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Posts Tagged 'namibia'

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Cape Town to Victoria Falls [Traveller Photographs]

Friday, December 14th, 2012
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The Best of South West Africa overland trip is a 20 day journey that starts in Cape Town and carries you up North into Botswana, and eventually ends at Zimbabwe's majestic Victoria Falls. Get a taste of this trip's beauty from the photo journey below. A huge thank you goes to our client Robyn Preston who has been kind enough to share her moments in Africa with us.

Cape Town to Victoria Falls in Photographs

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_Quadbiking

Above: Robyn's favourite optional activity on her overland tour was quad biking in the Namib Desert, Swakopmund, Namibia.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_Robynwater

Above: Robyn enjoys a stroll through the waves on the beach of Swakopmund, Namibia. There are also lots of nice restaurants on the waterfront with views out over the ocean.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_Himba

Above: The Himba tribe live in a village at Kamanjab, Namibia.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_Zebras

Above: A herd of zebras cross a plain looking for pasture in Etosha National Park, Namibia.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_redhartebeest

Above: The Red Hartebeest of Etosha National Park, Namibia. These animals are nomadic, moving around to find new pastures. When startled they can run at a maximum speed of 55 kph.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_elephant2

Above: The waterhole at Halali Camp in Etosha National Park, Botswana, is one of the most endearing places to sit in the evening where you can be at peace with the wildlife in their domain. It's an unforgettable experience.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_Spitkoppe

Above: The natural granite arch found at Spitzkoppe, Namibia. A favourite camping spot for overland travel companies. It's a lovely walk up to the arch. It's absolutely stunning to just sit and take in the scenery.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_baboons

Above: A baby Chakma Baboon snuggles up to its mother.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_boatsunset

Above: Sunset cruise on Chobe River, Botwswana. A relaxing experience with a glass of wine while you admire the wildlife along the banks of the river.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_lioncubes

Above: Two cubs bond during the walk with lions  activity at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. During the walk with lions it is possible to touch them which is so special.

Best of South West Africa & Falls to Serengeti Tour in Photos_walkwithlions

Above: Robyn on a walk with lions near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

All of Robyn's photos were taken on the Best of South West Africa overland trip. Check out our other trips and tours or chat to one of our consultants if you need help to find an African adventure to suit your budget and needs.

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We love receiving traveller photos and videos that we can share. Drop us an email if you'd like to spread your love for Africa.

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Tags: africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-tours, botswana, namibia, zimbabwe


Things to do in Namibia

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
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Namibia is a vast country of sand, sea and history and makes for the best sand and sun getaways with plenty of things to do in Namibia.

List of things to do in Namibia:

1. Fish River Canyon

fish_river_canyon

Above: Things to do in Namibia - Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world and one of the best hiking trails in Africa, making it one of the must-see Namibia attractions. Fish River Canyon offers visitors some of the most incredible views, drawing crowds from every corner of the globe. Definitely one of those things to do in Namibia you don't want to be missing out on.

2. Deep Sea Angling

The Namibian West Coast is a pure paradise for the aspiring fisherman. Deep sea fishing excursions can be chartered. In 2010 Henties Bay, 60 km North of Swakopmund, was host to the World Fishing Championships. Permits are required for catching crayfish that are caught from the rocks in Langstrand. This is not usually a Namibia attraction for those who suffer from sea sickness, however, they do have pills for that kind of thing you know.

3. Dune 45 Sunrise (one of the most popular things to do in Namibia)

Dune 45

Above: Things to do in Namibia - Dune 45

Dune 45 is a 148 m high burnt orange sand dune. An early morning hike to the top of Dune 45 is a terrific way to kick start your day and watch as a picturesque sunrise sets the mood to another perfect day in the desert. Nothing like a fantastic view and a walk in the Namib Desert dunes to serve as one of the best things to do in Namibia.

4. Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park The Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park came into being when a local cattle farmer with a cheetah problem captured a pregnant cat. The birth of the Cheetah cubs brought with it tourists and traffic to the farm and the rancher converted his land into what is today a conservation project known as the Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park, with  three semi tame cheetahs and seventeen wild cheetahs. One of the many Namibia attractions well worth a visit.

5. Etosha National Park

etosha national park

Above: Things to do in Namibia - Etosha National Park

An awesome 20 000 km2 of unspoiled Africa, Etosha National Park is one of the last places in the world where the endangered Black Rhino can still be seen. Rest camps throughout the park give guests a real out of Africa experience between the bird life, wildlife, game drives as well as great outdoor eating and picnic areas. Of all the things to do in Namibia, this better be at the top of your list.

6. Cape Cross Seal Colony Every year, between October and December, more than 100 000 seals arrive on the Skeleton Coast. Only an hour’s drive north of Swakopmund you can visit Namibia’s famous Cape Fur Seal colony at Cape Cross. Fifteenth century Portuguese sailors planted a cross here, which is where the area gets its 'Cape Cross' name from. A replica of the original cross stands there today, still as a Namibia attraction even though the original cross is in Berlin. Cape Cross is situated in a conservation reserve and entry permits are required before you can enter the area.

7. Visit a Himba Tribe (One of the best cultural Namibia attractions)

Himba tribe

Above: Things to do in Namibia - Himba Tribe

As with all African tribes, a Himba Tribe has its own traditions, roots and culture that set it apart from any other. Spend some time with those who live off the land, find out more about their way of life and how they do it on a day to day basis. Himba people are friendly and welcoming. Get a guide to take you on a day trip if you're looking for cultural things to do in Namibia.

8. Deadvlei Acacias Deadvlei is a clay pan in the Namib-Naukfluft Park which is home to 900 year old acacia trees frozen in time. An early morning hike to see this wonder of nature is a great start to any day. Another one of those great Namibia attractions. Revved up and ready to explore the jewel of Africa's Skeleton Coast after reading about all the things to do in Namibia? Indulge your wanderlust and browse through the overland trips that include Namibia.

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Tags: namibia, namibia-highlights, things-to-do-in-namibia


Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 5

Friday, April 8th, 2011
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The Overland truck treks up through Etosha and into Botswana, wildlife is more plentiful and truck life is becoming second nature on Tamzyn's 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip.

Day 13: Etosha

It’s a quick drive to the Namutoni gate of the Etosha National Park and within minutes we are surrounded by hoards of game. Centered around the shimmering silver pan, the Etosha National Park covers over 22 000 sq kilometers and is home to the Big 5, as well as a number of rare and endangered species (including the Black Rhino).

Zebra Crossing Etosha Game Park

We are all bouncing around the truck madly pointing out the fascinating game as we drive past journeys of Giraffe, herds of Zebra, plenty of Wildebeest as well as tons of the McDonald’s of the African plains (Impala). We are even lucky enough to chance a sighting of the elusive Leopard, which walks straight out of the bush past our Overlanding Truck and off down the road. Awesome! 

Leopard Etosha Pan Game Park

A herd of Buffalo visits the floodlit watering hole at our campsite. We watch them quietly drink from the pool before it starts to rain and we dart past the jackals scampering around and into the cover of our tents.

Day 14: Rundu

Swim for Your Lives We wake up with a swimming start, our tent having been transformed into a watering hole in last night’s downpour. Still we weren’t as bad off as some of the other overlanders who spent the night on the truck after being rained out of their tents!

Overland camping not always luxury

Off to Rundu

After a seven hour drive, some of us choosing to pass the time with a little help from Uncle Bells, we arrive at Rundu on Namibia’s shared Angolan border and not far from where we will cross the border into Botswana. As we are driving, the landscape changes dramatically around us, from grassy golds to lush greens whilst Nguni cattle line the streets and people dressed in dark coloured prints appear along the roadside. We knew we were getting close to the Botswana border! We set up camp on the banks of the Kavango River and although there are supposed to be some monster crocs and hippo’s around we don’t manage to spot any.

Rundu crocodiles

Instead we enjoy our drinks whilst looking out from the deck overhanging the river and listen to the chorus of reed frogs and the engine of the sunset cruise boat as it chugs by.

Day 15: Maun

Hippo Hollers

We heard a hippo on the banks near our campsite last night whilst we were lying in our tents. Woo-hoo, I wouldn’t trade that sound for the world! Botswana Baby, Yeah! A quick trip and we cross the border into Botswana. The roads are long and flat reaching out into the horizon. We drive past herds of livestock running across the road every 100 metres. Tons of goats, sheep and cattle and they aren’t afraid of our overlanding truck. The surrounding bush is thick, lush and green with ominous rain clouds gathering like grey candy-floss across the sky. Maun We arrive at the Sitatunga Campsite, the base for our Okavango Delta Mokoro trip, and unpack before heading off into the town of Maun to browse the local markets for the afternoon.

Sitatunga Campsite outside the Okavango Delta

Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana, although standing in the middle of the main street you can see from one end of the town to the other. I found some killer hot and spicy chilies at the vendor market, as well as some cool looking safari hats! We spend the rest of the night dreaming about what the Okavango Delta had in store for us on this dream vacation. TIA (This is Africa) and I am enjoying the hell out of it. Can’t wait for the Delta!

Stay tuned for the next entry from Tamzyn's Overland Diary.
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-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, botswana, etosha-national-park, maun, namibia, namutoni, okavango-delta, okavango-mokoro-trip


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


Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 2

Monday, April 4th, 2011
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We continue with Tamzyn and her 21 day overland adventure from Cape Town to Victoria Falls...

Day 4: The Fish River Canyon

Exploring the Orange River banks with a monstrous hang over is not the greatest idea but at least we get to spend most of the morning recovering on the comfy deck chairs of the pool deck overhanging the brown waters of the river.

Desert Driving

After lunch we are back on the truck and driving past sheer cliff faces as the truck rumbles and tumbles along the rugged landscapes of rich ochre reds and sahara golds. The dry desert wind fills the truck and the dust adds it’s own special flavouring to our already dry mouths . Last nights action has a lot of the heads nodding on the truck even though these bumpy Namibian roads are trying their hardest to keep us awake.

Overland Africa Tour Canon Roadhouse

Canyons, Cars and Quiver Trees

The Canon Roadhouse, a quirky campsite decorated with windmills and classic cars/new potholders is our rest stop for tonight. We are in the middle of nowhere surrounded by desert and rock expanses stretching out for miles to the horizon. AWESOME doesn’t even begin to describe this place!! After a refreshing dip in the campsite pool we venture off to the grand Fish River Canyon for one of Southern Africa’s most scenic sundowners. The Fish River Canyon is the second largest Canyon in the world, the largest in Africa and one of Namibia’s top natural wonders. A 160 km long ravine cuts deep into the dry, stony plateau creating an enormous chasm which is 27 km wide and in places, up to 550m deep. The sunset fills the sky in a kaleidoscope of bright blue, pink and orange all melting into each other. You can’t believe your eyes out here. We are all standing in stunned silence as we watch the sun sink below and the canyon filled with shadows. If there is a more spiritual experience in the world I would be surprised. The desert around our camp is peacefully quiet tonight with our evening fireside chatter being the only source of noise on the desert floor. Fish-River-Canyon-Overland Africa Tour

A Midnight Swim in the Desert

My hopes for a cold shower to wash off the Namibian dust tan have been dashed by the hot water that is flowing out of the showers cold water pipes. The underground pipes are cooked by the daily desert heat and will stay warm all night. Instead, a few of us go for a midnight swim in the cool pool water before we turn in. We were supposed to be trucking to the Namib Naukluft National Park tomorrow but instead we are splitting the drive over two days and spending tomorrow evening at the Konkiep Lapa campsite. We fall asleep to a full moon peeking through our tent netting in the absolute stillness of the desert! I think I have found heaven and it’s on a Namibia Overlanding Tour.

Day 5: The Seeheim Hotel and Konkiep Lapa Rest Camp

My first shower in two days is a heavenly after a quick hike up the hill behind our campsite. Endless desert views stretching out in 360 degrees are the order of the day as we follow the Namibian railway tracks north across the vast gold landscape, dotted with quiver and acacia trees. Snacking at the Seeheim Hotel A welcomed stop in the midday Namibian heat, the German inspired Seeheim Hotel (the sole business in Seeheim) is our lunch stop. Zirkie Kloppers and his wife have lived in Seeheim for 12 years and say “there has never been a cool day”. It’s so hard to make ice here that frozen bottles of water set you back R20 a pop, which you will gladly pay to suck on something cool. A proud Afrikaans heritage oozes through the hotel and the black and white photographs covering the walls. Mrs Kloppers, originally from (South Africa's)  Eastern Cape (small world) trained as a taxidermist and has stuffed many of the trophies which loom over us as we order our cool drinks from the bar. After lunch Innocent, Trymore (cook) and Zanele's (driver) stories of overlanding client’s ridiculous questions and expectations, like knowing "what time it will rain exactly?" or "Where are the lions?" have us falling out of our chairs.

The Smell of Rain

The Namibian terrain and climate change quickly and dramatically around us as we venture off on the truck across Namibia. Different smells fill the air here but the smell of a Namibian thunderstorm is something to be appreciated. We are barely 20 minutes out of scorching Seeheim when we are hit by our first glorious downpour. overland africa truck

Going Swimming

Kim’s ball-to-the-wall attitude makes putting our tent up tricky but hilarious to watch. By the final peg we are both brown in mud resembling soldiers in fatigues. The mud is easily washed away with a quick dive into the warm Konkiep Lapa Rest Camp pool. We all huddle under the thatch Lapa where we spend the rest of the evening admiring the sheets of water coming down around us.

Stay Away from the Papsack

One of the girls is tipsy as a tart after sampling 2 glasses of South Africa’s infamous Overmeer box wine (‘papsack’) she was convinced to buy earlier today in the historical town of Bethanie, the first town colonised by the Germans in Namibia. A few of our travelling group enjoy a camping-style swim when they are forced to rescue their belongings from their flooded tents. Nothing can dampen our excitement to reach the Namib Naukluft National Park tomorrow though and see its enormous and vibrant coloured sea of towering sand dunes, Namibia’s iconic attraction. The magical sound of rain hitting the canvas tent carries us off to sleep before tomorrow’s early start. Some have had to abandon their tents as lost causes in the rain and have opted to upgrade to bungalows

Day 6: Namib Naukluft National Park

Catherine, Dan and I are up before the sun to hike up a deceivingly steep hill which proves how embarrassingly unfit I am. The climb is great fun even though my lungs are heaving like a chronic emphysema patient whilst my slow pace is holding up poor Catherine behind me.

Getting Stuck in the Mud

The Namibia’s awesome and fast-changing terrains whizz past the window. We pass through raining red desert expanses, savannah plains, mind-boggling green rocky outcrops and back to flat raining desert before the truck sinks deep into its first sludge pit. Overlanding Africa Truck Freeing it from of the thick brown sludge leaves us dirty but proud at having successfully rescued our mud covered truck with a little (read a lot) of help from the guides.

Dreamy Desert Visions

As we turn in towards Sossusvlei Lodge on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park we all do a double-take at what we see. Deadvlei-and-Sossusvlei Red oxidized dunes which foreground purple jagged mountains in the distance surrounded by golden savannah plains. This place looks as though someone has copy-pasted a Mars landscape into the middle of the Namib Desert. Trymore prepares Sadza (a maize meal pap) for us to taste along with chicken innards and gravy whilst we recuperate from the truck drive under the shade of a oddly-shaped acacia tree. A small group of us go for a 2 hour mountain hike up a steep rocky mountain face to see the beauty of the desert floor stretching out before us in one infinite expanse. Exhausted and happy, we spend the rest of the afternoon watching ground squirrels scurry around camp and listen to the tunes of the social weaver birds overhead. Namib Naukluft Park Camp Site The darkness of the desert lets us all disappear to bed early, dreaming of spending tomorrow surrounded by the beautiful sand towers and desert of Dune 45 and Sossuvlei. Stay tuned for the next installment!

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, africa-overland-tours, fish-river-canyon, namib-naukluft-national-park, namibia, overlanding


Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 1

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
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Tamzyn recently enjoyed a 21 day overland adventure from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. This is the first part of her daily diary entries on her incredible Overlanding Africa experience.

Meeting the Overland Crew

Our pre-trip departure meeting has been postponed until tomorrow as our tour guide's opening speech is drowned out by the noise of a packed pool party at the backpackers. We’ll receive Innocent's official welcome speech when we reach our campsite and the need for a mime rendition is negated. I did however meet some of the interesting travelers I will be sharing the next 21 days with as well as our fantastic friendly crew - 3 Zimbabweans and a Namibian. Everything is ready for a perfect trip and awesome adventure. I have even received my nickname already - Thamsanqa (means lucky in Zulu).

Overlanding Africa Truck

Tomorrow we head into the ragged, rocky towers of the South African Cederberg Mountains north of Cape Town with the chance to enjoy a wine tasting tour before camping at one of the area’s gorgeous wine farms.

Day 2 - Cederberg:

There could not have been a greater start to the trip! Plenty of drive-by photography as we all snapshot the hell out of the some of the insane Cederberg rock formations and the most mind-blowing majestic mountains I have ever seen. Cederberg-Mountain-View

My world for sunscreen

I have committed one of Overlanding’s cardinal sins and forgotten to wear my sunscreen. The scorching sun has turned my window arm bright lobster red and it’s starting to hurt! Ouch. We set up our tents for the first night and choose our new tent buddies before spending the afternoon lounging in a clear and cool blue waters of the pool overlooking the vineyards of The Highlander Wine Estate, getting to know the mixture of characters and personalities in our motley travelling crew. Overlanding Africa learn how to pitch a tent We are a diverse bunch with everything from adventurous Aussie boys and dynamic young Danes, to a hilarious South Korean Police Officer, an entertaining older Englishman and a Canadian. Many of them are seasoned travelers of Asia, South and North America.

Star-sprinkled evenings

We spend a blissfully quite evening under a sparkling star-filled night sky at the vineyard bar before turning in to our tents for our first night on nature’s orthopedic mattress, the ground. Useful Hint: Before choosing a tent buddy asks who snores. Cedarburg Campsite View We are all extremely excited about crossing over South Africa’s largest river the Orange River tomorrow, which is currently in flood and has reached its highest level in 24 years! Our usual campsite is sitting under water, so we are crossing our first border into Namibia to camp on the Namibian side of the riverbank.

Day 3 - Orange River:

A gorgeous sunrise greets us this morning as it rises and lights up the enormous vineyards before we set off on the truck towards Namibia.

On the road

Kim’s, the Police Officer, hilarious stories of life in Korea and travelling through South America keep us laughing our asses off the entire way. Did you know: melons are imported into South Korea and are so expensive that they are given as gifts in boxes? After a roadside lunch of tomato and cheese sandwiches in the dry Karoo heat we arrive in the historic town of Springbok, our last stop before entering Namibia. The Northern Cape’s largest town, Springbok is centred round a strange hill which now shows off some of Namaqualand’s strange floral life. The Namaqualand area is known for its spectacular transformation in spring in which the dry scrub-land bursts forth in a dazzling show of flowers. The heat is frying our brains as it visibly rises off the road in front of and as we cross the flooded Great Orange River and Namibian border. Our first border post of the trip- YIPPEE!!! Overland through Africa Namibia Border Post

Felix Unite, tonight’s campsite on the banks of the Orange River has had its lower bar and lodges flooded. The pool and poolside bar overhanging the river offer up an awesome view and the best spot to watch the sun go down over the river whilst we enjoy a few pre-party drinks.

Felix Unite Deck Orange River

Orange River Punch Anyone?

Tonight is punch night and the entertainment is proudly provided by the duly appointed punch master and punch bitch! A few of us choose to play drinking games and have refreshing late night swims in the camp pool, laughing into the early hours. We are going to regret this in the morning when we have to spend 7 hours on the truck!

Orange River Namibia Punch Night 7's

I wonder if the Fish River Canyon is more or less beautiful when you are wearing vodka/beer/cane/shooter goggles. Stand by for the next installment!

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, camping-safaris-in-africa, cederberg, namibia, orange-river, overlanding-africa, tour-diary


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


Top 5 Swakopmund Activities

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
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Swakopmund is the perfect playground for adventure seekers and you adrenalin junkies. Head into the dune field and spend half a day on a quad bike - it is a must, and for those real daredevils, check out the skydiving too! One of the most gorgeous drop zones in the world. How about up to 80km/hr down a star dune on a sandboard?!

You don't have to be a 25 year old fitness freak to try any of these things - if an 80yr old granny can do it then there is no excuse for anyone else! No experience is necessary.

Our overland tours stay in Swakopmund for at least a day or two, giving you the opportunity to make the desert your playground!

Check out the:

sky dive

Sandboard

quad bike

Paragliding Climb the 50m sand dune as many times as you can to master this form of flight.

Quadbiking Cover up to 60km's as you wind your way through, up and around the mystical dunes...

Sandboarding Sandboarding is not an 'extreme sport' but it certainly will get the blood pumping.

Sky Diving Quote: it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Game Fishing A satisfying day out on the water  is to be had.

For trips to Swakopmund and elsewhere contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com!

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Tags: adventure, namibia, overlandingafrica-com, swakopmund


Top 5 Namibia Tours - We Make It Easy For You!

Monday, May 17th, 2010
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There is so much to see and do in stunning Namibia that we hear it is too hard to choose just 1 trip of a lifetime! Short, medium and long trips (and even longer or shorter if you want) cover the best cultural, wildlife and activity based adventures Namibia has to offer. Camp under the stars or have a bit of luxury in lodges and chalets, travel with a small group or a big one, overland truck or minivan - aaarrgghh, too hard to choose! So we made it easy and picked out the top 5 tours to Namibia - just for you.Namibia Top 5 Tours

Taste Of The Desert - 7 day Cape Town to Swakopmund From the coastal beauty of Cape Town through the arid desert of Namibia this short tour explores the best of both worlds. End it off with some serious adventure in Swakopmund!

Highlights of the Desert - 12 day Cape Town to Windhoek Discover the best Namibia has to offer. From the dry desert valleys in the south through rich cultural areas to some excellent game viewing in the north.

Cape Town to Windhoek Accommodated - 13 day Cape Town to Windhoek Gaze at the spectacle that greeted the early explorers as Table Mountain appears to rise from the sea, then explore the deserts of Namibia where giant sand dunes merge with the cold Atlantic Ocean.

Magic Namibia - 14 day Swakopmund to Victoria Falls So much to see! From the rolling dune fields and adventure paradise of Swakopmund to Namibia's own Matterhorn - Spitzkoppe, the wildlife extravaganza of Etosha to the quiet water of the Okavango Delta. Finish it all off with adrenaline pumping action in Victoria Falls!

Desert, Delta and Tribes - 20 day Victoria Falls to Cape Town Start with the glorious Victoria Falls, continue with the Okavango Delta, a visit to Himba and Bushmen villages and Etosha National Park,  then end at the famous Table Mountain. It doesn't get much better than this! ** (These trips also run in the opposite direction if that makes it easier for your flights!)

For more info about the above trips and any other Overland trips in Africa contact the experts at OverlandingAfrica.com

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Tags: etosha, himba-people, namibia, overland, windhoek-trips


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