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Posts Tagged 'overlanding'

Pack Like Overland Crew

Thursday, May 19th, 2011
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There are varying opinions as to what is best to pack on an overland trip and throughout the years and after hundreds of overland trips one thing stays the same: everybody brings too much stuff! You will not need all that 'stuff', and you will be pleased to know that your overland truck does come fully stocked, kitchen sink and all... Your best bet would be to follow the example set by more seasoned overlanders and who better than the Crew?

Overlander Backpack

Photo By Dan Haneveer

You will find most crew members agree that there are a few key essentials needed in every overlanders backpack.

Key Essentials:

- No suitcase allowed on the truck! Get a backpack instead. Be sure to have a day bag separate from your main bag.

- Sleeping bag! A must for those travellers wanting to doze off with a semblance of comfort.

- Towel: even the ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ highlights the importance of your towel. Never go anywhere without it! Though the above mentioned are sure to be found in any crew members backpack,

I know you will find the following 'must-haves' included in said backpack as well.

Must-haves: - Comfy shoes: 1x sandals (or any kind of open shoes – for the hot African days), 1x hiking shoes (for guided walks and hikes)

- A ‘scarfy’ (scarf) or sarong: perfect for the heat (when moistened it will keep you cool), perfect for the cold (simply wrap it around you, and be cold no more), perfect for dusty and windy conditions (use to shield eyes, ears and mouth against windy and dusty conditions), perfect when you lose your towel.

- A Sweater: a long sleeved sweater to shield against any cold weather. It will also shield against insects on the prowl for something tasty to bite into...

NB: don’t forget to bring along with you a mini first aid kit, just in case.

In Your Day Bag:

Your day bag should include all things that you will need with you during the day, as you may only have the chance to check your main bag in the mornings and evenings. Your day bag is likely to include the necessary to make your day as pleasant as possible, from sunscreen to sunglasses, a water bottle , and your current read.

What to wear?

When it comes to attire Overlanders need not worry about what they look like, no one will throw you dirty looks if you rock the same tee for the next day or two. Important to bring with you is a thick pair of socks, for those heavy duty walks that are almost guaranteed to crop up.

To prepare for the unpredictability of Africa’s weather it is recommended to pack at least one form of long trousers, and at least one form of short trousers, along with practical and easy to wash clothing. The only 'Cats' you see have nothing to do with the catwalk, so forget fashion and opt for comfort instead.

The basics are really all you need to bring with you on your Overlanding Africa trip. In addition to the above mentioned essentials, don’t forget to pack your lust for adventure, an open mind and the willingness to muck-in. Come prepared, and expect the unexpected – easy hey!

For all your overlanding requirements and advice, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com

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Tags: overlanding, overlanding-africa, overlanding-tips, overlanding-trip, overlanding-truck, what-to-pack

Are You an Overlander at Heart?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
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Overlanders are a rare breed. Being an adventurer that revels in trekking terrains off the beaten track, willingly signing up for weeks upon weeks of roughing it, all in the name of experiencing the wilds of Africa. Surely this is only something a mad man would do... right?  Well, sanity is quite relative in this case.

Overlanders getting stuck in it

True overlanders will be the first to tell you that an overlanding trip is anything but cushy; however, they keep coming back for more. It seems the rewards gained from living life for a few weeks as a nomad and traversing the lap of the land draws overlanders back like a moth to the flame.

Overlanders Camp Site

Here’s a quick ‘health’ check to see if your heart drums to an overlanding Africa beat:

  • You’re sick and tired of eating pasta
  • The 'smell' doesn’t bother you anymore
  • Showers are a convenience
  • A 7am start to the morning has you feeling like a sloth
  • Going to bed at 11pm is late for you
  • The burn marks in your clothes are evidence of nightly campfires
  • You can’t tell which are your feet and which are your sandals
  • Brushing your hair has become a distant memory
  • You’ve got setting up camp and tents down to an art
  • You keep wondering why the smoke from the campfire makes a beeline directly for you – always!
  • You have adopted the “thirty second rule” (where any seat left vacant around the campfire for more than thirty seconds is up for the taking)
  • The “five second rule” is your friend (any piece of food dropped on the floor is still edible if retrieved within 5 seconds)
  • Night swimming in the nude is becoming the norm

If you have found yourself nodding fondly to any of the above mentioned checklist, then chances you’re an overlander at heart, and if instead you’re nodding your head in eager anticipation then you need to get yourself on an overlanding truck, pronto!

Life as an Overlander

On the Overlanding Africa website, you will find all the information needed to transform the niggling urge into a very real and vivid adventure. Explore the world and get to know yourself.

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Tags: history-of-overlanding-africa, overlanders, overlanding, overlanding-africa, overlanding-tips, overlanding-tour, overlanding-trip, overlanding-truck, review, travel

African Wildlife from an Overlanding Truck

Monday, May 9th, 2011
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Africa's wildlife spectacle is actually quite easy and inexpensive to access, if you've got the mettle of an overlander. Of course there are silver-service bush camps dotted throughout the wilds of Africa offering bespoke game viewing experiences, but unless you're on a film star's salary, chances are these types of safaris are something you'll save for later, and besides we've got an option that is infinitely more entertaining. Budget African travel from Overlanding Africa is definitely your best opportunity to experience Africa, her wildlife, landscapes, cultures and cities, plus you'll do it with a bunch of like-minded people whose agenda begins with fun and ends with good times.

Here's a fraction of the wildlife roaming Africa:

Wildlife Wonders:

Armadillo in Africa

Armidillo in Africa

Waterhole reflections

Buck drinking water

Cheetah Cubs in a Tree

Cheetah cubs perched in a tree

A Herd of the Gentle Giants, Elephants

Elephant herd

Giraffes at an African Sunset

Giraffes at sunset

A Horse Rider in Cameroon

Horserider in Cameroon

Quirky Meerkats


Wild Dog Pups


The Greatest Show on Earth, Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest migration


Zebras reflection

Although there's no best time to visit Africa, generally the Southern Hemisphere winter tends to offer better game viewing in Africa, the sparser vegetation and general decline in water availability means wildlife is easier to spot and animals reliably congregate around water holes.

If you're interested in visiting Africa on a budget holiday see our Overlanding Africa Tours page, or get in touch with one of our overlanding travel consultants, they're veterans of overlanding Africa trips and will excite you into an itchy feet frenzy about experiencing Africa from a truck.

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Tags: adventure, africa, animals, cape-town, drc, egypt, ethiopia, images, landscape, mozambique, overlanders, overlanding, photography, south-africa, travel, trips, waterfall, wildlife

Our Overlanding Africa Images

Monday, May 9th, 2011
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We were trawling through the image database last week, a little house keeping before the overlanding season kicks off, and while slotting images into the correct folders we pulled out a few of our photographs to wet your appetite. Here's 16 snapshots of what it's like to go overlanding in Africa. Overlanding Exclusives: Dune Climbing in Sossusvlei, Namibia

Overlanders dune climbing in Sossusvlei, Namibia

Game Drive at Sunset

Overlanders game drive at sunset

Game Ride on Horseback

Overlanders horseback game ride

Lake Malawi Water-skiing

An overlander water-skiing at Lake-Malawi

Overlanders in Okavango Delta, Botswana

Overlanders enjoying lunch in the Okavango Delta

Overlanders Getting their Feet Wet

Overlanders getting their feet wet

Overlander Restroom

An Overlander restroom

Overlanding Beach Drive

An Overlanding beach drive

Overlanding Tent Site

A typical overlanding tent site

Overlanding Truck Stuck

Overlanding truckstuck

Overlanding Truck Stop

Overlanding truck stop


An Overlander Paragliding


Quad Bike Adventure

An overlander quad biking in Namibia

Overlanders Recycle

Overlanders recycle

Skydiving in Namibia

Overlanders Skydiving in Nambia

White River Rafting Adventure

Overlanders white-river rafting

If any of the images above struck a chord with you, or enticed that travel bug to rear its adventurous head, have a gander at our Overlanding Africa Tours page, we've got a 164 trips for you to explore Africa.

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Tags: adventure, africa, animals, cape-town, drc, egypt, images, landscape, mozambique, overlanders, overlanding, photography, south-africa, travel, trips, waterfall, wildlife

Our Top 5 Overlanding Africa Trips

Thursday, May 5th, 2011
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Overlanders across the planet will be the first to tell you that an Overlanding trip will more or less wreck your ambitions for one day sitting at a desk and a being a responsible corporate type. Yip, these trips are that much fun, and almost without exception, feed that greedy travel bug, just enough to fatten the little #%&%#@$ up. Beware the gluttonous travel bug people! A post-trip daydream of adventure spanning the length and breadth of this planet is your doggy bag from an overland truck trip… you simply have to get your butt onto an overland truck, it’s the best way to see the crazy beauty that is Africa. So first timers, the overlanding virgins, and seasoned overlanders, these are our 5 most popular overlanding trips in Africa!

1. Wildlife Wonderland

wildlife-overlanding africa tours










This particular trip covers some of the best game parks in Africa. Starting in Nairobi, traversing the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and finally finishing up in Nairobi, 8 action-packed days later. This trip is a great introduction to the wilds of East Africa. Visit Overlanding Africa to find out more about the Wildlife Wonderland Trip.

2. Nairobi to Cape Town Epic:

Nairobi to Cape Town Epic Overland Trip

Thread together tons of game spotting, meeting the local tribes, kicking back on beaches and a few adrenaline sports thrown in to keep your pulse bouncing and you've got a proper African expedition, we call it The Nairobi to Cape Town Epic, this overlanding trip does everything it says on the can. Get your memories of a life time on Overlanding Africa's Nairobi to Cape Town Epic.

3. Discover South West Africa:

Discover South West Africa Overlanding Tour

This trip is hands down, our best-seller. It's 21 days of great game viewing, local tribes, adventure sports and dramatic scenery ranging from beautiful desolation in the Namib to the lush abundance of the Okavango. This overland trip takes you from the mighty Victoria Falls through Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, finishing up in the Mother City, Cape Town. Seriously, could you plan a better 21 days anywhere?! This journey gets a massive thumbs up, get full details on the Discover South West Africa overland trip here

4. Kruger to Victoria Falls:

Kruger Park to Victoria Falls overlanding africa trip

Discover the beautiful Mpumalanga Province en route to the world famous Kruger National Park where two days of game drives, wildlife and the Big 5 lie in wait. We explore the Polokwane Game Reserve on foot before a couple of days in Botswana and Zambia. A day in Livingstone is just a taste of the adrenaline adventures that await you at your destination, Vic Falls. Got 7 days? Want to have your world rocked? See our Kruger to Vic Falls overlanding trip.

5. Ultimate Trans Africa Expedition:

Trans Africa overland trip

This is the ultimate African adventure, actually, this is the ultimate adventure period. 280 days from London to Cairo is for the adventurous only. If you like pressed linen and daily showers stop reading now, if you love grit, getting stuck in, camaraderie and life altering experiences set against the most magnificent scenery on the planet then have a look at our tour itinerary for the Ultimate Trans Africa Expedition.

The Overlanding trips mentioned above are the top 5 overlanding trips we offer, but they're by no means the only trips. We have 164 overlanding trips on our books and that number is growing. We can advise you, assist you and even tailor make a trip for you, contact Overlanding Africa and get trucking!

For detailed information on these trips, and how to get yourself a seat on a overland truck, visit the Overlanding Africa website.


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Tags: africa, cape-town, east-africa, nairobi, overlanders, overlanding, overlanding-africa, overlanding-trip, overlanding-truck, review, south-africa, south-west-africa, top-5-trips, travel, trip, west-africa

Cape Town to Victoria Falls Tour- Tamzyn’s Travel Diary Part 8

Monday, April 11th, 2011
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Epic, wonderful, spectacular - words that fall frighteningly short of what the feeling of wanderlust accomplished presents... Read on for the final tale of Tamzyn’s 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip. Zimbabwe campsite

Day 22: Victoria Falls

Today is my last day at Victoria Falls and reaching the end of my Overlanding Africa trip is very disheartening. I keep thinking that this tour cannot get any more exciting, any more wonderful or any more spectacular and then I wake up and something else comes along to prove me wrong! An overlanding trip is absolutely the greatest African adventure!

Vic Falls Gorge Swing

Cliff-Diving Head First

We are going out with a bang and opted for the many hair-raising extreme activities on offer around Victoria Falls. There is so much for us to choose from: lion walks, elephant back safaris, gorge swinging, bungee jumping, grade 5 white water rafting, and helicopter flights over the falls. In the end we decide to toss our logic out the window and opt for the gorge swing, zip-line and flying fox package; or as was eloquently put by one of my overlanding tour buddies “to jump head first off three platforms down a bottomless gorge for no other reason than to scare ourselves sh##less”!

Flying Fox

The gorge swing is the highlight of the day! We look like a group of mentally insane patients; climbing up onto our hands before being pushed off the platform and diving 70 metres head first, along the cliff face before swinging out above the furious brown waters of the Zambezi River below.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Park

After all that monumental adventure we have the afternoon left to walk along the length of the roaring white waters of Victoria Falls and appreciate the different viewpoints of Mosi-oa-Tunya: The Smoke that Thunders. The seemingly endless curtain of water gushes with immense power and force rushing down the side of the steep chasm at over 545 million litres per minute and sending a towering cloud of spray spiralling up into the air. We are so dumbstruck by the sight of Victoria Falls, we don’t even notice that we are all soaked from head to toe in the shower of spray.

Booze Cruise Boys Group Photo

Day 23: It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

It’s a sad and difficult farewell to my new found friends and the overlanding truck, the flight from the airport marks the end of my awesome adventure filled overland journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. I saw some fantastic sights, experienced and explored more of Africa than I could have ever dreamed of and met inspiring and friendly locals - as well as making a bunch of new friends and amazing memories. These have only fed my wanderlust for overland trips through Africa.

To find out more about overland tour trips in Africa contact the OverlandingAfrica team or post your comments below. You can also check out the Cape Town to Victoria Falls Tour Itinerary and the next available Overlanding tour dates.

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Tags: africa, africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, botswana-chobe-national-park, gorge-swinging, mopane-worms, mosi-oa-tunya, overlanding, victoria-falls, wunderlust, zimbabwe

Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 7

Monday, April 11th, 2011
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Tamzyn's 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls Overland trip continues in full force. Read on for the penultimate account of this epic adventure.

4x4 safari in Chobe

Day 19: Chobe National Park

Botswana’s Chobe National Park is where we are headed today. Elephants literally line the roadside on our way to the park, so close to our Overlanding truck we can almost reach out and touch them. We come across two breeding herds with their adorable babies in tow. After our ten-hour overlanding truck ride we arrive at our Chobe camp site and spend the afternoon exploring, reading and enjoying the cool waters of the pool. Tantalizing Treats Trymore (the official cook) whips up a scrumptious meal of sadza (maize map) and peanut butter relish which we all wolf down greedily before listening to the next day’s itinerary. Then we all spin off to find a quiet spot under the star studded sky and listen to the hippos and hyenas calling to us from the other side of the fence. Aside from a few camp sites, nothing else is fenced in Chobe and you can often see herds of elephants, buck and even the odd lion walking down the main street. How frickin’ cool is that!

Cape Buffalo Chobe

Day 20: Chobe National Park

We have an early start this morning for a 5:30 am game drive through the Thebe Area of the Chobe National Park, and we are spoilt for choice with some of the insane game viewing. Hippos, elephants, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, impala and baboons, we get to see it all and plenty of it! The Chobe National Park is one of the best game viewing areas left in the whole of Africa and is home to the biggest surviving elephant population. We all can’t believe how lucky we are to be appreciating this buffet of wildlife in such a lush setting.

Mopane Worms

After lunch we walk into the Village of Kasane and explore the local markets and food vendor stalls lining the streets. There is a variety of local cuisine to try, but I can’t quite wrap my head around biting into a dried fish head and so opt for a Mopane Worm instead. They are a bit salty and taste like sardines. So much for being a vegetarian…as they say: ‘when in Rome...’!

Campsite in Chobe National Park

Cruising the Four Borders

Our sunset cruise takes us to the meeting point of the four borders of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia and gets us up close to an enormous elephant bull wading on the river bank. It is fascinating to watch the herds of elephants greeting each other, playing in the shallows and protecting their babies from the lurking crocodiles. You get such a sense of the intelligence, gentleness and strong family bonds of the herds. We even see a crocodile try to sneak up on a baby elephant- it’s exciting stuff!

Day 21: Victoria Falls

We cross our final border into Zimbabwe today. It’s an hour’s drive to Victoria Falls and as we round the corner we can see the impressive spray and mist clouds rising up from kilometres away. Victoria Falls in full force

Exploring Victoria Falls I meet Sunshine, a born and bred Rastafarian local who offers to show me around Victoria Falls on an exclusive personal tour. He leads me around the local arts and craft market, introducing me to his friends and their stalls crammed with curios and hand crafted wares. Everyone is extremely welcoming and accepting and keen to show me their sculpting, beading and weaving skills that their parents have passed down to them.

The Big Tree

Sunshine and I then hike along the banks of the powerful Zambezi River, which is in full and furious flow at the moment. He shows me the local fishing and swimming spots before we head off to see the Big Tree of Victoria Falls. The dramatic 16 metre high baobab is around 1,500 years old and could easily take twelve people to form a chain around it. The tree is like a map to the history of the town with carvings from as early as 1930!

Watch this space for the final installment of Tamzyn's epic adventure. [Read part 8 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-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, botswana, botswana-chobe-national-park, mopane-worms, overlanding, victoria-falls

Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 6

Saturday, April 9th, 2011
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The Okavango Delta, yet another highlight on Tamzyn's 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip, the good times just keep rolling in.

Day 16: The Okavango Delta

We’re in the Delta!

Mokoro riding through the Okavango Delta

We had an early start, left our overlanding truck behind and after an hour’s 4x4 drive arrived at the poling station to load up our mokoro’s (local canoes made from hollowed out trees) and set off into the unfenced bush of the Okavango Delta. Our mokoro poler, Elijah Daniel, was very friendly, knowledgeable and quite skilled at poling our large butts and luggage through the cool waterways and Okavango Delta channels. All we had to do was relax and enjoy the lily pad lined waterways, run our fingers through the cool water and listen to reeds swish along the side of the mokoro. Life on an overland trip sure is tough!

Elijah Our Okavango Delta Poler

Nature Calls in the Bush

We set up our Okavango Delta camp under the shade of an enormous sausage tree and got shown the bathroom: a spade, a hole and a roll of toilet paper.  We were camping proper bush style and loving it. The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta and its different habitats and labyrinth of waterways and lagoons support a wide variety of animals, from hippos to wild dogs, elephants, rhino and lion.

Learning to Drive a Mokoro

Then it was our turn to try a hand at being a poler! Our antics had the polers in stitches and they soon had to come to my rescue and keep reminding me how to steer!

Learning how to pole through the Okavango delta

There were a few wobbly starts and some of us spent a lot of time stuck in the reeds, but once we got the hang of it we were racing excitedly across the shallow pool, crashing into each other and steering round the reeds.

Sunset Safari Okavango Delta Game Walk

After we half-heartedly made our way back to the banks and handed over our poles we headed off to explore the grassy plains and try our luck at spotting some game. Bolly, our guide, knew plenty about the spoor (animal tracks) and plants that we found, teaching us the various uses of wild sage and how to make palm wine.

Mokoro ride at sunset through the Okavango Delta

Day 17: The Magical Okavango Delta

This morning we hopped back into our mokoro’s and steered our way to another island for our second guided walk through the golden grasslands on which we saw giraffe, a duiker and a honey badger. But that didn’t beat walking thigh deep through the water channels and getting our shoes stuck in the thick mud.

walking safari in the Okavango Delta

A Village Visit

We also visited the nearby village of Xaraxao and tasted Chibuku/shake shake (Sorghum Beer) before chasing down and catching the chicken for our dinner pot. A

Mokoro Cruise in Hippo Pool

After a quiet afternoon around camp, catching up and reading our books we packed our drink of choice and poled our way to Hippo Pool to watch the sun sink below the glittering water and light up the lilies. It was a fitting end to an unbelievable overlanding trip into the Okavango Delta. Great conversation with the polers, stunning waterway views and wildlife spotting - the Delta is paradise on earth!

Dancing Around the Fire

Back at our bush camp, our polers treated us to songs, story telling and traditional dancing around the roaring fire. Then it was our turn to entertain them, although our rendition of “Yellow Submarine” and “In the Jungle” was more of a torture than a show!

Day 18: Celebrating my Birthday in the Okavango Delta

Zebra's in the Okavango Delta

I turned 22 in the Okavango Delta and I couldn’t think of a more idyllic setting or better birthday present than this Overland adventure. On our early morning walk we got up close to a herd of zebra running through the plains and across the watering hole.

Back to Reality, Almost

We were all extremely sad at having to pull down our tents, pack up our mokoro’s and leave the magical Okavango Delta. I even tried to convince Elijah to keep on rowing and help me learn to live like Robinson Crusoe surviving on water lily soup and palm wine, but he wasn’t interested.

Truck ride back from the Okavango Delta

Bottoms Up in Maun

Elijah and some other polers met up with us in Maun and showed us around the sleepy town and it’s shebeens, before we carried the party back to the bar at Sitatunga camp site and danced our last Maun night away. Stay tuned for Tamzyn's penultimate 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: africa, africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, botswana, okavango-delta, overlanding

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.


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.


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.

Subscribe by email Now you can get our latest posts delivered to your inbox as they go live!

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