Friday, 1 June 2007


++++++Day 1++++++

Arrive at JHB airport and meet our hosts for the next few days. A one hour drive from Johannesburg to Pretoria, is a gentle introduction to Africa. You will be surprised at how utterly civilized everything seems. First impressions are much like any other city in the world.

We'll be staying with a local Afrikaans family, in a very pleasant suburb. So after unpacking, head for the 'mall' where we can enjoy our first beautiful breakfast. Marvel at the good coffee and incredible prices. If we have the energy, some shopping for supplies can be fit in.

Your first impressions will definitely be of blazing sunshine, hot, dry air and lots of friendly people.

Enjoy a typically Afrikaans "ete" at one of the many fantastic restaurants - stuff yourself with fresh, healthy food, giant steaks and veggies you didn't know can taste that good. Introduction to the local beers - and we especially recommend the local cider.

Still on the shopping theme, get those lists out and start kitting up for the long safari ahead.

A very informal affair, typically Afrikaans - A BBQ at our hosts house and learn the meaning of "kuier" (Socialising, usually around a fire, with lots of icy cold beer, good food and good conversation)

Get a first hand understanding of how people experience, understand and adjust to the situation in South Africa: the hardships, the joys - their hopes and dreams for the future.

At our hosts home.

++++++Day 2++++++

As much fresh, local produce as you can pack away, served by friendly people who always have smiles ready. And the best coffee this side of Sumatra.

Let the action begin! Every man (and probably woman) owns a gun in South Africa. Get to know first hand the culture around this - you may be surprised to learn that its roots are much more of a sporty, outdoors nature - than sinister.

Visit a local shooting range - get to shoot some big guns, including AK47 and an uzi.

Sounds weird - but its something you'll might never get to do again!

Vetkoek Hut

From white Afrikaner culture, to the colourful African tribes: Visit a Cultural Village, Tribal Dancing, Meet Tribal Chiefs and Witchdoctors,
Explore different cultural villages, visiting, sharing their home brewed beer, watch the children play. more...

Noma Choma African Restaurant - African Food by Africans - Sample local tribal dishes
(including veggies) whilst being entertained by an African Jazz/Swing band

Authentically Recreated African Hut, but Luxury Style, including en suite Choose from Basutho, Ndebeli, Xhosa or Zulu accomodation.

++++++Day 3+++++

Kiss your lovely clean bed goodbye - from now on its rough, tough and African!
Breakfast at The Boma - African cuisine

Pack up and start our adventure! A few hours drive through the Bushveld, mainly along highway, up to Lobatse - the Botswana border.

Cross the border, fill up in Lobatse and set off on the Trans Kalahari Highway (Pretoria - Ghanzi = 929km)

This is, amazingly, a tarred road - albeit only single carriage and full of potholes. Oh. And cattle that make themselves at home in the middle of the road. And donkeys. Statistically, there are more donkeys in Botswana, than humans.

Hardly any traffic - except for the donkey carts (sporty versions too) and friendly cattle herders that pass along.

After several hours of driving through an amazing landscape of bush, thorn and arid plains, stop for a Picnic in the Bush. No ceremony here - light a fire, get the kettle going and share your picnic with the donkeys and cattle that roam around freely.

Late Afternoon/Evening:
After yet more driving, arrive at Ghanzi. Says its a town - its actually nothing more than a petrol station, two houses and post office.

Drive up to the Khoi San (the yellow wrinkly midget people) Village, where we will be staying with a native family in their hut for a few days.

Around the fire, local food sourced from the field, sharing with Khoi San Family

Bushman Hut/4x4 tent


++++++Day 4++++++


Familiarisation Bushwalk (Morning Activity)
This is a crucial part of your introduction to the bush and your stay in the Kalahari as it will help you appreciate your surroundings. It includes:
– Orientating yourself with the unfamiliar environment
– An introduction to the plants used by the Bushmen of the Ghanzi district for various ailments.
– Walking along the old river bed (Buitsivango River) and understanding it's role
– Investigating caves and salt/mineral licks
– Identifying trees, bushes, spoor (animal tracks) birds and other animals
You will then be introduced to the resident Giant Tortoise Clan (Bushman Clan/family).

Gathering of Veldt foods (Morning/Afternoon Activity)
This is a guided walk mainly around the Buitsivango River with two Bushman Women (and an interpreter). A successful walk/collection is represented in the Melon Dance. The walk involves:
– Identifying root vegetables and your "salad"
– Sampling foods during collection - checking they ready etc
– Taking the food back to camp
– Preparing the Veldt foods by cleaning, scraping, stamping and cooking
– Preparing the fire area
– Mixing of the salads with other foods gathered during your travels
– EATING what you've prepared (optional)

Melon Dance (Afternoon)
The dance is a celebration of a successful harvest of veldt foods by the gathers of the food. Mostly the younger women of the clan collect the veldt foods and take this opportunity to show off to the men they wish to attract. This is a great chance for female clients to join in and learn the dance as it is light-hearted and much fun. They also play the foot bow, anywhere from one to ten women will play on one bow. (see photo gallery)

Music of the desert (Late Afternoon/Evening)
Mouth bow, foot bow and thumb piano. A soothing way to round off the day, although it is so much more enchanting if played at night.

Trance Dance (Evening) Generally all night
The Shaman performs ritual dancing and healing ceremonies, late into the night - a religious ceremony, calling on the ancesters. Only performed if a visitor is actually in need of healing.

++++++Day 5++++++

Hunting Experience (Early Morning Activity)
A minimum of four hours required, a guided simulation hunt with two Bushmen, hunting traditionally. Basic Hunting and Survival skills (simulated hunting and tracking). Identification of tracks along the fossil river bed and a basic course in methods of tracking, hunting and if requested traps for various animals.
Games (Afternoon Activity)
Can only be described as 'Bushman Olympics', a series of games played by children, that is a basis for the hunting skills necessary in later life. Clients will be encouraged to participate, as the real element of fun is participation and group enjoyment.

Traditional Craft Skills demonstration (Afternoon Activity)
There is a group of people resident at Kampoorra who spend their day making the hardware and traditional "jewellery" for the Red People. A chance to see how necklaces and bangles are made from scratch with Ostrich eggshells, glass beads and seeds, using sinew to string them. In addition to all this, male hardware skills; producing and repairing of hunting sets, tanning skins and curing hides. As well as the making of rope and glue.

Myths and Legends of the Kalahari (Late Afternoon Early Evening Activity)
This takes place in the camp in the afternoon under the shade of a big Camel thorn tree or after the evening meal by the dying embers of the camp fire, to accompaniment of the sights and sound of the African night

++++++Day 6++++++
En route

Depart very early for Namibian border and a long day's driving on our way to Etosha via Tsumeb

Lunch: En Route

Late Afternoon:
Arrive at Tsumeb - Civilisation!
Camp, shower, relax and stock up on icy Savannah beers for the long trek through Etosha.

++++++Day 7 & 8 ++++++

Arrive at Namutomi Fort - The Gateway to the Etosha Pans

Grab & Go
Take our time driving along from waterhole to waterhole, finding wildlife

Lunch :
Grab & Go

Take our time driving along from waterhole to waterhole, finding wildlife

Around the camp fire, listening to the wild animals at the water hole.
Spend some Zen time alone under the stars at the waterhole, observing the animals

++++++Day 9++++++

Wake up before dawn to watch the elephants frolick in the waterhole before the heat of the day

At the campsite.

Take our time driving along from waterhole to waterhole, finding wildlife

Grab & go

Leave Etosha, heading for Kamanjab where we will camp near a traditional Himba village

Evening & Dinner:
Spend time at the Himba village, visiting with natives, smoking a peace pipe and supporting their arts and crafts.

++++++Day 10++++++

Camp at Himba village

Morning: Head for Swakopmund via Khorixas and Uis . Travel through the breathaking scenery of Damaraland. Stay at Dora Nawas camp.

++++++Day 11++++++

Dora Nawas then set off for Swakopmundt

Drive through the desert scenes – the biggest skies you have ever seen!
Arrive Swakopmundt -- climb Dune 7 - sand surfing -- Dune Buggy Riding

Stop off at the Lichen fields – an amazing ecosystem that survives in the desert, with no water – absorbs moisture from the morning mists that roll in from the sea


Drive to Sossusvlei via the Skeleton Coast

Accomodation: En route?

Day 12:

Dunes at Sossusvlei - Huge towering dunes rise dramatically, more than 1000 feet above the surrounding plains at Sossusvlei itself
ECO-QUAD BIKING - "Breakfast Run"Departs before sunrise and arrives back before 08H30 in summer. Ideal for those who need to travel on to their next destination on the day.

Rest & Recuperate – take a refreshing dip in the sparkling lodge pool, sip on some icy savannah and gaze out over the hot desert landscape.

Sunset BBQ under the vast skies.

Take a relaxing hike over the still hot sands after dark with a bottle of chilled wine. Pop the cork and lay back: Africa's most majestic showcase awaits you - a night sky that will take your breath away. Nowhere on earth can you see a velvet sky, encrusted with millions of stars - so near, you can almost reach out and touch it. If you're lucky - the moon will be just right to light the dunes up, and create a landscape which you will never, ever forget.

Accomodation: Tented Lodge

++++++Day 13++++++

A quicky, before the big drive down to the Southern parts.

Drive to Aus - Wild Horses
Nobody knows exactly where the wild horses originated from, but they are supposedly descendents of those from the German Schutztruppe. Another theory proposes their origins to lie in the former stud of Baron Hansheinrich von Wolf of the Farm Duwisib south of Maltahöhe.

At the Garub waterhole a roofed observation stand has been put up by conservationists, from where one can closely view the extraordinary animals that have become adapted to the extreme desert conditions.

Continue on to Luderitz
Luederitz is a slighty sleepy and maybe also bizarre place, which forms the basis of its appeal.
The buzzing harbour is interesting. Fishing boats are constantly docking and leaving while fish is unloaded and transported away. There are wonderful walks available at the beautiful Agate Beach, 8 kilometres north of town. If you are lucky, you can find an agate splinter in the sand or one of the numerous sand roses which consists of crystallized gypsum

Visit Kolmanskop – The ghost town:
Because a new recovery plant began operation nearby, Elisabeth Bay is situated in a strictly guarded diamond zone. Visitors who apply for a permit must prove that they have no criminal record.

Camp on Luderitz peninsula

++++++Day 14++++++


Get up before sunrise and set off along misty coastline on the Cape West Coast road, towards Cape Town.

This stretch of desolate landscape, is known as the Richtersveld - Rugged kloofs, high mountains and dramatic landscapes that sweep away inland from the Orange River. The mountain desert of Ai-Ais, world of the Nama peoples.

Leave the beaten track Sendlingsdrift and venture into the mountain desert via a 4x4 route only - trekking through some of the most desolate and inhospitable, but breathtaking land. This is the landscape that will separate the men from the boys - get those 4x4 skills honed!!!

Hopefully we have made good enough time to reach Lambertsbay. Adventure capital of the West Coast! Find a camping spot near the beach and head for one of the local restaurants, serving fresh seafood like you've never tasted before!

++++++Day 15 ++++++

Early Morning:
Rise and shine for sunrise marine extravaganza: boat trip from Lambertsbay to watch dolphins along the coast, and visit Bird island.

Al fresco on the beach, on our return. Lets make it a champagne breakfast, to celebrate our return to civilisation.

Horse riding on the beach - endless white sands, dunes and nature enjoyed the best way ever - on horseback.

Microlight flight over Lambertsbay - a birds eye view of the coastline and harbour. Catch glimpses of the dunes and desert where it meets with the cold Atlantic ocean.


Depending on your energy levels, decide on staying over, or doing a night drive under a thousand stars, towards Cape Town to capitalise on our last few days here.

++++++Day 16 ++++++

Early Morning:

Leave Lambertsbay behind and push the last stretch through to Cape Town. Take in the magnicifent vineyards and lush mountain scenery as you near the southern point of Africa.

Late Breakfast:
Arrive in Gordons Bay and enjoy breakfast on the beach at everyone's favourite local: Tallas Tavern.

Stellenbosch Wine Farms - Spier
Visit a vinyard, stroll amongst the vines. Enjoy a tour of a traditional cellar and full wine tasting course.

Spier Landgoed. Enjoy lunch Al Fresco, sitting under the awnings in the cool shade, overlooking the rolling hills planted with vines.
Be awed by the majestic mountains that surround you.

Long walks on the Beach & Whale Watching - Visit Penguin Beach or watch kite surfers do their thing

Braai on the beach. Join a beach party till late.

++++++Day 17++++++

Whale Watching Boat Trip. A limited number of permits have been issued for legal boat-based whale watching at Hermanus, Gansbaai and Kleinbaai.The industry is carefully regulated and experienced operators are allocated discrete areas. Groups of passengers are taken out to the whales in a ski-boat for 1-2 hours keeping 50 meters away but avoiding cow-and-calf pairs (which usually move away of their own accord). Some whales are inquisitive and may surface 3-4 meters of the boat, providing an unforgettable close-up encounter.While on these trips huge schools of dolphins, seals as well as many types of sea birds are often encountered. more...

On boat

Late Afternoon:
Visit Cape Town - Drive up Lions Head and watch Cape Town's lights sparkling in the velvet night, under the stars

++++++Day 18++++++:

Tallas Tavern

Visit a township - mix with locals, have traditional beer in a shebeen

Now is the time to visit ROBBEN ISLAND, where Mandela was incarcerated for 26 years. Itinierary

Traditional fare in a shebeen

Fly back to Pretoria

Mongolian Restaurant

Sieg's sofa

++++++Day 19++++++:

Pretoria - Rest and Visit

++++++Day 20 ++++++
Pretoria Rest and Visit

Day 21: HOME