Camels are synonymous with deserts and with its vast areas of desert it is not surprising that camels were extensively used in Namibia by the military and police to patrol remote areas a century ago. But with the advent of the motor vehicle they soon lost their utility. Fortunately, though, visitors to Swakopmund can undertake a leisurely trip in an unusual way to experience the desert from the back of a dromedary camel which can reach a height of up to 2 metres. Once you get used to the camel’s rather awkward way of getting up and its rocking gait you will have a grand view of your surroundings.
The Swakopmund Camel Farm in the Swakop River valley has been conducting short camel rides since 1982. Rides are conducted between 14h00 and 17h00 in the afternoon daily, except Sunday and public holidays. Desert Explorers in Swakopmund’s camel rides take riders through the Swakop River and into the dunes. Trips are conducted daily and last around 30 minutes.
Sitting astride a horse provides a totally different perspective of your surroundings and few experiences are as exhilarating as galloping at full speed over seemingly endless plains. Several Namibian companies offer short outrides for beginners intermediate and experienced riders, as well as extended horse safaris for experienced riders. Equitrails Namibia, conducts a wide variety of trails for beginner, intermediate and experienced riders in the Eros Mountains, just 15 km north of Windhoek. Trails range from hour-long and full day rides to one or two night overnight rides with accommodation at a lodge. At Swakopmund, Okakambe Riding Centre offers short outrides of one to three hours in the Swakop River Valley and the canyons of the Little Moon Landscape for beginners and experienced riders. Excursions range from one to three hours, while overnight rides are also conducted. Early morning and late afternoon rides are conducted from the Desert Homestead Lodge, 30 km south of Sesriem.
The Namibia Horse Safari Company offers four safaris for experienced riders in some of the most scenic parts of the country. Areas covered are the Namib Desert, Damaraland and the desert canyons of southern Namibia. The Wild Horse Safari in southern Namibia takes riders over the dune sea and the Namib plains and also includes seeing the wild horses of the Namib Desert. Eight of the ten nights on the trails are spent camping in the open. The packages are fully inclusive.