The Best of Namibia
20-Day Self-Drive Tour, Accommodated
Number of Participants: Individual
Tour Price: from 22,900 ZAR pp sharing
Single Supplement: from 7,000 ZAR
On this 20 day self drive tour you will visit one of the most fascinating countries in Southern Africa. Nowhere else in Africa can you feel such vast- and reclusiveness as in Namibia. Despite its size of roughly 830.000 square kilometres, Namibia only has a population of 2,1 million. This phenomenon is easily explained by Namibia being the driest land south of the Sahara. The Namib Desert, the Fish River Canyon, the Etosha National Park as well as the fact that Namibia was formerly a German colony which till this day has left a mark, makes this country a very interesting and diversified destination to visit.
Day 1-4; Namibia
- Windhoek: National Gallery, National Museum, Botanical Garden of Windhoek
- Kalahari: Relax and enjoy the endless views of the red sand dunes
- Keetmanshoop: Quiver trees, Giant´s Playground
- Fish River Canyon: Walk along the rim, sundowner
- Ai-Ais: Hot springs
Day 5-10; Namibia
- Kolmanskop: Diamond mining museum
- Lüderitz: Felsenkirche, Goerke Haus, post office
- Namib Naukluft Park: Neo-baroque fortress Castle of Duwisib
- Sossusvlei: Dune 45, Sesriem Canyon
- Swakopmund: Quad biking, sandboarding, skydiving (all optional), daytrip to the seal colony at Cape Cross
Day 11-14; Namibia
- Erongo Mountains: Bushmen rock art at Paula’s Cave, relaxing, walking, nature drives
- Brandberg: Bushmen paintings
- Petrified Forest: Hiking, Welwitschia Plants
- Twyfelfontain: Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, Vingerklip
Day 15-20; Namibia
- Etosha National Park: Game drives, Etosha salt pan
- Grootfontein: Hoba Meteorite
- Waterberg Plateau: Game walk
We have visited all the below mentioned lodges, guesthouses and camps and can therefore recommend them first hand. In order not to only “tick off” all the points of interest but to actually learn more about the visited places, the country and its people, we do not book our clients into big and anonymous lodges, hotels and resort. Instead of the huge impersonal tourism traps we offer you owner-managed guesthouses and private lodges where you have a better opportunity of getting to know more about your destination, while interacting with the staff and owners.
Day 1 Windhoek, Namibia
Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1h
Once you have landed in Windhoek, collected your luggage and gone through the passport control point, follow the signs to the rental car counter. Upon collection, you will make your way to Montebello Guesthouse. Use the rest of the afternoon to relax after your long flight, enjoy a nice drink by the pool or explore Windhoek. The National Gallery which features many local artists, the National Museum and the Botanic Garden are just a few places worth a visit. Have supper at a restaurant (not included) and try the local beer. You will stay at Montebello Guesthouse for the night.
Day 2 Windhoek, Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia
Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5h
After a leisurely breakfast and a stop at a shop for refreshments and snacks for the road, you depart Windhoek and drive via Rehoboth to Hardap Dam, the largest dam in Namibia. After a short break, you continue to Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, your destination for today. Enjoy the views of the imposing red Kalahari dunes from your room, explore the area by foot on a guided San walk or on a horseback safari with experienced guides. The reserve is home to giraffe, kudu, zebra, oryx, blue wildebeest, eland and over 150 species of birds. Take a look at the unpolluted Southern Hemisphere night sky from a state-of-the-art telescope and enjoy a delicious dinner, followed by a drink at the friendly bar. You will overnight in a savannah chalet.
Day 3 Kalahari, Namibia - Keetmanshoop, Namibia
Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
Today you will continue your journey south, travelling through shrub-covered savannah before arriving at the Central Lodge in Keetmanshoop. Relax at the pool or read in the courtyard until the midday heat subsides. In the afternoon visit the Quiver Tree Forest and the Giant’s Playground just outside the town. Especially photogenic at sunrise and sunset, about 300 trees are dotted around the boulder-strewn landscape, while the Giant’s Playground’s surreal rock towers will make for some exciting rock hopping after a long day’s driving.
Day 4-5 Keetmanshoop, Namibia – Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Distance day 4: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
Today, your journey will take you via the Naute Dam to the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. Although you will be staying on the western side of the canyon for the next two nights, we recommend starting early and going to the eastern side first. Stop at the various view points within the Gondwana Canyon Park and soak up the stunning views of this imposing gorge from different angles. Then travel back to the main road and continue to the Fish River Lodge which is the only one located directly on the edge of the canyon. Experience the beauty of this area on various activities offered by the lodge or simply enjoy the truly magnificent views of the Fish River Canyon.
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 6 Fish River Canyon, Namibia – Lüderitz, Namibia
Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 4-5h
After an early breakfast, you leave the Fish River Canyon behind and travel northwest via Aus until you reach the coastal town of Lüderitz. Stop en route at the trough at Garub to watch the wild horses of the Namib coming to drink. Lüderitz has a long colonial history as the architecture of the Felsenkirche, Goerke Haus and the post office will show. Spent the afternoon exploring this quaint little seaside town. Your home for tonight will be the Nest Hotel.
Day 7 Lüderitz, Namibia – Tiras Mountains, Namibia
Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
In the morning, you should not miss a visit to the historic Kolmanskop just outside of Lüderitz. Kolmanskop is an old diamond mining town, which was officially active from 1908 to 1930. The sand has slowly taken over the town and has left many ruins. Due to the large percentage of German inhabitants, it was built in the style of a German village and boasted an ice factory, hospital and bowling alley. Travel back in time on a guided walking tour (mornings only) to see the old theatre and other buildings such as bakeries and entertainment areas. Afterwards, you continue your journey and travel via Aus and along the rugged Tiras Mountains to the Namtib Desert Lodge. Enjoy Namibian rustic farm-style accommodation, set in one of the most beautiful environments.
Day 8 Tiras Mountains, Namibia – Sesriem, Namibia
Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
Today, you will continue along the scenic route through the Tiras Mountains. Stop next to the gravel road to breathe in the dry air and listen to the silence of the Neisip plains. You will drive north to Sesriem, the entry point to Sossusvlei. If there is time on the way, make a detour to the medieval Duwisib Castle, built in 1908 by stone masons from Europe. You will overnight at the Desert Camp. Book a barbeque pack to grill on a wood fire or have supper at Sossusvlei Lodge. You can also have breakfast there or ask for a packed picnic to enjoy at the dunes the next morning.
Day 9 Namib Desert, Namibia - Sossusvlei, Namibia
Getting an early start is a must if you want to be among the first visitors to reach the dunes; the gates open at sunrise. Test your fitness by climbing up one of the famous dunes like Big Daddy or Dune 45. The panoramic views and the feeling of accomplishment are well worth the effort. Drive through the rolling dune landscape and marvel at the beauty. In the afternoon, walk in the Sesriem Canyon (dry season only) or book a guided desert walk (optional) at Sossusvlei Lodge. You will spend another night at the Desert Camp.
Day 10-11 Sossusvlei, Namibia – Swakopmund, Namibia
Distance day 10: approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 4-5h
Today you will continue on gravel road to Swakopmund. The cuisine, architecture (such as the station building and the old court house) and language are evidence of the German colonial era. Swakopmund is a base for adventure activities; daytrips to the seal colony, dune boarding and flights over the Namib Desert. Explore the rough coast or take a relaxing stroll around the town. You will spend two nights at the Cornerstone Guesthouse situated within walking distance from the centre of town. There are a variety of restaurants but be sure to try the seafood.
Breakfast (day 11)
Day 12-13 Swakopmund, Namibia – Vingerklip, Namibia
Distance day 12: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
After a relaxed breakfast, you will leave the coast and travel inland past the oval shaped Brandberg Mountain (‘fire mountain’), which is the highest mountain range in Namibia. A leisurely walk will take you to the famous ‘White Lady’ rock painting. Today’s destination is the Ugab Valley with its table mountains and plateaus, known as the Ugab Terraces. Explore the beautiful scenery on foot on one of the many well-marked walking trails or visit the nearby Vingerklip rock formation. Alternatively, go on an excursion to see the famous rock art of Twyfelfontein, the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain. You might also see ‘living fossils’ – centuries-old Welwitschia plants. You will stay at Vingerklip Lodge for two nights.
Day 14 Vingerklip, Namibia – Vreugde Guest Farm, Namibia
Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
You continue your trip and drive via Outjo, where you can stop at the popular bakery for some fresh bread or pastries en route to the Vreugde Guestfarm. On this typical Namibian farm, you can experience daily farm life and enjoy home-style cooking. Vreugde is the ideal stopover before you head to the Etosha National Park. You will overnight in a guest room in the lush garden on the farm.
Day 15 Etosha National Park, Namibia
Distance approx. 100km; driving time approx. 1-2 h (excl. game drives)
After an early breakfast, you head straight for the famous Etosha National Park, which you enter through the Anderson Gate. The national park was founded in 1907 and surrounds a salt pan of roughly 5,000 square kilometres. In heavy rains, the pan might fill with water for a few days, enough to attract huge flocks of flamingos in summer. From June to November, the park is dry and animals flock to the many waterholes to drink. These are the best spots to sit and watch the wildlife. Animals in the park range from huge herds of elephants, lion, cheetah and giraffe to herds of Hartmann’s zebra (in the west of the park) and plains zebra, wildebeest and impala. If you would like to see nocturnal wildlife, join a guided night game drive (optional). You will overnight at the Okaukuejo Camp.
The large camps in the Etosha National Park are owned by the government. They are maintained and looked after by state employees which are sometimes not as enthusiastic about their work as we wish they were. Accommodation ranges from basic chalets to standard self-catering units. There are, however, more luxurious lodges outside the park from where you will do day trips into the park. Should you be interested in this option, please let us know and we will gladly amend our offer accordingly.
Day 16-17 Etosha National Park, Namibia – Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia
Driving time depends on choice of route
These two days are also spent in the Etosha National Park in search of its residents. Climb to the top of the lookout tower in Okaukuejo to see the early morning sun over the savannah before you set off towards the eastern part of the park. You drive along the salt pan and take loop roads to visit new waterholes. Stop for lunch at Halali or Namutoni to escape the heat or take a break at one of the waterholes in the northeast. By sunset, you will leave the park at the Von Lindequist Gate and travel just a few kilometres to Mushara Bush Camp, your accommodation for two nights.
Day 18 Etosha National Park, Namibia – Waterberg Plateau, Namibia
Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
After a delicious breakfast with views of the bush and the sounds of the early morning birdsong, you make your way to Tsumeb. Stop at the inland Lake Otjikoto with its clear blue water. Close to Grootfontein you can visit the Hoba Meteorite. At 3x3 metres it is the largest meteorite on the planet. Today’s destination is the Waterberg Plateau with its terracotta-coloured cliffs rising 200 metres above the plains. You will reach the Waterberg Valley Lodge during the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Take a walk along one of the well-marked trails, join a rhino drive (optional) or simply relax at the lodge and enjoy the surroundings.
Day 19 Waterberg Plateau, Namibia – Okahandja, Namibia
Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
You continue south in the direction of Windhoek. En route you can stop at the market in Okahandja for souvenirs, baskets, wood carvings and beaded jewellery. Your last stopover is the Elegant Farmstead, located in a private game reserve just a short drive from Okahandja. Join an optional game drive in the afternoon and discover the many wonders of Namibia’s wilderness. In the evening, enjoy a typical Namibian farmer’s meal and the cosy farmstead atmosphere.
Day 20 Okahandja, Namibia – Windhoek, Namibia
Distance approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 2-3h
A sumptuous breakfast will be served for you before you head back to Windhoek. Drive to the airport and drop off your rental car in time for your flight back home or spend another night in Windhoek (optional).
- Self-drive tour according to the itinerary
- 19 nights’ accommodation in guesthouses, chalets, bungalows and lodges as indicated in the itinerary (or similar)
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Flights (international & domestic)
- Rental car (please contact us for a quote)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Beverages (alcohol and soft drinks)
- Possible toll- and crossing border fees
- National park fees
- Optional activities
- Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
How safe is a self drive tour in Namibia?
- In general Namibia is not a lot more dangerous than other countries in the world. Most crimes and acts of violence take place in the townships of bigger cities. Public areas around shopping centres, restaurants, banks etc. as well as the countryside are very safe. Nevertheless you should stick to a couple of rules to avoid risky or dangerous situations. This includes staying away from dodgy areas, walking in the dark, carrying a lot of cash or expensive cameras on you, wearing flashy jewellery and leaving bags or valuables in the car.
What is the infrastructure like (road conditions, shops, petrol stations)?
- Although Namibia generally has a good infrastructure, the roads are not always in the best condition. Most of the roads are good gravel roads and only the highways and a couple of the main roads are tarred. Therefore please always drive with caution.
- Petrol stations can be found alongside all major routes and highways as well as in cities/villages.
- There are more than enough different and well-stocked shops available and many petrol stations also have a little convenience shop.
On which side of the road will I be driving?
- In Southern Africa vehicles are right-hand drives hence driving is done on the left-hand side of the roads.
Do I need an international driver’s licence?
- According to the law, all you need is a valid driver’s licence which has been issued in English and has a photo thereon. If your national driver’s licence has not been issued in English or does not have a photo, you need an international driver’s licence.
- As per the terms and conditions of the rental car companies, only a valid national driver’s licence and a credit cardis required.
Can I enter the national parks with the rental car?
- Most roads within the national parks are tarred or good gravel and all are accessible to rental cars. Please however take note that you have to stick to the rules of the national parks at all time. These include: remaining in your vehicle unless you are in a designated area, sticking to the speed limit of 60 km/h on tar roadsand not littering.
- In the Etosha National Park, guided game drives in open safari vehicles are available and all activities are accompanied by a professional ranger.
How will I be able to find my way around?
- Along with your travel documents you will receive a voucher that includes detailed directions and contact details for all the pre-booked accommodation.
- Some rental car companies provide road maps but as not all of them do, it is advisable to bring a good map with a map scale of at least 1:1,5 mill. with you.
What meals are included and what food can be expected on tour?
- Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
- Breakfast usually consists of a full English breakfast and cereals, toast, cheese, jam, fruits, juices, tea, coffee.
- Since most of the days are spent on the road or in the national parks, no lunches have been included.
- At places where you can cater for yourself or you have a variety of restaurants to choose from dinner has been excluded. On days when it’s recommendable to dine at your accommodation dinner has been included. In these cases dinner usually consists of a set menu with local meat, vegetables and rice or potatoes dishes.
What about the money matter?
- You can either exchange your own currency for Namibian Dollar at one of the exchange bureaus at the airport or in town or you can go to an ATM and draw Namibian Dollar at the current rate of exchange. Please note that you need a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) and your pin code to draw money. At some ATMs you can even draw money with a Maestro Card.
- Credit cards are also widely accepted in bigger shops but as there are still some shops and petrol stations that do not accept credit cards, make sure you always have some cash on hand.
Do I need vaccinations for this tour?
- As northern Namibia is situated within a malaria area, we would recommend some precautions. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side effects.
- Although none of the countries visited on tour require proof of immunization against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Hepatitis A & B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.