Namibia Self-drive Itinerary

12 Day Wonders of Namibia Self-drive

Explore the best of Namibia on the 12 Day Wonders of Namibia Self-drive, from the world’s largest sand mass in the Kalahari Desert to the second largest canyon in the world and become captivated by the surreal dunes at Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. Discover UNESCO and RAMSAR World Heritage Sites and the ancient San and Damara cultures and encounter the abundant and diverse wildlife of the Etosha National Park.

A popular destination, Namibia is known for its expansive desert terrains and amazing scenery, bound to captivate any travel-hungry explorer. What makes this beautiful country even more attractive is the safety and secure surroundings, offering excellent road infrastructure with frequent and clear road signage making it ideal for self-drive journeys. On this 12 Day Wonders of Namibia Self-drive itinerary, you will visit the country's top destinations, including Etosha, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Damaraland.

Starting your journey in Windhoek and heading south, you will enter the Kalahari Desert. Explore the rich wildlife of this red sandy landscapes followed by a visit to the Fish River Canyon. Other major attractions in the south include the Quiver Tree Forest, Kolmanskop ghost town, wild horses and Lüderitz. The next stop of this journey is Sossusvlei, characterized by its surreal and towering red dunes, boasting some of the highest in the world! From Sossusvlei visit the many attractions of which include Deadvlei and Sesriem Canyon or even possibly participate in the wide variety of activities that can be booked whilst there.

From your stay in Swakopmund you will travel north to Swakopmund. Fondly referred to as the "Playground of Namibia" This coastal town is Namibia's most popular holiday destination. It's pleasant summer climate attracts beach lovers from surfers to anglers. Swakopmund is also a great hub to participate in the many adventure-based activities such as desert tours, scenic flights, marine or dolphin cruises, skydiving, quad biking and sand boarding.

Lastly you will traverse one of Africa's biggest game reserves - the Etosha National Park - with its unique and varied landscape home to a great variety in animals of which include the lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, springbok, two kinds of zebra, eland and many other wildlife. 

This Namibia self-drive itinerary is great for families, groups and couples looking for an inexpensive break from their busy lives. Drive through the countryside, away from the traffic congestions of the city and view Namibia's wildlife treasures, beautiful beaches and the oldest desert in the world! A memorable trip of its own kind!

Summary

Breakfast Daily

12 Days / 11 Nights
Self-Drive

Namibia

Day 1 - Arrival at Windhoek Airport
Upon arrival at Windhoek Airport, you will collect your vehicle and drive to the capital city.

Windhoek city is the starting point for most tourists visiting Namibia and is a melting pot of cultures where all ethnic groups can be found. The city's architecture is a mix of German colonial and modern design. The city centre is relatively compact, which allows tourists to explore much of it by foot.

Some of the major attractions include the Namibia Craft Centre, National Botanical Garden, N/a'an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary, Alte Feste & Owela Museums, Christus Kirche, Tintenpalast (Parlaimant House), Heroes Acre, Independance Memorial Museum and Joe's Beerhouse.

Spend your first night in Windhoek at a guesthouse.

Day 2 - Kalahari Desert
On the Eastern fringes of Namibia, the red sands of the Kalahari beckon. Known for its rich wildlife and unique landscape, here you can enjoy a sundowner drive, keeping eyes open for oryx, springbok, zebra and wildebeest and take the chance to breathe in the character and energy of this distinctive area, feeling closer to the land. The sundowner drive is offered at the lodge as an optional activity.

The optimum time to experience the Kalahari colours is when the sun dips in the late
afternoon and lights up the sand as if glowing from an inner fire. Don't miss this time of day when the
Earth seems to pause for Kalahari magic. 

Other activities on offer are e-bike rentals, hiking trails, guided dune walks, and guided morning drives for families.

Day 3 - Fish River Canyon
Making your way further south, we reach the spectacular Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 160 km's long, up to 27 km's wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. The river flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer. Visit the viewpoint at sunset for the most stunning view.

Other attractions in the area include the Quiver Tree Forest, Giant's Playground, Mesosaurus fossils and the Ai-Ais hot springs.

Day 4 - Aus & Lüderitz
Heading east towards the Atlantic, you will reach the town of Aus, known for its wild roaming desert horses. Aus is a great base to explore the attractions nearby including Kolmanskop, a famous ghost town, and the sea-side town of Lüderitz, sandwiched between the massive coastal Namib Desert dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. Activities in Lüderitz include many 4x4 Tours, Catamaran Cruises. 

Day 5 - Namib Desert
The next stop is the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. Your campsite is located in Sesriem at the entrance to the reserve. 

This evening is ideal for enjoying a sundowner dune drive to discover the red dunes above the plateau and the many other wonders of the Namib Desert. This 2-hour activity can be pre-arranged with your travel agent. Other tours and activities available include a morning dune drive, hiking trails, scorpion night walk or e-bike rentals.

Day 7 - Namib Desert
An exciting day lays ahead! We recommend an early rise to enter the reserve and enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the sandy ocean of dunes.

Sossusvlei is a clay pan covered in a crust of salt-rich sand. The pan was shaped over time by the Tsauchab River. The flooding of the pan is a relatively rare event. Try climbing one of the towering red sand dunes for a stunning view of the desert landscape.

Driving a little further into the desert you can follow the signage to the Deadvlei, a clay pan with several acacia trees located in what was once an oasis about 500 million years old. 

Day 7 - Sossusvlei & Drive to Swakopmund
Make your way north to Namibia's resort town of Swakopmund, however along the way you will also pass the town of Walvis Bay. Walvis bay is a major harbour town and a hub of Namibia's fishing industry. The town is situated next to the Walvis Bay lagoon, an important wetland area and birding paradise. Optionally you can visit the lagoon to view the flamingo colony.

Swakopmund is sandwiched between the hot Namibian Desert and the cold Atlantic Ocean and is characterized by its many well-preserved German colonial buildings. A multitude of activities, interesting shops and restaurants are on offer.

Day 8 - Full Day in Swakopmund
Today you have the day at your own leisure to partake in some of the activities available. 

Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are considered the adventure capitals of Namibia. Some of the activities include historical town tours, seal and dolphin cruises, birding trips, 4x4 excursions to Sandwich harbour. The more adventurous traveller might also enjoy skydiving, quad biking, fishing, sand boarding, ballooning or a scenic flight.

Day 9 - Damaraland
After breakfast, you continue into the Damaraland where you can visit Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site and an “open-air art gallery” that boasts over 2500 different Bushman rock engravings and rock paintings. Close to Twyfelfontein, you can also visit a traditional Damara village, the original inhabitants of Damaraland. Afterwards, visit the Petrified Forest where pre-historic tree trunks jut out between patches of Welwitschia plants.

Day 10 - Etosha National Park
After a relaxed breakfast, you can visit a traditional Himba village and meet these proud and statuesque people. The Himba still adhere to their traditional values and cultures and are one of the last genuinely nomadic people on Earth. Travel further north to the Etosha National Park, which, with its numerous water holes, is home to the array of 114 different animals and 340 different bird species that thrive here. Over the next days, enjoyed game driving in the Etosha National Park.

Day 11 - Etosha National Park
The entire day free to enjoy game driving in the Etosha National Park. Enter the park early to enjoy the sight of pronking springbok and playful animals announcing the start of another glorious day. The dense stands of Mopani forests support a large variety of browsers and specialized predators such as leopards, while it offers a variety of migratory as well as non-migratory bird species safe cover and nesting sites.

Day 12 - Windhoek Departure
Travel south towards Windhoek. After strolling through one of the large craft markets in Okahandja, your route takes you between high mountain ranges back to the capital city, Windhoek, where your tour ends.

Wonders of Namibia Self Drive

2 adults traveling SA Rand
Inter-changeable with NA$
US$
Subject to ROE
01 Jan 2023 - 30 Jun 2023 R 19,745 pp sharing US$ 1,183 pp sharing
01 Jul 2023 - 31 Oct 2023 R 20,185 pp sharing US$ 1,209 pp sharing

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Package Includes:

  • 12 Day Vehicle Rental - 4x4 Nissan X-Trail (Auto) incl. Standard Cover & Unlimited km's
  • 11 Nights' Accommodation
  • Breakfast Daily
Accommodation Download Factsheet 
Windhoek - De Vagebond Pension Click here
Kalahari Desert - Kalahari Anib Lodge Click here
Fish River Canyon - Canyon Village Click here
Aus - Klein Aus Vista Click here
Sossusvlei - Desert Camp Click here
Swakopmund - The Mole Guesthouse Click here
Damaraland - Damara Mopane Lodge Click here
Etosha NP - Etosha Safari Camp Click here

Excluded:

  • Travel Insurance (highly recommended)
  • Flights & Fuel
  • Meals not specified
  • Optional Activities
  • Items of personal nature

Optional Activities at Sossusvlei Adventure Centre:

  • Sundowner Nature Drive - R 500 pp
  • Elim Dune Nature Walk - R 750 pp
  • Sossusvlei & Dead Vlei Guided tour (min 4 pax) - R 1,200 pp
  • Sesriem Canyon Guided tour (min 4 pax) - R 600 pp 
Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases, currency exchange, fluctuations and any unforeseen circumstances, without prior notice.

NISSAN X TRAIL SAME OR SIMILAR
X Trail 4x4 Petrol (6 Speed Automatic)

 60lt  8.3lt/100km
 Automatic  Petrol

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TOYOTA FORTUNER SAME OR SIMILAR
Fortuner 4x4 Diesel (5 Speed Automatic)

 12 Lt/100km  80 Lt
 Automatic  Diesel

TOYOTA LAND CRUISER SAME OR SIMILAR
Land Cruiser 4x4 Diesel (5 Speed Manual)

 Diesel  Manual
 130 Lt  14.5 Lt/100km
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