With your individually booked departure flight you'll fly to Windhoek/Namibia (WDH) usually by an overnight connection.
Namibia Classic - Motorbike tour
Arrive at Windhoek International Airport and be picked up by us. A one-hour transfer takes you to our own Windhoek Mountain Lodge in the southern foothills of the Auas Mountains - our base for all Gravel Travel tours in Namibia. After a good breakfast, there is an opportunity to acclimatize and relax by the pool with a restful view of the surrounding mountain ranges and the vast african "bushveld". There is also the possibility of a small driver training session on the lodge grounds to get a first feel for the "gravel". And if you like, you can enjoy a "sundowner" on the viewing platform above the lodge before the legendary "Bushman fondue" calls for dinner in the evening...
Well rested and relaxed, today we will deal with a detailed travel briefing and a thorough briefing on the motorcycles and GPS devices. Then we go for an approx. 100 km inroduction tour, where you can familiarise yourself with the traffic, road conditions and technology so that we can start the tour well prepared the next morning.
After the first "day-briefing" at morning with the tour guide, your round trip through Namibia begins with a drive on relatively flat gravel roads to the south-eastern part of the country. Thorn bush savannah and barren pastureland, where Karakul sheep graze, is typical for the region, determining the image of the peripheral area to the Kalahari. Via Uhlenhorst we drive through the charming Auob valley and finally arrive at our accommodation close to village of Mariental.
The journey continues through fascinating landscapes of the western Kalahari, past the green oasis of Stampriet, where artesian wells enable the cultivation of vegetables and where the Auob River turns east. Here begins an interesting ascent and descent over the belt of dunes made of orange-red sand, which, however, look more like chains of hills due to the partially dense vegetation. Finally near Koës we reach the rolling hills and wide open spaces so typical of the Keetmanshoop area. The "Giant's Playground" - a collection of miraculously piled up boulders and the "Quiver Tree Forest" with its tree-high aloe plants on farm Gariganus invite you to visit. The simple guest chalets in which we live today are very close by.
An eventful day awaits you when we have left the southern administrative and economic center of Keetmanshoop behind us after the first hour's drive. An interesting route with views of lonely mountains and seemingly endless plains leads us to our southernmost accommodation in the border town of Noordoewer. We pass the mighty Fish River Canyon with its unforgettable panoramic view, a very special attraction in Namibia. With a length of more than 100 km and its deep winding gorges, it is considered the second largest canyon in the world. We follow the gravel road south along the east rim of the canyon, which is lined with fascinating landscapes. Then we continue along the Oranje to our destination today, the "Norotshama River Resort". Our chalets are located directly on the Orange River.
In the morning we'll join for a canoe trip on the Oranje River, which winds its way through the landscape in wide arcs about 200 km before it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Then we start with the motorbikes for our next day's stage in a westerly direction, along the Oranje. The mining town of Rosh Pinah on the edge of the restricted diamond area offers a welcome rest stop before we continue along the Namib Desert, via the Aus settlement, the Neisip Plain and through the majestic Tiras Mountains to our next, beautifully situated accommodation near Helmeringhausen.
After a refreshing shower under rustic camel thorn trees and a breakfast in the wilderness, we set off again and let ourselves be accompanied by a wonderful play of colors in the seemingly endless, hostile expanses and the mountain ranges on the outskirts of the Namib Desert, as well as past the incredibly high sand dunes of the desert Sesriem, where our next accommodation near Sossusvlei is located.
... and today we have breakfast under the imposing camel thorn trees in Sossusvlei, next to the highest dunes in the world. In order to catch the first glimpse of this red dune backdrop in the early golden sun, we leave the lodge in four-wheel drive vehicles and enjoy the morning in this unique landscape (unfortunately no motorbikes are allowed in the national park). In the afternoon, however, we continue our own tour and follow the gravel road north on a shorter but no less eventful stage. Through an open savannah rich in wildlife, we soon reach Solitaire. Another special and idiosyncratic accommodation in the lonely expanse of the Namib Desert awaits us near the Rotstock Mountains...a high pool lounge invites you to relax with a fantastic view over wide valleys of this extremely picturesque landscape...
From the wide Namib Desert we head towards "civilization" again today. We pass the Tropic of Capricorn and cross the Gaub River. The special feature here is the pass through the Kuiseb Canyon, another deeply furrowed river valley, in whose ecosystem two German geologists hid for two years at the time of World War II and fought for survival (their impressive book "The sheltering desert" is worth reading). From there, the rough gravel road leads us further through the huge Namib-Naukluft National Park across to the coast and the lonely expanse that seems so lifeless, but always surprises with oryx antelopes, springbok, ostriches and mountain zebras crossing scenery and road. Only just off the coast do high dune belts open up again and the air is noticeably fresher. In Swakopmund we stop at a good hotel to explore this historic coastal town and get in touch with the cold Atlantic.
Apart from a joint excursion with quad bikes to the dunes south of Swakopmund (optional, costs approx. €50), this day is at your leisure for individual activities. There is a lot to explore in Swakopmund: In the charming souvenir and jewelry shops, high-quality products from local handicrafts are available for every taste and budget. Particularly unusual pieces of jewelry with Namibian semi-precious stones enjoy general popularity. You shouldn't miss the crystal gallery and the natural history museum, both located near the beach, which provide particularly interesting insights into the country's natural treasures, or the snake park and the seawater aquarium. Or how about a stroll to the historic jetty and through the town center? Here you can see numerous well-preserved buildings in the typical colonial style, of which the the "Woermann house" still towers over its surroundings today.
From Swakopmund, the route takes us about 200 km along the Atlantic through the Dorob National Park northwards on a salt road and gives us a lasting impression of Namibia's coastal landscape. A detour to the seal colony in Cape Cross is also possible before heading back inland towards Uis, where the climate becomes much hotter again. Passing the Messum crater, we then surround the majestic Brandberg massif - the highest mountain in Namibia - with its rugged, black and red colored stone landscape. A special companion on our route is the "Welwitschia", a rare, bizarre giant plant that can live well over 1000 years. In the small mining town of Uis, warm accommodation awaits us with a refreshing pool - and a hearty namibian style "braai" (barbecue) caters for our physical well-being in the evening hour.
After the briefing we set off for northern Damaraland. We cross dry river beds, which can develop into respectable watercourses in the rainy season, where the desert elephants find their valuable habitat. The oxide-red, scree-covered table mountain landscapes with their globular, silvery-green broom bush euphorbias reflect the typical landscape of this region and are also home to springbok, giraffes and oryx antelopes as well as the rare black rhinoceros. At noon we take a break at Twyfelfontein Lodge, in the late afternoon we reach the Grootberg Lodge, which is tucked away on a plateau - with a gigantic view over the canyon of the Klip River.
You should stop when it's at its best - so they say - we leave Grootberg Lodge early in the morning for another beautiful destination: Mount Etjo Safari Lodge. Over the Grootberg Pass, you go down the table mountain steps of the Etendeka Plateau on winding routes, pass the huge dry river bed of the Huab and refuel in the small village of Khorixas. Through eastern Damaraland we pass settlements to the unique landscape of the Ugab Terraces, where the Vingerklip Lodge offers the perfect stop for a short lunch break. Then we are on smaller farm roads and through typical Mopane shrub savannah we reach Kalkfeld and very soon Mount Etjo, a prominent table mountain, at the foot of which is the large game reserve of Mount Etjo Safari Lodge. All kinds of wild species can already be observed at the lodge itself, with a bit of luck even hippos! The barbecue dinner spoils comprehensively and - as a 2nd dessert - there would be a lion feeding to watch from close.
Actually, it's too nice to sleep in - when the hippos wake you up in the morning or the lions roar in the distance, today it's time for a safari: we go into the bush in an off-road vehicle - on the lookout for giraffes, zebras, antelopes, rhinos and elephants. Then we start our last leg back to Windhoek Mountain Lodge. We pass central farmland via remote gravel slopes and return to the central highlands of Namibia via Omaruru and Otjimbingwe. In the course of the later afternoon we reach our GravelTravel base, where a very sociable evening with a sundowner and the legendary "bushman fondue" awaits us.
This day is at your leisure at the lodge or for a stroll in Windhoek. Depending on your individual departure time, you can plan your day freely today, as the flight often only leaves in the evening. Some of the sights can be visited in the capital and numerous street cafés as well as bazaars and shops with local handicrafts invite you to at least observe the hustle and bustle all around. Whatever the case, we'll make sure you get to the airport on time...
Depending on your individually booked flight, you will land e.g. in Frankfurt/Main usually in the early morning from where you can continue your further journey home.