Rising dramatically out of the plains that surround them, the Spitzkoppe provides one of the most majestic panoramas in Namibia and a spectacular spot to explore on any itinerary to the region.
This combined itinerary provides an opportunity to actively improve school facilities in a rural community and explore the landscapes and wildlife found in Namibia. Working at a school, pupils can design their own project, in order to make a long lasting impact to the lives of the regional community, and afterwards, explore Namibia’s fascinating wildlife and wilderness.
The first half of this itinerary is designated to spending time at a chosen school project, where pupils will decide the work they will undertake to improved learning and recreational facilities for the school. This could range from decorating classrooms, painting exterior walls and repairing roofs, building climbing recreation facilities, or constructing a polytunnel for growing vegetables. After the project has been completed, say goodbye to newly found friends and begin exploring Namibia’s natural environment.
Etosha National Park is considered one of the best wildlife reserves in Southern Africa. The Etosha pan is home to large herds of elephant, zebra and giraffe, alongside Africa’s top predators: lion, leopard and cheetah. The group will have plenty of opportunity to view wildlife either on a vehicle safari, or from one of Etosha’s famous floodlit waterholes.
The itinerary culminates with an exploration of the amazing rock formations and arid scenery found at Spitzkoppe, an awesome environment to trek and camp overnight, under the African stars.
Read a teacher's experience of her school's Project in Namibia in our blog.
Today you will depart London Heathrow on an overnight flight to Johannesburg, where you will arrive tomorrow morning and transit to a connecting flight which will take you to Windhoek.
On arrival in Windhoek, you will be met by your local driver and transferred to a lodge to rest after the international flight.
After an early breakfast, you will travel to your project school at Grootberg, located to the south west of Etosha National Park. The journey will take about six hours from Windhoek, and you will need to stop at one of the major towns en route (we suggest ‘Outjo’) to purchase your foodstuffs and ingredients to enable you to cook your meals throughout the project. Ensuring you have a meal plan prepared in advance of your trip is essential
Accommodation is camping on the school grounds, and on arrival you will meet with the village hosts, assemble tents and prepare the evening meal.
Days 4-8 :
Your project may involve a whole host of tasks, but primarily it is likely that you will be asked to upgrade the recreational and educational facilities of the school: for instance, constructing climbing frames and swings, re-plastering and re-painting walls are common project tasks.
We will endeavour to confirm specific tasks for your project by talking with the school about their need. However, it will be essential that you are able to identify other ways in which you can help while you are there too. For instance, rural schools are becoming more self-sufficient and you may decide to create a vegetable garden.
If you wish to get involved with the teaching at the school by assisting in one of the classrooms, this will be possible, however please don’t expect to lead a class completely on your own! A simple geography lesson about the UK, your town or your home is always a good idea to start off with.
It will be an early start from your project today, to travel to Etosha National Park. The park is dominated by a large mineral pan, and with is perennial springs along the edges of the pan. This unique environment draws large concentrations of wildlife to view.
You will be camping in one of the main campsites tonight and you will have the opportunity to witness the wonderful wildlife of Africa from the fantastic waterholes which you can view all night!
Wake early for a full day exploring Etosha National Park, home to elephant, giraffe, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as many birds and reptiles.
You will be taken on a wildlife safari around the park, self-driven in your truck by your local driver. The best time to view the wildlife is early in the mornings and late in the evenings, when the heat of the sun is not so powerful and the animals are out in the open.
Leaving Etosha National Park, you will begin the journey south to the ancient rock formations of the Pondok Mountains and Spitzkoppe, otherwise known as the Matterhorn of Africa. Rising 1,800 metres into the sky, it is regarded as the most well-known mountain in the country and, situated in an endless dry plain, provides one of the most awesome and picturesque camping locations you can experience in the country.
One can go for beautiful walks in this stunning landscape and climb about between the bizarre rock formations. San (Bushman) paintings can be found in various places, many in the 'Bushman Paradise' under an overhanging rock wall, which you will have the opportunity to walk to today on circular trek of about 12 kilometres.
Swakopmund, situated halfway along Namibia’s long Atlantic coastline, is a pleasant seaside town with plenty of character. Its cooler climate comes as a welcome relief - particularly in December and January, Namibia's summer months - from the inland desert, so it makes a convenient stop-off between southern and northern circuits.
It was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, and a sizeable part of its population is still German-speaking. Much of the town is a bizarre colonial relic dating back to those days, and is full of traditional pastry and cake shops. Here, you will be able to enjoy a final evening meal in one of the many fantastic restaurants, and celebrate the achievements of your trip.
Day 13: Transfer to Windhoek & fly back to the UK
Day 14: Arrive UK
- Destination: Namibia
- When to go: Mar to Oct
- Duration: 14 days
- Trip type: Explorer
- Etosha National Park
- Trekking in Spitzkoppe
- Explore colonial Swakopmund
- Accommodation: Camping, hotels & guesthouses
- Ideal for: Ages 15 to 16
Travellers will need:
- High level of fitness
- Appreciation for outdoor adventure
- Interest in encountering new cultures
Home to some of the most diverse landscapes in Namibia, Etosha National Park is a haven for a myriad of wildlife and offers some of the finest encounters in Southern Africa.
Located at the mouth of the Swakop River, Swakopmund was founded as the main harbour for the German Empire and now acts as a wonderful stop for groups exploring the length of Namibia.