Hiking in the Namib
Tour Code: LUD-003
Hike through the arid foothills on the edge of the Namib, a somewhat elevated area that remains noticeably cooler than the rest of the desert.
After departing from the pier you will make the 90-minute drive inland to the Desert Horse Inn, which is located in a natural reserve that resembles a Western movie set. The landscape is semi-desert with wide-open plains and the beautiful Aus Mountains as a backdrop. Being nearly 4,600 feet above sea level, this area is much cooler than the lower desert and ideal for hiking.
Your route will be the Schanzen Trail, which winds for approximately three miles through the scenic foothills. The hike begins up a gradual slope where you will soon see a solitary boulder that marks the top of the climb. With no trees to interrupt the views, you will be able to see for miles in every direction. The vistas are absolutely stunning. After a short break at the top, you’ll head back down the slope where you will see a prominent quartz outcrop.
Crossing a dry riverbed, you’ll head up an erosion cliff and then your trail links up with a track that was used during World War I by the Schutztruppe that leads towards the ramparts and trenches at the western front. These ramparts and trenches were built here by the Germans during World War I and are amongst the more unusual sights you’ll see. From this area the Germans had great views in the direction of the Garub plains about 20 miles to the west where the South African troops were based.
Other highlights include a variety of drought-tolerant vegetation such as Bushman’s Candle. While this spiny shrub looks rather ominous, it blooms beautifully in colors ranging from dark pink to cream.
Toward the end of the trail, you will follow a dry riverbed back to the Desert Horse Inn for a light lunch and refreshing beverages. Following lunch, you will make the drive back to the pier in Luderitz, stopping en route to view the Namib’s wild horses.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate to strenuous hiking. There will be uneven natural surfaces, gravel surfaces, and slopes to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests, those with walking difficulties, other mobility concerns, heart or respiratory conditions. Participants should be in good physical condition. Casual, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable hiking/athletic shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. Sightings of the wild horses while very likely, is not guaranteed. Vehicles of varying sizes may be used, and while the coaches and minivans are well-maintained, they are basic in nature and the quality can vary.