If you only have 1 week to explore Namibia then this fully accommodated and well balanced safari “package” is the perfect choice for you. Combine the wonderful conservation work done at N/a'ankuse Lodge with an overnight stay and the full Carnivore Feeding Tour. Then 2 nights in and near the world renowned Etosha National Park with extensive game drives, an overnight stay in the coastal resort of Swakopmund, which is nestled between the Namib Desert and the cold and forbidding Atlantic Ocean. The last 2 nights are the cherry on the cake with a full day inside the Namib Naukluft National Park exploring the eery starkness of Dead Vlei and climbing the majestic sand dunes of Sossusvlei, on our return to Windhoek you will meet the cheetahs of the Namib and learn firsthand of the conflict these beautiful animals face with the growth of the human population.
For the best that Namibia has to offer this 7 day “package” is the best value for money option available. This package includes 6 nights accommodation, airport transfers, a wonderful half day tour, as well as a safari to the world renowned Etosha National Park, an overnight visit to the adventure town of Swakopmund and a magical 2 nights in the Namib Desert visiting the dunes of Sossusvlei and Dune 45.
For those clients with limited time available, this fully accommodated combination of our 3 days Sossusvlei Express & 3 Day Etosha Express is the perfect choice. Overnight in well located lodges in and near Etosha National Park and outside Namib Naukluft National Park and includes 1 night at Swakopmund in between. You will be able to experience the amazing sand dune sea of the Namib and Sossusvlei region as well as Etosha National Park, renowned as one of the best game reserves in Africa.
The perfect combination of dunes and adventure, this 4 day trip starting in Windhoek and overnighting in Swakopmund to allow you time to enjoy the many adventure “adrenalin” activities available in the adventure capital of Namibia. Leaving for the Namib the following morning this gives you plenty of time to experience the rolling sand dunes and salt pans of the oldest, driest desert in the world.
Etosha National Park is renowned as one of the best game reserves in Africa, a haven for wildlife, and supports one of the most important ecological and wildlife systems on the continent. At 22,270 km sq this huge park hosts an impressive collection of game including the white rhino and endangered black rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe and numerous species of antelope as well as an impressive 340 species of birds - enough to keep any nature and wildlife enthusiast happy. Also included in this fabulous short adventure is an overnight stop at Swakopmund, the adventure capital of Namibia and a visit to the RAMSAR Protected site of Walvis Bay Lagoon to see the flamingos in their thousands.
For those clients with limited time available, this short safari is the perfect solution, departing around lunchtime on Friday from SWAKOPMUND and returning mid-afternoon on Sunday to Windhoek. Our base is in the Sesriem area with accommodation in permanent adobe style tents with en suite facilities or twin rooms and stunning views across the mountains and desert.
An excellent way to experience the amazing sand dune sea of the Namib and Sossusvlei region on this 3 day trip.
Etosha National Park is renowned as one of the best game reserves in Africa, a haven for wildlife, and supports one of the most important ecological and wildlife systems on the continent. At 22,270km sq this huge park hosts an impressive collection of game including the white rhino and endangered black rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe and numerous species of antelope as well as an impressive 340 species of birds - enough to keep any nature and wildlife enthusiast happy. This safari starts in Windhoek and ends in Swakopmund.
The Coastal Route (Visual/Map)
Melkbosstrand – Darling – Yzerfontein – West Coast National Park – Langebaan – Saldanha – Jacobsbaai – Paternoster – Britannia Bay – St Helena Bay – Velddrif – Elands Bay – Lamberts Bay – Doringbaai – Strandfontein.
Table Mountain is without doubt the most iconic landmark of South Africa. It is a pristine wonderworld of fauna and flora with over 2 200 indigenous plant species with over 70% of the fynbos flowers being endemic.
As soon as you move from A to B (and maybe C right through to Z) a route has been created. Then, when you come home, you want to tell friends and family about your route. On the one hand, it is for you to relive your travels, but on the other it is to take them, albeit in words and pictures only, on your journey.
The tarmac ends at Cape Agulhas. This statement smacks of adventure, but you can do it in a sedan as well. Take the road past Struisbaai on the way to Bredasdorp for even and a half kilometres until you find a gravel road turning off to the right, signposted Arniston.
Macassar and its people, a relatively small population of 38 000, have a peaceful existence mostly working in the fishing and boat building industries.
You know, every time I travel on the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass in the direction of Botrivier, I stop at the Orchard Farm Stall to enjoy some of their lovely fare, from a real farm breakfast to their home baked pies and muffins before I carry on.
You wake up knowing something good is about to happen. You realize it is Sunday. Your day. Peeking through the curtains you see exactly what you want to see. The sun is about to show its face on a day that cannot be more perfect.
On the western side, the Cape Peninsula is hugged by the open Atlantic Coast, making it wild and rugged. However, travelling across to the eastern side, the sea is remarkably calmer in what is known as False Bay.
Leaving Hout Bay (see Atlantic Seaboard) be prepared to have your breath just blown away. Chapmans Peak Drive is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and dramatic marine drives in the world with an interesting history (link to: http://www.chapmanspeakdrive.co.za/history.php).
The thing that makes this area so stunning is that it offers such a wide variety of things to do, places to see and especially a lot of interesting historical stories and information. And not to talk about diversity! Caledon, Genadendal, Greyton and Riviersonderend, the four main centres you’ll visit are like the four corners of the world. Yet it is part of the same universe – the Overberg.
Travelling from direction Cape Town, a good suggestion is to arrive hungry at the turn-off to Dassiefontein. The fun starts here. Dassiefontein serves great and hefty portions of real boerekos (traditional farm style food) accompanied by their famous home baked bread. But they also trade in exquisite antiques, leather products and working reconditioned coal stoves, farm produce, flowers and much more. Afterwards, carry on on the farm road towards Black Eagle Lodge where you will find great accommodation in well appointed self catering cottages faaaaar apart from each other on a working farm. Splendid!
The next day you’ll wake up and feel today is your lucky day. Caledon here we come. More specifically Caledon Casino, Hotel and Spa, here we come! The casino offers a range of exciting gaming experiences - from slot machines and progressive jackpots through to table games.
Ok, so you’ve been hitting those tables and slot machines but that darn jackpot kept on eluding you. Or maybe you did hit it, but that’s not the real jackpot. O yeah, you say, what is? The mineral baths, that is.
The springs produce 1 000 000 litres of water (65°C at source and 50°C on the surface). The water has a distinctive brown colour due to the rich iron content, known as chalybeate. The mix also contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, sulphate, sodium, silica, bicarbonate and chloride. With a ph of 7,2 it is very good and healthy for you. A lot of locals say it has magic powers.
Should you want to get out of the hot water, there is a lap pool for training, a splendid gym, Zen garden, Jacuzzi, Fridgedarium pool and Swiss shower. Not revitalised enough yet? Good. Introducing the Rain Spa experience. Here they offer rain showers (cascading sprays of water over your whole body), body exfoliation, sensation showers, foot spas, many different massages and more.
Right, so you are revitalised and walk out of there with a bounce in your step. Then suddenly you realise something is wrong... Yes, hunger is approaching. Never fear, the Caledon Hotel offers a choice of three restaurants, from casual meals to fine dining. A very special treat at the hotel is a culinary event every second Tuesday of the month called Wine & Dine in the country. Each time they select a new wine estate and offer a lavish four course meal and wine pairing. Plus some great live entertainment.
After a great night’s sleep, take to the streets and discover why this is the Historical Route. First stop, the Caledon Museum which is a social history museum with the themes The Victorian Period in Caledon and The History of People Living in Caledon. In addition there are also 11 Constitution Street and 11 Krige Street, two dwellings turned into house museums, depicting the late Victorian period (1870 – 1900). The Town Hall and Old Masonic Lodge are both also worth a visit. There is also a self-guided history walking tour taking all of the above and more in.
Well, if you feel you’ve had a good enough share on the cultural side and need a bit of an adrenaline fix, walk right over to SA Forest Adventures. They offer archery, clay pigeon shooting, a zip line tour, paintball and quad biking in the area. Most of these you might know, but what is a zip line tour, I can hear you ask. It’s a set-up of cables strung high above in the tree canopies where you hook into a safety harness to glide through the forests and nature. The set-up has a unique braking system allowing you to experience the forest at a slow snail trail or a breathtaking adrenaline swoosh. There are 12 platforms covering 1,2 kilometres of air with the shortest run being 60 metres and the longest an astonishing 200.
After a hectic event like this, you’ll need a place to lay down your weary head. Great Accommodation of every kind is just a click away.
After a great night’s sleep and a hefty Overberg breakfast, your inner traveller tells you it’s time to move one. All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go, so you push your cabby’s nose in the direction of Genadendal. A new travelling experience awaits you...
Driving along the road to Genadendal resembles flying in a glider. That’s because you glide, swirl and twist over and around hill after hill. Should you be travelling this way at the beginning of the winter (around the merry month of May) you’ll be treated to endless green wheat fields and when you come this way in springtime everything is as yellow as can be brimming with never ending canola flowers.
Genadendal is a missionary station where time more or less stood still for more just about three centuries. Entering the town is like turning back the clock. And also winding it down. Today a community centre is run by locals and this includes a museum, an operational water mill, printing museum, restaurant, a group of weavers and a bookshop. The original Moravian mission church houses the oldest pipe organ in South Africa. There is also a hiking trail, simply named The Genadendal Hiking Trail. Beginning and ending in the little village it winds its way through the impressive Riviersonderend Mountains.
After this nice brisk walk, you’ll want a nice place to lay your weary head. There are a number of interesting Accommodation options:
Just a stone’s throw from Genadendal your next stop will be at Greyton. This charming little town has also been preserved well and is steeped in history. The best way to experience it is to get a map at the Tourism office and undertake the self-guided history walk.
Along the way you’ll encounter some of the finest restaurants you can imagine. First will be Abbey Rose and Pecadillos Bistro. In Ds Botha Street The Oak and Vigne Café and Vanilla Café awaits you. Also in Ds Botha Street you’ll find The Hungry Monk, offering tapas, curries and more. In Main Street is Via’s Deli selling some wonderful delicacies. On the corner of Main and Oak is Pure Café, a vegetarian and mostly organic restaurant. Fiore Garden Centre will spoil you with great coffee accompanied by something sweet, while Driefontein Farm Restaurant offers the ultimate in old style traditional Sunday lunches.
Then of course, there is Searle’s Trading Post, offering exquisite food, but much more than that. As the name indicates, it is a trading post where you can buy anything from a tea tin to a suitcase. They also run a dinner theatre, a cellar and host a world famous doll’s house. Amongst others.
The historical walk can take quite some time to do, but in distance it is short. If you therefore feel like walking some more, you’re in the right place. The Greyton Nature Reserve offers numerous walking and hiking trails, including the famous Boesmanskloof trail between Greyton and McGregor. There are also special birding walks offered by Hilton Seekoei, a registered Bird Life of SA Guide.
If you’d rather do it on a mountain bike, Greyton offers 65 km of excellent, clearly-marked biking trails, all entirely off-road. Some of the trails on the edge of the village are flat, fast, fun and safe and have been built with children and novices in mind, making Greyton the perfect environment in which to enjoy mountain biking as a family.
However, if you believe four legs are better than two legs or two wheels, the Greyton Riding Club will welcome you to join them on an outride or two.
Seeing how beautiful the area in and around Greyton is, it is not surprising that it is an art haven with artists the calibre of Adele Claudia Fouché, Alastair Barnes, Catherine Paynter, Gretha Quinlan, Gert Naudé, David Kuijers, Michelle Holloway, Mariana Emsley and Marina Aguiar. In addition there are also the Padkos Art Gallery, Quirky Country Gallery and Sandy’s Studio and Gallery to visit.
Should you feel good food, exercise and a good night’s sleep is not enough to get you tip-top again, may we suggest the High Hopes Healing and Energy Centre combining meditation, counselling, massage, reflexology, applied kinesiology, Reiki, yoga and guided relaxation.
Or Lady Scarlett Skin Care Practitioner for fantastic eyebrows and lashes, waxing (male and female), Swedish / deep tissue massage, hand and foot therapies and manicures / pedicures, beauty and hair salon combo packages.
Then there is Nature’s Touch offering aromatherapy, massage and reflexology. Next is Perfect Profile where they say: “You see yourself as you are, we see what you can be...” They offer facials, pedicures, manicures and treatments. Helen Altman’s Stillness Yoga offers yoga therapy, face, foot and body massages. There is also the Under the Mountain Yoga Centre with Jonathan Blumberg as the resident teacher. He invites you to come and explore your body and mind through yoga.
After a full day of fun, relaxing, wining and dining, you’ll be ready for a great night’s sleep in one of many Accommodation spots in Greyton.
The road from Greyton reminds one of the Beatles song, The Long and winding road. Nine kilometres on this road brings you to your first stop at Oewerzicht Tented River Lodge and Farm Cottages. The Sonderend River runs through it and together it offers ample activities. From a strenuous 25 kilometre mountain bike route to great hikes, tractor tubing and canoeing on the river or swimming and fishing in it. Bird watching is also very good. The campsite offers 24 grassed sites and all amenities while the cottages offer a bit more luxury but are still in the rustic character of the environment. Oewerzicht is a wonderful venue for weddings too.
Another nine kilometres further towards Riviersonderend you’ll find Die Ponthuis, a charming hidden cottage offering a retreat with astonishing views of the river and Riviersonderend Mountains. Apart from swimming, hiking, cycling or relaxing, there is also a tennis court.
Next up is Riviersonderend 4x4 where, as the name suggests, there are a number of 4x4 and 4x2 circular routes. In addition, if you do not own a beastly vehicle, they offer awesome hikes – from walks to big rock pools to challenging mountain hikes and walks through their four rain forests.
This part of the route is where the fun really happens. Seven kilometres from Riviersonderend you’ll find Khomeesdrif Caravan and Camping site with 30 grassy sites on the edge of the river. Hiking, biking, birding, star gazing and lazing is what you do. If you are not fishing, boating, tubing or swimming. Awesome stuff!
If you don’t own a tent or caravan, but fancy the idea of camping, Jongenskloof Country Retreat is for you. They offer six rustic tented huts sleeping two people each. Guests share ablution facilities but with hot water and flushing toilets. All mod cons are available (except TV, Wi-Fi and so on... yeah!).
If you prefer staying in town, Lovell’s Guest House is the perfect place. Built in 1890 and lovingly restored, this magnificent old homestead was the first missionary house in Riviersonderend. All the rooms are equipped with TVs, bar fridges and braai facilities.
In Riviersonderend you’ll find Ou Meul Bakery that knows how to bake bread the way a loaf of bread should be. (Don’t tell Tim Noakes about it...) A bit out on the N2 towards Swellendam is the Stormsvlei Farm Stall and Restaurant, a great place for a grill and a pint. Van Desden Restaurant in the Main Road in town also does good food.
There is also an interesting hiking trail close to town called the Kleinbergie Hiking Trail that forms part of the original Overberg Signal Canon System. The main purpose of the canons was to call the residents in the area for military service if there were indications of war in the Cape. The canons were used in 1795 and 1806 during the first and second occupation of the Cape with the canon signal system being used 8 times in total.
Wow, what a route! What a great mix of history, beauty, fun and relaxation. See you there...