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7 Day Desert Explorer - Cape Town To Swakopmund [NACS]

Route:

South Africa - Cape Town - City - Cederberg - Namibia - Gariep River - Fish River Canyon - Ais - Ais and Fish River Canyon Surrounds - Namib Naukluft Park - Swakopmund

Highlights:
Cape Town - Orange River - Cederberg - Fish River Canyon - Namib Desert - Swakopmund

Countries Visited:
South Africa - Namibia

DETAILS:
Trip Code: NACS
Length: 
7 Days / 6 Nights
Min / Max People: 4 / 18
Vehicle: Adventure Truck
Departure Point: 8.00 am, Nomad Adventure Tours, 39 Castle Street, (Corner Castle & Burg Streets), Cape Town, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0) 82 578 2199, www.nomadtours.co.za
End Point: Stay @ Swakop, 173 Anton Lubowski Street, Swakopmund, Namibia, Tel.: +264 64 403138, www.stay-at-swakop.com
OR
Hotel Pension A la Mer, 4 Libertina Amathila Avenue, Swakopmund, Namibia. Tel: +264-64-404130
www.pension-a-la-mer.com


*Note: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and accommodation can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travellers will change due to our unique tour linking system.


 



 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 South Africa – Cederberg Mountain Region
Leaving Cape Town, there’s one last photo stop at Table View for a spectacular panorama view of Table Mountain. On the way to the Cederberg we will stop at a local wine farm for a wine tasting, followed by a guided hike in the Cederberg region. Upon arrival at our accommodation, your guides will give you a full briefing on the tour
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Citrusdal Country Lodge - http://www.citrusdallodge.co.za
Facilities: En-suites per room, hot showers, swimming pool, bar, internet
Route: Cape Town to Clanwilliam ±245 km
Travel time: ±5 hrs
Activity package: Guided walk in Cederberg region
Included Highlight: Wine tasting – Piketberg local wine farm

Day 2 Namibia – Gariep (Orange) River
Today we travel through the Northern Cape and Namaqualand, stopping at the remote town of Springbok for any last requirements. After crossing the Namibian border we check into the lovely chalets overlooking the river that forms the border between South Africa and Namibia.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Felix Unite Cabanas www.felixunite.com
Facilities: En-suite per room, hot showers, bar, internet café, swimming pool, water not drinkable
Route: Clanwilliam to Orange River ±470 km
Travel time: ±8-9 hrs and a border crossing

Border posts:
South Africa: Vioolsdrift, Tel: +27 (27) 277 618 760, Open 24 hours.
Namibia: Noordoewer, Tel: +264 (0) 63 297 122, Open 24 hours.

Day 3 Gariep (Orange) River – Fish River Canyon
This morning there’s the chance to do an optional canoe trip down the Gariep River or to spend some time relaxing at the camp along the river. After lunch we travel north to the Fish River Canyon and take a scenic hike along the rim in order to gain some perspective as to just how large this natural phenomenon is. Later we return to Ai-Ais to check in to our accommodation and enjoy the hot springs.
Optional Activities: Half-Day Canoe Adventure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Ais Ais Resort www.nwr.com.na/ai_ais_hotsprings_spa.html
Facilities: En-suite per room, hot springs, hot showers, bar, swimming pool
Route: Orange/Gariep River to Fish River Canyon ±255 km
Travel time: ±4-5 hrs
Included Highlight: Scenic walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon

Day 4 Ai-Ais - Kokerboom Forest
The Namib-Naukluft NP is one of Namibia’s geographic gems and at 50,000km2, is one of the largest parks in Africa. There are massive sand dunes in the Sossusvlei desert area as well as the remarkable landscape. Our lodge is situated outside the park.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Hammerstein Lodge and Rest Camp - www.hammerstein.com.na
Facilities: En-suite per room, hot showers, pool, bar.
Route: Ais Ais to Namib Naukluft ±530 km
Travel time: ±7-9 hrs

Day 5 Bushman Community – Namib-Naukluft Park
We have a full day in the Namib-Naukluft National Park that starts with a walk up Dune 45 for an amazing view and photo opportunity. Later we will have the opportunity to be transported into Sossusvlei. In the afternoon there is a short walk into Sesriem Canyon.
Optional Activities: : Transfer to Deadvlei
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Hammerstein Lodge and Rest Camp www.hammerstein.com.na
Facilities: En-suite per room, hot showers, pool, bar
Route: Hammerstein Lodge to Sesriem ±200km (round trip)
Travel time: ±5-6 hrs
Included Highlights: Hike up Dune 45, walk into Sesriem Canyon

Day 6/7 Swakopmund
We are joined by an expert local guide for a desert walk. Exploring on foot, this local guide will share his detailed knowledge of the ecosystem. Afterwards we cross the Tropic of Capricorn on our way from the Atlantic Coast. Then it’s on to Swakopmund, the adventure capital of Namibia, where you will be briefed on the many optional activities available. Your day will end on day 7 after breakfast.
Optional Activities: Dinner Out, Quad biking, Sand boarding, Sky Diving, Scenic Flights etc.
Meals: Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Accommodation: Two per room: Stay@Swakop (day 6 only): http://www.stay-at-swakop.com/
Facilities: En-suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet
Route: Hammerstein to Swakopmund ±395 km
Travel time: ±6-7 hrs
Included Highlight: Guided desert walk (day 6)

 

Inclusions & Exclusions

What’s included:
Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad truck), accommodation, registered guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights. These highlights are listed below in the day-by-day descriptions as “included highlights”.

What’s excluded:
All items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities (see list for an indication of prices).


Activity Package:
This is an optional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. Ideally we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this. This payment is 100% transparent and is listed below. The Activity Package can be pre-purchased prior to your arrival or through your guide on day 1 of your tour. This dossier has been written with the inclusion of the Activity Package items.
Activies:
Cederberg Guided Walk R250
Guided desert walk with local expert R350

Total  R600


 

Extra information

Malaria:
None required

Health:
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disability that you may have.

Insurance:
All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via the Nomad website http://www.nomadtours.co.za/travel_insurance.html (Nomad World travel insurance is in no way affiliated with Nomad Tours)

Visas:
Please note that these are your responsibility. Some nationalities require visas for Namibia. See Pre Departure Booklet for more information.

Climate:
The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information.

Currency and Banking:
South African Rand is the most widely used currency on this route. US Dollar cash can be used for optional activities.
Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information on each country.

Vaccinations:
No vaccinations are prescribed by law for the countries being visited on this tour. Please see the Pre Departure Information booklet for detailed information on vaccinations in Africa.

Onward Travel:
This tour can be linked to the Desert & Delta tour afterwards or the South African Explorer beforehand.

Pre and Post Tour Accommodation:
If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange airport transfers – contact your travel agent or Nomad to make these bookings.

Arrival:
Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any unforeseen problems.

Departure:
Please book your flight to depart the day after the tour officially ends. This is to account for any delays that we may experience due to unpredictable road conditions.

*Note: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and accommodation can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travellers will change due to our unique tour linking system.

Did you receive your Pre Departure Information Booklet?
If not please contact us at nomad@nomadtours.co.za and we will e-mail you the document; alternatively visit us at 39 Castle Street, (Corner Castle & Burg Streets), Cape Town, to collect one. You can also download from our website at www.nomadtours.co.za. After hours contact number: +27 (0) 82 578 2199.

Tour Ends:
The tour ends at Stay @ Swakop www.stay-at-swakop.com OR Hotel Pension A La Mer: www.pension-a-la-mer.com. Kindly pre book this accommodation through your travel agent or Nomad.

TIPING ON TOUR:
Southern Africa:
In general tipping in restaurants is generally expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides.

Our guides do work hard, but they are also paid at (and often above) industry levels for this work. Our crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty.
The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. We recommend USD1 (or about R5) per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 3-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 3 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one. Place what you feel is fair in to each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserve a tip, please, do not tip them. You must remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected.

THE NOMAD AFRICAN TRUST:
www.nomadafricantrust.co.za
At Nomad we are passionate about the people, places and wildlife of Africa that make our tours so special. In order to give back we have set up the Nomad African Trust.
By the end of your tour you may have left-over local currency that you will not be able to change outside of its country of origin. Any assistance you could provide to the trust by donating this left over currency will be appreciated. Thank you for your help and please join our newsletter at the website above to receive regular updates on what we are doing to support our beneficiaries.

GREEN SEATS - TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY IN AFRICA:
Nomad gives you the opportunity to offset your carbon foot print by purchasing a “Green Seat”. If you would like to help Nomad making Africa Greener, simply choose the tick box on your booking form and we will take care of the rest. The Nomad African Trust will plant trees that are ecologically viable and that have very high carbon absorption.
Green Seats can be purchased at departure or on tour with your guide. For more information on our “Green Seats”, please visit www.nomadtours.co.za/nomad_greenseats.html

THANK YOU FOR TRAVELLING WITH NOMAD:
At the end of your tour you will be provided with feedback forms. These forms are confidential and should be given to your crew in a sealed envelope. If you are not sure of the confidentiality of the feedback form please feel free to email us as well on ops@nomadtours.co.za. Please make sure to also complete the feedback form as we use the answers on these forms to improve and maintain our service levels.

Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice, the accommodation listed in this dossier is our preferred supplier, but sometimes due to availability, we are unable to make use of the property listed in this dossier. If we cannot use the accommodation provider as listed we will substitute another property of similar standards, however, en-suite facilities are not always guaranteed.


The Namib Desert:
The Namib Desert is one of the oldest and largest in the world, occupying an area of around 90 000 km², stretching 1 000 km along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for at least 55 million years, it is considered to be the second oldest desert in the world, after the Atacama Desert in Chile. It has less than 10 mm of rain annually and is almost completely barren, charecterised by dramatic red dunes with sharp ridges, some of which tower 3 000 m in the air, the highest in the world. A section of the central Namib Desert incorporates The Namib-Naukluft Park, one of the largest national parks in Africa, as well as the Naukluft Mountains. Despite the harsh conditions, a variety of plant and animal life can be found in the desert. There are some unusual species of plants and animals that are found only in this desert.

Swakopmund:
Founded in 1892 by Geman settlers, Swakopmund was intended to be the main harbour of German South-West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated establishing a port of its own, as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometers south, was in British possession. The choice fell to a site north of the Swakop River, where water was readily available. There is a strong German architectural influence in the town, with its Bavarian-style buildings, including the Altes Gefängnis prison, designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909 and the Wörmannhaus, built in 1906 with a prominent tower, now a public library.

The area now known as Swakopmund was orginally called “Tsoakhaub", a Nama word that can be translated as "excrement opening", an offensive but accurate description of the waters of the Swakop River when it flooded, carrying masses of mud, sand, vegetation and animal corpses to the Atlantic Ocean. The name was changed to "Swachaub" by German settlers, and with the proclamation of Swakopmund as an independent district of German South-West Africa in 1896, the present way of writing Swakopmund (meaning Estuary of the Swakop in German) came into use.

Surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides and the cold Atlantic waters to the west, Swakopmund enjoys a temperate climate. Rainfall is rare, but the cold Benguela current supplies moisture to the area in the form of fog that can reach as deep as 140 km inland. The fauna and flora of the area has adapted to this phenomenon and now relies upon the fog as a source of water.
Swakopmund is well known for adventure sports including: skydiving, sandboarding and quadbiking. Your guides will be able to assist you in deciding on a suitable activity, alternatively, spend the day exploring the town and enjoying the various coffee shops and souvenir shops.