Open Africa
Open Africa

Four Deserts Route


Features

   Accommodation

Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Eagle's Nest Chalets
Solitude, silence, space and magnificent sunsets - these are the characteristics of the atmosphere at Eagle's Nest Chale...

'Geisterschlucht' Cabin
Rustic 'Geisterschlucht' Cabin nestles against massive granite boulders in a picturesque and sheltered valley of the Aus...

Desert Horse Campsite
Large old camel thorn trees greet camping guests at the Desert Horse Campsite in a small valley of the Aus Mountains sur...

Felix Unite Provenance Camp
Separating North-Western South Africa and Namibia, the mighty Orange River cuts through a landscape virtually untouched...

Canyon Lodge
These thatched chalets are built from natural stone and nestle against massive granite boulders, leaving you in no doubt...

Canyon Mountain Camp
Situated amongst the striking dolerite hills, the Canyon Mountain Camp is the self-catering alternative for the more adv...

Canyon Roadhouse
Exhausted from some serious gravel travel? Ready for a cold beer, a hearty meal and a good night's rest before or after...

Canyon Village
Canyon Village fits snugly into the mountainous surroundings of the splendid Gondwana Cañon Park and affords easy...

Desert Horse Inn
Located in the Aus Mountains at 1 400m above sea level, Desert Horse Inn affords grand vistas of mountain scenery and sw...

Little Kulala
Little Kulala, the flagship of Namibia’s extraordinary Sossusvlei area, has for several years been attracting info...

Kulala Desert Lodge
Hidden at the foot of the majestic Sossusvlei dunes with a private entrance to Namib Naukluft Park makes Kulala Desert L...

Auob Country Lodge
Auob Lodge, a green oasis in the Kalahari landscape, is situated on the banks of the dry Auob River. The lodge offers:...

Eningu Clayhouse Lodge
Eningu is named after the porcupine. Eningu Clayhouse Lodge is peacefully located in the midst of the African Kalahari s...

Farm Duwisib
The farm is situated next to Duwisib Castle and includes its historical outbuildings. The castle was constructed of red...

Farm Tiras
Welcome to the 125 000ha Naturpark 'Tiras-Berge' Conservancy on the edge of the Namib Desert and situated within the tri...

Kalahari Anib Lodge
In the midst of the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert, the Kalahari Anib Lodge rises like a lush green oasis, the infrast...

Klein Aus Vista
Desert Horse Inn: Nestled in the Aus Mountains in Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park, the Desert Horse Inn commands a breat...

Namib Desert Lodge
The Namib Desert Lodge sits at the foot of a red sandstone cliff, the 'fossilised' dunes of the protomorphic Namib. Situ...

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is situated on the fringes of the Namib Desert on the farm Vreemdelingspoort, the most northern...

Sossusvlei Lodge
Sossusvlei Lodge is uniquely located, almost unnoticed, in a vast ocean of unparalleled desert beauty. Shaded by camel t...

Stampriet Historical Guesthouse
Stampriet is a water-rich oasis situated on the banks of the Auob River and the gateway to the red dunes of the Kalahari...

The Desert Homestead and Horse Trails
The newly rebuilt Desert Homestead has been skilfully designed to incorporate all the features that guests loved about t...

Wolwedans Dune Camp
Positioned on the edge of a 250m high dune, Wolwedans Dune Camp sleeps a maximum of 12 guests in a totally pristine sett...

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
Nestled amidst the red dunes in the heart of NamibRand Nature Reserve, and set against a backdrop of unparalleled beauty...

Wolwedans Private Camp
Situated in the quiet seclusion of an idyllic valley, this splendid suite caters for four guests exclusively. It is the...

Namib Naukluft Lodge
The best spot to experience the living desert is this 25 000ha private nature reserve with the Namib Naukluft Lodge, whe...

NamibRand Family Hideout
This rustic, yet comfortable three-bedroomed farmhouse can accommodate up to ten people. Fully equipped for self-ca...

Kulala Wilderness Camp
Kulala Wilderness Camp, situated in the heart of the Namib Desert on the 21 000ha private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, lie...

   Activities

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Lüderitzbucht Safaris and Tours
Lüderitzbucht Safaris and Tours will plan and book your accommodation and guided tours of Lüderitz and surroun...

Mesosaurus Fossil Site and Quivertree Dolorite Park
Fascinating site where the fossils of the early saurian Mesosaurus tenuidens, a predecessor of the dinosaurs, have been...

Namib Sky Balloon Safaris
Balloon safaris over the Namib Desert - a spectacular launching and take off as the sun rises over the world's oldest de...

Tok Tokkie Trails
Tok Tokkie Trails takes you close to the desert's stunning beauty. Is there a better way to immerse in nature than on fo...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Ibenstein Weavers
For over 50 years, Ibenstein Weavers have been producing 100% hand-made carpets and wall hangings from 100% Namibian kar...

Ôa Hera Craft and Tradition Centre
Ôa hera ('that which people seek') Art Shop is a pleasant art and craft centre with a wide variety of items and ma...

   Services

Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Aus Info Centre
The centre offers:    Educational displays on: The plant and animal life of the area; The legendary w...

 

Overview
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The Four Deserts Route covers the entire southern area of Namibia, from the Orange River up to the Tropic of Capricorn. Namibia boasts four great and very different desert systems. It comes as a surprise for some that desert landscapes are not just endless stretches of sand but may be rocky and mountainous as well, at times punctuated with vast gravel plains. 

In the east lie the deep, red sands of the Kalahari Desert. With a total area of 1.6-million km², it is the largest continuous stretch of sand in the world. The long, parallel dunes were formed about 20 000 years ago and are partly covered with grasses, punctuated by gnarled old camelthorn trees and shepherd’s bush. Game manages to survive by means of special adaptations, and large herds of oryx, springbok and ostrich are once more moving across the landscape, followed by increasing numbers of vultures, marabou storks and other scavengers. The Kalahari is the home of the San Bushmen, people who have been able to live so frugally from these resources, perfecting the art of sustainable living.

The Nama Karoo covers most of southern central Namibia, driving a deep wedge northwards of the Orange River (and South Africa) to about 120km south of Windhoek, with a narrow strip along the edge of the Namib reaching up to Angola. The sedimentary geological formations take on dramatic proportions in the Fish River Canyon, the second-largest canyon on Earth, formed during the break-up of Gondwanaland some 130-million years ago. Various hikes and drives afford one an opportunity to view the increasing herds of springbok, and also of oryx, kudu, mountain zebra and ostrich. Much of the Nama Karoo consists of wide plains, broken only by the dark, enigmatic massif of Brukkaros Mountain, some 120km north of Keetmanshoop. Perhaps it was the tranquillity of this huge desert that inspired the construction of a fairytale castle in the midst of this landscape at Duwiseb, to the west, a century ago.

Situated at Aus and extending southwards, the Succulent Karoo is mainly a winter-rainfall area. Bizarre-looking shrubs store moisture in their leaves and stems to tide them over the dry times. The Succulent Karoo is the most plant-diverse desert in the world and has been listed as one of the world’s 25 global biodiversity 'hotspots'. Although these floral wonders are at their best after the rains, they are well worth investigating throughout the year. Lüderitz provides a fascinating breakaway, its harsh, minimalistic landscape resembling that of an island. In the vicinity one can hear and see African penguins as they go about their activities, and on a visit to the ghost diamond mining town of Kolmanskop one wonders at the lives of the past inhabitants of this desert settlement.

To the north, the Namib Desert lies in a narrow strip along the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery ranges from shifting, glowing red dunes in the south to gravel plains with inselbergs in the central parts, and jagged blue mountains in the north and east, with deep valleys cut by ephemeral rivers. Fog supplies the life-giving moisture for plants and animals. Here, visitors have a wide range of experiences to choose from: clambering up some of the highest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei at dawn; discovering the ancient, fossilised red dunes south of Solitaire as they stand frozen in time; gazing at huge black lappetfaced vultures as they arch across the sky; or following in the tracks of a solitary oryx across the gravel plains. One of the ultimate ways of experiencing this desert is to drift by balloon over the endless red dunes in the early morning sun.

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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

Subroutes

Kalahari Desert
Nama Karoo
Namib Desert
Succulent Karoo

Namibia

Namibia

The Four Deserts Route covers the entire south, from the Orange River to the Tropic of Capricorn. The route is not a single road linking four great deserts, but rather represents a variety of enterprises found in the vicinity of these attractions.

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Key Contacts

Name:
Manni Goldbeck (Chairman

Telephone: Click here
Mobile: Click here

Tags

namibia desert

 

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