The rolling highveld surrounding Windhoek is often overlooked by visitors in their rush to clap eyes on Namibia’s more famous landscapes, but the opening of the new  may soon change that. Covering a 91km circular route over six days (or 53km over four days), the trail takes you across five farms, hiking through thornbush scrub, along kloofs and across grasslands, scrambling over boulders and even climbing down a rock ladder. It’s physically demanding but the rewards are ample: superb views at times, abundant wildlife, and the chance to sleep out under the stars. You’ll catch sight of plenty of kudu, oryx, mountain zebra, warthog, klipspringer and baboons, as well as countless small reptiles; the birdlife is prolific too, congregating round the Aretaragas and Otjiseva rivers, farm dams and precious sheltered pools of water in the kloofs, while the ever-elusive leopard keeps out of sight. For the hardcore version of the trail, you need to carry your pack with sleeping bag (one for cold nights), food, extra clothing, utensils, torch or headlamp and all the usual extras – a walking pole is advisable too, as parts of the trail are heavy on the knees. However, if that all sounds like too much hard work for a holiday, worry not, as there’s a slackpacking option too, in which you take a daypack, with water, snacks, your camera and not much else, while the rest of your gear – food and bedding (including mattresses, or even tents, if you want) – is transported for you from camp shelter to camp shelter.

Though basic, each campground has a toilet, wood- or solar-powered hot shower, braai facilities, a pot and a kettle, with the Monte Christo treehouse on the fifth night the standout overnight spot. Rather than confining yourself to light, easy-to-cook meals, you can tuck into a pre-ordered fresh farm meal-pack from each night’s host, which includes braai meat and veg as well as freshly baked bread, though you’ll need to carry anything you want to spice up the food. It’s even possible to request a few cans of beer to enjoy around the campfire. Obviously, this is all at extra cost, but the hike alone is strenuous enough; taking the weight off your back allows you to maximize your enjoyment of the trail.

Practicalities

The trail starts and finishes at , located 46km broadly north from Windhoek – 30km along the B1 before turning west. A minimum of three hikers (maximum 12) is required, and the booking can be made online to do the trail between April and September (though experienced hikers are allowed in October and March).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

05 Jul 2017 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month