Self Drive Tours

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12-Day Namibian Explorer Self-Drive Safari

Details:This is an excellent experience and a comprehensive self-drive safari around the main highlights of southern, central and western Namibia. It is a great itinerary for families and large groups, who might be contemplating an adventurous self-drive trip around Namibia. This experience will definitely leave you with memories of beautiful landscapes, adventure, wildlife and unique cultural experiences.
Departures:Any day of the week.

Starting from as low as N$21,940 pp sharing.

  • Accommodation as specified in this itinerary and subject to availability at the time of reservation
  • Meals as indicated on this itinerary
  • Fully Equipped 4×4 vehicle (with rooftop tent)
  • All vehicle insurance – tyres and glass
  • GPS (Global Positioning Systems)
  • Sossusvlei National Park entrance and park fees
  • Swakopmund Museum
  • Dolphin Cruise in Walvis Bay
  • Etosha National Park entrance and park fees
  • Airport transfers
  • Administration fees, Roadbook and Maps
  • International flights
  • Insurance for lost luggage, cancellation, medical repatriation, visas…
  • Extra activities not displaying in this quotation or marked by the symbol “Not Incl.”
  • Drinks, tips, curios etc…

Itinerary Details

You will start your journey from Windhoek heading in the southerly direction on the B1 main highway, travelling via the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that is visible to the eastern side.  Rehoboth will be your first town on route, here you can stock up on snacks and some basic items. Commonly known as the home of the Baster people, the mixed race community and you’ll then continue to Kalkrand. It is not until you’re close to Mariental that you bid the main road B1 road farewell and make your way east into the Kalahari.

The Kalahari Desert is regarded as a semi-desert receiving between 100mm – 250mm of rain per annum. It therefore receives more rain than a true desert like the Namib Desert. The Kalahari is a fossil desert, thus don’t expect to see tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here.  The Kalahari’s dunes are very different. They are often equally beautiful, but usually greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes with the ability to support more flora and fauna than a true desert.

Upon Arrival: Your lodge offers scenic drives, game viewing activities, as well as e-bike activities and nature trails. The sunsets are fabulous and a good excuse for some wine before a lovely dinner at the lodge.

As today is a lengthy drive across country to yet another desert on the opposite spectrum on the western part of Namibia, you will set off quite early today (at 07:30 latest) after your breakfast, and enjoy one of the most scenic drives. Mariental will be the first stop on route, and an ideal filling station, and a chance to buy some water and snacks perhaps. You’ll reach the small town of Maltahöhe next.

The relatively flat landscape will start to give way to a more mountainous terrain as you get closer to the Namib Naukluft National park. You will traverse the captivating Tsaris mountain range in the Namib Desert. The Naukluft Park is one of the largest parks in Africa and the world at over 49,000km² (19,000sq miles), a little larger than Switzerland to put things into better perspective. The park is home to various species of wildlife, but more specially, the protected Hartmann Mountain Zebra which roam freely through the vast plains and mountains of this area. The Namib Naukluft Park also contains some of the most iconic attractions of the country, like the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei. Other attractions include the desert adapted vegetation of the area, like the Succulent Karoo, Camel-thorn Acacia, Lichens and many more.

Upon arrival: You will reach your beautiful camp in the later afternoon hours, and after such a long drive, it is time to relax and recover from the lengthy journey. Here, you will have a chance to book the optional activities for tomorrow morning, such as the Hot Air Ballooning over the dunes, nature drives and scenic flights with the helicopter. Another wonderful sunset is something to look forward to this evening.

A pre-dawn start is a must this morning in order to appreciate the wonders that this area has on offer. The Sossusvlei area offers visitors some of the picturesque and indescribable landscapes in the world, with unbelievable colour contrasts at sunrise and after sunset along with amazing photographic opportunities. Here you will also look at the abundance of small life, which baffles the mind as to how the numerous creatures can survive in this harsh and unforgiving Namib desert.
Sossusvlei is the very end of the Tsauchab River, approximately 55km from the Atlantic Ocean, which on rare occasions turns into a true water filled oasis after heavy rainfall. This phenomena has not been evident for the last few years, as this area is predominantly bone-dry throughout the year averaging around 20mm of rainfall per annum. You can return to the lodge just before noon in order to enjoy some lunch, and enjoy some pool time. Your late afternoon activity is a visit to the Sesriem Canyon, before your dinner.

Upon arrival: Enter Sossusvlei at sunrise in the morning and remember to take plenty of water, sun cream, a hat, walking shoes, camera batteries and film/memory. Explore some of the world’s highest dunes and a sheltered pan with petrified trees that are hundreds of years old; climb the dunes and look out over at the sandsea. Private reserves in the area reveal fascinating flora, fauna and ancient desert landscapes.

You leave the Sossusvlei area early enough to enjoy a cool scenic drive to the coastal town of Swakopmund along the mighty Atlantic Ocean as you get closer.

The Tropic of Capricorn, which forms the circle of the latitude that contains the subsolar point on the December solstice is on your route, and here you can stop for a picture or two. You will also transit via the Gaub and Kuiseb Mountain passes which too warrant short stops, as the geology around these areas is extraordinary. The Walvis Bay wetlands site welcomes you to the beautiful Namibian Atlantic coastline where thousands of flamingoes, pelicans and numerous waders feed in the nutrient-rich shallow waters. Walvis Bay makes for a great lunch stop!

Upon arrival in Swakopmund, you can park your vehicle and relax at your accommodation after a long drive before embarking on a short afternoon walking tour to see the town’s historical monuments, and acquaint yourself with a few optional activities for the next day which are on offer, but you can look forward to the Dolphin tour scheduled for the following day in Walvis Bay, Namibia’s port capital.

Swakopmund is situated amidst dunes and desert close to the mouth of the Swakop River, and during the colonial period Swakopmund was an important hub, although the conditions for a deep-sea port were not favourable here. The coastal waters were far too shallow, a sheltered lagoon was missing and the surf was much too strong.

The restaurant selection for dinner here is endless.

Upon arrival: Visit; restaurants, shops and attractions in Swakopmund; spend some time making the most of the cool air and refreshing sea. Among the many activities on offer here, we recommend a scenic flight over Skeleton Coast; an informative living desert tour, sandwich harbour tour, and other activities like the quad-biking and sandboarding in the dunes, and skydiving for the adventurers.

An early breakfast followed by an 8AM pick-up is on the cards for today, as we’ve have taken the liberty in arranging a dolphin cruise for you this morning on the catamaran. This experience affords our guests a chance to learn about the marine life on the Namibian Atlantic coast and the possibility of seeing the various species of dolphin we have in Namibia, as well as whales, seals, pelicans and much more (please be advised that this activity is only what we believe you would enjoy, but you are welcome to replace it with something else (similarly priced)).

This afternoon: Upon your return from Walvis Bay around noon, your afternoon will be a relaxed one. You will have a chance to visit some curio shops, the Swakopmund museum, Kristall Galerie or just wonder the lively markets of this unique city. Dinner this night will be at another lovely seaside restaurant booked for you

Today’s drive will be a relatively short one, therefore a late morning breakfast would be good, and you are also welcome to conduct some last minute shopping in Swakopmund this morning before heading to the Spitzkoppe.
The Spitzkoppe is undoubtably one of the most photographed mountain motifs of Namibia. This inselberg prevails above the surrounding plains by 700 metres with an overall height of 1728m above sea level.
The Spitzkoppe (meaning pointed dome) have a distinctive form, which can be spotted from a great distance and the Spitzkoppe is also often called the “Matterhorn” of Namibia. Actually the Spitzkoppe consists of two separate mountains; the large Spitzkoppe, which is 1728 m high and the small Spitzkoppe, which has a height of 1584 metres. Further west we also find the so-called Pontok Mountains.
For hikers and mountaineers the Spitzkoppe is a paradise. Beginners can practice nicely here and for professionals the ascent of the peak is a real challenge as it is difficult. The first ascent of the challenging west side was in 1946 and up to today only 600 roped parties have succeeded to reach the peak.

Upon arrival: After your arrival you will have some time to just relax at the camp and enjoy the lovely views that this area has on offer. In the late afternoon, it is worth it to visit the bushman paradise site consisting of historical rock paintings by the indigenous San tribe. The famous ‘arch’ is also worth a visit.

This morning would require a very early departure from the Spitzkoppe as you will have a lengthy drive that takes you pass the small former mining town of Uis (which would be your fuel stop) on route to the Palmwag rhino concession. On your way, you will pass the Brandberg mountain, known to be the highest mountain in Namibia at over 2,500m (over 8,400ft) above sea level.
You will also traverse the Twyfelfontein area of Damaraland, which is home to the UNESCO world heritage site and an optional stopover for our guests who are interested in seeing the iconic rock engravings made by the San people, of which some of the artwork dates back to over 6000 years.

Upon arrival: Your late afternoon arrival at the Palmwag area warrants a cold beverage at the beautiful lodge! The Palmwag concession also pays homage to the Desert-Adapted Elephants and lions of Namibia. Here you will have the option to book a game drive in the concession, or opt for the unique half day Rhino tracking activity the next day, as this is activity is conducted from the early mornings.

The Palmwag concession is an area covering over 400,000 hectares (988,400 Acres) of conservation land. The Palmwag Concession is a of pristine semi-desert wilderness and is home to a number of rare, desert-adapted species, such as lion, elephant, giraffe and black rhino.
Palmwag is a private concession, ran in collaboration with a number of conservation and local community organisations. The reserve is specially well-known for providing habitat for the largest population of south-western black rhinos in Africa, under the protection of the organization known as the Save the Rhino Trust.

This afternoon: You can go on a nature walk this afternoon to explore more of this area and enjoy the wonderful views.

This day would need yet another early departure, as you make your way to the famous Etosha National Park. The drive however takes you to the small town of Kamanjab, as your stopover to refuel, and grab a few supplies before making your way to the Etosha National Park.
One of Namibia’s most exceptional adventures is to visit the Etosha National Park. Your journey today will take you to this great game sanctuary through some of the lands belonging to the iconic Himba tribe.

Upon arrival: You should arrive around noon in Etosha and you can have some lunch before going off on your first game drive inside this vast park with your own vehicle. A beautiful African sunset in the bush is always a wonderful sight.

You can start early this morning with your game drive to continue looking for your favourite animals today.
The Etosha National Park is famous for African elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, rhino, and other antelope sightings, offering a very pleasant experience, especially to first timers in the part. The waterholes at clearly marked and the maps of the park are very clear and simple to follow. Etosha Pan lookout point is a great stopover while enjoying your game drive, to see the vastness of the great white open space.

In the afternoon: You have the option of booking a morning, afternoon, or night game drive offered by Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

Your safari in the Etosha National Park is for yet another full day in order to give you more time to discover the north-eastern end of this vast park maximizing your chances of seeing more wildlife.
This park, which was first proclaimed a national park in 1907, but has significantly decreased in size since then. You can look for more wildlife while seeing a variety of different bird species.
After a full day of game driving in the park, you will have your last evening just outside the north eastern gate of the park, inside the Onguma Game Reserve.

In the afternoon: Sundowner drives and Bush walks come highly recommended in the Onguma Game reserve.

You will rejoin the main road known as the B1 when heading south from the mining town of Tsumeb to Otavi, and further.
You have come to the end of your tour and will continue heading south on the B1 road to the capital city of Windhoek but transiting via Okahandja, and here you can take time to stop and shop, considering that this is home to Namibia’s largest wood carving and craft market. Your arrival in Windhoek will be in the late afternoon hours. A great chance to see the African sunset from the city.

Programme Overview

Day 1Kalahari DesertTented CampD
Day 2SossusvleiCampingSC
Day 3SossusvleiCampingSC
Day 4SwakopmundHotelB
Day 5SwakopmundHotelB, L
Day 6SpitzkoppeCampingSC
Day 7PalmwagCampingSC
Day 8PalmwagCampingSC
Day 9Etosha National ParkCampingSC
Day 10Etosha National ParkCampingSC
Day 11Etosha National ParkLodgeD
Day 12WindhoekB

B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
D – Dinner
SC – Self Catering

Price Per Person

Per person sharing from: N$21,940
Single Supplement : N$2,080
Solo travellers and groups welcomed

Prices Effective From:

Nov 1, 2020 – Oct 31, 2024

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