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Grootberg Lodge and view across the Klip River Valley
Private Self-Drive Trip

The North of Namibia

18 Days from NAD 34,800 per person

Reserve your spot

The North of Namibia – 18 Day Self-Drive Tour

Explore the remote areas of northern Namibia on this 18-day self-drive tour. Highlights like the Grootberg Pass, the Epupa Falls, meeting the Himba people and visiting the famous Etosha National Park can be experienced on this safari.

Accommodation type

Guesthouses, tented camps & lodges

Accommodation style

Tour price

From 34,800 NAD

Starting price per person

Travellers

Private trip

Travellers

Departure date

Any day of your choice

Departure dates

Highlights

Days 1-18 Namibia

Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain

Damaraland
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Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain

Game drives, guided walks, rhino or desert elephant tracking

Grootberg

Game drives, guided walks, rhino or desert elephant tracking

Walk along the Kunene River, visit the falls, Himba village

Epupa
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Walk along the Kunene River, visit the falls, Himba village

Kayaking, relaxing on the riverbank, bird watching

Kunene River
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Kayaking, relaxing on the riverbank, bird watching

Game drives, Etosha Pan

Etosha National Park
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Game drives, Etosha Pan

Home of the AfriCat Foundation where you can learn about Namibia’s carnivores

Okonjima Nature Reserve

Home of the AfriCat Foundation where you can learn about Namibia’s carnivores

Who Should Go

This self-drive trip is usually booked by Namibia returnees who have seen the highlights of southern and central Namibia on previous trips. The routing will take independent travellers with a sense of adventure to areas far off the beaten track. Open-minded travellers interested to learn more about the peoples and cultures of Namibia will have the opportunity to meet locals, while nature lovers will appreciate stunning mountain passes and desolate valleys. Since you will be travelling in remote areas, you should be a confident driver.

Namibia Returnees

Namibia Returnees

Confident Drivers

Confident Drivers

The Damara

Culture & Nature Enthusiasts

Open-minded travellers

Open-minded Travellers

“Back in Europe, we miss the warm colours, the seemingly endless open spaces, the calm and the pleasant, likeable and joyful people we had the opportunity to meet.”
Wiebke & Rico

Accommodation

12 accommodations over 18 days/17 nights
Night sky at Malansrus Tented Camp
Day 4
Damaraland
Malansrus Tented Camp
1 night half-board
Day 4
Grootberg Lodge Cottage
Day 5-6
Damaraland
Grootberg Lodge
2 nights half-board
Day 5-6
Omarunga Epupa Falls Lodge northern Namibia
Day 8-9
Epupa Falls
Omarunga Epupa Falls Camp
2 nights half-board
Day 8-9
Kunene River Lodge northern Namibia
Day 10-11
Kunene River
Kunene River Lodge
2 nights half-board
Day 10-11
Hobatere Lodge Hobatere Concession Etosha Area
Day 12-13
Hobatere Concession Area
Hobatere Lodge
2 nights half-board
Day 12-13
Mushara Bush Camp Etosha Area
Day 15
Etosha Area
Mushara Bush Camp
1 night half-board
Day 15

Tour Itinerary

Self-Drive Lodge Tour

This 18-day self-drive tour was created for those who have travelled Namibia before and would now want to see the less frequented areas in the north of the country. From Windhoek, you will travel west through the Erongo Mountains to Damaraland with its breathtaking landscapes. You continue via Opuwo, the district capital of the Kunene Region, to the Epupa Falls bordering Angola. Here in the Kaokoveld you can visit a local Himba village and relax on the lush green banks of the Kunene River. You will turn south to access the long-restricted western part of the Etosha National Park, before rounding off your journey at the Okonjima Nature Reserve.

Start Windhoek

Ends Windhoek

Windhoek parliament Namibia

Day 1 | Windhoek

Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 hour

Windhoek

Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 hour

Once you have landed safely in Namibia and gone through the passport check points, you follow the signs to the rental car counters. After you have collected your vehicle, you leave the airport and drive to The Elegant Guesthouse. Spend the rest of the day at your accommodation to rest after the long flight or visit some of Windhoek’s sights such as the National Gallery, showcasing local art, or the National Museum where you will learn interesting details about Namibia’s history. There is a variety of restaurants to choose from in Windhoek. You overnight at the Elegant Guesthouse.

 

Boulder in the Erongo Mountains

Day 2 - 3 | Windhoek – Erongo Mountains

Distance on day 2: approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Windhoek – Erongo Mountains

Distance on day 2: approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

After breakfast, you will drive northwest towards the small town of Omaruru which has become a centre for arts and crafts over the years. Your overnight destination is the Otjohotozu Farm in the beautiful Erongo Mountains. Join an optional game drive in the afternoon or the next morning and enjoy the warm atmosphere of a typical Namibian farm. You will spend two nights at Otjohotozu Guest Farm.

Breakfast Dinner
Rock art at Twyfelfontein seen on 20-day self-drive safari in Namibia

Day 4 | Erongo Mountains – Twyfelfontein

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Erongo Mountains – Twyfelfontein

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Today’s journey to Damaraland takes you past the magnificent Brandberg Mountain – the Königstein Peak (about 2,580 metres) is the highest point in Namibia and the mountain itself has over 1,000 rock art sites. Here you may want to see the famous rock painting ‘White Lady’. (Please calculate at least 3 hours for the detour to the Brandberg.) Continuing towards Khorixas, you can visit the Petrified Forest. Look out for the famous Welwitschia plants which grow to over 1,000 years. Your accommodation, the rustic Malansrus Tented Camp, is just a few kilometres’ drive from Twyfelfontein. From camp, you can easily reach the Twyfelfontein rock engravings, the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain. You overnight in a fixed ensuite tent-chalet at the Malansrus Tented Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
Grootberg Klip River Valley

Day 5 - 6 | Twyfelfontein – Grootberg

Distance on day 5: approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Twyfelfontein – Grootberg

Distance on day 5: approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

After breakfast, you set off to Grootberg Lodge, travelling along the stunning Grootberg Pass. Reaching the top of the pass, you will park in the lodge’s parking space to wait for a 4×4 transfer vehicle to take you further up the steep access road. The lodge is built on a plateau with breath-taking views of the Damaraland. Book a guided walk, game drive or join a rhino or elephant tracking excursion (all optional). The lodge is situated in a private concession area with game such as kudu, oryx, elephant, lion and rhino. You will overnight for two nights in a chalet at Grootberg Lodge, the first community-owned lodge in Namibia.

Breakfast Dinner
Road sign seen on 18-day Namibi self-drive tour

Day 7 | Grootberg – Opuwo

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Grootberg – Opuwo

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

En route north to Opuwo, you should visit Fort Sesfontein (meaning ‘six springs’), which was built in 1896 as a checkpoint to prevent poaching and the smuggling of arms. It was abandoned in 1914, but rebuilt decades later into a lodge with restaurant. Your next stop is the district capital of the Kunene Region. Opuwo is the gateway to the Kaokoveld and the last chance to fill up with petrol. You will overnight at the Opuwo Country Hotel located on a hill outside the town.

Breakfast Dinner
Kunene River northern Namibia visited on 18-day Namibi self-drive tour

Day 8 - 9 | Opuwo – Epupa Falls

Distance on day 8: approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Opuwo – Epupa Falls

Distance on day 8: approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

A short drive today – up to the Kunune River. The greenery and palms along the river will feel like an oasis compared to the desert landscapes of the last few days. The Omarunga Epupa Falls Camp is on the banks of the river, beneath shady makalani palm trees and a short walk from the Epupa Falls. The lodge can arrange visits to a nearby Himba village, sundowner tours, hiking trails and rafting tours (depending on the season). The riverside location is a paradise for birders. Alternatively, you can just relax by the pool and enjoy a cool drink on the deck overlooking the river. You will stay two nights at Omarunga Epupa Falls Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
Kunene River Lodge viewing deck stopover on 18-day Namibi self-drive tour

Day 10 - 11 | Epupa Falls – Kunene River

Distance on day 10: approx. 100 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Epupa Falls – Kunene River

Distance on day 10: approx. 100 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Today’s journey takes you to the Kunene River Lodge, further east along the Kunene River. Make yourself comfortable on the viewing deck overlooking the river and enjoy the idyllic surroundings. The following day is at your leisure. Take a walk along the riverbank, go kayaking on the Kunene (optional) or just bird watch on the deck by the river. Furthermore, you can visit a Himba village nearby if you haven’t had a chance to yet. You will overnight for two nights in the deluxe chalets at the Kunene River Lodge and have dinner at their restaurant.

Breakfast Dinner
Two lions in front of Hobatere Lodge near Etosha

Day 12 | Kunene River – Hobatere Concession Area

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Kunene River – Hobatere Concession Area

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

After a leisurely breakfast, you leave the river behind you and continue your journey via Ruacana. If you wish, you can make a detour to the Ruacana Falls. During the rainy months and depending on the operation of the nearby hydroelectric power station, you can see the impressive falls. You then continue south to the Hobatere Concession Area on the western border of the Etosha National Park. The first highlight of your stay at Hobatere certainly will be the drive through the almost 9,000-hectare private concession area while making your way to the lodge. Join an optional game drive in the afternoon and look out for game such as oryx, eland, warthog, mongoose, giraffe, elephant and with a bit of luck, the rare aardwolf. On their optional night game drives, you might see the ‘Shy Five’ – antbear, aardwolf, porcupine, African wildcat and bat-eared fox. You spend the night in a rondavel at Hobatere Lodge.

Breakfast Dinner
Giraffe neck blue sky Etosha National Park

Day 13 | Hobatere Concession Area – Etosha National Park

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours (excl. game drives)

Hobatere Concession Area – Etosha National Park

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours (excl. game drives)

After an early start, you drive to the famous Etosha National Park and enter through the Galton Gate in the west. The western region of the park has long been off limits to self-drivers and rare animals such as black and white rhino and the black-faced impala have thrived here. You will make your way to centrally located Okaukuejo Resort and stop at waterholes along the way. Have your bird book ready as well; there are 340 bird species in Etosha. Mammals include large herds of elephants, giraffe, eland, oryx, lion and cheetah. In the late afternoon, you arrive at Okaukuejo Resort where you will spend the night in a standard room. If you want to experience the nocturnal wildlife, you can opt to join a night game drive (optional) or go to the floodlit waterhole in the camp and enjoy the ‘wild cinema’.

The large resorts in the Etosha National Park are owned by the government. They are maintained and looked after by state employees who 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.

Breakfast
Two zebras in the savannah Etosha

Day 14 - 15 | Etosha National Park

Driving time depends on choice of route

Etosha National Park

Driving time depends on choice of route

When the gates open at sunrise you can be on the road to spot animals, when they are more active than during the midday hours. Cruise slowly along the vast and seemingly endless salt pan, to reach the Von Lindequist Gate before sunset. Stop at Namutoni for lunch or explore the waterholes north of Namutoni. Mushara Bush Camp is a great base to explore the eastern part of the national park. At sunset you leave the park to drive to the nearby Mushara Bush Camp where you will spend two nights in a tented chalet.

Breakfast Dinner
Cheetah seen at Africat Foundation on 18-day Namibi self-drive tour

Day 16 | Etosha Area – Okonjima Nature Reserve

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Etosha Area – Okonjima Nature Reserve

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

After an early breakfast, you depart for your journey south via Tsumeb and past the Waterberg Plateau. Your destination Okonjima Plains Camp is beautifully located at the foot of the Omboroko Mountains. Okonjima is so much more than just an accommodation, it is also the headquarters of the AfriCat Foundation. This conservation project cares for big cats which are being rehabilitated and released back into the wild. You will find leopards and cheetahs on the farm, but lions, caracals, and African wild dogs are also cared for. You can find out more about the work done at the rehabilitation centre as well as participate in different optional activities. In the afternoon and the next morning, you can book guided game drives in the nature reserve. You overnight in a standard room at the Okonjima Plains Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
Immanuel Wilderness Lodge terrace

17 | Okonjima Nature Reserve – Windhoek area

Distance approx. 210 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Okonjima Nature Reserve – Windhoek area

Distance approx. 210 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

After on optional morning activity, you leave Okonjima, starting your journey back to Windhoek. Stop at a big craft market in Okahandja to look for hand-carved souvenirs. During the course of the afternoon, you will arrive at the Immanuel Wilderness Lodge. Look forward to a beautiful end of your trip and a delicious dinner.

Breakfast Dinner
Windhoek farmland dirt road

Day 18 | Windhoek area – Windhoek

Distance approx. 70 km; driving time approx. 1-2 hours

Windhoek area – Windhoek

Distance approx. 70 km; driving time approx. 1-2 hours

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before you return to Windhoek, the starting point of your tour. Head to the airport to return your rental car or spend another night in the city (optional).

Breakfast

Included

  • 17 nights’ stay in lodges, rest camps, guest farms and guest houses
  • meals according to the itinerary

Excluded

  • flights (international and domestic)
  • rental car (please contact us for a quote)
  • fuel, possible toll and crossing border fees
  • meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • alcoholic and soft drinks
  • national park fees
  • optional activities
  • tips
  • personal expenses, visa fees, travel insurance

Upcoming Departures

Season Double room per person Single room per person Triple room per person Children < 12 (in extra bed)
01.11.2022-
30.11.2022
36,300 NAD 45,800 NAD on request on request
01.12.2022-
31.03.2023
34,800 NAD 45,300 NAD on request on request
01.04.2023-
31.05.2023
36,900 NAD 47,100 NAD on request on request
01.06.2023-
30.06.2023
36,200 NAD 46,200 NAD on request on request
01.07.2023-
30.11.2023
40,300 NAD 51,400 NAD on request on request

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