Grand Tour of Namibia
The Kalahari, Sossusvlei dunes, Etosha, Damaraland and game reserves
17 nights from £3395
Key VJV Features
• VJV Special Event • VJV Sightseeing Programme
• Extension Option • Upgraded Flight Option • Walking Content: 2 • Group Size: 4 – 25
The Namib is the world’s oldest and possibly most beautiful desert. One of the driest and least populated areas on the planet, stretching 1,200 miles in length but averaging a width of only 70 miles. Its fascination derives from its seas of multi-toned wind sculpted dunes and the exoticism of the plants and animals that have adapted to life there. Bottle trees, quiver trees and anthropomorphic elephant’s trunk trees all cut haunting silhouettes against the monochrome back-cloths of ochre sand dunes, white dry clay flats and bright blue skies. The actual ‘vlei’ of Sossusvlei is a clay pan surrounded by some of the oldest sand dunes in the world. A short hike to the Dead Vlei reveals tree stumps older than 1,000 years creating an eerie atmosphere set against the white coloured landscape.
Much of eastern and southern Namibia is covered by the Kalahari Desert which is, by way of contrast, a fossil desert with a landscape of golden grass and small red dunes. The Fish River Canyon, on the lower reaches of the river of the same name, is one of the most impressive natural beauties in the southern part of the country. Meandering some 100 miles and in places up to 17 miles wide and with a depth of up to 550 metres, it is surpassed in size only by the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Luderitz was the first German settlement and the start of the South West African diamond industry. Nearby Kolmanskop, once a thriving diamond rush centre with grandiose houses and shops, is now a melancholy ghost village whose decline was signalled by the slump in diamond sales after the First World War and by the mid-1950s was completely deserted. Adjoining Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, lying between the dramatic Atlantic coastline and desert dunes, offer an interesting contrast, the former reveals elaborate Germanic architecture, whilst the latter was once a British port and still has a cricket pitch!
In March 1907 the Etosha National Park was established by the then governor of German South West Africa as a reserve for the protection of wildlife. Dominated by a massive mineral pan and part of the Kalahari Basin, the Etosha is one of Southern Africa’s finest and most important game reserves. This semi-arid area reveals many species against landscapes ranging from dense bush to open plains and is well populated by the Big Five, eland, giraffe and many other species of mammal, reptile and bird. Stay at one of the rest camps (normally Halali but on occasion Okaukuejo or Namutoni), which are unique in having floodlit waterholes and optional night game drives, the best hotels in Swakopmund and Windhoek.
VJV Special Event - A Castle in Africa
A special dinner with wine tasting at the castle Hotel Heinitzburg, built in 1914 and overlooking Windhoek.