Self-Drive Through Namibia
Namibia is a land of stark contrasts and breathtaking natural beauty. Located in southwestern Africa, Namibia is a destination that promises to captivate and inspire travellers with its sweeping deserts, rugged mountains, and diverse wildlife. From the iconic red sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the wildlife-rich plains of Etosha National Park, Namibia is a place that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.
In this newsletter we present a special discovery tour through Nambia (9D8N) by rental car. (Group P Vehicle / Renault Duster DCI AWD Manual or similar)
DAY 1: WINDHOEK
Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport, you will be met by a local representative who will assist you to the car rental kiosk for the collection of your rental vehicle.
When all the vehicle collection procedures are completed, self-drive to The Olive Grove Guesthouse in Windhoek where you will spend the night.
Driving time: Approximately 40 minute drive from Hosea Kutako Airport to The Olive Grove Guesthouse. The distance is about 45 km.
Time permitting, embark on an optional 3-hour Windhoek City & Township Tour.
The Windhoek City & Township tour includes a stunning view over Windhoek from the famous Lover’s Hill while you get to know the comprehensive history of Windhoek and Namibia from colonial era to modern day. Visit the Christ Church, Ink Palace, Parliament Gardens, and the Old Fort before heading into the township of Katutura to meet the people, taste of local delicacies and learn the history of Windhoek and its people.
Dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse, one of Windhoek’s well-loved and eclectic restaurant where locals go to unwind and have fun. (own account)
DAY 2: SESRIEM
After a scrumptious breakfast and checkout procedures, head south-west of Windhoek to Sossusvlei.
Driving time: Approximately 5 hour drive from Windhoek to Sossusvlei. The distance is about 365 km.
Situated in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Africa’s largest conservation area, Sossusvlei is characterized by its monumental rust-red dunes and white salt pans. The dunes in Sossusvlei are some of the highest in the world. The tallest dune, renowned as Big Daddy, is 325 metres and overlooks the Dead Vlei, a white pan filled with the dark fossils of camelthorn trees while the more famous and most photographed Dune 45 is 80 metres tall.
On arrival at the lodge this afternoon and upon completion check-in procedures, you can opt to relax by the pool and unwind after a long drive. Alternatively, embark on an optional (own account) sundowner or nature drive departing late afternoon. This drive is done within the lodge’s private concession and takes you out to a panoramic location where sundowner drinks will be served as you relax and watch the spectacular sunset.
Dinner will be served at the lodge.
DAY 3: SESRIEM
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and the day at leisure.
The below optional (own account) activities are available for enjoyment at the lodge.
Sossusvlei & Deadvlei Excursion – Depart early in one of the lodge’s all-terrain URI game-viewer vehicles so as to enter the Namib-Naukluft Park at sunrise, while the temperature is still mild and when the dune contrasts are at their best. Regular stops are made on the spectacular ±60 kilometre drive through the dune corridor down to the Vlei to gain information or take in the vistas. At Dune 45, make a stop to view the the world’s most photographed dune. Further along, a gradual 2,6 km round-trip guided walk up to Dead Vlei is a must for the healthy visitors. The more energetic have the opportunity to climb to the upper ridge of Big Daddy Dune, one of the highest dunes in this area! Spend time exploring Sossusvlei before returning to the Lodge approximately 5½ hours later in time for lunch. (lunch not included)
Quad Buggy Nature Trail – The quad buggy is a wonderful and different way to experience the spectacular local surrounds. Depart from the Lodge late afternoon for a slow nature drive on the lodge’s private reserve. Enjoy breath-taking views over the Desert grass plains with occasional photo stops where knowledgeable guides explain the Desert fauna and flora. Go higher up to the foothills to watch a spectacular sunset whilst enjoying non-alcoholic sundowner drinks before heading back to the lodge just before dark.
Sesriem Canyon Excursion – Explore the remarkable depths of Sesriem Canyon. Experienced guides will share the history behind this magnificent natural canyon carved by the Tsauchab River.
Scenic Flights or Helicopter Flights or Hot Air Balloon – Either of these three options offer an opportunity to experience the Desert beauty from a bird’s eye view.
DAY 4: SWAKOPMUND
After breakfast and checkout, self-drive from the Namib Desert for a two-night stay in Swakopmund.
Driving time: Approximately 5-hour drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund. The distance is about 365 km.
The drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund is quite scenic and fairly simple. Take the C19 to Solitaire, then take the C14 straight to Swakopmund.
Set on the coast west of Namibia, Swakopmund is fondly known for its colonial charm and relaxed atmosphere. Here, a plethora of activities from quad-biking or sand-boarding on the dunes to Catamaran cruises on the lagoon while enjoying oysters and champagne awaits you.
After check-in at the hotel, why not explore this coastal town on foot, visiting some of the many sidewalk cafés and boutique stores as well as enjoying a leisurely stroll along the beach while savoring the sunset.
DAY 5: SWAKOPMUND
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and the day at leisure.
Below optional (own account) excursions can be arranged at an extra charge.
Full Day 4×4 Sandwich Harbour (Half Day option available) – Sandwich Harbour is where the Namib Desert meets the ocean. On this excursion, you will enjoy a short break at the Walvis Bay Lagoon to see masses of flamingos. The trip continues to the Kuiseb river delta, a dry riverbed where the occasional springbok may still be seen. You will then proceed across exquisite dunes to get to Sandwich Harbour. If weather and tides permit, the tour goes to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands.
Half Day Living Desert Tour – This is a unique 4×4 drive adventure into the scenic desert dunes outside of Swakopmund that offers outstanding scenic photography and an insight into the special creatures which thrive in seemingly impossible arid conditions.
Full Day Marine Cruise & 4×4 Sandwich Harbour Combo – The Marine Dune Day gives you the ultimate combination of a leisure cruise on the Atlantic Ocean and a 4×4 ride in the breathtaking Sandwich Harbour Area of the Namib Naukluft Park. The day starts with a Marine Cruise with Catamaran Charters in the morning at 09:00 (check-in at 08:30 at the Walvis Bay Waterfront).
Full Day Kayak & Sandwich Harbour Combo – This day trip allows you to combine two of the most popular activities available at the Namibian coast: Kayaking on the Walvis Bay Lagoon and a 4×4 excursion to Sandwich Harbour. Kayaking Tour: You will be transported from Walvis Bay to Pelican Point at 07:45. Your morning is spent kayaking amongst the Cape fur seals.
Moonlandscape Sundowner – The moonscape is a totally barren, undulating, rocky desert which was formed by the valleys of the Swakop River. Millions of years ago the river carved deep canyons into the granite rock, producing breathtaking geo-landscapes. It truly is an unspoilt precious place, a true reminder of the wonder that is nature. It’s an easy drive that offers a sense of adventure and taste of the Namib Desert. See amazing views from this unique location full of beauty while relishing in the golden hour before the incredible Namibian night sky opens up its starry splendour.
DAY 6: ETOSHA SOUTH
Depart Swakopmund after breakfast and travel towards Etosha National Park situated in the north-west of Namibia.
Driving time: Approximately 5-hour drive from Swakopmund to Etosha. The distance is about 495 km.
Arguably Namibia’s most spectacular wildlife sanctuary, Etosha National Park spans just over 20,000 km. Its name which means Great White Place is derived from the salt pan around which the national park is centered. Home to 114 mammal species, almost 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species, and even one species of fish, you are set to enjoy some of the best wildlife viewing Namibia has to offer.
When all check-in procedures are completed at the lodge, enjoy some leisurely time either at the lodge’s viewing deck or the pool while soaking the serene surrounds of the African wilderness.
DAY 7: ETOSHA SOUTH
Spend a full day exploring the national park either on a self-drive or an optional (own account) guided game drive. Starting your game viewing early morning will allow you to catch the predators while they are still active.
The many waterholes around the park provide strategic opportunities for incredible game viewing and phenomenal photographic moments. Some of the wildlife that could be spotted include but not limited to the below:
Elephants, said to be the tallest in Africa, reaching up to 4 metres tall at the shoulder. An estimated 2000 elephants roam the park and have adapted to the desert environment here.
Leopards, which are known to be quite elusive and tend to hide out in the dense bush. Some watering holes, such as Klein Namutoni and Rietfontein, are especially renowned for leopard sightings. Black and white rhinos, lions, cheetahs, jackals, giraffes, kudu and many more.
Enjoy an optional (own account) picnic at one of the fenced picnic spots within the park, can be pre-arranged.
Please note: Entrance fee is up to N$80 per person & N$10 per vehicle (subject to change without prior notice).
After a day of coming up and close with some wild animals, head back to the lodge where you will enjoy a leisurely evening.
DAY 8: WATERBERG PLATEAU NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast and checkout, self-drive from Etosha to Waterberg; a lush, green, water-rich area with an abundance of birds and small antelopes which can often be seen on the walking trails.
Driving time: Approximately 2.5 hour drive. The distance is about 223 km.
The Plateau which gives the park its name is a particularly prominent feature, elevated high above the plains of the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia. It is made up of compressed sandstone formed some 180 – 200 million years ago.
On arrival at the lodge and check-in procedures have been completed, you can enjoy some of the below optional (own account) activities.
Walking Trails – Guided and unguided walking trails are available on offer. These lead up the Small Waterberg or to the Omumborombonga Forest. The trails are as long as you want them – but in general between 1.5 and 3 hours.
Wellness -The Lodge offers a range of Wellness Treatments. These range from Aromatherapy, Deep Tissue to Hand and Feet Massages.
The evening is at leisure.
DAY 9: DEPARTURE
Rise up early to ensure enough time for that last walk up the plateau before departing for Windhoek.
Driving time: Approximately 4 hour drive from Waterberg to Windhoek International Airport. The distance is about 350km.
After breakfast and checkout, self-drive via Okahandja where you can stop at the large craft market for last minute gift shopping and best bargain prices before arriving at Hosea Kutako International Airport for your onward flight.
Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport, make your way through to the vehicle hire kiosk to drop off your vehicle, where the standard check in and inspection will be done.
Thereafter continue through to the check in counter for your onward travels, taking home with you many happy memories of your holiday.
Contact our team in Cape Town for more information: [email protected]