Cape Town - If you’re an outdoor fanatic, then Namibia is definitely an adventure destination you should add to your bucket list! Even though there are lots of activities on offer in this region, this predominantly ‘sandy dunes’ territory is famously known for being a hiker magnet.
Namibia is home to some of the most epic hiking trails in the world and attracts hikers from all four corners of the globe. The trails of course offer unique scenery, plant and animal life. Moreover, there’s a trail out in the desert for everyone, despite your fitness level!
Try one of these hiking trails that lasts a minimum of two days or longer… and includes camping under the magical starts too.
Here is a list of the most popular lengthy Namibian hikes:
7-Day Fish River Hike
The 7 day Fish River hike will take you all the way. This 5 days of continuous valuable time in the canyon consists of a guided hiking trail and camping.
Starting off from the main viewpoint near Hobas, this unique journey ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa. How Divine?!
You can look forward to unique plant and wildlife spotting such as wild horses, Hartmann's Mountain zebra, kudu, klipspringer, leopard, springbok and baboon.
What you need to know:
- The walk is approximately 85km long, and usually takes between 4-5 days to complete.
- The Fish River hike is not very difficult, but challenging.
- A decent level of fitness is essential, as the trails entail 7 to 8 hours walking per day.
- You will have to carry your own luggage every day, including food and water (all together approximately 12–15 kg per person.)
- Children under the age of 12 are not permitted.
- Demand is high, so reservations should be made well in advance.
- No facilities are available and hikers sleep outdoors for the entire trip.
- Hikers must have a recent medical certificate of fitness, dated no more than 40 days and complete an indemnity form, prior to commencing the trail.
Click here to inquire about booking.
SEE: Damaraland: Namibia's best-kept secret
4-Day Waterberg Hike
To complete this 4 day hike in time, you are expected to walk between 10km and 15km on each day… sounds hectic? However, depending on your fitness level, you can compromise. There is no set route to the hike, and the guides (armed for protection against predators and rhinos) will decide which is the best route according to circumstances. The distances covered in a day will depend on the fitness and requirements of the group, but you should expect to walk between 10 and 15km daily.
The Waterberg Plateau Park is Namibia's only mountain resort, and is a vast wilderness, with distinctive red sandstone cliffs. The term 'Waterberg' refers to the fact that sandstone of the plateau, absorb moisture, which runs off on the south-east side of the plateau as springs. Hence, the name 'Waterberg,' or water mountain.
There are approximately 200 species of birds located within the confines of the park. The Okarakuvisa Cliffs, on the top of the plateau, accommodates the only breeding colony of Cape vultures in the country, and Waterberg is also the breeding ground of several rare game species including; rhinoceros, buffalo, and sable and roan antelope. Click here to inquire about booking
What you need to know:
- Accommodation in basic huts, so you will not need to carry your own tent.
- This hike is a great way to learn about the fauna and flora of the Waterberg Plateau area.
- Departure days are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursday of the month.
- Hikers need to be at the Onjoka Gate for a 2pm departure
- Hikers will have to provide their own food and sleeping bags.
- Groups need to be between 6 and 10 people and
- Bookings must be made in advance.
1, 2, 3 And 4 day hikes: Mundulea Nature Reserve
Mundulea Nature Reserve is situated just 2hrs south of the Namutoni Gate of Etosha National Park, in the Otavi Mountains. It is set in 120 kms² of prime, unspoilt bushveld, in the Karstveldt region, south-east of the town of Otavi. This beautiful landscape has rugged hills, steep gorges and a vast network of caves and underground lakes.
Mundulea is an ideal destination for tourists who perhaps have had enough of driving around the country on a variety of self-drive or set tours, and who would relish the opportunity to get out of their vehicle, and experience the wonders of an expertly guided 3 night / 4 day walking trail instead (stays of different lengths can be arranged).
The reserve is owned and run by Bruno Nebe, one of the best guides in Namibia. His intimate knowledge of Namibia's flora and fauna, is combined with an unbelievable detailed understanding of geology, geography, archeology, not to mention a wide spectrum of Namibia's political and economic issues. Many trekkers enjoy his relaxed and unpretentious guiding style, a claim that is supported by his loyal following of repeat visitors, including a significant number of families. Click here to inquire.
What you need to know:
- Mundulea's dolomite and limestone mountains. They contain fathomless caves and potholes, deep gorges and underground lakes. Ancient Leadwood trees, marula's, wild figs and white syringa, (which provide vast shade canopies,) are just part of the wide variety of plants, trees and bushes found on the reserve.
- Game sightings include eland, kudu, oryx, hartebeest, Damara dik-dik, steinbok, duiker, klipspringer and warthog. Predators such as leopard, cheetah, brown hyena, spotted hyena, jackal, serval and lynx are all present in the area and have been sighted on several occasions during walks.
- The peace and pace of the trail also affords superb opportunities for birding - some 260 species are found on the reserve, including raptors and owls.
- And finally - a black rhino bull called 'Hooker.' He is one of 5 black rhinos at the reserve and is the last remaining example of the sub-species Diceros bicornis chobiencis.
- Don't forget the real attraction here; the top quality walking, with the opportunity to explore the bush with one of the best safari guides in Africa.
SEE: PICS: The first cross-border run between Namibia and SA looks so EPIC
3 Day Tok Tokkie Hike
The Tok Tokkie Trail takes allows you to experience the desert’s stunning beauty. Hiking through the desert allows you to discover many secrets of the Namib that cannot be experienced while driving.
But it is advised to make your way to the start of this hike as part of a self-drive safari around Namibia. The starting point is close to the dunes at Sossusvlei, so spending a night at one of the nearby lodges is advisable. All you need to bring is your hiking boots, everything else is supplied.
- Enjoy walking at an easy pace, normally not exceeding 10 km a day.
- You only carry your day pack, including a lunch bag, water and your camera equipment.
- Your main luggage will be transported by a back-up vehicle.
- Close up viewing of desert fauna and flora. Learn about this living desert.
- Enjoy simple desert luxury - a hot bucket shower and bush toilet with a view.
- Delicious 3-course meals are served for dinner out in the dunes.
- Walking is in small groups of 2 to 8 people for personal attention and tranquility.
- Larger groups can be catered for on request.
- Ideal for families.
You genuinely get to experience different aspects of the Namib Desert, from the rocky formations to soft, sandy dunes. You’ll hear the sounds of barking geckos, bat-eared foxes and so much more. This is a world that you definitely want to experience. Click here to inquire about booking
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