In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours

Tour 32: 13 Day Kalahari – Diamond Coast 4×4 Tour

This tour covers 2 Trans Frontier Parks, 1 National Park and 9 Reserves/conservation areas in 03 countries.

Terrain: Tar & dirt roads, sand & rocky trails
Maximum vehicles on tour: 08
Total Distance: 2 700 km
Average travel time per day: 5.5 hrs
Trailers accepted

MALARIA FREE AREA!

13 Days
12 Nights

DAY 01 Mier Area, Kalahari (South Africa)
DAY 02 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park (Botswana)
DAY 03 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
DAY 04 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park (South Africa)
DAY 05 Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – Fish River Canyon (Namibia)
DAY 06 Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
DAY 07 Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (South Africa)
DAY 08 Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
DAY 09 Diamond Coast
DAY 10 Diamond Coast
DAY 11 Diamond Coast
DAY 12 Diamond Coast
DAY 13 Departure

DETAILED ITINERARY

Arid Savanah of the Kalahari Desert, vast plains of the Nama Karoo, barren Namib Desert, mountain desert of the Richtersveld and semi-desert coastline. This is a unique combination of desert areas in one tour. Adapted wildlife, gracious raptors and the big cats of the Kgalagadi, the impressive Fish River Canyon and Richtersveld mountain desert, fascinating desert plants and sandy and mountain trails await the visitor. Diamond mining history, shipwrecks and sandy trails are part of the Diamond Coast section, covering the Kalahari 4x4 Trail and more than 400 km of the South African coastline from the Orange River to the Olifants River.

DAY 01 Upington – San Tent Campsite
Meet at 12:00 in Upington. Depart at 13:00 to the small village Askham. Refuel. Continue on a short 4x4 trail to the nearby Tent Campsite managed by the last indigenous San tribe in South Africa, the Khomani. The Tent Campsite near the Kuruman River Valley in the Andriesvale area, has a beautiful setting in a valley studded with camelthorn trees between the Kalahari dunes.

The San are the earliest residents of the Kalahari, living here for 40 000 years They consist of only 400 people and are resident in an area around Andriesvale between 40 and 70 km south of Twee Rivieren. Clients who are interested have the opportunity to view and purchase their handcraft at one of the roadside stalls in the area or at the handcraft centre at the entrance gate to the Molopo Kalahari Lodge 5km away.

Clients travelling from the northern parts of South Africa via the R31 Vanzylsrus road or who are in the vicinity of Askham, Molopo Lodge or Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, can meet the guide at 16:00 at Witdraai Police Station off the R360 between Askham and the Molopo Lodge
Overnight: San Tent Campsite Camping (Chalet at Molopo Lodge optional at own cost)
Meals: B & D
Distance: 205 km
Travel time: 3 hrs

DAY 02 San Tent Camp – De Stoele 4x4 Trail – Cammspannen Nature Reserve
Depart on the R360 direction Twee Rivieren. Turn-off opposite Struizendam Village, situated on the banks of the dry Nossob River in Botswana, on the De Stoele 4x4 Trail. Continue through the Mier area in Kalahari and past beautiful red sand dunes at De Stoele farm and later on dirt road to Cammspannen Private Nature Reserve. Continue to the Tented Camp near the entrance gate.

Cammspannen Nature Reserve is uninhabited and is situated in the Mier area in the most remote part of South Africa and it covers 12 800 ha of typical Kalahari duneveld in the Arid Savannah biome of South Africa. It’s northern border is one km south of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park’s southern border and in the west it borders on Namibia

Antelope species include gemsbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, springbok, grey duiker and steenbok. Smaller carnivores include caracal, aardwolf, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, Cape fox, African wild cat, meerkat, yellow – & slender mongoose. Other species include aardvark, pangolin, porcupine & ground squirrels

Ostrich, Kori bustard, northern black korhaan and secretary bird are common sightings. Bird of prey species include marshall eagle, black-chested snake eagle, pale chanting goshawk, pygmy falcon, black-shouldered kite and greater kestrel. Owl species include spotted eagle owl, barn owl and white-faced scops-owl. Burchell – & Namaqua sandgrouse, chats, weavers, quails and various lark species are common.

We take on the first leg of the Cammspannen Kalahari 4x4 Trail. Experience the real Kalahari on this circular trail by crossing some challenging dunes and watching Kalahari wildlife in their natural habitat.
Overnight: Cammspannen Tented Camp (igloo tents or own camping equipment if preferred)
Meals: B & D
Distance: 130 km + 40 km 4x4 trail
Travel time: 3 hrs + 3 hrs 4x4 trail

DAY 03 Cammspannen Kalahari 4x4 Trail – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Depart on the second leg of the Cammspannen Kalahari 4x4 Trail. Part of this circular trail includes crossing some challenging dunes against the Namibian border fence.

Depart to the largest camp in Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park, Twee Rivieren. Check in at Two Rivers on the Botswana side.

Game drive to Rooiputs Campsite on the Botswana side in this 37 000 square km park, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems. Endemic game such as gemsbok, springbok, eland, giraffe, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest roam the sparsely vegetated red sand dunes and the dry river valleys of the Nossob and Auob where a variety of acacia species thrive.

The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah and spotted – and brown hyena are common residents. Because of an abundance of prey in the form of mice, whistling rats, birds and insects, smaller predators thrive in the park. The park is home to caracal, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African wildcat, mongoose and the ever-popular suricate (meerkat).

Kgalagadi is a bird watcher’s paradise with more than 300 species recorded including at least 20 larger raptor species. The world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard and the stately secretary bird patrol the riverbeds while the noisy northern black korhaan rule in the dunes.

Experience two nights in the Park, camping in the wild with no protective fencing. Enjoy dinner around the fire, while listening to the sounds of the night. Don’t be surprised if you hear lion, hyena, leopard and black backed jackal during the night. Lions are regular visitors to Rooiputs at night.
(The facilities at Rooiputs are very basic. Each campsite has an A-frame shade structure, pit toilet and a shelter for shower bag.)
Overnight: Chalets at Twee Rivieren or Rooiputs Botswana Camping
Meals: B & D
Distance: 170 km
Travel time: 6 hrs (incl. 3 hrs game drive)

DAY 04 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Game drive via the Leeuwdril 4x4 loop to Mata Mata situated on the Namibian Border.
Overnight: Mata Mata
Meals: B & D
Distance: 120 km
Travel time: 6 hrs (game drive)

DAY 05 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Gondwana Nature Park
Enter Namibia. Depart to Keetmanshoop via the Koes dune road. The road takes one through the Namibian Kalahari and the vast plains of southern Namibia. En route we visit the Quiver Tree Forest and Giant’s Playground near Keetmanshoop.

Continue via Namibia’s 2nd largest dam, Naute Dam, to Gondwana Nature Park neighbouring the Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. This park spans some of the most spectacular scenery of the arid and desert environments in southern Africa. Bisected by the Orange River, which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia, it comprises the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Game Park in Namibia and the Richtersveld National Park in South Africa.

Some of the distinctive features in the area include the Ai-Ais Hot springs and the 2nd largest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon. This arid zone is further characterised by a unique and impressive variety of succulent plant species, which makes this park an undisputed biodiversity ‘hot spot’. Ai-Ais, which means, “burning water” in one of the local languages, refers to the sulphurous hot springs which are found in this area. One of these springs has its eye within the camp. Ai-Ais lies at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon.
Overnight: Canon Roadhouse
Meals: B & D
Distance: 400 km
Travel time: 6 hrs

DAY 06 Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Depart to The Fish River Canyon via Gondwana Nature Park. This awe-inspiring canyon measures 160 km in length, up to 27 km in width and reaches a depth of 550 m. Visit different viewpoints overlooking the canyon. Although the Park is not known as a game park, springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest, Hartman’s zebra, kudu, klipspringer and ostrich survive in this harsh land. Continue to Ai-Ais. Relax in the warm pools and spa.

Proceed to Sendelingsdrift Border Post through the vast barren plains of southern Namibia. The road runs parallel with the Orange River through Southern Namibia. Enter South Africa by crossing the Orange River by ferry. The Richtersveld Mountain Desert is regarded as the only true desert and one of the last wilderness areas in South Africa and was recently declared a world heritage site. The rainfall in some areas is less than 50 mm per annum. The Park nestles in a 100 km loop of the Lower Orange River, which forms the border with Namibia.

The Richtersveld is regarded as one of the world’s most prolific and richest succulent areas, nurturing 30% of South Africa’s succulent species, including 3 Quiver tree species and the very rare legendary “halfmens”. Although game is not the main attraction of Richtersveld Park, there is species such as the very rare Hartman’s Zebra, Grey Reebok, Klipspringer, Duiker, Steenbok, Leopard, Caracal, Black backed jackal, Baboons and Vervet monkeys. The park harbours a small number of indigenous people, who live their lives as goatherds, unchanged from the time when their hardy ancestors lived. 4x4 Trail to our campsite on the banks of the Orange River.
Overnight: One of the camps in the Park
Meals: B & D
Distance: 290 km
Travel time: 5 hrs

DAY 07 Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Explore the Richtersveld by 4x4 Trail and on foot. Return to camp.
Overnight: One of the camps in the Park
Meals: B & D
Distance: 100 km
Travel time: 7 hrs

DAY 08 Richtersveld – Diamond Coast
Visit the estuary at the Orange River mouth near Alexander Bay. This previous restricted diamond area is now open to public. The Orange River Wetland is declared as a RAMSAR site and is home to more than 60 bird species including pelicans and many flamingos. After a drive to the mouth we continue to the Lichen Hill. The Richtersveld vegetation has unique species with awesome adoptions to survive in its semi desert climate. One km outside Alexander Bay, a hill of 5 hectares is covered with lichen – the only one of its kind in South Africa. Lichen is neither plant nor animal, consisting of algae and fungi living together in symbioses. We visit this hill with a botanist as our guide.

Continue along the coastline via the small harbour town Port Nolloth. Visit the harbour with its diamond dredgers. Continue on the dirt road to Kleinzee on the West Coast. We enter the secretive, previously restricted diamond area owned by The Beers. Time at leisure for a coastline walk. Whales are very often seen close to the shoreline.
Overnight: Diamond Divers’ camp at Noup or Koingnaas Caravan Park camping
Meals: B & D
Distance: 340 km
Travel time: 3 hrs

DAY 09 Diamond Coast
Explore the Diamond Coast on the 37km Shipwreck 4x4 Route. Throughout the years the stormy Atlantic has prevented many ships to reach their destination. They found their final resting place at the coastline between Koingnaas and Kleinzee. The trail goes past three of these wrecks, the Piratiny, Arosa and Border, untouched beaches and other interesting sights.

Minimum of 8 persons are required for departure on these 4x4 trails. If less, clients have to pay the balance of R150 per person per trail.
Overnight: Diamond Divers’ camp at Noup or Koingnaas Caravan Park camping
Meals: B & D
Distance: 60 km
Travel time: 6 hrs

DAY 10 Diamond Coast – Hondeklip Bay
Explore the Strandveld 4x4 Route. This route goes through 1000ha of white sand dunes in a game reserve and crosses some challenging dunes.
Minimum of 8 persons are required for departure on these 4x4 trails. If less, clients have to pay the balance of R150 per person per trail.

Continue to Hondeklip Bay, which relies for its survival on a small crayfish industry and a few diamond boats operating from its harbour. This small remote seaside village has an unpretentious rural charm. Overnight: Hondeklip Bay
Meals: B & D
Distance: 60 km
Travel time: 6 hrs

DAY 11 Diamond Coast – Namaqua 4x4 Trail – Groenrivier
Visit the wreck of the Jahleel in the bay and the Aristea. Continue south on the Coastal 4x4 Trail to
Groenriviermond. The trail runs through impressive West Coast landscapes with excellent photographic
and bird watching opportunities, the including rare black oystercatcher. Stop at the Spoegrivier Caves
and at the estuary where the Spoegrivier mouths in the cold Atlantic Ocean. Afternoon at leisure in
Groenriviermond.
Overnight: Groenrivier
Meals: B & D
Distance: 90 km
Travel time: 5 hrs

DAY 12 Groenriviermond – Upington
Depart on dirt road to Garies on the N7. (Self drive clients continue to their destinations). Continue to Upington via Springbok. End of the tour.
Distance: 590 km
Travel time: 6 hrs

Rates on request:
E-mail: dantes@kalahari-tours.co.za or click on CONTACT US.

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KALAHARI TOURS & TRAVEL
Upington 8801

TEL/FAX: + 27 (0) 54 3380375
CELL: + 27 (0) 82 4935041