Namibia's Southern Hiking Tour
19 Day self-drive safari into southern Namibia with a focus on hiking
Discover the deserts of Namibia on a decelerated safari through the southern parts of the country packed with hikes and excursions through breath-taking landscapes. This active safari emphasises on the Namib, Naukluft, Fish River Canyon and Kalahari and allows plenty of time to absorb the impressive and diversified Namibian nature. The safari stands in contrast to many other Namibian safaris, which focus more on ticking off as many touristic highlights as possible.
You’ll spent much less time driving than on the usual Namibia tour. The guided and un-guided hiking trails are diverse and can be classified as easy to moderate. You should have a certain level of fitness though, especially when travelling during the hot summer months.
Whether as a lodge tour or as a combination of camping / lodge safari, you will probably not forget this vacation soon.
Duration: 19 Days
But do take care: Once Namibia - Always Namibia!
Safari Overview - "Namibias Southern Hiking Tour"
- Day 1: Windhoek – Arrival, City Tour through Namibia’s capital
- Day 2-3: Namib Desert – Complete arrival, Hiking in the fascinating Namib Desert
- Day 4-5: Naukluft – Mountain hiking with refreshing pools
- Day 6-7: Sossusvlei – The grand ocean of dunes of the Namib, Sesriem Canyon
- Day 8-9: Tok Tokkie – Guided 3-day hiking trail with two nights under the Namib’s starry sky
- Day 10-11: Aus – Walking in the Succulent Karoo of Klein-Aus Vista or day visit of the harbour town Lüderitz
- Day 12-13: Fish River – Visit of the Fish River Canyon with day hike and overnight stay in the Canyon
- Day 14-15: Orange River – Canoe tour on the Orange River in the south of Namibia
- Day 16: Keetmanshoop – Drive to the Kalahari with stop-over in Keetmanshoop
- Day 17-18: Kalahari – Guided 1,5-day hike in the Kalahari
- Day 19: Return – Good-bye Namibia!
Tour overview- "Namibia Southern Hiking Tour"
Day 1: Arrival in Namibia ~ 45 km
After your arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport approx. 45 km east of Windhoek, you will be welcomed by the car rental company and taken to Windhoek where you will take over your vehicle with all the necessary instructions and information. Afterwards you will drive to your accommodation where you are able to freshen up and rest. In the afternoon you will be picked up by your guide from Bwana Tucke-Tucke for an interesting Windhoek city tour, during which you will get to know historical buildings and the township of Katutura. In the evening you can go out for a relaxing dinner. We can recommend Joe's Beerhouse, Cape Town Fish Market or The Stellenbosch.
- Pick up at the airport and vehicle introduction.
- Windhoek city tour
- Accommodation Haus Sonneneck
Day 2: On the way into the Namib ~ 230 km (4h)
After breakfast you can buy some supplies at the supermarket. Through the rugged Khomas Highland (Road C26) you drive westwards to the Namib Desert. A little picnic for lunch can be held at one of the viewpoints on the way to the Gamsberg Pass. Via the picturesque pass you’ll descend to the lower plains of the Namib Desert. After a few kilometres you turn left onto the C14 in a southern direction. After a short drive you’ll reach Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge. A one-hour sundowner walk will top off your day.
Day 3: Namib Hiking ~ 0 km
Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge offers many different walking trails, varying from one-hour, light trails to whole day walking excursions to the rock paintings of the San (Bushmen). At the reception you will receive all information regarding length, difficulty and routing of the trails. We recommend to do the early sunrise trail followed by a lovely breakfast. Afterwards you are free to do one of the longer hikes. The afternoon can be spent at the refreshing pool with grand views.
Day 4: Naukluft Mountains ~ 130 km (2h)
The journey continues along the scenic C14 through the Namib Desert. In the little one-horse-town Solitaire you can get fuel and basic stuff from the little shop. Solitaire’s apple crumble is quite popular and people liking apple crumble claim “rightly so”. Strengthened and satisfied you’ll continue on good gravel road until you reach Naukluft Rest Camp. The contrast between the never-ending expanse of the desert and the ruggedness of the Naukluft Mountains couldn’t be bigger.
After a lunch break there is enough time to hike the "Olive Trail", which takes about 4 hours. The level of difficulty is rated medium to difficult. One should definitely be free from giddiness and physically fit. Breath-taking views, impressive landscapes and a very special surprise guarantee an unforgettable experience. Please note: If you don’t feel like climbing along a chain over a relatively steep cliff, you can also take a walk to a natural swimming pool up in the mountains (approx. 1,5 hours there and back). Here you have several superb swimming possibilities in crystal clear mountain spring water – unique in Namibia!
Day 5: Naukluft Hiking ~ 0 km
Today a whole day hike, the "Waterkloof Trail" is on the program. Along perennial streams of the Naukluft Mountains the trail takes you 17 km through beautiful, diverse nature with several opportunities to take a quick refreshing dip in between. The trail takes about 6-8 hours and is rated medium to difficult. You should have endurance, be physically fit and have hiking experience.
On the trail you can not only enjoy wonderful landscapes, but with some luck – especially when you walk quietly – you can spot different wildlife. The Naukluft Mountains are home to mountain zebras, klipspringers, kudus, baboons and rock hyraxes. Numerous species of birds can be found including raptors and owls.
Day 6: From the Naukluft to the Namib desert ~ 100 km (1,5h)
In the morning you bid farewell to the Naukluft and take a relaxing one-and-a-half-hour drive to the Sossusvlei. It is advisable to pay the entrance fee for next day’s excursion into the Namib Naukluft Park upon arrival and to enjoy the sundowner from the first dune to the right of the road – the Elim Dune. Here you have beautiful vistas of the sea of dunes to the west and the mighty Naukluft Mountains to the east.
Day 7: Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon ~ 130 km (2h)
Today an early rise (approx. 1 hour before sunrise) is advisable. Guests of the Sesriem Camsite, Dead Valley lodge and Sossus Dune Lodge are able to drive to the Sossus and Dead Vlei earlier than guests staying outside the park. The spectacle of colours of this natural wonder is best seen during sunrise with the additional advantage of cooler temperature than later in the day. You drive 80 km through dune landscapes on good tar road. The last 4 kilometres take you through thick sands where you will have to engage your 4x4.
The Dead Vlei with its numerous dead camelthorn trees as well as the famous Sossusvlei offer an unbelievable impressive natural setting. Take your time to just let your soul stray whilst climbing the Big Daddy, the tallest dune in the surrounding. Depending on your state of fitness and sand conditions the climb will take about 1 – 2 hours. The way down is usually much quicker and the more adventures can run down the steep slip face into Dead Vlei – this takes less than a minute.
Before the heats starts burning your soles away you should start to make your way back. At the park entrance we recommend a visit to the Sesriem Canyon before returning to your accommodation to spend the afternoon in the cool swimming pool.
Day 8: Tok Tokkie Trail ~ 130 km (2h)
After breakfast you continue south out of the state owned Namib Naukluft Park and into the private NamibRand Nature Reserve. More breathtaking landscapes and numerous wildlife species await you.
At the Tok-Tokkie farm house a light lunch is served and you will be introduced to your desert guide, who will accompany you the next two days. A short introduction to the trail is given after lunch before starting your hike in the early afternoon.
The Tok Tokkie Trail is easy to walk, as you only have to carry a day pack – all other luggage is transported by car to the overnight camp – and the speed of walking is adjusted according to the group. The maximum number of participants is eight, so that the groups are always small and that the guide is able to individually respond to the guest’s preferences.
In the evening you’ll enjoy the obligatory sundowner and a little later a three-course menu. You’ll sleep on cosy field beds amidst the dunes underneath a million stars – a very special experience!
Day 9: Tok Tokkie Trail ~ 0 km
Even before sunrise you are woken up with coffee or tea in bed. Now you have time to enjoy the sunrise in this pristine landscape. After breakfast we start with the reading the morning “newspaper”, which means that your guide will explain the fresh tracks in the sand left by the desert inhabitants to you as you go along
These inhabitants of the Namib, the oldest desert in the world, have adapted to the arid climate in an astonishing way. Your experienced guide will tell you a lot about the mammals, birds, reptiles and insects found here and will probably be able to lure one or the other desert inhabitant in front of your camera.
The hot midday hours are spent at the shady lunch spot. Here you have time to relax, to have a bite for lunch and to reminisce about the last days. Once the temperatures cool down a bit towards the afternoon you embark on the last leg of the second day. The route takes you pass fairy circles and over small hillocks with unbelievable views onto the gras-covered, orange-red dunes of the Namib.
At the dune camp you can free yourself from the desert sands under a rustic bucket shower. Again you will enjoy a delicious three-course, candlelight dinner. Your guide will take you on an short astronomy journey of the southern night sky once the sun has set and the sky is clear (i.e. nearly always).
Once more you’ll sleep in warm field beds right amidst the dunes!
Day 10: From the Namib to Aus ~ 280 km (5h)
Once more you awake with the rising sun surrounded by a sea of dunes. The hike today is easy going and you will arrive around 10:00 at the Tok-Tokkie farm house. Time to say good-bye to your guide and the friendly Tok-Tokkie staff.
You still have a fairly long way ahead, always continuing south along one of the country’s most beautiful scenic roads – the D707. Here the route becomes the destination, so take your time and enjoy the unspoilt nature. In the late afternoon you’ll arrive at Klein Aus Vista, a beautiful accommodation set in a scenery of rugged mountains at the northern border of the Nama-Karoo.
Day 11: Hiking or Lüderitz ~ 0 / 260 km (3h)
Today you can choose between two alternatives:
- Day visit to the harbour town Lüderitz (there and back 260 km tarred road) with a visit to the ghost town Kolmanskop or
- Hiking in the Sukkulent Karoo around Klein-Aus Vista
Option 1: The 1883 founded town Lüderitz in the Restricted Diamond Area offers a rustic Atlantic charm and has a very interesting story to tell about the diamond rush of Namibia at the beginning of the 20th century. A visit to the diamond ghost town Kolmanskop (last guided tour starts at 11 am) is just as recommendable as a stroll to the harbour and the „Felsenkirche“ (Church on the rocks) as well as an excursion to the always windy Diaz Point, where the Portuguese sailor Bartholomeus Dias erected a stone cross in the year 1487. In the late afternoon your return back to Klein-Aus Vista. On the way you can visit the feral horses of the Namib at Garub.
Option 2: Klein-Aus Vista offers six marked hiking trails between 4 and 20 km long and with different levels of difficulty. Here you can explore the fauna and flora of the private "Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park" on your own. The easy, medium and difficult hikes in the Succulent Karoo of Namibia’s south are well worth it and set contrast to the previous hikes in the Namib Desert. After the hike we recommend a visit to the feral horses of Garub close by.
Day 12: To the Fish River Canyon ~ 230 km (4h)
You leave Klein-Aus Vista in the early morning and drive along the B4 in an easterly direction. In the small village Goageb you turn onto the D463, a good gravel road leading through beautiful landscapes. You should reach the Fish River Lodge situated directly at the fringe of the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon worldwide, no later than 2pm.
Between April and September guided hikes into the Fish River Canyon are offered.
After arrival and a welcoming drink you will receive a short briefing. Canvas bags are distributed to all hikers. All items needed for the hike are packed into the bags. These will be transported to the camp by car. An open vehicle will take you on a leisurely drive to the staring point of the hiking trail.
After a 2 km walk you will reach the first overnight camp, where you have enough time to settle in your tent and make use of the camp facilities. Enjoy a beautiful and relaxing sundowner, followed by a 3 course menu under the stars.
Day 13: Fish River Canyon Hike / Tour ~ 0 km
After a healthy breakfast the descent into the canyon begins. At the famous rock pools we take a break, relax and take a refreshing swim. Luchpacks are served, before we continue our hike. Upon arrival at the second camp we are welcomed with a refreshing drink. Another breathtaking sundowner and delicious dinner will round off this special day.
Between October and March, it is mostly too hot to do the hike. A whole-day canyon drive can be booked alternatively, which will take you right into the canyon.
Day 14: Canyon ascent and drive to the Oranje ~ 320 km (5h)
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast prepared by the chef and continue hiking back to the lodge. Arrival at the Lodge is between 11:00 and 12:00.
You leave Fish River lodge and continue through rugged, incredibly impressive landscapes further south to Rosh Pinah and further to the South African – Namibian border (Orange River). Once you’ve reached the Orange River you drive through the /Ai /Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in an easterly direction. The road meanders along the river until you reach your accommodation close to a big vineyard in the late afternoon.
Day 15: Orange River Canoe tour ~ 0 km
Today you have an unguided half-day canoe tour on the picturesque Orange River on your program, organized by Amanzi Trails. The Orange River is one of the view rivers in Namibia, which does not have crocodiles nor hippos. The canoe tour is hence not dangerous and meanders through the breath-taking gorges of the South African / Namibia border area. Thera are lots of swimming possibilities.
Other than the multi-day tours, which Amanzi Trails also offers, the half-day tours are organized individually. After receiving an introduction, you are simply put into the river and are free to climb out again a few kilometres downstream – a contemplative, amusing river ride. Don’t forget to take sun protection and hats!
You’ll return to your accommodation in the early afternoon. Enough time to let the adventurous of the past few days sink in.
Day 16: To Keetmanshoop ~ 300 km (3,5h)
In the morning your journey takes you up north. A short detour to the main view point of the Fish River Canyon is well worth it and for lunch we recommend a stop-over at the superb Canyon Roadhouse. Afterwards you continue to Keetmanshoop, your stop-over en route to the Kalahari.
Day 17: Into the Kalahari ~ 300 km (3h)
Today you should make an early start to at the Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge be in time. The last highlight of your journey, the Trans Kalahari Hike is awaiting you. Check in is from 2 pm and your guide is already awaiting you with the necessary information. The evening is spent at the Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge.
Day 18: Kalahari Hike ~ 0 km
An early rise allows you to enjoy the sunrise on a Kalahari dune with a hot cup of coffee. Afterwards the hike commences. Experience the orange-red dunes of the Kalahari and the bush and tree savanna so typical for Namibia. After a picnic lunch you will reach the exclusive, luxurious Kalahari Dune Camp with shady Lapa and view deck in the afternoon. The camp’s waterhole is often visited by giraffes and antelopes. A small pool is at your disposal to clean yourself from dust and sweat of the hike. In the evening a barbeque awaits you at the campfire. Most of the time a clear sky allows a fabulous starry sky. You overnight in tents, each with own bathroom and hot shower.
Day 19: Back to Windhoek – Farewell from Namibia ~ 200 km (2h)
The Trans Kalahari Walk ends around noon at the Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge. It is the last day of your safari. Bid farewell to the Kalahari and to Namibia! Depending on your return flight you can plan a bit of time for souvenir shopping in Windhoek.
The drive to Windhoek takes about two hours. You return your vehicle in Windhoek at the car rental and are transferred to Hosea Kutako Airport, as agreed upon at the beginning of your safari already.
Good-bye Namibia !
As with single bookings, our price guarantee also applies when booking a complete safari, meaning that you pay exactly the same amount as you would when booking the tour yourself (exception goes for campsite bookings).
- The price indicated is based on bookings for two people.
- For groups of four the rate will decrease as the rental car costs will be divided by the number of persons. This will be taken into account upon your booking request.
Low season 2021
01.01.2021 - 30.06.2021
From N$ 45.700 (Camping/Lodge)
From N$ 55.800 (Lodge)
High season 2021
01.07.2021 - 31.12.2021
From N$ 46.900 (Camping/Lodge)
From N$ 63.500 (Lodge)
The standard rates of the tours are approximate costs to give you an idea of the budget you can work with. The price is subject to availability of the accommodation and the rental vehicle and might change slightly if we have to book alternatives. We prefer working with smaller, more personal accommodation facilities and car rental companies, guaranteeing a consistent quality of service. Thus it is advisable to book at least one year in advance, especially when planning to travel during Namibia's touristic high season. Should we need to book alternative accommodation / rental vehicle we try to stick to this policy.
Dream holiday Namibia
After receiving your booking request, we will check availability of accommodation, before getting back to you with the exact cost of the tour. For special requests (amendments to the routing / accommodation / time frame.....) please use the field "Your message to us".
Should you prefer a complete individual routing for your self-drive or fly-in safari, please fill out our "dream travel questionnaire".
- Accommodation, activities and meals as per itinerary
- 4x4 rental vehicle with the lowest excess
- Airport transfers
- 24 hour backup support
- Detailed tour description with insider hints, telephone list for emergencies, vouchers – all sent in advance by e-mail for you to print and to familiarise yourself with.
- International flight
- Personal travel insurances
- Fuel costs
- Park and entrance fees
- Drinks and missing meals in the itinerary
Namibia is a safe country to travel in and with its good infrastructure it is ideal for self-drive safaris. Especially those, who like to get an individual impression of the country a tour in a rented vehicle is highly recommendable. You’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about the country and people and also to experience a lot off the beaten track.
Here we answer the most important and most frequently asked questions: