Big open skies, panoramic views, and spectacular sceneries make this a one-of-a-kind journey through South Africa and Namibia. You'll paddle the Orange River and climb the famous Dune 45, then head out toward one of the largest canyons in the world—Fish River Canyon. Colorful flamingoes will welcome you to the famous Walvis Bay Lagoon, and you'll see where the world-known Rooibos tea originates.


  • Marvel at the orange dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Visit a Rooibos Tea Farm
  • Enjoy a guided desert walk with a local expert
  • Experience the Namib-Naukluft National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Rooibos Tea Farm Visit Cederberg
Day 2 Cross the border to Namibia, Gariep (Orange) River Gariep (Orange) River
Day 3 Transfer to Fish River Canyon Fish River Canyon
Day 4 Quiver Tree Forest & Giants Playground Fish River Canyon
Day 5 Explore Namib-Naukluft National Park Namib-Naukluft National Park
Day 6 Sossusvlei Dunes & Namib-Naukluft National Park Namib-Naukluft National Park
Day 7 Walvis Bay Lagoon & Swakopmund, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, Rooibos Tea Farm Visit 

Main Stadsaal Cave, Ceederberg Mountains
Wildflowers in a rooibos tea field

Welcome to Cape Town, South Africa! Before heading to the Cederberg region, you'll get a quick peek of Table Mountain from across Table Bay. The region boasts spectacular mountains and orange farms and is also the home of the Rooibos bush.

This afternoon, you will visit a working Rooibos tea farm and discover the plants of rooibos and buchu that are indigenous to the mountain slopes of Cederberg and only grow in this part of the world. This herbal beverage has become a healthy and refreshing alternative to regular tea. You will have dinner at an overnight stop and get the opportunity to get acquainted with your guides while enjoying some South African hospitality.

Day 2: Cross the Border to Namibia & Gariep (Orange) River

Wild flowers in Namaqualand, South Africa
Wildflowers in Namaqualand, South Africa

Your first desert experience will be the Namaqualand in Northern Cape, which will accompany you in the days ahead. You will continue your journey north and travel to your camp on the banks of the Orange River.

If you are traveling in the late summer months (July to August), you may encounter the wildflowers that have made this region famous. Crossing the border this afternoon, you will enter Namibia and settle in on the banks of the Gariep River.
Plan your trip to Namibia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 3: Transfer to Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon sunset
Fish River Canyon sunset

Beginning its flow in the Lesotho mountains, the Orange River is the longest river in South Africa that offers a unique contrast to the desert landscapes along its banks. It is named after the Dutch Royal House, but lately, it has been referred to by its original nameGariep, which means "river" in the indigenous Khoekhoe language. 

The best way you'll experience the Orange River is out on the water, and this morning, you'll be able to join an optional canoe trip on the river. Around midday, you'll depart the Orange River and head inland to your overnight stop in Fish River Canyon—the largest canyon in Africa and second-largest in the world. Once you arrive, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy the ǀAi-ǀAis natural hot springs.

Day 4: Quiver Tree Forest & Giants Playground

Sunset against the Quiver Tree Forest
Sunset against the Quiver Tree Forest

This morning you'll rise early and ride to the rim of the Fish River Canyon. There will be time to watch the morning sun ray filter through the canyon—a truly unique sight. After stretching your legs a bit with a gentle walk along the rim of the canyon, you'll head for Keetmanshoop.

The afternoon will be spent meandering through the Quiver Tree Forest and The Giants Playgroundnamed for how the massive dolerite boulders have been placed on each other, creating rock formations and a series of mazes.

Day 5: Explore Namib-Naukluft National Park

Barking Gecko  in the Namib Desert
Barking Gecko in the Namib Desert

Today, you'll venture deeper into the Namib Desert on this overland journey. Your destination is the dune fields that cover the western reaches of the desert. Long dusty roads and sparsely populated farmlands offer you an insight into the vastness of rural Namibia.

From the grasslands in the east to the red dunes of the west, the slowly changing landscapes represent the many faces of this desert country. Tonight, you'll camp on the doorstep of the dune fields and fall asleep to the unique calls of the elusive barking geckos (lizards endemic to western Africa).

Day 6: Sossusvlei Dunes & Namib Naukluft National Park

Walking in Deadvlei desert
Walking in Deadvlei Desert

A brisk climb up Dune 45 offers you the perfect vantage point to marvel at the changing colors of the desert. Once satisfied, you'll descend this famous dune and enjoy a hearty breakfast before catching a 4WD transfer into Sossusvlei.

Here, you will spend time on foot visiting the pans at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. Tonight you'll empty the red sand from your shoes and spend the night under the magnificent desert stars, knowing that you have spent a full day enjoying the wonders of this harsh land.

Day 7: Walvis Bay Lagoon & Swakopmund, Depart

Flamingos in Swakopmund, Namibia
Flamingos in Swakopmund, Namibia

Your day in the desert ends as you join a local expert for an educational desert excursion before making your way across the Tropic of Capricorn and to the Atlantic coast. You will continue west and make your way to the coastal town of Swakopmund, where adventure and a dose of civilization await.

On the way, you will make a brief stop at the Walvis Bay Lagoon with the hope of getting a glance of the flamingos that feed in the shallows. The best chance to spot these unique birds is at the end of the rainy season, between April and May. In the most recent years, an impressive amount of 40,000 greater flamingos have gathered around the lagoon—all in one single day.

On arrival in Swakopmund, you will have the opportunity to book an additional tour of your own and choose from the many adventures offered.

More Great Namibia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Namibia? Check out these other Namibia itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Namibia, or discover the best time to visit Namibia.


Map of Explore South Africa & Namibia: Cape Town, Fish River Canyon & Sossusvlei Dunes  - 7 Days
Map of Explore South Africa & Namibia: Cape Town, Fish River Canyon & Sossusvlei Dunes - 7 Days
Written by Sonya Pevzner, updated Oct 4, 2022