Naukluft Hiking Trail

Hiking trails in the Naukluft Mountains, Namibia

Apart from the two shorter day hikes, the Olive and Waterkloof trails, the Namib-Naukluft Mountains is also home to a much longer trail. The entire trail covers about 120km and is a circular eight day route. An option to hike the first half only, i.e. four days, has been incorporated. The first four days hiking is moderate whilst the last four days are more difficult. Alternatively, the trail can be completed in seven days by combining the last two days (days seven and eight). This should however, be attempted by extremely fit hikers only.
Animals such as kudu and the rare mountain zebra are often seen on the hike, and although they are elusive, leopard are not uncommon in the Naukluft Mountains.

YouTube video: Windhoek Auasblick hiking:

What you need to know about the hike:

The old farmhouse at Naukluft (starting point) can be used prior to starting, and after completing the trail. Facilities comprise bunk beds, kitchen, ablutions (with hot water) and an outside fire place. Firewood/charcoal can be bought at the park office. For those wishing to spend more time in Naukluft before or after the trail, campsites must be reserved when making the trail booking. Facilities include fire places, cement tables with benches, refuse bins and ablution block facilities.
Accommodation at other overnight stops on the trail consists of stone built shelters and a hut. Only water and toilet facilities are provided. Refuse bins are available at Ubusis, Tsams Ost, Die Valle and Tufa Tavern overnight stops. No refuse bins are provided at Putte, Adlehorst and Kapokvlakte shelters on the plateau and hikers must carry their litter to the next overnight stop where they can dispose of it.

Recommended hiking equipment and other information

Naukluft trail synopsis:
Day 1 The trail starts at the Naukluft Hut near the Naukluft campsite and except for two fairly steep ascents, the first day's hike covers easy terrain. Much of the trail follows a zebra path with an easy gradient and the hiker is rewarded with spectacular views of the wide valley some 300m below. The overnight stop, Putte, takes its name from the nearby well which is equipped with a hand pump, enabling hikers to obtain water and to enjoy a shower. About six hours are required to hike this 14km section.
Day 2 The second day's hike mainly traverses the undulating plateau and once again requires about six hours to complete the 15km stretch. About three hours after setting off, Bergpos is reached and the trail now descends down the spectacular Ubusis Kloof. Several chains have been anchored at points which are otherwise difficult to negotiate. Ubusis Hut used to be a holiday cottage before the land was acquired for the park and is a complete surprise to the unsuspecting hiker.
Day 3 On the third day's hike, after backtracking to Bergpos, an easy route is followed across the plateau to the Adlerhorst Shelter. Keep an eye out for mountain zebra and kudu which can often be spotted in the area. The day's hike covers about 12km and requires about four to six hours.
Day 4 The fourth day's trail to Tsams Ost covers 17km and initially traverses fairly level terrain before branching off into the beautiful gorge carved by the Tsams River. After following the kloof some distance the trail leaves the river and climbs steeply to bypass a waterfall before winding down to the river again where an enormous moringa tree, with a circumference of close on 4 meters, is passed. A number of beautiful springs are passed shortly before reaching the campsite at Tsams Ost, and the final two km to the Tsams Ost Shelter is along a gravel road.
Day 5 The fifth day's hike to Die Valle covers about 17km and six to seven hours are needed to complete this section. From the shelter the trail ascends steeply up Broekskeur and then traverses undulating terrain covered with patches of euphorbias and quiver and moringa trees to Fonteinpomp where water bottles can be topped up. The final 11 km follows a fairly level route along a river valley.
Day 6 On the sixth day the trail leads towards the Die Valle Waterfall, a magnificent sight, despite being usually dry. For a short while you climb steeply to a contour path which leads to the top of the 200m high waterfall. From here the trail follows the narrow gorge carved by the river and continues to gain altitude, before making its way down the Arbeit Adelt Valley. Approximately 16km is covered between Die Valle and Tufa Shelter and about six hours are required.
Day 7 Day seven begins with a steep ascent up a well vegetated kloof where a chain assists hikers to scale a waterfall. After about three hours the plateau is reached and from Bakenkop the hiker is rewarded with magnificent vistas of the valley carved by the Tsondab River some 600m below. The trail then winds over Kapokvlakte, where springbok and sometimes oryx can be seen, before reaching Kapokvlakte Shelter. About five hours are required to complete this 14km leg.
Day 8 The final day's hike covers about 16km and is hiked in about five hours. After following a jeep track for about 3.5km the trail traverses a watershed before descending into the Naukluft River by way of a tributary. On reaching the Naukluft River you can cool off in any of a number of crystal clear pools. This section follows the onward route of the Waterkloof Day Trail and from the first pool it is about 40 minutes to the Naukluft Hut.






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