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20 day Namibia self drive safari
Private Self-Drive Trip

The Best of Namibia

20 Days from 49,500 NAD person sharing a double room

Reserve your spot

The Best of Namibia – 20 Day Self-Drive Tour

This is an unforgettable self-drive tour through southern and central Namibia, the driest land south of the Sahara. Experience the Namib Desert, marvel at the Fish River Canyon and explore Etosha National Park.

Accommodation type

Guesthouses, guest farms & lodges

Accommodation style

Tour price

from 49,500 NAD pp sharing

Starting price per person

Travellers

Private trip

Travellers

Departure date

Any day of your choice

Departure dates

Highlights

Days 1-20 Namibia

Beautiful scenery and red sand dunes

Kalahari
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Beautiful scenery and red sand dunes

Walk along the rim, amazing sunset

Fish River Canyon
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Walk along the rim, amazing sunset

Sea-side town and diamond ghost town

Luderitz and Kolmanskop
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Sea-side town and diamond ghost town

Breathtaking scenery

Tiras Mountains

Breathtaking scenery

Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon

Namib Desert
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Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon

Quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, scenic flight, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross (all optional)

Swakopmund
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Quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, scenic flight, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross (all optional)

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, Etosha Pan

Etosha National Park
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Game drives, Etosha Pan

Great hiking trails with a view

Waterberg Plateau

Great hiking trails with a view

Who Should Go

If you have a bit more time to spend in Namibia, this tour will not only show you the best-known highlights such as Sossusvlei, Etosha and Swakopmund, but take you further South to the Kalahari, Fish River Canyon, and the Tiras Mountains – a stunningly beautiful region for nature lovers. History enthusiasts as well as photographers will appreciate the visit of Luderitz as well as the ghost town of Kolmanskop, while safari lovers can look forward to Etosha National Park. This trip will give you an in-depth look at geology, history, flora and fauna of Namibia.

Photographers

Photographers

Nature lovers

Nature Lovers

Bordering three countries

Independent Travellers

Namibia Newbies

Namibia Newbies

“Great lodges, great people, great timing and superbly prepared organisation on-site.”
Walter Fuchs and Pius Schoepfer

Accommodation

13 accommodations over 20 days/19 nights
The Elegant Guesthouse Windhoek
Day 1
Windhoek
The Elegant Guesthouse
1 night bed&breakfast
Day 1
Room interior at Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch
Day 2
Kalahari
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch
1 night half-board
Day 2
Quiver Inn Guesthouse guest room
Day Day 3
Keetmanshoop
Quiver Inn Guesthouse
1 night bed&breakfast
Day Day 3
Fish River Lodge Namibia
Day 4-5
Fish River Canyon
Fish River Lodge
2 nights half-board
Day 4-5
Desert Horse Inn
Day 6-7
Aus
Desert Horse Inn
2 nights half-board
Day 6-7
View at Elegant Desert Camp
Day 9-10
Namib Desert
The Elegant Desert Camp
2 nights half-board
Day 9-10
Interior of a room at the Cornerstone Guest House in Swakopmund
Day 11-12
Swakopmund (Namibia)
Cornerstone Guest House
2 nights bed&breakfast
Day 11-12
Night sky at Malansrus Tented Camp
Day 13
Damaraland
Malansrus Tented Camp
1 night half-board
Day 13
Vingerklip Lodge
Day 14
Vingerklip
Vingerklip Lodge
1 night half-board
Day 14
Cottage at Waterberg Guestfarm
Day 19
Waterberg Plateau
Waterberg Guest Farm
1 night half-board
Day 19

Tour Itinerary

Self-Drive Lodge Tour

Visit one of the most picturesque countries in Southern Africa and experience the best of Namibia on this 20-day self-drive tour. Nowhere else in Africa can you feel such isolation as in Namibia, one of the least populated countries on the planet. This phenomenon can be explained by Namibia being the driest land south of the Sahara. The vast Namib Desert, the breathtaking Fish River Canyon, the abundant wildlife in the Etosha National Park as well as the interesting history makes this a unique destination to visit. You will stay in beautiful lodges and drive along tar and gravel roads.

The Best of Namibia tour map

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 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 your booked accommodation. Use the rest of the afternoon to relax after your long flight, or alternatively visit some of the sights in town, such as the Tintenpalast (House of Parliament), the Christ Church, the ‘Namibia Craft Centre’ with its local artwork or take a stroll along Independence Avenue. For dinner, we can recommend the popular Joe’s Beerhouse. You spend the night in a standard room at the Elegant Guesthouse.

Sunset scenic drive in the Kalahari

Day 2 | Windhoek – Kalahari

Distance approx. 280 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Windhoek – Kalahari

Distance approx. 280 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

After a leisurely breakfast and a stop at a shop for refreshments and snacks for the road, you depart from Windhoek and drive south towards Mariental. Your destination for today is the Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch. Enjoy the views of the imposing red Kalahari dunes from your room, explore the area by foot, on an afternoon nature drive or on a horseback safari with experienced guides (all optional). 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.

Breakfast Dinner
Quiver trees near Keetmanshoop on 20-day self-drive safari in Namibia

Day 3 | Kalahari – Keetmanshoop

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Kalahari – Keetmanshoop

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Today you will continue your journey south, travelling through shrub-covered savannah before arriving at the Quiver Inn Guesthouse at the outskirts of Keetmanshoop. 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. You overnight at the Quiver Inn Guesthouse.

Breakfast
View of the Fish River Canyon 20-day self-drive safari in Namibia

Day 4 - 5 | Keetmanshoop – Fish River Canyon

Distance on day 4: approx. 430 km; driving time approx. 6-7 hours (incl Gondwana Canyon Park)

Keetmanshoop – Fish River Canyon

Distance on day 4: approx. 430 km; driving time approx. 6-7 hours (incl Gondwana Canyon Park)

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 viewpoints 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 optional activities offered by the lodge or simply enjoy the truly magnificent views of the Fish River Canyon.

Breakfast Dinner
Wild horses Namibia

Day 6 | Fish River Canyon – Aus

Distance approx. 230 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Fish River Canyon – Aus

Distance approx. 230 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

The small hamlet of Aus is today’s destination. The lush greenery on the banks of the Oranje River offers a great contrast to the colours of the rock formations of the last few days. Use the afternoon to explore the farm on well-marked hiking trails or take a short excursion and, with a bit of luck, observe the wild horses at Gharub (approx. 25 km west of Aus). You will spend the night in a chalet at the Desert Horse Inn.

Breakfast Dinner
Bathtub at Kolmanskop ghost town

Day 7 | Aus – Kolmanskop – Lüderitz – Aus

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Aus – Kolmanskop – Lüderitz – Aus

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Take a day trip to Kolpmanskop and 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 an optional guided walking tour (mornings only) to see the old theatre and other buildings such as bakeries and entertainment areas. Lüderitz also has a long colonial history, and you can visit the witnesses of this history today (e.g. the rock church, the Goerke House and the post office). Drive back to Aus and spend another night at the Desert Horse Inn.

Breakfast Dinner
Tiras Mountains landscape on 20-day self-drive safari in Namibia

Day 8 | Aus – NamibRand Nature Reserve

Distance approx. 240 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Aus – NamibRand Nature Reserve

Distance approx. 240 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

After breakfast, you set off for the picturesque region of the Tiras Mountains. We recommend travelling along the D707, as it is considered by many to be the most beautiful route in Namibia. The fascinating desert landscape invites you to stop for photos time and again. Finally, you reach the Greenfire Desert Lodge at the NamibRand Nature Reserve, which is surrounded by peace and solitude and invites you to linger. Sit back, take in your surroundings ,and treat yourself to a breather. At sunset, take a nature drive in an open safari vehicle through the extraordinary dune landscape. After dinner, it’s worth looking far up into the twinkling starry sky – your guide will be happy to share his knowledge of the constellations of the southern sky with you.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Namib Desert landscape

Day 9 | NamibRand Nature Reserve – Namib Desert

Distance approx. 110 km; driving time approx. 2 hours

NamibRand Nature Reserve – Namib Desert

Distance approx. 110 km; driving time approx. 2 hours

In the early morning, the rising sun bathes the landscape in a soft, golden light and creates a magical atmosphere at breakfast. Today you drive north into the Naukluft Mountains on the eastern edge of the Namib. The landscape changes drastically; jagged rocks, deep gorges, and mountain peaks up to 2,000 metres high now dominate the landscape. You will reach the unique Elegant Desert Camp, your home for the next two nights. The camp is situated outside the Namib Naukluft Park. Here, you can spend the day relaxing and enjoying the stunning views across the desert valley. You overnight at the Elegant Desert Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
View of the Deadvlei from Big Daddy dune

Day 10 | Sossusvlei

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Sossusvlei

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

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) before heading back to your accommodation in the late afternoon. You can also book a guided day trip and explore the area together with a guide. You will spend another night at the Elegant Desert Camp.

Breakfast Dinner
Colonial architecture in Swakopmund

Day 11 - 12 | Namib Desert – Swakopmund

Distance on day 11: approx. 370 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Namib Desert – Swakopmund

Distance on day 11: approx. 370 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Today you will continue on gravel road to Swakopmund. The cuisine, architecture (such as the station building and the old courthouse) and language are evidence of the German colonial era. Swakopmund is a base for adventure activities; daytrips to the seal colony, desert tours, 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
Rock art at Twyfelfontein seen on 20-day self-drive safari in Namibia

Day 13 | Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein

Distance approx. 310 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein

Distance approx. 310 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

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. Your home for the night is the Malansrus Tented Camp, picturesquely situated on a tributary of the Aba Huab. Upon your arrival treat yourself to a short breather before visiting Namibia’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site Twyfelfontein in the afternoon (optional). The numerous rock engravings, estimated to be 2000 years old and older, are particularly impressive and will leave you in awe. Back at camp, you can end the day in a cosy atmosphere and enjoy the magnificent natural surroundings.

Breakfast Dinner
View of the Ugab Valley landscape

Day 14 | Damaraland – Ugab Valley

Distance approx. 160 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Damaraland – Ugab Valley

Distance approx. 160 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

Today is set aside for exploring some of the other attractions in the area. You can visit the Organ Pipes, the Burnt Mountain, and the Damara Living Museum, where you can gain an insight into traditional Damara culture and its ancient traditions. Alternatively, you can book a guided half-day excursion into the hinterland of Twyfelfontein to search for the desert-adapted elephants.
In the afternoon, continue to the Vingerklip Lodge in the Ugab Valley. Explore the fascinating landscape on signposted hiking trails and visit the nearby Fingerklip, a remarkable rock formation that resembles a finger.

Breakfast Dinner
Elephant crossing road in Etosha seen on 20-day self-drive safari in Namibia

Day 15 - 16 | Ugab Valley – Etosha National Park

Distance on day 15: approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours (excl. game drives)

Ugab Valley – Etosha National Park

Distance on day 15: approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours (excl. game drives)

Today you drive through the Anderson Gate into the Etosha National Park. Etosha National Park was founded in 1907 and is one of the most attractive national parks in southern Africa. In the afternoon and the next day, you will go on game drives in the central part of the national park. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, various antelope species and, with a bit of luck, lions and leopards come to drink at the waterholes and can be observed. Shortly before sunset, you leave the park and drive to Etosha Safari Lodge, just a few minutes from the park entrance. Here you enjoy your dinner and spend two nights in one of the chalets.

Breakfast Dinner
Two zebras in the savannah Etosha

Day 17 - 18 | Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park

These two days are also spent in the Etosha National Park in search of its residents. Drive along the edge of the flat salt pan to the eastern part of the park. You will see herds of impalas, wildebeests, zebras and oryx on the plains. Amongst the acacia trees and shrubs look out for elephants, giraffes and lions resting in the afternoon heat. 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 the beautiful Mushara Lodge, your accommodation for two nights.

Breakfast Dinner
Red cliffs at Waterberg

Day 19 | Etosha Area – Waterberg Plateau

Distance approx. 360 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Etosha Area – Waterberg Plateau

Distance approx. 360 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

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 3×3 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 Guest Farm during the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Explore the farm with or without a guide on several hiking trails. Especially the hike to the top of the so-called Small Waterberg is recommendable, as the views of the “big” Waterberg are just breath-taking.

Breakfast Dinner
Straight tarmac road Namibia

Day 20 | Waterberg Plateau – Windhoek

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

Waterberg Plateau – Windhoek

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

You continue south in the direction of Windhoek. En route you can stop at the craft market in Okahandja for souvenirs, baskets, wood carvings and beaded jewellery. Then you continue 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).

Breakfast

Included

  • 19 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 per person sharing per person single room per person triple room Children < 12 (with extra bed)
01.07.2024-
31.10.2024
49,500 NAD 62,000 NAD on request on request
01.11.2024-
30.11.2024
51,500 NAD 64,500 NAD on request on request

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