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NSV >14 DAY DESERT & DELTA

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Day 1 Swakopmund
On your arrival you meet your guide and the rest of the group. We spend the day enjoying some of the many exciting activities available here. Optional Activities: Quad Biking, Sandboarding, Sky Diving, Dolphin Cruise, Scenic Flights, Fishing, Dinner Out etc.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Hostel (Dorm Room) Villa Wiese www.villawiese.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, bar, drinkable water.

Swakopmund
Founded in 1892 by Geman settlers, Swakopmund was intended to be the main harbour of German South-West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated establishing a port of its own, as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometers south, was in British possession. The choice fell to a site north of the Swakop River, where water was readily available. There is a strong German architectural influence in the town, with its Bavarian-style buildings, including the Altes Gefängnis prison, designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909 and the Wörmannhaus, built in 1906 with a prominent tower, now a public library.
The area now known as Swakopmund was orginally called “Tsoakhaub", a Nama word that can be translated as "excrement opening", an offensive but accurate description of the waters of the Swakop River when it flooded, carrying masses of mud, sand, vegetation and animal corpses to the Atlantic Ocean. The name was changed to "Swachaub" by German settlers, and with the proclamation of Swakopmund as an independent district of German South-West Africa in 1896, the present way of writing Swakopmund (meaning Estuary of the Swakop in German) came into use.
Surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides and the cold Atlantic waters to the west, Swakopmund enjoys a temperate climate. Rainfall is rare, but the cold Benguela current supplies moisture to the area in the form of fog that can reach as deep as 140 km inland. The fauna and flora of the area has adapted to this phenomenon and now relies upon the fog as a source of water.
Swakopmund is well known for adventure sports including: skydiving, sandboarding and quadbiking. Your guides will be able to assist you in deciding on a suitable activity, alternatively, spend the day exploring the town and enjoying the various coffee shops and souvenir shops.

Day 2 Spitzkoppe
Leaving the coast we head to Namibia’s ‘Matterhorn’. Spitzkoppe is a huge rocky outcrop where we set up camp in the wild, beneath the mountain. This afternoon there is an included walk to view Bushman (San) paintings.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Bush Camp: Spitzkoppe Community Campsite
Facilities: No facilities, Long drop toilets
Included Activities: Guided walk with Nomad guide through Spitzkoppe
Route: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe ±170 km
Travel time: ±3-4 hrs

Spitzkoppe
The Spitzkoppe (also referred to as Spitzkop, Groot Spitzkop, or the "Matterhorn of Namibia"), is a group of bald granite peaks located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert. The granite is more than 700 million years old and the highest outcrop rises about 1 784 m above sea level. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. The highest peak is about 700m above the floor of the desert below. A minor peak- the Little Spitzkoppe - lies nearby at an elevation of 1 584 m above sea level. Other prominences stretch out into a range known as the Pontok Mountains. Many examples of Bushman artwork can be seen painted on the rock in the Spitzkoppe area.
It is possible that the main peak was summited as early as 1904, when a soldier of the Royal Schutztruppe supposedly soloed the peak and made a fire on the summit. What he may have burned remains a mystery, as there is absolutely no natural fuel of any kind on the upper parts of the peak. The legend suggests that he never returned and that his body was never recovered. Certainly, no proof of his conquest is available today.

Day 3 Himba Tribes
After some early morning exploration we continue north and drive towards Kamanjab. The Himba are a pastoral people and predominantly breed cattle or goats. They are easily recognisable by their unique style of dress.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Himba Camp (no website available)
Facilities: Bush shower and basic toilets.
Included activities: Guided visit to the Himba Tribe with Local Guide.
Route: Spitzkoppe to Kamanjab ±340 km
Travel time: ±5-6 hrs

The Himba People
The Himba are descendents of the Herero people, and still speak a dialect of the old Herero language. There are about
20 000 – 50 000 Himba people living in the Kunene region, where they have recently built two villages at Kamanjab. The Himba are semi-nomadic pastoralists who breed cattle and goats in this dry, rugged, and mountainous area. They are some of the most photographed people in the world, due to their striking style of dress, and their traditional lifestyle. Their appearance is characterised by scanty goat-skin clothing, and they are heavily adorned with jewellery of shells, copper and iron, according to the tribal hierarchy. The distinctive red colour of their skin and hair is a mixture of butter, ash and ochre (otjize) which protects them from the harsh desert climate.
Typically the women take care of the children, do the milking and other work, whilst men take care of the political tasks. The villages are made up of family homesteads – huts built around a central fire and livestock enclosure. Both the livestock and fire are pivotal to the Himba belief in ancestor worship, the fire representing ancestral protection of the living community.
Situated about 20 km outside of town, a guided tour around the village will not only give you an in-depth insight into the life and ways of the last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba, but an amazing photographic opportunity as well. You will find out about the milking ceremony, the smoke bath, be informed on the beliefs around the holy fire, ancestors, and herbal medicine. You will also learn about the jewelry and hairstyles to imitate the status of each tribe member and their close relationship with nature, their cattle and children. The income generated from these excursions, helps to sustain the tribe from day to day, buying food and supplies, medicine (if necessary) and taking care of the children. Please take note that the village is not for show or a human zoo, you will be allowed inside these amazing peoples’ home and have a cultural exchange. Please respect their lives and ways as they would respect yours and in this way help preserve their culture and traditions.

Day 4/5 Etosha National Park
Etosha is the venue for some of the most unique game viewing experiences in Africa. The sparse grasslands allow great opportunities to see animals normally hidden in dense vegetation. We will go on various game drives, and spend our evenings at the abundant water holes for some excellent game photography. Optional Activities: Night or Dawn Drives in Safari Vehicles

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Okaukuejo, Halali or Namutoni www.nwr.com.na/etosha_national_park.html
Facilities: Drinkable water, shared ablutions, bar, shop, post box, swimming pool and
waterholes at all campsites.
Included Activities: Game drives in truck
Route: Kamanjab to Etosha NP ±270 km
Travel time: ±3-4 hrs

Etosha National Park
Etosha, meaning “Great White Place”, is dominated by a massive mineral pan, part of the great Kalahari Basin. The Etosha pan, originally a lake fed by the Kunene River, covers about 5 000 square km, a quarter of the Etosha National Park. The lake dried up thousands of years ago and is now a dusty depression of salty clay which occasionally fills with the rare heavy rains. This temporary water supply stimulates the growth of an algae which attracts wading birds and flamigos by their thousands. Large concentrations of wildlife gather year-round at the perennial springs on the edges of the pan. This amazing abundance of wildlife makes Etosha one of Southern Africa's finest and most important game reserves. Covering an area of 22 270 square km, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish.

Day 6 Windhoek
After an early morning game drive we set off towards Windhoek in the centre of Namibia. On the way we stop at a popular craft market. On arrival in Windhoek there is a short city tour in our Nomad truck. Optional Activities: Dinner Out.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Camp: Monteiro www.monteironamibia.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, swimming pool, hot showers.
Included Activities: Craft market en-route and short city tour
Route: Etosha to Windhoek ±550 km
Travel time: ±8-9 hrs

Windhoek
The Nama people originally gave Windhoek the name Ai-Gams, meaning “hot water” due to the hot springs that were once part of the town. The Herero people who lived there called it Otjomuise, “place of steam”. Theories vary on how Ai-Gams/Otjomuise got its modern name of Windhoek, most believe the name Windhoek is derived from the Afrikaans word Wind-Hoek, meaning "corner of wind". It is also thought that the Afrikaners named Windhoek after the Winterhoek Mountains, at Tulbagh in South Africa, where the early Afrikaner settlers had lived. In those days Windhoek was the point of contact between the warring Namas, led by Jan Jonker Afrikaner, and the Herero people.
Present-day Windhoek was founded on 18 October 1890, when German settler Von François fixed the foundation stone of the Alte Feste fort. During the next fourteen years Windhoek developed slowly, with only the most essential government and private buildings being erected. After 1907, the town grew quickly as people migrated from the countryside to the city, and a large influx of European settlers began arriving from Germany and South Africa. Many beautiful buldings and monuments were erected, including Heinitzburg, one of three castles in Windhoek, the fairy-tale Christuskirche, and The Rider statue.

Day 7 Botswana - Ghanzi
An early start, then we cross into Botswana and drive to Ghanzi. After setting up camp we meet with a local Bushman (San) community and experience some traditional tribal dancing.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Ghanzi Trail Blazers (no website available)
Facilities: Hot showers, shared ablutions.
Included Activities: Bushmen Tribal Dance in evening
Route: Windhoek to Ghanzi ±570km
Travel time: ±8-9 hrs, plus a border crossing on this day.

Border posts: Namibia: Buitepos, Tel: +264 62 560 401, Open: 07h00-24h00
Botswana: Mamanu, Tel: +267 6592013/2064, Open: 07h00-24h00

Bushman (San) people
As we cross the border we’ll start to see villagers, cattle, donkeys, and sheep along the side of the highway. Sometimes the donkeys and cows sit in the middle of the road and any amount of horn blowing won't get them out of the road. Independent since 1966, Botswana (formally a British protectorate) has three of the world’s richest diamond mines, and this has made Botswana quite a wealthy nation. Now 40 years old, it is known as the African success story. Politically stable and with the foresight to invest in education, healthcare, high economic standards and without the racial issues that have plagued other countries, Botswana has the best economy in sub-Saharan Africa. The government has employed a strategy of high income - low impact tourism. This is where they reduce the number of tourists entering any area of the country by charging a lot more than neighbouring countries, thereby making it more restrictive for the budget traveller.

The San people, formally know as Bushmen, are indigenous to Southern Africa and have lived here for over 30 000 years. It is truly an incredible experience to get an understanding of what Africa was like in the past and how these people survived in the desert conditions, living in harmony with nature. It is said that the word ‘San’ meant ‘wild people who can’t farm’, however historically they didn’t have a collective word for themselves. They now call themselves Ncoakhoe meaning ‘red people’, but the term ‘San’ is still predominant. They were nomadic people – primarily hunter gatherers, moving to where the food and water could be found. It is estimated that there are only 55 000 San people left, with 60% of them living in Botswana, and the rest in Namibia and northern South Africa. Many examples of their expressive and remarkable cave paintings can be found dotted around Southern Africa, tracking their historical movements. Sadly nowadays their traditional lifestyle has been eroded by colonial influence, and they can be found in 'squalid alcohol plagued settlements' or on farms and cattle posts.

Day 8/9/10 Maun – Okavango Delta
Our journey takes us from Ghanzi towards Maun. We spend the night here and prepare for our 2-night bush-camping experience. From here we will enter the Delta using local transport. If the water level allows we will take a mokoro ride (traditional canoe) as well as nature walks with the local people. Optional Activity: Scenic flight over the Delta (time allowing)

Day 8
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Sitatunga www.deltarain.com
Facilities: Hot showers, shared ablutions, bar, swimming pool.
Route: Ghanzi to Maun ±300 km
Travel time: ±4-5 hrs

Day 9 (Day 1 in Delta),
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Bush Camp www.deltarain.com
Facilities: No facilities – bush camping
Included Activities: 4 x 4 vehicle transfers into Okavango Delta, Mokoro ride and guided nature walk
Route: Maun to Bush Camp

Day 10 (Day 2 in Delta)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Bush Camp www.deltarain.com
Facilities: No facilities – bush camping
Included Activities: Guided Nature walk and mokoro rides

Maun
Maun, the fifth largest town in Botswana, is known as the tourism capital and the gateway to the Okavango Delta. It is an eclectic contrast of modern buildings and traditional huts. Now home to over 30 000 people, the town was founded in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people. It originally serviced the local cattle ranching and hunting operations of the area, and had a reputation as a hard-living 'Wild West' town. With the growth of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road from Nata in the early 1990s, Maun developed swiftly, losing much of its old town character. However, it is still infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to lesser extent, goats. These animals can be seen wandering around freely as the local farmers arrive in the innumerable taxis to sell their wares on the kerbside.
With the influx of tourism dollars, the typical traditional rondavels (round huts) of the past have been replaced by square but modestly sized cinderblock homes roofed with tin, or sometimes tiles. It is not unusual to see mud rondavels with satellite dishes, attesting to the increasing affluence of Botswana, and the increasingly reliability of power and communications in the town. This striking contrast of the traditional and the modern is also evident in the multi-level air-conditioned shopping centres incongruously surrounded by potholes, dusty parking lots and lively market places.

Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta, a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering 17 000 square km. It originates in Angola - numerous tributaries join to form the Cubango River, which then flows through Namibia, becoming the Kavango River and finally enters Botswana, where it is becomes the Okavango. Millions of years ago the Okavango River used to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans). Tectonic activity and faulting interrupted the flow of the river causing it to back up and form what is now the Okavango Delta. This has created a unique system of waterways that supports a vast array of animal and plant life that would have otherwise been a dry Kalahari savannah.
There are an estimated 200 000 large mammals in and around the Okavango Delta. On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels. Notably the endangered African Wild Dog is present within the Okavango Delta, exhibiting one of the richest pack densities in Africa. The delta also includes over 400 species of birds, including the African Fish Eagle.
Many of these animals live in the Delta but the majority pass through, migrating with the summer rains to find renewed fields for grazing. With the onset of winter the countryside dries up they make their way back to the floodplains. This leads to some of the most incredible sightings as large numbers of prey and predators are pushed together. Certain areas of the Delta provide some of the best predator action seen anywhere in the world.
Day 11 Gweta
We leave the Delta behind us and travel east to Planet Baobab. You can explore the bush around our campsite and view some of the oldest Baobab trees.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Planet Baobab Campsite www.unchartedafrica.co.za/page.php?p_id=59
Facilities: Hot showers, shared ablutions, bar, swimming pool.
Route: Maun to Gweta ±200 km
Travel time: ±2-3 hrs (4x4 & mokoro transfer), ±3 hrs driving in truck.

Planet Baobab
Planet Baobab provides an oasis in the middle of the endless lunar landscape of the Makgadikgadi salt pans. It’s reputably the baobab capital of the world and home of the Kalahari Surf Club! Planet Baobab is perhaps the funkiest camp in the Kalahari, where you can sleep in authentically styled, luxurious Bakalanga huts, or simply pitch a tent nearby.
The pans are the remnants of the once great Lake Makgadikgadi, which covered some 80 000 square km. Up to 30 metres deep, thousands of years ago, this was the largest inland sea in Africa. The pans now support strange ‘upside down trees’ – the massive Baobab – some of which are 2 400 years or older. Elephants are the other giants in the area, they splash about in a nearby watering hole to cool off, seemingly unaware of the guests’ presence.

Day 12 Botswana - Chobe National Park
We travel to Chobe and this afternoon we take an included sunset river cruise, as the animals are best spotted from the Chobe River.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Thebe River Safaris: www.theberiversafaris.com
Facilities: Hot showers, good ablutions, bar, swimming pool
Included Activities: Sunset Boat Cruise in the Chobe NP
Route: Gweta to Kasane ±400 km
Travel time: ±6-7 hrs

Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, the second largest park in Botswana, covers 10 566 square km of northern Botswana. The Park forms part of the mosaic of lakes, islands and floodplains formed from the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe River systems. The area is renowned for its vast herds of elephant and buffalo. The elephant population is currently about 120 000. The Chobe elephants are migratory, moving up to 200 km from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park in the rainy season. They are Kalahari elephants, characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks, perhaps because of calcium deficiency in the soil. Due to their high concentration, there is a lot of damage to the vegetation in some areas. Culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected.
The original inhabitants of the area were the San people, otherwise known in Botswana as the Basarwa. They were hunter-gatherers who lived by moving from one area to another in search of water, wild fruits and hunting grounds. The San were pushed out by groups of the Basubiya people and, around 1911, a group of Batawana moved to the area. In 1931 it was decided that a national park would protect the wildlife from extinction, and attract tourists. In 1932, an area of some 24 000 square km in the Chobe district was declared a non-hunting area. Over the years the park’s boundaries have been altered, and the people settled in the area have been relocated graduallly, and Chobe National Park was finally empty of human occupation in 1975. In 1980 and again in 1987, the boundaries were altered, increasing the park to its present size.

Day 13 Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls
On arrival in Victoria Falls we have time to plan the next day’s adventure activities before we visit the spectacular Victoria Falls and experience the thundering of the mighty Zambezi. Officially your tour finishes the next day after breakfast but most people will spend the day enjoying one of the many activities on offer. Optional Activities: Early Morning Chobe Game Drive, Sunset Cruise, Dinner Out, White Water Rafting, Bungee Jump, Elephant Excursion, Walking with Lions, Horse Riding and much more...

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hostel: Vic Falls Adventure Lodge
Facilities: En-suite rooms, Hot showers, bar, laundry & internet café
Included Activities: Entrance to Victoria Falls National Park
Route: Kasane to Vic Falls ±100 km
Travel time: ±2 hrs plus border crossing

Border posts: Botswana: Kazangula Road, +267 6250320, Open: 06h00-20h00
Zimbabwe: Kazangula Road, Open: 06h00-18h00
Victoria Falls
Once we have crossed the border into Zimbabwe it is a short drive to the town of Victoria Falls where we will be briefed about all the different activities available. Choose carefully as almost all of them are really worth doing. Your guides can advise you on the best way to spend your time here. Please be aware that you cannot use credit/debit cards in Zimbabwe, so cash (USD) is best. The prices of the activities are listed at the beginning of this dossier so you can make sure to bring what you need.

Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is 1 700 m wide and 108 m high – said to be the largest falls in the world. David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the Victoria Falls, and wrote: "It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight". The older, indigenous name of Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘the Smoke that Thunders’) is the name in official use in Zambia. Due to its immense power and size, the waterfall is surrounded by a rich mythology. The local Tonga people of the Zambezi believe that a river god, Nyaminyami, resides in the water in the form of an immense snake. When the Kariba Dam was built in the 1950s, the Zambezi River flooded three times, causing many deaths and much destruction. The local people believe Nyaminyami caused the terrible floods in anger at the construction.
The unusual form of Victoria Falls enables virtually the whole width of the falls to be viewed face-on, at the same level as the top, from as close as 60 metres, because the whole Zambezi River drops into a deep, narrow slot-like chasm, connected to a long series of gorges. Few other waterfalls allow such a close approach on foot.

The falls are formed as the full width of the river plummets in a single vertical drop into a chasm 60–120 m wide, carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the basalt plateau. The depth of the chasm, called the First Gorge, varies from 80 m at its western end to 108 m in the centre. The only outlet to the First Gorge is a 110 m-wide gap about two-thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end, through which the whole volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges.
There are two islands on the crest of the falls that are large enough to divide the curtain of water even at full flood: Boaruka Island (or Cataract Island) near the western bank, and Livingstone Island near the middle. At less than full flood, additional islets divide the curtain of water into separate parallel streams. The main streams are named, in order from Zimbabwe (west) to Zambia (east): Leaping Water (called Devil's Cataract by some), Main Falls, Rainbow Falls (the highest) and the Eastern Cataract.

Day 14 Victoria Falls
Officially your tour finishes after breakfast but most people will spend the day White Water Rafting, a not-to-be-missed experience of a lifetime! Vic Falls offers many exciting alternatives such as a walk with lions or a bungee jump from the bridge that joins Zimbabwe with Zambia. Optional Activities: White Water Rafting, Bungee Jump, Elephant Excursion, Walking with Lions, Horse Riding, Dinner Out.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Own Arrangements / Post tour accommodation can be booked through Nomad.
Tour Ends
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