CAPE TO THE KALAHARI DESERT AND FISH RIVER CANYON
(10 days/ 9nights)
PRICE: 1995 dollars per person based on 4 people private guided tour
PRICE: 1195 dollars per person based on 2 people self drive
This private guided 10-day tour includes:
– All entrance fees to national parks, museums and cultural sites
– 1 safari with professional ranger
– All breakfasts, 2 dinners, 1 lunch and 2 barbecues
– An English speaking guide
– Accommodation bed and breakfast quality *** or ****
Between ocean and desert, this 10 day tour will enchant you with its diversity of landscapes, fauna, flora and cultural richness and one of the worlds most dynamic arid regions.
Highlights of stay
- Eland’s Bay, town on the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful waves for surfing enthusiasts, rich marine life, is a habitat for birds and is home to the famous cave paintings.
- Nieuwoudtville, the world’s capital for bulb plants, is located in the heart of Namaqualand (country of Nama people).
- Augrabies Falls on the Orange River is among the highest in the world and, in full flood, the speed can reach 4 times the famous Niagara Falls.
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa and Botswana have abolished their borders to form the first Transfrontier Park on the continent.
- Ai Ais, close to the canyon, is an oasis offering thermal hot springs and forms part of the Richtersvelt National Park .
- Fish River Canyon is one of the most impressive natural wonders of Southern Africa. It is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in Colorado.
- The Ai Ais / Richtersveld Transfrontier National Park is an immense arid region uniting Ai Ais in Namibia and the Richtersveld Park in South Africa.
- Namaqualand National Park of the Nama people literally becomes carpets of flowers after the first spring rains. A national park was established to protect this unique phenomenon.
- Cederberg is a rugged wilderness area, known for incredible rock formations, bushman paintings and indigenous flora.
- Cape Town is a city where we will find wonderful scenery and discover magnificent landscapes.
Day 1: Eland’s Bay
This morning we leave Cape Town heading northwards along the Atlantic coast to the west of the country to the West Coast National Park along the turquoise waters of the Langebaan Lagoon. In spring the dunes and wetlands explode into fields of wild flowers of many colours. The migratory bird and various species of animals can be seen all year round.
Lunch alongside the Langebaan Lagoon.
Then to famous the West Coast Fossil Park which is known to palaeontologists world wide.
The exceptionally well-preserved fossil fauna remains, bears, elephants, giant giraffe and lion that date to circa 5.2 million years, are displayed.
Continuing along the coast from St Helena Bay to Eland’s Bay, the latter famous for surfing, crayfishing and archaeological discoveries, to a farm on the banks of Verloerenvlie, an important Ramsar Wetland.
Farm stay accommodation
Day 2: Nieuwoudtville
After leaving Eland’s Bay we head to Lambert’s Bay, known for its diamond diving and crayfishing communities. Seafood barbecues are a tradition in summer.
From the harbour we walk along the seawall that leads to Bird Island the world’s largest gannet colony.
We head up the panoramic Vanrhyn’s pass to Nieuwoudtville in the Kouebokkeveld, the bulb capital of the world.
Farm stay accommodation.
Day 3: Augrabies Falls
Leaving Nieuwoudtville we drive through “Bushman Land”.
Lunch at Calvinia
Next is the “Tankwa Karoo National Park” on the banks of the mighty Orange River and then to the Augrabies Falls National Park. These falls are among the highest, the name is derived from the Khoi word meaning “place of great noise”.
Accommodation in a National Park chalet.
Day 4: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
This morning we follow the Orange River, driving through Upington, founded in 1873, the gateway to the Kalahari.
We arrive at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which was created in 1999 by merging the Kalahari National Park in Botswana and Gemsbok National Park. This is the first Transfrontier Park in Africa.
Day 5: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Early morning departure to see the the big cats, leopards, cheetahs including the unique black maned lions and admire the Oryx which are the pride of the Kalahari Desert.
Breakfast in the desert.
Picnic lunch in the dunes.
We enjoy a 4 x 4 sunset safari with professional guide.
Day 6: Ai Ais
Early morning game drive before leaving for Namibia.
From the Namibian border we drive through salt marshes, vast desert plains and arid mountains.
By mid afternoon we arrive at our Ai Ais, which means “boiling” in Nama. This oasis forms the southern part of the Fish River Canyon.
The rest of the day we relax and enjoy a swim in the hot springs of Ai Ais known to have healing properties for rheumatism and skin problems.
An early start for our journey to the heart of the Fish River Canyon where we enjoy sunrise over the canyon.
The Fish River Canyon, which now flows only during heavy rainfall, is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon; the scenery is magnificent!
Lunch is a picnic; a day to relax!
Chalet accommodation and dinner
We head through the southern Richtersveld Park onto Namaqualand.
The Richtersveld is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for it’s cultural heritage and botanical diversity.
Lunch in Springbok, capital of the Namaqualand.
We arrive at the Namaqualand National Park best known for its exceptional display of is spring flowers and is the last refuge for the Nomadic Nama people.
Day 9: Cederberg
We hike to the “Maltese Cross” a massive rock formation shaped cross.
Day 10: Cape Town
After breakfast, we hike in the mountains and visit the caves and the magnificent cave paintings left by the “Bushmen” .
Lunch at Piketberg.
Our last stop will be at Boubergstrand and enjoy a postcard view of the city of Cape Town and the famous Table Mountain.
Arrival in Cape Town.
Transfer to hotel.