From dune bashing in the Namib Desert and discovering black rhino in Damaraland, to encountering leopard in the Central Highlands and hiking Fish River Canyon, this self-drive is ideal for those who have visited Africa before, and are now looking for an even more adventurous trip through one-of-a-kind landscape.
The Capital of Namibia has so much to offer, from historical buildings to craft shops and museums. But if you choose to spend your first day relaxing, we've got that covered too with our superb choice of hotel, The Olive Exclusive. Here you will be met by our representative to brief you on your itinerary and collection of car hire.
This is the country's second desert. There are higher levels of rainfall here compared to the Namib, and therefore more vegetation which allows for a more varied wildlife. The stillness and silence of the desert as well as the stunning red dunes make this an ideal first stop and introduction to this beautiful and diverse country. Birders will love to spot the raptors, martial and snake eagles as well as lappet-faced vultures soaring above. On the ground, aardwolves, porcupines and honey badgers are all possible sightings.
The Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge would be our recommendation for your two nights in this area. Once you have settled in, you can head off for a sundown drive in the lodges open off-road car complete with guide. There are also a number of walking and hiking trails which you can take with or without a guide.
Fish River Canyon
This is the second largest canyon worldwide after the Grand Canyon, USA. With it being 550m deep, 27km wide, 60km long and with the 1.5 billion years of geological history here, this area is a photographer's dream. Due to soring temperatures the rest of the year, the 85km of hiking trail is only accessible from May to mid-September.
You'll have plenty of time to explore the area where you may come across an abundance of reptiles, insects and fish that live in natural pools and the river itself. The hot springs which are located on the canyon floor attract many types of water birds so birding around the area can be very rewarding. We love how this area changes from season to season; depending on the time of year you could be presented with a dry river bed, or in the rainy season a raging torrent. Look out for mountain zebra, kudu, steenbok and the unique klipspringer - an antelope with a special hoof structure which allows it to expertly jump from rock to rock. Definitely a video opportunity!
We think you will adore your night at the Fish River Lodge as it is directly on the Fish River Canyon. We love the breath-taking African sunsets that you can enjoy from your private deck.
There is so much to see and do here over the next two days such as the fascinating plant and animal world of the Succulent Karoo Desert, or a scenic drive through Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park. You may also come across the wild horses that the area is famous for. The fascinating towns of Kolmanskop & Luderitz are less than 1.5 hours’ drive away. The deserted diamond settlement of Kolmanskop makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. The town is closed to visitors after 1pm. The harbour town of Luderitz is located on the Atlantic coast and here you will find a heritage of beautiful buildings as well as the old stone cross erected by Portuguese seafarers more than 500 years ago. If history is your thing then we highly recommend a visit to the remains of the prisoner of war camp where German soldiers were imprisoned after the First World War or the Aus Cemetery which is the resting place of those who lost their lives during the Spanish flu pandemic.
Enjoy two nights at Klein Aus Vista, Eagle's Nest Chalet where you will have a fantastic vantage point of the extrodinary landscape in this area.
Here you will find some of the biggest dunes in the world - some rising 300m into the air. Gaze in awe at the views of Acacia trees against a background of stunning red and orange landscapes. It is possible to explore the massive dunes here both by 4x4 or on foot. Don't miss your chance to climb the most popular dunes such as Dune 45 or Big Daddy. You can also pay a visit to the gorges of Sesriem Canyon where it is possible to see the many animals who come here to drink, and it is quite normal to cross paths with springbok and ostriches.
Two nights at the Kulala Desert Lodge will give you plenty of opportunity to experience the star beds - a unique sleeping experience that we highly recommend.
An extremely scenic drive north will bring you to the coastal city of Swakopmund. Sandy beaches face the Atlantic Ocean which gives a welcome cooling breeze against the backdrop of the hot desert. Here you will find palm-lined streets and seaside promenades as well as colonial landmarks, including the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the elegant Swakopmund Railway Station which has now been converted into a popular hotel. If you like a bit of culture there is always the Swakopmund museum with exhibits of cultural and geologic history, The Die Muschel Book & Art Shop and the Martin Luther steam tractor Museum.
The luxurious Strand Hotel is ideally located for your two nights coastal stay.
Your next stop is inland to the delightful and one of the most scenic areas of Namibia known as Damaraland. A four to five hour journey that will take you through mountainous, untamed and rugged beauty. This area is home to desert elephants and black rhino. Here you will find several well-preserved rock art sites as well as the Spitzkoppe, the remnant of an ancient volcano. For bird lovers, Damaraland has more than 200 bird species recorded.
Tonight you are in for a treat when staying at Mowani Mountain Camp - especially if you love an outdoor bath whilst drinking in amazing scenery.
You will enjoy two nights exploring this beautiful game reserve. Etosha means 'great white place' in the Ovambo language and you can certainly understand why when you see the bare open expanse of shimmering green and white that covers almost a quarter of the park. Many of the area's waterholes are known for particular sightings and some even have resident leopards. Just park your car up and wait and watch for a whole host of animals to come down for a drink. If you are a keen photographer, the best light is in the early morning and late afternoon with the most spectacular African sunrises and sunsets. As you travel through the park there is always the possibility of spotting the endangered black rhino and the elusive leopard. This is one of our favourite areas for fantastic wildlife spotting and two nights will give you plenty of time to tick off those special sightings on your wishlist.
Game viewing doesn't stop when you stay at Ongava Lodge, with its' prime position overlooking a waterhole popular with the local residents.
With such a wide expanse of land in Etosha, we recommend you drive through the National Park to Eastern Etosha and spend a night here. It will take you about four to five hours. Driving past the salt pan that is so large it can be seen from space. Definitely a photo opportunity.
Mushara Outpost would be our choice for your night here. With its' luxurious accommodation and exquisite cuisine, this is sure to be one of your highlights.
Say goodbye to Etosha National Park as you head for the last part of your African Adventure - Central Highlands. A five to six hour journey. Nestled between Etosha and Windhoek the Central Highlands is a region of gentle rolling hills, well known for its’ farms and ranches. This is a walker's paradise with plenty of walking trails and hikes especially in the Waterberg Plateau Reserve.
Okonjima is a conservation hotspot that is home to the Africat Foundation, famous for rehabilitating big cats and other wildlife, therefore you are in for a treat with incredible sightings of leopard, wild dog, hyena and cheetah. Not to be missed.
A night at Okonjima Bush Suite will ensure that you leave your incredible Namibian adventure on a high.
This safari can be tailored in any way to meet your personal needs including length of trip, accommodation and experiences included, with or without international flights. Contact one of our safari designers now to discuss your safari ideas.
- International flights
- Domestic flights and transfers
- Car Hire
- 15 nights accommodation as detailed above
- All National Park fees and entrance fees for activities detailed
Prices start from £4950pp/€6120pp/$6385pp