Cape & Dunes Overland

Cape & Dunes Overland information and booking

from
$1449
  • Duration
    14
    Days
  • Camping
  • Difficulty
    Hard
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Highlights

Soak up cosmopolitan Cape Town, take in the breathtaking view of the immense Fish River Canyon, tackle the world's largest sand dunes, get your adrenaline going on adventurous activities, snap shots of the Big Five in Etosha National Park.

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Journey from the city streets of Cape Town to the desert of Namibia and experience the diversity of Africa on this classic adventure—Namibia is one of the world's most fascinating countries. Encounter a thrilling game drive through Etosha National Park and explore the world's highest sand dunes at Soussusvlei. Our unique overland truck will get you around smoothly and safely, while camping will keep you in the thick of the action. With guaranteed departures, plenty of optional excursions and a certified CEO to take care of the hassles, you’ll be free to absorb the spirit of this amazing country.

Itinerary

Day 1 Cape Town
Arrive in Cape Town and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening. Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the Visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border in South Africa.

 Please also note that no visa can be obtained at the border to Namibia. 
 Cape Town offers many different activities – something for everyone. Visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, explore Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope), embark on a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch (45min drive). Visit the old French Hugonaut town of Franschoek and surroundings (1h drive). For the not so faint-hearted, there are numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving and having a close encounter with the great white sharks. Or wander through the city centre with some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens). Do not miss the wonderful Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium and numerous other small museums and theatres.

 Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa, with over 3 million inhabitants and is the provincial capital of the Western Cape. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located.
 For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbour, the waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers over 250 shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of other activities.

Day 2-3 Cederberg/Gariep River (2B,2L,2D)
Head out of the city to begin your overland journey with a lunch stop by the coast. We arrive to our first campsite in the afternoon. The campsite is in the Cederberg area on a local vineyard farm. Here you will have free time to sample and buy some local wine, kick a footy around with the local kids, or explore the area near the camp in this beautiful part of South Africa. Or just chill at campsite’s swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. 



 The next day, travel north to the South Africa/Namibia border and stop on the South Africa side of the Gariep River. We will leave early to ensure enough time for an optional canoe drive. After setting up camp in the late afternoon, enjoy swimming, relaxing, or possibly even canoeing on the river. 

Enjoy a quiet afternoon on the banks of the Orange River (formerly Gariep River). Otherwise go for a hike, and enjoy a spectacular sunset from a nearby hill. Our campsite is located along the river banks and provides a very tranquil setting for our stay. Cape Town to Cederberg Approximate Distance: 300 km, estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Cederberg to Gariep River 
Approximate Distance: 350 km, estimated Travel Time: 6.5 hrs
Day 4 Fish River Canyon (1B,1L,1D)
Cross the border from South Africa to Namibia. 

We have encountered some problems with travellers that need visas for Namibia. Namibian visas are not available at the border, so please be very sure of the rules and regulations applying to your passport. See our visa section for further information. 

We will make our way to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa and arguably the second largest in the world. Watch as a spectacular sunset slips over the canyon's rim in the early evening. Permits are required to descend into the crater; we will have access to the rim only, but the views are spectacular. We camp in the surrounding area.

 The campground offers a small bar and a pool. Approximate Distance: 180 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (with border crossing)


Day 5-6 Namib Desert (2B,2L,2D)
Passing the small and desolate towns of Bethanien and Helmeringhausen, we continue north along long and bumpy roads, en route to the Namib Desert. Arrive in the area in the late afternoon, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here you really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere. Our first campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites in Namibia including a bar, restaurant, shop and swimming pool. We arrive in the early evening, set up our camp, then continue driving for a short stop at Sesriem Canyon, a small canyon typical of the area. 
The following day is spent exploring the natural wonders of this bizarre desert environment. Wake up and set off for a pre-dawn climb of the mighty Dune 45, aiming to reach the top just before the sunrise. Watching the dunes come to life and display their amazing orange and yellow hues, and views for miles of surrounding desert is an unforgettable sight. After the sunrise from atop Dune 45, enjoy a hot breakfast by the dunes. 
Visit Sossusvlei - a clay pan, enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes and enclosing ancient dead trees. Here you can take a guided walk at the sand dunes, and enjoy some free time to enjoy them on your own. We arrive back at our campsite around lunch time with time to take down tents, pack up the truck and drive to the next desert campsite. Don’t miss out on the optional famous Boesman dune walk. Boesman is famous for his excellent explanation to the ins and out of the dunes.




 Day 5 Approximate Distance: 560km
 Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs 

Day 6 (excluding the drive to Dune 45 and Sossuvlei) Approximate Distance:95km Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Day 7-8 Swakopmund (1B,1L)
Today we will really get a feeling for the Namib Desert, as we cross through this void region and a few dry mountain passes. After arriving to Swakopmund around midday, we will meet our local friends and explore the back streets and local culture on a guided interpretive walk. 


During the walk, we will learn about the history of the town, housing and other various topics to give us a better understanding of local life. We visit a woman from the Herero ethnic group and also a Nama Medicine Woman, who will host a “click” lesson in the local Daman language. We finish our cultural walk at a local pub called a “shebeen” with the opportunity to try the local bush delicacy of Mopani worms and a drink. 


Swakopmund is one of the adventure capitals of Africa. Enjoy a free day to relax or get the adrenaline pumping. Choose from sky diving, dune boarding or a 4x4 safaris, just to name a few. Meals are not included while we are in Swakopmund in order to give our travellers the freedom to try out the many restaurants and bars in town. We will stay in a hostel or small guest house while in Swakopmund to give us a break from camping and be more centrally located than the local campsites. We stay in dormitory-style rooms with up to 6 or 8 people sharing a room. We will strive to divide the group based on gender, but this cannot always be guaranteed. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these two nights. The bathrooms and showers are private though used by both men and women. Nice shared areas at the hostel round out our accommodation and are great for socializing. Approximate Distance: 300km
 Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Day 9 Damaraland (1B,1L,1D)
Depart early in the morning around 7am and stop for a roadside breakfast along the way. Look out over beautiful desert landscapes as far as the eye can see. There are Himba, Herero and Damara people along the way selling local arts and minerals, and we’ll be sure to make a few stops to find out more about their products and offerings.
 Pass into more stony desert landscapes, and arrive to camp near Twyfelfontein by mid-afternoon. Just a short drive away, we can check out some prehistoric rock engravings made during the early Stone Age. Opt to explore the area, which is adorned with rock engravings and petrified fossil forests. You will have free time in the area and can opt for a guided walk along the rock engravings. This area is a famous for the paintings which are found in the region. Their origin is uncertain, but they are probably the work of Bushmen or Nama artists and are estimated to have lived in the area 5,000 years ago. Tonight, experience a truly “out in the bush” night of camping at a rustic campsite with basic facilities. Approximate Distance: 325 km

 Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Day 10-11 Etosha National Park (2B,2L,2D)
As one of Africa’s highlights, the Etosha National Park offers a variety of wildlife and phenomenal natural beauty.


 Upon arrival to the park in the afternoon, we will head out for a game drive in our overland truck to find the elephants, herds of antelope and lions around the watering holes. After sunset you can watch some animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Free time at night allows for the option of a night game drives in an open vehicles. 
We will go for another game drive in our overland vehicle during our second day in the park. Our campsites in Etosha are comfortable with amenities such as a bar, restaurant and swimming pool. Spend at least one evening at a campground overlooking a permanent waterhole, which is illuminated by floodlight at night, allowing for better viewing of wildlife. A brief animal count of Etosha National Park: 30 000 Blue Wildebeest; 25000 Springbok; 23000 Zebra; 5000 Kudu; 3000 Hartebeest; 3000 Gemsbok; 2600 Eland; 450 Giraffe; 2000 Elephant; 260 Lions; 20 Black Rhino; 325 Bird species.
 Etosha National Park in Namibia was first established in 1907. At the time, the park’s original 100,000 sq km made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is now a bit less than a quarter of its original size but still remains a very large and significant area in which wildlife is protected. 
The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert is roughly 130km long and in places as wide as 50km; it is usually dry but fills with water briefly in the summer months when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular. Periannual springs attract a variety of game and birds throughout the year, including the endangered black rhinoceros and the endemic black face Impala.
 Approximate Distance: 300km 
Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs
Day 12 Waterberg Plateau Game Park (1B,1L,1D)
Enjoy one last morning game drive in search of the Etosha's incredible wildlife before leaving the park mid-morning, then travel south to the Waterberg Plateau Game Park, arriving mid-afternoon. In the afternoon, opt to take a self-guided scenic forest walk to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
 Those who are up for a couple hours of hiking can do a self-guided hike up to the Waterberg Plateau with its magnificent view over the plains of Namibia. It takes about 2 hours roundtrip. Our usual campsite has a pool and a bar to relax at. Approximate Distance: 380 km 
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs (excluding game drive out of Etosha)
Day 13 Windhoek (1B)
Leave Waterberg Plateau Game Park and head south through the Namibian countryside to Windhoek. With a population of 230,000 and an altitude of 1654m, Windhoek is the capital of Namibia. We will arrive around lunchtime, so you will have free time to explore the city, go shopping or just relax at your accommodation.

 Please note that this is a combination tour. Some of group members may be departing the tour in Windhoek and some new group members may be joining. Enjoy an optional group dinner with both old and new travellers. Trade in your sleeping bag for a proper bed in a hotel tonight. Approximate Distance: 280 km

 Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
Day 14 Windhoek (1B)
Tour ends after breakfast at approximately 08:00 am. You are free to depart any time this day.