Namibia self drive tours 16 days start from £2995 per person including international scheduled flights and sharing a double room.
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With its well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders, touring Namibia is truly a pleasure. Visit the capital of Windhoek and the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund to discover remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. To properly appreciate this extraordinary country you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes that Namibia has to offer.
These include – the impressive Fish River Canyon Park, the vast Etosha National Park teeming with local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert and of course the Namib Desert stretching for nearly 1000 km along the magnificent Atlantic coastline. Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a visit, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court.
Day 1: Travel to Namibia via South Africa. At Windhoek airport you will be met in the arrivals hall for a briefing on your itinerary before collecting your car. After driving through Windhoek you will arrive at The Elegant Guesthouse.
Day 2: The Elegant Guesthouse, Windhoek
Bed and Breakfast included.
Situated in the up-market residential area of Klein Windhoek, on the corner of “von Eckenbrecher – Ziegler Street” and 5 minutes walk to Joe’s Beerhouse (Africa’s most famous Pub/Restaurant), this modern, up-market guesthouse consists of 6 luxurious en-suite double rooms. Guests can enjoy the contemporary flair and stylish surroundings of The Elegant Guesthouse.
Day 3 to 5: Sossusvlei Lodge, Sossusvlei
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast are included.
In Sossusvlei you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers heaven. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei – other attractions include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet the plains.
Further south the routing takes you via Maltahöhe into the low plains of the Namib Desert where you can stop for lunch. Leave the lodge early and go and watch the sun rise over the dunes.
Situated at the entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei Lodge offers direct access to the towering red sand dunes, the famous pan of Sossusvlei, the scorched black trees of Dead Vlei and the remarkable depths of the Sesriem Canyon.
The 45 individual luxurious lodgings at Sossusvlei Lodge are carefully laid out to perfectly blend in with the magnificent surroundings. Each is fully air-conditioned with a patio, en-suite bathroom with shower and a spacious bedroom under canvas with adobe-style plaster walls to give the visitor a distinctivesense of being close to nature.
Facilities include a sparkling pool, bar, beer garden and an al fresco terrace where one can enjoy excellent food, award-winning wines and magnificent views of the floodlit waterhole. The Sossusvlei Lodge Adventure Centre provides a range of activities including quad-biking, guided excursions, sun-downer trips, hot air ballooning and scenic flights to explore the area’s natural beauty.
Recommendations – Dune 45, named for its location 45 kilometres past the town of Sesriem, is renowned for its elegant shape and because of its position close to the road, has earned the distinction of being the ‘most photographed dune in the world’. If you are not keen on the strenuous hike to the top of Big Daddy, Dune 45 is a more forgiving alternative, standing at only 80 metres and offering a much gentler gradient.
Elim Dune is just five kilometres from the camp at Sesriem. It is best viewed at sunset when the colours deepen, intensifying the contrast between the red dunes and the purple-blue Naukluft Mountains on the opposite horizon. Elim Dune is roughly 100 metres in height and the climb to its peak takes about an hour.
Your route takes you north via the Kuiseb Canyon to Swakopmund. Highlights along the way include a drive to the “Moon Landscape” and the ancient desert plant, “Welwitschia mirabilis”. Stop for a picnic lunch en-route.
Swakopmund was founded in 1892 and served as the main harbour for German South West Africa. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is at the heart of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. This quaint desert town with its old-world charm and relaxed atmosphere hedged by desert and sea, is enhanced by lush green lawns
and palm trees. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it a very popular place to visit.
Day 5: Atlantic Villa, Swakopmund
Bed and Breakfast included.
Situated within sight and sound of the Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Villa offers accommodation within walking distance from the beach, a few minutes drive from Swakopmund town centre and a quiet relaxed atmosphere because of its location. The elegant and luxuriously decorated rooms offer spacious and comfortable accommodation. Friendly staff will provide you with a cup of freshly ground coffee in your room or just settle down with a cold drink on the terrace. Rooms are equipped with DSTV and internet and some have a private balcony with views of the surrounding desert and ocean.
Recommendation – In the evening enjoy dinner at The Tug pub/restaurant. It is popular with both tourists and locals and has seating available both indoors or outdoors on the terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the historic Swakopmund Jetty.
Day 6: Atlantic Villa, Swakopmund
Bed and Breakfast included.
Today you drive to Walvis Bay for a boat cruise on the Walvis Bay Lagoon. The cruise departs Walvis Bay Yacht club at 09h00 and takes you across the harbour to Bird Island, where you cut across the lagoon to the moored Russian trawlers and where inquisitive seals will swim up to the boats looking for something to eat. From there you head to Pelican Point where entertainment is provided by a large seal colony and pods of Heavyside and Bottlenose Dolphins swimming alongside the boats. For bird lovers, in addition to flamingoes, cormorants and pelicans, there are common sightings of the White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Black Oystercatcher and the Jackass Penguin. Fresh Walvis Bay oysters, snacks and cold sparkling wine are served on board and the afternoon is free for you to relax at the guesthouse or explore the town.
Recommendation – Enjoy dinner at The Wreck restaurant. Take a Mola Mola Marine Cruise
Highlights: Pelican Point and Pelican Point Lighthouse, Walvis Bay Harbour and the oyster farms,
Common Sightings: Bottlenose and Heavyside Dolphins, Cape Fur Seals, Mola Molas, Leatherback Turtles, penguins and whales (July-November).
Bird Sightings: Flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Cape Gannet, Black Oystercatcher
Day 7: Atlantic Villa, Swakopmund
Bed and breakfast included
Recommendation – Cape Cross Seal Colony
This colony of Cape Fur Seals is one of the largest in the world, home to approximately 80,000 to 100,000 of these so-called ‘seals’ which are in fact a species of sea lion. There are day trips to the colony and the seals can be viewed from a walkway at a distance of roughly 200 metres.
You continue your journey inland and head for Hohenstein Lodge, Erongo.
The Erongo Region is one of the largest of the 13 regions found in Namibia and is named after the majestic Erongo Massif that dominates the area around Karibib, Omaruru and Usakos. The region stretches to the Atlantic Ocean and includes the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, its northern boundary ending at the Ugab River where the Skeleton Coast National Park begins.
Day 8 to 10: Hohenstein Lodge, Erongo
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast included
The Hohenstein Lodge is located at the base of the Hohenstein, the highest peak in the Erongo mountains. At 2,319 ms above sea level, the Hohenstein stands at the western edge of the Erongo mountain range. In the evenings, spectacular sunsets above the desert plain bathe the mountain in fantastic red light. Towards the west, views extend as far as the Spitzkoppe peak and just a few hundred meters from the lodge, there is a waterhole offering diverse bird watching opportunities.
WiFi is available in the Restaurant or on the Terrace. There is also a swimming pool.
There are guided hikes to Boulder Forest and the mineral miners. The guide will take guests on a half-hour Land Rover drive to Boulder Forest. From there, a hike through the canyon leads up to the giant rocks and abundant vegetation. Visiting the mineral miners will give a small insight to life and work on the mountain’s steep slopes. On the way back, the vista over the lowlands and the view over the lodge grounds will turn the descent into a great photo opportunity. There are also well prepared hiking trails for guests to explore the habitat on their own and Sundowner drives.
The famous Rock Paintings on Farm Etemba in the Erongo Region were discovered initially by Walter Kahn in 1965 and the sites and rock paintings were recorded in some detail for posterity. Further excavations were undertaken in 1968 by the archaeologist Wendt and he found rock paintings at two out of the four sites he and his team unearthed. All of the rock paintings situated at different places on Etemba Farm were declared as one national monument and proclaimed as such on 1st May 1967.
Day 10-14: Onguma Bush Camp, Onguma Game Reserve
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast included
Situated on the eastern side of Etosha and bordering Fisher’s Pan, Onguma Game Reserve is one of Namibia’s best kept secrets. Here you will have the opportunity to experience much of Namibia’s beauty and diversity. Onguma Game Reserve has more than 34,000 hectares of protected land and wildlife. The nature reserve boasts over thirty different animal species including kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, hartebeest, zebra, impala and predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard. The latest addition to the Onguma Game Reserve is a family of black rhinos. During the Namibian summer months the nature reserve becomes a bird-watcher’s paradise with thousands of species migrating to the wetlands created by the seasonal rains.
There are eight game activities to enjoy – two morning drives in Etosha National Park, two sundowner drives on Onguma Reserve, two night drives on Onguma Reserve and two game walks on Onguma Reserve.
Onguma Bush Camp is ideal for families who would like to have a base from which they can explore Etosha National Park. After your game drive you can relax and cool off around the swimming pool while watching a spectacular sunset… and the children can run around on the lawns as this is an enclosed camp.
Dinner is served in the dining area overlooking a large waterhole. Here you will be treated to an excellent combination of European and traditional African cuisine while watching the game coming to drink. The new water-level hide will also provide hours of game viewing opportunities for guests.
Day 14-16: Okonjima Plains Camp, Okonjima Nature Reserve
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast included
Halfway between Windhoek and Etosha lies the well-known Okonjima Nature Reserve. The 22,000 ha Nature Reserve is surrounded by 96 km of fencing and was finally completed in 2010. Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a Carnivore Conservation, which gives the captive carnivores a second chance – they can be released back into the wild but will have time to adapt and to become completely independent hunters – in a protected area right in the middle of commercial farmland! Also in the Reserve is a 2000 ha ‘safe’ zone around Plains Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite, the Omboroko Campsite as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.
Depart the Etosha area and head south via Otjiwarongo to the Okonjima Lodge, not only is Okonjima a luxury lodge but it is also home of the Africat Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and protection of Namibian wild cats, in particular leopard and cheetah. A visit to Okonjima will give you an opportunity to witness some of AfriCat’s work.
There are 14 Standard Rooms and 10 exclusive and spacious View Rooms but all have a view across the Okonjima grass plains.
The Okonjima activities include tracking rehabilitated carnivores on foot, visiting the AfriCat Carnivore Care and Information Centre and tracking leopards from a game–viewing vehicle. Okonjima also offers a guided Bushman Trail and Birding and Game drives are offered on request if guests stay longer than 2 days.
Day 16: Return journey via Okahandja to Windhoek.
Okahandja is an important centre for woodcarvers from the north. They practice their ancient skills at the Woodcarvers Market next to the main road. This is a good place to pick a last souvenir. Return your hire car to the airport and check-in for your outbound flight. Bid farewell to Namibia!
Day 17: Arrive into London Heathrow.
Contact our expert staff for more information about Namibia self drive tours or holidays to Namibia on 01444 225640 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org