Hiking through the desert 2019

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Day 1 : Windhoek

Arrival in Namibia at the airport of Windhoek. Pick up and transfer (about 45 minutes) to the city. Meeting place for the group in the extremely stylish Windhoek Gardens Guest House. Dinner during which the guide presents the program for the next days. 

Days 2 - 4 : Solitaire

Half-day transfer to the beautiful Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge right at the edge of the Namib desert, where we will be staying the next three nights and hike through the spectacular and varied landscape. Not far from the lodge located on private land, are small dunes, canyons and the bizarre Rostock mountains. Here we will visit 5,000 year old cave paintings of the Bushmen. The program includes multiple walks 4-7 h (with 300 to 700 meters altitude), where we might be lucky enough to come across zebra, springbok and ostriches. Those who prefer to relax may like to stay at the lodge and enjoy the magnificent views over the savannah by the pool instead.

All nights in the Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 5 : Sesriem

Today we will drive to Sesriem which is situated in the Namib Naukluft National Park. On the way, we will have time to stop at Solitaire - for one of the tastiest and therefore most famous apple pies in Southern Africa! Early afternoon arrival at the Sesriem Campsite. At dinner time we will embark on a culinary journey, for the fantastic barbecue at the Sossusvlei Lodge has nearly a dozen different African game specialties (B, L, D)

Days 6 - 8 : Namib

The desert crossing begins!

Throughout the next few days we will cross the Namib dunes all the way to the Skeleton Coast (Atlantic Ocean). This route has so far only been done with the puretreks groups by Jerome Blösser. It is a hiking safari which requires special permission and is therefore an absolutely exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience! 

Every day we hike about 15-20 km and nearly 500 vertical meters through the dunes. From breakfast to afternoon the group migrates self-sufficient and all participants have their day pack (water, camera, lunch pack in their own backpack). In the afternoon we meet the supply vehicles at agreed positions. We have time to relax, have a cold beer and some snacks, do some walking, reading, photography and wait for the sun to set. After dark the desert chef will be serving us a tasty dinner with wine / beer around the campfire under the magnificent sky.

During the entire hike,  the dune landscape will be changing, for the colors of the sand turns from red to yellow and the dunes also become flatter towards the ocean. 

Nights outdoors or in a tent with Bedroll. (B, L, D)

Duration: approximately 6.5 hours / Ascent: approx 450 m day

Day 9 : Namib

In the afternoon of the 9th day we reach the coast and a small, very remote fishing camp. Here we will be able to take a warm shower and depending on the fishing luck - catch some fresh fish for dinner! 

Night outdoors or in a tent with Bedroll. (B, L, D)

Duration: approximately 6.5 hours / Ascent: approx 450 m day

Day 10 : Namib

Today we will be transferred in 4x4 vehicles so we can rest our tired muscles. And even though there is no hiking today, the trip is not short of any highlights: Our route leads us north along the Skeleton Coast, where we will visit some deserted diamond villages. 

Diamonds were discovered in Namibia in 1908, when railway worker Zacharias Lewala found a diamond that would change the course of history of Namibia. He handed it to his supervisor, August Stauch, and a diamond rush ensued in Kolmanskop, near Luderitz, resulting in the mining of millions of carats for colonial Germany until World War I in 1914. It is rumoured that those years the diamond deposits were so rich that Stauch and other miners could often simply pick up diamonds from the valley floors.

For a long time now, these small settlements in the desert have been ghost towns, but there is still much to discover! After our ghost town adventure we drive on due north passing seal colonies, as well as shipwrecks like the Eduard Bohlen, Far from the shore, this sandy victim of the Skeleton Coast looks like it was plopped in the middle of the desert. Trapped within a veil of thick fog, the Eduard Bohlen ran aground along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast on September 5th, 1909. The 310-foot-long cargo ship now lies partially buried beneath the sand, destined never to complete its journey from Swakopmund to Table Bay.

A little bit further away, passed ship wreck Shawnee we will pitch camp in the dunes not far from the ocean. 

Night in a tent in Bedroll (B, L, D)

Activities and Services

Day 11 : Namib

On day 11 of our hiking journey we will be walking along "long wall", where a steep dune (several kilometers long) wall drops almost a hundred meters into the sea. Depending on the tide the beach will only give us a couple of meters walking ground between the ocean and the dune wall. We may have to escape the one ore other approaching waves with a hop onto the dunes. A great adventure! We can only imagine how dangerous the passage must have been for the German settlers with their ox wagons a hundred years ago...

Night in a tent with bedroll (B, L, D)

Duration: approximately 6.5 hours / Ascent: approx 45 m

Day 12 : Swakopmund

After a half-day hike along the nature reserve of Sandwich Harbour, along small coastal lagoons with countless water birds like flamingos, we will meet our backup and travel the rest of the way to Swakopmund by car (approximately 2.5 hours via Walvis Bay). Many houses in the center are in Wilhelmine architecture and also the names of the shops often reminiscent of the former German colony.

Night in the stylish Swakopmund Guesthouse (B, L, -)

Duration: approximately 4.5 hours / Ascent: 300 m

Day 13 : Swakopmund

Day 13 of your trip is at leisure in Swakopmund.

In the evening the group will get back together for a farewell dinner in the trendy restaurant "the Tug" at Swakopmund's pier. 

Night in Swakopmund Guesthouse (B, -, -)

Expert tips

Swakopmund has a lot of activities on offer:
City tour Swakopmund: visit the interesting museums the town's architecture
Township tour: learn about the lives of the various tribes of Namibia
Souvenir shopping and a visit to a typical Swakopmunder coffee house
Quadbiking in the dunes
Dolphin and Seal excursion on a catamaran in Walvisbay
Scenic Flight over the desert, certainly a "once in a lifetime" experience
(any activities at own account)

Day 14 : End of Itinerary

Transfer about 5h to Windhoek airport and return flight - from early afternoon possible. (B, -, -)

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