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The Hike

Everyone needs someone who will call and say, ‘Get dressed. We are going on an adventure’.

We invite you to join us on a fully catered, fully supported 5-day, 6-times-a-year only slackpacking hike into the oldest desert on earth - the Namib. An area that answers to names like Forbidden Land, Sperrgebiet and Skeleton Coast - where numerous shipwrecks stand witness to the power of nature over man. The distance of a 100 km starts outside Walvis Bay and ends at the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen.
This hike is not the run-of-the-mill type of hike, but rather in the league of a bucket list hike with the likes of doing Kilimanjaro, the Grand Canyon or the Camino de Santiago. Although this is not a difficult hike, you must be prepared - inner strength and a strong mind is just as important as physically doing the distance every day.
As this is also an ecologically unique area, only Live the Journey as the concession holder, may do these exclusive hikes. ‘Exclusive’ meaning that for only 6 times a year, hikers will have the privilege and permission to enter this area. And remember, every drop of water, every piece of food or firewood, literally EVERYTHING has to be taken in. And, of course, also taken out. The logistics to let this happen, is mind-boggling.

Highlights:

• Carry only your day pack
• Experience day to day diversity that is beyond your comprehension of the word “desert”
• Walk the Langewand - where gigantic dunes walk into the ocean
• Stop to fully take in the abundance of bird life in the Sandwich Harbor lagoon
• Watch the peculiar pecking order of seals as you pass huge colonies basking in the sun
• Be enchanted by the fantastic micro world of insects, reptiles and plants
• Spot the tracks of a brown hyena (strandjutwolf), oryx or jackal
• Walk on pink salt pans – a magical place where you can see and hear every step you take
• Take in the silence and vastness
• See how the dunes, harsh and stark during the day, turns soft and glowing in the late afternoon
• During the night, the sky is a vast canvas of the galaxy
• Stand in awe of shipwrecks that loom unexpectedly out of the mist
• Renew and revive yourself
• Be surprised by the cool and mild temperatures – ideal for hiking – thanks to the cold sea current that hugs the Namibian coast
• Pitch your tent and enjoy your room with a view every night
• Enjoy desert hospitality from our excellent support team

In a nutshell:

Itinerary:

Day 0: Arrival Walvis Bay
It is recommended that you arrive in Walvis Bay at least one day prior to the departure of the hike. A communal dinner and briefing session will take place at Lagoon Chalets on day 0 at 19:00.
Day 1: Distance 20.57 km, Elevation 411 m
The support vehicles will meet the group at Lagoon Chalets. The transfer from Lagoon Chalets to the starting point (50 kms) will be in special converted 4x4 vehicles. Today you will experience Sandwich Harbour’s huge and abundant bird and sea life. Sandwich Harbour was classified as a Ramsar wetland of international importance in 1995.
Day 2: Distance 25.25 km, Elevation 72 m
Today you will pass huge seal colonies on your way to the Langewand where the dunes drop directly into the ocean. It is only possible to walk the Langewand at low tide as you will be trapped between the perpendicular dunes and mighty Atlantic during high tide.
Day 3: Distance 23.66 km, Elevation 258 m
Today you will encounter the wreck of the Shawnee that stranded in 1976. The skeleton of this wreck will remind you that this coastline is the book of remembrance. You will also turn inland to walk the dunes. Standing on top of a dune will give you a different perspective, emphasizing how insignificant we are in the bigger picture.
Day 4: Distance 19.57 km, Elevation 95 m
Today you will see a completely different face of the Namib. You move down from the dunes to a grit plain that will surprise you with its micro life - from the dancing white lady spider to the smallest of succulents. Your camp will be near one of the old mining settlements where wind-washed buildings are engulfed by Namib sand.
Day 5: Distance 11 km, Elevation 113 m
Today you will turn towards the sea again, crossing pink saltpans and ancient ocean floors littered with shells, occasionally catching sight of the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen in the distance. The Bohlen stranded on 5 September 1909 and it is also at the Bohlen where the hike ends. The group is transported by 4x4 vehicles over some of the highest dunes on earth into the deep Namib Desert where they will spend their last night.
Day 6: Arrival Walvis Bay
After breakfast, the group is transported in a convoy back to Walvis Bay.

Dates available for 2020:
• 2 – 7 September 2020 – 2 places available
• 18 – 23 October 2020 – 2 places available
• 2 – 7 November 2020 – 3 places available
• 30 November – 5 December 2020 – 6 places available
Dates available for 2021:
• 12 – 17 January 2021
• 25 February – 02 March 2021 – 1 place already booked
• 12 – 17 March 2021 – fully booked
• 10 – 15 April 2021 – 8 places already booked
• 7 – 12 August 2021 – 9 places already booked
• 7 – 12 September 2021 – 8 places available
• 5 – 10 November 2021 – 2 places already booked
• 5 – 10 December 2021

Group size: Min 18 - 24 Max
Duration: 5 days (travel time not included)
Distance: 100km
Rating: Level 6 and 7 – although it is not a difficult hike, endurance and stamina is required

Cost per person: R18900

Included:

• Return airport / hotel transfers as specified – dependent on your flight times
• Concession fees, camping fees, levies*
• Meals as per itinerary
• Camping chair
• Shower and chemical toilet set up each evening
• Wood
• Water for drinking and showering
• Transport from Walvis Bay to the starting point, transport from the Eduard Bohlen to Elephant's Camp in the deep Namib where you will spend your last night and transport from Elephant's Camp back to Walvis Bay, all in convoy style with 4x4’s
• All camping equipment will be transported to each camping spot each evening
• Your luggage will be transported during the trip. Please make sure to pack light and use ‘soft’ baggage. You will only have to walk with your backpack

Excluded:

• All pre-travel and accommodation
• Communal dinner and drinks
• Travel insurance
• Passport
• Visa fee
• Travel insurance
• Medical visit for doctors clearance

*Concession fees are paid to the Topnaars. The Topnaar community, proud custodians of the Namib Desert, received concession rights from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The concession rights allows the Topnaar community to control, protect and conserve the desert, the !Nara plants, Topnaar graves, historical homesteads as well as the fauna and flora of this area. In Live the Journey, the Topnaars found a worthy partner, a company that honours and understands the heart of the Namib Desert and all it holds.