Faces of the Namib 4x4
- The Kuiseb Canyon
- Namib Naukluft Park
- Conception Bay
- Eduard Bohlen Wreck
- Walvis Bay
- Holsatia Mining Settlements
Faces of the Namib is a five-night guided 4x4 self-drive adventure that starts in Solitaire and winds its way through the Namib Desert.
First travelling in a westerly direction through the Kuiseb River Canyon and on to Conception Bay across some of the world’s highest dunes. Passing through an old ghost town and past the iconic wreck of the Eduard Bohlen.
The tour then heads north through the Langewand to Walvis Bay.
The aim of this tour is to experience the desert in all its wonder with the changing landscapes from east to west, south to north. Desert wildlife, spectacular scenery, untouched beaches, abandoned mining settlements, miles of sand-driving and shipwrecks are some of the attractions along the way.
DAY 1: RENDEZVOUS TSAUCHAB RIVER CAMP
We assemble at Tsauchab River Lodge late afternoon / early evening. Since many group members may have been to Sossusvlei (one of the highlights of Namibia), a visit there is not included in our current itinerary. Tonight, you will have the opportunity to meet your guides and fellow travellers at a detailed briefing of what to expect the next few days.
Dinner is for the client’s own account.
O/N Tsauchab River Camp - camping included. Should you want to upgrade to a room, please ask your Live the Journey consultant to assist. The upgrade will be for the client’s own account.
DAY 2: SOLITAIRE – KUISEB CANYON
We depart from Tsauchab River Camp and travel to the entrance of the Namib Nauklüft Park, 35km north of Solitaire – a restricted Namib area. On the way we will stop at Solitaire to refuel. We cross the Namib plains more or less on the same ox-wagon route followed by early settlers, German Schutztruppe (on horseback and camels) and ‘transport ryers’ in the late 1800s. The route leads to the Kuiseb River. The landscape gradually changes from the typical Namib plains into a colourful landscape of red sand dunes separated by grassy plains. The Kuiseb Canyon offers unique scenery. Its southern bank is formed by massive red sand dunes and the northern bank by pitch-black rock formations, while the riverbed itself is overgrown with massive endemic trees. The dry sand bed creates a kaleidoscope of green and white tones. We now proceed westwards along the edge of the canyon until we reach a spot where the dunes fall right into the river, near Homeb. Depending on the status of the river (which may be in flood) we will ‘slip’ into the river enjoying its unique ecosystem. This includes a variety of trees and an abundance of birds. We will cross over onto the northern bank of the Kuiseb Canyon, enjoying breath-taking views.
On the northern side of the Kuiseb we will encounter the southern-most examples of the Welwitschia mirabilis plant, endemic to the Namib Desert. Although the plant looks as if it has many leaves, it has only two, shredded by the wind over the course of centuries.
The plant’s scientific names are a combination of the first European to describe it, an Austrian botanist named Friedrich Welwitsch, and ‘Mirabilis’ which is Latin and refers to its marvellous ability to survive in harsh, apparently waterless conditions.
O/N Namib Desert (dinner included).
DAY 3: DESERT CROSSING
The Namib Desert follows the coast of Namibia for approximately 2 000km. It varies in width from 80- to 200km where it meets the Namib escarpment. The most important climatic feature of the Namib Desert is its sparse and highly unpredictable annual rainfall which ranges from 5mm in the west to about 85mm along its eastern limits. Our aim with this trip is to drive across the desert from east to west experiencing the dramatic change in the environment. From Homeb, we head southwest into the ‘sand sea’. On the way to Conception Bay, we negotiate massive dunes. Once again ever-changing scenery and beautiful landscapes are enjoyed. Drivers’ skills are bound to be improving as the dunes offer greater and greater challenges. The dune straits are massive, and the dunes themselves even more impressive. Most are in excess of 150m high. We set up camp amongst them, enjoying the unique thrill of desert camping.
O/N Namib Desert (breakfast and dinner included).
DAY 4 & 5: CONCEPTION BAY AND GHOST TOWNS
In the area between Conception Bay and Meob Bay the mining settlements of Holsazia, Charlottenfelder and Grillenberger were established during the heyday of diamond mining. No form of engine-driven transport was available during the first 15 years of exploration. Transporting supplies and mining equipment happened mainly by ship from Swakopmund or using the cutter, Viking, travelling via Sandwich Harbour, Conception Bay and Meob Bay. Various shipping casualties occurred, such as when the Eduard Bohlen was stranded near Conception Bay in 1909. This rusty wraith is something exceptional to behold! Between 1912 and 1913 a light railway from Conception Bay to Conception Water, and an 80km pipeline linking the settlements, were constructed. It is not clear how many prefabricated buildings were erected at the various settlements, as only the foundations of some of these are still visible today.
The exploration of Namibia by Europeans commenced from this coastline as early as 1485, although the inhospitable Namib Desert barred access to the interior. Probably the first European to set foot on Namibian soil was the Portuguese explorer, Diogo Cao or Diogo Cam, followed by Bartholomew Diaz two years later, on 8 December 1487. This date represented the holiday of ‘Maria's Conception’. Therefore, the bay received the name ‘Santa Maria da Conceicao’ (Conception Bay). Today you will most likely see vast flocks of birds, drive past Cape Fur seal colonies, visit the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen near Conception Bay and see various relics dating back to the diamond-mining era. In November 1914 all the people in this area were requested to stop operations and to proceed to Swakopmund. This order came as a result of an expected invasion of allied troops. This part of the journey is something history buffs will particularly enjoy … keep a look out for wandering ghosts!
O/N Namib Desert (breakfast and dinner included).
DAY 6: LANGEWAND TO WALVIS BAY
The dune belt opens up between Meob Bay and Conception Bay, but immediately after Conception it stretches right onto the beach. From Conception Bay you will be driving on the beach. Scenery is truly magnificent. You will also experience driving freedom – BIG TIME!
We head northwards towards Sandwich Bay passing the wreck of the Shawnee, negotiating the famed Langewand where massive dunes come straight down into the sea.
There are only four places in the world to see this natural phenomenon. Due to the tides, there is only a very limited time span to negotiate this stretch of beach. After Langewand the trail once again leads into the dunes, circumnavigating the salt pan ‘extensions’ of Sandwich Harbour. The dunes are still getting progressively larger, offering drivers an ever-changing dune driving experience.
From Sandwich Harbour the trail enters the roller coaster, a series of massive ‘roaring’ slip faces, not only giving you a thrilling experience but also offering breath-taking views of the harbour and a panorama of sandscapes on the way to Walvis Bay. The trip concludes during the afternoon in Walvis Bay. The time has sadly come to say your goodbyes to new friends made during this adventure of a lifetime.
END OF TOUR
- 07 – 11 December 2023 (Private Tour)
- 29 December 2023 – 03 January 2024
- 01 - 06 February 2024
- 02 - 07 March 2024
- 27 March - 01 April 2024
- 08 - 13 April 2024
- 01 - 06 August 2024
- 25 - 30 October 2024
- 29 December 2024 - 03 January 2025
|Faces of the Namib||01 November 2023 - 31 October 2024|
|Prices are quoted in RAND|
|Guest Nationality||Tour Cost||Concession Fee*||Total|
|SADC: Per Adult||11800||6150||17950|
|SADC: Per Child 13 - 17 years||1900||3600||5500|
|SADC: Per Child 06 - 12 years||1900||2850||4750|
|SADC: Per Child 0 - 05 years||950||1600||2550|
|Foreign: Per Adult||11800||6400||18200|
|Foreign: Per Child||1900||6400||8300|
*The concession fee above is indicative of the expected increase from 01 November 2023. Please use as a guideline only.
** A single supplement will apply if there is only 1 adult in a vehicle. Please asl your consultant for the applicable rate.
- This tour operates on a minimum of 20 adult guests travelling.
- Special terms & conditions apply to any tour booked on an exclusive private basis.
- Prices for concession fees, taxes, park fees and fuel may be changed without prior notice. This is beyond our control and any increase levied will be for the traveller’s account.
- Breakfast and dinner (coffee/tea and fruit juices are supplied with meals)
- Camping at Tsauchab River Lodge ‘Day 1’
- Experienced guides with own vehicle
- Two-way radios for vehicles
- Camping fees
- Concession fees and levies
- Recovery equipment and on-site recovery only
- “Communal” camping equipment; braai grid, cooking facilities & equipment, tables, etc.
- Wind shelter, communal camp shower and chemical toilet at campsite
- Additional vehicle to carry logistics
- Dinner for the first night at Tsauchab River Camp
- Dinner and accommodation in Walvis Bay
- Snacks and drinks
- Camping gear
- Travel insurance and vehicle insurance
- Items of a personal nature
Guideline of prices for optional accommodation:
Tsauchab River Camp Room (2 adults sharing): from R 700.00 per adult per night
Lagoon Chalets, Walvis Bay (2 adults sharing): from R 550.00 per adult per night
Amjicaja, Walvis Bay (2 adults sharing): from R 800.00 per adult per night
De Baken, Walvis Bay (2 adults sharing): from R 880.00 per adult per night
We would also suggest a sundowner or dolphin cruise in Walvis Bay:
Sundowner Cruise: from R 550.00 per adult
Dolphin Cruise: from R 990.00 per adult
For more information or to book your accommodation, meals and / or cruise, please contact your Live the Journey consultant. We can also book other accommodation and excursions.
Errol du Preez - 04 to 09 June 2023
"Great trip, all the guides were exceptional."
Kobus & Melinda Botha - 02 to 07 March 2023
“This is a must-do tour that I would recommend to everybody that want to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Photos of this area does not do it justice; you must experience it yourself. This was the best trip I have ever done, and Live the Journey has the best Tour Guide Team you will get, from the knowledge of the area to the food that they prepare every day for breakfast and dinner… book as soon as possible!”
Retha Botha - 22 to 27 February 2023
“Dit was weereens fantasties en die diens van die LTJ span uit die boonste rakke.”
Adelle Sinden - 14 - 19 August 2022
“What an experience! The moment we met up with the group and guides, it felt like we were long lost friends. Your face some of your fears head-on, and the LTJ team really helped overcome each and every one of them. Lifelong memories were made and new friends. A special thank you to Luciano, Steven and Sam... you guys made the trip so special. I read something unique whilst there... Namibia - Land of the Brave. Absolutely true words. We will see you all soon and can’t wait to share some of the photos. Well done LTJ and team.”
Cor Booysen - 10 to 15 July 2022
“Time like this in the Namib is a bucket-list experience, our family is much closer after this tour. We have created memories that we will remember forever.”
Pieter Bloem - 17 to 22 April 2022
“Luciano, Steven en Sam was uitstekend. Luciano het jou deurentyd veilig en in beheer laat voel en altyd op hoogte gehou wat jy moet doen en wat voorle. Met Steven en Sam was hulle die beste span wat ons almal veilig deur die duine gebring het. Die kos was uitstekend (die manne kan kook en braai - Sam) - nie wat ons verwag het nie! Tel defnitief onder een van my en my vrou Adri se lekkerste ervarings nog. Nogmaals dankie aan Luciano, Steven en Sam dit was 'n baie besonderse ervaring en al die herinneringe en ander mense wat ons ontmoet het sal altyd kosbaar bly.”
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