Namibia boasts an excellent road infrastructure and whilst long driving times cannot be avoided, its about enjoying the journey rather than rushing from place to place and many routes include various sights of interest worthy of a stopover. With a choice of Classic or Superior accommodation, this 11 day self-drive itinerary offers great value for money and includes visits to some of Namibia’s most popular sites including Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Etosha National Park.
Day 1 - Windhoek
After landing at Windhoek International Airport, located 40km outside Windhoek, you will be met by a representative of Ultimate Safaris. You will be transferred to Villa Violet, where you will also be provided with everything you will need for your self-drive safari; from your accommodation vouchers to a map marked with your route and a full safari briefing (you vehicle will be delivered to you early tomorrow morning).
Dinner this evening is for your own account out at one of the restaurants in town (the guesthouse can assist with a taxi service).
Please note: There is a foreign exchange desk at Windhoek International Airport if required on arrival. We recommend that you opt for South African Rand rather than Namibian Dollars as both are legal tender in Namibia, however Namibian Dollars are limited to use and exchanging only within Namibia.
Named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Galton, Galton House has a relaxed but efficient style which creates a very welcoming atmosphere. Impressive wildlife photography adorns the walls whilst the rest of the interior is a combination of modern minimalistic and understated chic.
The communal areas consist of a large lounge, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a swimming pool, an early arrival/late departure day room (including toilet, shower, changing and re-packing facility) as well as understated garden areas. There is also a delightful al-fresco dining area by the pool where freshly prepared and very tasty meals are served (including lunch and dinner). A number of shops, restaurants and supermarkets are within easy walking distance.
Day 2 - Sossusvlei
After an early breakfast this morning your rental vehicle (Ford Ranger 4X4 Double Cab manual – or similar) will be delivered to you at the guesthouse. You will receive a full vehicle briefing – please ensure that you have your driver’s license, credit card, and passport on hand to complete the vehicle hire documents. After this you depart Windhoek in your rental vehicle and drive onwards to arrive at Desert Homestead Lodge, where you will stay for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure at Desert Homestead Lodge to enjoy your scenic desert surroundings and relax by the pool. An optional extra you can select to join a guided sundowner drive with Desert Homestead on their property.(BD)
Nowhere in Namibia does the landscape contrast as spectacularly as it does here…the rugged Nubib, Tsaris and Naukluft Mountains, the imposing dunes of the Namib, sweeping grassy plains, dry riverbeds punctuated with ancient camel thorn skeletons – all provide a stunning backdrop to your stay at Desert Homestead. The colour palette is a photographers dream rich chocolate browns, ochre dunes, platinum blonde grass, bright tourmaline skies and of course, the early morning and late afternoon pastel hues. Being only 30kms from Sessriem, the entrance to the world famous Namib Naukluft National Park, means that the lodge is ideally situated for exploring the five million year old dunes, or hiking in the Namib Naukluft Mountains, or the surreal experience of sipping a delicious Pinotage forged in this unforgiving landscape. The warm hospitality that the name Desert Homestead Lodge is synonymous with, will ensure you a welcome respite from the desert extremes. Relax and unwind on the verandah, soak up the spectacular vistas and savour our home-grown farm cuisine, before moving on to explore further afield.
Day 3 - Sossusvlei
This morning you will need to rise early for a captivating guided Sossusvlei excursion as arranged with Desert Homestead Lodge (at own expense). You may also opt to self-drive into the park in your rental vehicle (Park fees at extra cost). You would enter the park at sunrise and capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves.
This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. (BD)
Once you have explored Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to Desert Homestead Lodge in the early afternoon, with the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.
Please note: Namib Naukluft National Park daily entrance fee, payable at Sesriem reception on arrival, is N$250 per adult and N$50 for your vehicle (subject to change).
Day 4 - Swakopmund
NOTE: Option to include a sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund (at own expense).
The fascinating drive today takes you northwest through awesome and ever changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay, where you have the option to visit the lagoon to see the interesting mix of pelicans, flamingos and other sea-birds, before continuing north to Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air.
This afternoon you have the option to explore the shops, waterfront and craft market as appeals, before heading out for dinner at one of the popular restaurants in town. Dinner this evening is for your own account as there are a number of excellent restaurants to choose from. (B)
Cornerstone Guest House is a small, private and peaceful bed and breakfast within an easy walk to the seafront and the town centre of Swakopmund on Namibia’s fascinating Skeleton Coast. Occupying a quiet corner of Swakopmund’s old town near The Marine Museum and The Old Brewery, Cornerstone Guest House offers the charm and intimacy of a family-run B&B combined with the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. Within a few minutes from the guest house you can walk to beaches, cafés, restaurants, lively pubs, Swakopmund’s tourist attractions and a variety of interesting shops and markets in the town.
Day 5 - Swakopmund
Today is at your leisure to spend exploring Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and surrounding areas. You may like to climb the coastal dunes at Langstrand or Dune 7, explore Swakopmund’s shops, cafe’s, museums and waterfront, or partake in any of the adventure activities on offer such as quad-biking and sand-boarding, boat cruises, kayaking, and scenic flights (at own expense). (B)
You may wish to join a morning dolphin and seal catamaran cruise on the Walvis Bay harbour and lagoon this morning, where you will see seals, pelicans, and flamingos amongst other marine life, and hopefully you will also see Heaviside and Bottlenose dolphins. Oysters and South African bubbly are served on board, along with other beverages and snacks (at own expense).
Another option would be to explore the desert area by taking part in the fascinating and informative ‘Living Desert Tour’. This Desert Tour concentrates on exploring the local dune belt between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, taking special care not to damage the gravel plains and cause any unnecessary damage to the dune eco-system. Also highly recommended is a half or full day excursion into Sandwich Harbour, the most important wetlands and feeding area on the west coast of Southern Africa for many migratory birds (at own expense).
Day 6 - Damaraland
Today you continue your self-drive journey, passing Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’. (BD)
Camp Kipwe lies in the heart of Damaraland, ideally located a short drive from the local attractions in the area. The Camp is nestled amongst an outcrop of giant granite boulders, a stone’s throw away from the ephemeral Aba Huab riverbed where desert adapted elephants often traverse. Each comfortable thatched bungalow is simply but tastefully furnished with en-suite open-air bathroom. In the centre of the camp lies a large alfresco dining area, bar, lounge and reception with an inviting fireplace nearby to relax beside in the evenings. A refreshing swimming pool and sunset lookout with lovely views also complement the camp.
Day 7 - Damaraland
After an early breakfast you have the option to go on an exciting 4X4 guided excursion as offered by Camp Kipwe (at own expense). The excursion takes you along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. (BD)
This afternoon you can head out to explore the area in your hired vehicle, visiting the rock art at Twyfelfontein and the interesting geological formations of Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes. You even have the opportunity to visit the fascinating Damara Living Museum (at own expense) to learn more about this ancient people.
Day 8 - Etosha National Park
Today you continue on your self-drive safari and drive to southern Etosha to Andersson’s Camp. Andersson’s Camp also boasts two very productive floodlit waterholes, which are renowned to be very lively during the day and at night (in view from the dining room). Especially exciting is the underground hide to enjoy a different view point of the animals frequenting the waterhole. (BD)
Okaukuejo resort is the most accessible establishment in Etosha National Park from Windhoek. The resort is most famous for its floodlit waterhole, where visitors can observe a variety of wildlife at close quarters – both during the day and at night. Lions, elephants, and black rhinos are all very common sightings.
Okaukejo offers a wide variety of accommodation to suit the needs of all travellers. The resort is equipped with all the necessities to make your stay wonderful. The camp has a restaurant and a bar for refreshment and socialising, a swimming pool, shop and a gas station for re-stocking and fuelling up. The resort is also home to the Etosha Ecological Institute, which is open to visitors. If you are adventurous, you can participate in the guided night drives to spot nocturnal animals and observe wildlife behaviour at nighttime. Guided morning and afternoon game drives are also offered here.
Day 9 - Etosha National Park
Today is designed for you to have time to relax in lovely comfortable surroundings while still giving time to be spent game viewing in the National Park. This morning you have the option to go on a guided game drive inside the Etosha National Park, as arranged by the lodge (at own expense), before returning to camp for lunch. You also have the option to go on self-guided game drives inside Etosha whenever you want, except before sunrise and after sunset, in your rental vehicle. (BD)
* Etosha National Park gates open at sunrise and close at sunset (including the camp gates). The camps have a small shop for basic supplies, a fuel station, and a post office.
* The speed limit whilst driving in Etosha is 60km per hour.
* Do not get out of your vehicle whilst in Etosha unless you are safely within a designated area.
* The daily entrance fee for Etosha National Park (payable at Dolomite, Okaukuejo, Halali or Namutoni reception by cash or credit card) is N$250 per person and N$50 for the vehicle (subject to change). You will fill in a registration form upon entry into Etosha, please keep this form as well as your park fees payment receipt to present at the gate upon departure.
Day 10 - Windhoek
This morning you may choose to head out on one last game drive before you depart the great expanses of the Etosha National Park, to make your way back to Windhoek via the towns of Outjo and Okahandja. Enroute back to Windhoek, you have the option to stop at the local woodcarver’s market in Okahandja for some last-minute souvenir shopping if you wish. You arrive in Windhoek in the late afternoon, to spend the last night of your safari at the Galton House. This evening you can enjoy dinner at the guesthouse or at any restaurant out in town (at own expense). (B)
Day 11 - End of Namibia Self Drive Tour
This morning your rental vehicle will be collected at the Galton House, after which an Ultimate Safaris representative will collect you for your transfer to the Windhoek Airport, in time for the 2-hour check-in of your outgoing international flight back home. (B)
Dates and Pricing
- 20 Jul 19 - 31 Oct 19 $3,080 $3,525
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.