Namib Desert, Namibia
A five-day hike stretching over 100 km. The Namib100 takes you through one of the wildest, most unspoilt places on the planet. As a part of the greater Skeleton Coast, you will walk over massive sand dunes in the Namib, the world’s oldest desert, and along the Sandwich Harbour lagoon, rich with sea and bird life with only your thoughts as company. This stretch of Namibia has ancient history, a place of old diamond claims, sun-bleached whale bones and shipwrecks that hide in the mist. You’ll follow no tracks and leave just your own. It is one of the world’s iconic hikes.
Duration: 04 NIGHTS / 05 DAYS
Group size: 18 – 24 HIKERS
- 17 – 21 October 2023
- 14 – 18 December 2023 (Erns Grundling)
- 12 – 16 January 2024
- 10 – 14 February 2024
- 11 – 15 March 2024
- 25 – 29 April 2024
- 20 – 24 August 2024
- 19 – 23 September 2024
- 18 – 22 October 2024
- 17 – 21 November 2024
- 02 – 06 December 2024
Hikers will discover the unique treasures of the Namib Desert. It offers a world of infinite horizons, dramatic vistas and fascinating flora and fauna.
Reported to be the oldest desert on earth, the Namib is approximately 80 million years old. The Sahara may be larger and the Gobi more isolated, but the Namib is the very oldest, so on this trip, prepare for the best desert experience possible!
At first glance, the Namib’s interior appears totally devoid of fauna and flora, but look closely and you’ll find that the desert’s unique plant and animal life is definitely another of its limitless treasures.
At the start of WWII, Henno Martin and his friend, feared internment and escaped into the Namib Desert. For two and a half years they eked out a living in this harsh environment. As you hike along, or when setting up camp, imagine trying to survive here without the luxuries offered to you on this trip. You may see the Namib in a different light!
The Namib is also the desert of diamonds. Your hike will take you through the “Sperrgebiet”; the forbidden area also known as Diamond Area no. 2. This hike is the first of its kind in the Namib’s forbidden land.
Never forget where on earth you are. Our support team literally needs to transport everything that you need and that they need to assist you. Our team, consisting of a convoy of 4×4 vehicles and highly experienced guides, will see you safely to the Bohlen and back. Luggage will be limited to one bag per person. The vehicles will carry all the supplies required to provide you with three meals daily, the total volume of water supply for the hike, kitchen equipment, camping chairs, cutlery and crockery, fire wood, all the luggage, as well as your tent and bedding.
A hot shower and chemical toilet are available every night where we set up camp. During breakfast, hikers will pack their own packed lunch in a lunch box.
Our guide team takes great care in supporting you in a discreet and non-intrusive way so that your experience of the vastness and remoteness of this very unique area and hike is not spoiled. Due to the remoteness and location of this hike, a satellite phone will be taken along.
You will be one of a limited number of hikers to do this exceptional route annually. Each day of The Namib100 hike has a unique charm and a much wider variety in landscape than you can ever imagine. Experience wildlife in abundance – from thousands of birds and seals to dozens of jackals and a chance to see oryx and brown hyenas. These animals are not habituated, and you will experience that they look at you with suspicion. You will be hiking off the grid, away from civilization. It is important to note that the distances per day can differ as per the itinerary below due to weather conditions.
OUR CLIENTS, OUR AMBASSADORS:
“This hike is an investment in yourself. It is worth every cent. A MUST-DO hike. If you only do one hike in your life, make sure it is this one. It will change something about your humanity.” – Franci Kloppers
“The greatest gift is one of experience. LIVE THE JOURNEY has not only gifted us with a magical experience, but one that broadened the mind, expanded the soul, and deepened the heart. – Natalie Maroun
“Your guide team is absolutely excellent. The food was brilliant. The hot showers every night was so unexpected, but such a treat. The organization was excellent. The distances every day was spot on. EVERYTHING of this journey is really extraordinary.” – Anette Grobler, Silent Steps
“An INCOMPARABLE, world-class slackpacking experience in the Namib Desert. Breath-taking and diverse landscapes, excellent food and customer service by the Live the Journey team, and above all … silence, silence, silence … A much-needed break from all the demands of modern life and digital technology. Pure bliss!” – Erns Grundling
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. The transfer to the starting point departs on day 1 from Lagoon Chalets in Walvis Bay. A communal dinner and briefing session will take place the evening of day 0 at 19:00. Attendance of the dinner and info session is compulsory.
Day 1: distance approximately 20 km
The support vehicles will meet the group at Lagoon Chalets. Pick-up time will be confirmed the night before at the briefing. The transfer from Lagoon Chalets to the starting point (50 kms) will be in special converted 4×4 vehicles. The duration is approximately one hour. Modderbankies is where the Kuiseb River in ancient times flowed into the Atlantic before it was stopped by the desert. Here you can still see the remnants of mud and silt that were deposited at this estuary millions of years ago. Although the river disappears under the dunes’ fresh underground water filters into the Sandwich Harbour lagoon, it changes the color and temperature of the water and even the immediate environment, creating a micro-climate that nurtures a huge and abundant bird and sea life. Sandwich Harbour was classified as a Ramsar Wetland of international importance in 1995. The total area of the Ramsar Wetland is 13,8 hectares.
Combined with the unique vegetation adapted to the micro-climate of this lagoon, this first day will set the tone for the diversity in scenery, fauna and flora that you will experience in the following days. You will experience that it is a myth that the desert is devoid of any life. The tracks of animals will remind you that you are not walking alone. The last stretch of this day can either be done inland over the dunes or by following the lagoon’s shoreline – both will take you to your first night’s camp.
“It is a perfect day. Walking away from civilization, away from mobile connection, walking off the grid – it was just SO amazing to become part of nature. The 1000s of birds at Sandwich Harbour, the sound of the sea, etc. – it just sets the tone for an amazing hike.” – Marienne Burger
Day 2: distance approximately 25 km
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. The cathedral-like formations of the dunes, created by a combination of sea, sand and wind, will take your breath away.
“Today was a highlight from the start till the end. The guide told us that we will see seals. What was waiting for me to experience, was far beyond my imagination. It was amazing to see literally 1000s of seals, looking me in the eye as if I am the first human they see. It was just an experience I will never forget. Every step of today was so special and so beautiful.” – Emma de Wet
Day 3: distance approximately 24 km
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; telling the story of hopes and dreams and of lives lost. The shore is littered with the shells of ancient oysters the size of your hand. White-washed whale bones and driftwood that comes from some mysterious places, the continuous rolling of the waves – this is where you will experience with all your senses, where you will connect with your inner self, where you will renew and revive. Today 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. Follow the crown of the dunes as it takes you to a spectacular campsite.
“My favourite day. To see the shipwreck of the Shawnee in the mist, was just something that blew my imagination into pieces. I felt like somebody who discovered something. It was such an amazing moment.” – Lizaan Rademeyer
Day 4: distance approximately 20 km
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. Long stretches of scattered white quarts or the black snake-like formation of exposed lava fields, tells you about the geology of this area. The diamond mining era forms an important part of the history of this area. Big diamond companies monopolized this area to strip it from its diamond bearing gravel. That is why it was called the Sperrgebiet – or Forbidden Land.
Your camp will be near one of these old mining settlements where wind-washed buildings engulfed by Namib sand, reminds you of lives lost by those that were enchanted by stories of diamonds lying under trees like plums.
People literally walked themselves to death in these harsh conditions, searching for the big one … On your way to the campsite, you pass through a patch of greenery where the tracks and droppings of oryx tells of a nearby natural spring. Hikers will have enough time to explore these old buildings, imagining life as it was a 100 years ago.
“Well, what a day!!! Walking over a massive plain with the dunes on one side and more plains on the other side, it was a day of appreciation and thinking. Think deep, and try to comprehend the magnitude of this amazing hike. I will come back, and back, and back … and I am sure I will experience something new every time.” – Pierre Steyn
DAY 5: DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 11 KM
Today you will turn towards the sea, crossing pink saltpans and ancient ocean floors littered with shells, occasionally catching sight of the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen in the distance, beckoning you to come closer. The Bohlen stranded on 5 September 1909, and it is also at the Bohlen where the hike ends. Enjoy this accomplishment as you end the hike with a glass of bubbly in your hand. After that we will start the drive back to Walvis Bay where our services conclude upon arrival.
Board the 4×4 vehicles. This journey back to Walvis Bay will cement the hike in your mind as the drive will be along the route you have hiked the last few of days. The arrival time in Walvis Bay will be approximately around 18:00.
Accommodation for this night will be for your own account. We can however assist with bookings. Our team will drop you off at your preferred overnight stop.
“What a way to end this amazing hike at the Eduard Bohlen shipwreck. I have tears in my eyes as I can undoubtfully say, that this was a highlight of my life. I am so much richer as a person.” – Susina Jooste
Day 6: depart home
Transfers to the Walvis Bay Airport will be provided on this day.
“Above all, to know that you were, and are, only a tiny grain of sand in the immeasurability of the vast desert, and that you were destined to experience it, is special, unique, peculiar and a PRIVILEGE. To step back into society and know that all your burdens lie scattered somewhere between the dunes, sand and waters, is to LIVE.” – Reinette Prinsloo
End of tour
** It is important to note that daily walking distances are an approximate distance only and will depend on the weather and suitable camp sites. It may vary by as much as 2 to 3 kilometers. Please use as a guideline only.**
Group size: 18 -24 hikers (tailor-made options available for private groups)
Duration: 5 days (travel time not included)
Distance: Approximately 100 km
Rating: Level 6 and 7 – Although this is not a difficult or technical hike, you must be very well prepared – inner strength and a strong mind is just as important as physically doing the distance every day.
Please be sure to read the FAQ’s section on our website. Visit www.namib100hike.com/faq
Special Dietary Requirements
Our guide team will walk the extra mile to cater for your needs. However, given the conditions under which this tour/hike is operated it is not possible to cater for all dietary requirements. Also, variation and availability of supplies in Walvis Bay is very limited. We can cater for vegetarians, pescatarians, and gluten free diets. If you do not fall within these categories, we would like to recommend that you discuss your requirements with us and where possible, make provision for your own meal requirements.
It is important to note that the daily walking distances shown in the itinerary above are an approximate distance only and will depend on the weather and suitable camp sites. It may vary by as much as 2 to 3 kilometres. Please use as a guideline only.
Due to the cold sea current that hugs the Namibian coast, temperatures are generally cool and mild along the entire route, but as desert weather conditions can be unpredictable, it is also important to be prepared to experience occasional strong winds, very hot days and very cold nights. It is always best to wear layers. Our support team will be there to assist you all the way. In the case of warmer and more extreme conditions, the support team will shorten the distance between water stations, and if necessary, the overnight camps. During the night and early morning, it can be wet and misty, also due to the cold sea current that clashes with the hotter inland air. The hiking dates were chosen with low sea tides in mind to ensure hiking along the coast and not over dunes.
Medical clearance and indemnity
Although the hike is not difficult, stamina and endurance are required. Hikers must have medical clearance. A form must be completed by a medical doctor within 40 days prior to the hike. An indemnity form must also be completed and returned to your consultant prior to the hike.
Passports and Visas
Passports must be valid for 6 months after date of return of travel and have at least 3 blank pages. Depending on your nationality a visa may be required to enter Namibia.
A complete list of what to pack will be provided after your booking is confirmed.
It is possible to do the Namib100 without carrying a daypack, so hikers can choose to bring one to carry essentials or not (NOTE: every 5-7 km there will be a LTJ vehicle where hikers can stop, take a rest and opt to leave their backpack in the vehicle should they wish to continue without carrying anything). Other things to pack include walking sticks (if preferred), sand gaiters, all hiking gear, a lunch box, water bottles for carrying water during the day, plasters and blister-care goodies, all items of a personal nature, tent (pop-up, if possible) and bedding. Hikers may take a limited amount of alcoholic beverages with on the hike – limited, because everything must be transported each day by the guide team. Snacks to nibble on in between meals, but there is ample food to pack every morning. Again, remember that personal items must fit into the duffle bag provided (excluding camping gear), and space and weight on the vehicles are limited.
Pre- and post-hike travel arrangements and accommodation
Hikers are responsible for their own pre- and post-hike travel and accommodation arrangements. You are, however, welcome to ask our consultants to assist with, and to handle, arrangements on your behalf.
We will depart the first morning from Lagoon Chalets in Walvis Bay. A communal dinner (for your own account) and info session will also be held at a restaurant venue to be advised the evening before the hike starts. Attendance of this event is compulsory as there will be a full briefing.
We can assist with any accommodation bookings and would like to recommend the following establishments in Walvis Bay:
- De Baken (Self-Catering): https://debaken.com.na/
- Lagoon Chalets (Self-Catering with restaurant onsite): https://www.lagoonchaletswb.com/
- Oyster Box Guest House accommodation: http://www.oysterboxguesthouse.com/
- Flamingo Villas Boutique Hotel accommodation http://www.flamingovillana.com/
Concession fees are paid to the Namibian government, the responsible entity for nature conservation. The Namib Desert is also part of the Namib Naukluft Park and therefore standard park fees are payable as well as a community levy. The tour price includes the concession fees and levies. The funds are used towards conservation of the Namib Desert and to socially uplift the local communities in that area. Our philosophy “enough, for all, forever” captures our endorsement of ecological and socially sensitive travel. Our whole business is managed on the principle of responsible and sustainable tourism.
Besides offering our clients quality, personal attention and value for money, all travel packages are highly sensitive to the environment, providing maximum benefits to local communities and respecting the local cultures.
Rates from 01 September 2023 – 31 October 2024
SACC: Per adult
Foreign: Per adult
Prices for concession fees, taxes, park fees and fuel may be changed without prior notice. This is beyond our control and any increase levied will be passed to you.
It is a booking requirement that you must submit proof of travel insurance when making your first payment; you will not be able to join the tour without travel insurance.
- Return transfers between Walvis Bay airport and Walvis accommodation (flying guests)
- Hike briefing and communal dinner transport
- Transport from Walvis accommodation to Lagoon Chalets (for guests not staying there) on morning of hike departure
- Hike transport and transfers: Drop off at starting point of hike; 4×4 transfer from Eduard Bohlen to Walvis Bay at end of hike; Support team and 4×4 vehicle convoy
- Three meals per day during the hike
- Limited beer and wine will be available each evening
- Drinking water – 5 litres per person per day
- Water for showering – 5 litres per day per person
- Shower and chemical toilet at each overnight campsite
- Current concession fees
- Current Park fees
- Current vehicle Park fees
- Current community levy
- 15% VAT
- Pre and post travel arrangements (travel by road, flights, accommodation)
- Travel insurance:
- purchased within 24 hours from making the first payment of this tour.
- needs to cover extreme adventure and must include an air lift.
- Communal dinner and all drinks at info session (at venue night before tour commences)
- Camping gear and bedding (option to hire through LTJ)
- Extra snacks and drinks that you would like to take on the hike
- Tips/Gratuities (we will provide a guideline)
- R55.00 once off per reservation.