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7 Day Namibia South - Cape Town to Swakopmund (CS7)
Namib Naukluft Park
Sesriem and surrounding area
Fish River Canyon
Cape Town - City
From the slopes of Cape Town’s majestic Table Mountain to Namibia’s most popular seaside resort of Swakopmund, this trip takes in dunes, desolate coastline and the impressive Fish River Canyon. Climb the highest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei and experience action and adrenaline in the Namib Desert, where you can try your hand at skydiving, sand boarding and quad biking, or simply wind down in the colonial town of Swakopmund.
This trip begins in Cape Town, South Africa and travels north through South Africa and Namibia, before ending in Swakopmund, Namibia.
This trip departs from Cape Town early on Sunday morning. Should you wish to explore Cape Town, an earlier arrival should be planned and accommodation booked through your agent SA Tours and Safaris.
Included Highlights: Township Tour, Orange River, Fish River Canyon, Namib Nauklift National Park, Sossusvlei and Swakopmund Trip Code: CS7 Pre Departure Meeting: Held at the Departure Point at 17h00 the day before your departure. Departure Point: Ashanti Lodge & Travel Centre - 11 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Check-In Time: 08h45 Departure Time: 09h30 Local Payment: US$250
Please Note: This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions. All prices & Local Payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the trip. Your arrival transfer and pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in your trip price. Should you choose not to make use of these, or in the event that ATC were not updated with your arrival details, no refund will be paid for services not used. Please ensure you’ve received a copy of our pre departure information document with information on what to expect on this overland safari.
The staff and management look forward to welcoming you aboard and trust that you will enjoy your trip with us.
DAY 1: Cape Town to Cederberg Area (L / D) Before leaving Cape Town, we depart on a township tour in and around Cape Town. This is an included highlight allowing everyone to experience it. From here we head around Table Bay and continue north through the wheat growing ‘bread basket’ of South Africa. We cross the Piketberg Pass into the rich fruit growing area along the Olifants River, named for the vast Elephant herds that used to roam in this fertile valley.
Our first night is spent in a picturesque campsite with a view of the surrounding wine farms. This afternoon we have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods after taking a short walk in the surrounding vineyards to explore the exquisite views of the Cederberg Mountains. Tonight we camp under a canvass of stars – the perfect way to begin our African adventure.
DAY 2: Cederberg Area to the Gariep River (B / L / D) From the Cederberg we travel further north through the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. After stopping for supplies in the small mining town of Springbok, we continue on through the desert area of the Richtersveld to the Gariep River, the natural land border between South Africa and Namibia, where we camp at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river.
DAY 3: Gariep River to Fish River Canyon (Namibia) (B / L / D) This morning we have the option of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording us the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. After lunch we cross into Namibia where, after a short drive, we reach the Fish River Canyon. At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving us access to several viewing points from where we can take in the spectacular vistas.
DAY 4: Fish River Canyon to Sesriem (B / L / D) An early start today, heading north we enter the area of the Namib-Naukluft desert, one of the oldest in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a good place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world. Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high. Make sure you look up at the stars tonight; the desert puts on a show like nowhere else in the world!
DAY 5: Sesriem (B / L / D) This morning we enter the Namib-Naukluft National Park where we spend the morning exploring this amazing area. View the sunrise from the top of Dune 45 - a truly memorable experience. Following our sunrise experience you will have the option to take the desert shuttles a further 5kms into the desert where you can take a walk to Sossusvlei and explore the surrounding area. An optional guided walk is available at an additional cost, after our leisurely morning exploring the desert and its dunes.
DAY 6: Sesriem to Swakopmund (B) This morning after breakfast we head off in a north-westerly direction to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay. Our drive takes us across the Tropic of Capricorn – the ‘imaginary line’ that shows the southernmost point of direct sun, and signals the southern hemisphere’s mid-summers day. From Walvis Bay, we follow the coast for some 35 km to arrive at Namibia’s prime holiday resort - Swakopmund where we enjoy 2 nights of rest, relaxation and a little bit of adrenalin for those that are keen! Accommodation will be in dormitories for the next 2 nights, upgrades into private rooms are possible, but depend on availability and can be booked with your trip leader.
DAY 7: Swakopmund (B) Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit. Alternatively, the lovely beach and promenade make for a great relaxing walk – though bathing in the ocean waters may be somewhat chilly! Some of our fellow passengers may leave us in Swakop, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the rest of our trip.
OPTIONAL excursions include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund (see price guide at the end of this document).
Inclusions & Exclusions
Inclusions - Accommodation and activities as per itinerary - Meals per itinerary B-Breakfast L-Lunch D-Dinner
What’s not included? International flights, Airport departure taxes, Departure transfer, Visas, Meals unless otherwise stated, Travel Insurance, Laundry, Personal Items, and Tips. Local Payment: US$ 250
Why pay local payment? Local payment is compulsory and is paid in cash to the trip leader at the start of your trip and is used to cover the daily US dollar expenses of running the trip and includes, amongst others, game park entrance fees, camping fees, tolls, entrances and food. We ask that you bring along your local payment contribution, if applicable, in US$ cash, as this is the easiest currency to exchange in Africa.
INSURANCE Personal travel insurance is compulsory to join all of our trips. All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. This should include, at least, comprehensive medical cover including the cost of airlifting you to a specialist hospital. Make sure that you will be covered when participating in Adventure Activities, like white water rafting. We recommend you make sure your possessions are covered for both theft and damage. We also recommend you cover yourself for Cancellation and Curtailment Fees if you are unable to travel due to sudden illness, airline strikes, etc. NB: A copy of your Insurance Policy must be handed to your Trip Leader at the start of your trip. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via SA Tours and Safaris. Please enquire with our consultants for further information.
1. GENERAL The following information is provided to assist you in preparing for your trip.
All of our trips are camping trips. They are designed with people who have an adventurous spirit in mind, who‟d like to visit East, Central and Southern Africa, but only have a limited time frame. The nature of overland travel is such that it is generally better suited to the young (and young at heart), but we do not impose an upper age limit.
We provide all cooking and camping equipment, with the exception of your sleeping bag & mat on all of our trips.
Transport is on specially converted Mercedes or MAN trucks that are completely self-sufficient - carrying all the necessary equipment, passenger's luggage, fuel, fresh water and food stocks. In addition, all Africa Travel Co. vehicles carry a range of spare parts and the driver is well versed at fixing common faults. Before each truck begins a trip it will have been thoroughly serviced and overhauled, but it is comforting to know that in the unlikely event of a breakdown the necessary spares and experience are available.
Accommodation on our trips is in two person dome tents with mosquito nets over the door and window areas, a sewn in ground sheet and a separate flysheet. The only exceptions to the above are our NN7 Kilimanjaro Climb and our VV10 Best of Botswana that are operated by local suppliers. The accommodation & transport for these is specified in the relevant trip information. Passengers are expected to participate in all aspects of the trip. This means pitching and dismantling your own tent and, on a roster basis, helping with the daily chores such as cooking, washing up and truck cleaning. On all of our trips we have a Safari Cook, although we do ask you to assist in the food preparation and shopping. Bargaining in the local markets and helping produce a meal for between 10 and 30 people, can be great fun. The advantages of group travel are achieved when the group works as one. Sharing the responsibility for the roster duties, as well as the packing and security of the vehicle, equipment and belongings will help to make the groups collective experience an enjoyable one.
2. BEFORE YOUR TRIP PRE-DEPARTURE MEETINGS AND DEPARTURES The Pre-Departure Meetings usually last for approximately one hour and are a great opportunity for you to meet your fellow travellers. The meetings cover a range of topics and important information that should make you feel a lot more comfortable with how your trip will operate as well as ways for you to maximise your experience. Please make every effort to attend this meeting or advise your travel agent or Africa Travel Co. directly, if you know you will be unable to attend.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct documentation to complete your trip. The Trip Leader cannot stop or alter a trip because you don‟t have the correct paper work. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip. You should have at least one blank page for each country to be visited. TIP: We advise you to bring a photocopy of the first 4 pages of your passport, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it. Most visas, for most nationalities, are obtainable on arrival at each border. However, you must check with each consular office of each county we visit prior to your departure as to what the visa requirements are. Make sure you check this, way in advance of your departure, so that, if required, you have enough time to get them. This is completely your responsibility. For more information please see: http://www.projectvisa.com/.
LUGGAGE AND WHAT TO BRING As a guide, we recommend you keep to your airline's restriction – no more than 20 kg. The truck has limited luggage space, so we recommend you bring along a backpack (preferably with built-in frame) and a day bag. We do not recommend large suitcases. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry, but avoid nylon and other synthetics as they can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Please remember that Africa can be much colder than you might expect, particular at night and in the early morning, so pack accordingly. Suggested list of what to pack:
-PASSPORT & photocopy -VACCINATION CERTIFICATE & photocopy -TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY & photocopy -MONEY & AIRLINE TICKETS -underwear & socks -personal toiletries -2 long sleeved shirts or blouses -spare contact lenses & solution / spare glasses -3 – 4 short sleeved shirts or t-shirts -sleeping bag & mat -2 pairs trousers or 1 pair & 1 skirt -water bottle -1 – 2 pairs shorts -pen knife -tracksuit pants -torch & spare batteries -light sweater -small sewing kit -heavy sweater -washing soap for clothes -water/wind proof jacket -clothes line & pegs -comfortable walking boots or trainers -small scrubbing brush -sandals or flip-flips -sealable plastic bags -1 set of smart clothes & shoes -camera & spare batteries/charger -Hat -extra memory card/film -Swimsuit -binoculars -Towel -universal plug adapter -watch (inexpensive) -reading material -sunglasses (inexpensive) -music (our vehicles are equipped with stereos)
ITINERARY FLEXIBILITY This information and the itinerary we‟ve given you, are intended to serve as guidelines only. Each trip must be flexible to allow for all variables that are beyond our control - such as adverse road conditions, complications caused by the weather, unstable political situations, etc. Our trips generally run as planned, and you‟ll, more than likely, get see everything listed, if not more.
Please Note that any trip travelling via Nairobi or Victoria Falls and any trip where we‟ve added another truck to a departure date because of passenger demand, may have a Truck and/or Crew change. ONWARD TRAVEL
As already mentioned, conditions in Africa are constantly changing and we can therefore not be held responsible for disruptions and delays that may cause you to miss your connections. We recommend that you allow 1 to 3 days after the completion date of your trip before flying out.
3. HEALTH & WELFARE MEDICAL / HEALTH All of our vehicles carry a basic first aid kit that is used in emergencies. Passengers will be asked to replace any item they use. We would therefore strongly advise you to bring your own medical kit, which you‟ll be able to get at any reputable medical store. Suggested contents include: -pain killers -anti-malarial, medication -plasters / sterile dressings -eye drops -insect repellent -anti-histamine tablets / cream -antiseptic cream -sterile wipes -water purification tablets -anti diarrhoea remedy -re-hydration salts -lip balm -sun screen / after sun lotion -moisturiser / body lotion
MALARIA Malaria is endemic in most parts of Africa. It is your responsibility to take precautions against catching it. First and foremost, don‟t get bitten!!! Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers when mosquitoes are most active - early in the morning and evening! Use plenty of insect repellent with a high level of DEET on any exposed areas – neck, wrist and ankles!!! Consult your doctor prior to leaving for Africa so that they can prescribe suitable anti-malarial medication. For further information see http://www.alib.co.za/aftrip/malaria.html.
VACCINATIONS Please consult your doctor / immunisation centre for the relevant vaccination requirements for the countries through which you will be travelling. Most countries you visit will require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate if you‟ve been into an area that‟s infected. Your home country will also probably need the Vaccination Certificate if you‟ve been into an infected area. Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal meningitis, Diphtheria and Tetanus are all prevalent in much of Africa and while it is not compulsory to be vaccinated against these, all precautions should be taken to prevent them. TIP: We advise you to bring a copy of your yellow fever vaccination certificate, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it. All travellers wishing to partake in the gorilla trek excursion will be required to present their yellow fever vaccination certificate to the park‟s officials prior to their trek.
4. WHILST ON YOUR OVERLAND TRIP OUR OVERLAND SAFARI VEHICLE’S All of our trucks are either Mercedes Benz or MAN trucks that have been designed, modified and built to ensure your safety and comfort. All our vehicles carry full cooking and camping equipment, cassette players, exterior and interior lighting, long-range fuel tanks and 300 to 400 litre water tanks. (Bring along an adapter to connect your CD / MP3 players to the cassette player.) They have either all forward facing seats or a combination of forward and backward facing seats with little tables between. A few of our trucks have a few side facing seats right in the front of the truck, but the rest of the truck has forward facing seats. Keep in mind, bench seating often faces inwards, so while you can communicate with your fellow travellers, it‟s not advantageous for game viewing and photography. Our trucks have soft cushioned seats. Our fleet of overland trucks have fitted windows that slide to open.
SECURITY We cannot stress enough, the need for you to be alert whilst travelling in Africa, as petty theft is common. Don't bring any unnecessary, expensive jewellery with you. Keep an eye on your belongings, at all times. There is a safe on each truck where we suggest you store your travel documents and money. We recommend you photocopy all of your travel documents, which you keep separately from the originals. Vehicle security is a part of trip life and is one of your roster duties. The vehicle should never be left unattended, except when we are staying in a guarded campsite. Although every precaution will be taken, neither Africa Travel Co, nor its agents and employees can accept any responsibility for anything deposited in the safe or left on the vehicle.
SPENDING MONEY Only you know to what extent your spending habits will tax you! Africa is not as cheap as a lot of the travel books would have you believe and as such we would recommend that you allow for between U$30.00 to U$35.00 per day for things like bottled water, snacks, drinks and curios. This obviously depends on how much of curio shopper and drinker you are!!! You will also have to budget for any Optional Excursions you‟d like to do. We advise you to bring your spending money in both cash preferably in US dollars. Credit Cards are not widely accepted. If you‟re travelling in East Africa, U$ notes should be clean, un-torn and printed after 2001. Larger denomination notes attract a better exchange rate, but we suggest you bring along a mix of both small and large denomination notes. You may need to change only a small amount to tide you over in a country and you should try to get rid of each country‟s currency before you leave that country as you won‟t be able to change it anywhere else! Your trip leader will advise you on when & where to change to local currencies.
OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS Please budget accordingly for any of the optional excursions listed for your trip. While we do list a guideline to the prices for these, they may increase without notice by the local operators. Gorilla Trek: Please familiarise yourself with our document on trekking procedures and costs for the excursion. This can be downloaded from our website, or on request from our office at email@example.com.
TIPPING We are often asked about gratuities. These are always at your discretion, of course, and then only for, at least, satisfactory service. If you found the service to be unsatisfactory, you are obviously not obligated to leave a tip. However, we would ask that you let us know (on our Client Feedback Form) in what way the service was unsatisfactory so that we can rectify the problem for future clients. The tips below are a guideline only. Scale your tips according to your satisfaction – average service should equate to an average tip. Local guides (like the rangers when gorilla trekking and the polers when in the Okavango Delta), between U$5.00 and U$7.00 per day. Assistants to the guides, (like bushwhackers when gorilla trekking and camp assistants when in the Okavango Delta) between U$4.00 and U$5.00 per day. Others who have provided a service (like housekeeping staff when staying in lodges for a few days), about U$2.00 per day. When eating out, satisfactory service usually warrants a tip of about 10% of the total bill. For the Kilimanjaro Climb – please refer to the tipping guide provided on your trip dossier.
CREW ATC camping trips have 3 crew members - your Driver, Trip Leader and Safari Cook. Your Driver & Cook are generally Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Namibian or South African. They have a wealth of experience and are more than happy to share it with you. Your Trip Leader is generally African, European or Australasian. They have travelled through Africa, either independently or as a passenger. Most of our crew have been on the road for a number of years and have vast experience in running successful trips throughout the route we travel. NB: Your Trip Leader is not a “Tour Guide” in the normal sense. They are not experts in all aspects of the culture, history and wildlife of each area. They are employed to ensure the smooth running of your trip. That said, all of our crew have a passion for Africa and have acquired much knowledge of each area, which they‟ll happily share. For more in-depth information there are usually books on board the truck for your use, but if you have a specific interest like bird watching for example, consider buying one of the guides listed at the end of this document.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, like impassable roads or group safety, it may be necessary to make alterations to the planned itinerary. If this is necessary, the Trip Leader will discuss the issue with the group and alter the itinerary accordingly. The Trip Leader will obviously consider the wishes of the group, but there may be occasions where they have to make an unpopular decision. In ALL matters relating to the trip’s running, the Trip Leader’s decision will be final.
WHILST ON SAFARI On the Kenya to Cape route (or vice versa), it is possible to stay in a secure campsite every night and there are few nights when a shower or a beer are not available - whether they be hot or cold, respectively, is another matter! Sometimes conditions can be challenging and if it‟s raining you‟ve still got to put up your tent. Africa is a vast continent so some of the drives can be long and there are a few patches of bumpy roads. There maybe a few hiccups in the itinerary when a bridge is washed away or there‟s a mechanical emergency. But, none of these will spoil your trip if you approach them with the right attitude and a sense of humour.
"TAKE ONLY PHOTOS, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS". Africa is a diverse and unique continent with both a very beautiful and a very ugly side to her. Wherever possible, we try to let you experience Africa first hand so that you may get a better understanding of what makes her so unique. We ask that you leave her as you find her. Respect the locals. Ask before taking a photo. You probably wouldn‟t enjoy suddenly being accosted by a group of tourists taking pictures of you! Some people believe that you take away their spirit when you photograph them, so ensure you show them the same courtesy you would appreciate, and ask for permission. Bargaining for curios is the norm. It is a great way to interact with the locals, but bear in mind they‟re trying to make a living, so don‟t bargain just for the sake of it. Be prepared to pay what you think the item is worth.
You will see some of the absolute poverty that grips much of the continent, but will amazed at how people with seemingly so little are able to triumph over their circumstances to come out on the other side with such a generous spirit. In many of the places you visit, you will experience begging in some form or another. Whether or not to give has caused many a heated debate. The answer is entirely personal, but consider the long term consequence of your decision. If you‟d like to distribute goodies, why not ask for permission to take a photo, a smile or a song from the kids and as payment you could let them have a goodie. Please bear in mind that while the kids in your hometown may find sweets a real treat, their moms and dads haul them off to the dentist regularly to get their cavities filled. Many of the areas you visit will not have access to dentists, so instead of sweets, why not bring along some fruit or pens/balls/old clothes/etc. which will be happily received by the kids but won‟t leave them toothless.
LOCAL LAWS All passengers are required to obey the laws of the countries we travel through. Any passenger found in possession of contraband, non-prescribed narcotic drugs or firearms will be asked to leave the trip immediately, with no refund of the Trip Price.
PHOTOGRAPHY Africa is a photographer‟s paradise. There will be a few opportunities to download your photos, but these will only be in the bigger centres. We therefore suggest you invest in an extra memory card with a high storage capacity so that you won‟t have to delete your precious memories. If your camera still uses film, bring along a good stock, as film can be scarce (and, when available, expensive). Consider bringing along a re-sealable polythene bag to protect your camera from the dust.
If you are visiting the gorillas, make sure you familiarise yourself with your camera settings as flash photography is not permitted. If you‟re planning on videoing your trip, make sure you bring along an extra battery as it isn‟t always possible to re-charge you batteries every day.
WARNING - Under no circumstances should you attempt to photograph government buildings (including borders), police, military personnel or any government official. It is not unknown for people to have cameras confiscated if officials even suspect a photo has been taken. If in doubt, ask.
CHARGING OF BATTERIES Most of the camp sites have electrical points, so you should be able to charge your batteries every 3 to 4 days, provided they have electricity, which is not always guaranteed. We recommend you bring along 2 sets of rechargeable batteries as well as 2 sets of normal batteries, so you can be guaranteed of having working batteries1. GENERAL