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 Galton House, 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 to give you the option to either dine at Galton’s excellent in-house restaurant, or 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. A mere ten minute drive from the centre of town and perched on the edge of Windhoek’s northernmost affluent suburb of Eros, guests staying here will be ensured of peace and tranquility. There is Wi-Fi throughout the property and the eight guest rooms all have wired internet connectivity and satellite television. 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 striking distance.
Day 2 - Sossusvlei
After an early breakfast this morning your rental vehicle (Nissan X-Trail) 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 Hoodia Desert 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 Hoodia Desert 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 Hoodia on their property. (BD)
Hoodia Desert Lodge is surrounded by majestic mountains on the banks of the Tsauchab River. Only a 20 minute drive will bring you to the Sesriem Gate, entrance of the world famous red sand-dunes of Sossusvlei. You will meet enthusiastic people, keen to share your adventures and the friendliness and personal attention of our staff will make your stay memorable. Sharing their knowledge about the region with its secrets and the guided tours are an ideal entrance to the magical world of the desert.
Day 3 - Sossusvlei
This morning you will need to rise early for a captivating guided Sossusvlei excursion as arranged with Hoodia Desert 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.
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 Hoodia Desert Lodge in the early afternoon, with the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. (BD)
Please note: Namib Naukluft National Park daily entrance fee, payable at Sesriem reception on arrival, is N$80.00 per adult and N$10.00 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. (B)
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.
We recommend that you avoid a stay in Swakopmund over a weekend, as most shops close by Saturday afternoon and only a select few open on a Sunday. However, restaurants will be open and tours will be on offer in the morning over weekends.
Amongst Swakopmund captivating contrasts and old traditions, The Delight is a fresh breeze in the desert. Conveniently located within short walking distance of the ‘Mole’, the modern, uplifting and inviting hotel is the ideal base for your stay. Every effort is made to surprise and delight guests with thoughtful touches and locally inspired reasons to smile. Few destinations can compete with the natural diversity of Swakopmund. Take a trip into the Living Desert, skydive over the Namib or sandboard down impressive dunes in the morning. Join a dolphin cruise, kayak amongst seals, give deep sea fishing a try, or simply take a leisurely walk along the beach in the afternoon. A myriad of experiences await you.
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)
In the heat, dust and stunning landscapes of Damaraland, there is a sanctuary – Mowani Mountain Camp. Dwarfed by massive ochre boulders, the camp is absorbed into the landscape, making it one with our shared history of life in this prehistoric land. Every soft curve or ragged edge frames the landscape in a different way, as if you are seeing for the first time, every time. Game drives along ancient dry riverbeds reveal life that in its sparseness reminds us just how special it is. Rare, desert dwelling elephants, springbok, gemsbok and jackal roam these plains, while their images are found etched in the rocks at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first UNESO World Heritage site. Relax in a sparkling pool, enjoy a sundowner, and pause, breathe in and know that this is luxury as nature intended it. Activities at the lodge include day and night game drives and guided nature walks.
Day 7 - Damaraland
After an early breakfast you have the option to go on an exciting 4X4 guided excursion as offered by Mowani Mountain Camp (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 Ongava Lodge. (BD)
Ongava Lodge is set on a hilltop in the Ongava game reserve. The Game Reserve borders on the southern edge of Etosha National Park. Ongava Lodge has a commanding view over the bush and of an active waterhole where the animals come down to quench their thirst. Ongava Lodge consists of 13 chalets with one additional family room. These have all been built out of brick, rock and thatch. The en-suite bathrooms have a flush toilet, shower and double basins. All the rooms are air-conditioned to keep cool in the summer. The rooms have glass doors which lead out onto a private covered veranda overlooking the Ongava bush. From the main area, there are great views over the waterhole. This is a fantastic area where guests can enjoy an evening meal in the main dining area or outside under the stars. The waterhole is a perfect location for tripod Photography. It is not uncommon to view some elephants or rhinos while dining. Ongava Lodge adds value to your visit. You can combine your experience with a private game reserve with a visit to the Etosha national park.
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$80 per person and N$10 for the vehicle. 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
Today you have the option to head out on one last game drive before you depart the great expanses of the Etosha National Park and make your way back to Windhoek via the town of Okahandja. You have the option to stop off at the local woodcarver’s market enroute for some souvenir shopping. Upon your arrival into Windhoek you have the option to explore the shops and craft markets before settling in at Galton House for the last night of your safari. Your rental vehicle will be collected from the guesthouse at 18h00. This evening you will once again have a choice of where you would like to have dinner, either at the Galton House or at a restaurant in town (dinner is for your own account). Again the guesthouse can assist with a taxi service. (B)
Day 11 - End of Namibia Self Drive Tour
This morning after breakfast you have the option to do last minute shopping in the capital city Windhoek depending on your departure flight time (the guesthouse can assist with a taxi service if needed). An Ultimate Safari representative will then transfer you to Windhoek International Airport in time for your flight. (B)
Dates and Pricing
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.