Cape & Dunes Northbound: Wildlife & Starry Night Skies

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Overview

Now's the time to explore Africa on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. From bustling city streets to sand dunes and safaris, the sites of Africa will have your eyes (and mouth) wide open at every turn. This quintessential 13-day adventure takes you from a thrilling wildlife safari drive through Etosha National Park to the bizarre lunar landscapes of Swakopmund and camping experiences where you'll doze off underneath big African skies. Your rugged Lando (overland adventure vehicle) will get you to the sites safely, an expert CEO (Chief Experience Officer) to take care of the hassles, and plenty of optional excursions, you’ll be free to absorb the spirit of these lively countries.

Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town

Arrive at any time.

Tonight, get to know your group on your first night out together in Cape Town. After a brief welcome meeting or dinner out together head to the clubs on Long Street to explore the vibrant nightlife. Put those dancing shoes on and get to know your fellow travel buddies as the adventure begins.

Get the most out of your time in Cape Town by pre-booking the South African Wine Tour and Tasting extra. If you do, we recommend booking accommodation for an extra night pre-tour as this activity has an early start time. Please note, due to the timings of this activity, there is a possibility you may miss the welcome meeting on day 1 of your tour - in this case, your CEO will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Day 2: Cape Town/Cederberg

Hit the road in style in the Lando and view the stunning Western Cape scenery as the group travels to the G Adventures-supported !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre. Here you will learn about the history and culture of the ancient Sans people and be able to directly help this centre preserve that heritage.

In the afternoon the group will arrive at your first campsite where you can enjoy free time to sip on some local wine, kick a footy around with the local kids, or simply chill out by the campsite’s swimming pool overlooking the vineyards.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cederberg/Orange River

Travel further north past large plantations of rooibos tea. You will be camping at the scenic Orange River for the night where you can kick back, relax, reflect, and enjoy a late afternoon swim in the river. If you are still in need of some activity choose to book a canoe excursion on the river. Other than that your only job today is to enjoy yourself and have a relaxing time.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Orange River/Fish River Canyon

Yes, we know you could stay at the oasis of Orange River for much longer than one night, but this group has things to do and places to see so get a move on and cross another country off those travel lists as the group heads over the border into Namibia.

The next stop is Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, and arguably the second largest in the world. Hop off the Lando, do some stretches, take in the majestic beauty of the canyon and together watch as the vibrant sunset slips over the canyon’s rim. Then it’s on to camp to enjoy each other's company around the campfire as the stars begin to rise.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Fish River Canyon/Namib Desert

While the group has a lot of ground to cover today don’t let that daunt you. You have been so on the go lately you won’t mind the rest of a long drive (besides, by now you probably have loads to talk about with everyone).

Pass by the small and desolate towns of Bethanien and Helmeringhausen and continue north along long and bumpy roads, en route to the Namib Desert. Then, embrace the bizarreness of this environment by really taking the time to enjoy it. The group will arrive in the area in the late afternoon, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei make you really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere.

Set up camp and get some rest for the fun days ahead!

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Namib Desert

If you book the optional Sossusvlei Desert Walk you will have the chance to visit a clay pan surrounded by the world’s largest sand dunes and enclosing ancient dead trees. Opt to take a guided walk at the dunes, and enjoy some free time to explore them on your own. Arrive back at our campsite around lunch time and take down tents, pack up the Lando, and drive to the next desert campsite.

Also don’t miss out on the other optional Namib Desert dunes bush walk to learn more about the desert, dunes, and the way of the bushmen.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Namib Desert/Swakopmund

Bid farewell to your lovely campsite and zoom off further north in the Lando. Get a real feel for the Namib Desert as the group spends hours crossing this empty region over dry mountain passes to get to the adrenaline capital of Swakopmund.

Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the mighty Namib desert this coastal city has strong German heritage which is reflected in the architecture around town. The group will spend two nights in Swakopmund so fear not, you have time for all of the fun activities you want to try.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Swakopmund

The day is yours! Grab some friends or set off alone and conquer this outdoor lovers paradise. From skydiving to sandboarding there’s no shortage of activities to try. Flip a coin to see which will be your fate or even better try them all (we have our eyes feasted on the Skeleton Coast scenic flight).

You can pre-book your sky dive on the checkout page, or through your Global Connection Officer or travel agent.

Day 9: Swakopmund/Spitzkoppe

Bid farewell to lovely Swakopmund and hop in the Lando travelling through the coastal region of Namibia to the granite peaks of Spitzkoppe.

What is Spitzkoppe you ask? Great question! It’s been dubbed the “Matterhorn” of Namibia, but basically if you are the type of person who loves epic climbing, hiking, camping, stargazing, sunrises, and sunsets then Spitzkoppe will have a very special place in your heart.

Upon arrival the rest of the day is yours to explore as you will. This mountaineering paradise will have you breaking out of your comfort zones in no time. Scramble up rock faces to get that perfect view, take selfies under the natural rock arch, get some artsy photos as the sun sets, and after cooking up some grub around the campfire get ready to see the milky way light up the night sky.

Explore on your own by foot, and be sure to check out the night sky—it's great for star-gazing!

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Spitzkoppe/Etosha National Park

Wake up and feel like you crash landed on Mars. Gaze in wonder at this wild landscape and let peace wash over you (trust us you’re going to need it) before the group travels to Etosha National Park for some prime wildlife viewing. As the group enters the park you will enjoy a short safari drive in the Lando on the way to your camp.

As you drive look out over the beautiful landscape as far as the eye can see. After sunset, watch animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Free time this evening allows for the option of a night safari in an open vehicle.

Look out over beautiful desert landscapes as far as the eye can see. There are Himba, Herero, and Damara people along the way selling local arts, and we’ll be sure to make a few stops to find out more about their offerings.


After sunset, watch animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Free time at night allows for the option of a night safari in an open vehicle.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Etosha National Park

It’s time to adventure in 3… 2… 1!

Today, your group will embark on a full-day wildlife safari drive in Etosha NP. It’s crazy the amount of animal species that occupy this smaller protected area (more than 100 different mammals call Etosha home). Try not let your attention wander as you move further and further into the wild lands of Etosha. Play some eye-spy with your travel buddies and go crazy with those cameras because we can’t wait to see what you experience!

The coolest thing about this national park is that because of its size and the large amount of animals within it’s almost as if the wildlife comes directly to you; especially during the dry season (May through October) when the animals all gather around the waterholes creating some of the densest wildlife viewing opportunities in the world.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Etosha National Park/Waterberg Plateau

“Lions and elephants, and springboks… oh my!” By now you will most likely have seen some wildlife and that’s a good thing because it’s time to move on from Etosha further south to the Waterberg Plateau.

Once the Lando pulls to a stop you’ll be itching to stretch those legs so hit the trails in this gorgeous national park searching for secret plunge pools and wildlife such as buffalo, white and black rhino, and giraffe along the way. Or if you are looking to relax, chill out at camp, write in your travel journal, or take a dip in the pool of the group campsite.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Waterberg Plateau/Windhoek

It’s the group's last travel day so let’s have some fun! Leave the Waterberg Plateau National Park behind and head south through the Namibian countryside to Windhoek. Along the way you will stop at the G Adventures supported Penduka Village Restaurant & Shop, just outside of Windhoek. There you will enjoy a delicious included lunch before the tour ends.

If you aren't ready to go home that's totally fine, just yet talk with your CEO about extending your adventure and get to know more of Namibia or beyond!

Leave the Waterberg Plateau National Park and head south through the Namibian countryside to Windhoek.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

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