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Namibia's Most Exclusive Getaways (Part 2)

  
  

We have already shared three magnificent getaway destinations in our previous blog post. Now, today, we give you another three establishments in Namibia that provide guests with the ultimate in comfort, relaxation and exclusivity.

This post will be giving you a brief look at the Lianshulu Lodge, the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge and the AiAiba Lodge.


1. Lianshulu Lodge

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The lodge overlooks the perennial Kwando River.
(Image via Expert Africa)

 

The Lianshulu Lodge can be found in the north of Namibia on the Kwando River in the lush and ever-surprising East Kavango (Caprivi) region. The lodge is situated on a private concession in the Mudumu National Park of Namibia.

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Wildebeest at the Mudumu National Park.
(Image via Cardboard Box Travel Shop)

 

Since the lodge is on a privately run concession you get all the creature comforts of an exclusive and excellently run establishment, along with the opportunity to explore one of Namibia’s renowned national parks. The focus at Lianshulu is on the guests and the entire staff at the lodge will do everything in their power to make you feel as relaxed and looked-after in the beautiful surrounds of the lodge.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

The main deck is the perfect place to unwind.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

Staying at Lianshulu it would be easy to forget that the outside world even exists. The bungalows at the lodge are made from locally sourced materials and put together by local craftsmen. The architecture together with the picturesque riverside, combine to create a truly serene and unique atmosphere.

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Another amazing sunset over the Kwando River.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

If you feel like exploring the surrounds and the Mudumu National Park then there are a few options available to you. Lianshulu offers its guests a highly recommended boat ride down the Kwando. On this trip it is not uncommon to see some large game on the river’s banks.

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An elephant on the bank of the river near the lodge.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

Two adult hippos cruising through the river.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

If big game is your thing then you can go on a 4x4 game drive through the national park and see if you can catch a glimpse of a few of these mighty creatures. However, there is also an amazing variety of birdlife, including several types of water birds, that can be viewed whilst you explore the river near the lodge.

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A low flying Great Egret.
(Image via Lianshulu Lodge)

 

You can book at the Lianshulu Lodge here.

 

2. Okahirongo Elephant lodge

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Nighttime at the Elephant Lodge.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge can be found in one of Namibia’s most sparsely populated northern regions: The Kaokoveld. Okahirongo is located on the Purros Conservancy and is 200km south of the Kunene River and 55km inland from the Skeleton Coast.

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The Kaokoveld- remote and beautiful.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

The lodge’s remote location means that if you want to get to it you are going to have to climb in a 4x4 or a light aircraft. The drive can be quite long and tricky and the flight is two and a half hours from Windhoek.

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In many ways this lodge is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

The difficulty in getting there, however, is well worth it. The Purros conservancy is home to some of the Namibia’s desert adapted elephants, rhino, lions and giraffe. Okahirongo also offers its guests several activities like game drives, night walks, night drives and a visit to the nearby local Himba settlement.

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Some rare desert-dwelling giraffes.
(Image via Okahirongo)

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Aiaiba, Lianshulu, Okahirongo, desert elephants, remote namibia, exclusive

A small herd of elephants marching through the Kaokoveld.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

If you are looking for a place to relax and unwind then Okahingoro is a great place for you to visit. An infinity pool, a library, a world class kitchen and stunning panoramic views of the desert and the ephemeral Hoarusib River await you at this lodge. So if you don’t feel like striking out into the conservancy’s wilderness then you will feel right at home thanks to the lodge’s facilities.

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A fire basket is prepared in the twilight.
(Image via Okahirongo)

 

You can book at the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge here.

 

3. AiAiba Lodge

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The lodge is nestled in the foothills of the Erongo Mountains.
(Image via AiAiba)

The AiAiba Lodge overlooks the beautiful Erongo Mountains north west of Windhoek. It is mostly renowned for its proximity to some of the oldest rock paintings in Namibia. The lodge itself is also part of a group of establishments that is committed to the protection on conservation of the Erongo mountains and their surrounds.

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Examples of the ancient art can be foudn all around the region.
(Image via AiAiba)

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Some of the paintings are more than 200 years old.
(Image via AiAiba)

AiAiba is perfect for travellers looking to spend some time in the deep calm of nature. The views from the bar and restaurant are unmatched and all you need to enjoy the beauty of the region is find a chair on the deck, grab yourself a refreshment and sit back and watch the natural world go by.

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Sunsets are particularly serene in this part of Namibia.
(Image via AiAiba)

 

If you feel like exploring then the lodge also has several activities that you can take part in. Chief amongst these activities is a guided 4x4 trail which will take you on a mini safari and to the sites of the ancient rock paintings left by the regions first inhabitants thousands of years ago.


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Guests about to embrak on a safari drive around AiAiba.
(Image via Blasdale)

 

There is also a short marked hiking trail that guests can tackle without the aid of a guide. AiAiba also offers guided walks through the region on which guests will be introduced to the various flora and fauna of the region.

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Hiking and wlaking are great ways to unwind in the bush.
(Image via Changes in Longitude)

 

You can book at the AiAiba Lodge here.

*Changes in Longitude seleceted AiAiba as one of the seven most unique places in the world to visit. Read their article here.*

The three lodges we have highlighted in this post, along with the three we mentioned in our previous post make up six unique and inspiring places to visit. For travellers who want a bit more seclusion and remoteness all six of these establishments offer something that you cannot get anywhere else in Namibia.

Keep an eye out for a tour itinerary that will give you advice on how you can visit all six of these wonderful lodges and camps on a trip through Namibia.

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Namibia's Most Exclusive Getaways (Part 1)

  
  

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. Lucky for you, Namibia is widely regarded as one of the best travel destinations in the world to do just this. With an extremely low population density and an incredible variety of landscapes to choose from the Land of the Brave has become a top destination for travellers looking for somewhere to retreat to.

This week we are focusing on six remote and exclusive destinations. Part 1, which you have just started to read will focus on: The Wolwedans Boulders Safari Camp, the Serra Cafema Camp and the Fish River Lodge.

*You can find part two by clicking here*


1. The Wolwedans Boulders Safari Camp

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Panoramic views at the Boulders Safari Camp.
(Image via Wolwedans)

 

If you are looking for exclusivity then the Boulders Camp is the place for you. The luxuriously appointed camp sleeps a maximum of eight guests so there is never a massive crowd of people at the site. The camp is part of the world-renowned Wolwedans collection of camps and lodges. 

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The landscapes in this part of the country are simply stunning.
(Image via Wolwedans)

 

Staying at the camp will allow you to explore the southern reaches of the NamibRand Nature Reserve that is home to a variety of wildlife and several unique geological features. In the reserve visitors can also take guided walking tours through the ancient hunting grounds of the Bushmen. 

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Guests tracking animal spoor thorugh the reserve.
(Image via NamibRand)

 

If exploring the surrounds is not really what you are after then you can always relax at the camp and enjoy the wonderful facilities. You can even take a trip to edge of the plateau the camp sit upon and enjoy a spectacular sundowner. 

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Watch the sun set with a glorious meal and a refreshing drink.
(Image via Wolwedans

 

If you are more of a night owl then you should know that the night skies around this area of Namibia are widely regarded as some of the best in the world. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is particularly famous for its stargazing facilities

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An image of the night sky over the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
(Image by Dr. George Tucker via NamibRand

 

To book at the Boulders Safari Camp click here.


2. Serra Cafema Camp

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Serra Cafema is uniquely situated on the bed of a river that runs through an arid landscape.
(Image via Uyaphi)

 

Serra Cafema can be found in the north east corner of the Land of the Brave, near the Angolan border. Its location is so remote that it is suggested that you charter a private plane to land nearby the camp. If you do decide to take the trip up to the camp by car it will take you in excess of a week to navigate the rural roads.

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The camp can be found in this remote and awesome landscape.
(Image via Rhino Africa

 

The far-removed nature of the camp’s location means that the 8 million acres (yes you read that right!) of land that camp sits on are available exclusively to Serra Cafema’s guests. This means that if you can find your way to the site you will be rewarded with an experience that will stay with you forever. 

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Welcome to the wide-open outdoors.
(Image via Uncharted Outposts)

 

Since there are only eight thatched chalets at the riverside lodge you are ensured a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. So once you have reached the camp all you have to do is enjoy the beautiful surrounds while you listen to the rushing water of the river that runs beside the camp. 

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The Serra Cafema Camp in the twilight- pure magic.
(Image via Kiwi Collection)

 

While at the camp you can visit a nearby Himba settlement, go quad biking through the nearby dunes, or as mentioned above, simply relax at the camp enjoying the contrasts of place where a river runs through a desert.

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Part of a Himba settlement.
(Image via Audley Travel

 

You can book at Serra Cafema Camp here

 

3. The Fish River Lodge

The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world and it is truly one of the most stirring sites in Namibia. It is found in the south of Namibia and if you are in this part of the country then you simply have to check out this canyon on the border between South Africa and Namibia.

 

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Every chalet has a sweeping view of the canyon.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

One of the best places to use as a base when exploring this canyon is the Fish River Lodge. It is the only lodge in Namibia that is perched on the edge of the immense canyon. The parks board has forbidden any more building on the rim of the canyon so the Fish River Lodge is the only lodge where you can lounge by a pool and soak in views of the canyon like this:

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Lounge in the pool and take in this impressive natural wonder.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

The lodge itself can only by accessed by driving on a very rocky and challenging dirt road. A decent 4x4 with sufficient is a must if you hope to make the trip up to the lodge. Smaller sedans and two-wheel drive cars will struggle to get through some of the rougher parts of the road.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

The rugged roads around and into the lodge are not built for city dwelling vehicles.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

There is much more to this lodge than just amazing views of the canyon. The lodge offers a range of activities. There is a mammoth, and highly rated, five-day hike; a day hike; and scenic day drives around and into the canyon. The stargazing is also spectacular in this part of Namibia as there is very little to no light pollution.

Namibia accomodation, Namibia, Fish river canyon, fish river lodge, wilderness safaris, Serra Cafema, travel, luxury, stargazing

Hikers scrambling down the face of the cliff of the canyon.
(Image via Fish River Lodge)

 

You can book at the Fish River Lodge here.

 

This was part one of two in our series on exclusice and remote places to stay in Namibia. Later in the week we will be posting a second blog on another three places... Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the follow up post later this week!

 

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For more information on Stargazing in Namibia, and to find out what it is like to hike in the Fish River Canyon, check out these two blog posts from our archives:

Exploring Namibia's Starry Skies A Day Hike Through the Fish River Canyon
506 namibia star gazing moon rising windhoek into the sun 

Three New Self-drive Routes Through Namibia

  
  

Open Africa is an organisation that prides itself on promoting sustainable tourism ventures in countries like Namibia. Recently at last week’s Namibian Tourism Expo, Open Africa, in conjunction with the Namibian Tourism Board and the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia, launched three new self-drive routes through Namibia.

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Each self-drive route has been carefully planned out to highlight aspects of Namibia that are a little bit less well known to both local and international tourists. This blog post will provide you with an overview of all the experiences you can have on each route (for a detailed itinerary visit our page here or click any of the names of the experiences below).


The Omulunga Palm Route

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What you can expect on the Omulunga Palm Route

There are several notable cultural experiences to be had on this tour as many of the local tribes along of this route have a proud history. The Owambo homesteads along the way are reminders of Namibia’s hard-fought liberation struggles as well as its promising future.

Many of the local communities along the route manage conservancies that aim to provide locals with the opportunity to share their traditions, culture and wildlife with visitors.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

An Owambo homestead.

 

Regions the Omulunga Palm Route will take you through

The route takes you on a journey from the arid northwest of the country to the fertile and verdant northeast. It should also be noted that this route also takes travellers down to the world famous Etosha National Park.

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Visitors getting close to some game at Etosha.

 

Experiences on the Omulunga Palm Route 

The Roof of Namibia Experience

The Roof of Namibia experience is 467km long and roughly runs parallel to the Angolan border in Namibia’s north. The journey traces the Kunene River from the Ruacana Falls across to the Okavango River. The trip takes travellers past several pans and flooded channels. These watery ecosystems are home to a massive amount of birdlife on offer.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The Ruacana Falls.
(Image by Tom Jakobi via Wikicommons)

 

This part of the Omulunga Palm Route is not just about rural wildlife as there are several urban settlements along the way with attractions such as the Outapi War Museum, Ombalantu Baobab Museum and the Eenhana Shrine.

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The mighty Ombalantu Baobab.
(Image via Wikimedia)

 

The King Nehale Experience

This experience is a 641km trail through the culturally rich and unique towns of Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa. There are also several rural villages that surround these larger towns, so be sure to be on the look out for those!

The major attractions on the King Nehale Experience are the Omugulugwombashe National Monument, Uukwaluudhi Royal Homestead, Uukwambi Kings Monument, Oshakati Open Market, Ongula Traditional Homestead, Nakambale Museum and Lake Oponono. This part of the route also takes you through Etosha National Park. Exploring this world-class National Park is a must-do activity when visiting the Land of the Brave.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account
A Blue Crane at Lake Oponono
.
(Image by Alastair Rae via Wikimedia)

 

The Arid Eden Route

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What you can expect on the Arid Eden Route

This route is a dream come true for travel photographers. As you head away from Swakopmund the arid desert landscapes and the crystal clear skies offer up some of the best photography opportunities in Namibia.

There are several unique locations along this route ranging from ancient rock paintings to modern cultural experiences in the heartland of the Himba people.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A Himba woman looks on.
(Image courtesy of Expert Africa)

Regions the Arid Eden Route will take you through

The Arid Eden Route begins in the coastal town of Swakopmund and runs all the way up to northern border with Angola. Something that makes this route quite special is that it winds through the previously restricted western part of Etosha National Park.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The beach at Swakopmund.

 

Experiences on the Arid Eden Route

The Welwitchia Experience

The Welwitchia Experience is 860km long and allows travellers to experience all the excitement of Swakopmund as well as the awe-inspiring Etosha National Park. The route, which is mostly gravelled roads, is well maintained and any car with sufficient ground clearance and sturdy enough axel will be able to navigate it.

gravel road namibia 88c90f18 902e 4486 925d 712761bd7ba4

A typical gravel road in Namibia.
(Photo by Andreas Seehase via Foto Community)

 

The Windhoek to Galton Experience

The Windhoek to Galton Experience is the experience that gives adventurers access to the previously mentioned western part of Etosha via the Galton Gate. The route is 520km in length and as you drive from the capital city to the Galton Gate be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife on the verge of the road.

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Explore the western parts of Etosha.


German delicatessens, coffee shops and local butcheries with locally sourced game and beef are also dotted along the route. So be sure to take a bit of time out and pop in to one of these establishments.

If you have time (and are properly prepared!) don’t forget to get off the beaten track and explore some of the landscapes that the route traverses. Massive mountain peaks, unique geological formations, desert-adapted wildlife and never ending horizons abound in these parts of the Land of the Brave.

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There is wildlife aplenty on this route!


North West Trails

This trail is for those who seek a bit more adrenaline coursing through their veins. The main attractions on this part of the route are surely the Spitzkoppe and Mount Erongo. These mountains are favourites among both mountain bikers and rock climbers and offer several routes up and down their slopes and faces.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Explorers taking in the Spitzkoppe.


The North West Trail also takes travellers past Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg. The area around the huge mountain has over 2000 recorded rock art sites and there are professionally run tours that take tourists to the major sites. Such a tour is a must for anyone interested in the ancient history of Namibia.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

An example of some of the rock art you can find in the area.


The foothills of the Brandberg are also home to some of Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants. The region is easily accessible and it is thus it one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of these mighty and rare large mammals.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A young desert-adapted elephant near the Brandberg.
(Image courtesy of the Cardboard Box Travel Shop)

 

Twyfelfontein (or ǀUi-ǁAis) is another attraction on the North West Trail. It is an official World heritage Site thanks to its numerous petroglyphs and the naturally formed geological wonders like the Organ Pipes and many petrified trees. If you want to explore Twyfelfontein then using the small town of Khorixas is a good idea as it is the last convenient place to stock up with supplies before heading out in the arid northwest.

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A unique rock formation near Twyfelfontein.


The Himba Cultural Experience

The Arid Eden Route, as mentioned above, will take you through the heartland of the Himba people of northern Namibia. The Himba Cultural Experience focuses on these unique people and the suggested 443km goes through several homesteads in the area.

The remote Himba settlement at Puros is particularly unique as its massive camel thorn trees provide shelter for all from the unrelenting sun. At Puros there is a supply store where locals and travellers can stock up on essentials like sugar, cooking oil and soap. There is also a billiard table at the store where you can share a conversation and friendly game with some of the Himba people.

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A group of Himba cutting loose.


The Four Rivers Route

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What you can expect on the Four Rivers Route

The route focuses on getting travellers off the beaten path and the meandering course it takes through the riverine landscape encourages exploration and discovery.

As with the other two routes discussed there are a variety of culturally diverse experiences along the Four Rivers Route. The people of the Zambezi are particularly culturally distinct from the rest of Namibia and this makes this route particularly worthwhile for travellers who have been to Namibia before.

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A local homestead in the Zambezi region.


Regions the Four Rivers Route will take you through

This route starts in the northeast at Nkurenkuru and going through the lush Zambezi (formerly Caprivi) region and on to the world-famous Victoria Falls. The regions along this route are crisscrossed with rivers and their tributaries and as such this part of Namibia is verdant and teeming with birdlife, wildlife and surprises.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Elephants ahead!

 

Experiences on the Four Rivers Route

The Kavango Open Africa Route

This part of the Four Rivers Route traces 383km through the lush regions along the Kavango River. Starting at Nkurunkuru in the west and ending at the eastern border post of Mohembo the route allows travellers to experience the birds, people and wildlife of the region up close.

 

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The banks of Kavango River are particularly picturesque.

(Image courtesy of Dr Klaus Dierks)


This route opens up an area for travellers that has only been explored since the nineteenth century and is thus the perfect place for those of you who have the need to explore this lesser seen side of Namibia. The Mahango and Khaudum National Parks on the border of Botswana are also magnificent and are well worth the visit.

Other notable attractions that form part of the Kavango Open Africa Experience include the Mbunza Living Museum, Khaudum National Park, Nyangana Mission, Andara Mission, the Okavango River System and Popa Falls as well as the Mahango National Park.

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Popa Falls.
(Image courtesy of Dr Klaus Dierks)


The Caprivi Wetlands Paradise

This experience takes you on an incredible 430km trip through some of the most diverse landscapes and unexpected ecosystems in the Land of the Brave.

One of the most unique parks in the world, Bwabwata National Park, just north of the Okavango Delta is part of this experience. Within in this park there are 5000 residents who live side-by-side with the free-roaming animals in the park.

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A hippo at Bwabwata National Park.
(Image via Cardboard Travel Box)

 

The residents living on this land, thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia, help run and conserve the ecosystem. The local people then derive financial benefits from the tourists visiting the area in what is one of the most innovative and community-orientated conservation programs in the world.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Locals fishing on the Kavango.


The area surrounding the Kwando River is not only famous for it’s free-roaming elephants but it is also one of the best places to go birding in Namibia. The region is home to over 400 species of birds that live in habitats ranging from acacia woodlands and mopane forests, to floodplains filled with plant and animal.

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The river banks in this region are full of varied flora and fauna.


The Four Corners Experience

The Four Corners Experience is different from all the other experiences on the three routes we have described as it actually takes you out of Namibia and into two of its neighbouring countries, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Your journey will begin at the Ngoma border post and the trip will take you through the Chobe National Park in Botswana. The route will then lead you to where the mighty Zambezi and Chobe rivers merge. The area where these two great rivers converge is famed for its wildlife and luxury lodges.

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The Chobe/Zambezi confluence seen from the air.
(Image via Springbok Classic Air)

 

The final experience on the Four Corner Route will also take you to one of Africa’s truly great wonders: The Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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The awesome Victoria Falls.
(Photo via Wikimedia)

 

+-------+

 

These are just three routes through the vast expanse of Namibia. Remember, you can always create your adventure. If you feel like putting together your very own roadtrip then why not have a look at our other blog posts on self-drive adventures through the Land of the Brave:

 


Driving Through Etosha
self drive namibia, namibia, etosha, etosha national park, etosha game park, safari, etosha safari, etosha accomodation, namibia travel tips

 


Motorbiking through Namibia
CAPIRCORN

 

 
Self-drive Tips
namibia, self drive namibia, self drive safaris, 4 x 4 africa, etosha, adventure holiday, namibia roads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Namibia Adventure Calendar: September to December

  
  

As promised, this is a follow up post to our recently published Adventure Calendar for 2014. You can find the calendar for June to August by clicking here. These two blog posts will equip you with all you need to know about the major adventure events that are happening in Namibia.

Desert Knights Mountain Bike Tour (7 – 12 September)

The Desert Knights MTB Tour is five days of cycling, and one day of canoeing, through Namibia’s scenic /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The park is located in the southern region of Namibia and straddles the border between South Africa and the Land of the Brave.

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From the seat of you bike you will be able to take in the beautiful landscape.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

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You will also get a chance to zip down some Orange River rapids in a canoe.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

This cycling tour is unique in that it affords its participants the opportunity to cycle both during the day and at night. Cycling through the desert at night, and under the full moon (which falls on the 9th of September), participants in the Desert Knights Mountain Bike Tour will get to witness the isolated and vast region in a light that few people ever will.

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The landscapes transform at night.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

To enter the event click here. Entries close on the 30th of June. There are only 100 places available on this tour, so be sure to book soon!

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Riders riding out into the approaching twilight.
(Image courtesy of Desert Knights)

 

Pick n Pay Cycle Classic (12 October) 

This year will see the fifteenth time this cycling road race is being held in Namibia. Starting off as a small race of just over 750 cyclists the event has grown from strength to strength with each passing year.

The race is a great way for you to visit Windhoek if you are interested in competitive cycling. It will give you the opportunity to meet, greet and compete with the local cyclists in the capital city.  

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2012’s runner-up Costa Seibeb (L) and 2012’s winner Till Droblisch (R).
(Image via the Sun)

 

This year the event is taking place on Sunday the 12th of October and there will be several routes on offer to entrants. The race is organised by the Windhoek-based cycling club Windhoek Pedal Power. If you want to be able to register for this race then all you have to do is subscribe to their newsletter here.

Registration for the Cycle Classic typically closes in early October so it is best to book your place in advance. Details are still being finalised for the event, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox after you have registered with Windhoek Pedal Power.


Luderitz Speed Challenge (October 29 – 9 November) 

The Luderitz Speed Challenge is one of the world’s premier water sporting events for kiteboarders and windsurfers. The perfect water and wind conditions draw out hoards of international watersporting stars and this ensures that each year the Speed Challenge is a thrilling and record breaking event.

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A contestant kicking up some spray in 2013.

(Photo via Luderitz Speed)

 

The event has seen numerous world records broken and this year there promises to be more of the same record breaking action. The Speed Challenge will be taking place from the end of October to mid-November, so if you find youself in Namibia's south during that time then be sure to head down to Luderitz to check all the action out.

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Windsurfers and kiteboarders flock to Luderitz for this event.
(Photo via Luderitz Speed)

 

If you want to enter the race, or get involved as a sponsor of the event you can contact the organisers, Sebastien Cattelan or Sophie Routaboul on the details below.

Sébastien Cattelan

Email: cattelan.sebastien@gmail.com

Mobile: +33 (0)61 5341 411 (France)

+27 (0)791 634555 (South Africa)

Skype: seb.cat1

Sophie Routaboul

Email: luderitz.speed.challenge@gmail.com

Mobile: +33 (0)61 07 44 69 (France)

+264 (0)817 44 64 69 (Namibia)

Skype: soevent34

If you want a more detailed description of the event and its history then check out our blog post on it here.

KITE NEST

A windsurfer on the purpose built canal.
(Photo via Luderitz Speed)

           

Desert Ultra (November 14)

The Desert Ultra is an event organised by Beyond the Ultimate and it is a trail running race like no other in Namibia. The course is over 250km and it focuses on well-trained runners who are looking for an extreme challenge through some wonderfully isolated and awesome desert landscapes.

STARK

Stark, challenging and one of a kind stages.
(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)

 

Contestants are expected to be able to carry all your gear and water and the fields are usually very competitive. While there are refreshment stations along the way, you will be expected to fend for yourself along the gruelling stages.

PREP

Preparation is key if you want to succeed.
(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)

 

Here is a good link to a page that deals with FAQ associated with the Desert Ultra. If you want register for the race then simply follow this link.

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Runners making their way through a checkpoint.
(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)


It should be noted that Ultras are not for casual athletes, but if you are fully prepared, and in good physical and mental shape, then they can be some of the most rewarding extreme adventures one can have.

REWARD

Desert heat and tough trails make for a rewarding run.

(Image via Beyond the Ultimate)

 

100km of Namib Desert (30 November – 7 December)

Quite simply this event is a 100km race through one of the world’s oldest deserts, the Namib. The Namib is home to some of Namibia’s most famous wonders; these include Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon making it this ancient desert an amazing area to be able to run through.

AMAZE

From the Dead Vlei…
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

CANYON

…to the Sesriem Canyon.
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

 

The 100km run through the desert is organised by an Italian company who put on races through out Africa (check out some of their other races here and here). It is the ninth time that the event has been held in Namibia and each year the field of participants has increased.

FUN RUN

A runner summits one of the massive dunes.
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

 

The race is a tough affair, but, you will be staying in top-notch accommodation for each of the four competing nights you are out on the route. So there will always be time for you to unwind and recharge. For a detailed program check out this page.

NICEPIC

Beautiful surrounds make this race a must.
(Image via 100km of Namib Desert)

 

If you want register for the race then click here and fill in your details and the team will get back to you with all the information you need. If you still need convincing then have a look at the subtitled video below.

(Video via 100km of Namib Desert)


+-------+

 

This and our last post should give any adventure holiday seekers enough ideas to fill a few months up in their trip.

If you know of any other extreme adventure events happening in Namibia in 2014 then leave a comment below.

Happy reading, and happy planning!

2014 Namibia Adventure Calendar: June to August

  
  

Namibia is a land full of adventure. From its churning seas, to its sand swept deserts there are loads of different ways thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline fix. This blog post is the first in a two-part series that will provide you with all the information you need to know about what extreme activities you can take part in across the Land of the Brave this year.

Rostock Fly-in (June –TBC)

The Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge is a luxury lodge in the ancient Namib Desert close to the iconic Sossusvlei. The lodge is a popular destination for people who are exploring the Land of the Brave in a light aircraft and every year the Ritz holds an annual “Fly-in”. The “Fly-in” consists of groups of privately owned planes that make the trip to the lodge to compete against one another in a series of airborne events.

ROCKSTOCKGATE

The entrance to the picturesque lodge.
(Image via the Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge)

 

In previous years the Fly-in’s challenges have included “pot landing”, “bomb dropping” and a navigation exercise that required pilots to follow the trail of famed geologists Henno Martin and Herman Korn as chronicled in Martin’s quintessential book on Namibia: “The Sheltering Desert”.

FLY002

Contestants arriving back from their challenges.
(Image via the Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge)

 

So if you have your own small plane, or know someone who does, then be sure to get hold of the staff at the Rostock Ritz to make a booking, their details are directly below.

Reservation: +264 81 258 5722
Fax: +264 88 616 556
Lodge: +264 64 694000

The Rostock Fly-in typically takes place in June every year so be sure to book your place as soon as possible.

FLY001

Photo opportunities abound at the Rostock Fly-in.
(Image via the Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge)

 

Koës Rally date (July – TBC)

In the first week of July, rallying enthusiasts descend upon the small Kalahri village of Koës. Their goal? To race against each other in one of the most unique and wild DIY rallying events in the world. You can read more about the event here and here.

BUGGY

The rally is a chance for some weird and wonderful vehicle to kick up some dust.
(Photo by Jacobus Blaauw via Facebook)

 

The rally is a must-see event for any petrol-head that is in the area around this time of year. Entries are open to the public and no previous rallying experience is needed. Take note though, you will have to bring your own vehicle. This rally is not a scenic drive through the desert. Contestants will be up against some serious terrain and competition.

If, this sounds like a bit too much for you, and you would rather be a spectator then you can visit Koës while the rally is underway and take in the local fare and enjoy the races from the safety of the spectator areas.

For more info on the rally contact Bonsai Combrink at the Koës Hotel on: (+264) 063 25 2716.

FINISH

The Koes Rally is really a one-of-a-kind event.
(Photo by Annette Erasmus Schoeman via Facebook
)

 

Windhoek Light Fish River Ultra Race (July 11 – 12)

The Fish River Ultra is one of the most gruelling trail running competitions that you can do in Namibia. It is a 96km trail through the spectacular Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. The trail follows the extremely popular canyon hiking trail.

FISH RUN

The Stunning Fish River Canyon.
(Image by Marius via I Love Ultras)

 

The trail takes about five-days to do when done at a regular hiking pace but since 2013 trail running enthusiasts have been doing the root in under 10 hours. 2012’s winner, Ryan Sandes, finished the race in an astonishing 6 hours and 57 minutes!

PAINGAIN

No pain no gain!
(Image via Trail Running)

 

If 96km’s sounds a bit too much for your likings then fear not. The organisers have organized a “lite” version of the race that will take contestants on a 65km circuit through the canyon.

For full course information, entrance fees and a full history of the event click here.

RUNNERFISH

Scenic views, and challenging trails.
(Image via Events Nam)

 

The Namib Desert Challenge (July 21 - 25)

The Namib Desert Challenge is a 220km race through the Namib-Naukluft National Park- the park being home to some of Namibia’s most spectacular desert landscapes. The trail will take you through the Sesriem Canyon and up two of the world’s largest sand dunes, Dune 45 and Big Daddy.

DUNE

A runner takes on the Big Daddy.
(Image via Namib Desert Challenge)

 

The race is particularly awesome because some of its trail will take contestants through parts of the popular park that are often not open to the general public.

CONTESTANTS

Warming up before the start of one of the stages.
(Image via Namib Desert Challenge)

 

The race this year is on the 21 – 25 of July and entries are selling like hotcakes. Currently (May 28th) there are only 20 entries left. So if you are interested in this highly regarded and challenging run then you best get a move on! You can register for the race here.

DUNE RUNNING

Contestants charging down the dunes.
(Image via Namib Desert Challenge)

 

Wispeco Otjihavera Experience MTB Marathon presented by FNB (30 - 31 August)

The Otjihavera Xperience is a mountain bike race that covers just over 70km’s of scenic, rugged and challenging terrain in the Otjozondjupa region in central Namibia. The race has been run for the last eight years and its increasing popularity year on year is testament to the dramatic and panoramic trail that the race traces.

 

OTJIX

(Image via Rock and Rut)

 

The route takes riders through several of the area’s farms, and the farmers’ contribution to the race’s success is part of the charm of the event. The local communities not only allow access across their lands to the cyclists, but the locals also set up water stations along the way for the thirsty contestants.

NAMINNNK

The scenic dunes of the Naukluft National Park.
(Image via Wikicommons)

 

This year’s Otjihavera Xperience will take place on the 30th and 31st of August and entries opened on the 17th of April. Spaces are sure to fill up quickly so be sure to book as soon as you can.

For a detailed description of the route, and to register as either a solo competitor or as a two-person team, click here.

CYCLE

Cyclists preparing to set out from the Midgard Country Estate.
(Image via Midgard Country Estate)

 +-------+

Looking for more adventure? Then check out our follow-up post which will tell you all about the up and coming events from September to December in 2014...

Also, check out these three posts on some of Namibia’s year-round adventure holiday activities.


Luderitz -
Extreme Holiday Mecca
Rock Climbing
in Namibia
Three Airborne Adventures
in Swakopmund

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Namibia adventure, windhoek Namibia, Namibia, Richard Ford, Rock climbing, climbing namibia, spitzkoppe

Paragliding, hot air ballooning, namibia, swakopmund, adventure, extreme namibia

Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Andy Biggs

  
  

The award-winning photographer Andy Biggs is the latest subject of our Capture Namibia series of interviews. Andy has been travelling around Africa for many years now and has a particular fondness for Namibia and the photographic opportunities it presents. Read on to find out why…

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    The dunes of Sossusvlei.

     

    Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

      One day we were flying along the coastline from Lüderitz all the way up to Hartmann Valley, and when we flew along the Lange Wand I saw an amazing sight. As I peered through the scratched airplane window, I was wondering how I could convey the giddy heights of the Namibian sand dunes. I wanted to capture the way the shafts of sunlight pierce the mist and highlight the sand textures.

      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

      The Skeleton Coast.

       

      The huddle of Cape fur seals - a dark smudge on the strip of beach - gave a sense of the vastness of this wilderness.' The Skeleton Coast is an area of about 16,000 square kilometres of national park that runs along the Atlantic coast of Namibia.

       

        Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

          The challenge with photographing in Namibia is how to capture how one feels about being in wide-open spaces.

          Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

          The vast Namib.


          The sights, the smells, the sounds all are difficult to translate into a 2-dimensional photograph. The reward is capturing that one photograph that tells a complete story in only one image.

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           Four Himba women trek across the hot sand.

             

            Which three photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?


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              Skeleton Coast, Namibia 2006.

              This image won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2008 in the Wild Places category.

               

              Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

              Sossusvlei in B&W.

              I have an affinity for clouds when I am shooting at Sossusvlei, and when they arrive and there is good light it is a wonderful combination.

               

              Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

              Himba Family.


                When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

                  I use digital medium format equipment from Phase One. This equipment allows me to capture photographs with tons of information and to make extremely large prints.

                  Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                  Namib dunes at sunrise.

                  I would also never leave home without my tripod, as it allows me to capture images at the edge of light when the colour is at its best.

                   

                  Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                  A tripod is essential for low-light shots.

                    A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top three tips would you give them?

                      1) Spend more time in each location and take the time to learn each area.

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      The iconic Dead Vlei.

                       

                      2) Bring a second camera in case of equipment failure.

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      The camera buddy system- two cameras are always better than one!

                       

                      3) Bring a tripod so you can shoot during the best times of the light.


                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      A quiver tree at sunset.

                       

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      And remember... Find time to have some fun!

                       

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips 

                      Andy Biggs is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. His photographic safaris allow the traveler to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa's beauty and culture.

                      If you want to see more from Andy visit his website or his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

                      More Photographer Tips

                      This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

                      Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

                                

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                       Featured Photographers  

                         
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                       Marsel van Oosten 

                       Christopher Rimmer

                      Paul van Schalkwyk


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                       Matthew Hood

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                       Jan & Jaye Roode

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                      Four Adventures in the South of Namibia

                        
                        

                      The south of Namibia is a rugged and exquisitely beautiful part of the country. It is vast, under-populated and yet incredibly diverse. As such there are a lot of adventures to be had in the Land of the Brave's southern region. We have picked four popular attractions and given you all the information you need to start planning your next trip...


                      1. Exploring Pomona and the Bogenfels

                      What it is

                      This tour, exclusively operated by Luderitz tour operators Coastways, takes travellers on an amazing journey through some of the south of Namibia’s most isolated and beautifully vast landscapes. The entire tour takes place in the “Sperrgebiet” (“forbidden zone”).

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure

                      You need Coastways to enter the Sperrgebiet.
                      The area is totally off-limits to the general public.


                      It was in this area that a large part of Namibia’s diamond mining was conducted more than fifty years ago. Today the region is almost completely deserted. The only remnants of the area’s diamond heydays are the abandoned settlements of the once bustling town of Pomona.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure

                      An abandoned loading bay at the train station just outside the site of Pomona.


                      You may have heard of Namibia’s most well known ghost town Kolmanskop (which is nearby), but it is likely you have not heard of Pomona. This ghost town is absolutely stunning for pictures as the only people who will be with you on this tour will be whomever else is part of the small once-a-day tour group.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure

                      Some ruins of the abandoned mining town.


                      After visiting the abandoned towns and satellite settlements of Pomona, your Coastways tour will take you to one of the greatest geological wonders in Namibia: The Bogenfels Arch. Extending from the land to the sea the Bogenfels stands at an impressive 60 metres at its highest point. With waves crashing at on end of the arch, while the other side slopes into the desolate Sperrgebiet, it is truly an impressive sight to behold. 

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure

                      The mighty rock arch that is the Bogenfels.


                      This tour is a must for anyone interested in history, photography and getting off the beaten path. Not only will you be given a unique historical insight into Namibia on this tour but you will also be able to spend some time in one of the most abandoned places on earth, far away from the crowds of tourists and bustle of the city.

                      To read a first-hand account of this adventure read our blog on the tour through the Sperrgebiet.

                      Where to stay

                      There is really only one realistic accommodation option if you want to do this tour and that is Luderitz. Coastways operates out of the small town and the tour is a full day so you will be spending the night in Luderitz.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure

                      Luderitz, one of the friendliest places you are likely to visit.


                      The Nest Hotel in Luderitz has a good relationship with Coastways and they will be able to book you a tour if you ask at reception. To find out more click here to go to the Nest Hotel's website.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure

                      The Nest Hotel.

                      There are several other places to stay in Luderitz as well, here’s a list of the various options available to travellers:

                      Bayview Hotel: Tel: +264-63-202-288
, bayview@namibnet.com

                      Kapps Hotel
: Tel: +264-63-202-345
, pmk@mweb.com.na

                      Kratzplatz B&B
: Tel: +264-63-202-458

                      Haus Sandrose
: Tel: +264-63-202-630

                      Hansa Haus Self Catering
: Tel: +264-63-203-581

                      Obelix Village B&B
: Tel: +264-63-203-456

                      Island Cottage Self Catering
: Tel: +264-81-292-298

                       

                      2. Finding the wild horses of Namibia

                      What it is

                      Namibia’s southern region is home to one of the few feral populations of wild horses in the world. Near the small town of Aus these majestic animals roam freely along with ostriches, gemsbok and whatever other migrating herds of animals traverse through the region.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      A herd of wild horses on the move.
                      (Photo by Cheryl Korff, via Panoramio)

                       

                      It is widely believed that the current horse herds are a result of animals having escaped from the German military during World War I. These horses then interbred with other abandoned horses from nearby stud farms that used to operate in the area. If you are interested in a more thorough history of these animal you can read it here

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      The horses have had to adapt to their harsh envrionment.


                      The great thing about these animals is they offer wonderful photo opportunities for photographers as you have a chance to take some quite surreal snaps of these usually domesticated animals living in the wild.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      Two horses in full flight.
                      (Image courtesy of Vincent Grafhorst)

                       

                      There is an observation point from which you can watch the horses. It is a shelter that has been constructed so that visitors can sit on benches and under shade while they watch the horses and various other game interact at the nearby watering hole.

                       

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      An unusual gathering of horses, ostriches and Oryx is common place at this watering hole.


                      Where to stay

                      The best place to stay if you want to spend an afternoon with the feral horses is in the village of Aus. Aus has several accommodation options that can account for everybody’s needs.

                      Klein Aus Vista is a collection of different accommodations that range in price and size. Check out their website here to make a booking.

                      The Banhof Hotel is also a good bet if you want to stay in the charming little village. Visit their website by clicking here.

                       

                      3. Kitesurfing in Luderitz

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      This is Kitesurfing.
                      (photo courtesy of Geesche Neuberg)


                      What it is

                      Luderitz is undeniably one of the best places on earth to do Kitesurfing. This is not an exaggeration as every year the best kitesurfers flock to this tiny coastal town to get in on the action at the Luderitz Speed Challenge (read more about this event here).

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      Kitesufer at the Luderitz Speed Challenge.
                      (photo via KitesportsKitesurfaris)


                      Of course the Speed Challenge only last a few days every year but that is not when the kitesurfing ends. Element Riders, who operate out of both Luderitz and Swakopmund, offer a variety of options to visitors who want to get on a board.

                      Element Riders can provide you with all the equipment you will need to cruise atop the Atlantic waves just off the shore of Namibia. They offer lessons and local advice for people who have never gone kitesurfing before and for those who are more experienced and are in search of the perfect conditions.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      Element Riders have a large variety of equipment.
                      From small scale kites to the big ones pictured above.


                      The weather in Luderitz is remarkably consistent and there is almost always a good strong wind blowing to make sure your kite stays up in the air. The swell rarely becomes dangerous and remains consistent; it is these factors that make Luderitz a must-visit for kitesurfers.

                      Where to stay

                      The great thing about kitesurfing with Element Riders is that they have their own backpackers that you can stay at. Check out their website here for more info on their accommodations.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      Element Rideris is also centrally located in Luderitz, making it easy to find.


                      For those of you looking to stay in a hotel The Nest Hotel (mentioned above) comes highly recommended, you can book a room here.

                      Here, once again, is the list of guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and backpackers in Luderitz:

                      Bayview Hotel: Tel: +264-63-202-288
, bayview@namibnet.com

                      Kapps Hotel
: Tel: +264-63-202-345
, pmk@mweb.com.na

                      Kratzplatz B&B
: Tel: +264-63-202-458

                      Haus Sandrose
: Tel: +264-63-202-630

                      Hansa Haus Self Catering
: Tel: +264-63-203-581

                      Obelix Village B&B
: Tel: +264-63-203-456

                      Island Cottage Self Catering
: Tel: +264-81-292-298

                      Shark Island Camping & Bungalows
: Tel: +264-63-202-752

                      Backpackers Lodge
: Tel: +264-63-202-000

                       

                      4. The Fish River Lodge Five Night Hike

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      A guide surveys the long trail ahead.


                      What it is

                      This adventure is an absolute must for anyone who is interested in hiking. The multiple day scenic trek will take you through the world’s second largest canyon. Along the way you will be treated to superb scenery and clear blue skies. You are also more than likely going to catch glimpses of Oryx, mountain zebras, and if you are lucky, rhinos.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      Unfortunately sometimes the only trace one finds of the rhinos on the trail are their spoor or droppings.


                      The Fish River Lodge offers guided tours of this amazing canyon, but take note, this hike is not for young children and should only be attempted out of summer by individuals in sound health. If you want more specific information on this hike then check out the Fish River Lodge’s activity page here.

                      The hike on offer is astonishing and if you want to get a small taste of what it is like to hike through the canyon then check out our post on hiking through the canyon. From the amazing terrain and wildlife, to the brilliantly clear night sky this journey through one of Namibia’s natural wonders comes highly recommended.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      Hikers in the late morning sun.


                      Where to stay

                      On arrival you will spend your first night in the Fish River Lodge once your hike is complete you are free to book a few more nights at the lodge or move on to the next destination.

                      Namibia adventure, Pomona, Bogenfels, Fish River, hiking, kitesurfing, luderitz, adventure, wild horses

                      The lodge is luxurious- just the thing you want after five days of hiking!


                      ++------++

                       

                      These are just four adventures in the south of Namibia. There are many more to be had, and if you must decide which adventure is best for you. Happy planning and happy exploring!

                      Exploring Windhoek with Rachel Lang

                        
                        

                      A few months ago travel writer Rachel Lang was part of our Go Big Namibia team who spent a few weeks exploring Namibia. On her tour Rachel spent some time in Windhoek and in this special guest post she shares her experiences and offers some suggestions for travellers visiting the big city for the first time. So read on, and follow the links at the bottom of this post for even more travel tips.

                      Namibia, Windhoek, Katatura, Namibia adventure, go big namibia, rachel lang, bushbound girl, bush bound girl

                      Windhoek.

                      -Cruising through colourful Katutura-

                      by Rachel Lang

                      I’m usually not a big fan of bustling through cities, so it came as a surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed a morning of doing just that in Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek.

                      I was with a great bunch of people (which makes all the difference, doesn’t it?), and together we whizzed around discovering a vibrant blend of old and new – long-standing colonial churches built by early German settlers stand amongst stark modern-day infrastructure. Windhoek is safe to explore on foot, and, if you know where to go, you’re in for a delightful cultural and culinary adventure! My favourite part of the city was (without a doubt) the bright and colourful township of Katutura.

                      When the first World War ended, Namibia (then South West Africa) was passed from German colonial rule to South African governance (under the League of Nations Mandate). Sadly, South Africa imposed their system of apartheid, forcibly dividing Windhoek into areas inhabited according to race and ethnic groups. Katutura Township was the area allocated to “blacks” and remains home to 65% of Windhoek’s population.

                      I recommend taking a slow drive along Katutura’s legendary Evaline Street (‘the street that never sleeps’) – a Joseph’s techni-coloured-coat of houses, shebeens, hair-dresses, friendly car-washes and enthusiastic entrepreneurs.

                      Namibia, Windhoek, Katatura, Namibia adventure, go big namibia, rachel lang, bushbound girl, bush bound girl

                      Photo by Rachel Lang

                      We stopped to investigate the extremely popular meat market at Single Quarters. This is not a place for faint-hearted vegetarians! If that’s you, be warned!! (luckily I’m not). If you’re brave enough, you can join the locals by tucking into some famous Kaplan (braaied) meat, or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, try a mopane worm. I couldn’t help noticing that it’s also a hunting ground for young single locals – especially teenage girls who do little to hide their ogling over the braaing men, who are, of course, only too happy to show off their meat-chopping muscles. But no judgement here – I’m a huge fan of Masterchef Australia, and this obviously has nothing to do with toned surfers in aprons! The market is also a popular date venue for local couples. If it were me, I’d definiatley prefer somewhere more romantic! What do you think?

                      Namibia, Windhoek, Katatura, Namibia adventure, go big namibia, rachel lang, bushbound girl, bush bound girl

                      Photo by Rachel Lang

                      We then headed to the ‘Soweto Market’ where I did the real touristy thing (why not), and got a few braids put in my hair by a lovely hairdresser called Maria. The speed at which she worked was a spectacle in itself – intricate, perfect little plaits were done in no time at all.

                      Namibia, Windhoek, Katatura, Namibia adventure, go big namibia, rachel lang, bushbound girl, bush bound girl

                      Photo by Rachel Lang

                      If you would like to do a tour of Windhoek with a guide (I would recommend this) here are some options:

                      2 hour double-decker bus city tour: 2 hours (two tours run daily, must book at least an hour ahead)

                      • Tel: +264 61 275 300 | Fax: +264 61 263 417

                      Four hour private tour with local guide in air-conditioned vehicle:

                      • Email – tours@discover-namibia-safari.net / Tel : +264 (0) 81 364 5069

                      This tour was made possible thanks to Africa Geographic and the Nambian Tourism Board, as part of the Go Big Namibia campaign.

                      More things to do in Windhoek

                      Where to eat in Windhoek

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                      Katatura Bicycle Tour

                      Windhoek tourism, Windhoek, Windhoek Namibia tourism, Windhoek Africa, windhoek Namibia, Windhoek attractions, Windhoek tours,

                      What to do in Windhoek

                      windhoek namibia, namibia, namibia windhoek, windhoek restaurants, capital city of namibia, namibia tourism, namibia capital city,

                      More from the Go Big Namibia team

                      Namibia, Windhoek, Katatura, Namibia adventure, go big namibia, rachel lang, bushbound girl, bush bound girl


                       Namibia, Windhoek, Katatura, Namibia adventure, go big namibia, rachel lang, bushbound girl, bush bound girl

                      Rachel Lang, in her own words...

                      I'm Rach – a freelance writer, blogger and environmental educationist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Born into a family of wildlife lovers, I spent my childhood immersed in nature and developed a love for wild places that has continued to grow for 26 years.

                      My blog, Bush-bound Girl, is a collection of family stories, travels, interviews, poems, and inspiring guest posts; all written on an adventure to discover Africa's wild side. Follow my journey on my blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.

                      If you would like to work with me, or share your own stories, send me an email.

                      Riding Across Namibia: An Interview with Motorcyclist Tyler Hare

                        
                        

                      We got the chance to interview Africa Motorcycle Tours' Tyler Hares about his experiences when he rode across Namibia on a motorcycle. Tyler is about to embark upon his second trip through the Namibia and we found why he was coming back to the Land of the Brave.

                      *All images in this post are courtesy of Tyler Hare unless otherwise noted.

                      namibia, motorbike namibia, africa bike adventure, sossusvlei, etosha, motorcycle namibia, self drive namibia
                      Choose your own adventure!
                      (Image source Motorcycle Tour South Africa)

                      First up, could you explain to our readers who you are, where are you from and what kind of motorcycling have you done through Namibia?

                      My name is Tyler Hare and I am an American who explored Southern Africa’s explored paved and unpaved scenic byways on an adventure motorcycle.  I entered Namibia at the Caprivi Strip when leaving Zambia after visiting Victoria Falls on an 11,000 km loop through seven countries.

                      Riding through Namibia was a highlight of my trip that has led to a two-year quest to return and explore the country’s potential.  I am returning to Africa in a few months to see everything I missed. I will be spending a lot of time in Namibia and will be updating my exploration on my personal travel blog.

                       CAPIRCORN

                      The Tropic of Capricorn

                      You have written that your first trip to Namibia was largely unplanned. Tell us a bit about this- would you do it the same if you could do it over again?

                      Largely unplanned is an understatement, I virtually knew nothing of Africa before landing in Cape Town a month prior and did very little research. I was following a rough outline of where to ride suggested to me by owner of the company where I rented my bike.

                      DEADVLEI

                      Looking at the Dead Vlei in Sossusvlei.

                      Whilst waiting to check into a hostel in Windhoek I had a change of heart after looking through some tour brochures and decided to lengthen my trip instead of returning the bike in a few days as originally scheduled. I realized I was so close to the deserted Skeleton Coast, Sossusvlei with its deep red sands as well as the iconic lunar landscape near the Dead Vlei. How could I pos­sibly miss all that.

                      POINTROAD

                      The Skeleton Coast.

                      From a biker’s perspective I was foolishly underprepared in my exploration of Namibia. I am thankful now, though, to be given an opportunity to approach things differently on my next trip.  I would not change a thing as good luck was with me on my journey but may recommend a different course of action to other riders. 

                      Given that you didn’t completely plan your trip down to every last detail the first time you biked across Namibia, would you say that other first-timers should following your footsteps or find a guide to help them out?

                      I had fallen in love with the excitement and uncertainty each day brought.  Wrong turns were solved by friendly locals; tales of routes that shadow mine were shared on roadside shoulders with other bikers; and tips on accommodation or where to ride to next were given by many of the locals  I came across. These kinds of experiences can still be had on a trip with better planning and I encourage your readers to be prepared.

                      FISHRIVER

                      Looking over the edge of the Fish River Canyon.

                      Namibia is a vast gorgeous country with so much biodiversity and if you only have once chance to visit it I suggest you plan your time wisely and prepare properly.  Read ride reports, find out what the country has to offer your interests and then seek a scenic route to link those locations together.

                      There are lots of options available in Namibia for motorcyclists and it makes the decision to just get out there and go easier. A planned tour is an excellent choice, a ride with friends would be a dream, but if these options are not available it is better to do it by your self than not at all.

                      What are the three most important pieces of advice you give to someone who is setting out on their first motorcycling trip through Namibia?

                        1. Fresh Tires.

                        Just over 10% of the roads are paved which makes it a dual-sport motorcyclist paradise, but with that comes the risk of wear and tear on the bike where the rubber meets the road. 

                          LONGROAD

                          Wide open Namibia.

                            2. Bring goggles!

                            Sunglasses won’t cut it so my advice is bring a helmet that allows goggles to be worn under the visor.

                              SELFIE

                              Proper equipment can make all the difference. 

                                3. Take the time to enjoy it. 

                                The roads, even the unpaved ones, are impressively maintained which may allow for higher speeds.  Don’t be tempted to ride any faster than is necessary and be sure to pull over and sit to enjoy the seclusion offered in one of the least densely populated countries in the world.

                                  HATTER

                                  Entertaining myself, never miss a photo opportunity.

                                  Let’s talk gear… First, what kind of motorbike is best suited to riding through Namibia? Also, are there any specialty pieces of gear that you recommend bringing to Namibia that other riders might not think to bring? 

                                  The best type of motorcycle is a properly maintained one. While I have a love for the desolation, the desert offers it is not necessary to ride strictly off road. There is so much to see along the major highways from the Orange River in the south to the Etosha Pan in the north. 

                                  A massive adventure bike may not be the best option if you are riding unpaved highways as a smaller bike tends to be more nimble, easier to handle on sandy roads.

                                  CARBIKE

                                  Finding an abandoned treasure in the Namib desert.

                                  Bring a well-ventilated riding suit if the outfitter you rent from is unable to supply you with one for your trip. The climate changes quite a bit from the coast to the interior and you will want to change with it to avoid overheating or dehydration.  Ensure your suit is armored and you ride in boots with good ankle support.  An injury is what I considered my most serious threat while riding through southern Africa.

                                  DONT SPEED

                                  Good advice given by the department of transportation while in South Africa.

                                  You have been through places like the Skeleton Coast, the Namib Nakluft, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Fish River Canyon… What was your most memorable area to ride through in Namibia?

                                  This is a tough one, but the most memorable area to ride through, for me, was the Namib Nakluft on my way to Sossusvlei purely based on the sheer openness the road offered.

                                  But one of the most memorable moments on my trip was my stay in the Okavango Delta headwaters. I rented an en suite tree-house over the river where wild crocodiles and hippos swam freely beneath.

                                  TREE HOUSE

                                  My ensuite tree house.

                                  While I showered with river water in open view along the banks Cape buffalo would graze across from me in the Bwabwata National Park. The highlight of this stay was swimming in a giant floating cage protected from the rivers predators.

                                  CAGE

                                  Floating caged pool in the Okovango head waters in the Caprivi.

                                  Budget is an important factor when planning trips through southern Africa- it can get expensive really quickly- do you think people can still do a motorcycling trip through Namibia on a medium budget as you did in 2012?

                                  Adventure is always possible. Expeditions do not have to be done on a grand scale, with a personal bike, a seemingly limit­less budget and planned down to the tiniest detail. My life was changed in several short weeks with no direction, a rental bike, and a middle-class budget.

                                  DESINN

                                  The desert camp outside sesereim.

                                  When travelling by motorcycle you have a different set of priorities. If possible bring or secure camping equipment and take advantage of the isolation the desert offers with its unmatched views of the night. Hostels are often overlooked but as a rider you really only need secure parking for your bike and a place to shower. I chose hostels for accommodations on days that weren’t deemed needed for recovery, you will often find that B&B’s have more character as well as lower rates than chain hotels. ***Click here for a list of unique hostels and B&B's in Namibia***

                                  What makes motorcycling through Namibia unique when compared to its southern African neighbours?

                                  The vastness of the desert has an ability to make you feel small and insignificant, especially after hours of travel with seeing very few people, you truly do feel lost in a great big world. The isolation, the chance to be alone with your thoughts and experience a place few will ever see makes riding through Namibia even more special.

                                  ALONE 

                                  Alone with my thoughts in the Namib.

                                  My personal view on adventure is that I develop a more profound admiration of places I visit when I have no expectations.  The amazement I found in Namibia’s natural beauty came as a complete surprise. The scenery changes from lush and tropical in the Kavango-Caprivi to dry and desolate in the Namib Naukluft.

                                  Are there any tour guides or Motorcycle tour operators in Namibia that you can recommend?

                                  Paul Shaw is an accomplished rider who has left very little of Namibia unexplored and he offers a magazine for free on his site. Their 2013 “Cape to Etosha Route Biker” magazine is a 96 page guide filled with maps and route choices, photo galleries, and anything else you can imagine which can be downloaded for free on their page.

                                  SKELECOAST

                                  Riding the skeleton coast.

                                  bio  

                                  Tyler Hare, in his own words...

                                  With 6 of the 7 continents visited and only 25 countries under my belt I have recently resigned from my job to continue seeing what the world offers over the next horizon.  Living a new life as a digital nomad I will be able to expand more on the travels I have done and the misadventures still to be attempted.   

                                  Tyler can be reached for motorcycle tours of South Africa on his webpage or follow him on his personal blog where he frequently shares insights on travel, motorcycling, and paragliding.

                                  Follow Tyler on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

                                   

                                  Interested in motorcycling or driving around Namibia?
                                  Then you should check out these other blogs we have posted previously...

                                  namibia, motorbike namibia, africa bike adventure, sossusvlei, etosha, motorcycle namibia, self drive namibiaMotorbiking
                                  through Namibia 

                                  namibia, self drive namibia, self drive safaris, 4 x 4 africa, etosha, adventure holiday, namibia roadsTips for a Self Drive
                                  Adventure (Part 1)

                                  self drive namibia, namibia, etosha, etosha national park, etosha game park, safari, etosha safari, etosha accomodation, namibia travel tips
                                  How to Explore Etosha
                                  National Park

                                  What to do in Namibia during Autumn

                                    
                                    

                                  It’s that time of year in the Southern Hemisphere where summer begins to leave and winter starts knocking at the door. In Namibia, autumn (or fall) is a particularly beautiful time of year. The weather is mild and there a whole host of activities and events for you to keep you entertained.


                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Sossusvlei in autumn.

                                  Autumn in Namibia

                                  In autumn the colours of Namibia come out in full force. Puffy white clouds, crystal clear skies and the deep red of the desert sands combine spectacularly to provide any photographer with enough backdrops to fill a thousand photo albums.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  The land meets the sky in spectacular fashion during this season.
                                  (Image via Tok Tokkie Trails)

                                  Late rains sweep through the usually arid countryside and provide photographers with a unique chance to get shots of the Land of the brave as these powerful, but brief, storms sweep through it.

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Lightning at night near Gobabis.

                                  The temperatures during these months are mild with daytime temperatures rarely exceeding 30 degrees Celsius and nighttime temperatures seldom dropping so low as to cause discomfort. The wind dies down on the coast, while the southern regions cool off, and in the central parts of the country seasonal rains often refresh the landscape that has been baking in the summer heat. Autumn then is truly a ‘goldilocks’ season in Namibia.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Not too hot, not too cold… Everything is just right in Namibia during autumn!

                                  With all these factors in mind, let’s take a look at some activities that we recommend you try do while visiting Namibia in autumn.

                                  Walking in the desert

                                  Deserts are, as you all know, very hot during the day and extremely cold at night, but the mild autumn temperatures mean that explorers have the perfect opportunity to go out into Namibia’s deserts without having to deal with blisteringly hot days and freezing cold nights. Below are a few operators that offer some of the best guided desert walks in Namibia.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Explore the desert by foot.
                                  (Image via Tok Tokkie Trails)

                                  The Living Desert Tour with Tommy’s Tours and Safaris

                                  Tommy has been running tours of the Namib just outside Swakopmund since the 90’s. On Tommy’s Living Desert Tour he takes guests on a journey through the seemingly empty dunes near the bustling coastal town. Focussing on the smallest creatures this tour will highlight the amazing variety of desert-adapted animals that call the Namib home.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Tommy with one of the little critters that live in the harsh desert.
                                  (Image by Wendy Kaveney)

                                  Tommy not only focuses on the animals that live in the red sands of the dunes but also on the plant life and the landscape itself. His Welwitchia/Moon Land Scape Tour is definitely worth checking out if you have the time to spend the full day trekking around the dunes.

                                  Discover Namibia’s “Little Five” with Living Desert Adventures

                                  Based in Swakopmund Chris Nel’s Living Desert Adventures also takes guests on a tour of the dune belt near Swakopmund. Chris’ focus is on the so-called “Little Five” which includes the Palmato Gecko, the Cartwheeling Spider, and the Shovel-Snouted Lizard, the Sidewinder Snake and the Namaqua Chameleon. If you’re lucky then you may catch a glimpse of all five!

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  The Palmato Gecko, probably the cutest of the Little Five.
                                  (Image via Living Desert Adventures)

                                  Exploring the Namib with Tok Tokkie Trails

                                  This is a locally run company that gives guided tours in and around Sossusvlei and the NamibRand Nature Reserve since 1991. Tok Tokkie specialises in putting visitors in touch with the fragile ecosystems of the Namib Desert at once giving guests the opportunity to take in the beautiful surrounds and learn about the need for conservation in these fragile environments.

                                  Check out their itineraries here for a detailed description of the different tours they offer and you can choose which one best suits you.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Get in touch with the Namib and its contrasting surrounds.
                                  (Image via Tok Tokkie Trails)

                                  Coastal Fishing

                                  The favourable weather conditions in autumn make for excellent angling opportunities on the coast line of the Land of the Brave. Fishing in Namibia is very highly rated and there is an avid community of fishermen within the country.

                                  The Skeleton Coast in particular is one of the most talked about fishing spots in Southern Africa and people come from all over the world to try catch a few of the ocean’s finest there. The 200km stretch of coastline that is Dorob National Park is completely open to anglers, as long as you have a valid fishing permit.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Coastal fishing on the Skeleton Coast.
                                  (Image via Planet Sea Fishing)

                                  Here is a great guide to fishing in Namibia if you are interested in planning a dedicated fishing trip. While here is a list of fishing safaris ranging from day excursions to multiple night adventures that one can embark upon.

                                  Cycling

                                  Getting on a bicycle and touring around Namibia is a great compromise between driving and walking through the country. You get to cover greater distances than by foot, while still being close to the natural surroundings. There are several companies that run guided cycle tours through out Namibia and cycling pretty much anywhere in Namibia in these mild months is sure to be a worthwhile experience.

                                    Mountain Bike Namibia

                                  This is a local company that offers shorter six day tours as well as a massive 4-6 week tour that includes the must see locations of Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Kaokoland and the Etosha National Park.

                                  image Cycle Namibia  

                                  Cycle Namibia specialises in tailor made tours to suit all skill levels and tastes. Have a Look at their website to find out more.

                                  Screen Shot 2014 04 10 at 2.03.36 AM  Bike Tours Direct

                                  This internationally run company offers a 17-day cycling safari that is not to be missed.

                                  Hiking 

                                  You should know by now that the weather is your friend during autumn in Namibia. This means it is an excellent time to strap your backpack on and head up some mountain trails. We have chosen two hikes that would be spectacular to do during this time of the year.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  Hikers setting off on an adventure.

                                  Fish River Canyon

                                  In the south of Namibia one can go on the epic Fish River Canyon hike. There are various options ranging from day hikes to a mammoth five-day camping hike. You can read more about these hikes here. Note that you are not allowed to hike into the canyon unaccompanied by an official guide as it has been deemed to risky to explore the canyon without an expert.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  If you’re into hiking, don’t miss the opportunity to see this canyon.

                                  The Waterberg

                                  The Waterberg in the central northern region provides visitors with somewhat more leisurely hiking options. As opposed to the Fish River Canyon hike explorers can walk around at their own leisure in the Waterberg Plateau Park.

                                  You do not need a guide with you and you can pick up a map of the various trails at the NWR reception at the entrance to the park. Read more about the walking/hiking trails you can explore in the park here.

                                   

                                  Swakopmund, Namibia, namibia fishing, luderitz, waterberg, fish river canyon, adventure, namibia hiking, safari

                                  The trails are clearly marked and easy to follow.

                                  Be advised though, it is never, ever, a good idea to go hiking on your own and you should always take someone with you no matter how simple a trail seems or how well you know the route.

                                  +++++++++++++++

                                  There it is! Several reasons why you should spend some time in Namibia during autumn. If you don't have plans to come to Namibia already, but want to, then know that if you plan your adventure for this time of year you are sure to have an amazing time.

                                   

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                                  The autumn sun setting behind a lone windmill.

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