THE BEST OF NAMIBIA

20 Day Self-Drive Tour, Accommodated

safari-Button

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.

Self Drive Tour Namibia

Highlights

Day 1-20 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: Tintenpalast, Christ Church, ‘Namibia Craft Centre’
  • Kalahari: red sand dunes
  • Keetmanshoop: Quiver Tree Forest, Giant´s Playground
  • Fish River Canyon: walk along the rim, sundowner
  • Kolmanskop: diamond ghost town
  • Lüderitz: Felsenkirche, Goerke House, colonial architecture
  • Tiras Mountains: breathtaking scenery
  • Namib Desert: Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon
  • Swakopmund: quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, scenic flight, day trip to the seal colony at Cape Cross
  • Brandberg: ‘White Lady’ rock art
  • Damaraland: Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain
  • Etosha National Park: game drives, Etosha Pan
  • Grootfontein: Hoba Meteorite, Lake Otjikoto
  • Waterberg Plateau: hiking, rhino drive
  • Okahandja: visit to the craft market, farmstead stay

Facts

Self-Drive Safari: The Best of Namibia
Tourcode: NA20DABEST
From: Windhoek
To: Windhoek
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price: from 26,900 NAD
Single Supplement: from 7,500 NAD

Itinerary

Day 1 | 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.

Day 2 | Windhoek – Kalahari

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

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 (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

Day 3 | 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

Day 4 – 5 | Keetmanshoop – Fish River Canyon

Distance on day 4: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

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

Day 6 | Fish River Canyon – Lüderitz

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

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 House and the post office will show. Spend the afternoon exploring this quaint little seaside town. Your home for tonight will be the Nest Hotel.
Breakfast

Day 7 | Lüderitz – Tiras Mountains

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

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 an optional 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.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 8 | Tiras Mountains – Namib Desert

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

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 in direction of 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. Later on, you will reach the unique Elegant Desert Eco Camp, your home for the next two nights. The camp is situated outside the Namib Naukluft Park. Here, you can end the day relaxing and enjoying the stunning views across the desert valley. You overnight at The Elegant Desert Eco Camp.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 9 | Sossusvlei

Distance approx. 160-200 km; driving time depends on choice of route

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 Eco Camp.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 – 11 | Namib Desert – Swakopmund

Distance on day 10: approx. 360 km; driving time approx. 5 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

Day 12 – 13 | Swakopmund – Ugab Valley

Distance on day 12: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 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. 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.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14 | Ugab Valley – Hobatere Concession Area

Distance approx. 240 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

You continue north. We’d recommend filling up on petrol in Kamanjab, before you spend the next days on safari. You drive to the Hobatere Concession, a protected area on 8,808 hectares of land, bordering the western edge of Etosha National Park and home to big game such as elephants, lions and antelopes. You can also join a night game drive to experience your first sightings alongside a professional guide (optional). You will overnight in a rondavel at the Hobatere Lodge.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 15 | Etosha National Park

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

After an early breakfast, you head straight for the famous Etosha National Park, which you enter through the Galton 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 zebras (in the west of the park) and plains zebras, 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.
Breakfast

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 16 – 17 | Etosha National Park

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.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 18 | Etosha Area – Waterberg Plateau

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 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 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.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 19 | Waterberg Plateau – Okahandja

Distance approx. 250 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. 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.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 20 | Okahandja – Windhoek

Distance approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 2-3 hours

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).
Breakfast

Includes

  • Self-drive tour according to the itinerary
  • 19 nights’ accommodation in guesthouses, chalets, bungalows and lodges (depending on availability, accommodation of a similar standard will be booked)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excludes

  • Flights (international and domestic)
  • Rental car (please contact us for a quote)
  • Fuel
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages (alcoholic and soft drinks)
  • Possible toll and crossing border fees
  • National park fees
  • Optional activities
  • Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance

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, buffer 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 being 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.

The Best of Namibia map