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Namibia


Southern Swing Safari

Includes: Fish River Canyon, Luderitz, Sossusvlei

The Southern Swing is a 7 day camping tour that takes in the southern areas of Namibia including; Sossusvlei, the Namib Desert, Lüderitz and the Fish River Canyon. This tour offers an excellent cross-section of southern Namibia and can be combined with its Northern Namibia Safari counterpart, allowing a more comprehensive experience to most of Namibia's traditional highlights.

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Please note:

  • The Southern Swing Safari is run as a camping tour however, for a supplement an upgrade can be made to turn this into an accommodated safari. Enquire upon booking as this is subject to availability.
  • Itinerary is assisted comfortable camping, with participation limited to only helping with the tents.
  • Please note that from the 1 April 2016 this itinerary is slightly ammended on days 3 & 4. Both itineraries appear below.

Camping Safaris | Namibia

  • Southern Swing: Breakfast In The Dunes
  • Southern Swing: Breaking Camp
  • Southern Swing: Camping 100
  • Southern Swing: Campscene-1
  • Southern Swing: Deadvlei
  • Southern Swing: Desert 01
  • Southern Swing: Desert 1
  • Southern Swing: Dunes 10
  • Southern Swing: Dunes 11
  • Southern Swing: Dunes 15
  • Southern Swing: Dunes 18
  • Southern Swing: Dunes 6
  • Southern Swing: Dunes 9
  • Southern Swing: Dune Sunrise
  • Southern Swing: Easy To Put Up
  • Southern Swing: Fish River Canyon 4
  • Southern Swing: Kolmanskop 1
  • Southern Swing: Kolmanskop 2
  • Southern Swing: Kolmanskop 3
  • Southern Swing: Kolmanskop 4
  • Southern Swing: Luderitz Building
  • Southern Swing: Luderitz Building (1)
  • Southern Swing: Nama Musicians
  • Southern Swing: Nama Singing
  • Southern Swing: Tent
  • Southern Swing: Tent In Desert
  • Southern Swing: Thick Foam Mattresses
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Day 1: Windhoek - Kalahari Desert
You will be collected from you accommodation in Windhoek between 07:30 & 08:00 The safari starts heading south on the main highway, travelling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert
that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where we bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari.
The Kalahari Desert often surprises people it is very different to the Namib Desert. This is primarily because the Kalahari is not a true desert, it receives to much rainfall to be classified as such and is actually a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here, the dunes are greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes an ability to support more flora and fauna.
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Camping: Bagatelle Kalahari Game Lodge
Day 2: Kalahari - Fish River
Today starts with an early morning nature drive into Kalahari, before leaving for the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just before reaching Keetmans the tour detours to visit the Mesosaurus Fossil Site and Quiver-tree Forest. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dictomously”. These weird looking plants dot the landscape in this part of the world and are locally common, however they are one of the world’s rarest flora species.
The Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa & Resort is at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon and offers an excellent place to relax in and around the thermal baths & heated swimming pool, especially after a hot, dusty day's drive, the resort is set at a sulphurous hot spring, which makes perfect sense as the name '/ai-/ais' means 'burning water' in the local Nama language
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: Canyon Roadhouse or Ai Ais
Day 3: Fish River - Aus (pre 1 April 2016)
The Fish River Canyon is the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. The towering rock faces
and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth's crust over 500 million years ago. Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view.
Time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination, the tiny town of Aus. We sleep tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch-Plateau region).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping : Campsite at Klein Aus Vista
Day 3: Fish River - Luderitz (after 1 April 2016)
The Fish River Canyon is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth's crust over 500 million years ago. Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view.
Early morning we head to the main view point where we can see how impressive this canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos and to spend some time experiencing this amazing sight. Viewing from the top we can see the river sparkling in the sunlight far below us, and can barely imagine how many millennia it took for the forces of erosion to carve such a magnificent vista.
Time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination the coastal town of Luderitz. It's colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay. On some days a deep iridescent blue, on others grey and stormy or a crisp fresh climate. Fishing boats bob up and down on the Atlantic horizon, penguins and seals dive beneath the waves, collectively giving the town a curious other-worldly allure. We aim to arrive at our guest house during the late afternoon. Dinner will be at client’s own expense tonight.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Guest house in Luderitz
Day 4: Aus - Luderitz - Aus (pre 1 April 2016)
Another early start this morning for the short drive to Luderitz, we travel on the main road and keep a sharp look out for the unique Namib wild horses. These horses are the only feral horses in Namibia and have, very unusually, become adapted to an existence with very limited water. Where they originated from is un-clear, some people think they are the descendants of the horses used by the German cavalry during the First World War. Another theory is that they originally came from a horse farm that used to be run by a German Barron, (von Wolff), in the very early colonial days.
Arrival time in Luderitz allows for a boat cruise around the bay (at own expense). Visit the jackass penguins and Cape fur seals at Halifax Island with the possibility of dolphins swimming alongside your boat en-route.
Following the boat cruise is a drive for 20km out of Luderitz to the desert ghost town of Kolmanskop (also at own expense). Built during the diamond rush it was abandoned when more lucrative discoveries were unearthed further along the coast in the 1920's. Shunned and desolate, the entire town has been invaded by sand.
Lunch today is not included in the programme, this is to allow everybody as much flexibility with their time as possible and to give us the opportunity to sample some of the local cafes. During the middle of the day there is time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz.
Returning to Klein Aus Vista in the late afternoon, the road takes us through the Sperrgebiet or “forbidden Zone".
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Camping : Campsite at Klein Aus Vista
Day 4: Luderitz - Aus (after 1 April 2016)
There is time to join an optional extra excursion, a marine trip, take a cruise around Luderitz bay and weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. N.B: The boat cruise is subject to availability and, if undertaken, will be for the clients own risk and expense. There will be time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture. Later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life and hopefully a few seals. The stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz is also worth a visit.
Straight after the marine trip we drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 20km out of Luderitz. It was built in the 1920's during the diamond rush and was abandoned when bigger and better diamonds were found further along the coast. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word 'ghost'.
Tonight we stay at Klein Aus Vista, a beautiful private reserve in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch-Plateau region). The road takes us through the 'forbidden zone'. In years gone by the alluvial diamonds found in Namibia were simply scattered across the desert. The sunset over the mountains presents the perfect end to the day.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Camping : Campsite at Klein Aus Vista
Day 5: Aus - Sesriem
Turning north, the safari heads deep into the ancient southern Namib Desert, Travelling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding. The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced and we pass time rounded hills & arid terrain with outcrops of tortured rock.
Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change and we cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before giving way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours
glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: Sesriem Campsite
Day 6: Sossusvlei | Namib Desert
A pre dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes and driving into the heart of the dune field, we reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 5 km through the dunes.
The walk is like nothing else, in the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes creating a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert.
Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect.
We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting dune 45, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: Sesriem Campsite
Day 7: Windhoek
After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization. We are due back into the city around 16:00 and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on return
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Mode of transport
Transport for 2 to 4 passengers in a minibus with a purpose built trailer. For 5 to 14 passengers a specially converted safari truck will be used
Number Of Participants
Maximum of fourteen
Included
All transport
Meals as specified in the itinerary
Tea & coffee in camp
All camping equipment
Park entrance & accommodation fees
Guide
Pick-up and drop-off at accommodation in Windhoek
Excluded
Beverages
Sleeping Bag (can be hired)
Tips
Travel Insurance
Other
Itinerary is assisted comfortable camping with participation limited to only helping with the tents
The tents are canvas dome type, which are easy to assemble. The mattress is approximately 5 cm thick with its mattress cover and each client has a camp chair with backrest.
Luggage is limited to one soft, barrel type bag per person with maximum weight of 15kg, one medium sized hand luggage bag, one medium sized camera bag and a sleeping bag.
We suggest a sleeping bag range of '3 – 4 season'. Sleeping bags can be rented by prior arrangement. When selecting your clothing please be aware that Namibian summer temperatures (December - March) can reach 45°C and winter temperatures (June - September) can be as low as -5°C. The rainy season is between December and April.
All evening meals on camping safaris (unless stipulated) are cooked by your guide on an open fire. Salads and fresh vegetables will be served daily where readily available. Fresh fruit will also be supplied when possible. Vegetarians and other dietary requirements can be catered for, but please notify us when booking.
Route & Accommodation
The itinerary above is a guideline only and whilst we try to adhere to it there may be circumstances when it may change - for example weather and/or road conditions, seasonal daylight hours etc. Overnight stops on occasion may be altered from those indicated.

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