We offer spectacular mountain desert and Atlantic Coastline safaris for unique photographic, botanical, geological encounters in the remote Namakwa district of the Northern Cape. The rugged, raw beauty of the arid landscape in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province along the Orange River and the stark, hauntingly beautiful Atlantic coastline are the two main areas which Cape Diversity Tours has selected for its guided, self drive, off-road adventure tours.

The Concept

Our aim is to help you safely explore these and other wilderness areas in Southern Africa where nature, 4wd off-road driving and fully catered wilderness camping combine to make an exhilarating adventure.

The Tours

Tour 1 is The Namakwa Mountain Desert and Orange River Trail. It starts in Cape Town and ends in Springbok : duration 8 days (click on Tour 1 itinerary)
Tour 2 is The Atlantic Coastline Trail. It starts in Springbok and ends in Lamberts Bay: duration 3 days (click on Tour 2 itinerary)
The dates of Tours 1 and 2 have been scheduled so they may be taken consecutively if you wish to do both (this is recommended)
We will obtain all the required trail permits and all costs relating to the use of these trails will be included in the tour rate.
A minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 10 people will be accommodated per tour to ensure you receive a high level of personal attention.
Recreation days (no driving) at exceptional wilderness campsites are built into the tours for swimming, photography, hiking, bird watching, examining the unique flora, or just relaxing.
Personalised tours to other regions and countries (Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe) are available on request but would be subject to scheduling constraints (contact us for further details)

Off-road 4wd Vehicles and Driving

You will drive your own or a rented off-road 4wd vehicle, suitably equipped with low range transmission. If required, we will facilitate the rental of a suitably insured vehicle on your behalf, equipped with all the required camping equipment. The vehicle rental and insurance costs together with all fuel and other operating costs will be for account.
We will guide you on the tour and provide coaching (if required) in 4wd driving basics. Both experienced and novice 4wd drivers are welcome.
The routes selected are not dangerous. Moderately technical sections in sand, on rocks and involving inclines, declines and corrugations will develop your driving skills.
A maximum of 4 vehicles (excluding the lead vehicle) will be accommodated per tour. We will equip each vehicle with a 2 way radio in order to maintain contact with you at all times.
All vehicles must be equipped with 2 spare wheels

Camping and Accommodation

A mix of wilderness and commercial campsites along the routes will be used (Click on Tour 1 Itinerary and Tour 2 Itinerary for details). Commercial campsite costs will be included in the tour rate.
You must provide your own tents (rooftop or ground) and camping equipment (click on Recommended Equipment Inventory). Rental vehicles that are arranged by us on your behalf will be fully equipped with all the required camping equipment.
Commercial campsites will have full ablution facilities. A portable toilet and a shower facility will be provided in wilderness campsites, though some restrictions may apply to showering on the Atlantic Coastline Trail due to the limited availability of fresh water.
While we will plan, lead and guide you on the tour and take care of all the catering requirements, the fun of camping is achieved when everyone participates. So, you will erect and take down your own tent (of course we will help if you are stuck), keep your own drinks chilled, keep your own crockery and cutlery clean, and transport your share of the food and water in containers which we will provide and manage on behalf of the group.

Food and Drink

We will provide 3 healthy meals per day: a continental breakfast, a light lunch, and a campfire dinner as the main meal featuring unique South African bush cuisine.
Because space is at a premium and each person’s preference for drinks and snacks is different, you will be responsible for providing your own drinks and snacks for the tour. For your convenience, you can provide us with your ‘shopping list’ and we will purchase your drinks and snacks for your account, and stock your rented vehicle prior to the tour. You will be required to assist in transporting your share of the food and bottled water supplies which we will provide and manage during the tour.

Health and Safety

The areas in which Tours 1 and 2 take place are MALARIA FREE
Cape Diversity Tours is a fully accredited SATSA member. Two experienced Tour Leaders will guide you. They are fully versed in 4wd driving techniques and are trained and certified in First-Aid procedures.
A satellite telephone will be carried and will provide immediate communication with any external emergency services, should they be required.
Vehicle recovery equipment and a comprehensive tool kit will be carried by the lead vehicle.
The routes have been previously vetted and travelled by the Tour Leaders. A GPS and maps of the areas will also be available in the lead vehicle.
We will make every effort to ensure that the tour is free of unpleasant incidents, but things can go wrong and accidents can happen. We strongly recommend that you take out the necessary insurance for your vehicle and its emergency recovery, for your own medical treatment and emergency evacuation, and for your ongoing travel itinerary should we experience unforeseen delays on the tour. We will not assume responsibility and liability for these eventualities.

Environment Tours 1 and 2

Place :

The Namakwa district of the Northern Cape province of the Republic of South Africa


Hilly to mountainous semi-desert cut by the Orange river valley (Tour 1) and low lying, arid Sandveld in the west along the Atlantic Coastline (Tour 2)


Namakwa’s flora belongs to the Palaeotropical Floral Kingdom. In winter between June and August each year the drab countryside is transformed with the first rains into an unparalleled display of vibrant colour as many of the 4000 plant species flower. The diversity of these arid land adapted plants is a source of wonder throughout the year. The halfmens (half man) and quiver tree are dominant examples of this diversity.


The non avian fauna is mostly nocturnal in habit and is therefore seen infrequently. The following mammalian species (diurnal and nocturnal) may be encountered: cape hare, baboon, vervet monkey, rock hyrax (dassie), porcupine, cape fox, bat eared fox, black backed jackal, honey badger, suricate, small spotted genet, African wildcat, caracal, aardvark, springbok, klipspringer, steenbok, and duiker. Along the coast the cape fur seal will be encountered. The reptiles present include lizards, snakes and tortoises with the latter two being infrequently seen.The diversity of birds is amazing and includes eagles, owls, falcons, cormorants, herons, martins, swallows larks and many others.


Warm to hot days in spring, autumn (fall) and winter (min/max 14/35 ) (Note: Due to very high summer temperatures no tours are undertaken from Oct through March) Cool nights except winter when it can be very cold (min/max 2/19)


Shorts and open necked shirts are adequate during daytime except along the coast where the prevailing South East wind off the Atlantic Ocean may necessitate a windbreaker top. Nights in winter can be cold requiring jerseys, tracksuits and coats or windbreakers. Long apparel for legs such as jeans or slacks are recommended for evening wear. A pair of desert sandals (strops) is appropriate for daytime use. Closed shoes are recommended at night. A hat or cap together with sunblock cream is essential to avoid sunburn.

Planned Tour dates for 2010:

Tour 1:
18 July – 25 July
15 August – 22 August
04 September – 11 September
23 October – 30 October

Tour 2:
01 November – 05 November
13 November – 17 November


Tour 1 : Namakwa Mountain Desert and Orange River Trail = R1 350 to R1 400 per person per day.
Tour 2 : Atlantic Coastline Trail = R1 400 to R1 450 per person per day.

Personalised Tours = Rates on application. Tour itineraries and dates may be altered slightly depending on the time of year, availability of accommodation, and of course on request if you book out a tour. Illustrative rental costs for a suitably equipped & insured off-road 4×4 vehicle that can accommodate 4 people could be approximately R1 100 to R1 500 per day, excluding fuel.

Planned Tour Dates for 2011:

Tour 1:
10 April – 17 April
15 May – 22 May
12 June – 20 June
17 July – 24 July
14 August – 21 August
18 September – 25 September

Tour 2:
12 March – 16 March
19 April – 23 April
15 October – 19 October
12 November – 16 November

Tour 1 Itinerary: Namakwa Mountain Desert and Orange River Trail

On the route from Cape Town to the offroad section this trail traverses the unique hardeveld and knersvlakte regions of Namakwaland with their amazing variety of semi-desert adapted plant species, before reaching Pella. From there the trail tracks the imposing valley of the Orange River and adjacent arid mountains as it carves its way coastward to just before Vioolsdrift on the N7 in the West.

Day 1 : Cape Town to Niewoudtville, approx. 362 kms
Accommodation : Camping at Olive or Groenrivier Camping Sites (full ablution facilities)
Highlights en route : Piekenierskloof pass, Clanwilliam Dam, Olifants river vineyard, Van Rhyn’s pass, Waterfall, Quivertree forest, Aloe Dichotoma

Day 2 : Niewoudtville to Klein Pella, approx. 425 kms
Accommodation : Camping at Klein Pella Campsite (full ablution facilities)
Highlights en route : Pofadder village and hotel

Day 3 : Circular Drive Klein Pella Pella – Pella Drift – Klein Pella approx. 140 kms
Accommodation : Camping at Klein Pella Campsite (full ablution facilities)
Highlights en route : First offroading session, Pella Church and Mission, Charlie’s Pass, Orange river at Pella Drift, Date plantations, Desert vineyards

Day 4 : Klein Pella – Grootmelkhoutboom, approximately 80 kms
Accommodation : Wilderness camping at The Great Milkwood tree on the Orange river (bush shower and portable toilet facilities)
Highlights en route : Offroad driving, Grootmelkhoutboom campsite

Day 5 : At Grootmekhoutboom (no driving)
Accommodation : Wilderness camping at The Great Milkwood tree on the Orange river (bush shower and portable toilet facilities)
Activities : hiking, birdwatching, photography, swimming, reading, relaxing

Day 6 : Grootmelkhoutboom to Kamgab (early start for this magnificent day) approx. 90 kms
Accommodation : Wilderness camping at Kamgab on Orange river (bush shower and toilet facilities)
Highlights en route : Orange river valley & mountain viewsite, diverse plant species, drive alongside Orange River, river swim at Henkries, premium offroad driving experience down river bed to Kamgab

Day 7 : At Kamgab (no driving)
Accommodation : Wilderness camping at Kamgab on Orange river (bush shower and toilet facilities)
Activities : hiking, birdwatching, photography, swimming, reading, relaxing

Day 8 : Kamgab to Springbok – (end of tour) approx. 130 kms
Accommodation : Camping at Kokerboom Campsite (full ablution facilities)
Highlights en route : Mountain viewsite, Offroad driving, Halfmens Pass, Halfmens Trees Activities : Farewell Restaurant Dinner


Tour 2 Itinerary: The Atlantic Coastline Trail

The breathtaking Wildeperdhoek mountain pass is traversed before dropping to the Sandveld coastal belt at Hondeklipbaai. From there the pristine coast is hugged as exquisite bays and beaches unfold before you in the southward trek to Groenriviermond. The combination of the diverse Sandveld flora and intertidal coastal zone’s treasures is truly unforgettable in this newly proclaimed addition to the Namakwa National Park.

Day 1 : Springbok via Hondeklipbaai to Coastal Campsite approx. 210 kms
Accommodation : Wilderness camping on the beach near Koringkorrelbaai (SA National Parks Toilet and very limited fresh water for ablutions)
Highlights : Messelpad Pass, Wildeperdhoek Pass, Diverse & exquisite flora, Hondeklipbaai and village, Camping beside the sea, Inland dune traverse

Day 2 : Coastal Campsite near Koringkorrelbaai (no driving)
Accommodation : Wilderness camping on the beach near Koringkorrelbaai (SA National Parks Toilet and very limited fresh water for ablutions)
Activities : Hiking, swimming, birdwatching, photography, or just relaxing

Day 3 : Coastal Campsite via Bitterfontein to Lambert’s Bay (end of Tour ) approx. 305 kms
Accomodation : Commercial Campsite at Lambert’s Bay (full ablution facilities)
Highlights en route : dune 4wd driving, Gannet colony at Lambert’s Bay Activities : Farewell dinner at Muisbosskerm (famous open air seaside restaurant)

Day 4 : Lambert’s Bay to Cape Town via R364 and N7 (fully tarred, not guided) approx. 280 kms

Recommended Equipment Inventory (to match the number of people in vehicle)


Roof top or ground tents with relevant poles, stays and pegs
Mattresses or stretchers
Sleeping bags, pillows, bed linen and towels
Camp chairs and table Cutlery and crockery – knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, cups and glasses
Gas light or similar Personal headlamp (eg Petzl) – not essential but highly recommended


Fridge-freezer (plus dual battery system)
Vehicle tools as supplied by manufacturer
Spare wheel and tyre x2
Tyre gauge and compressor – not essential but highly recommended
Fire extinguisher – not essential but highly recommended
Puncture kit – not essential but highly recommended

Note that, if we have facilitated the rental of your vehicle, it will be suitably equipped with all the above equipment.