12 Night / 13 Day Self-Drive Safari, Accommodated
Namibia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world and this 13-day self-drive tour will show you the vastness and breathtaking landscapes of this dry land. Climb the dunes of the Namib Desert, see the extraordinary Erongo Mountains, marvel at ancient rock art in the Damaraland, explore the Etosha National Park on game drives and go hiking on the Waterberg Plateau.
Day 1-3 | Namibia
- Windhoek: National Gallery, National Museum, Botanic Garden
- Namib Desert: Dunes of Sossusvlei: Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon
- Swakopmund: Quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross (all optional)
Day 4-8 | Namibia
- Spitzkoppe: Unique geology, rock art
- Erongo Mountains: Nature drives, walks, bird watching
- Brandberg: Bushmen paintings
- Damaraland: Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Organ Pipes, Burnt MountainDay
9-13 | Namibia
- Etosha National Park: Game drives, Etosha Pan
- Grootfontein: Hoba meteorite, Lake Otjikoto
- Waterberg Plateau: Hiking, rhino drive
Self-Drive Safari: Namibia Highlights
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Single Supplement: from
Day 1 | Windhoek, Namibia
Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 h
After arriving at Windhoek International Airport, you collect your rental car and drive to the prearranged accommodation, Montebello Guesthouse. The rest of the day is at leisure and you can either relax at the guesthouse or explore the city. See the National Gallery (featuring local artists), the National Museum (Namibia’s history) or take a walk in the 12-hectare National Botanic Garden. Get a taste for some Namibian beer and enjoy traditional cuisine at a local restaurant (own account). You will overnight at Montebello Guesthouse.
Day 2 | Windhoek, Namibia – Sesriem, Namibia
Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h
After breakfast you leave Windhoek and drive south via Rehoboth and the Remshoogte Pass to Sesriem. If there is time before sunset, you can enter the Namib-Naukluft National Park at the Sesriem Gate to see the late afternoon light on the dunes. You will overnight at a tented chalet at Desert Camp, situated just outside of the park where you have the chance of grilling meat on an open fire under the stars. Book a braai pack – a selection of meats and salads. Alternatively, you can go for dinner at Sossusvlei Lodge a few kilometres away.
Day 3 | Sossusvlei, Namibia
Try to get away as early as possible to see the early morning sun creating beautiful shadows on the enormous dunes of Sossusvlei. Gates to the park open at sunrise. Climb one of the famous dunes such as Dune 45 or Big Daddy for some early morning exercise. It is a breathtaking experience seeing the sea of sand around you. Continue to Dead Vlei, a very photogenic spot of ancient dead trees. Thereafter you drive to the Sesriem Canyon where you can also do short hikes (dry season). If you want to learn more about the Namib Desert, join a guided desert walk – book at Sossusvlei Lodge. You will stay another night at the Desert Camp.
Day 4-5 | Sesriem, Namibia – Swakopmund, Namibia
Distance day 4: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h
Today’s journey on gravel roads takes you to the coastal town of Swakopmund where you can find beautiful pieces of colonial architecture. Swakopmund is also a base for adventure activities (all optional) in the area – join a dolphin cruise in Walvis bay, go dune boarding, skydiving, fishing, take a heli flip over the desert, go quad biking, take a day trip into the desert or to the seal colony at Cape Cross. You will spend two nights at Cornerstone Guesthouse. There is a variety of restaurants to choose from, but be sure not to miss the fresh seafood.
Breakfast (day 5)
Day 6-7 | Swakopmund, Namibia – Erongo Mountains, Namibia
Distance day 6: approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4 h
After a leisurely breakfast, you leave Swakopmund and travel inland. In the distance, you will see the Spitzkoppe, one of Namibia’s most recognizable landmarks. Go for a walk and explore the imposing granite rock formations or take a guided tour and view ancient San rock art. Today’s destination will be Onduruquea Lodge in the Erongo Mountains. Lean back and enjoy the warm atmosphere of the lodge. Alternatively, join a private game drive in the morning, evening or even at night. You will spend two nights at Onduruquea Lodge.
Day 8 | Erongo Mountains, Namibia – Twyfelfontein, Namibia
Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h
Today you will head west past the Brandberg Mountain (2,580 metres), the highest mountain in Namibia and site of the ‘White Lady’ rock painting. En route, you may want to see the Petrified Forest, a collection of ancient mineralized tree trunks. You might also find ‘living fossils’ – centuries-old Welwitschia plants. Overnight accommodation is at the luxurious Camp Kipwe, part of a sustainable eco-tourism and community upliftment project. This unique lodge is built from natural materials from the area, almost merging into the mountain it is built on. Enjoy the view of the boulder-strewn savannah or get into an open game vehicle for a tour (optional) around the property to meet the locals, see wildlife or some rock art. The lodge is close to Twyfelfontein, the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain.
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 9-10 | Twyfelfontein, Namibia – Etosha National Park, Namibia
Distance day 9: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h (excl. game drives)
After breakfast you depart for the world-famous Etosha National Park. Etosha (‘huge white area’) is one of the largest game parks in Africa and with its range of animals and landscapes – acacia trees, vast open plains and a massive salt pan – also one of the most interesting. Okaukuejo Camp is a good base for game drives in the western, central and eastern part of the park. During these two days, you will spend most of your time game viewing around the waterholes where elephants, giraffes and different species of antelope and birds come to drink. With a bit of luck, you might even be able to spot lions and rhinos. To see nocturnal animals, a night game drive (optional) with a park ranger is a good option or visiting the floodlit waterhole at night – very thrilling. You will overnight at the Okaukuejo Camp for two nights.
The large camps 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.
Day 11 | Etosha National Park, Namibia – Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia
Driving time depends on choice of route
After breakfast you will continue east, driving along the edge of the flat salt pan that extends into the horizon. 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. Stopping at waterholes along the way, you should see a variety of birds and animals coming and going to quench their thirst. By late afternoon you will reach Von Lindequist Gate where you exit the park. Mushara Bush Camp is just a stone’s throw away. Relax on the private deck of your tent-room in the bush or warm up at the campfire of the dining area.
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 12 | Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia – Waterberg Plateau, Namibia
Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h
Today’s journey will take you past a deep lake and a meteorite. Just outside Tsumeb you can turn off to visit the bright blue Lake Otjikoto. Next on today’s list is the 60-ton Hoba Meteorite; at roughly 3×3 metres, it is the largest meteorite in the world. Your last stop is the private nature reserve Waterberg Wilderness. The Waterberg is a massive red plateau rising 200 metres above the surrounding plains. The variety of microclimates – mountain, valley and plains – accommodates a variety of vegetation ranging from massive fig trees to ferns and acacia trees. A variety of animals are found here, including over 200 bird species. As an optional activity you can join a rhino drive in the afternoon or take a walk along one of the well-marked trails. You will overnight at the Waterberg Wilderness Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 13 | Waterberg Plateau, Namibia – Windhoek, Namibia
Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 4-5 h
Today you will continue south towards Windhoek. On your way, you may want to stop at a curio market in Okahandja. Here you can haggle and bargain for wood carvings, beaded jewellery, baskets and other crafts. In Windhoek, you will head to the airport to return your rental car or spend another night in the city (optional).
- Self-drive tour according to the itinerary
- 12 nights’ accommodation in guesthouses, chalets, bungalows and lodges as indicated in the itinerary (or similar)
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Flights (international and 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
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
Mushara Bush Camp
Waterberg Wilderness Lodge
Frequently Asked Questions
In general Namibia is not 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. Try not to drive after sunset as wild animals often roam free.
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.
Fuel 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 fuel stations also have a little convenience shop.
Left. In Southern Africa vehicles are right-hand drives hence driving is done on the left-hand side of the roads.
Each person who wants to drive a rental vehicle in Namibia must have a valid national driver’s license which needs to be carried along at all times and must be produced when requested (vehicle hand-over, police control).
If your national driver’s license is not in English and does not include a photograph of you, you will additionally need an international driving license. Please take note that the international driving license is only valid in conjunction with your national driver’s license.
Furthermore, you must be in possession of a credit card when picking up the rental vehicle. The main renter must be the credit card holder.
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 and not littering.
In the Etosha National Park, guided game drives in open safari vehicles are available and accompanied by a professional ranger.
Along with your travel documents, you will receive 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 million.
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 potato dishes. Alternatively, buffet dinner is served.
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 draw cash at the current exchange rate at a local ATM with your credit card or Maestro card (PIN required).
Credit cards are also widely accepted in bigger shops and shopping malls but some smaller shops and all fuel stations do not accept credit cards, so always have some cash on hand.
As Malaria is a concern in some areas of Namibia, we recommend that some precautionary measures are taken. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxes and their effects and side effects. In general, prevention is better than cure and the best prevention is to avoid bites. Apply mosquito repellent and wear long trousers, socks, closed shoes and long-sleeved tops when outdoors in the morning and evening hours.
Furthermore, it is recommended that you have your regular vaccinations updated – tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B and polio.
Namibian custom officials require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.