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.
A fabulous itinerary for those school groups who not only want to enjoy the highlights of Namibia's wildlife and impressive desert scenery, but also to experience the challenge of a mountain trek, as well as undertake an education project.
‘Namibia’, the name alone evokes images of vast desert plains, uninhabited landscapes, mountainous sand dunes and Atlantic coast. It is a vast and impressive country that holds some of Africa’s most spectacular scenery such as the Naukluft Mountains, the ancient Namib Desert and Etosha, one of the finest National Parks in Africa, sustaining some of Africa’s most recognised wildlife.
Your project will provide you with the opportunity to work alongside a rural community and upgrade recreation and education facilities at the local school, in order to assist the daily education of the Namibian ‘learners’, as the local students are known.
Today you will embark on your trip with a flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg where you will arrive tomorrow morning and transit to another flight which will take you to Windhoek.
On arrival in Windhoek, you will be transferred to your accommodation in the city and receive a briefing about the rest of your trip. You will need to spend the afternoon purchasing all the materials necessary to complete your project and you will be taken to a hardware store where all equipment and materials can be purchased. The evening will be spent relaxing at the accommodation where it is likely that a Braai (a South African barbeque), will be made.
This morning you will travel to your project School, arriving by lunchtime to make your introductions. Once the truck has been unloaded, you will need to make preparations to start your project work tomorrow.
Days 4-7 :
Your project may involve a whole host of tasks, but primarily it is likely that you will upgrade the recreational facilities of the school by building a climbing frame and swings.
In addition, the educational environment of the school will need attention, which could involve re-plastering and re-painting walls, and follow the school's desire to have education murals placed around the schools to be used for teaching.
It will be essential that you are able to look at the bigger picture during your stay at the school and identify other ways in which you can help. For example, you may decide to help create a vegetable garden or a chicken coop. Other activities you may wish to design could include football, netball or basketball matches after school hours; these competitions are a great way to interact and have fun with the local students.
Alternatively you may wish to have a cultural exchange whereby you explain to the students about your life at home and at school. This can often be a very rewarding exchange.
Finally, you may wish to get involved with the teaching at the school by assisting in one of the classrooms. It is unlikely that you will be able to lead a class completely on your own, but perhaps a simple geography lesson about the UK, your town or your home would be possible to arrange with the permission of the principal.
It will be an early start today to travel to the world famous Etosha National Park. You will be camping in the main campsite tonight and will have the opportunity to witness the wonderful wildlife of Africa from the fantastic waterholes which you can view all night!
The following day, enjoy a vehicle safari around th park. The best time to view the wildlife is early in the mornings and evenings, when the heat of the sun is not so powerful and the animals are out in the open.
Having spent a couple of nights at Etosha, you will begin the journey south to the ancient rock formations of the Pondok Mountains and Spitzkoppe, otherwise known as the Matterhorn of Africa. Situated in an endless, dry plain, the island of mountains can be seen from far away and provides one of the most awesome and picturesque camping locations you can experience in the entire country.
Group can enjoy 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 can be viewed on a circular trek of about 12 kilometres today.
Today you will travel to the old colonial town of Swakopmund and spend the rest of the day re-supplying food for the rest of the trip and enjoying the coast. You wil also need to organise your own meal for this evening.
Leaving Swakopmund, you will travel to the Naukluft National Park and undertake a period of acclimatisation trekking for two days.
Covering almost 50,000 square kilometres, the Namib-Naukluft National Park is one of the largest national parks in Africa, protecting one of the oldest deserts on earth. The Namib’s scenery is stunning, and its wildlife fascinating. The topography includes massive rock formations and heavily vegetated riverbeds with rock pools.Today you will trek in the national park along the Waterkloof trail, a 16 kilometre circular trek.
Continue your exploration of the area and embark upon the Olive trail, a 10 kilometre circular trek.
Leaving Naukluft, you will travel to Sesriem, which provides the perfect location to visit the enormous Namib Desert, a grand finale for your expedition through Namibia.
This morning we recommend that you rise early and venture into the ancient Namib Desert when the gates open at 5am. To witness one of the most dramatic and memorable sights in Namibia, stop at Dune 45, one of the largest sand dunes in the country and watch the sun rise over the desert - an incredible sight.
After breakfast continue your journey on to Sossusvlei and you can either take 4x4 vehicles to drive the very sandy track that leads to this spot, or walk in instead. Once there, explore the central areas of the desert on foot before returning to the truck to take you back to the campsite for an afternoon rest.
In the late afternoon, we recommned that you visit the Sesreim Canyon - late afternoon provides a perfect time for a short trek through the canyon before sunset.
Leaving Gobabeb, you will return to Windhoek for the last evening of your trip, and enjoy a celebratory meal in a local restaurant.
Having spent a couple of nights at Sesriem, you will travel back to Windhoek, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg, where you will then transit to an onward overnight flight back home to the UK.
This morning you will arrive back in London, having completed your Namibia project expedition. Welcome home!
- Destination: Namibia
- When to go: Mar to Oct
- Duration: 21 days
- Trip type: Expedition
- Community Project
- Etosha National Park
- Namib Desert
- Naukluft Mountains
- Accommodation: Camping and lodges
- Ideal for: Ages 16 to 18
Travellers will need:
- High level of fitness
- Strong interest in outdoor adventure
- Strong interest in encountering new cultures, often in a remote and demanding environment
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.
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.
Largely untouched by humans, the Namib is the oldest desert in the world, and a fabulous location to encounter the unique wildlife that has made this inhospitable environment its home.