16 Days from$7091 p/p in USD
On this self-drive get to know Namibia, with its unforgettable experiences and landscapes; it has the world’s oldest desert and highest dunes, one of the world’s ancient plants and one of Africa’s largest game reserves. A self-drive is a pleasure here, the driving is easy with little traffic (just look out for animals on the roads!) and it gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself completely in Namibia’s impressive scenic beauty and wonderful wildlife, pure restoration for the soul.
Safari types:Self Drive Safari, Wildlife Safari
You will visit:Damaraland, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei
Wildlife:Birds, Oryx/gemsbok, Black-faced impala, Zebra, Hyena, Cheetah, Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Jackal, Warthog, Springbok, Ostrich, Dolphin, Whale, Turtle
Activities:Game Drive, Boat Cruise, Nature Walk, Optional Activities
Getting around:4x4 Vehicle
Start/end:Start in Windhoek, end in Windhoek
- Dunes of Sossusvlei
- Namib Desert
- Wildlife extravaganza
- The pans of Etosha
- Spectacular scenery
At a Glance
- Price: £5,500 per person
- Group size: group of 2
- Duration: 15 nights in Namibia
- Accommodation: Luxury and unique accommodation
- Transport: Self-drive, private transfer from airport
- Weather: Temperature range of 24 – 32C
- Day 1: Olive Grove Guesthouse – explore Windhoek
- Days 2 – 3: Kulala Desert Lodge – experience the desert
- Days 4 – 6: Villa Margherita – Swakopmund activities
- Day 7: Spitzkoppe Lodge – star gazing galore
- Days 8 – 9: Doro Nawas – wildlife extravaganza
- Days 10 – 11: Ongava Lodge – immerse into Etosha
- Days 12 – 13: Mushara Outpost – more incredible wildlife
- Days 14 – 15: Okonjima Bush Camp – track cheetah
Rates – Per Person GBP
From £5,500 per person
- Accommodation as per itinerary
- Private airport transfers
- Car rental
- Meals as per itinerary
- Acitivities as per itinerary
- Personal expenses and gratuities
Day by Day Overview
You will be transferred from the airport to Windhoek. The drive into Windhoek takes around 45 minutes, so you can relax in air-conditioned luxury and enjoy the scenery on the way to your first destination. Olive Grove is a small and upmarket establishment situated close to Windhoek city centre in a quiet, peaceful area. Not only do they do breakfast, dinner can be catered for as well. Each room has a large veranda with tables and chairs for al fresco dining. The open-air lounge, spa bath, plunge pool and tranquil garden all invite the visitor to unwind and relax under Namibia’s open skies. The Wellness Room offers a selection of professional services to help guests relax and de-stress after a long flight. The inside lounge is tastefully decorated, with comfortable chairs and a fireplace in front of which to relax, perhaps with a glass of good whiskey on a cold winter’s evening. The stunning open plan kitchen creates a homely feel while providing tasty meals. Olive Grove will turn Windhoek into one of the highlights of any trip, creating and leaving a lasting impression of this beautiful country.
Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. It is 1,680m above sea level, 650km north of the Orange River and 360km from the Atlantic seaboard. Whether due to pure luck or a brilliant stroke of Germanic planning, the city is situated in what is almost the country’s geographical centre. The city centre is characterised by a proliferation of German style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia’s early colonial history. Early buildings such as the Alte Feste (old fort), Christuskirche and Tintenpalast (the parliament buildings) are of historical interest. Other notable buildings in Windhoek include St Mary’s Cathedral and the Turnhalle Building. Whilst there you will be met and given all the things you need for your self-drive trip. Your vehicle will be handed over, checked over and you will be given a local cell phone for emergencies.
Accommodation: All the rooms are furnished in a simplistic, but stylish fashion. Extensive use has been made of natural stone cement, especially in the bathrooms, which are spacious and particularly indulgent. Moroccan lights give rooms a romantic. Some of the bedrooms have a more open bathroom, while others have a more traditional, en-suite bathroom. The overall feeling is one of comfort and coolness, with all the facilities and added touches aimed at ensuring guests have an enjoyable and pleasurable stay.
Meal Plan: Breakfast
Approximately 322km/5 hours excluding stops.
Kulala Desert Lodge is located within the arid Namib Desert on the 37,000 hectare private Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Originally opened in 1996, the entire lodge was built to make the most of the vista. In addition to the dunes on its doorstep, however, its defining attraction remains a private entrance from the reserve into the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Activities revolve around early morning guided drives to the dunes of Sossusvlei through the private gate on the Tsauchab River.
The world-famous Sossusvlei is both the name for the area in general as well as an enormous clay pan, flanked by the enormous sand dunes. Nearby, at the foot of some of these dunes the skeletons of trees dominate the landscape, where once water flowed. This is known as Dead Vlei. The private entrance to the national park is a real bonus for guests as it’s substantially closer than the main gate, offering a fantastic opportunity to make the most of the early morning light and to get into the park before everyone else. Exclusivity at its best. There are also chances to go on nature drives and walks on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Let the staff show you this extraordinary area. Sossusvlei, with its monumental dunes, up to 325m when measured from their base, is one of the top destinations in Namibia. The star-shaped dunes are a sought after topic for artists and photographers. Formed by strong multi-directional winds, they are at their highest and most spectacular where the west-flowing Tsauchab River empties itself into the vlei. The warm tints of the sand, ranging from apricot to orange, red and maroon, contrast vividly with the dazzling white surfaces of the large deflationary clay pans at their bases. One of these, referred to as Dead Vlei, is a large ghostly expanse of dried white clay, punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees, carbon-dated as being between 500 and 600 years old. When it has rained sufficiently in the interior for the Tsauchab River to come down and fill the main pan, flamingoes and other aquatic birds are drawn to the area.
The convivial main area includes a lounge, bar, dining area, plunge pool, and wrap-around veranda overlooking the riverbed – a perfect location to view and photograph the desert vista and to contemplate the day’s exciting activities. A waterhole in front of camp attracts several local wildlife (such as gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and jackal) and provides a perfect location to view and photograph the desert scenery. At the side of the main building is a reasonably good-size swimming pool, which you may share with the birds as they often swoop in for a quick drink. It’s a large, walled off area with sun loungers and some thatched shady spots to escape the sun during the heat of the day.
Accommodation: There are 19 thatched and canvas “kulalas” with en-suite bathrooms and verandas, each unit is built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes and has a deck on the flat rooftop for sleep-outs under the stars. This is an opportunity not to be missed! Each room is nicely positioned looking out over the red dunes and into the vast expanse of the desert. Totally inspiring.
Meal Plan: Fully Inclusive
Activities Included: All activities
Approximately 344km/5.5 hours excluding stops
The Villa Margherita is an antique colonial villa, set in the heart of Swakopmund. It is over 100yrs old, and was originally known as the historical building of Dr. Schwietering Haus. The owners, Claudine and Amelio, have created a ‘guest house of their dreams,’ whilst maintaining the original structure and unique charm of the old house. Swakopmund itself is a fascinating and intriguing resort town, complete with German architecture, monuments, historic buildings, well maintained gardens, palm lined avenues, coffee bars and great seafood restaurants. Temperatures rarely drop below 15C however, the town is subjected to 9 months of morning fogs each year. These damp and grey conditions often result in cool temperatures persisting the whole day, but this mist band, stretching up to 30km inland, gives water and life to the deserts plants and animals giving rise to 80 types of lichen and the ancient Welwitschia plants.
Catamaran Tour on day 5: Catamaran Charters started operating with Fred and Astrid Deetlefs and Marko and Daniela Jansen Van Vuuren. The Catamaran Charters team is a family business and is now owned by Theunis & Desmeon Keulder. The Catamaran Charters team invites you aboard their 45ft Royal Cape Sailing Catamaran Silverwind, their 60ft Simonis Sailing Catamaran Silversand, or their 40ft Admiral Motorised Catamaran Silvermoon, to enjoy an adventure packed tour to Pelican Point and Walvis Bays’ beautiful bay area. This morning you will make your way down to the Walvis Bay Waterfront (the Yacht Club) for a few hours aboard one of the three catamarans, where you will experience the lagoon in luxury, style and comfort. You need to arrive by 08h30 and check in at the Catamaran Charters cafe. You will depart from the Walvis Bay Yacht Club at around 09h00, and cruise into the beautiful bay area. Your guide will serve drinks and you will cruise towards the Pelican Point lighthouse where you will see the Cape fur seal colony, with large numbers of playful seals both in and out of the water. The old supply railway line can still be seen from the years when the lighthouse was occupied by the coastguards. Your guide will also point out the local oyster platforms and explain the workings of that industry, and you will see something of the enormous bird diversity of this area. Species include flamingos, pelicans and cormorants. Depending on the time of year, and of course on luck, you may also see dolphins, and occasionally the bizarre mola-mola (sunfish), leatherback turtle, humpback, southern right or orca whale. Three different types of dolphins may be encountered, namely the heavyside dolphins – which are the most important as they are endemic to the coast of Namibia – dusky dolphins and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. This 3.5 hour excursion includes sparkling wine, Walvis Bay oysters, snacks and other drinks whilst on board. You will return to the Yacht Club at around 12h30.
Swakopmund activities: there are many adventure activities on offer including sand-boarding (lie down or stand up), tandem sky-diving, fishing or quad biking which can be arranged prior to arrival. Also recommended some excellent day trips including one which visits the marine sanctuary of Sandwich Harbour, a unique environment comprising towering dunes, a freshwater lagoon and the wild Atlantic Ocean. Other half day trips which are a lot of fun include the Living Desert tour which takes you into the dunes near to Swakopmund, in search of uniquely adapted creepy crawlies, kayaking with seals from Pelican Point in Walvis Bay, or a specialist birding trip in the area. Some activities can be booked at the last minute, but we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. There are also some very interesting attractions in the town itself that you may wish to visit. The Crystal Gallery has displays of Namibia’s mineral wealth, and an area where kids (or adults!) can collect a bag full of semi-precious stones. The National Marine Aquarium only displays indigenous Atlantic Ocean species and has a wide variety of fish, some sharks, rays and smaller inhabitants of the rich Benguela waters. The Snake Park houses a fascinating display of Namibian snake species as well as some confiscated exotics, and the Swakopmund Museum near to the main beach offers an interesting insight into the history of this town.
Accommodation: A fusion of contemporary charm and a historic colonial building. With its few double rooms, most of them having a private lounge area, Villa Margherita offers seclusion and personalized service. All rooms offer a flat screen TV, safe, hairdryer and free wireless internet connection. Personal laptops available upon request (subject to availability).
Meals plan: Breakfast
Activities Included: Catamaran trip
Approximately 150km/2 hours excluding stops
The lodge is situated on the northern periphery of the Spitzkoppe inselberg, between huge granite boulders, which were created more than 150 million years ago, with breathtaking views onto the Brandberg and Erongo Mountains. The buildings are linked with elevated walkways all constructed to be wheelchair friendly and minimise the impact on the environment. Limited use of concrete with elevated floors and decks and composite materials for walls, which can be dismantled easily, will enable nature to restore itself in just a few months after deconstruction. Sensitivity towards wildlife and heritage was paramount in all the stages of the development. The tented roof shapes simulate the surrounding rock formations and soften the square building plan form. Water, is sourced from boreholes and purified with the lodge’s own reverse osmosis plant. The lodge is connected to the national grid by way of a 5km long underground cable for its electricity supply, all to ensure minimum disturbance of the spectacular archaeological landscape. This is an intoxicating experience in this ancient landscape, take time to let your heart, mind and soul take in all that there is to offer and be assured it will never leave you.
Accommodation: The stylish, private accommodation consists of 15 generously spaced tastefully furnished chalets, each with private bathroom and covered outside viewing deck. The lodge accommodates maximum 30 guests. Window openings are equipped with gauze and the beds with mosquito netting. Given the remoteness of the area, the stargazing opportunities here should be spectacular and we believe the lodge has star maps available at reception.
Meal Plan: Dinner and Breakfast
Approximately 245km/4.5 hours drive excluding stops
Doro Nawas is situated on a rugged, rocky hill, on the edge of the dry Aba Huab River. The elevated site supplies endless and spectacular views of the Etendeka Mountains and the red sandstone cliffs of Twyfelfontein (famous for the San rock engravings). This area of Namibia is commonly referred to as Damaraland, or more recently the Southern Kunene Region, and is one of the most rugged and uninhabited areas on the African continent. This is a wonderful area for enjoying th dramatic Damaraland landscape. There are no large concentrations of wildlife; however, this seemingly stark environment is amazingly home to a range of wildlife including desert-adapted elephant, gemsbok, springbok and a variety of other species such as bat-eared fox and the occasional glimpse of black rhino and cheetah. Birdlife is excellent with several Namibian endemics, such as Damara hornbill, Carp’s tit and Rüpell’s korhaan.
Activities revolve around this wildlife which is found in and around the Huab River Valley. The valley occasionally fills with floodwater in the rainy season; a favourite being a guided 4×4 trip to track desert-adapted elephants. Many guests also head out on a fascinating expedition to the local rock art site at nearby Twyfelfontein, with some of the most renowned San art engravings in Namibia, which usually also calls in at the Petrified Forest. There is also a walking trail near the lodge, which can be enjoyed with or without a guide.
Excursions: maybe make an excursion to the Twyfelfontein rock etchings and paintings today, a local guide will escort you around the ancient hillsides which are open for guests between 08h00 and 17h00. This area is covered in numerous fascinating examples of San (Bushman) rock art and is well worth a visit. There is safe parking here and a tour lasts for around an hour.
The ‘Burnt Mountain’, an interesting area of volcanic rock, is also worth visiting (preferably at sunset). This area is an amazing sight as the sun shines over these rocks, giving the impression of flames moving over the mountain. Another intriguing site is the ‘Valley of the Organ Pipes’ situated across the road from the Burnt Mountain. This strange formation was formed when basalt slabs were gouged out by a river thousands of years ago.
Another optional activity is the Damara Living Museum is a community venture located just a few km down the D2612 from the C39. The experience is refreshing and honest, and it is an interesting way to spend an hour or so if you have time on your journey. Here you can learn about the traditional way of life for the Damara people; get involved with the villagers by tasting local homebrew, wearing ochre on your faces, playing a local game, dancing, or making beads. There are a few different options including a village tour, donkey cart ride, or a visit to the modern village nearby. They have a picnic spot near the car park so it is also a nice place to stop for lunch (you must bring your own food and drinks).
Accommodation: There are 16 chalets in the camp. They have all been built from a combination of a stone base and canvas walls, supported on wooden posts which also prop up the thatched roof. Each chalet is of an open-plan design, with a large bedroom, a double bed, a couple of comfortable, padded wicker chairs, and a ceiling fan. The spacious chalets are lovely and cool during those hot summer days. It is also possible on the warmer evenings to wheel the beds out of the rooms, and enjoy a night under the stars. Power is supplied to the lodge from a generator. It is divine!
Meal Plan: Dinner and Breakfast
Approximately 353km/4.5 hours excluding stops
Perched on the top of a small kopje (rocky outcrop), overlooking the plains below, Ongava Lodge was the original ‘luxury game lodge’ near Etosha. It stands on the private Ongava Game Reserve, which borders the southern side of Etosha National Park near the Andersson Gate, south of Okaukuejo. Activities include game drives in open 4×4 vehicles into the Okaukeujo area of Etosha where lion, elephant, cheetah, gemsbok, springbok and hartebeest can be seen at many of the waterholes in the park. In addition, hides and walks with armed guides are enjoyed on the private reserve. Ongava has resident white and black rhino, giving you the unique opportunity to see both charismatic species. Birdwatching on the Ongava Reserve can also be very good, with ten out of Namibia’s 14 endemic (or almost endemic) species to be found here including the bare-cheeked babbler, violet wood-hoopoe, Carp’s tit and red-necked falcon.
Accommodation: Attractively built out of brick, rock and thatch, Ongava Lodge consists of 13 beautifully appointed chalets and 1 family room. Each air-conditioned room has glass-fronted doors leading out to a private, covered veranda overlooking the plains, and all chalets have an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet, shower and double hand basins. Meals are either served in the main dining area under thatch with a view over the camp’s water hole, or on the dining deck under the stars. There is also a small pool to take a dip in between game drives. Pure luxury is awaiting you!
Meal Plan: Dinner and Breakfast
Approximately 132km/Full day game drive
Spend today making your way slowly across the Park to Mushara on the eastern side of the park. You may like to stop at the central, Halali camp for lunch and a rest during the heat of midday before continuing later this afternoon. However, please be aware that it can take 9 hours to drive all the way across the park if you decide to stop and watch the wildlife for too long! Mushara Outpost main lodge is wonderfully designed with a spacious feel to it giving you an air of exclusivity. The main part is styled like an old farm house with high walls, corrugated iron roof and a large wrap-around veranda facing northeast to take advantage of shade. The ambiance friendly and welcoming, a great place to end the day after a hard days wildlife seeing!
Accommodation: 16 custom made tent like structures, of wood and canvas are nestled on the banks of an ancient dry river bed known to the locals as an ‘omaramba’. Each tent is set on a wooden deck, a meter and a half above the ground, giving a different perspective of the bush. A large glass sliding door leads into the tent, all windows and doors are covered with fly-screen. Large ceiling to floor windows allow for plenty of air movement during night. For the very warm afternoons, air conditioning adds an extra level of comfort. The shower walls are glass from top to bottom. Unzip the outside canvas wall of the shower to your preferred height and your time in the shower takes a new dimension.
Meal Plan: Dinner and Breakfast
Approximately 365km/4.5 hours excluding stops
Drive to Okonjima today and arrive in time for lunch or for the afternoon activities which begin at 15h00 in winter or 16h00 in summer. To reach the lodge, follow the signposts off the main B1 road approximately 50km south of Otjiwarongo. Follow signs to Okonjima Bush Camp. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, which works with farmers and the public to conserve the big cat species of Namibia. The project is there to educate the local communities on how to work with big cat species rather than capturing them and removing them from arable land and includes a local school. The hopes are to extend their environmental education efforts to high school and even university undergraduates in the future. One of the first steps along this route is to reinstate visits to the Africat clinic and education centre. Other unique activities here include lion viewing, nature walks, cheetah & leopard tracking and bushman walks.
On the day of arrival, you can join an afternoon activity, usually tracking leopard in the immense reserve. After dinner, you will also be offered the opportunity to visit a night hide where many nocturnal animals, including porcupine, honey badger and leopard are frequently sighted. The following morning you will be taken on a drive to visit some of the 60-70 cheetah presently being rehabilitated or in some cases cared for on a more permanent basis. You will have the opportunity to view feeding, see the veterinary/research and learn more about AfriCat’s work.
Accommodation: Maintaining a quintessential bush flavour, the lodge offers Edwardian safari elegance, subtly combined with modern necessities and comforts. The large, spacious rooms open out onto the grass and acacia savannah. Each split-level room has a day bed, bar, tea & coffee facilities. The large bathrooms contain his and hers sinks. Perhaps choose to sleep with the blinds open allowing you to enjoy the unique stillness of the African night.
Meal Plan: Dinner and Breakfast
Activities: Fully inclusive
Approximately 265km/3 hours excluding stops
Return the car to the airport and fly back home.