White, barren, sand, stone, sea of dunes or endless plains, populated or isolated, each of our five deserts is a world of its own that this newsletter will reveal. Speaking of deserts is not an easy task. Where do we even begin?

The colors? Adapting to the goodwill of the sun throughout the day? Wildlife? Although these vast lands are rich, and can sometimes home tok tokkie lions and elephants, are they endemic or emblematic? The people who inhabit them? Himba Bushmen? The senses?

Full of life and often disguised, they rejuvenate themselves time and time again. We could also mention beautiful and isolated lodges, hiking, balloon flights, breakfasts at the foot of the dunes, each footprint imprinted in the sand, dinners with the Milky Way as a backdrop ....

These lands burned, oxidized by time, by the red-hot burning sun, are the memories of our ancestors and millenniums past. They make you live each moment like a real adventure, which today we’ll help you discover.

S.C.

From the Namib Desert with its ravishing red sand dunes, across to the soft salty pans of the Makgadikgadi, down to the racy ravines of The Fish River Canyon, the deserts of Southern Africa will seduce you.... The voluptuous dunes of the Kalahari will leave you mesmerised with possibilities while the Kgalagadi landscape will leave you with a thirst for more.

THIS MONTH MEET ERIKA

ERIKA JOINED XO AFRICA NOT SO LONG AGO. TODAY SHE IS A SUPERVISOR OF OUR FIT DEPARTMENT. ERIKA LOVES TO LAUGH AND LAUGH. SHE LOVES SUSHI AND SHE’S PASSIONATE ABOUT COOKING. ABOVE ALL SHE’S A GREAT SWIMMER AND LOVES OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES SUCH AS WALKING AND HIKING.

Q: Your idea of ultimate luxury?
A: Travelling the world and discovering everything that it has to offer!

Q: What calms your stress?
A: A long swim. Swimming is like a meditation for me.

Q: If you win the roulette 9 times in a row, do you carry on because luck is on your side or do you stop playing because statistically you should now be losing?
A: I don’t play roulette, so no chance of that happening to me...

Q: Is there a superstition that make you change your behaviour?
A: I don’t walk under ladders, to avoid bad luck

Q: If you were sent to a deserted island what book, disc or movie would you take with?
A: The book : Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. And I would have to dog mu dog Zulu with me!

Q: A small pleasure that you consider huge?
A: Free time

Q: Your way to kill time?
A: Go for a hike, walk my dog on the beach, have a siesta, look through recipe books, cook up a storm...

Q: What are you totally incompetent in?
A: Complicated mathematical calculations and science

Q: To what are you addicted?
A: Laughing & cooking

Q: Your new year’s resolutions?
A: I never make New Year’s resolutions

Q: What have you not done yet, but that you will certainly do one day?
A: Take a year off (or 2, or 3....) and backpack through Central and South America.

Q: To which other part of the world would you move to without any hesitation?
A: Spain or any Latin American country!

Q: A word or a phrase that you hate?
A: Are we there yet?

Q: If you were to reincarnate into someone from real life who would it be?
A: Christopher Columbus! A great explorer in his era, AND he comes from my city – Genoa, Italy!

The Fish River Canyon

Nowhere else in Africa is there anything like Fish River Canyon!

Set between two of South Africa’s most remote quarters, Namaqualand and the Kalahari Desert, the bleak southern tip of Namibia exudes a sense of isolation from whichever direction you approach. The desert plains stretch to the horizon in all directions and seem to carry on endlessly, making it most surprising to encounter the startling and spellbinding Fish River Canyon, which forms an enormous gash across the desert landscape. Nowhere else in Africa is there anything like Fish River Canyon. The Fish River, which joins the Orange River about 70km south of the canyon, has been gouging out this gorge for thousands of years and the result couldn’t be improved upon. It is also enormous – 160 km in length, up to 27km wide and the dramatic inner canyon reaches a depth of 550m. But these figures convey little of the breath-taking vistas, which open up from the various vantage points. The river normally flows between March and April. During the early part of the season from April to June, chances are the Fish River will be just a small stream and later little more than a chain of remnants pools along the canyon floor.

  • The Fish River Canyon
  • The Fish River Canyon
  • The Fish River Canyon
  • The Fish River Canyon

Accommodation of choice: Fish River Lodge

Fish River Lodge in southern Namibia is the only lodge perched directly on the rim of the Fish River Canyon offering guests breathtaking views of the canyon from sunrise to sunset.

The Namib Desert - Sossusvlei

Some of the world’s highest and most picturesque dunes!

The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert are often referred to as the highest dunes in the world. Various arguments are laid out to support this claim, but all miss the point, which is that Sossusvlei is surely one of the most spectacular sights in Namibia. Located in the Namib Nauklift Park, the largest conservation area in Africa, and fourth largest in the world - the sand dunes at Sossusvlei are just one excellent reason to visit Namibia.

For Incentive group, the best time to view Sossusvlei with your 4x4 is close to sunrise and sunset. The colours are strong and constantly changing, allowing for wonderful photographic opportunities. We love finish this day with an unforgettable dinner under the Namib sky with the rhythm of the Marimba band. One of our best Surprise is to bring our group early on a morning in the Namib Desert and explore this landscape by the sky on board of a balloon Safaris! Celebrate your flight with you certificate and a glass of Spirkling wine upon arrival

  • The Namib Desert / Sossusvlei
  • The Namib Desert / Sossusvlei
  • The Namib Desert / Sossusvlei

Accommodation of choice: Sossusvlei Lodge

It is the ultimate desert retreat for guests seeking adventure, solitude or nature in the spectacular backdrop of the Namib desert.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Acclaimed as one of the great African parks!

Formerly known as the Kalahari Gemsbok Park (proclaimed as such in 1931), it is set between the mostly dry beds of the Auob and
Nosssob Rivers in the province of the Northern Cape. It encompasses 960,000 hectares, roughly half as much as the Kruger National Park.
If the adjacent Gemsbok National Park in Botswana is factored into this area, it totals 3.6 million hectares. It is acclaimed as one of the
great African parks, not least of all due to the fact that it shares an unfenced border with a Wildlife sanctuary across the Nossob in Botswana. Red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob show antelope and predator species off at a premium, providing excellent photographic opportunities. Kgalagadi could be considered a haven for birders, especially when interested in birds of prey. Gemsbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest and springbok are all fairly common in the riverbeds and visitors may occasionally see a group of eland, though the species tends to remain in the dunes.

  • The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Accommodation of choice: !Xaus Lodge

If you want to live a real “African bushmen experience”, !Xaus is the place to go. This place is owned by real bushmen and they will share, with you, their life and their culture. Explore the one of the most remote place in Southern Africa.

The Kalahari Desert

One of Africa's last wildlife paradises!

The Kalahari is an arid plateau region of 259,000 sq km, expending between Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Covered largely by reddish sand, it lies between the Orange and Zambezi rivers and is studded with dry lake beds. The Kalahari is one of Africa's last wildlife paradises. Animals that live in the region include brown hyenas, lions, meerkats, several species of antelope, and many types of birds and reptiles. Vegetation in the Kalahari consists of dry grassland and scrubby acacias. Grasses thrive in the Kalahari during the summer rainy season. African people known as the San (or Bushmen) were the first known human inhabitants of the Kalahari.

  • The Kalahari Desert
  • The Kalahari Desert
  • The Kalahari Desert
  • The Kalahari Desert

Accommodation of choice: Tswalu

Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa's largest privately owned luxury game reserve offering exclusive, private, luxury malaria free safaris.

Makgadikgadi Pan

The shimmering saltpans of Makgadikgadi are the size of Switzerland!

The vast Makgadikgadi saltpans are now all that remain of an ancient inland lake. The shimmering saltpans of Makgadikgadi are the size
of Switzerland and most of the times appear as a glaring, white, endless plain. When the rain comes a dramatic change takes place as the pans come to life with frantically feeding water birds and great erds of game. The Makgadikgadi is also one of the most important wetland sites remaining in Africa. In the wet season, the Makgadikgadi’s Pans fill with water attracting flocks of flamingo and other migratory birds. The area is also the only place in Southern Africa where one is able to see a migration of tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra followed by predators. Although migrations do occur elsewhere in Botswana, the tree cover prohibits a view of the magnitude that
we are able to see due to the exposed nature of the surrounding grasslands. The Makgadikgadi, a relic of one of the world’s largest superlakes, dried up thousands of years ago as a result of the continued shifting of the earth’s crust. The best time to visit this area
to coincide with the migration is from December to March or in the dry season from April to October when the pans are dry.

  • The Makgadikgadi Pan
  • The Makgadikgadi Pan
  • The Makgadikgadi Pan

Accommodation of choice: Jack’s Camp

Jack's camp is all old world charm and pure escapism.
This is an intimate and restful camp that takes you back to
the way we all imagine adventures should be.

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