Designed for the most adventurous traveller, this 21-day self-drive itinerary absolutely includes most of Namibia's highlights. Do you have a number of days to spare, interested in culture, a variety of landscapes as well as wildlife diversity all in one, than look no further, this itinerary offers all that and more. Enjoy the freedom of driving through most parts of the country, and experiencing Namibia and all its glory in just one tour. This is the ideal itinerary to really soak up the African sun, culture and landscapes, not to be missed!!
|Fish River Canyon||2|
|Etosha National Park - South||2|
|Etosha National Park - West||2|
|Otavi Mountain Region||1|
|Okonjima Nature Reserve / Waterberg||2|
Situated in Central Namibia, the cosmopolitan city of Windhoek functions as the capital of the country. It is home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste an old fort, the 1896 Christuskirche Christ Church, and the more contemporary Supreme Court.
Welcome to Namibia. Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you will find your driver from Melbic Car Rentals there to pick you up and transfer you to the rental office in the Windhoek city. There you will pick up your vehicle as well as all the necessary travel documents that you will need on your tour.
Spreading across Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, the Kalahari meaning 'the great thirst' is an exceptionally beautiful living desert. The landscape is characterised by a large semi-arid sandy savannah draped over a gently rolling inland sea of sand covering most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. It is also the last bastion of the indigenous San people with the modern world having enveloped all the other areas they once roamed. The Namibian portion is made up of red sands covered in thin, wispy, mostly golden grass and dotted with acacia trees and wide-ranging wildlife including gemsbok, impala, jackals and cheetah.
For your first morning in Namibia, enjoy a relaxed morning in Windhoek. Today you will travel to one of Namibia's most popular destinations, the Kalahari Desert. Enjoy a magnificent sundowner in this region as you enjoy a sip of some of Africa’s great wines.
Fish River Canyon
Carving out an epic rocky wonderland in the south of Namibia, the Fish River has created Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest canyon. Hot, dry and stony, the Fish River Canyon measures a whopping 160 kilometres in length, at times 27 kilometres in width and 550 metres in depth. The awe-inspiring natural beauty of this ancient geological marvel draws visitors from around the globe. For those looking for adventure, the intense 85 kilometre Fish River Hiking Trail through1.5 billion years of geological history will definitely thrill avid adventure enthusiasts, and for visitors looking to relax, head over to the canyon's southern end to enjoy a soak in the mineral waters of the renowned hot springs of Ai-is, or take in the spectacularly scenic views from Hobas Restcamp as well as numerous other viewpoints along its rim.
Early this morning, you will drive further south of the country, towards the second largest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon. On the way, make a stop at the Quiver Tree Forest which is located northeast outside Keetmanshoop.
Perched above the plains of the Namib Desert and tucked away in the rocky Aus Mountains, the small village of Aus is located in the ǁKaras Region in southern Namibia. The arid surrounding landscape is known for its unique botanical diversity. Aus serves as an excellent base from which to explore the area and to view the main attraction: the feral horses of the Namib Desert, which run wild and free in the sparsely vegetated plains. Catch a glimpse of these wild desert-adapted creatures at the water trough at Garub just twenty kilometres away from the village.
Depart from the Fish River Canyon and head north towards settlement known as Aus. Located one and a half hours away is the old mining ghost town of Kolmanskop; join a guided tour through this interesting town. Further west is the coastal town of Lüderitz; enjoy a self-drive city tour to learn about this old harbour town.
Located in the scenic Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red dunes to make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa and a photographer's heaven. This awe-inspiring destination is possibly Namibia's premier attraction, with its unique dunes rising to almost 400 metres-some of the highest in the world. These iconic dunes come alive in morning and evening light and draw photography enthusiasts from around the globe. Sossusvlei is home to a variety desert wildlife including Oryx, springbok, ostrich and a variety of reptiles. Visitors can climb 'Big Daddy', one of Sossusvlei’s tallest (highest) dunes; explore Deadvlei, a white, salt, claypan dotted with ancient trees.
From Aus, you will drive to the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. Enjoy the drive towards the sea of some of the highest dunes in the world. Your destination is situated close to the Sossusvlei, take part in a self-drive to the Sossusvlei early in the morning and enjoy sunrise and breakfast in the dunes.
Set along Namibia's spectacularly scenic coast, the seaside town of Swakopmund is known for its wide-open avenues, colonial architecture, and is surrounded by otherworldly desert terrain. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort town, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, adventure options, laidback atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it very popular Namibian destination. Visitors can look forward to a number of exciting activities including: quad biking, horse riding, paragliding, fishing, sightseeing and fascinating desert tours.
You will make your way from the Namib Desert towards the coastal city of Swakopmund. This scenic route will take you meandering through the desert. Along the way, you will cross the Tropic of Capricorn and make sure to take a rest in the Solitaire town and take a taste of their marvellous Apple pies. Drive through the harbour town of Walvis before you make your way to Swakopmund.
Set in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia, Twyfelfontein is a spectacularly scenic area, featuring one of the largest and most important concentrations of rock art in Africa. The name ‘Twyfelfontein’ translates to ‘Fountain of Doubt’, which refers to the perennial spring situated in the impressive Huab valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain. It was this spring that attracted Stone Age hunters over six thousand years ago, and it was during this time that the extensive group of rock engravings and paintings were produced. Visitors can look forward to exploring over thirty different sites of these sacred records of ritual practices relating to traditional hunter-gatherer communities.
After check-out, depart the coast and drive inland towards Damaraland. This area is known for well-known attractions such as: Twyfelfontein Rock Paintings, the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain and the Petrified Forest. Also make sure to visit the Damara living museum and be in awe of the traditions and customs of this fascinating local tribe.
Etosha South makes up the southern region of the Etosha National Park paradise. The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate. Visitors can visit a variety of waterholes and catch a glimpse of a wide range of wildlife such as: lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a gathering of plains game. Popular activities include: guided / self-drive game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watch the sunset over this magnificent landscape.
From Damaraland, head to the greatest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia, Etosha National Park. Be prepared for the abundance of wildlife roaming around as they visit the various waterholes in search of water. Best times to view animals are early mornings and later afternoons when the heat is not too intense for you and the animals. Take part in guided game drives or alternatively, you are welcome to do your own self-drive around the park at your own pace and viewing pleasure.
Etosha East is a protected sanctuary in the eastern part of the world-renowned Etosha National Park, known as one of the most accessible game reserves in Southern Africa. Etosha East boasts vast open plains scattered with semi-arid savannah grasslands dotted with watering holes and secluded bush camps. An impressive 5000-square-kilometre Etosha salt pan makes up a large area of the eastern side of the park and can even be seen from space. This remote area teems with abundant wildlife such as lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, as well as a variety of birdlife featuring flamingos, ostriches, eagles, hornbills, and owls.
Enjoy some breakfast, afterwards drive from the central part of the park towards the eastern side of the national park. The eastern side has a reputation of having the best views of wildlife. Please note: the park has a speed limit of 60km/hour.
Otavi Mountain Region
Situated in the Otjozondjupa Province, in the centre of what is known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, the towering Otavi Mountains are surrounded by the Northern Namibian towns of Otavi, Tsumeb, and Grootfontein, which are roughly 60 kilometres equidistant from each other. The landscape features golden maize plantations, spectacular dolomite mountains, and underground lakes. Visitors to this spectacular region can look forward to a variety of activities including: visiting the Hoba Meteorite, the largest ‘space object’ on earth and a national monument; explore Dragon’s Breath Cave which holds world’s largest underground lake; or viewing the bottomless ‘sinkhole’ Lake - Otjikoto, boasting emerald green water is one of two permanent lakes in Namibia.
Enjoy your last morning in Etosha; perhaps enjoy another guided or self-drive game drive through the park before driving to the Otavi Mountain region.
The Waterberg Region incorporates the Waterberg Plateau National Park and the farming districts from Outjo and Otjiwarongo in the west to Grootfontein and Tsumeb in the east. There are about 25 species of mammals including black & white rhino, Cape buffalo, giraffe, kudu, impala, warthog, tsessebe, sable and roan antelope and blue wildebeest present in this region. Sightings of the elusive leopard prowling along the cliffs, cheetah, caracal, black-backed and side-striped jackals have been seen on the plateau or in the savannah below.
After your last morning in Otavi Mountain Region, head off to the next destination in Namibia. Located in the country’s central Waterberg region. This area is well known for its Rhino population. Along the way are various cheetah & leopard sanctuaries such as: Cheetah Conservation Fund & AfriCat foundation.
Situated in Central Namibia, the cosmopolitan city of Windhoek serves as the capital of the country. It is home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste an old fort, the 1896 Christuskirche Christ Church, and the more contemporary Supreme Court.
You can have a relaxed morning after which you will make your way back to the capital city, Windhoek, where you will spend your last night in Namibia.
Enjoy your last morning sunrise in Namibia. Today, you will drop the rental vehicle back to the Melbic Car Rental office. After the vehicle inspection, an agent will drive you back to the Windhoek International Airport where you will check in for your departure flight.