Adventure vacations in Namibia

Damaraland Trail


The gifts of Damaraland are many. The famous fauna and flora, elephant & rhino, Welwitschia mirabilis, and the Skeleton Coast with its disintegrating shipwrecks all make for an adventurous horseback riding holiday in Namibia that is hard to describe and impossible to forget.

For half the trip, the truck, water cart and trailer cannot make it into the campsites but you explore some of the most untraveled terrain on the globe. This is an extraordinary trail through a nearly inaccessible and little visited part of Africa. It is an area of vivid colors and wide open spaces.

You are not likely to see elephants, giraffe and rhino in a desert habitat anywhere else in the world, but here you can see them. There may be late rains, causing the rivers to flood, which results in natural spectacles of tremendous adventure.

The tents are two-person dome tents. You have the option of sleeping in the tents, or under the stars.

Meals are prepared over the open fire. This braai or potjiekos is typical for Namibia, and often a welcome surprise.

  • Overview:
    The horses are selected for their ability to negotiate the Namib terrain, and for their stamina. Arab cross, Trakehner, and local ranch breeds make up the outfitter’s string. They are small to mid-sized, swift in rough terrain, and with a kind and reliable disposition. Endurance saddles are provided.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arab Cross, Trakehner, Local Ranch Bred
  • Trip Pace:
    Depends on terrain, moderate and tough, to fast
  • Tack:
    Endurance Saddles
  • Weight limit:
    85 kg (187 lb) in riding gear

This is not an option for non-riding companions.


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You will be met on arrival from Windhoek International airport (Hosea Kutako airport) and transferred to a lodge near Windhoek on this day. Here you will meet the rest of your riding group for dinner and you will be given an overview of the week ahead.

Day 2

After an early breakfast the journey starts with a 7 hour transfer, lunch en route, to a camp near Twyfelfontein, a world heritage site known for its rock art. Here you will meet the horses and crew, and go on a sunset ride if time permits. Enjoy a traditional dinner around the campfire, before retiring to your tent, or if you prefer, sleep under the stars.

Day 3

Set off on a morning ride to familiarize you with your mount in the Aba-Huab area where sandy plains invite good canters, stopping at interesting rock formations along the way. The afternoon will include visiting a cultural village, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and Sundowners at a local view point.

Day 4

Ride west across endless plains with a good chance of seeing desert adapted game such as springbok and oryx, occasionally riders follow Mopani treed dry river beds where kudu and ostrich lurk. Stop for a light lunch along a riverbed and continue over the hills to camp at De Riet.

Day 5

Continue along the Huab River shaded with huge Ana trees, which provides a favorite food for the Desert Elephants. Ride across another plain towards Mikberg to have lunch at the ‘cheetah tree’, followed by a long afternoon ride across the watershed and its phenomenal vistas. Camp is pitched at View Point where you can enjoy the views and dramatic colors of Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain.

Day 6

From View Point, ride southwest towards the Ugab River. After lunch at Lion Head, riders set off into a nice long canter. Move through a very narrow gorge, pass Soutfontein (Salt Fountain) and arrive at Save, the Rhino Camp near Brandberg West. This is a community run campsite that collects funds for the Save the Rhino project; it is also worth a visit to their information center.

Day 7

Wind your way through reeds and kori bush thickets along the Ugab to Brakwasser, then leave the Ugab River for a deserted gorge with fascinating folded rockwalls. Camp is in a very enjoyable, shady, sheltered location.

Day 8

Leave the Ugab tributary and enter another vast open plain with spectacular views of Brandberg. You will experience some marvelous canters before stopping for lunch at the Quarry. This afternoon is a long ride across the stony plains towards the coast.

Day 9

Ride towards the Messum River and Messum Crater. Again there are open plains, happy canters and spectacular panoramas. The late afternoon is once again across stony plains.

Day 10

Your final ride arrives on the beach around lunchtime. After riding through lichen covered plains, drive to Cape Cross to view the seals and continue to your overnight accommodation at a lovely beach house in Henties Bay.

Day 11

Depart for Windhoek and Windhoek International Airport (a 5-6 hour transfer). Earliest possible flight departure time is 3:00 PM. Alternately, you can fly out of Walvis Bay (about 1 1/2 hours away).

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be modified at the guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Additional Pricing Information:
Prices are based on the dollar/pound exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Damaraland Trail
May 21, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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I have nothing but respect and admiration for the horses we rode: tough as nails, impossibly agile and sure-footed, fit and enduring beyond belief, reliable and safe, and with great personalities. As for our guide she proved to be an exceptional woman. Her ferocious love of Namibia, her knowledge of the country's... Read more  

Florence Bautista