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Posts Tagged 'namib desert'

The Namib Desert: Namibia’s ultimate adventure destination

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
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The Namib Desert if home to the much loved destinations of Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park and Swakopmund. So basically what I just said there is that the Namib Desert is home to scenic adventure, game park adventure, and a heavy dose of muscle clenching, scream inducing, pupil dilating adventure. Namib Desert trips offer opportunity to experience Namibia's ultimate adventure destination!

The_Namib_Desert_Namibias_ultimate_adventure_destination_Swakopmund

Above: Swakopmund quadbiking adventure by Coda

Swakopmund: the ultimate adventure destination

Ever heard of Swakopmund? Yeah, well that little coastal town is the adventure capital of Namibia! Here you can do all the fun crazy things your mom wouldn't do. So why Swakopmund and not anywhere else? Well because after you've spent a day walking around the town scoping out the place's intriguing history, culture and beach, you feel a rush of 'what can we get up to next?' coming over you. Luckily, the answer is... almost anything! Here are a few of the awesome experiences well worth your dollars: - Quadbiking - Ballooning - Micro-light flights - Skydiving - Paragliding - Sea kayaking

 
Is there bungee jumping in Namibia?

 

One adventure activity you can't do in Swakopmund is bungee jumping. Not yet anyway. I'm sure that if Swakopmund had a massive bridge, they would strap a bungee cord to it and let travellers take the plunge over a sea of sand. But until then... If you've never been bungee jumping before and you were hoping to experience the thrill while in the Namib Desert, you're probably wondering how it would have played out. Well the truth is, the exhilarating free-fall would've made you scream like a little girl. For those who were hoping to experience bungee jumping for the second time, the experience would've been different. The free-fall would've still been exhilarating and you still would've screamed like a little girl, but this time, you'd buy the video.

The_Namib_Desert_Namibias_ultimate_adventure_destination_Sossusvlei

Above: Sossusvlei dunes by Monica Guy

Sossusvlei: the ultimate scenic adventure destination

Adventure activities in Sossusvlei are less about teasing your breaking point, and more about lapping up the sheering beauty of the Namib Desert dunes and smaller wildlife. Here are a few great ways you can adventure your way through the scenery: - Ballooning - Guided hikes - Scenic flights Sossusvlei is home to stretches of the tallest shifting sand dunes in the world. Here, the contrast of the blue sky with the striking orange hue of the dunes is stunning. This experience wouldn't be complete without a guided hike up Dune 45 - Sossusvlei's 'My Precious'. Dune 45 stands over 170m high and is made up of 5 million year old sand that was blown there from the Orange River and Kalahari Desert. Journeying up this grand mound one can't help but imagine an ancient civilisation trudging through the sand on a mission cross country with concealed shanks ready for a tussle. Sossusvlei I would label the ultimate scenic adventure destination!

The_Namib_Desert_Namibias_ultimate_adventure_destinationdeadvlei

Above: Deadvlei, situated in Namib-Naukluft National Park by MauritsV

Namib-Naukluft National Park: the ultimate game park adventure destination

The Namib-Naukluft National Park includes the scenic region of Sossusvlei, and is, quite surprisingly, home to wildlife inhabitants and its fair share of greenery. Often one assumes that because an area is located within the Namib Desert, it's dryer than Woody Allen's humour. Wrong - this desert does foster vegetation! Creatures that roam this hyper-arid area include snakes, geckos, insects, hyenas, gemsbok and jackals. Along the coastline thousands of birds flock around the park's lagoons, wetlands and mudflats. Here are a few great ways you can adventure your way through the scenery: - Ballooning - Guided hikes - Scenic flights The destination of Deadvlei can also be found within the park. This stretch of Namibia sees trees that have been dead for over 550 years, still firmly planted in the parched, white clay cracked ground. What does parched, white clay cracked ground look like? Granny's heels.

parched_ground_in_deadvlei_namibia

Above: Granny's heels. Thanks Wikipedia!

You must be thinking "No lion? No elephant? No cheetah? Where is the game park adventure in that?" Well, the Namib-Naukluf National Park is... wait for it... the biggest game park in Africa, and fourth largest in the world! The desert tours are an adventure of note - delving into the area's history and eco-system are just a mind-blowing adventure of discovery. I know by now you're ready to explore the ultimate adventure destination of Namibia's Namib Desert. All you need is the dough. Idea! Collect tin cans whenever possible. Sell them to a tin recycling plant for cash. Book your overland trip to the Namib Desert and kiss Mama's basement goodbye (for a few weeks at least).

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Tags: adventure-travel, namib-desert, things-to-do-in-namibia


Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 4

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
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Approaching the half way mark in her 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip, Tamzyn's affection for the Namib Desert, the creatures that inhabit it, and her overland truck, grows.

Day 10: Spitzkoppe

We spent our final morning in Swakopmund walking through enchanting streets, visiting the market squares, soaking up the German-styled architecture and crashing seashore views of the paved palm tree promenade. I gulped down a piping hot cup of local coffee from one of the many quaint coffee shops whilst looking out at the fog-covered pier and saying goodbye to Swakopmund.

Mars Landing in Namibia

Spitzkoppe Mountain Ranges

After a winding, scenic five-hour drive through the Namib Desert, our Overland truck arrived at the Spitzkoppe community campsite to explore the towering granite peaks and crazy rock formations of Africa’s Matterhorn. We set up our campsite and then hiked off on a guided expedition through the mind-blowing beauty of Spizkoppe’s striking 700 million year-old peaks; the lunar ridges rising up out of the barren flat desert landscape giving me a sense of alien perspective.

Hike up the Kopje at Spitzkoppe

James, our local tour guide, showed us the fascinating San rock paintings and told us about the rich history of the Bushman, how to use the plants to survive off the land and taught us a few choice Damara phrases and games. We climbed the kopje behind our campsite and watched the changing light and sunset colours dance across the sky.

Dancing with the Stars

Sunset at Spitzkoppe Campsite

We then returned to camp for another punch night, carried on the back of songs while we watched the energetic dancing of a local entertainment group performing around our roaring fire.

Bush Camping

After dinner we climbed the kopje again to spend our night under the clear canopy of stars, drinking in the fresh African air. This is why I came Overlanding! We settled in for the night, blessed with expansive views across the bush and out toward the towering peaks in the distance. The absolute stillness of the night tricked us into believing we’d found solitude, that is until the rumble of a snore rattled the still bushveld air and brought us back to the present. (Handy Tip: If you are planning to sleep outside in your sleeping bag, strip down to your undies. It actually keeps you warmer. Huh, who knew?)

Day 11: Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park

There is something so magical about waking up on the mountainside to a sunrise. We heard a noise in the middle of the night which sounded like a growl and Johan swore he saw an ominous shape, turns out it was probably a donkey!!

Cheetahs, Cheetahs and more Cheetahs

Arriving at the Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park we got our pictures taken with the three (sort of) tame cheetahs before driving into their main camp of ‘wild’ cheetahs for frenzied feeding time.

Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park

It was chaos as donkey meat went flying and we watched the cheetahs battle each other for the biggest pieces. We got some amazing photographs though! My heart melted for the cheetah that is blind in one eye, but still fierce and giving it horns. The park has seventeen wild cheetah, three tameish cheetahs and a fearless fox terrier (Voksie) who commands the lot. Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park was started when Tollie, a cattle farmer with a pesky cheetah problem caught a pregnant cheetah. The litter brought in tourists and they decided to convert the farm into a cheetah conservation project.

Cheetahs Fighting Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park Namibia

Licking Warthog B**ls

We beat it back to the campsite bar for a cold Namibian beer and some well deserved games of pool. The losers had to lick the stuffed pair of warthog balls hanging on the wall, though this wasn’t nearly as demanding a forfeit offered by the stuffed bull-elephant’s fifth leg.

Day 12: Australia Day

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

Australia Day in Namibia

We celebrated Aussie Day today with an Aussie style breakfast of vegemite on toast!!! We all got into the spirit covering ourselves in flags, bandana’s and tattoos of the Aussie flag before bundling back onto the truck and bounding down the rocky Namibian roads. We arrived, hot and dusty, at the Etosha Safari Lodge just outside of the Etosha National Park and all dove straight in to the cool pool where we spent the rest of our afternoon chilled with cold beers, glorious sun and good books. That night we made Dampa (Stokbrood - 'Stick Bread') round the braai. Recipe:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt

You wrap it round a stick, cook it in the open fire and then enjoy with cheese, syrup or honey. YUM! We all almost took off running when we mistook someone snoring for a roaring Lion, and then we decided to film it for laughs tomorrow. Life on safari, is there anything better? Stay tuned for the next excerpt from Tamzyn's Overland Diary.

[Read part 5 here]

For information about overlanding in Africa or to find out more about this trip, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com

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Tags: africa-adventure-travel, africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, etosha-national-park, namib-desert, namibia, spitzkoppe


Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 3

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
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As Tamzyn plunges deeper into her 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip, her capacity for adventure broadens...

Day 7: The Namib Desert, Dune 45 and Swakopmund

Woohoo!! We race up the 148 meter monster of Dune 45, some of our arses having to be dragged up the dune, to see Sossusvlei stretching out in a sea of caramel-rippled ice-cream.

Top-of-Dune-45 namibia

We were even overtaken by a fit granny on a serious mission who hiked past us at one heck of a speed putting most of us to shame. The view quickly pushes our tired muscles to the back of our minds, as we take time to absorb the sights from the top of the world. The sand towers burn in every shade of rich red, bright orange and deep gold from the streaks of light peering through the clouds. The Namib Desert, which translates from Nama to 'vast area', is the oldest desert in the world and spans 80, 900 km² of desert vlei and dunes with some dunes towering at over 300 meters.

The Namibian Survival Guide

After a mouthwatering and energizing breakfast of French toast and eggs and a quick 4x4 Namibian offroad trip we are at the heart of Sossusvlei. A guided tour through the gorgeous Deadvlei and Hiddenvlei, complete with hilarious anecdotes, expressions, and a shortened version of the Namibian Desert survival book rounds up our morning perfectly.

Group-Photo-Sossusvlei-namibia

Our proud Namibian ambassador and tour guide extraordinaire even manages to convince a few of us that the best food source, if stranded in the Namibian Desert, is to kill an Oryx by breaking off its own horn and stabbing it in the heart.

Overlanding’s Cardinal Sin

The early morning starts seem to be getting the better of a few travelers who are caught sleeping through the truck ride, missing half of the Namibian experience and natural beauty as it passes by outside their window. Heavenly Apple Strudel Solitaire is our final stop before arriving at Swakopmund. It is also the perfect chance to enjoy a yummy piece of Namibia’s best Apple strudel from Moose's place.

Swakopmund - Extreme Adventure Paradise

Dizzy Sandboarding swakopmund namibia

Swakopmund is our home for the next three days and it's every adrenalin junkies dream with plenty of opportunity to enjoy some crazy adventures. We are so spoilt for choice that it’s difficult to decide what to do. Sandboarding, quadbiking, skydiving, para-gliding, cruising through the waves or kayaking past the breakers, if its extreme it’s in Swakopmund. Originally the main harbour for South-West Africa, Swakopmund is now better known for being Namibia’s top beach holiday resort and the unique experiences are the perfect chance to explore the dunes and waves of the Namibia Desert from a different perspective.

Ariba!

Tonight’s Mexican Fiesta themed party at our Hotel Gruner Kranz club is our first chance to experience Namibia’s nightlife. We pack the dance floor and dance till the early morning, once again slightly overhydrating ourselves and enjoying each others hilarious ‘dance’ moves .

Day 8: Swakopmund - Calm Before the Storm

Our first beds in a week are soft heavenly clouds of cushion! Swakopmund’s characteristic morning mist is refusing to lift, so some of our activities have been moved to tomorrow which is great news for those of us who need IV coffee drips after dancing until closing time this morning. Some of the group spends the day taking full advantage of Swakopmund’s internet and coffee café’s in the charming German-styled town. I choose to walk Swakopmunds palm-tree lined promenade and gorgeous coastline of caramel colored sand dunes enjoying some personal thinking time and solitude in the desert. The fishermen are hauling in today’s catch as kids play in the breakers at the bathing beach and the old shipwreck bobs in the waves. The Swakopmund pier and local cafés are buzzing with tourists as the sun sets on another perfect day on this Namibia safari.

Day 9: Swakopmund Adrenaline Day

After a quick breakfast of eggs, cereal and French toast we dash upstairs of a quick shower before heading out to explore the desert and get our adrenalin kicks for the trip.

sandboarding swakopmund namibia

The Greatest Day of my Life

The day starts with some epic action. We race up and down a monster 100m dune trying to learn how to sand board on full size snowboards. I can’t seem to stop smiling which is problematic when I spend more time on my face with a mouthful of sand than standing up on my board. We finish up with Dizzy, the fastest lie-down boarding run in which you whizz down the dune face on waxed up wooden chipboard at speeds over 70 km/ h. One person clocked 78 km/h whilst a few others came clean off their boards and ended up with crusty sand filled eyes and mouths but even then they couldn’t stop laughing. sandboarding swakopmund namibia sand dunes

Go Jump Out of a Plane!

This is the most fun that you can have with your clothes on!! We are all loving life as we bundle in the kombi and head back to Gruner Kranz, for a quick change before psyching ourselves up to jump out of a plane.

Skydive swakopmund namibia

My excitement is building as I watch the others go up and then come down in a mushroom coloured cloud looking chuffed as hell. Champion sleeper, Kim, even manages to sneak in a nap 15 minutes after jumping. Surprisingly my jump partner and I are not nervous.The afternoon seems to whizz by at the skydiving hangar and soon they are calling our names for the final jump of the day- the sunset jump. DID I MENTION I LOVE MY LIFE! Mias, my instructor, is so friendly and excited that he immediately puts any fears I should have had out of my mind. The climb to 10 00 ft takes only 25 minutes as we fly over and take in the insanely gorgeous views of Swakopmund and the desert. 5 minutes left and I am being strapped in by Mias for final checks. Then we are shuffling towards the door, sitting on the edge! Then freefall - 5 000 ft in 35 sec! Absolutely amazing! No one can describe the sensation of cruising through the air at 250 km/ h. I scream the whole way down and when Mias hands me the parachute toggle I pull it hard to make me spin faster towards the ground.

Skydiving-swakopmund namibia

I am wearing a permanent smile for the next two days and we all can’t stop replaying the jump in our minds both in our minds and on video.

Next instalment is in the post...

For information about overlanding in Africa or to find out more about this trip, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com

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Tags: deadvlei, namib-desert, namibia, overlanding, overlanding-africa, sandboard, sky-dive-namibia, sossusvlei, swakopmund


Namibia Overland Namib-Naukluft Park Tour

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
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No Namibia Overlanding tour is a success without a visit to Namibia's Namib-Naukluft Park.  Its infinite desert vistas, towering lunar mountain ranges and unique wildlife encounters are dumbfounding. With endless landscape vistas stretching from the caramel colored sea of sand dunes in the Namib Desert to the eye-popping purple Naukluft mountain range, the Namib-Naukluft Park is the greatest natural wonder on any Namibia Overlanding trip. Whether it’s running up one of the world’s largest sand dunes, bundu-bashing your way along one of the infamous 4x4 Namibia trails or soaking up Namibia’s vast wildlife the Namib Naukluft Park has something for all tastes on a Namibia tour. Here is Overlanding Africa’s guide to Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft Park top 5 things to do and see to make sure you get the most out of your Namibia overlanding trip.

Namibia Overlanding Namib Desert Dune Challenge

Walking-up-Dune-45-namibia

Take in one of best sunrises on any Namibia Overlanding tour from the top of Dune 45 or Big Daddy. The dunes will light up before your eyes in every insane shade of caramel, rich red and crazy gold you could imagine. Enjoy the view as you overlook a panoramic view of the world’s tallest sand dunes stretching out in an endless sea of sand resembling the lost loads of a kid’s dump truck. Climbing Namibia’s tallest sand dune Big Daddy (380m) or even Dune 45 (148m) is no easy feat, so don’t be a dumbass and race headlong up the sheer side unless you enjoy passing out halfway up and being the numbskull who had to be carried down a dune on their Namibia overland tour. Read the Overlanding Africa Namibia Safari guide to hiking up Namibia’s sand dunes instead.

Explore the Sesriem Canyon

Carved over millions of years by the flow of the Tsauchab River through the smooth sandstone rock faces, the natural rock formation of the Sesriem Canyon boggles the mind. The Canyon is the perfect place to suck down one of the many tasty local brews of Namibian Beer, watching one of the best sunsets a Namibia overland trip has to offer.

Take a guided tour of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei

Sossusvlei-namibia

Hop on a 4x4 Namibia safari vehicle and drive to the glistening white clay pan of Sossusvlei in the heart of the Namib-Naukluft Park.  Take a guided tour through the pan and the towers of caramel coloured sand dunes (the world’s largest) which surround it.  A Namibia tourism guide will teach you all about the fascinating history of the Namib Desert, the oldest and only growing desert in the world as well as the strange and quirky creatures that have adapted to the most extreme conditions.

Deadvlei

Be sure to visit the striking skeleton forest of Deadvlei- one of the Namib-Naukluft Park’s favourite attractions. The twisted black acacia trees are dramatic to say the least against the rich ochre coloured dunes creating one of the Namib Deserts most beautiful landscape views. If you’re feeling energetic hike up the epic Big Daddy (380m), the tallest sand dune in the Namib Desert on the edge of Deadvlei for a unique perspective of the pan.

Take a hike through the Namib Naukluft Park

Namib Naukluf Mountain-Ranges

The purple mountains and lush streams and lagoons of the Namib Naukluft Mountains resemble an alien lunar landscape standing out in complete contrast from the surrounding flat and arid Namib Desert floor.

Namib Naukluft Park Dunes

Take a hike on one of the many Namib Naukluft hiking trails through the largest and most beautiful of Namibia’s mountain massifs or rent a Namibia 4x4 car and bundu-bash your way along the Naukluft 4x4 Trail on a unique Namibia Overlanding experience.

A Namibia 4x4 safari trip to Sandwich Harbour

Flamingoes Sandwich Harbor

The freshwater lagoon and guano island of Sandwich Harbour is all that remains of the old whaling station on the coastline of the Namib Desert and is any birdwatchers dream.  Filled with Namibia’s famous fluttering pink flamingos, Damara Tern and other amazing birdlife Sandwich Harbour is a lesser known but incredibly impressive attraction in the Namib-Naukluft Park. Hop on a Namibia 4x4 or Namibia tour out to the lagoon to enjoy the best birdlife Namibia tourism has to offer before snacking down on a picnic lunch on top of one of the surrounding giant Namib sand dunes running straight out before you into the ocean. Above all soak up as much as you can of the Namib Desert, Africa’s most picturesque safari setting.

Sossusvlei Tour

The awesome views, crazy hikes and trails and wonderful wildlife encounters of the Namib Desert and Namib-Naukluft Park will inspire your soul and mind, feeding you wanderlust for another Namibia overland trip. For more information chat to one of our Overlanding Africa experts or check out our tours on offer through Namibia. Keep Discovering

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Tags: namib-desert, namib-naukluft-park, namibia-4x4, namibia-safari, namibia-tour


Take a hike on Namibia Safari

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
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Hike up the rippled caramel dunes of the Namib Desert and through the purple volcanic rock gorges of the Namib-Naukluft Park and watch the desert spring to life around you on a Namibia Safari on foot. Dust off those walking shoes and take a hike through the pumpkin orange dunes of the Namib Desert, carved towers of the Spitzkoppe rock formations and lush green gorges of the Otavi Mountains to explore the unique natural wonders of a Namibia Safari. Don’t let Namibia whiz by in a trail of dust outside your car window. Hiking tours are the perfect chance to appreciate the Namib Desert and Nature Reserves whilst learning about Namibia’s fascinating wildlife. Here is Overlanding Africa’s guide to the top hiking trails for a thumping great Namibia safari experience.

Namib Desert Hiking tour

Slow it down and watch the desert come to life on your Namibia Tour as you explore the Namib Desert dunes around Swakopmund on a ‘Living Desert Tour’. Get yourself lost in amongst the towering caramel-ripple and rusty sand dunes of the oldest desert in the world, the famous Namib Desert, racing up the sheer faces and tumbling back down again. Your passionate guide will show you all the fascinating wildlife underfoot, often missed in a car, as you learn about the weird and wacky creatures and plants that have adapted to the harshest environment on earth. For more information or to book a Namib Desert Tour visit Tommy’s Tours and Safari’s.

Tok Tokkie Guided Hiking Tour

Hiking-in-Sossusvlei

Explore the vastly different terrains of the desert as you hike through grassy gold plains past quirkily shaped acacia trees, up burnt orange dunes and over rocky mountainsides on the Tok Tokkie Hiking Trail. Starting at the popular Namibia travel spot Sossusvlei, the Tok Tokkie guided hiking tour leads you into the heart of the Namibland Nature reserve to uncover the secrets of the Namib Desert buzzing with life. Soak up the spectacular lunar mountain ranges, insane rock formations and the world’s tallest dunes sparkling in a bright sea around as you sip on a local beer or three. For more information or to book a Tok Tokkie guided trail hike on your Namibia tour visit Tok Tokkie Trails

Mundulea Guided Hike

Leopard Otavi Mountains Mundelea Hiking tour

Calling all wildlife lovers and adventurous hikers the Mundulea guided hike through Namibia’s Mundulea Nature Reserve will go down a treat on your Namibia tour. Revel in the unspoiled Namibian bushveld as you trek through the lush greenery of the Otavi Mountains, making your way up rugged hills and steep gorges with never-ending views of the Waterberg Plateau before exploring Mundulea’s network of caves and the cool waters of the underground lakes. Two hours from Namibia’s popular Etosha National Park, the Mundulea Nature Reserve is the chance to spot herds of wildebeest, eland and kudu as well as the elusive mountain leopard.  Your passionate Namibia tour guide will explain the unique wonders of the bush as you explore Namibia’s fascinating environment on your tailored walking safari in Namibia. After a rewarding full day hike, marvel at the clear desert night sky overhead as you sit around a blazing fire enjoying some hearty Southern African tucker. More information on the Mundulea nature Reserves hiking trails here.

Namib Naukluft Park Hiking Trails

Your hiking shoes are the perfect way to explore the the purple-jagged mountains and rugged rocky trails of the Namib Naukluft Mountains rising up from the desert floor of the Namib Naukluft Park. There are plenty of trails which crisscross the Park, lasting from one to up to eight days.  The most popular trails are the Olive Trail (10 km/5 h) and the Waterkloof Trail (17km/7 h). Revel in the lunar landscapes stretching out endless panorama’s underneath you as you trek across plateaus, the dry Naukluft River bed and gorges with refreshing rock pools. Quiver Trees line the wide mountain valleys which are buzzing with the wildlife sounds of an epic Namibia safari. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare Mountain Zebra as well as klipspringer, kudu and rock hyrax’s galore as you soak in all the raw energy of the Namib Naukluft Park’s vast mountain ranges and desert floor.

Spitzkoppe Guided Hike

Hiking-Spitzkoppe

Enjoy proper bush camping on your Namibia travel experience and a guided tour from a friendly local community member who will expose you to the rock formations, history and culture of the towering granite peaks of Africa’s Matterhorn, the Namibia Spitzkoppe. Run by the local community, the campsite and guided tours are a chance for you to give back on your Namibia tour. Learn about the famous san rock paintings, the fascinating Spitzkoppe shapes carved by the wind and how to survive off the land. You can even learn to greet in the local Damara language. Hike up one of the smaller rock formations at the campsite for sundowners as the sun sinks behind the Pontock Mountains and the sky burns in a bright rainbow of colours. At night camp in the shadows of the towering Spitzkoppe nothing but the quiet African bush around you. For more information visit the Namibia Community Based Tourism Initiative. Don’t despair! Prepare! All the hikes require a solid pair of hiking shoes as well as plenty of water (min. 3 litres per person).  And don’t forget a hat and sunscreen unless you want to glow bright lobster red for the rest of your Namibia travel tour. A camera and pair of binoculars will come in handy as well.

Namibia Safari on foot

Whether it’s hiking up the caramel coloured dunes of the Namib Desert at Swakopmund or across the golden plains of the Namib Naukluft Park, using your feet will allow you to see and appreciate a lot more of the natural wonders and wildlife on your Namibia tour. For more information on a Namibia safari to one of our Overlanding Africa experts or check out our tour page for Namibia tours. Keep Discovering

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Tags: namib-desert, namib-naukluft-park, namibia-safari, namibia-tour, namibia-travel, spitzkoppe-guided-hike


Better than sex - Swakopmund Top 5 Adventure Activities

Monday, March 14th, 2011
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Swakopmund is an adrenalin junkie’s paradise, and if that's how you get your kicks, this place is better than sex. The air, ocean and sand adventure activities in Swakopmund will get the heart racing whilst exploring and enjoying your Namibia overland trip. Namibia’s adrenalin capital, Swakopmund, is a candy-store of adventure activities to quench the thirst of even the most extreme adrenalin junkie on a Namibia overland tour. The beautiful seaside holiday belies the host of exciting and unique adventure activities which are the ultimate way to explore all the natural wonder and beauty of a Namibia overland whilst getting your adventure fix. Here is Overlanding Africa’s guide to Swakopmund's top 5 adventure activities to make your Namibia tour legendary.

Skydiving over the Namibia Desert

Skydiving-namibia

What better way to enjoy the endless panoramic views of Swakopmund, the rugged Namibia coastline and vast Namib Desert on your Namibia overland trip than from 10 000 ft in the air attached to a friendly tandem master and a parachute. After a 25 minute scenic flight up into the air, you shuffle towards the door and peer over the edge to the beautifully infinite desert stretching out around your feet. Then it’s three, two, one and out the door for 30 seconds of freefall flight in which you reach speeds of up to 200 km/h. If you ever dreamed of being superman as a kid this is your best chance. Nothing can describe the feeling of flying through the air and soaking it all in before you pull your parachute and coast back down to the Namibia Desert floor enjoying the view as you go. No Swakopmund trip or Namibia tour is complete without skydiving over the Namib Desert. Don’t believe how awesome skydiving is? Check out this video. Skydiving in Swakopmund For more information or to book a skydive contact Ground Rush Adventures.

Paragliding

Paragliding in Namibia For those Namibia tour travellers looking for a little more hang-time, paragliding is unique way to experience all the insane beauty of the Namib Desert dunes from the air. Let the air thermals of the Namib Desert carry you down the sheer face of the Swakopmund sand dunes or explore the diverse birdlife, game and natural wonder of Sossusvlei, Sandwich Harbour and Damaraland on a Namibia overlanding paragliding trip.

Check out the awesome imagery provided by Namib Gliding, click here to view the photo gallery

For more information or to book paragliding trips contact Namib Gliding.

Exploring the Namib Sand Dunes on a Namibia 4x4 adventure

Quadbiking-in-the-Namib-Desert Translated from Nama to mean vast, the Namib Desert is an infinite sea of sand in every vibrant and crazy shade of caramel, red and gold possible. With so much sand to explore and rugged coastline to see on a Namibia tour there is no better way to tear up the dunes than on a speeding Namibia 4x4 ATV or four wheeler. It’s a blast whizzing up the sheer towering sand dunes, the Namib Desert whipping through your hair as you try your luck at popping wheelies and outracing your fellow Namibia 4x4 adventurers. Monstrous Namib Desert dunes, speed and motoring on a Namibia safari- enough said. For more information or to book a Namibia 4x4 ATV or four-wheeling adventure contact the Far Out offices on +26464402737 or  +264811282737.

Swakopmund Sandboarding

Namibia-Sandboarding-hard-landing

The Swakopmund sand dunes are any board lovers dream on a Namibia tour. An epic 100m 6 sided dune calls for you to conquer it. After waxing up your snowboard or lie-down board you shred your way down the sheer face of the dune getting schweet turns in before running back up to try again. There is even the chance to grab some air on the ramp or clock up to 80 km/h on the infamous lie-down sandboarding Dizzy run. Sandboarding down one of Namibia’s iconic Namib Desert monsters is the most fun you can have on a Namibia tour - as long as you don’t mind the taste of Namib Desert sand. For more information or to book a sand-boarding trip contact Alter-Action. (They can also be found in the lobby of Swakopmund’s Hotel Gruner Kranz in the Far Out offices).

Sea kayaking

Sea-Kayaking-Swakopmund Sea Kayaking along Swakopmund and Walvis Bay’s rugged coastline teeming with ocean life is a unique experience on any Namibia tour. Curious bottle-nose dolphins will swim alongside you and fur seals will do back flips as you paddle through the waves with your experienced guide.  You will explore the wonder of the seal colony and see Namibia’s variety of birdlife as you get up-close-and-personal. For more information contact Namibia Sea Kayaking.

The Most fun you can have with your clothes on

Swakopmund skydiving

Whether you’re keen to race up the sheer towering faces of the Namib Desert Dunes on a Namibia 4x4 wheeler tours, tear down them on a snowboard or take in the view of the rugged Swakopmund coastline as you hurtle towards the ground, Swakopmund will plant a grin on your face for the rest of your Namibia overland trip. All of these activities and more can also be booked through the Far Out offices in the Hotel Gruner Kranz lobby in Swakopmund’s Swakop Lodge. For more information you can chat to one of our Overlanding Experts or check out our tour page for Namibia Overlanding tours passing through Swakopmund. Keep Discovering!

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Tags: namib-desert, namibia-4x4, namibia-safari, namibia-tour, swakopmund, swakupmond


Guide to climbing Namibia’s Namib Desert Dunes

Monday, March 14th, 2011
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Walking-up-Dune-45

Namibia overland tours are the perfect chance to test yourself against the epic sand dunes of the Namib Desert whilst insanely beautiful views of the Namib-Naukluft Park Desert expanses wait for you up top. A top treat on any Namibia overland tour is a trip to the Namib-Naukluft Park and Namib Desert, with the chance to conquer one of Namibia’s monstrous sand dunes. Whether it’s from the top of Dune 45 (148m) or Big Daddy (380m), Namibia’s dunes offer the best perspective from which to appreciate the infinite sea of sand of the Namib Desert on a Namibian overland trip.

Namibia Overland Safari Dune Challenge

The Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft Park is not only the world’s oldest and most beautiful desert but it is also home to the world’s tallest sand dunes, with some towering in at over 300m.  The shifting wind and sand create a glistening new sheer dune face each morning, just asking for you to climb and conquer them on your Namibia overland trip. Sunset and sunrise offer climbers their just reward, lighting up an endless panoramic vista of the desert floor in every shade of red, gold and caramel you could ever imagine. Summiting a Namibia sand dune can be a heck of a climb, especially if the six-pack you prefer comes in cans. Here is the Overlanding Africa guide to becoming a champion Namib Desert Dune conqueror on your Namibia tour so you can brag to your mates back home

5 top tips to hiking Namib Desert Dunes in Namib- Naukluft Park

1)    Don’t be a fool and go racing up the side of the dune. Even though you inner child is screaming for you to go running gung-ho up the sheer Namib Desert dune face it’s no fun having to stop half-way up and turn around with jelly legs and a mindful of disappointment for the rest of your Namibia Tour. Take it easy and walk up the dune, enjoying the amazing sights and smells of the Namib Desert as it opens up in front of you. 2)    Pack light and leave your backpack at the bottom of the Dune. Lugging yourself up one of Namibia’s monstrous sand dune is hard enough already, so don’t pack everything and the kitchen sink. Take only what you need and leave what you can at the bottom or you will be cursing your heavy backpack all the way to the top. 3)    Walk in other people’s footsteps. The Namib Desert is a popular tourist attraction on any Namibia tour and there are always huge groups hiking up the dunes during the day. Following other people’s footstep trails makes it easier for you to climb as the sand is already compacted so you don’t sink in as quickly. 4)    Take plenty of water- you’re going to need it. The spectacular Namib Desert views are a lot more beautiful on your Namibia safari when you aren’t dying of thirst and passing out at the top or half-way up. You don’t need a gallon, but be sure to take a water bottle with enough to get you up the dune and back down and remember to drink it! 5)    Make sure to wear your sunscreen. The desert can get scorching hot during the heat of the day and it’s not like you can quickly turn around and saunter down an epic sand dune if you forget your sun block. Buy SPF 30 or higher, water and sweat resistant is best, and apply generously before climbing or venturing out on any guided Namibia overland tour, hike or safari .

Namibia-Safari-Namib-Desert-Namib-Naukluft-Park-Dune-45

Appreciate the Namib Desert

Most importantly stop, sit and enjoy the magical experience and dumbfounding beautiful views of the Namib Desert and Namib-Naukluft Park as they stretch out before you.  Although photographs of your Namibia safari are great to have, the incredulous multi-colored beauty of Africa’s second largest desert can’t be appreciated through a lens.

Take only photographs and leave only footprints.

Also, even though the desert looks uninhabited there is a huge delicate eco-system and array of animals under your feet. So be mindful of the creatures and wildlife that make the dunes their home and don’t step on or destroy any flora or fauna if you can avoid it. If you can, walk in a path or a trail of footsteps and try to make as little impact on the Namib Desert dunes as you can. The little critters will sure appreciate it.

Dune-45-Namibia-view-from-the-top

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Tags: namib-desert, namib-naukluft-park, namibia-safari


Janet’s Hot Air Balloon Ride in Namibia

Friday, January 7th, 2011
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Hot Air Balloon Ride Namibia, Namiba Desert

Janet and some of her friends travelled through Namibia recently and had the awesome opportunity to take a hot air balloon flight over the gorgeous Namib Desert. Here is what she had to say about it:

"One of the most wonderful experiences of my life was drifting in a hot air balloon over the majestic sand dunes in Namibia. Once you are airborne you drift silently over the dunes. I witnessed a very special African sunrise from the silence of the hot air balloon. The sand dunes and their colours are magnificent, the images of the dunes will live with me forever. The landscape is ever-changing and the moon-like landscape and sand dunes constantly change colour in the rising sun.The red dunes appear to be untouched by human hands. It was truly an unforgettable and beautiful experience that begins before sunrise and finishes with a champagne breakfast at the base of a sand dune in what seems like the middle of nowhere. A truly awesome experience!" Thanks Janet! Hope to see you again soon!

Check out her awesome photos on the OverlandingAfrica.com Flickr page or post your comments below.

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Tags: hot-air-balloon, namib-desert, namibia, namibia-highlights


7 Sensational Camping Safaris in Africa

Friday, April 30th, 2010
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For those that prefer the thrill of sleeping under the stars, camping safaris offer the perfect blend of adventure, nature, wildlife and spectacular views - allowing you to experience the ultimate camping trip in some of the most beautiful destinations across Africa.

Camping Safaris

From the remote rain forests of Uganda, to the idyllic beaches of Mozambique, there is a camping tour to suit all tastes, budgets and travel needs, offering a host of activities, attractions and sights. Camping tours are ideal for travellers who are not afraid to get their hands dirty, and do not mind sleeping in the great outdoors with just their mosquito-proof dome tents to protect them against the elements. For travellers who enjoy being right in the middle of all the action however, these trips offer a memorable travel experience in Africa.

The top 7 sensational camping safaris in Africa that are simply not to be missed include:

1. Kruger National Park Kruger National Park camping safaris offer a glimpse into South Africa's largest game park. This four day safari takes you from Johannesburg to the beautiful Kruger Park, continuing to Timbavati to visit a Cheetah Breeding Centre and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. This camping trip is ideal for travellers wanting a short tour with plenty of game viewing.

2. Gorilla Trekking The five day Gorilla Trekking camping tour is one of the most memorable experiences imaginable. See highly endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, high up in the forests of Uganda. The tour starts in Kampala, and continues on to visit Kisoro and Lake Bunyoni. Gorilla trekking, plenty of game viewing and bird watching, as well as camping in the beautiful rain forests of Uganda are all just a hint of what you can expect on these camping safaris in Africa.

3.    Victoria Falls Visit the World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls, the 'smoke that thunders', and see why this mindboggling waterfall has been rated as one of the wonders of the world. There are a number of camping tour options you could consider for Victoria Falls, with many tours offering a stop-over to this iconic destination as an added option. However you get there, camping in Vic Falls is not to be missed!

4.    Namib Desert Safari Explore the land of contrasts with an eleven day Namib Desert Safari that takes you across the staggering dunes and deserts of Namibia. These camping trips start in Windhoek and head on to Etosha National Park, Spitzkoppe, Swakopmund, Sesriem, Sossusvlei and Fish River Canyon before heading back to South Africa via the Orange River.

5.    Madagascar Dhow Island Hopping Experience the serene beaches and underwater wonders of Madagascar's islands with an eight day camping safari that takes you from Antananarivo to key islands such as Hell-ville, Nosy Iranja, Mahalina, Lokobe National Park and Nosy Komba, before heading back to Antananarivo. You will be able to camp in exotic beach spots, view the islands rare and fascinating wildlife and explore the warm waters that are teeming with marine life.

6.    Botswana Delta and Chobe Expedition The beautiful Botswana hot-spots of the Okavango Delta and Chobe have been hailed as the most stunning safari destinations in Africa, and for good reason. The eight day Botswana camping tour takes you across the waterways and game-rich channels of this Botswana paradise.

7.    Mozambique Magic Mozambique Magic tours take you from South Africa to Swaziland and Hlane Royal National Park, before crossing into Mozambique to visit key destinations such as Praia do Tofo, Bazaruto, Inhambane, Maputo and more. These are the perfect camping safaris in Africa for those who enjoy beaches, friendly locals and stunning wildlife.

For information about these tours and much more contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com!

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Tags: africa, botswana, camping, chobe, gorillas, kruger, madagascar, mozambique, namib-desert, safaris, vic-falls