Richtersveld, Namaqualand Flowers, Luderitz, Bogenfels, Fish River Canyon & Ais-Ais
9 – 18 August 2020
10 day / 9 nights
Cost: R22 500 per person sharing
Single supplement charge of an additional 30%
This is a nine night, ten day safari that starts in Namaqualand, with its beautiful flowers, and ends at the export grape farms of Aussenkehr in Namibia near Noordoewer.
During the course of our travels, we will visit the famous Namaqualand flowers, diamond fields of the West Coast and travel through vast open plains, prehistoric watercourses, the mountainous Richtersveld, the Namib Desert around Lüderitz and cross the Orange River on a ferry. Over many years, the forces of nature diverted the river courses, changing the face of this land and leaving it with beautiful granite koppies (hills) and incredible ravines such as the Fish River Canyon.
A 4x4 is preferred but this trip can be done in a 4x2 with high clearance and diff-lock.
Here are a few highlights:
- Flowers of Namaqualand and the West Coast
- Lekkersing / Kuboes / Eksteenfontein
- Richtersveld National Park
- Wild horses of the Namib
- Kolmanskop / Lüderitz
- Bogenfels- / Pomona old diamond mine & town (optional)
- Fish River Canyon view point at Hobas
- Ai-Ais hot springs
- Aussenkehr kloofs
- Orange River
We will be staying in formal, en suite accommodation for the duration of the trip. All meals will be prepared and served by our experienced catering team and enjoyed sitting around the campfire under the African sky. All lodge facilities have cash bars.
Day 1 (Kamieskroon / McDougall’s Bay):
Our adventure starts in Namaqualand near the town of Kamieskroon. The Skilpad section of Namaqua National Park, 17km from Kamieskroon, is renowned for its fabulous Namaqua daisies.
We drive through the park and exit at the Soebatsfontein gate. We enjoy the West Coast as we drive to McDougall’s Bay via Koingnaas and Kleinzee.
At McDougall’s Bay, 4km south of Port Nolloth, we stay in lovely houses that are literally a stone’s throw away from the beach. We stay here for the next 2 nights. If you wish to see more flowers, then we suggest that you arrive a few days earlier and visit Leliefontein or Concordia near Springbok.
Day 2 (McDougall’s Bay):
Today we explore Alexander Bay with its interesting history, interwoven into the diamond industry. Meet some local farmers, visit the the renowned lichen fields near the Orange River and hope to see some lovely birds.
After a relaxing day we return to McDougall’s looking forward to a dinner that consists of seafood, watching the sun set over the sea.
Days 3 & 4 (Sendelingsdrift):
After a hearty breakfast we leave for the Richtersveld National Park. We pass through the little towns of Lekkersing and Eksteenfontein where we will meet the “Bosluisbasters”.
In Kuboes, known as the capital for the Nama people, we have the opportunity to meet the people and hear their fascinating ‘click’ language. This Nama-speaking tribe practice subsistence farming in the conservancies as well as the Richtersveld National Park. We stay for 2 nights at Sendelingsdrift on the Orange River.
Today is spent in the beautiful mountain desert of the Richtersveld National Park. The arid plant species are very diverse, with a third of this group of plants being endemic to the area. We drive via Akkedis Pass which boasts some mystical “half mense” plants (Pachypodium family) and quiver trees. There will be time to relax and swim at one of the campsites on the Orange River before driving over Helskloof Pass
Day 5 (Klein-Aus Vista):
We cross the border to Namibia by ferry over the Orange River and drive via the mining town of Ross Pinah to Aus, where there was a German concentration or intern camp during World War 1 and visit the Commonwealth German grave yard just outside town.
Time permitting, we enjoy lunch at the Garub water trough where the wild Namib Desert horses come to drink and with luck we see some springbuck and gemsbok.This is only 18km from the lodge, Klein-Aus-Vista, where we overnight. There will be time to unpack and relax a little before entering this beau tiful desert area known for its sunsets and tranquillity. We return to the lodge just after dark to sit around the bush fire and enjoy a wholesome meal.
Days 6 & 7 (Luderitz):
It is only 100km drove on a tarred road to Kolmanskop where a local guide takes us through this old mining ghost town.
After lunch you can relax or explore Luderitz with its lovely old architecture and delicious oysters. One of the Diaz-crosses is a few kilometres out of town.
The next day you can further explore Luderitz or go into the Sperrgebiet. Entering the Sperrgebiet is optional and not included in the tour price. With special permits and a guide we are allowed to enter the Sperrgebiet in order to visit Pomona, another ghost town and mine south of Luderitz.
Another attraction in the Sperrgebiet is the majestic Bogenfels rock arch – an unknown jewel. This breath-taking formation stands with the one leg in the sea and is approximately 57m high.
Day 8 (Canyon Roadhouse):
It is time for a warmer climate and we leave the coast behind and drive inland on the B4 to the Fish River Canyon. At Seeheim we leave the tar for the remainder of the tour until we end at Aussenkehr.
After arriving at the unique Canyon Roadhouse lodge we relax in our rooms or next to the swimming pool and settle in slowly.
Late afternoon, we enjoy sunset at the magnificent view point at Hobas. This is where the well-known horseshoe photos of the Fish River Canyon are taken. This is near the starting point of the hiking trail.
Day 9 (Norotshama / Aussenkehr):
This morning we relax a few hours at the warm baths of Ai-Ais.
Again the whole day is a beautiful drive. Enroute to our lodge, Norotshama, situated on the banks of the Orange River, we drive down the Gamkab River Gorge with its awe inspiring cliffs.
In the late afternoon we visit “John Wayne”, a fascinating rock formation in an unbelievably narrow gorge near the lodge. We ascend a little hill from where we have a magnificent view over the Orange River, the vineyards and Springbok vlakte in the Richtersveldt National Park.
Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to everyone and head home. It is 50km by tar from Norotshama to the border at Noordoewer / Vioolsdrift.