Prepare for your Namib Experience
FAQs: On Tour
The desert may seem a place of mystery to you right now, as might the technicalities of desert dune driving. Please go through the question and answer section below to learn more about the Namib Desert, desert camping, dune driving and the Faces of the Namib tour infrastructure and logistics.
Q: Can I expect a hot shower?
A: Each evening, a camp-style shower is rigged up for traveller’s convenience. A canvas shelter provides ample privacy and a cosy shower cubicle. Water is warmed in jerry cans next to the fireplace. When ready, the water is then deposited into a large bucket, and a unique motorised shower system (with shower head) enables one to wash. Travellers are responsible for bringing along their own shower water.
Q: Can you cater for specific dietary requirements?
A: Please contact us, in good time, if you have any special dietary requirements or allergies. Where possible, we will endeavour to cater to your needs.
Q: Do you provide sandboards?
A: No. Please provide your own sandboard (and enough floor polish to make it slide effectively down dune slip faces).
Q: How does the toilet work? What happens if I have a call of nature during the day?
A: An eco-friendly, chemical toilet is set up each evening when camp is made and are available until shortly before departure the following morning. When the tour commences, guides will explain carefully how these toilets function. There are no toilets available during the day. Should you have a call of nature, you should seek privacy behind a grass-covered dune knoll or behind the wheel of the last vehicle in the convoy.
Vehicles maintain radio contact with one another at all times, so just communicate your status to others and care will be taken to meet your needs. Keep toilet paper with you in your vehicle for these purposes but dispose of it in a refuse bag in the car. Under no circumstances should paper or any other refuse (sweet wrappers, cans, bottles etc.) be left it in the desert, please!
Q: How does the camping system work?
A: Clients are responsible for providing all their own camping gear, including tents, blow-up or hiking mattresses, bedding etc. At certain demarcated locations in the desert, we have created semi-permanent rudimentary camp sites. However, anywhere in the desert can be easily transformed into a suitable place to pitch one’s tent for the night. Where we thus set up camp is dependent on factors such as time of day and location. We do aim to reach our semi-permanent sites on most nights. The guide vehicles come equipped with all kitchen utensils for meal preparation (please provide your own personal crockery, cutlery and mugs), as well as communal items such as a chemical toilet (not available during daily transit), showers, barbecue (braai) tools. Nets are rigged up between vehicles to protect sites from the wind and create a more pleasant campfire ambiance.
Is fishing allowed on the coast of the Namib?
A: Since the Namib Desert is a sensitive breeding area for certain fish species, fishing is not allowed here. One of the conditions of the concession which allows our tour company to operate its unique tours in the Namib Naukluft National Park is that we adhere to this rule which is strictly enforced at all times.
Q: What are meals like? Should I take back-up supplies?
A: If one considers that you are camping out in the desert for a number of days, the quality and standard of food are very high indeed. Food is prepared with an emphasis on hygiene, is plentiful, and varied. Two meals are provided each day - from cooked breakfasts, to cereals, fruit (when possible) and yoghurts. Evening meals are veritable feasts - from steak barbecues to the inimitable Southern African stalwart, Potjiekos (stew cooked in a large black pot over the coals) … Just bring your own lunches, snacks and drinks along (including alcohol, which is not provided.)
Q: What are the Namib Desert’s minimum and maximum temperatures?
A: The Desert’s average temperature is very moderate, which may come as a surprise. It is seldom either too hot or too cold. A few times a year, the mercury rises above 40 degrees Celsius so if heat does not agree with you, simply book your tour dates at times of the year when these temperatures are unlikely. The Namib is actually known colloquially as the “Cool Desert” precisely because coastal sea breezes keep temperatures down. You are more likely to feel chilly than too hot and your vehicle’s air-conditioning also means you are protected during the heat of the day.