Tok Tokkie Trails
The Tok Tokkie Trails walking safari takes you close to the desert’s stunning beauty. Whilst walking, you will discover many secrets of the Namib that cannot be experienced when driving. You will get to feel different aspects of the Namib – from mountainous terrain to sandy dunes. Let your guide introduce you to this world, relax with a sundowner and enjoy a three-course dinner before falling asleep under the stars.
An unforgettable way to experience the true desert, this accommodation comprises seven to eight hours per day of walking with a guide in small groups (two to eight people), finally reaching the day’s camping location. At the camp you will be greeted by staff who have your luggage and have set up beds under the stars, toilet and shower. The chef will have prepared a three course dinner which is eaten al fresco, alongside cocktails and drinks of your choice. Packed breakfasts and lunches are also provided for your days in the desert.
Whilst this style of accommodation lacks many of the facilities and comforts people usually prioritise, it is pretty comfortable and a once in a lifetime experience offering a unique opportunity for total immersion in the majestic Namib desert.
Open air toilet, hot water bucket shower, vehicle and crew to carry your bags, chef. All necessary equipment (excluding boots) is provided. Nights are spent out in the open, under the stars.
Two obvious species are oryx and springbok. As they are not hunted they sometimes do not even bother to run away from the two legged guests in their territory, giving the whole scene a somewhat primeval touch. The majestic oryx can stand a body temperature of well above 40 degrees, because they are able to cool their sensitive brain with a special system in the nasal cavity. Ostriches regulate their body temperature by panting and fanning. There are also approximately 100 bird species in the NamibRand Private Reserve and you might even be lucky enough to see the rare and endangered lappet faced vulture, black eagle or the endemic dune lark.
What makes the Tok Tokkie Trail special is also the possibility for spotting the many small characters of the desert. NamibRand is home to many, often very charming reptiles, insects and small mammals. The barking gecko’s nocturnal chatting is an enjoyable interruption of the desert's usual silence; the golden mole’s silky little coat allows it to glide effortlessly below the sand, avoiding the heat of the surface; the scarabaeus could also be called the bulldozer beetle because of the efficient way of removing sand from its future home; and the shovel snouted lizard carries around a water reservoir in its intestines. The handsome bat eared fox has protruding ears to cool its blood and for detecting its next underground meal. Of course, last but not least we also have to mention the tok tokkie beetle, which taps out a rhythm to attract a mate.
It is recommended to undergo light fitness training beforehand, as long days walking in high temperatures (up to 35°C) may be difficult for guests who are not reasonably fit.
Also, be aware that temperatures become cold at night, so bring warm layers too!
If you have any questions regarding our Namibia tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
This was our second visit to Namibia in just over 12 months, with Reef and Rainforest and our seventh consecutive wildlife trip with them. I think that speaks for itself. This year we were particularly keen to try and observe some desert adapted Lions. The Lions found in ‘The Namib Desert’ are genetically identical to those found in the rest of Southern Africa but have adapted to live in one of the harshest environments on earth. They number around 150 and have a huge range, and are rarely seen. They came to prominence in the outstanding documentary film ‘Vanishing Kings’. The best chance of observing members of this subset of Lions is during a stay at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, although sightings cannot be guaranteed and weeks can pass by without any success. Therefore a stay at this camp was at the heart of our itinerary and we were very lucky to spend time with a Lioness and her niece who had killed an Oryx in the conservancy. The camp itself is absolutely outstanding in every respect and the location is just spectacular.
Visitors should be aware that this is not ‘The Serengeti’ and that the wildlife is quite thin on the ground. However you would have to be very unlucky not to see Elephant, Giraffe and several other species. Whilst we were out in the desert we were lucky to bump in to Dr P. Stander who has dedicated the whole of his adult life to the conservation of The Desert Lion, what a thrill. The day trip out to the coast was pretty special as well.
The rest of the itinerary worked very well and we were very pleased to have three full days in Etosha N.P. where we recorded 25 mammal species, including 32 individual Lions, observed the aftermath of 4 zebra kills, 11 Rhinoceros (both Black & White), an African Wildcat and the rarely seen in Etosha, elusive Leopard.
So a big thank you to ALL at Reef and Rainforest, another highly successful trip, you certainly delivered again.