly sighted wild animals include elephant, giraffe and zebra, as well as lion, rhino and hyena at times.
We embark on a short afternoon game drive upon arrival in Etosha and spend the whole of day 10 wildlife viewing.
The 20 000 km² Etosha Park is home to thousands of wild animals and is considered one of the most important game reserves in Southern Africa. This vast game park is inhabited by around 340 bird species and over 100 mammal species, notably the endangered black rhino, as well as cheetah, black-faced impala, tsessebe, roan antelope and gemsbok. In the rainy season, shallow lakes form on the pan, with the watering holes supporting Etosha’s wildlife all year-round.
Today we drive south to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city and our last stop on this overland camping safari.
The small city of Windhoek is located some 1,680m above sea level, in the centre of Namibia within a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. Arriving in Windhoek in the late afternoon our safari adventure through South Africa and Namibia comes to an end.
Note: We recommend arranging a few days in Windhoek after our camping safari to enjoy some nightlife and explore Windhoek and its colonial German atmosphere and architecture.
Please note that this tour comes with a highly-recommended Adventure Pass at extra cost. We strongly recommend this optional Adventure Pass as it includes major tour highlights and activities. This local payment can be purchased when booking your tour, or at the start of your trip, payable directly to your tour guide. Contact African Budget Safaris for the detailed itinerary listing what is included in the Adventure Pass and see the Full Pricing above for rates.
Transport on this tour is in a 24-seater, custom-built safari truck. The self-contained truck is fitted with onboard tables, individual lockers (70-litre) and a freezer, as well as safety features. The safari truck also features plug sockets, a library and an i-pod jack.
The group prepares the included meals in camp and help with preparation is invited. Most dietary requirements can be catered for on the road, upon request at the time of booking.
Some of our National Park visits and game viewing drives are conducted using local services, to ensure the best quality game driving and to comply with local authority rulings. Using local African guides and service providers also adds to our safari experience and allows us to contribute to the local communities. These local services are included in the Local Payment of the tour.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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