2 May 2021 (8:00) - 6 May 2021 (17:00) Add to calendar
Let’s be off into the Namib Desert again!
Starting in the pro-Namib near Solitaire, the expedition crosses a myriad of landscapes, from the vegetated red-orange dunes that fringe the eastern border of this World Heritage Site and the ancient Kuiseb Canyon, which divides the southern dune fields from the northern gravel plains, to the massive, challenging linear dunes that need to be crossed to eventually end up at the coast between Conception Bay and Sandwich Harbor. Shipwrecks such as the Eduard Bohlen (1909) and the Shawnee (1976) add character to the desolate coast of skeletons.
Providing one of the most unique off-road cross-sections of the Namib sand sea, the Sea of Sand guided self-drive route is a spectacular adventure route crossing one of the world’s oldest deserts. You for sure appreciate the unique desert ecosystem while enjoying another of the most exciting and challenging off-road experiences the Namib has to offer. As Namibia Scientific Society, we certainly bring our historian and marine archaeologist Gunter von Schumann as well as two more high ranking experts and experienced guide Simon Wearne!
Highlights thus include fascinating historical and environmental info, incredible dune driving, a visit to a historic diamond ghost town and old mining sites, shipwrecks, massive dunes, campfire talks under the amazing southern sky, great meals and good company.
The tour is designed to provide a slow introduction to 4x4 desert crossings, so no previous off-road experience is required, as the guides are always on hand to give advice and instruction. However, a well maintained, reliable 4x4 is mandatory.
The adventure starts at Bushman's Desert Camp near Solitaire, where we meet late afternoon on Saturday, 1st May. It ends in Walvis Bay late afternoon on Thursday, 6th May. Distance: +- 500km in 4x4, terrain: sand dunes, beach, rock, river bed. Maximum number of vehicles: 12.
The itinerary acts as a rough guide; changes could be made at the guide’s discretion due to tide, time and weather.
DAY 0 - Saturday, 1th May: Meet and greet at Bushman’s Camp, 33km north of Solitaire on the C14 gravel road; get together (between 5-7 pm) for a braai and an introductory talk. Please ensure you have refuelled completely in Solitaire prior to your arrival, and are stocked up with all you will need, as we will not pass Solitaire on the following day or a fuel station along the tour. Also note that we have not included accommodation or campsite at Bushman’s, as we are not sure whether you want to camp or spoil yourself and sleep in one of the special chalets for a last time before being off into the desert. We happily organize this for you (chalet N$ 300 p.p. sharing; campsite N$ 100 p.p.). Sunday’s campfire dinner and a simple fast breakfast is included.
DAY 1 - Sunday, 2nd May: We depart Bushman's after breakfast and enter the Namib Naukluft National Park at the Saagberg gate, which is about 4km from the turnoff to Bushman’s Desert Camp. We wind through the vegetated dunes, and cross huge plains, until we drop down a massive slip-face into the Kuiseb Canyon. We camp in the river bed between its rocky banks. Day distance +/- 120km.
DAY 2 - Monday, 3rd May: A steep rocky climb takes us to a breathtaking view of the Kuiseb river bed, the desert and a visit to the southernmost Welwitschia plants, endemic to the Namib.
After dropping back down into the canyon, we follow the ephemeral river bed downstream, until we cross over to its south bank at Homeb, and back into the Namib sand sea. We will pass the gravel deposits of the Tsondab river, now cut off by the towering linear dunes. Crossing the dunes can be challenging, and we rest for the night in a dune valley. Day distance +/-60km.
DAY 3 - Tuesday, 4th May: Continuing the exhilarating drive west, and crossing countless dune streets, passing evidence of an ancient desert that underlies the present sea of sand in the form of petrified dune outcrops, we make our way into the network of coastal transverse dunes, where we find Olifantsbad, a pre-erected temporary camp with modest facilities, where we will spend two nights. Here you will have the opportunity to unpack your vehicle, to allow for a lighter vehicle the following day. Day distance +/- 60km.
DAY 4 - Wednesday, 5th May: With the lighter, offloaded vehicles we embark on a round trip, passing the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen, now 400m from the cold Atlantic shoreline, as well as visiting the remains of the diamond settlements, abandoned in the mid 1930s. The loop takes us along the coast, and across the notoriously soft Conception Bay dune field, and back into the network of challenging transverse dunes en route to the camp. Day distance +/- 140km.
DAY 5 - Thursday, 6th May: After breakfast, and packing up camp, we head north, passing the wreck of the Shawnee, and drive along the Lange Wand, (only passable during low tide), a stretch of coast where the towering dunes come down into the sea. Before we arrive in Walvis Bay, we circumnavigate the Sandwich Harbour lagoon, an area of immense natural beauty. We aim to be in Walvis Bay at around 5 pm. Please ensure you have made the necessary coastal accommodation arrangements. Day distance +/- 140km.
Tickets & bookings
- N$ 10.925 plus Chalet (N$ 300 pp sharing) OR Campsite (N$ 100 pp)
- Elfi Schneider
- 061-225 372
- Namibia Scientific Society