CAMPING ADVENTURE IN KAOKOLAND

13 Night / 14 Day Guided Camping Safari

safari-Button

This guided tour is for adventure lovers and will take you into the remote areas in northern Namibia. You will explore Etosha National Park and then go “off the beaten track” into the breathtaking Kaokoland, the land of the Himba. You travel through picturesque dry river valleys in search of big game. Passing along mountains and through grasslands, you will encounter the Himba people who roam the land with their cattle. The tour takes you through Marienfluss Valley and past the mystical ‘fairy circles’ to the Kunene River. Listen to the crackling campfire, whilst ‘wild camping’ and let the African bush whisper to you at the end of the day. Making your way back to Sesfontein, you travel through the scenic river valleys Khumib, Hoarusib and Hoanib. Explore the beauty of the Damaraland and the Erongo Mountains before you head back to Windhoek.

Accommodation will be in spacious 2-person-tents, with lodge accommodation on the first and last nights of the tour. You will be accompanied by an experienced driver-guide and a cook.

When joining this expedition-like tour, please bring flexibility and a good sense of humour. As road conditions may change, it is difficult to pre-plan the day-by-day itinerary down to the smallest detail. We will take you to unexplored sites making this a true adventure.

Highlights

Day 1-7 | Namibia

  • Khomas highland: Farm drive
  • Etosha National Park: Game drives, game viewing at the floodlit waterhole
  • Grootberg: Mountain pass with spectacular views
  • Camp Aussicht: Fantastic views, tour of dioptase mine
  • Marienfluss Valley: Breathtaking landscapes and ‘fairy circles’
  • Kunene River: Relaxing, swimming in the Kunene pools

Day 8-14 | Namibia

  • Orupembe: Marble mine, hiking, Himba village visit (optional)
  • Khumib River Valley: Game drives, viewpoints
  • Purros: Himba village visit (optional), game drive in Hoarusib River valley, desert elephants, Purros canyon, ‘clay castles’
  • Hoanib River Valley: Game drives
  • Sesfontein: Fort Sesfontein, Ongongo waterfall
  • Huab River Valley: Guided hiking, farm drive (optional), hot water springs, spa, ‘sounds of silence’
  • Erongo Mountains: San ‘Living Museum’, farm drive (optional)
  • Okahandja: Curio market

Facts

Camping Safari:
Camping Adventure in Kaokoland
Tourcode: NA14CAKAOK
From: Windhoek
To: Windhoek
Min number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: Privat Safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price: on request
Single Supplement: on request

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek, Namibia – Khomas highland, Namibia

Distance approx. 80 km, driving time approx. 2 h

Upon arrival at the airport in Windhoek (by latest 12:00) and after completing the immigration formalities you will be greeted by your guide. Drive via Windhoek in a northerly direction to the Safari Guest Farm Düsternbrook, where you will have time to rest a little and freshen up after checking in. In the late afternoon, you will take a scenic drive in the 14,000 ha game reserve (optional). Here you will see oryx, springbok and with a little luck, hippos and giraffes. The old farmhouse has a view over the savannah and a river bed where wild animals come to drink. Enjoy a tasty Namibian farm-style dinner and your first night in Africa. You will overnight in rooms at Düsternbrook Safari Guest Farm (or similar).

Dinner

Day 2 | Khomas highland, Namibia – Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

After packing the luggage and a short briefing by your guide, you leave the farm to head north. There will be time for some shopping and to have some lunch (not included in price) in Otjiwarongo. Today’s destination is the Etosha National Park, which was established in 1907 and is one of the most attractive national parks of southern Africa. The moment you enter the park through Anderson Gate, the hunt with camera and binoculars for the park residents begins. You will reach the Okaukuejo Rest Camp in the late afternoon, in time to set up your campsite for the night before the sun sets. After dinner, you can head to the floodlit waterhole, the “wild cinema” where you will see animals coming to drink during the night. Dress warmly!

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3 | Etosha National Park, Namibia –  Kamanjab, Namibia

Distance approx. 330 km; driving time approx. 6-7 h, depending on game sighting

After breakfast, you break up camp and embark on an extensive safari in our 4×4 vehicle. Explore the west of the park in search of elephants, rhinos, giraffes, the rare black-faced impala, lions and cheetahs. Stop at waterholes along the way, where you are most likely to witness elephants bathing or see other animals that come to drink. You will have a short picnic stop for lunch. In the late afternoon, you leave the park through the Galton Gate in the west. You will continue to Kamanjab, where you will set up camp for the night.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4 | Kamanjab, Namibia – Camp Aussicht, Namibia

Distance approx. 270 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

You leave Kamanjab and drive over the impressive Grootberg Pass, with its breathtaking views. Photo stops along the way, will allow you to capture the astounding landscapes. Continue north; now your real off-road adventure begins. A rugged road through bush country leads up to a high plateau, where you will camp tonight. The owner has been mining dioptase gemstones in this mountain for several decades. After a light lunch, you visit hand-dug tunnels on a guided tour (optional), where you will learn interesting facts about this blue-green mineral. You will spend the night at the rustic Camp Aussicht (‘camp with a view’) with views over Damaraland.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5 | Camp Aussicht, Namibia – Opuwo – Hoarusib region, Namibia

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 6-7 h

Enjoy the beautiful scenery for the last time before heading to remote Opuwo, the gateway to Kaokoland. The town is situated in the north west of Namibia and is home to the Himba people. Due to the seclusion of Kaokoland, the Himba have largely been able to preserve their ethnic identity and culture. On the streets, you will also see Herero and other distinctive ethnic groups. Here in this lively town you can bargain for souvenirs and jewellery and stock up on snacks and drinks for the upcoming days in the wilderness. The journey towards Orupembe takes you through rocky dry landscapes and rough terrain. You will pass Himba villages and herders with cattle and goat herds. Before sunset you set up camp in a dry river bed for a night of wild camping. Enjoy the wide starry expanse of the night sky and enjoy a cooked dinner around the campfire.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6-7 | Hoarusib region, Namibia – Marienflusstal, Namibia

Distance day 7 approx. ca. 150 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h

Today you will drive north through the Marienfluss Valley. You traverse on sandy tracks through a breathtaking valley surrounded by mountains. This area is known for its ‘fairy circles’ – circular patches of barren soil surrounded by rings of grass. For decades, scientists have tried to explain the origin of these circles but no one knows for sure… In the afternoon you will reach a campsite directly on the Kunene River, where you pitch your tents and stay for the next two nights. Relax on the banks of the river and enjoy this idyllic and unspoilt area. Don’t swim here as the water is teeming with crocodiles; not far from the campsite are rocky pools where you can cool off. Fall asleep to the faint rushing of the river tonight.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 8 | Marienfluss Valley, Namibia – Marble Campsite, Namibia

Distance approx. 100 km; driving time approx. 3-4 h

Through varied landscapes of desert-like plains and gigantic mountains your journey takes you back through the Marienfluss Valley, past the signposted red drum and up to Marble Campsite surrounded by mopane trees and small rocky hills. This campsite, managed by the local Himba people, can only be reached by 4×4. Two huge marble rocks hark back to the camp’s mining history. Explore the area on foot – there are two marked walking trails – or visit a nearby Himba village (optional). You will spend the night at the oasis-like Marble Campsite where there are warm showers and helpful locals.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9 | Marble Campsite, Namibia – Purros, Namibia

Distance approx. 80 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h, depending on game sightings

After breakfast you embark on a game drive to look for game that roams along the Khumib River. From the lookout points you will get a unique perspective of the landscape. Your picnic will be set up in the shade, where you can relax and enjoy lunch. From Khumib you will head into the river bed of the Hoarusib, which will take you to the Purros Campsite, also run by the local Himba community. Enjoy some free time or maybe visit a nearby Himba village to see their craft. In the afternoon, you will join another game drive along the dry Hoarusib River. The unique feature of this area is the steep cliffs and river banks formed from black and red volcanic rock. Vegetation around the river supports animal life in the form of springbok, desert elephants, giraffes and oryx. You will return to the campsite for sundowners. If you have not seen an elephant today, you might be lucky tonight as is not unusual for a herd of elephants to travel through the campsite now and then.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 10 | Purros, Namibia – Warmquelle, Namibia

Distance approx. 180 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h, depending on game sightings

You leave Purros today and travel south. Crossing the Purros Canyon you will stop at the ‘Clay Castles’ and explore the temple-like formations on a short hike. The white clay contrasts against the dark granite rock in surreal ways. Continue through the unique stone desert that resembles a lunar landscape to the dry Hoanib river valley. This area is surrounded by plateaus and home to the adapted desert elephants and other big game. You will stop for a picnic at ‘Elephant Song Village’, an abandoned campsite. The old waterhole is often visited by large groups of elephants and other game bathing and drinking.

Driving back to civilization you will stop at Fort Sesfontein, built as a control-post against cattle plague, poaching and smuggling of fire arms in 1896. The fort was renovated into a lodge with pool and restaurant. A small German military cemetery nearby can be visited. After freshening up, you continue to the Warmquelle Camp, your last campsite for the trip. Tonight will be the last supper around the campfire – enjoy the dark night skies and silence.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 11-12 | Warmquelle, Namibia – Damaraland, Namibia

Distance approx. 270 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h

After breakfast you will go see the nearby Ongongo Waterfall. The natural pool with its crystal clear spring water at the foot of the small waterfall is perfect for a swim. After a few nights in a tent you can now look forward to two days of relaxation at the beautiful Huab Lodge. The rest of the day is free; relax in the thermal pool, book a massage or go bird watching – there are 210 bird species in the area. The next morning starts with a guided hike, where you will learn more about the farm as well as plants and animals found in the area. An optional game drive through the Huab Valley can be booked. Alternatively, go for a hike or relax at the pool. In the evening you can enjoy an excellent meal served by the lodge’s staff. Explore the dark night skies with the lodge’s telescope.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 13 | Damaraland, Namibia – Erongo Mountains, Namibia

Distance approx. 280 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h

Today you will travel southeast to the Erongo Mountains, a relic of an ancient volcano and roughly circular in shape. Tonight’s destination, the luxurious Erongo Wilderness Lodge, is set amongst the boulders of this mountain. En route, you can stop at Omandumba near Omaruru, where you will have the opportunity to visit the ‘living museum’ of the San – perfect to gain an insight into the everyday life and traditions of the four resident San families. In the afternoon you will reach Erongo Wilderness Lodge, where you can join a guided nature drive or a guided walk to the Bushman rock art at Paula’s Cave (both optional). Alternatively, explore the area on your own or simply relax at the rock pool or on your private deck. You will stay in a tented chalet and have supper on the lodge’s deck overlooking a waterhole and huge boulders.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14 | Erongo Mountains, Namibia –  Windhoek, Namibia

Distance approx. 230 km; driving time approx. 3-4 h

After waking up to birdsong you will have a hearty breakfast on the deck before departing on the last stretch of your safari. En route to Windhoek there will be time to stop at the craft market in Okahandja to buy hand-carved souvenirs, wood carvings, basket work or jewellery. Arriving in Windhoek you will be taken either to the airport or a hotel of your choice (optional), depending on your plans for the onward journey.

Breakfast

Includes

  • Guided camping safari as per the itinerary
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in lodges or guest farms as indicated in the itinerary (depending on availability, alternative accommodation of a similar category)
  • 9 nights’ camping in a 2-person dome tent
  • Sleeping mats and camping furniture (except sleeping bag and pillow)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary, prepared at the campsites by our chef
  • All national park fees

Excludes

  • Flights (international and domestic)
  • Sleeping bag, pillow, towels
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages (alcohol and soft drinks)
  • Optional activities
  • Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance

Gallery

Frequently Asked Questions

Adventure and seclusion. A camping safari has the advantage of being so much closer to nature – you will smell the bush, hear the sounds of animals at night and spend time around the campfire looking up at the stars. Your safari experience will be all the more intense as you are ‘right in the middle’. Not only will you see pristine places and experience good game viewing, you will also gain an insight into the different cultures of Namibia. In order to experience Namibia in all its facets, long driving distances are inevitable.

 

A guided camping safari is perfect for nature lovers and people who are looking for a break from civilisation and its comforts. Experience Namibia’s true wilderness and exchange luxury for adventure. As road conditions may change, it is difficult to pre-plan the day-by-day itinerary down to the smallest detail. So please bring flexibility and a good sense of humour. The groups consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of six people. Not only couples and friends, but also solo travellers join our guided camping safaris. Come with us, sit back and experience an unforgettable adventure.

Our qualified and registered guides know the fauna, flora, people and roads of Namibia like the back of their hand and have many years of driving experience on gravel roads. They have a passion for Namibia and love nothing more than sharing interesting facts and stories about the country. Your guide is also your cook. However, we ask you to assist in preparing the food in order that your guide can work his or her magic in the bush kitchen.

With only a few exceptions, all meals are included on a camping safari. Breakfast generally includes eggs, bacon and/or sausage, bread, jams, rusks and hot drinks (coffee and tea). Lunch will mostly be a picnic with sandwiches and salad and on some days, there will be lunch packs. At night, a cooked 3-course meal (snack/light starter, main course and campfire dessert) will be served.

When booking with us, please notify us of any dietary requirements and/or allergies you might have.

The day usually starts at sunrise and ends at sunset. In general, departure times in the mornings are quite flexible and can be arranged in consultation with the guide and the rest of the group. As your guide knows his or her way around and is familiar with the driving times and distances, he or she will decide what time to leave. Lunch will be taken at a spot along the way. When arriving at the next camping site, you will set up the camp and help your guide preparing supper. After supper you can chat or enjoy the night skies or crawl into your tent to fall asleep to the sounds of the African bush. Depending on the activities planned, you will break up camp after breakfast. When travelling in Africa, keep an open mind and be flexible as delays may happen due to unforeseen circumstances.

 

We use specially designed and customised Toyota Land Cruisers with large sliding windows and pop-up roofs for great game viewing and vistas. The passenger compartment comprises six individual and comfortable seats which provide great comfort while travelling. A window seat is guaranteed for each guest.

We provide 2-person tents (2.5 m x 2.5 m, 1.80 m high) which are waterproof and have built-in mosquito nets at the entrance and windows. Furthermore, comfortable 5-cm thick sleeping mats will be supplied by us as well as sturdy camp furniture (tables and chairs) and functional cutlery and crockery. We only use the best quality camping equipment and gear to ensure you all comfort you could wish for. On our camping safaris, your assistance in setting up and taking down the camp is recommended and appreciated.

Passport:

You need a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Namibia and have at least three blank pages.

Visa:

Most nationalities travelling to Namibia for holiday purposes do not require a visa for up to 90 days. Nevertheless, visa requirements are constantly changing – please contact Namibia’s embassy in your home country. Namibia-Experience cannot be held responsible if you are refused entry and cannot begin your trip. All costs incurred due to a delay in travelling are for the traveller’s account.

If you travel with children via South Africa to Namibia: From 1 June 2015, all passengers under 18 years old, arriving in and departing from South Africa, will be required by law to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.

Other:

You must have a valid return flight ticket or other onward travel documents which allow you to leave the country when your trip ends. Otherwise you must provide proof that you have sufficient funds (i.e. credit card) to purchase a return ticket.

Since you will be staying outside your home country, you are not covered by your personal health insurance. You will be treated as a private patient and must be adequately insured for. Also check whether your personal liability covers damage when travelling outside of your country.

Although the tour price includes most meals, entry fees to national parks and accommodation, you still need to plan for other expenses. Plan for optional activities (game drives, boat trips, cultural visits etc), tipping, souvenirs, extra meals and drinks. Tipping in Namibia is a reward for good service and is at the guest’s discretion. If you want to tip your Namibia-Experience guide, we suggest about 150 – 220 N$ per group per day.

The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$) and is traded at 1:1 to the South African Rand. South African Rands can also be used as payment in Namibia. You can draw cash at a local ATM with your credit card or Maestro card (PIN required). Transaction fees depend on your bank and the establishment which you are using it at.

In many big shops/shopping malls you can pay with credit card. At smaller shops and at some fuel stations you can only pay cash. Furthermore, we recommend having cash for emergencies and small purchases such as curios or at markets as well as for tips.

Traveller’s cheques are not recommended. They are rarely accepted because of fraud, high fees and long waiting times at the exchange.

The travel destination and season will determine what to pack. Bear in mind that Namibia is in the southern hemisphere with opposite seasons to the USA and Europe. Namibia’s summer (with intermittent thunder showers) is from December to February and the dry winter months are from June to September.

Bring warm clothes if you travel between April to September, which you will need especially in the evening, at night and in the early morning. Even in summer include long trousers, closed shoes and a long sleeve shirt – these will help against mosquitos, which are mainly found in the north of Namibia and in the Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip).

Due to limited space in our safari vehicles, please restrict your luggage to no more than 15 kg and one small hand luggage. The best bags to bring with you on safari are definitely soft shell bags. NO SUITCASES PLEASE! Hard shell bags are often too big and bulky.

 

Here is a rough checklist for clothing:

  • Warm jacket, warm pullover
  • Wind jacket or rain jacket
  • 2 long-sleeved shirts
  • 1 pair of long trousers
  • 1 spare pair of trousers (comfortable and durable)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 4-6 T-shirts
  • Sufficient underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Base cap, sun hat

Very colourful textiles are not necessarily an advantage if you want to observe wild animals. Military style clothing is also not advisable, as it can be a problem for government officials.

Other equipment:

  • Sun glasses
  • Torch, preferably headtorch
  • Neck pouch, money belt or hip bag for money, documents, passport, vaccination card
  • Photo equipment
  • Adapter
  • Alarm clock
  • Binoculars
  • Toiletry bag
  • Sunscreen with high sun protection factor
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Malaria prophylaxis (after consultation with your doctor)
  • First-aid kit
  • Water bottle

It is recommended that you have your regular vaccinations updated – tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B and polio. Malaria is a concern in some areas and we therefore recommend that some precautionary measures are taken. For more detailed information on prophylaxis and the effects as well as possible side effects, please contact your doctor, travel clinic or tropical institute.

Namibian custom officials require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.

Namibia’s climate can be extreme. In summer (November to February) it can be scorching in the interior and Namib Desert with temperatures of up to 50°C. This is also the rainy season and afternoon thunder showers can bring relief. In the northeast of the country, the summers are more humid. In winter (from May to September) the central plateau can be very cold at night with pleasant day time temperatures.

No smoking is allowed in the safari vehicle or in the tents. While on the road, there will be frequent stops for smoking and bathroom breaks.

For most people it goes without saying that one has to comply with the laws and regulations of the country visited. Guests who do not comply, are responsible themselves for any consequences that might result. If any non-compliance has negative effects on the tour itinerary, continuous travel arrangements would be at one’s own account. Please accept that in such cases, refunds are not possible.

Please also comply with unwritten rules such as patience and courtesy towards government representatives and Namibians in general. Please always ask first before taking pictures of local people and respect their privacy.

When travelling anywhere, basic safety measures apply. Do not carry large sums of cash, be careful of your cameras, cell phones and jewellery and never leave valuables lying open in the safari vehicle. Carry cash and travel documents in a pouch on your body. Do not walk alone at night and be especially cautious when drawing money at an ATM. When in doubt, ask your guide.

 

only get out at designated picnic stops. Our safari vehicles have pop-up roofs to allow for safe photography – never get out of the vehicle to get closer to animals for a better photo. Wild animals can be dangerous, even if it does not look like it. Please do not feed the animals or remove plants, flowers, seeds or stones.

During a bush walk, do not approach the animals too closely just for the sake of a good photo and do not be loud as animals respond immediately to noise.

Always remember that your tour guide is a trained professional and knows the area well. For your safety (and that of the animals), follow the guide’s instructions at all times.

Voltage is 220 Volt and the South African plug with three round pins in a triangular pattern is used. The common two-pin plugs are not compatible and you will need an adapter. Our safari vehicles are equipped with 220 Volts electric sockets to charge cell phone and batteries while driving.

Should – against expectation – any problems arise while travelling, please speak to your guide right away. Only once your guide knows about problems of any kind, can these be rectified.

Speaking frankly will be to your advantage. If your objections are not met by immediate redress, please contact our office in Windhoek directly. We will do everything we can to rectify the situation immediately.