Seven Rivers of Northern Namibia
- Kunene River
- Hoanib River
- Khumib River
- Hoariseb River
- Huab River
- Aba Huab River
- Ugab River
The Kaokoland and Damaraland in the north-western corner of Namibia are still some of the most interesting and amazing wilderness areas in the world. It is rugged, intimidating, and perfect for the hardcore traveller.
For those who would like to leave the paved road, comforts, and tourist masses behind, an amazing journey awaits; through seven of the major lifelines of this area. Occasionally these rivers will be in flood with masses of water flowing through the rugged landscape, but most of the time a dry riverbed is the only remaining evidence. Join us on a journey of discovery.
The Seven Rivers of Northern Namibia that we will visit and explore are as follows:
- The Kunene River – The Kunene River is a perennial river with its origin in the Angolese highlands near Huambo. It is 945 kilometres long.
- The Khumib River – The Khumib river is an ephemeral river, crossing the Kunene region of north-western Namibia. It occasionally gets water during the rainy season. Its catchment area is estimated 2200 square kilometres.
- Hoarusib River – one of the most beautiful rivers of Kaokoland. Its source is near the town of Opuwo and the river flows through the Tonneson and Giraffe Mountains into the Atlantic Ocean.
- Hoanib River – another beautiful river that forms the border between Damaraland and Kaokoland.
- Huab and Aba-Huab: The source of the Huab River is southwest of the town of Kamanjab, from where it flows westwards through Mopane savanna until it reaches the Skeleton Coast and the Atlantic Ocean. One of the inflows of the Huab River is the Aba-Huab. The Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site is located on the banks of the Aba Huab River.
- Ugab River – one of the most beautiful rivers of Northen Namibia. You will find a lot of desert animals like elephants, lions, giraffe, etc. here. The source is near Otavi, and the length is about 450 kilometres.
DAY 1: KUNENE RIVER LODGE (KUNENE RIVER)
Arrive in your own time at the Kunene River Lodge. Try to arrive early to ensure that you have time at leisure to enjoy the setting and beautiful environment … it is a true paradise.
18:00 Meet your guides over dinner and discuss the routing and what to expect over the next few days.
O/N Camping at Kunene River Lodge (dinner)
DAY 2: KUNENE RIVER LODGE – EPUPA
Breakfast and break up camp.
We depart from the lodge following the course of the river in a western direction. Not far from the lodge we will make our first stop at Swartbooisdrift. This is where the courageous Dorsland Trekkers crossed the Kunene on their quest to reach Angola.
Our route is still in a westerly direction along one of the most scenic 4x4 tracks in the world. We drive along the Kunene River where you will find hundreds of Makalani Palms along the riverbanks with the Zebra Mountains to the other side.
Late afternoon we reach Epupa where a wonderful sight awaits you. Here the waters of the Kunene plunge 60 metres down into the mainstream, with the river splitting up in hundreds of small waterfalls … a sight you will never forget.
Set up camp at one of the campsites at Epupa.
O/N Camping at Epupa (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 3: EPUPA – DIRECTION VAN ZYL’S PASS
After breakfast we break up camp and depart from the Kunene heading south. Our route will take us in the direction of Van Zyl’s Pass. We aim to camp near the pass before driving it tomorrow.
O/N Camping at Van Zyl’s Community Camp or nearby (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 4: VAN ZYL’S PASS
A bucket list experience is on the agenda for today … Van Zyl’s Pass! We will head for the pass that is located between two mountain ranges in the Marienfluss. The Marienfluss is a valley with soft sand and grasslands. One of the amazing features of the Marienfluss is the “fairy circles”. Your guide will discuss the various theories about these circles that dot the landscape.
“Oom Ben” van Zyl took up a position as a stenographer in northern Namibia in 1940. In 1949 he was appointed Commissioner of Bantu Affairs in the Kaokoland. Building roads was part of his job and in 1960 he built the track that became known as Van Zyl’s Pass. This was done with a group of 20 men, an ordinary 3-ton truck and a tractor with trailer.
You will experience first-hand why this “tricky pass” is so well-known. Our guides will lead you through it safely.
Our camping spot will be determined by our progress; however, we hope to set up at Camp Syncro.
O/N Camping Camp Syncro or similar (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 5: MARIENFLUSS
We break up camp and continue with our journey through the Marienfluss passing the back of Mt Ondau that forms part of the Hartmann Mountain range. The mountain is a holy site for the Himba people. Here you will find villages of which some are abandoned, and others are waiting for its semi-nomadic inhabitants to return.
We head for Rooidrom. Ben van Zyl left a 45-gallon Caltex drum for petrol storage for when he passed through and needed fuel. The purpose of the drum changed, and it became a navigational point … lending the area its name. From Rooidrom we take the Rooidrom Pass and after a while you will start noticing the white of the marble quarry on the hills. We head for Marble Camp further ahead.
O/N Camping Marble Camp (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 6: ORUPEMBE (KHUMIB RIVER & HUARUSIB RIVER)
Break up camp and then head for Orupembe. We make a brief stop and will hopefully find a cold beer at the local shop that represents the settlement.
Today we will drive for a while in the Khumib River. This river reaches the ocean near Rocky Point, but we will not follow it all the way. Our aim is to reach the Puros Community Camp which means we will hop from the Khumib to the Huarusib River.
Puros is largely a Himba area. You will find some game in the area as animals congregate along the river. It is also traditionally the domain of the desert elephants of the Kaokoland. This group of elephants has adapted over time to survive in these harsh conditions.
These desert elephants are one of a group of only two desert-dwelling elephants found in the world … the other in Mali. They are evasive sometimes, so we cannot guarantee a sighting. If you do see them, keep in mind that they are known to be aggressive.
O/N Camping Puros (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 8: KHOWARIB SCHLUCHT (HOANIB RIVER)
We break up camp and head for Sesfontein. The town derives its name from the six fountains which have their source in the vicinity. The town started as a police outpost to combat smuggling and poaching. From Sesfontein we will follow an exciting 4x4 route through Khowarib Schlucht and Beesvlakte. The geological formation of the Schlucht provides for stunning scenery. We will plough through the thick sands of the Hoanib.
The Hoanib flows only every few years from heavy rainfall in the hinterland of the catchment area, but then the flood wave can be several meters high and last for several days. Not always, but more often in recent years, the water reaches the mouth in the Atlantic. A large part of the water seeps into- and contributes to a large dense subsurface aquifer, from the exits at various points in the riverbed, so that even in dry years there is groundwater.
We make our way to Palmwag. Here you have an opportunity to refuel. Due to the unreliable fuel supply at Sesfontein you should calculate your fuel consumption from Ruacana to Palmwag.
Palmwag Lodge is one of the oldest lodges in Namibia. It is nestled in a picturesque landscape with palms whispering in the wind. The lodge falls within a concession area where Hartman’s zebra, giraffe, oryx, springbok and kudu can be spotted.
O/N Camping Palmwag (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 7: PURROS (HUARUSIB RIVER)
Depart Puros and head towards Amspoort and the Amspoort Gorge. Be on the lookout for the linear oasis’ caused by the river. This is also the reason for the abundance of wildlife that you will see. The route takes us through a deep, narrow valley with steep sides cutting into the mountain.
O/N Elephant Song Camp (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 9: PALMWAG – DAMARALAND (HUAB & ABA HUAB)
Breakfast and break up camp. Today is a short and relaxed day on the road. We will head for our overnight stop, set up camp and will then be at leisure. We would like to encourage you to use this time to explore the tourist attractions in the area in your own time.
Optional places to visit: Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s only World Heritage Site is not far away … admire the amazing rock engravings. Also nearby is the Organ Pipes, Petrified Forest, and Burnt Mountain.
O/N Twyfelfontein Camp site (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 10: BRANDBERG (UGAB RIVER)
Breakfast and break up camp. Depending on conditions we will navigate the Ugab Swamps, pass amazing rock formations and find our way to the Ugab River. Our day ends upon arrival at the Brandberg White Lady Lodge. We set up camp in the shadow of the Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia (2 570m).
O/N Camping at the White Lady Lodge (breakfast and dinner)
** UPGRADE TO OVERNIGHT IN A ROOM AT WHITE LADY LODGE AVAILABLE AT ADDITIONAL COST
DAY 11: DEPARTURE HOME
Breakfast and break up camp.
After breakfast, it is time for sad farewells. You depart in your own time back home.
END OF TOUR
- 02 - 12 October 2024
Validity Period: 01 January 2024 – 31 December 2024
|SADC Residents||Tour cost|
|Per adult||R 21,200.00|
|Child (06 – 17 years)||R 8,900.00|
|Child (0 – 5 years)||R 3,600.00|
|Single Supplement||R 1,750.00|
** The single supplement only applies if there is only 1 adult in a vehicle.
** Rates for private groups on request (minimum of 24 paying adults required)
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 passed to you.
IS A BOOKING REQUIREMENT THAT YOU MUST SUBMIT PROOF OF TRAVEL INSURANCE WHEN MAKING YOUR FIRST PAYMENT; YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO JOIN THE TOUR WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE.
- Breakfast and dinner daily (Dinner and Breakfast at Twyfelfontein Lodge and Brandberg White Lady Lodge)
- Experienced guide team with own vehicles
- Tour leader
- Two-way radios for vehicles
- Camping fees
- Concession fees
- Park entry fees and permits
- Snacks and drinks
- Camping gear
- Travel insurance and vehicle insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Accommodation pre- and post- the tour
- Please note a new gate was installed in the Hoanib River which is on your route. This is to assist with protecting rhinos from being poached. This does mean there is a R100 per person and R100 per vehicle fee that will be for your own account to be paid cash on arrival at the gate.
- Two-way radios for each vehicle
- Guide in own vehicle
- Wind shelter, shower and chemical toilet at campsite
- Additional staff and vehicle to carry logistics
- Breakfast and dinner
Marie-Louise Pieterse - 03 to 13 September 2022
“Ek huil sommer, kan ek nie teruggaan en vir ‘n laaang ruk daar bly nie? Die toer was fantasties asook die kos en drank en gidse… baie baie dankie!!”
Gertjan Volgers - 03 to 13 September 2018
“We, again, had a wonderful trip with you. Guides and food were very good!”
Johann Venter - 03 to 13 September 2018
“Die gids is baie bekwaam en het die toer 'n plesier gemaak. Dan het ek ook "magic" gesien. Om al daardie goeie lekker kos en toerusting op daardie 2 bakkies te kry, is magic!”
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