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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Namibia

The Living Desert Tour: meet the creatures of the Namib

I really enjoy watching people’s reactions when we find a lizard or a snake, there are lots of oohs and ahhs…

By Gerald Kolb
Owner of Charly's Desert Tours

Meet the unique creatures of the Namib Desert on this educational tour. Our aim is to get people to see the dunes with a different eye and realise they’re not just a pile of sand, they’re home to incredible wildlife. From Swakopmund, we’ll take you in a 4×4 to the coastal dune belt just outside of town. This area is part of a protected national park; we’re one of just four tour operators lucky enough to operate in the area.

During the drive, your guide will be looking for tracks and signs in the dunes; we call it reading the daily newspaper. We’re looking for scorpions, spiders and the group we informally call the little five: the palmato gecko, sand-diving lizard, fog-basking tok-tokkie beetle, sidewinder snake and chameleon. These secretive animals are tough to spot without the help of an experienced local guide.

When we do spot something, we’ll jump out of the 4×4 to investigate. I really enjoy watching people’s reactions when we find a lizard or a snake – there are lots of oohs and ahhs and plenty of great photo opportunities. We’ll tell you all about the special adaptations each creature we meet has to survive in this inhospitable environment.

Everyone’s favourite animal is the cute, bizarre chameleon. You never know what you’re going to encounter in the desert though. Once, I had a strange sighting of a brown hyena carrying a seal deep into the dunes – the sheer strength that took was impressive. We love to end the trip with some exciting big dune driving in our custom-built safari vehicles, it’s like a rollercoaster ride.


  • Adventure
  • Scenery
  • Trips to take
  • Wildlife

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Gerald Kolb

Gerald Kolb began his tourism career in 1997, leading private camping safaris across Africa. He later founded his own company, Travel Time, to teach guests about desert ecology and Namibia's ancient communities. In 2013, Gerald bought Charly’s Desert Tours, one of Swakopmund’s most famous tour companies. Gerald is passionate about introducing travellers to the wonders of Namibia.
Gerald Kolb, Owner of Charly's Desert Tours, Namibia

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Contact us and one of our UK team will help shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. Someone like Malcolm who's travelled extensively in Namibia. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the expert guides who can help you spot rare animals or the fat bike enthusiasts who can take you on a cycling adventure through the Namib Desert. Give us a call, set up and appointment or enquire online to start planning your tailor-made Namibia holiday.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656

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