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Namibia Gap Year Program

From Namibia to Cape Town on this overland adventure

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From Namibia To Cape Town

Currently on hold until further notice. Check out Kenya for a similar experience.

Welcome to our new overland safari which will take you from Namibia to Cape Town. This 4 week adventure will include the iconic highlights of South Western Africa, plus taking you to remote corners enabling you to experience adventure and wildlife safaris whilst contributing to environment and community projects.

This overland adventure will really get you into the heart of Africa as you meander from Namibia exploring the epic sights from Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei to the Orange River and Oana Conservancy Park before heading of to Cape Town to experience Table Mountain and of course the vast array of wildlife - think penguins, sea lions, sharks (!), and incredible bird life. The itinerary in Cape Town will be kept fluid so that we can work with you and make sure you see everything on your list.

Venture from Namibia to South Africa on this epic overland adventure showing you the iconic sights along the way and volunteering off the beaten track at our national park.


Namibia's Program Itinerary

Day 1

Windhoek Settle In

Welcome to Windhoek

You’ll arrive in Windhoek in the early hours and be whisked away to Chameleon Backpackers Hostel – a great little place with a pool where you can relax and recover from your flight before being scooped up and taken on a cycle tour around the city – stopping off at local arts and crafts markets along the way, (a great place to get gifts to take home).

After a busy day soaking in the history and sights you will head to the famous Joe’s Beer house for supper.This is an awesome restaurant with the most fun interiors that will really get you feeling the African vibe from early on.

Accommodation

Chameleon Backpackers Hostel.

Food

Breakfast included at the hostel
Lunch and supper are not included so you all have flexibility
Cycle tour included

Namibia Gap Year Program
Days 2-5

Etosha National Park Game Drive + Wildlife

The ultimate game drive experience

Your adventure now really gets going as you head off to the spectacular Etosha National Park for simply one of the best places on the planet to spot wildlife.

Etosha boasts a network of waterholes dispersed amongst the grasslands – providing ideal grazing ground to view the abundance of species that Namibia has to offer.

Did you know - a single waterhole can attract over 1,000 animals per day, with lions and rhinos being the highlights. Trust us, you could sit in your safari truck for hours marvelling at these majestic creatures. Nightime viewings at the waterhole are hauntingly beautiful as you see elephants meandering along and hear the echoing stomp of a rhino – your senses will be on fire. Truly awe inspiring. You could hear a pin drop.

While in Etosha you will camp for 4 nights at 3 different campsites: Etosha Namutoni, Okaukuejo and the famous Okonjima dotted around the reserve, so you feel you are on a journey through this magical place – falling asleep listening to the roars and squawks of the wildlife – it truly is a wild at heart experience. You will remember it forever – I promise.

You last night will be at the amazing Okonjima private nature reserve which is dedicated to conserving wildlife and your last morning will be spent with the AfriCat Carnivore Care – founded in 1991. The AfriCat Foundation is perfectly situated to conduct ecological research focusing on a variety of rare and endangered species.

As Okonjima is an enclosed nature reserve, one component of AfriCat’s research focuses on understanding the ecology of leopard and brown hyaenas living within Okonjima, with the ultimate aim of producing informed, sustainable metapopulation management guidelines for these species.

After lunch, you’ll head off to your next location along the famous Skeleton Coast to Swakopmund for phase 2.

Accommodation

Etosha Namutoni, Okaukuejo and Okonjima campsites

Food

Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner is extra.

Namibia Gap Year Program
Days 6-9

Swakopmund Dune Hikes + Dolphin Watching

Desert Life and Skeleton Coast

Sandwiched between Atlantic rollers and the Namib Desert, Swakopmund, on the Skeleton Coast is one of those places not to be missed on any Namibian road trip.

Here you will spend 4 nights in a hostel called the Salty Jackal and spend the next few days exploring the Cape Cross seal colony – the largest congregation of seal, completing lots of majestic dune/beach hikes, hanging out at the beach, dolphin/whale watching and kayaking in Walvis Bay lagoon before signing yourself up to a number of Top Gear style adventures.

Typical adventures available include: kayaking, skydiving, sandboarding and even a 4x4 drive through the dunes.Please note these are extra.

Accommodation

Salty Jackal Hostel.

Food

Breakfast included.
Lunch and supper are extra.

Namibia Gap Year Program
Days 10-11

Sossusvlei The Dead Valley Dunes

Explore the stunning Dead Valley and Iconic Dunes

Next up is a drive to Sesriem to emerge yourself into yet another contrasting environment – the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei. An area of outstanding beauty - situated in one of the largest conservation areas in Africa; Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by dunes, some of the tallest in the world at 400m.

You’ll spend 2 nights here to give you time to climb the Big Daddy Dune, explore the Dead Vlei (Dead Marsh), walk along the canyon at sunset and star gaze from the Elam dune - an astronomer’s paradise.

Big Daddy Dune is the highest dune in the world. As you climb you will feel the soft sand trickling underneath your walking boots and half the time feel you are going backwards but crack on as the view from the top is so worth it.

Dead Vlei (Dead Marsh) is another iconic spectacle – here you will see dried out dead trees from 700 years ago on white salt pan base with the dunes behind it - the contrasting block colours are incredible and leave you with many insta worthy photos.

In the evening you’ll explore the Sesriem Canyon on a sunset walk – this is Africa at its best.

Accommodation

Camping inside the National Park.

Food

Breakfast and lunch included.
Supper is extra.

Namibia Gap Year Program
Days 12-24

Oana Conservancy Conservation

Discover the national park

Oana Conservancy is a private reserve covering 45,000 hectares of raw Africa. It hosts a dramatic semi-desert landscape made up of small mountains and sandy plains with the Orange River running alongside, creating an idyllic oasis of green contrasting with the terracotta hue of sand and mountains.The next part of your journey will be to take you off grid to the reserve we have been supporting for years. Here you will stay in a mobile camp set up their headquarters from which you will become fully immersed in a combination of conservation, involving camera trapping, ecological restoration and gemsbok surveys; adventure, such as trekking, mountain biking; and community projects focusing on a soup kitchen and planting vegetables.

The next part of your journey will be to take you off grid to the reserve we have been supporting for years. Here you will stay in a mobile camp set up their headquarters from which you will become fully immersed in a combination of conservation, involving camera trapping, ecological restoration and gemsbok surveys; adventure, such as trekking, mountain biking; and community projects focusing on a soup kitchen and planting vegetables.

Oana has begun a journey of ecological restoration and rewilding after its previous life as a hunting and farming ranch. Owned by the renowned conservationist Ian Craig, who’s vision is for the conservancy to become a safe sanctuary for black rhino and other large mammals that have been locally exterminated, link up with neighbouring conservancies and one day turn the greater protected area into a National Park to home Namibia's endangered wildlife.

Oana is home to some of the most iconic species of flora and fauna such as the Quiver Tree, the African Leopard, the Greater Kudu, Brown Hyena, Caracal, Gemsbok, Springbok, Mountain Zebra, Honey badger, Aardvark, Clawless Otter Giant Kingfisher and the African Black Eagle. However, it is an area unstudied and given its history we need to understand who lives here, who lives where and in what numbers. This is the first stage of 're-wilding' the land. To do this you will set off across the reserve to literally seek out the wildlife, count what you see and analyse faeces and track prints. Other reserve jobs that need doing are:

•Removing unnecessary fences, structures and scrap.
•Developing water points for animals.
•Building micro-basins to help with plains regeneration
•Removing alien vegetation on the property and along the river.

Trekking

Hiking will be a big part of your time here and the potential for exploration is limitless over the mountain ranges made up of different rock types, (the area is a global geological hotspot), ranging from terracotta granite outcrops to towering, black, perfectly formed volcanos (all extinct).

These mountains are interspersed with sandy grass plains and 50km of river frontage.A decent level of fitness should be attained before you travel to Namibia.

Mountain Biking

You’ll venture out on the reserve by mountain bike on a specially designed 20km bike trail that weaves through the mountains and ridges, showing off the stunning mountain landscape.

There are fast bits, slow(er) bits, technical bits and chilled straights so don’t worry - riders of every ability will be able to do join in.

Rhino Tracking

While you are here you nip off to a secret destination for a night to head off with local trackers to find a small family of protected rhino.This, I promise will be one of your highlights – trust us – we can’t go into any more detail for their safety.

Optional Extra - Rafting Down the Orange River

While you are at Oana you might want to head out on a 3 night adventure to white water raft down the Orange River (up to level 3 rapids) stopping off at idyllic sandy beaches along the way. You’ll raft during the mornings before stopping off at a beach to build a camp for the night.Your afternoons will be spent sunbathing, swimming, fishing, reading and relaxing. Whilst rafting you’ll see amazing bird life, perhaps the elusive clawless otter and conduct bird biodiversity surveys as you go. You’ll raft through gorges, canyons and you will pass around the stunning Richie Falls, the 3rd highest waterfall on the Orange River.

This costs £300 pp and is payable locally.

NB: This activity will be dependent on a min number of 6 and water levels, vegetation, safety reasons etc so it’s not guaranteed.

Accommodation

Camping inside the reserve.

Food

All meals included, apart from the last day if you choose to white water raft.

Namibia Gap Year Program
Days 25-28

Cape Town, South Africa Exploration

Explore Cape Town

Your final phase will be in Cape Town to provide you with a complete contrast to Namibia – think glamourous beach life, whales, great whites, penguins, sealions and of course Table Mountain. We will leave the day to day itinerary fluid so as a team you have the freedom to choose your tours.

Accommodation

Hostel TBC in Greenpoint.

Food

Breakfast included.
Lunch and supper are extra.

Namibia Gap Year Program
+

Entry Procedures Tourists are welcome

Brilliant news - only a standard 72 hour covid test pre-departure is required to enter Namibia.

Like all our programs Namibia runs a remote camp experience so the volunteers and staff will create their own bubble. There is a expedition doctor in camp who will be managing the health and safety of the team.

Namibia Gap Year Program
Namibia Gap Year Program

Add on Independent Travel

Combine with Kenya and Tanzania

What we are finding is that our teams never want to come home post program and choose to add on a phase of independent travel with their new found friends - certainly making the most of their gap year. We can easily support this through our Leap VIP travel resource which every leaper has access to.

Namibia is perfectly placed to fly north and add on Kenya and Tanzania. Want to get the most out of your gap year? Call us and chat through your ideas.

Namibia Gap Year Program
Namibia Gap Year Program
Namibia Gap Year Program
Namibia Gap Year Program
Namibia Gap Year Program

Options and costs

We can have a maximum team size of 12, minimum of 6 people.

Whats included?

Budget:

Flights: £700 (depending on time of year and availability).

Spending Money: Approx £300 in total for drinks, souvenirs and tips.


Safari Living

Live in a tented safari camp, in the middle of a private game reserve in raw Africa. I promise you, it doesn't get much better.

Social Life

Guaranteed. You will be part of a tight team of like minded volunteers, who come from all over the world, creating happy campfire moments.

Adrenaline Sports

Trekking, mountain biking and white water rafting are all part of the program so get ready and get fit.

The Bigger Picture

Be part of a 5 year plan which aims to create a National Park to re-home black rhino.

Working Hours and Time Out

The working day starts very early, around 6.00 to take advantage of the cooler mornings and due to the remote location we have interspersed the 4 weeks with mountain biking, hiking and other down time moments which include bush crafts, arts and crafts, cooking and yoga!

If you wish to explore this country further we can easily arrange transport to the backpacker 'spring board' of Windhoek, just get in contact.

Namibia Gap Year Program

The Long Term Plan for Oana

With rhino and elephants on the brink of extinction; renowned conservationist Ian Craig, Prince William’s and Sir David Attenborough’s right-hand man when it comes to conservation, made a heroic decision to intervene and secured 45,000 hectares of Namibia with the single aim of providing a home for the last remaining black rhino.

He enrolled scientists Andrea and Ed (the fun kind) to help his cause. Together they have turned the land into a conservancy called Oana and have drawn up a 5-year plan and list of tasks needed to transform the land back into the ideal habitat to reintroduce and protect the black rhino. Eventually they will join up with neighbouring reserves to create a new National Park for Namibia.

Our leap volunteers are key to this transition as they get stuck into hands-on conservation and leave knowing they have made a difference to the future of critically endangered wildlife of Africa.

Namibia Gap Year Program

Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

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