Southern Namibia safari tour takes you to most of the Attractions in Southern Namibia. This 7 day Namibia safari is one of the best African budget safari tour in Namibia.
About the 7 Day Southern Namibia safari tour
The Southern Namibia safari tour is a 7 day budget camping tour in Namibia. Southern Namibia safari tour takes to Namibia’s southern areas. This includes Sossusvlei, the Namib Desert, Lüderitz and the Fish River Canyon.
Southern Namibia safari tour starts and ends in Windhoek. This African safari tour in Namibia offers an excellent cross-section of southern Namibia. You can combine the Southern Namibia safari tour with its Northern Namibia tour. You will get a comprehensive Namibia safari experience second to none.
This will allow for a more comprehensive experience to most of Namibia’s traditional highlights. Southern Namibia safari tour is an African camping safari to Namibia.
7 Day Southern Namibia safari tour Highlights
- Desert game in Namibia
- Great and fulfilling game drives
- Wonderful landscape and scenery
- Beautiful camping accommodation
- Rock painting and engravings
- Dune 45
- Cultural Tour
7 Day Southern Namibia safari tour Itinerary
Day 1: Windhoek – Kalahari Desert
Day one will start with a meet and greet at your Windhoek hotel. This Southern Namibia safari tour can also start with morning arrival at the airport. This will be at 0700 hrs by our Namibia safari rep. You will have a short briefing on the Southern Namibia safari tour.
This will be followed by departure before 0800 hrs. Your Southern Namibia safari tour will start heading south. This is on the main highway. This goes through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert.
This is a protrusion onto the eastern side of Namibia. You will make the first stop at Rehoboth. This is the traditional home of the Baster people. Your Southern Namibia safari tour will go on to Kalkrand. This marks your entry into the Kalahari.
The Kalahari Desert often surprises people. It is different to the Namib Desert. This is because the Kalahari is not a true desert. It receives more than enough rainfall to be classified as such. Kalahari is actually a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here. The dunes are greener and less stark. They have vegetation comes and ability to support more flora and fauna. Dinner and overnight will be at Bagatelle Kalahari Game Lodge.
About Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is not a true desert, but rather a large arid to semi-arid sandy area in southern Africa. It covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Though it is semi-desert, it has huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. This part of Africa is rich in wildlife.
Kalahari Desert has been the homeland of the Bushmen for perhaps thirty thousand years. The desert was the setting for the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, which featured a Bushman family.
A strange, yet essential feature of this region are the pans. These are shallow hollows consisting of hard, gray clay. They appear drab and flat, but the pans provide essential salt for the animals of the Kalahari. They vary in size from a few hundred meters to a few square kilometers.
There are two other distinct ecosystems found in the central Kalahari region.
- Rich savanna
Day 2: Kalahari – Fish River
Today your Southern Namibia safari tour starts early. You will enjoy a morning nature drive into Kalahari. You will later leave for the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. You will visit the Mesosaurus Fossil Site and Quiver-tree Forest en-route. Quiver trees are in fact not trees. These are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma).
They are so called because the branches fork “dichotomously”. They cover the landscape in this part of the world and are quitr common. They are one of the world’s rarest flora species. The Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa & Resort is at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon.
This Namibian Resort offers an excellent place to relax in and around the thermal baths. There is also a heated swimming pool. The resort is set at a sulphurous hot spring. The name ‘/ai-/ais’ means ‘burning water’ in the local Nama language. Your overnight will be camping at Canyon Roadhouse or Ai Ais.
Day 3: Fish River – Luderitz
Your Southern Namibia safari tour starts early morning. This is with a departure to the main view point. Here you can see how impressive the Fish River canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos. You can also spend some time experiencing this amazing sight. From the top you’ll see the river sparkling in the sunlight far below us.
The Fish River Canyon is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world. This is after the Grand Canyon in the American continent. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is quite breath taking.
The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion. It was also due to the collapse of the valley. This was as a result of movements in the earth’s crust over 500 million years ago. Today the canyon measures 160 km long up to 27 km wide. It is almost 550 m at its deepest.
Your Southern Namibia safari tour will later leave for the coastal town of Luderitz. Its colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay. You’ll see fishing boats bob up and down on the Atlantic horizon. There are penguins and seals dive beneath the waves. This all together gives the town a curious other-worldly allure. You’ll get to the destination in the late afternoon. Dinner will be at client’s own expense tonight. Overnight is at a Guest house in Luderitz.
Day 4: Luderitz – Aus
There is time to join an optional extra excursion. This may be a marine trip or a cruise around Luderitz bay. If weather permits you can tour Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. All these are subject to availability and at cost. There will be time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture. Later on, your Southern Namibia safari tour drives out to Diaz Point.
Here you will be searching for bird life and hopefully a few seals. You can visit the stone cross replica, originally erected by Bartholomew Diaz. Southern Namibia safari tour will drive out to Kolmanskop. This is a desert ghost town about 20km out of Luderitz.
The town was built in the 1920’s during the diamond rush. It was abandoned after more diamonds were found along the coast. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town. This gives it an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word ‘ghost’.
Tonight you will camp at Klein Aus Vista. This is a beautiful private reserve in the Aus Mountain Range. The road takes us through the ‘forbidden zone’. The sunset over the mountains presents the perfect day end.
Day 5: Aus – Sesriem
Your Southern Namibia safari tour will turn north. You will head deep into the ancient southern Namib Desert. This will be on small gravel roads. This Namibia tour will pass some tiny rural villages along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding.
The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced. You’ll pass time rounded hills and arid terrain with outcrops of tortured rock. As you drive the terrain begins to change. You’ll cross some open grass savannah and farmlands. This will give way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib.
You’ll arrive at your camp during the late afternoon. This is will be in time to watch the colors glow and change on distant mountains to the east. You will spend your night at Sesriem Campsite.
Day 6: Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Namib Desert
There will be a pre-dawn Southern Namibia safari tour start. This is essential as you aim to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. Your Southern Namibia safari tour will pass through Sesriem. This is the gateway to the sand dunes.
You will be driving into the heart of the dune field. You’ll reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 5 km through the dunes. The walk in the cool of the morning is like nothing else. You will experience the soft sunlight as it just begins to play over the dunes. This creates a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert.
There are ancient mineral pans and stunted camel thorn trees. There’ll be a chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich. You’ll spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei. This will include a visit to the famous dune 45. You will return to Sesriem for lunch and to escape the heat of the afternoon.
Later in the evening you’ll take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon. Your dinner and overnight will be at Sesriem Campsite.
Day 7: Sesriem – Windhoek
This is the last day of your Southern Namibia safari tour. The journey begins after breakfast. You will go over the mountains. This drive takes you along scenic roads, back to Windhoek.
You’ll travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hoch-land Range. The journey goes through beautiful mountain passes. You are due back into Windhoek city at around 16:00 hrs. End your Northern Namibia Tour with a drop off will be at your budget hotel in Windhoek.
———- End of 7 Day Southern Namibia Tour Safari ———-
7 Day Southern Namibia Tour Safari Cost
Included in the 7 Day Southern Namibia Tour Safari Cost
- Transport in a custom-built safari vehicle (no air-conditioning)
- Accommodation and camping as per itinerary
- National park & site entry fees
- Activities including: nature drive at Bagatelle & visit to Quiver Tree Forest. Visit Giants Playground & tour of Kolmanskop & excursion into Sossusvlei
- Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast L=lunch D=dinner)
- Services of an English-speaking guide & camp assistant
- Pick up/drop off within Windhoek city limits
Not Included in 7 Day Southern Namibia Tour Safari
- Drinks snacks
- Sleeping bag
- Optional activities
What to Carry on 7 Day Southern Namibia Tour Safari
- light and heavy clothing
- sun glasses
- Sun screen
- comfortable hiking shoes
Related African Safaris in Namibia
Southern Namibia Safari Tour Destinations
The Southern Namibia safari tour starts with a tour to the Kalahari Desert. This is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending for 900,000 square kilometres.
It occupies almost all of Botswana, the eastern third of Namibia, and the northernmost part of Northern Cape province in South Africa. In the southwest it merges with the Namib, the coastal desert of Namibia.
The Kalahari’s longest north–south extent is roughly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres), and its greatest east–west distance is about 600 miles
The Kalahari Desert that covers much of Botswana, and parts of Namibia and South Africa. The Kalahari sand dunes compose the largest continuous expanse of sand on earth.
The dunes are covered with a relative abundance of vegetation because of a rainfall of between 5 and 10 inches annually, of which over four hundred species of plants have been identified in the Kalahari Desert.
The Kalahari Desert is formed in a region of subsidence in the Hadley cell known as the “horse latitudes” and also its continentality. But, the cause of the Namib desert is the cold Benguela current in the Atlantic ocean.
There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is very high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain per year. As a result the Kalahari supports some animals and plants because most of it is not true desert.
The Desert was previously havens for wild animals from elephant to giraffe, and for predators such as lion and cheetah. On your Southern Namibia safari tour to the riverbeds are now you will mostly have grazing fauna.
With luck your Southern Namibia safari tour may come across leopard or cheetah.
Fish River Canyon
The Southern Namibia safari tour will continue further south to Fish River Canyon. It is the largest canyon in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia.
Fish River Canyon features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep.
The Canyon forms part of the state-run Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfontier Park. Entrance to the Park is situated 10 kilometers from the well-known view point Hell`s Bend at the Hobas Restcamp.
All visitors including those on Southern Namibia safari tour have to report here. It is important to know that during the summer month the Canyon hike is closed due to the heat.
The Fish River Hiking Trail can be conducted during the months April – September. The hike can be completed within 4 to 5 days, depending on fitness.
It covers a length of 85 km and the descent into the Canyon is only allowed for hikers doing the trail. Because Southern Namibia safari tour is not on Fish River Hiking Trail, you will not climb into the Canyon.
The history of some of the oldest rocks in Namibia (gneiss) cut by the Fish River started over a billion years ago. A might mountain range eroded down to a vast plain flooded by the ocean about 650 million years ago.
Then about 350 million years ago the biological formation of the Fish River Canyon started. A vast graben formed along old tectonic faults. It formed the broad ancient valley of the Fish River.
The edges of this graben that are more than 20 km apart today form the upper edges of the canyon. After the formation of the graben structure 300 million years ago the riverbed was still 300 metres higher than it is today.
With the so-called Gondwana-Glaciation glaciers further deepened the graben. Today ice in the canyon is completely unimaginable.
There was the separation of the continent Gondwana about 120 million years ago. Combined with the uplifting of the African continent the gradient of the Fish River increased allowed it to erode even deeper into the rock. Today the deepest point of the canyon is 549 metres deep.
Your Southern Namibia safari tour then makes a detour to Lüderitz. This is a coastal town in southwestern Namibia. It’s known for its German colonial buildings, including the art nouveau Goerke Haus, built into the rock face on Diamond Hill.
Nearby, Felsenkirche is a hilltop church with panoramic bay views stretching around to Robert Harbor. The Lüderitz Museum has displays about the town’s diamond-mining past as well as local and natural history.
Lüderitz, formerly Angra Pequena, town on the Atlantic coast of Namibia (formerly South West Africa). The Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias stopped there in 1487 and named the bay Angra Pequena.
Long neglected, it became the first German settlement in South West Africa. This is when a Hamburg merchant, Franz Adolf Lüderitz, began trading operations here. He persuaded the German government in 1883 to place the territory under German protection.
In 1908, during construction of a railway, diamonds were discovered in the Namib desert hinterland. Lüderitz then became a booming mining town in what the German colonial government.
It later established as a huge prohibited zone, Sperrgebiet, where no one may enter without permit, for diamond mining was strictly controlled.
The Southern Namibia safari tour will proceed to Aus, a settlement in the ǁKaras Region of southern Namibia. It lies on a railway line and the B4 national road, 230 km west of Keetmanshoop. This is about 125 km east of Lüderitz and belongs to the ǃNamiǂNûs electoral constituency.
The region around the little village of Aus and the Huib Plateau was originally inhabited by nomadic hunter-gatherer groups of the Nama. They already gave the town its present name.
!Aus means snake fountain and it was the last reliable fountain before the start of the 120 km wide waterless Namib. Until the year 1882 the region remained spared from European influence, only a few missionaries visited the snake fountain.
The history of Aus goes back to the end of 1904 the war between the Nama and the Germans erupted. More German soldiers had to be brought into the country for the “protection of the peoples”.
For this reason the construction of a railway connection between Lüderitz and Aus was authorized by the German government. Until today the construction work is praised – within one year the complete distance of 120 km was completed.
If it wasn’t for the wild herds, Aus could be described as the original one-horse town. This small village is located on the B4 national road and is a popular pit-stop for tourists. It is ideally located as a scenic and tranquil base for discovering Namibia’s southern interior.
The most unique feature of Aus is the resident wild horses. They are most likely descended from South African and Namibian horses which threw off the bonds of domestication during World War I.
These unique animals are capable of going without water for up to five days. They seem willing and able to survive the harsh conditions on the edge of the Namib Desert.
Alongside the horses are ostriches and oryx which are endemic to this area, with no ill effects. A hide has been erected at Garub Pan so that tourists can view these amazing creatures at their favourite watering hole.
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes. Southern Namibia safari tour here will take you to the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia.
The name “Sossusvlei” is often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area, which is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia.
Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. It is characterised by the large red dunes. Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt and clay pan and is a great destination all year round.
The dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world, reaching almost 400 meters. Thye will provide photographic enthusiasts with wonderful images in the beautiful morning and evening light.
Sossusvlei literally translates to “dead-end marsh”. This is the place where the dunes come together preventing the Tsauchab River to flow any further, some 60km east of the Atlantic Ocean.
However, due to the dry conditions in the Namib Desert the River seldom flows this far and the pan remains bone-dry most years.
During an exceptional rainy season the Tsauchab fills the pan, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness this spectacular site.
Photographic enthusiasts are spoilt with a glassy “lake” holding reflections of the surrounding dunes. When the pan fills it can hold water for as long as a year.
Many endemic animal and plant species call the Namib their home. They have adapted perfectly to the heat. Many desert inhabitants make use of the fog which every now and then emerges from the Atlantic Ocean. This is often the only source to humidity and vital for the survival of many.
Those on Southern Namibia safari tour may see oryx antelope. They often can be found deep in the desert has developed a unique system to cool down its blood.
They have fine network of blood vessels to cool the brain. This enabled the animals to handle a body temperature of more than 40°C for longer periods.