Swakopmund - Day 2
Founded in 1892 by German settlers, Swakopmund was intended to be the main harbour of German South-West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated the establishment of a port of its own, as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometres south, was in British possession. The choice fell to a site north of the Swakop River where water was readily available. There is a strong German architectural influence in the town, with its Bavarian-style buildings, including the Altes Gefängnis prison, designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909 and the Wörmannhaus, built in 1906 with a prominent tower, now a public library.
The area is called Swakopmund and is formerly known as ‘Tsoakhaub’. This word originated from the Namaqua culture. Directly translated, it means "excrement opening" which is an offensive but accurate description of the waters of the Swakop River when it flooded, carrying masses of mud, sand, vegetation and animal corpses to the Atlantic Ocean. The name was changed to "Swachaub" by German settlers and with the proclamation of Swakopmund as an independent district of German South-West Africa in 1896, the present way of writing Swakopmund (meaning Estuary of the Swakop in German) came into use.
Surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides and the cold Atlantic waters to the west, Swakopmund enjoys a temperate climate. Rainfall is rare but the cold Benguela current supplies moisture to the area in the form of fog that can reach as deep as 140 km inland. The fauna and flora of the area has adapted to this phenomenon and now relies upon the fog as a source of water.
Swakopmund is well known for adventure sports including: skydiving, sandboarding and quadbiking. Your guides will be able to assist you in deciding on a suitable activity, alternatively, spend the day exploring the town and enjoying the various coffee shops and souvenir shops.
The Himba People - Day 3
The Himba are descendents of the Herero people and still speak a dialect of the old Herero language. There are about 20,000 – 50,000 Himba people living in the Kunene region, where they have recently built two villages at Kamanjab. The Himba are semi-nomadic pastoralists who breed cattle and goats in this dry, rugged, and mountainous area. They are some of the most photographed people in the world, due to their striking style of dress and their traditional lifestyle. Their appearance is characterised by scanty goat-skin clothing, and they are heavily adorned with jewellery of shells, copper and iron, according to the tribal hierarchy. The distinctive red colour of their skin and hair is a mixture of butter, ash and ochre (otjize) which protects them from the harsh desert climate.
Typically the women take care of the children, do the milking and other work, whilst men take care of the political tasks. The villages are made up of family homesteads – huts built around a central fire and livestock enclosure. Both the livestock and fire are pivotal to the Himba belief in ancestor worship, the fire representing ancestral protection of the living community.
Situated about 20 km outside of town, a guided tour around the village will not only give you an in-depth insight into the life and ways of the last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba, but an amazing photographic opportunity as well. You will find out about the milking ceremony, the smoke bath, be informed on the beliefs around the holy fire, ancestors and herbal medicine. You will also learn about the jewellery and hairstyles to imitate the status of each tribe member and their close relationship with nature, their cattle and children. The income generated from these excursions, helps to sustain the tribe from day to day, buying food and supplies, medicine (if necessary) and taking care of the children. Please take note that the village is not for show or a human zoo, you will be allowed inside these amazing peoples’ home and have a cultural exchange. Please respect their lives and ways as they would respect yours and in this way help preserve their culture and traditions.
Etosha National Park - Days 4-5
Etosha Pan National Park is a large endorheic salt pan which forms part of the Kalahari basin. It is a 120 km long dry lake bed, which is protected by the Etosha National Park home to some of the most phenomenal game viewing in the world. One of the elements that make the Etosha National park tours so memorable is that the camps sites within the park are built on the edge of water holes, so you can spend peaceful evenings with good company as the sun goes down watching the animals come down to the waterhole to drink. On the Nomad Etosha National Park tour we will take you on several game drives that utilise an elevated truck to provide the best possible game viewing. There are optional night drives for you to take part in, and although they are not included in the Etosha National Park tours they are highly recommended. The optional game drives are taken with expert guides who have an abundance of local knowledge. The Etosha Pan is a truly beautiful and unique place with game viewing that you will not see anywhere else in the world, the facilities are world class to make for a comfortable and memorable stay. The natural beauty and abundant wildlife will provide countless photo opportunities to make your friends jealous. Game viewing can never be offered with guarantees, as you are dealing with wild animals you can never be certain of how they will behave. We can guarantee that on our Etosha Pan national park tours you will meet people and have experiences with them that will form the basis of lifelong friendships.
Windhoek - Day 6
Namibia is one of Africa’s most beautiful regions – the desert landscape is a photographer’s dream; known for its sweeping, red-gold dunes, sparse vegetation and abundant wildlife. Windhoek is one of the country’s busiest cities – known for its alluring diversity and cosmopolitan feel, the metropolis attracts myriad visitors each year. Tours to Namibia are a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the area’s vibrant culture and heritage. Wonder through the town and gaze at an array of stately buildings, including the impressive parliament buildings and Hero’s Acre. If you’re historically inclined, then ensure that you pop into the plethora of museums on offer, including the National Desert & Delta – North 2015 14 days | NASV - Accommodated Last Updated: Jul 30, 2015. Downloaded: Aug 9, 2015 7 Library and National Art Gallery. If you’re in need of some rest and rejuvenation, then visit the serene National Botanical Gardens to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the gorgeous grounds. Botanists will delight in the numerous plant species on offer which attract plenty of exquisite insects and prolific bird life. Windhoek offers a captivating blend of African and European influences – the country gained independence in 1990 and exudes its own unique character and charm. With a reputation for being extremely safe and well-cared for, this is a place where you can wonder around without feeling insecure and anxious. Make sure that your itinerary includes a trip to the smallest functioning cathedral in Southern Africa – St Georges, and look out for Das Reiterdankmal – a towering bronze sculpture of a horse commemorating those lost in colonial wars. Stroll down Robert Mugabe Avenue to admire Alte Feste – one of the city’s oldest buildings that was built in 1890. Once military headquarters, today, it serves as an intriguing state museum, housing an array of memorabilia that commemorates Namibia’s journey to independence. If you have little ones, then make sure that you visit the delightful Zoo Park which is an ideal hot spot for picnics. With a pond and a playground on offer, the beautiful park is sure to be a hit with your kids. Windhoek is an ideal place for families – with a reputation for being a close-knit, friendly community, the city has a host of amenities on offer for young and old alike. If you’re embarking on Windhoek tours, then make sure you see as many of the impressive, historically significant sites as possible.
Botswana - Day 7
As we cross the Botswana border we’ll start to see villagers, cattle, donkeys and sheep along the side of the highway. Sometimes the donkeys and cows sit in the middle of the road and any amount of horn blowing won't get them out of the road. Independent since 1966, Botswana (formally a British protectorate) has three of the world’s richest diamond mines and this has made Botswana quite a wealthy nation. Now 40 years old, it is known as the African success story. Politically stable and with the foresight to invest in education, healthcare, high economic standards and without the racial issues that have plagued other countries, Botswana has the best economy in sub-Saharan Africa. The government has employed a strategy of high income - low impact tourism. This is where they reduce the number of tourists entering any area of the country by charging a lot more than neighbouring countries, thereby making it more restrictive for the budget traveller.
Bushman (San) people - Day 7
The Bushmen of Southern Africa are the oldest indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa and have lived off the land in symbiosis for hundreds of years. They have much to offer our modern way of living in terms of a sustainable existence with nature. Bushmen tours give you the opportunity to interact with this fascinating culture and get a true understanding of how they have survived in the harsh environment through an understanding of nature. The San people have inhabited large parts of Southern Africa including the regions and deserts of southern Namibia and Botswana. They are known colloquially as bushmen, this however is a broad term used to describe indigenous people of Southern Africa, the people native to the area that our bushmen tours stop in have, however, developed a way of life that is as unique. Our tours into Botswana are renowned as some of the most rewarding you can do, yet they can be so much more rewarding by taking part in one of the bushmen adventures with Nomad tours. Learning about local culture is an important aspect of travelling to any country. Many of our Botswana overland tours offer the opportunity to interact with a traditional village of San people that still live very much the way that they did many generations ago. It is not included in the tours and needs to be decided on before-hand. Some people feel it is unethical to treat the villagers as a spectacle however it provides an education for the visitors and much needed funding for the conservation of the area and their way of life.
Maun - Days 8-10
Maun, the fifth largest town in Botswana, is known as the tourism capital and the gateway to the Okavango Delta. It is an eclectic contrast of modern buildings and traditional huts. Now home to over 30,000 people, the town was founded in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people. It originally serviced the local cattle ranching and hunting operations of the area, and had a reputation as a hard-living ‘Wild West’ town. With the growth of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road from Nata in the early 1990s, Maun developed swiftly, losing much of its old town character. However, it is still infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to lesser extent, goats. These animals can be seen wandering around freely as the local farmers arrive in the innumerable taxis to sell their wares on the kerbside. With the influx of tourism dollars, the typical traditional rondavels (round huts) of the past have been replaced by square but modestly sized cinderblock homes roofed with tin, or sometimes tiles. It is not unusual to see mud rondavels with satellite dishes, attesting to the increasing affluence of Botswana, and the increasing reliability of power and communications in the town. This striking contrast of the traditional and the modern is also evident in the multilevel air-conditioned shopping centres incongruously surrounded by potholes, dusty parking lots and lively market places.
Okavango Delta - Days 8-10
The Okavango Delta is Botswana’s most popular tourist destination. Every year, more than 11 cubic kilometres of water flow from the Okavango River into the Delta, irrigating more than 15 000 square kilometres of the Kalahari Desert, making it the largest inland delta in the world. Here, you’ll find yourself exploring a lush paradise home to Africa’s most beautiful wildlife and bird species while submersing yourself in pure tranquility and an African landscape unlike any Desert & Delta – North 2015 14 days | NASV - Accommodated Last Updated: Jul 30, 2015. Downloaded: Aug 9, 2015 9 other. Exploring the Okavango Delta is a must for any tourist visiting Botswana. Here, you’ll have an endless list of activities to participate in, truly making the most of your time in this paradise. Boat trips, canoeing and fly-overs are among the most popular, however you can also go fishing and walking safaris depending on the time of year. As the Okavango is a seasonal delta, you’ll find yourself facing a different environment during the summer and winter months. The rain falls at the beginning of the year. Explore the beautiful region of the Okavango Delta with us and see it’s beautiful wildlife, landscapes and be enchanted by its relaxed atmosphere and people.
Chobe National Park - Day 12
The Chobe National Park is situated in the north west of Botswana and is undoubtedly the country’s most beautiful and popular nature and game reserve. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, making it an ideal location for African safaris and its the third largest park in Botswana, after the Central Kalahari game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The Chobe National Park can be divided up into four sections, making it a true rarity and an explorer’s paradise. It can be divided up into the Serondela area, Savuti Marsh area, the Linyanti Marsh and the dry hinterland. Wherever you go in the park, you’ll be able to observe a variety of wild animals and bird life, and can even explore an area in search of a Desert & Delta – North 2015 14 days | NASV - Accommodated Last Updated: Jul 30, 2015. Downloaded: Aug 9, 2015 11 specific animals or bird. There is an incredibly large elephant population in the Chobe National Park; tours through the park will show you some of the park’s 120 000 elephants. Nomad Tours will take you on the adventure of a lifetime through the Chobe National Park. Travel with us, and prepare to be enchanted and amazed by the abundance of wildlife in the park; embark on a sunset cruise, take the perfect wildlife photographs and watch a family of elephants playing in a waterhole.
Victoria Falls - Days 13-14
Victoria Falls is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful treasures. They border Zimbabwe and Zambia and are the region’s most visited tourist hotspot. The falls are by no means the world’s biggest waterfall, however their length and the vast volume of water which find its way to the falls via the Zambezi river makes them the world’s largest waterfall. Victoria Falls was named after Queen Victoria by the first European explorer who set their sights on them, David Livingston, however up until then, and still today locally, the falls were known to be The Smoke That Thunders, “Mosi-oaTunya”. The entire volume of water in the Zambezi river travels into Victoria Falls, flowing into its first gorge, creating a spectacle and a true sight to be seen. In fact, you don’t even have to be close by to the falls. Aptly getting its name as The Smoke That Thunders, the falls spray water into the air which can be seen for miles, including in the surrounding game reserves and national parks. Victoria Falls safaris are among the most popular activities to participate in when visiting the falls. Guests can embark on bush safaris – on foot, horseback or in a vehicle – and embark on a Zambezi cruise along the waters before the falls. While on these Victoria Falls safaris guests will have the chance to see crocodiles, hippos and other African wildlife. Travel to Victoria Falls with Nomad Tours for an unforgettable and inspiring vacation in Southern Africa. Not only will you be able to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a truly beautiful world heritage site, but you’ll be able to participate in exciting activities such as white water rafting, canoeing, bungee jumping, and an authentic Victoria Falls safari.