THE BEST OF NAMIBIA

19 Night / 20 Day Self-Drive Safari, 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 amazing pans 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.

Highlights

Day 1-4 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: National Gallery, National Museum, Botanic Garden of Windhoek
  • Hardap Dam
  • Kalahari: Red sand dunes
  • Keetmanshoop: Quiver Tree Forest, Giant´s Playground
  • Fish River Canyon: Walk along the rim, sundowner

Day 5-10 | Namibia

  • Kolmanskop: Diamond ghost town
  • Lüderitz: Felsenkirche, Goerke House, colonial architecture
  • Tiras Mountains: Breathtaking scenery
  • Namib Desert: Dunes of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon
  • Swakopmund: Quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving, daytrip to the seal colony at Cape Cross (all optional)

Day 11-14 | Namibia

  • Spitzkoppe: Unique geology, rock art
  • Erongo Mountains: Nature drives, walks, bird watching
  • Brandberg: ‘White Lady’ rock art
  • Damaraland: Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain

Day 15-20 | Namibia

  • Etosha National Park: Game drives, Etosha Pan
  • Grootfontein: Hoba Meteorite, Lake Otjikoto
  • Waterberg Plateau: Hiking, rhino drive

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
Single Supplement: from

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek, Namibia

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

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 Casa Piccolo, situated in Klein Windhoek, a beautiful suburb of the city. 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 Casa Piccolo for the night.

Day 2 | Windhoek, Namibia – Kalahari, Namibia

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

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. Alternatively, book a combination tour which includes a game drive, a cheetah feeding and a sundowner on the dunes. All activities are 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, Namibia – Keetmanshoop, Namibia

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

Today you will continue your journey south, travelling through shrub-covered savannah before arriving in Keetmanshoop. You will stay at Pension Gessert which serves the most colourful breakfast in the world. Relax at the pool or read in the lush garden 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. Breakfast

Day 4 | Keetmanshoop, Namibia – Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3-4 h

Your journey will take you over the Naute Dam to the Fish River Canyon today, the second largest canyon in the world. After you have checked in at the Cañyon Roadhouse, just 14 km from the canyon, you can drive to a view point overlooking the huge chasm. Late afternoon or early morning is best to appreciate the play of light in the 160 km long canyon. If there is time you can visit the hot springs at Ai-Ais or return to the lodge for a dip in the pool. You will have a delicious dinner in the unique open-plan dining area filled with antique cars and memorabilia (own account).

Breakfast

Day 5 | Fish River Canyon, Namibia – Aus, Namibia

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

Today’s destination is a tiny village called Aus on the edge of the Namib Desert. You will overnight at the Desert Horse Inn on the 50,000 ha farm Klein Aus Vista. From the main building’s veranda you have great views over the plains and the desert. Rent a mountain bike, explore the area on several hiking trails in the afternoon sun or simply relax in your room. You can also take a drive to the trough at Garub to watch the wild horses of the Namib coming to drink. Enjoy a homestead dinner that evening before returning to your room.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6 | Aus, Namibia – Kolmanskop, Namibia – Lüderitz, Namibia

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

After a leisurely breakfast, you make your way to historic Kolmanskop just before 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.

The nearby Lüderitz also has a long colonial history as the architecture of the Felsenkirche, Goerke Haus and the post office will show. Visit Shark Island, a former concentration camp, and climb to the Felsenkirche for a breathtaking view over the windswept town. Late afternoon you will return to Klein Aus Vista for another night at the Desert Horse Inn.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 | Aus, Namibia – Namib Desert, Namibia

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

Today, you will travel along a scenic route through the Tiras Mountains. Stop next to the gravel road to breathe in the dry air and listen to the silence of 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.

Breakfast

Day 8 | 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 overnight another night the Desert Camp.

No meals

Day 9-10 | Sossusvlei, Namibia – Swakopmund, Namibia

Distance day 9: approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

Today you will continue on gravel road to Swakopmund, also known as the German city of Namibia. The cuisine, architecture (such as the station building and the old court house) and language are evidence of the German colonialists’ influence in the country. 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 10)

Day 11-12 | Swakopmund, Namibia – Erongo Mountains, Namibia

Distance day 11: approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3h

After a relaxed breakfast, you will leave the coast and travel inland. You can visit the Spitzkoppe (about 1,730 m), visible from afar or continue straight towards Omaruru in the Erongo Mountains. Your destination for today is the small but luxurious Erongo Wilderness Lodge. The tented chalets are dotted amongst the dome-shaped boulders and the lounge and dining area has a marvellous deck overlooking a waterhole and the rocky landscape. You can go for walks, join a guided drive to see rock art (optional) or sit bird watching on the deck. Tonight you will enjoy a marvellous dinner under a starry Namibian sky.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 13 | Erongo Mountains, Namibia -Twyfelfontein, Namibia

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

Today, you will travel past the Brandberg Mountain (‘fire mountain’) on your way to Khorixas. The Brandberg Mountain (2,580 m) is an oval shaped rock mass and the highest mountain range in Namibia. A 1-hour walk will take you to the famous “White Lady” rock painting. Alternatively, explore the Petrified Forest with more than 200 million year old mineralized tree trunks on your way to today’s destination – Camp Kipwe. The exclusive camp is not too far from the rock engravings of Twyfelfontein, the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain, which can be visited in a few hours. If you would rather rest, relax around the lodge and take in the spectacular views of the surrounding land. Have a swim or go on a walk (optional).

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14 | Twyfelfontein, Namibia – Vreugde Guest Farm, Namibia

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

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 Guest Farm. 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.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 15-16 | Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance day 15: approx. 100 km; 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, just 17km from Okaukuejo Rest Camp.  The national park was founded in 1907 and surrounds a salt pan of roughly 5,000 km². 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. Keep your bird book handy; Etosha has 340 bird species. 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 Rest Camp.

Breakfast

The large rest 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 17 | Etosha National Park, Namibia – Mushara Bush Camp, Namibia

Driving time depends on choice of route

Today is 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 rest camp 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 where you will stay for the night.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 18-19 | Etosha National Park, Namibia – Waterberg Plateau, Namibia

Distance day 18: approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

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 3x3m it is the largest meteorite on the planet. Today’s destination is the Waterberg Plateau with its terracotta-coloured cliffs rising 200 m above the plains. You will reach the Waterberg Wilderness 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 20 | Waterberg Plateau, Namibia – Windhoek, Namibia

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

Today you return to Windhoek. En route you can stop at the market in Okahandja for souvenirs, baskets, wood carvings and beaded jewellery. 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 as indicated in the itinerary (or similar)
  • 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 (alcohol and soft drinks)
  • Possible toll- and crossing border fees
  • National park fees
  • Optional activities
  • Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance

Gallery

Lodge Gallery

Casa Piccolo

Bagatelle Game Range

Canyon Roadhouse

Desert Camp

Corner Stone Guesthouse

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Camp Kipwe

Vreugde Guestfarm

Okaukuejo Camp

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, 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.