Hiking in the Naukluft Mountains
The very diversified "Olive Trail" in the Naukluft Mountains is recommended for all hiking eager travelers not scared of heights. Breathtaking views, impressive scenery and a special kind of surprise at the end of the trail guarantee an unforgettable experience.
The Olive Trail is a 10km hike in the Namib Naukluft National Park which takes about 4-5 hours to complete. The difficulty is medium to hard. You should be free from giddiness, physically fit and trained in hiking.
Start of Trail: NWR Naukluft Camp
Olive Trail Hiking
From the parking site in the Namib Naukluft Park the hike starts with an ascent up the plateau. After just a few minutes breathtaking views across the wide plain await you. The path then descends into a deep ravine formed by a periodically flowing river. Here the terrain becomes more demanding. Hikers have to jump over larger rocks every now and then. After a few kilometers one reaches the famous pool chains. Crossing these chains is only for hikers who are free from giddiness, especially in the dry season from October to December due to a low water level (5-7 meters). But even in the rainy season when high water levels in the gorge reduce the height of the cliff-face by some meters it takes courage to cross over the pool merely by dangling along the chains. The hike continues across colorfully shimmering rocks via a second, easier-to-cross-over pool to a 4x4 track that leads back to the parking lot.
The Trail is very well marked and well manageable without a guide. However, hikers should always be sure to follow the white footsteps.
Wildlife observation in the Naukluft
On the hike, you are not only bound to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of Namibia, but with a bit of luck - especially if you walk quietly - you might also observe various wild animals. The Naukluft Mountains are home to the Hartman Zebra, Klipspringer, Kudu, Baboon and Dassie (Rock Hyrax). Furthermore, numerous species of birds, including birds of prey such as black eagle and owls can be seen.
You need to bring along well-walked hiking boots, at least 2 liters of water (the water in the pools of the Olive Trail is not drinkable), hat, sunscreen.
Hiking with children
Tip: Those traveling with smaller children should walk the trail in the opposite direction. Here you will find a pool after 1 km, which can be used for swimming depending on the water level. After another 2 km you can return, should the chains at the pool prove to be unmanageable.
Please note: Day visitors must first register at the office and pay the park entry fees. This is also recommended for security reasons. The overnight stay in the base camp (bungalows or camping) managed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts is very nice. Here the park fees are included in the accommodation price.
Map of the Olive Trail