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15 Day Classic Namibia Self Drive

15 days from £2070pp plus international flights.

A two week self-drive journey through Namibia is a wonderful introduction to this magnificent country.  You will see some of the main highlights and all the while have the freedom of setting your own pace, you can stop for a break, admire the ever-changing view, take a break for a leisurely lunch - you are not tied to anyone else's schedule - it's a great way to holiday!

On arrival in Windhoek, you will be met and transferred to the city where you will pick up your vehicle and then the freedom of the open road awaits you. The first few days you explore the magnificent Namib-Naukluft National Park and the iconic ochre dunes of the Sossusvlei, there are some incredibly scenic areas here which greet you at every turn.

A refreshing contrast is a couple of nights at the coast in Swakopmund, a delightful town, often called the adventure capital of Namibia as here you can arrange many activities from quad-biking or sand-boarding in the dunes, skydiving, scenic flights, even go-karting. The coastline here is called the Skeleton Coast and stretches north to Angola. It gets its name from the shipwrecks which can still be seen from shore, once upon a time, the area was also littered with whale bones from the fishermen.

Damaraland awaits you, the scenery is magnificent, from mountains, granite boulders, geological anomalies, not forgetting the historic rock paintings of the San Bushmen and an opportunity to see the desert-adapted wildlife that roams the area. To top all this off is a visit to Etosha, Namibia's premier National Park, here you will have plenty of opportunities to get some excellent photographs.  Your final stop is at Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation, a popular and very worthwhile experience.  

Namibia really does have something for everyone!

Itinerary
Chalets at Desert Homestead

DAY 1: ARRIVE WINDHOEK, DRIVE TO NAMIB DESERT

When you land in Windhoek, you will be met by the car rental company representative and transferred to their offices in Windhoek to complete all rental procedures. Then your Namibia adventure begins as you head south to your lodge for the evening. If you have time you can go via Spreetshoogte Pass, it's well worth it as the view from the top of the escarpment is stunning. It should take about 4 and a half hours to reach the lodge. Freshen up for dinner then relax and enjoy your first night in Nambia.

Sand dunes at Sossusvlei

DAY 2: EXPLORE THE NAMIB DESERT

This morning you will have an early wake-up call followed by a scrumptious breakfast. Then it's off to explore the Namib-Naukluft National park, entering through the Sesriem Gate.  Today is the day to explore the fabulous, iconic Sossusvlei Dunes, you can even climb them if you have the stamina.  You can opt to return to the lodge for lunch, or you can arrange for a pack-up so you can stay and explore the park for longer. Late in the afternoon return to recharge your batteries, freshen-up and join the other guests for dinner.

The Tropic of Capricorn

DAY 3: SWAKOPMUND & WALVIS BAY

Today, after breakfast, pack up your car and head north to the quirky town of Solitiare. It's worth stopping at the bakery for some light refreshments, their cakes are renowned. Then you will head west and cross the Tropic of Capricorn, a great photo opportunity. More stunning scenery follows and you will eventually reach the interestingly named Skeleton Coast and Swakopmund.  If you are able, we recommend a detour via Ganab.  This will allow you to visit the ancient Welwitschia Plains and the area aptly named the Moon Landscape before arriving in the coastal town of Swakopmund. Depending on stops today's drive is about 5 hours.

Boat wreck on the Skeleton Coast

DAY 4: SWAKOPMUND

After a hearty breakfast you can start to explore the area.  The Skeleton Coast gets its name from the shipwrecks, barren landscape and in days gone by, whale skeletons left on the beach.  There is such a lot to do here, Swakopmund is not known as the adventure captial of Namibia for nothing. You could opt for a dolphin cruise, quadbiking in the dunes, or dune boarding is always good fun. You could take a scenic flight and see how vast this area is from the sky. You could try ocean fishing or even sea kayaking - there are plenty of choices, there is sure to be something for everyone.  This evening you can explore the town and dine in one of the many excellent restaurants. If you enjoy fish dishes then this is the place to be.

See the seals at Cape Cross

DAY 5: DRIVE TO DAMARALAND

After a hearty breaksfast, it's time to set off for your next destination, with plenty to see along the way. You will head north along the Skeleton Coast, via Henties Bay to visit the Cape Cross seal colony, a sight to behold. Along the way, stop at the Lichen Fields as well as the shipwreck between the colourful small town of Vlotskasbaken and Henties Bay. After spending some time watching the seals, backtrack to Henties Bay and head inland through wide open plains to Uis, then north to the Twyfelfontein area where you will find Camp Kipwe. Depending on stops it should take you a little over 4 hours to reach here.

Either this afternoon (if there is time) or tomorrow morning pay a visit to Namibia’s Open Air Museum, the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings as well as the fascinating rock formations known as the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain, which takes its name from the orange glow it has as the setting sun hits its surface. It's also worth taking a drive west to the Huab River to look for desert-adapted elephants as well as other game such as oryx, springbok, ostrich and lots more. You could opt to do this as a guided trip (added extra). This evening you can relax, wash off the dust from the drive and enjoy the Namibian hospitality.

Game drive at Etendeka Mountain Camp

DAY 6 & 7: DAMARALAND REMOTE AREAS

Driving further into the stunning region of Damaraland, you can't help but marvel at the landscape. You will head north through open plains and mountain ranges to the veterinary control fence close to Palmwag Lodge. You will leave your vehicle here and be collected by a guide from Etendeka Lodge. Climb aboard his vehicle and he'll take you through more beautiful scenery for a couple of hours, pointing out wildlife on the way to the lodge which will be your home for 2 nights and you can enjoy guided game drives and nature walks in this remote, harsh, yet beautiful area.

Meet Himba people near Opuwo Country Lodge

DAY 8: DRIVE TO OPUWO

After breakfast, your guide will take you back to your vehicle so you can continue your Namibian odyssey. The drive will take you through yet more beautiful scenery to the town of Opuwo, crossing the Hoanib River and the Joubert Pass.  This small, typically African town is home to a range of different people from the traditional Himba tribes to Herero, Damara and Owambo cultures.  Take the opportunity to stop in some of the villages on the way. it should take about three and a half hours to reach your hotel. If you prefer, your lodge will be able to arrange a visit to a Himba village along with a guide/interpreter - this way you will be able to interact with the Himba and learn so much more.  Return to your hotel and enjoy a delicious cooked meal to finish off the day.

Sleeping leopard in Etosha

DAY 9: DRIVE TO ETOSHA (WEST)

You are now heading towards the main wildlife portion of your holiday, in Etosha National Park. After a delicious breakfast, you will get back into your car and drive to Hobatere Lodge, again stopping on the way if you wish. It's an easy drive of just over 2 hours. The lodge is located in a beautiful private concession in the western sector of Etosha, this is great as it means it's secluded.  You should arrive early afternoon and you may opt to take a break from driving and join an afternoon or evening game drive with the lodge (optional extra) or perhaps decide to stay at the lodge and relax by the pool and have a well-earned ice-cold drink. 

Elephants in Etosha National Park

DAYS 10 & 11: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast, enter Etosha at the western Galton Gate. A full morning game drive will take you to Okaukuejo and  then you will exit Etosha at the southern gate, Anderson gate where you will find your lodge, Etosha Village, which will be home for the next two nights.  You can return to Etosha in the afternoon or arrange to join one of the lodge's game drives (optional extra).  You have another full day to explore Etosha. One of the best ways is to travel from waterhole to waterhole, park-up and watch the animals take turns coming to the water to drink. There are elephants a-plenty in Etosha and plenty of plains game too.  Keep your eyes peeled for the predators that follow their next meal closely. Return to the lodge for a sundowner and enjoy chatting with fellow travellers around the camp fire.

Mushara Bush Camp safari

Day 12 & 13: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK (EAST)

After breakfast you will incorporate your transfer into a game drive, as you drive slowly east through the park stopping at numerous waterholes along the way. The first stop is Okaukuejo, pay your entry fee and then your free to spend the day seeking out the game. If you take it slowly you will reach the Halali Resort in time for lunch, it's a great half way stop. After more game viewing in the afternoon, you can exit via the eastern gate and make your way to Mushara Bush Camp in time to unpack and freshen up before pre-dinner drinks. Tomorrow you can take your time exploring more of this vast national park, you can't get bored with so many animals around. You can opt to take advantage of the professionals, and join one of the lodge's guided game drives (optional extra) and pick up some tips from the experts.

Cheetah at AfriCat at Okonjima

DAY 14: DRIVE TO CENTRAL NAMBIA

Leaving Etosha, the animals and the lunar landscape behind, you will drive south via Otavi and Otjiwarongo to Okonjima Lodge which is home to the AfriCat Foundation. It's worth setting off early as the drive is about 4.5 hours. There is lots to see and do here, and your hosts will be keen to share information on the work of the foundation.  If you arrive here by 2pm, then you can enjoy afternoon tea and cake before heading off on your afternoon excursion. There's another opportunity to see more wildlife after dinner, then you can view some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the area. Finish off the day with some hearty Namibian hospitality and a night-cap before turning in for the last night of your trip.

Okonjima Plains Camp deck

DAY 15: DRIVE TO WINDHOEK

Making the most of your last day, it's an early start with a quick snack before heading out on your morning activity which will be to visit the AfriCat Foundation or a drive in the game reserve. Afterwards, return to the lodge for a hearty Namibian breakfast before saying goodbye.  The drive back to Windhoek is about 4 hours, you then have to drop off your trusty vehicle and your 15 day Namibian safari comes to an end although we are sure you will be re-living the memories for years to come. If you wish we can arrange a transfer to the airport for you.

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2070 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2016: Jan-June £2070 pp sharing. July-October £2230 pp sharing. Flights excluded.

Includes: 

Meet and greet at Windhoek airport on arrival; 4x4 double cab vehicle hire with maximum insurance, meals as indiciated, activities at Etendeka Mountain Camp and Okonjima Plains Camp. 

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; drinks and meals not shown; optional extra activities, tyre and windscreen insurance, personal insurance, personal expenses and tips. 

Getting there: This trips begins and ends in Windhoek, Namibia. Your flight out of Windhoek should be late afternoon or evening to allow for driving times from Okonjima to Windhoek, and then from Windhoek the drive to the airport is about one hour. 

places you will see

places you will see

sand dunes of Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei & Namib-Naukluft NP

Arguably the main attraction in the Namib Naukluft National Park is the towering orange dunes of the Sossusvlei, possibly some of the highest dunes in the world.

Swakopmund
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Known as the adrenalin capital of Namibia with adventure sports aplenty, along with plenty of good restaurants and bars, Swakopmund is a pleasant stop-off on any holiday in Namibia.

Damaraland rock formations
Damaraland
This region is one of the most scenic in Namibia with imposing granite mountains, dry riverbeds and sweeping savanna that goes on for miles, add in desert elephants and black rhino to complete the scene.

Epupa falls
Kunene
Previously known as the Kaokoveld, is probably the most rustic and remote area of this vast country. It’s hard to believe that this harsh, arid environment can support both people and a thriving wildlife population.

Oryx grazing on grasslands
Etosha
This National Park offers excellent game viewing opportunities. Whilst the landscape may seem barren and unable to support any form of life, it is home to a vast array of wildlife. The waterholes are always a hive of activity.

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time: Flights from UK to Windhoek are usually via Johannesburg or Frankfurt and take about 12.5 hours. Windhoek International Airport is 60km from the city centre.

Language: Namibia’s official language is English. Afrikaans, Dama/Nama, German, Herero, Oshiwambo, Sukwangali, Setswana and Silozi are also recognised.

Visas: Visas are not required British citizens for stays of up to 90 days.

Health: Malaria is present in Namibia. Certain areas are more high risk. A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission; this includes transiting through a yellow fever risk country; make sure you have a valid yellow fever certificate with you.  

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