Eco Ventures

Eco Ventures offer Excellent Organised off-the-beaten-track Experiences, discovering the treasures of Southern Africa. through the Kalahari, Namaqualand and other areas of Southern Africa. Self drive 4x4 trips or be a passenger! Now also day-trips around the Cape Peninsula and Winelands.

Grade

Epic

Disabled Friendly

Yes

Accommodation

Yes

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

  • Category
  • Grade
  • Disabled Friendly
    Yes
  • Accommodation
    Yes
  • Team Building Facilities
    Yes
  • Family Friendly
    Yes

Excellent organized off-the-beaten-track experiences, discovering the treasures of Southern Africa.

Travel in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter bus, and visit places that are culturally and historically captivating. We know our destinations well and are friends with the local people who are always on hand to provide interesting stories of their history and are passionate about the area they call home. Travel with smaller groups, seeing real places and improving the well-being of the people living in the different areas.

Frik and Lizette Olwage, owners of Eco Ventures, have extensive knowledge of all the Regions in Southern Africa and offer excellent holidays and value for money, with time to explore away from the rush of bigger groups. Our guided trips offer a full package including arranging and booking of all accommodation, meals, and transport. Customised tours and group bookings are available on request. Walking Holidays

Our unique fun walking holidays are the best way of experiencing the different regions of Southern Africa.

The distance per day is walked in 6 – 7km stretches, with safari style rest breaks in the veldt, or an interesting cultural or historical stop along the way.

You meet the locals, eat their food and learn about their history.

Walking is done on Jeep tracks and gravel roads without a backpack – no hiking trails.

Accommodation is mostly on guest farms and in chalets with three meals a day. A support vehicle and team are there to assist you throughout the day.

After booking your Holiday walk you will receive ‘SPORE’ Newsletters with recommendations on training, walking equipment, packing checklists and general information i.e. travelling options.

Group size: 8 – 12

Duration: 7 days (including traveling days)

Namagualand Walk

Experience the wonder of the flowers of Namaqualand on foot. Walking 100kms through Namaqualand at the peak of the flowering season is a truly breath-taking trip.

Walk through carpets of bright orange, yellow and white daisies.

Highlights:

The Daisies of Namaqualand Nature Reserve
Kamies Mountains and a visit to Taaiboskraal Tea Garden
Meeting the people of Namaqualand
Smelling nature and listening to birds singing while walking
Garies and Genis se Winkel
Knersvlakte
Rooibos Tea Factory
Cedarberg Rock formations

Kalahari Walk:

Experience the breath-taking natural beauty of the Kalahari. Walk the ‘Green Kalahari’ along the Orange River and into the Red Dune kalahari. Visit Augrabies Waterfall and walk to the Moon rock, Berg Arrarat and Echo Corner while game watching. Admire Quiver trees and rock formations.

Walk the ancient dry Malopo river bed and huge salt pans. Put your feet up under a Camelthorn tree and experience the local hospitality.

Highlights

Walk while game watching
Augrabies Waterfall, Moon rock and Echo Corner
Quiver trees and rock formations
Mysterious ‘Lost City’ of the Kalahari
Mampoer tasting at Bezalel with breakfast
Ancient Molopo Riverbed
Huge Camel thorn trees with vultures taking a rest
Walking across the 15km wide Koppieskraal Pan

Baviaanskloof (Amazing walk)

Baviaanskloof or ‘Valley of the Baboons’ is a deep, twisting ravine walled between parallel east-west mountain ranges, the Baviaans and the Kouga.

The area is known for its wealth of endemic plant species, such as Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) and Aloe Speciosa, its interesting cultural heritage and its abundance of bird and animal life.

This walk was designed for the social walker. It includes ALL the Eco experiences that the area’s unique beauty has to offer. It is a journey of discovery! Explore the last wilderness area of Southern Africa to learn how the community takes part in sustainable Eco Tourism and benefits from projects to conserve this Mega-Reserve.

Highlights:

Walking amongst Giraffe and Wildebeest in Poortjie private nature reserve
The village of Willowmore
Makkedaat Caves
Vero’s Restaurant, and breakfast with the locals
Damsedrif, where we stay in old farmhouses
Sewefontein Figtree Forest
Babes se winkel
Zandvlakte and joining Piet Kruger on an Eco Tour
Learning about the Spekboom and Leopard projects.

Klien Karoo Walk:

From the beautiful Klein Karoo village of Prince Albert across te historical Swartberg pass and on the back-roads of Route 62 to Montagu

Highlights:

Spending the afternoon with Prof Sue Milton-Dean, a well known botanist
The hidden treasures of the Karoo veldt
A Ghost Walk through the streets of Prince Albert with Ailsa
Walking breathtaking Swartberg Pass
The Red Hills, which were formed 60 million years ago
Rietfontein Ostrichich palace
Groenfontein farm-road to Calitzdorp
Sample port and wines at one of the Cellars in the ‘Port Capital’ of the Klein Karoo
Walking through the magnificent Seweweekspoort
Blooming apricot, peach and pear orchards
Flowering vygies, blue skies and mountains all around you

Winelands / Boland Eco Walk

A fun-filled walking holiday full of surprises, on gravel roads and footpaths through the Boland. Experience the splendid mountain ranges, historic towns and gracious homesteads with their orchards and vineyards.

Between the Vineyards of Wellington through the varied landscape of fynbos vegetation with massive rounded granite rocks and ancient Wild Olive, Rock Candlewood and Wagon trees of Paarl Mountain.

Highlights:

Walking on jeep tracks between vuneyards
Leliefontein Historic cellar and learning about ‘stokkiesdraai’
Olive tasting at Riebeeck Kasteel and exploring the village
Rawsenville and Slanghoek valley
Special winetasting at boutique cellars
Franschoek and the visit to la Motte
Pierneef museum
Stellenbosch and having dinner on a side walk under huge oak trees

Overberg Eco Walk

Whale watching and an experiencing of the Overberg tapestry – the patchwork of canola and wheat fields in brilliant yellow and green, rocky shores, wild flowers and fynbos. A place of diverse and breathtaking beauty.

Follow gravel roads from Malgas to L’Ugulhas, Greyton, Genadendal and Hermanus. The roads will take you on a scenic journey through valleys with beautiful landscapes of green, gold and brown.

Memories from the past – as illustrated by the Overberg’s rich collection of mission stations, ship wrecks and old architectural treasures – exist harmoniously along with new developments in towns, ensuring visitors find all they need.

Highlights:

Whale watching
Patchwork of canola and wheat fields in brilliant yellow and green
Rocky shores and wild flowers
L’Agulhas oldest working lighthouse
Witsand’s Whale Nursery
Milkwood Forests
Shipwreck Museurm
Genadendal and Greyton

Home Slack-Pack Hikes

Walk the hiking trails – but carry only water, lunch, waterproofs and your camera. A cold drink, hot shower, good food and comfortable accommodation are awaiting you after a day of walking. Slackpacking is a luxury hike, with transportation of your luggage, good accommodation and food.

Group size: 10 – 12

Duration: 7 days (including traveling time)

Hoerikwaggo 5-Day Table Mountain Hiking Trail

The Hoerikwaggo Trail takes you all the way from Cape Point to Table Mountain. This trail has many beautiful footpaths surrounded by awesome views and fantastic flora, attracting the nature-loving, adventurous hikers out there. The word Hoerikwaggo originates from the Khoi-San word meaning ‘mountain in the sea’ which is what we commonly refer to as Table Mountain.

After a day’s hike, you will be happy to arrive at one of the Eco-Friendly tented camps that blend into the surroundings, sleeping in a comfortable bed. Each camp has its own theme and is equipped with a fireplace, braai facilities (BBQ) and a big kitchen. Stunning views!

Eco Ventures provide you with permits, experienced guides, transport and breakfast and dinner each day.

The duration can be customised for group bookings between 2-5 days.

Namib ‘Wild Horses’ Walk

Southern Namibia offers a destination with a difference. You will not encounter massive herds of game or the big five, but rather experience vast landscapes with empty, ever-changing vistas with magnificent variety of colour and textures.

The peace and tranquillity of this largely uninhabited corner of Namibia will enthral the visitor who will soon realise that this is pristine nature at its best.

Geisterschlugt and Eagles Nest Accommodation at Klein Aus Vista, near Aus, is our base for the duration of the hike.

Highlights:

Hiking the old war trench
Walk through the Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park
Experience the wonder of all facets of the Namib Desert
Admire the Namib feral horses as they roam freely
Aus mountain ranges with breathtaking views over endless plains to Luderitz
Luderitz and the Ghost town of Kolmanskop

Cederberg Hike

The Cederberg Wilderness Area falls within the world renowned Fynbos Biome. Only 220 km from Cape Town, this 71 000-ha mountain complex is managed by Cape Nature Conservation, principally for conservation of the pure, silt-free water of this catchment area, as a recreation area (one of the few areas in this country where visitors can enjoy the ‘wilderness experience’) and as a sanctuary for the bio diverse Cape fynbos.

We will look for the Snow Protea (Protea cryophilla) – a magnificent plant with flowering cones the size of the King Protea. Instead of being predominantly red it is a beautiful, snowy white and it is 130 – 160 mm in diameter. The Snow Protea grows exclusively in isolated parts of the Cederberg Wilderness Area and grows mainly in small belt of about 25 km. It is found nowhere else in the world than in the Cederberg.

Highlights:

Maltese Cross and via Cederhout Kloof, along the ‘ Gorgeous
Rocks’ route to Cederhout Kloof
the ‘Stadsaal’ Caves
Gabriels Pass to the Wolfberg Arch and back

Whale Trail – Slackpacking

This walking trail meanders through the breath taking De Hoop Nature Reserve, where the fragrance of fynbos mingles with salty sea air. You will marvel at the abundance of endemic plant species and enjoy the company of a variety of rare and endangered animals. You will also get the opportunity to spot whales.

After a days’ hike, you will arrive at one of the beautiful luxury hiking huts. Each hut has a fully equipped kitchen, braai facilities (BBQ) and hot showers. Slackpacking at its best.

Mountain Bike Tours

Home Mountain Bike Tours We offer well designed and excellent organized MTB Holidays on the gravel roads of Namaqualand, Augrabies National Park & Boesmanland, Klein Karoo and Baviaanskloo. Explore these Regions on your mountain bike with us. It is not a race, but fun-filled cycling days, covering medium to long distances with interesting nature and cultural experiences each day.

Relax in the evenings over delicious meals at comfortable guest farm/chalet accommodation. Transport by luxury Mercedes Sprinter bus with MTB trailer.A support team are there to assist you all the way.

Group size: 10 riders

Duration: 7 Days (including traveling time)

Augrabies National Park to Pella

Augrabies to Klein Pella near Pofadder Rugged scenery, dry river beds, narrow winding paths through koppies of jumbled granite, this is Boesmanland. Join us riding on gravel to places with picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner – very descriptive of this rocky region. Klipspringer and Kokerboom (quiver trees) stand in stark silhouette against the African sky – only those that are able to adapt ultimately survive. The 55 383 hectares on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the very smallest succulents, birds and reptiles to Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, gemsbok, koedoe and giraffe. As the Orange River approaches Augrabies Falls it divides itself into numerous channels before cascading down the 56 meter high waterfall. The river then continues its path through an 18 kilometer gorge. The sight and sound of the power of the water will not be easily forgotten.

Highlights:

Quiver trees and rocky mountains
Augrabies Waterfall
Game watching while riding your bike
Pella and visiting the Cathedral
Klein Pella with its 17000 date palms

Namaqualand

Flower time in Namaqualand is one of natures’ wonders of Southern Africa. Visit places like Goegap Nature Reserve and Namaqua National Park, with its unique orange Daisies, The Kamies Mountains, Garies and Cederberg rock formations.

Highlights:

Kamies Mountains with Quiver Trees
Meeting the locals
Flower Phenomena during flower season
Knersvlakte
Rooibos Tea factory
Cedarberg Rock formations

Klein Karoo

Cycling the Klein Karoo is a mountain biker’s dream come true – spectacular scenery, plenty of farm stalls to enjoy coffee, pancakes and a beer. It is a good challenge for both bike and legs.

Highlights:

Prince Albert
Swartberg Pass
Historical Kruisrivier Farm
Red Stone Hills & Ostrich Palace
Groenriver to Calitzdorp for a port & wine tasting.
Seweweeks Poort
Montagu
Vineyards, fruit orchards and beautiful Karoo landscapes

Baviaanskloof

Baviaanskloof or ‘Valley of the baboons’, is a deep twisting ravine walled between parallel east-west mountain ranges, the Baviaans and the Kouga. The Baviaans area encompasses the Karoo towns of Willowmore and Steytlerville, in the north. It is known for the richness of their endemic plant species, interesting cultural heritage and abundance of bird and animal life. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Baviaanskloof.

Highlights:

Poortjie Private Nature Reserve – cheese tasting when you meet the farmer
Exploring the village of Willowmore.
Spectacular rock formations into Baviaanskloof
Vero’s Restaurant for ‘roosterkoek’ and coffee
Sewefontein, in a wild fig tree forest
An eco-tour with Piet Kruger (local farmer) to learn about the Spekboom and Leopard project
Wilderness Mega Reserve
Cycle back to Zandvlakte down beautiful mountain passes, through a thick forest and over low water bridges. Buffalo, Rhino and other game may be spotted

Customized get-away rides on request.

Guided 4×4 Self-Drive Holidays

Home Guided 4×4 Self-Drive Holidays We offer guided self-drive trips throughout Southern Africa, including Namibia and Botswana.

This vast region has many natural wonders, large areas of unspoiled wilderness and some of the best National Parks and Game Reserves in the world. Each is unique in its own way and each has left us with special memories.

The trips are flexible and can be tailored to your group’s exact requirements, or to include special interest activities. No extreme technical skills needed, yet all the unspoiled natural beauty.

Red Dune &Southern Namibia

This ancient and beautiful land is not only amazingly rich in diversity it also reflects an endless variety of moods. The Red Dune Route extends north of Upington into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park that shares its borders with Namibia and Botswana and is one of the largest conservation areas in the world.

The Kalahari Red Dune Route showcases the Kalahari through a wide range of activities including desert walks, dune-boarding, 4×4 trailing for the adventurous, game drives, guided walks, birding expeditions and other eco-inclined activities for nature-lovers. For visitors attuned to culture and history, the Kalahari Red Dune Route offers the opportunity to experience regional customs and folklore, sample traditional cuisine, and meet the warm and welcoming people of the Kalahari. Accommodation options are as diverse as the landscape, and vary from camping to homely bed and breakfasts to luxury lodges. All in all, the Kalahari Red Dune Route offers something for everyone.

Highlights:

Molopo dry riverbed
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Karas Mountains
Luderitz
Namib desert
Wild Horses
Seeheim
Fish River Canyon

Boesmanland & Richtersveld

From Pofadder to Kleinzee Boesmanland is a semi-arid region and the landscape is epic, morphing into dwarf shrub and rocky plains balanced with Karoo Koppies – prehistoric flat-topped mountains of compacted lava – and slowly thinning out into the Kalahari Desert, a large semi-arid sandy savannah that takes you into Namibia.

The Richtersveld is a remote region with a certain esoteric beauty, but why should such a barren place be worthy of World Heritage status? The Richtersveld has both natural and cultural criteria that make it unique. In other words, there’s more to the Richtersveld than first meets the eye.

The Richtersveld National Park is a rugged, desolate and in parts hauntingly beautiful ‘mountain desert’ set in a great loop of the Orange River. This is a place of deep canyons, jagged mountain ranges, landscapes made vivid by the unusual colours of the rocks and soils, of extremely rare succulents plants such as the curious Kokerboom or Quiver tree and the even stranger Halfmens, and in the north by the broad, languid stretches and white water rapids of the great Orange River.

Highlights:

Route between Klein Pella and Vioolsdrift
Crossing the Orange River on a Pont at Sendelingsdrift
Halfmens
Quivertrees
Hand of God
Magnificent Mountain Ranges

Namibia

Namibia – the land in the south-west of Africa between the Orange River in the south and the Kunene River in the north – is a barren land, like from another star, but still inviting and strangely familiar. Namibia is a paradise for photographers, a land of contrasts and clear colours. Those who are looking for peace and stillness and enjoy mesmerising landscapes and wide desert expanse, are going to fall in love with Namibia, one of the least populated countries in the world. Namibia is Africa at its best, with friendly, natural people, with endless savannah and bushland and an amazingly diverse animal world, protected in the vast Etosha National Park and in many other game reserves. Namibia is an adventure, but one doesn’t need to be an adventurer to experience this country. A well maintained road network, comfortable hotels, lodges and guest farms make travelling a pleasure.

Northern & Central Region:

Walking down the river to find the best viewing point to see the Epupa Falls
Visiting a Himba Kraal
See the unique trees of Damaraland e.g. Pachypodium lealii or ‘Bottelboom’
Walking on the rocky ‘beach’ of Terrace Bay
Finding elephants in a dry riverbed Kglagadi and Southern Namibia
Red sand dunes
Fish river Canyon
Wild Horses of the Namib Desert
Kolmanskop and Luderitz
Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and Sesriem Canyon

Baviaanskloof

Baviaanskloof or ‘Valley of the baboons’ is a deep twisting ravine walled between parallel east-west mountain ranges, the Baviaans and the Kouga. Known for the richness of their endemic plant species, its interesting cultural heritage and its abundance of bird and animal life.

Highlights:

Poortjie Private Nature Reserve – cheese tasting when you meet the farmer
Exploring the village of Willowmore
Spectacular rock formations into Baviaanskloof
Vero’s Restaurant for ‘roosterkoek’ and coffee
Sewefontein, in a wild fig tree forest
An eco-tour with Piet Kruger of Zandvlakte to learn about the Spekboom and Leopard project
Wilderness Mega Reserve

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