The Naukluft Hiking Trail is situated in the South of Namibia in the easternmost portion of the Namib Naukluft Park.
The eight day hike covers 120km of undisturbed nature over extremely rough terrain. The lowest point on the trail is at 1250m
with the highest at 1950m above sea level. Hiking is limited to the period between 1 March and 31 October because of
excessively high summer temperatures. Even in mid-winter daytrime temperatures can rise above 30 degrees.
It is not reccommended for unfit hikers, and is considered tough even by regular hikers. All hikers must have a medical report
valid less than 30 days from the start date for submission to the nature conservator at the Naukluft Park Office. There is a
steel locker at the Tsams Ost shelter on day 4 where you can leave food parcels for the second 4 days. This necessitates a 5 hour
round trip to drop off. The trail starts and finishes at Naukluft campsite where there are camping facilities, firewood and hot showers.
The going is rough,dry and hot. You must carry a waterbottle (2-litres minimum) and use water sparingly.
Fires are not permitted, so you must have a camping stove. Underfoot is hard, steep and rocky.
Overnight temperatures may drop to freezing. Warm clothing is essential.
You walk through many dry river canyons which often have very steep sections which are negotiated with the aid of chains.
If you are afraid of hights then this trail is not for you. A 20m length of light rope will definitely come in handy for lowering and lifting
packs for people who find the steeper sections a bit daunting.
Animals you may encounter on the trail include Steenbok, Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Mountain Zebra, Dassie Rat, Chacma Baboon,
Rock Dassie, Klipspringer. The Hartmann's mountain zebra is endemic to the area. Over 200 bird species have been documented.
Snakes and scorpions also abound and you are advised to be on your guard at all times.
"Hikers Haven" is a delightful cottage at the Naukluft campsite provided as part of the trail. You can stay here the night
before you start the trail and the night you finish. There is hot water with a shower and bath and a large outside area with braai facilities.
The perfect place to begin and end the trail.
Day 1: Naukluft campsite - Putte shelter (14km)Starting at the main Campsite, you climb two fairly steep ascents of 200m each.
There are magnificent views of the valley below and endless desert hills beyond. There may be water about half way depending on the time of year.
The Putte overnight shelter is reached after a strenuous 6 hours. If you are carrying food for the full 8 day trail then get an early start so you can take it real slow for the sake of your feet.
Day 2: Putte shelter - Ubisis shelter (15km)You descend into Ubusis kloof the first of many impressive dry or almost dry canyons.
Chains have been anchored in the rock where necessary and extreme caution is advised when negotiating them. There is water in the kloof.
At the end of a six-hour hike you reach the Ubusis hut which is an old farm cottage. There are flush toilets and a cold shower.
Day 3: Ubisis shelter - Alderhorst shelter (12km)After backtracking to 'Bergpos' windmill, the day's hike is a comfortable
stroll across the plateau. Take care to fill you water bottles before leaving kloof as this is the last water for the day.
The chances of spotting Kudu and Zebra are very good. Four to six hours hiking brings you to the
Adlerhorst shelter. The time taken depends on how quickly you negotiate the chains. Going up is easier than going down.
Day 4: Adlerhorst shelter - Tsams Ost shelter (17km)You travel through the Tsams River gorge with one very steep ascent
to bypass a waterfall. A number of beautiful springs greet you shortly before the Tsams Ost shelter. You should manage this
day's hike in six to seven hours. This is where you pick up your food parcel if you left one. Tsam Ost is a good exit point
if you are not feeling up to the next 4 days which are tougher (you will need to arrange for someone to collect you before hand
as there are no park personnel at Tsam Ost).
Day 5: Tsams Ost shelter - Die Valle shelter (17 km) You start with an initial steep ascent up 'Broekskeur' after
which the trail meanders through patches of euphorbias and quiver-trees. There is no water on this day as the "fontein pomp"
is no longer in operation (despite the map indicating water there). The day should take six to seven hours.
Day 6: Die Valle shelter - Tufa shelter (16 km)You start by climbing steeply to the top of the 'Die Valle'
waterfall which is some 200m high. Although normally dry, it is still a magnificent sight. There are magnificent pools above
the waterfall and these are one of the few places you can actually have a decent swim. A total of six hours hiking
gets you to the Tufa shelter for the night.
Day 7: Tufa shelter - Kapokvlakte shelter (14 km)Another steep ascent up a well-vegetated kloof brings you to another dry waterfall
which is scaled with the help of chains(the toughest of the trail). Today you reach 'Bakenkop', the highest point on the trail from where you look down
at the Tsondap river valley 600m below. A five hour hike brings you to the Kapokvlakte shelter. There is no water on this day.
Day 8: Kapokvlakte shelter - Naukluft campsite (16 km) The final day should take about five hours hiking,
finally arriving at crystal clear pools about 40 minutes away from the end. The only other pools where a swim is possible.
This also forms part of the Olive tree day trail, and returns you to the campsite where you started.
We are not liable for any loss, damage or injury on your side; your travel insurance should include accident,
health cover and emergency rescue.
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