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NAMIBIA: ALONG THE ANCIENT RIVERS OF THE SKELETON COAST WITH MICHELE DUTTO

Durata: 18/21 days from Europe - 16 days in Namibia + 3 days extension
Sistemazioni: Campsite/Wildcamp/Lodge/Guesthouse
Trasporto: 4x4 off road cars equipped


Il viaggio:



From February 14 to March 12 2021 this trip was carried out by Michele Dutto, with the participation of an archaeologist expert in rock paintings and engravings (8 years of work in the Egyptian Sahara); the trip was dedicated to the rediscovery of all the rock art sites of Namibia.

1st day: FLIGHT FROM EUROPE

2nd and 3rd day: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Arrival with early morning flight to Windhoek and welcome at the airport. Transfer to Etosha Park and arrival in the afternoon. Accommodation on the 2nd and 3rd day in the Lodge.

4th to 9th day: KAMANJAB, KAOKOLAND: OPUWO, OTJITANDA, LADY PASS, MARIENFLUSS, KUNENE RIVER, HARTMANN VALLEY, PURROS
We reach the town of Kamanjab in the southwest of Etosha in the day. Here a few kilometers inside a farm is the Peet Alberts Koppie, a large rock literally covered with petroglyphs. A 3.2 meter long engraved giraffe characterizes this location and represents one of the oldest engravings in Namibia.
Opuwo the last town north of Kaokoland, in the local language Opuwo means "the end", allows us to carry out the last supplies and refueling before entering the more rugged part of Kaokoland where the Himba of the mountains live. blacks of Bantu stock and formerly belonging to the nucleus of the Herero tribes, came down to this country from central Africa in 1600. Shepherds and explorers, masters of the mystery of iron smelting, came down here and ruled over those who lived here before their arrival, the Nama and the San ... And precisely by virtue of the bitter struggles with the Nama some restricted groups of Herero were isolated in the mountains and to escape the massacre they climbed more and more towards harsh lands, isolating themselves from the original tribe and giving, by pure chance, life to a subculture new, different from the one from which they derived: and the Himba were born, the "beggars", deprived of everything by the war and reborn with new customs and new customs. to the forest, women first of all, covered only with a cloth of battered skin wrapped around their shoulders, their naked bodies made bruised by the cold air of the winter morning. We stop in their villages to perceive the archaic flavor, the sense of prehistory that still survives in this remote corner of the mountains of the Namibian Kaokoveld… and off we go.

Otjtanda and its water pump are a panacea and a reference point in this arid region, the deciduous forest becomes more intricate and the altimeter reaches 2000 meters, the track is now a narrow mule track between the woods upstream and downstream we are on the Lady Pass one of the most difficult and unknown passes in Southern Africa, dating back to the period of the South African occupation at war with Angola, today practically abandoned due to the more famous Van Zyl Pass, a test track and of competition for South African off-roaders ... things to which we do not compete not for lack of ability, but for our sense of respect for nature and for the local people! The few who come to cross the Lady Pass are lucky enough to see authentic Himba villages, flawless with their outdoor fencing to protect them from bush animals, their clay huts, kraal, sacred fire and the atmosphere of a time away, not finished yet!
The next morning we continue north again, retracing the Marienfluss valley, leaving behind us Onyuva Plain, an immense plain of red sand. The track winds along a plain of tall grasses yellowed by winter, a sea of ​​gold-colored stems that covers the valley, interrupted only by dark red sand rails. You arrive at the bottom of the valley facing the great Kunene River, swollen with green waters, chock full of crocodiles and its great Ana Tree trees along the shore.

The Hartmann Berg mountains divide the latter from the Hartmann Valley, a passage between the mountains allows us to reach it and admire this paradise of nature. We follow the valley and along the Skeleton Coas heading south we reach Purros, a village on the edges of the Hoarubis River and at the foot of a large dune close to the surrounding mountains, giraffes and elephants frequently accompany us on this part of our journey.
We walk along the long canyon dug over the millennia by the Hoarubis River, permanent pools of water characterize this place, the water emerges from time to time from the river bed creating small "pools" where the elephants can immerse themselves and make their "muds ".
We leave the Hoarubis River and go down further south along the Skeleton Coast to reach and go up another important canyon carved out over millennia by the Hoanib River. We walk along the river bed and in addition to the enchanting landscape we encounter groups of oryx, springbok and mountain zebras. Elephants and Giraffes eat the tenderest leaves of the large trees which, with their long roots, fish for water deep in the great underground river! Sometimes, with a little luck, you can meet the lion of the desert.
Accommodation from 4th to 9th day in Campsite / Wild Camp / Lodge.

10th and 11th day: SESFONTEIN, SOSODE, PALMWAG
We leave the beautiful valley of the Hoanib River (river is still called today by the locals even if in the absence of water, if not during the rainy season) and make a short stop at the now forgotten Sesfontein, once an impassable point for those from Damaraland he wanted to enter the harsh land of Kaokoland: a fort of the German legion garrisoned what is naturally called the "Kaokoland gate". We cross from north to south the Damaraland and its fabulous landscapes, possible sightings of animals along the way. Visit to the little known rock site of Sosode just north of Damaraland on the edge of the Namib Desert. Where the ancient river created two large water basins and hindered navigation, primitive peoples testify to their past world with beautiful engravings on the rocky walls at the river's edge. Sosode in the Damara language means "pool of water", there are two small basins of water dug into the rock, the nomadic shepherds of the place still today after the summer rains use the lower one for animals and the lower one for their consumption. up, cleaner and not accessible to livestock! Accommodation on day 10 and 11 in Campsite / Wild Camp / Lodge.

12th and 13th day: DAMARALAND: HUAB RIVER, UGAB RIVER, BRANDBERG
Photo Game Safari in the Huab River and further south in the Ugab River in search of lions, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and mountain zebras ... animals that live along the beds of these ancient rivers full of large trees whose roots fish the water in the deep underground river. These animals live in the desert thanks to their adaptation to this arid climate and the particular physical characteristics that easily integrate them into the environment.
Brandberg: with its 2600 meters of height it is the highest massif in Namibia and marks the southern limit of Damaraland. Home to some important rock art sites dating back to over 2000 years ago by the San people. Visit of the famous site "the White Lady", excursion on foot of about 3 hours with the accompaniment of a local guide to reach the rock paintings. Accommodation 12th and 13th day in Campsite / Wild Camp / Lodge.

Day 14 and 15: SWAKOPMUND, SANDWICH BAY.
Stay in Swakopmund for two nights. On the 15th day, excursion with our off-road cars to Sandwich Bay in the day. Accommodation on the 14th and 15th day in the Hotel / Guesthouse.

Day 16: WINDHOEK
Arrive in Windhoek in the early afternoon. Accommodation on the 16th in Guest House.

17th day: FLY OUT
In the morning Test Covid 19. In the afternoon transfer to the airport in time for the return flight to Europe.

18th day: ARRIVAL IN EUROPE
Arrival in Europe in the morning.

Extension

16th, 17th and 18th day: ERONGO REGION: EKUTA FARM, OMANDUMBA FARM, AMEIB FARM and SPITZKOPPE
Days dedicated to the Erongo Mountains area, known for its countless rock paintings located in a particular environment of rocky mountains and, specifically, or granite formations. With trips by car and then on foot we will see real "drawings" that date back to 7000 years ago and that tell us the story of an Africa that was born and grew up with the migration of the peoples of North Africa, before, during and after the Egyptians. Ekuta, Omandumba and Ameib farm preserve small "natural museums" of rock art, among the richest and most beautiful in Africa. And with a visit to one of the largest and most scenic aerial of rock sites, Spitzkoppe completes this circle of visits to one of the largest areas of rock sites, an authentic setting.
The stay in the farms makes us think of the genuineness and hospitality of the settlers who arrived in this area, more than 100 years ago.

A story of their life and childhood takes us back in time ... when at the Swakopmund school the children did not know the world around them except the one told by their parents who had reached Namibia with the boats from Germany. One of them, Karl, says that one day the Swakopmund school decides to take them on a school trip to Windhoek. At that time (about 70 years ago) there was a museum on top of the hill and they were accompanied there for the visit. The boy thought it was a place where they gave ice creams because, as is well known, at that age children are always hungry or rather they were always hungry! Karl was a 10-year-old boy and did not know what a museum was, he entered the large hall with the others. At the entrance seated at a table there was a very dignified curvy lady. After some explanations from the teacher they found themselves in front of a large wall where a large photo illustrated some cave paintings discovered at the beginning of the century. Karl with an expression of amazement in a loud voice said: "we too have those figures on our farm!" .... the lady at the entrance stood up and hastily turned to Karl with an imposing tone: "what did you say? ”Karl with a trembling voice thinking he had said something that could compromise the" promised ice cream ", and repeated in a low voice:" on our farm, on the rocks there are figures like these "... And that's where it all began; the experts of the various European museums, universities, archaeologists and then over the years photographers and televisions carried out inspections of the rock site of Ekuta, hypothesizing what today is the story of those characters represented in the granite "abri" in the beautiful middle of the farm. Like these, many others were the discoveries at the beginning of the 1900s and in the Erongo region alone there are today a few thousand paintings. Accommodation on day 16, day 17 and day 18 in Campsite / Guest Farm / Lodge.

Day 19: WINDHOEK
Arrive in Windhoek in the early afternoon. Accommodation on the 19th in Guest House.


20 ° day: FLY OUT
In the morning Test Covid 19. In the afternoon transfer to the airport in time for the return flight to Europe.

21st day: ARRIVAL IN EUROPE
Arrival in Europe in the morning.

2021 - INDIVIDUAL QUOTATION IN DOUBLE:
- € 2.300 minimum 6 participants
- Supplement 3 days Extension € 400


No registration fee
No single supplement for the tent
We provide the single tent free of charge for those sharing a double room

The original price is in Zar, therefore the quotation in Euro is indicative, as it is subject to any changes in the exchange rate

The quotation includes:
Reception at the airport on the 2nd day
Assistance for the Covid19 Test and transfer and assistance to the airport on the penultimate day
4x4 off-road vehicles (3 passengers + 1 Guide / Driver) particularly equipped for this type of trip.
Car fuel and related entry permits to Parks and Consessions
Camping equipment
Guide Michele Dutto

The quotation does NOT include:
International flights and airport taxes
All accommodations in Campsite / Wildcamp / Lodge / Guesthouse in FB to be paid locally

Possible hotel accommodation in Windhoek based on operational flights arriving in Windhoek!
All drinks, tips and personal extras in general
The entrances to parks and protected areas
Optional activities
Health insurance (mandatory also for entry into Namibia) and trip cancellation (optional)
The mandatory PCR test for entry to Namibia
The mandatory PCR test for leaving Namibia
Anything not expressly indicated in "the price includes".


USEFUL INFORMATION

Accommodation: in this Covid19 period the trip is planned on the basis of camping accommodation (campsite or wildcamp). Each participant in the registration of the trip or during the course of the trip can choose to stay in the lodge as an alternative to the campsite on dates chosen by him and if possible.
Groups: groups start with a minimum of 2 participants.
Means of transport: off-road vehicles (3 passengers per car). Each passenger has their own window seat.
Baggage: must be limited to a maximum of 20 kg and ONLY soft bags (even with wheels).