13-Day Namibia Highlights Self-Drive Safari

The 12-night/13-day Namibian Highlights Self-drive Safari takes you on a fascinating journey from the capital city of Namibia to the major tourist attractions in the vast Kalahari and Namib Desert.

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  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Easy
  • Electronic voucher
  • Pickup available
  • Wifi available
Friendly cancellation & refund policy
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What’s included

  • 12-nights’ accommodation in eco-friendly safari lodges
  • Vehicle hire
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Emergency support and evacuation, if required

Description

The beauty of this tour is it’s a self-drive option, so you have the freedom and flexibility to wander off the beaten path to some extent while keeping to the daily itinerary. Your choice of vehicle for the self-drive tour is a Renault Duster 4x4 SUV or a Toyota 4x4 Double Cab; both perfectly suitable for the harsh desert environment. You can also opt to travel with a driver/guide for an additional cost.

Highlights

  • Windhoek
  • Kalahari Desert/ Namib Desert
  • Lüderitz/ Kolmanskop
  • Sossusvlei/ Dead Vlei/ Sesriem Canyons
  • Swakopmund
  • Damaraland/ Twyfelfontein
  • Etosha National Park

Please Note:

Low Season - 1 Nov to 30 June

High Season - 1 July to 31 Oct

Accommodation

Kalahari Anib Lodge

55 rooms, sleeping up to 120 guests

Kalahari Anib Lodge is a lush oasis in the midst of the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert, located about 30 kilometers northeast of Mariental. It’s the perfect stopover if you’re travelling to the popular tourist destinations in southern Namibia.

Children of all ages are welcome at Kalahari Anib Lodge.

Canyon Roadhouse

24 rooms, sleeping up to 50 adults

Canyon Roadhouse is located a short 14-kilometre drive from the Fish River Canyon. It’s famous for its quirky roadhouse them, complete with an ‘old wheelers bar’ and décor which incorporates an assortment of classic vehicles and transport paraphernalia. It’s all in good humour and a fun place to stay, with friendly staff and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Facilities include a welcome swimming pool and fuel station as well as a Canyon Information Centre. Canyon Roadhouse offers guided sundowner drives to Gondwana Canyon Park and other interesting excursions to explore the Fish River Canyon. This includes 3-4 day hikes in the Fish River Canyon and a 4x4 Wildebeest Route to view the wildebeest and zebra migrations.

The spacious ensuite rooms are positioned around courtyards and are fully equipped for comfort and convenience. Travellers with a zest for life with enjoy the Canyon Roadhouse which is designed with a sense of flair, creativity and mischief.

Klein Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn

30 rooms, sleeping up to 60 adult guests

Klein Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn offers exceptional accommodation in an exceptional setting in the heart of the Namib Desert.Nestled in the rocky Aus mountains, the landscape around Klein Aus Vista is spectacular, with the dry desertplains melting into the bleached grasses of the savanna highlands.

The spacious rooms are built in a late-century farmhouse style and painted a deep, rich sienna which makes them glow in the late afternoon desert sunshine. They’re fully equipped for comfort and relaxation and the perfect retreat after a long days drive.

The swimming pool at the main lodge is an attractive drawcard, with a large veranda encasing it that’s designed in a horse-shoe shape. If you’re not lazing around the pool enjoying a break from the long desert drives, you’ll be out and about with guides on scenic drives or mountain-bike and walking trails. 

Desert Horse Inn in Klein Aus Vista is the ideal place to stay in southwestern Namibia enroute to the highlights of the icy Atlantic coast, which includes Lüderitz and the deserted diamond town of Kolmanskop. 

Namib Desert Lodge

65 rooms, sleeping up to 130 adult guests

Namib Desert Lodge is situated 60 kilometres north of Sesriem. It’s the ideal place to stay in Namibia if you’re visiting Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei, the Sesriem Canyons and Namib Naukluft Park. Surrounded by towering red sand dunes, Namib Desert Lodge is illuminated in gold as the sun rises and sets in the Namib Desert.

The Delight Hotel

54 rooms, sleeping up to 110 adult guests

The Delight Hotel is a modern establishment located in the heart of Swakopmund, and a short walk from a vibrant shopping centre. It’s the perfect place to stay in Namibia is you’ve travelled to the coast to enjoy the town’s reputation as the “Playground Capital of Namibia”.

Each ensuite room offers panoramic views of the icy Atlantic Ocean or the vast rolling desert landscape that surrounds the historic town. Accommodation ranges from twin rooms to loft family rooms, all fully equipped for comfort and convenience. Eat out in town or stay in for a delicious meal at the lodge’s popular restaurant and finish the day off with drinks at The Delight Hotel’s cozy bar.

Damara Mopane Lodge

55 bungalows, sleeping up to 110 adult guests

Damara Mopane Lodge is situated close to Khorixas which lies enroute to the famous rock paintings and engravings in the Twyfelfontein area. It boasts modern architecture, constructed in a semi-circle of interlinking pathways that lead to a lavish swimming pool and entertainment area at its centre.

The spacious ensuite chalets are intricately decorated and fully equipped for comfort and convenience. They each have their own vegetable garden, complete with bright yellow sunflowers and crazy scarecrows. The whole lodge exudes a festive desert spirit, reflecting the warmth and rich culture of the Damaraland.

Children of all ages are welcome at Damara Mopane Lodge.

Etosha Safari Lodge

61 double rooms and family rooms, sleeping up to 150 adult guests

Etosha Safari Lodge is located 10 kilometres from Anderson Gate, making it the ideal location for a safari tour of Etosha National Park. It sits perched on a hilltop offering panoramic views of the vast savanna plains.

Each spacious ensuite chalet is fully equipped for comfort and convenience, including air-conditioning and mosquito nets. At the main lodge, facilities include a great restaurant and bar area which leads out onto a stunning wooden deck. It’s the ideal spot for sundowners.

Itinerary

Day 1: Windhoek - Kalahari Desert (Approximately 300 Kilometres)

Start your journey heading south through the hills of Windhoek towards Mariental. An optional gravel route at Kalkrand gives you a sample of the mighty Kalahari Desert. Travellers opting for the tar road can continue southwards, turning off to the east towards Stampriet and taking an easy 30 km drive to your lodge. 

Overnight at Kalahari Anib Lodge. 

Includes: No meals

Day 2: Kalahari Desert - Fish River Canyon (Approximately 400 Kilometres)

Today you travel to the Fish River Canyon which is the second-largest canyon in the world. Take the tar road southwards to Keetmanshoop, the capital of the Karas region. Another more adventurous route takes you via Goshas and Koës through rolling hills and past memorials to fallen soldiers.

From Keetmanshoop, turn onto the gravel road near Naute Dam; passing an emerald oasis of palm trees and vineyards. Stop off to taste a range of delicious desert schnapps at the Naute Kristall distillery. The road continues through Gondwana Canyon Park, a 130 000 hectare private nature reserve. You’ll pass the old limestone kiln at Holoog which marks the turn off to the Fish River Canyon.

Overnight at Canyon Roadhouse

Includes: Breakfast

Day 3: Fish River Canyon

After breakfast, spend the day exploring the grand Fish River Canyon. A short drive from the lodge leads you to Hobas which is the entry point to the canyon viewpoints. You’ll enjoy a refreshing walk to Hiker’s Point after the long hours you’ve spent on the road; otherwise drive along the rim roads to gain a different perspective of the magnificent canyon.

Overnight at Canyon Roadhouse

Includes: Breakfast

Day 4: Fish River Canyon - Namib Desert (Approximately 280 Kilometres)

You continue your journey through the Namib Desert to reach the desert region known for its lithops, otherwise known as ‘flowering stones’. Choose between the more adventurous route to the south that follows the magical Orange River before circling up to Rosh Pinah and Aus. Or take the route northwards via Naute Dam, turning westward towards the Namib Desert.

Stop for lunch at Alte Kalköfen Lodge which is a short detour off the main road. Visit the small lithop nursery which is the only place in Namibia authorised to propagate the ‘flowing desert stones’. Continue you on towards Aus to book into your accommodation.

Overnight at Klein Aus Vista Lodge Desert Horse Inn.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 5: Namib Desert

Spend time exploring this magical section of the Namib Desert, enjoying spectacular landscapes where vast savanna grasslands merge with the desert. Drive 100 kilometres westwards to the coast town of Lüderitz, an historic fishing town that lies on the icy Atlantic coastline. 

Time your trip to go on a cruise around the ocean bays on a catamaran or opt for a fascinating tour of Kolmanskop which is a deserted diamond town on the outskirts of Lüderitz. On the way back to the lodge, pop in to visit the century-old population of Namib wild horses at the Garub viewpoint.

Overnight at Klein Aus Vista Lodge Desert Horse Inn.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 6: Namib Desert - Sossusvlei (Approximately 415 Kilometres)

Today you travel to the world-famous Sossusvlei which is renowned for its spectacular scenery, desert canyons and ghostly groves of dead trees. Travel via Helmeringhausen, Maltahöhe and Büllsport or take the alternative route from Maltahöhe that takes you via the Tsaris Pass. 

Another option is to take the more scenic but sandier route that skirts the Namib Naukluft National Park, stopping at Betta for lunch before driving through the Namib Rand Nature Reserve. Watch out for animals who cross the unfenced road. You’re heading for your lodge in the Sossusvlei which is located 60 kilometres north of Sesriem.

Overnight at Namib Desert Lodge

Includes: Breakfast

Day 7: Sossusvlei/ Dead Vlei

Namib Desert Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore the Sesriem Canyons which lie 60 kilometres south of the lodge. Leave early to arrive at the entrance gate at sunrise to magnificent morning light lighting up the beautiful canyon. Entrance fees can be paid at the office. 

Sesriem is the gateway to the famed sand dunes of Sossusvlei which lie a further 60 kms inland. The road crosses over the Tsauchab River, marked by lush camelthorn trees. It continues through a corridor of towering dunes to the parking area. Park your car and catch a ride on the shuttle. 

A short walk leads to the chalky pans and ancient skeletons of camelthorn trees at Dead Vlei (meaning dead field). This breathtaking destination is one of the most photographed features in any holiday in Namibia. Wear closed shoes and take a small bottle of water with you for your walk up Big Daddy, the largest sand dune in the world. 

Sossusvlei is at its best from a height so take a stroll a few paces up the dune. If you’re feeling energetic, climb the adjacent Big Mama dune to appreciate the beauty of the incredible desert surrounds.

Overnight at Namib Desert Lodge.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 8: Sossusvlei – Swakopmund (Approximately 300 Kilometres)

First stop after you leave Namib Desert Lodge is Solitaire to fill up with fuel and sample a slice of the town’s famous apple pie. Then it’s onwards through the Namib Desert passing via the Gaub and Kuiseb canyons until you reach Walvis Bay. 

Once back on the tar road, the 30 km drive to Swakopmund takes you on a magical journey on a route nestled between the icy Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert dunes. Arrive in Swakopmund late afternoon.

Overnight at The Delight Hotel.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 9: Swakopmund

Enjoy a delightful breakfast at The Delight Hotel before heading out to enjoy the days activities in Swakopmund. Swakopmund is the “Playground Capital of Namibia” and your day is spent enjoying any one of several popular activities; ranging from a Living Desert tour to kayaking in Walvis Bay lagoon, dolphin cruises, sandboarding, quad-biking and skydiving. The town is rich in history and a trip to the museum is very interesting.

Overnight at The Delight Hotel.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Swakopmund - Damaraland (Approximately 320 Kilometres)

Follow the salt road along the Atlantic coastline northwards to Henties Bay and then head inland on the gravel road to Damaraland, travelling via Uis and the Brandberg which is the highest mountain in Namibia. 

The striking Herero women in the colourful traditional dress can be see manning their market stalls as you near the Ugab River. Time permitting, you can take the alternative loop via Twyfelfontein to view the famous rock paintings and engravings in the area. 

Overnight at Damara Mopane Lodge.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 11: Damaraland - Etosha National Park (Approximately 200 Kilometres)

Today you travel to the main highlight of the Namibian trip; the world-famous Etosha National Park. Your journey from Damaraland to Etosha takes you via Outjo. It’s a convenient place to stop for fuel, drinks and lunch. 

Arrive at your lodge which is located close to the Etosha National Park mid-afternoon. Time permitting, take a short 10 km drive into the national park to late-afternoon drinks at Okaukuejo waterhole or other waterholes in the area for some game viewing. Otherwise relax around the pool and enjoy sundowners on the wooden deck.

Overnight at Etosha Safari Lodge.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 12: Etosha National Park

Enjoy a wonderful Big 5 safari tour in the Etosha National Park. It’s world-renowned for its incredible biodiversity and outstanding wildlife and bird sightings; and not forgetting its spectacular salt pans. You can spend the whole day in the Etosha National Park or return mid-day to your lodge to relax and unwind.

Overnight at Etosha National Park.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 13: Etosha National Park - Windhoek (Approximately 410 Kilometres)

All good things come to an end and it’s time to head back to Windhoek. It’s a long 8-hour drive and you get into Windhoek late in the afternoon. It’s recommended that you book a hotel or guest lodge in Windhoek and spend the night in the capital city. Schedule your flight for the following day if possible, just in case there’s a delay enroute back to the city and you miss your flight.

Please note: Check-in times for departures is two hours prior to the flight departure time.

Includes: Breakfast

What’s excluded

  • International and domestic flights to/from hosea kutako international airport/ windhoek
  • Tour guide (cost available on request if required)
  • Fuel required during the tour (start tour with a full tank, end tour with a full tank)
  • Deposit for vehicle rental
  • Activities and excursions at safari lodges
  • National park entrance fees
  • Purchases of a personal nature
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary (including snacks and drinks enroute to destinations)
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Visa fees if required

Important information

  • Emergency services and emergency evacuation services are included in the rate.
  • Drivers must have a valid and unendorsed license.
  • The minimum age for authorised drivers is 23 years. 
  • The renter will receive the vehicle with a full tank of fuel. The vehicle must be handed back with a full tank of fuel; for the renter’s expense.
  • The rental vehicle includes Zero Excess. 
  • The person renting the vehicle and additional drivers are required to complete a standard rental agreement with the car rental company. A valid credit card is required for the rental deposit. 
  • It is the client’s own responsibility to ensure that he/she is medically fit and able to embark on the tour which requires long hours of driving through hot and humid desert environments.  
  • As a tour operator, we do our utmost to conduct the tour as described in the programme. However, we cannot guarantee everything will be perfect due to the nature of the tour. Unfavourable weather conditions, rivers in flood, organisational problems, unforeseen events or other factors may force us to change the course of the tour. We apologise for the inconvenience.  
  • The Gondwana Card rates cannot be applied to this tour package.
  • Smoking in the vehicles is strictly prohibited. 

Collect: Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek or any hotel/guest lodge within the city precinct

Drop-off: Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek or any hotel/guest lodge within the city precinct

R 24,800 13 Days , Easy

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