Namibia self drive adventure holiday

Description of Namibia self drive adventure holiday

Discover the wilderness, beauty and silence of the Southern Kalahari; explore the spectacular landscape of the Fish River Canyon; navigate the iconic sand dunes of Sossusvelei; and enjoy exciting game drives in Etosha National Park.

This Namibia self-drive holiday begins in the capital city of Windhoek. From there, you'll drive to the Kalahari Desert, then you'll head south to the dramatic Fish River Canyon. Next, you'll visit the eerie ghost town of Kolmanskop, before driving to Sossusvlei to see the iconic sand dunes. You'll explore Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast and search for desert-adapted wildlife in Damaraland. Next stop is Etosha Game Reserve, one of the world痴 best safari destinations, with a final pit stop in Okonjima, where you can get up close and personal with big cats at the AfriCat Foundation.

Staying in luxury accommodation and the freedom to take in Namibia at your own pace, this self-drive adventure itinerary for families travelling with children, or those who like to do things their own way.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival in Windhoek - Upon arrival, you'll be met by your driver and transferred to your accommodation in the centre of Windhoek. Your rental vehicle will be delivered to your hotel with a SatNav device and a mobile phone, plus you will also be provided with an information pack which will include driving directions, accommodation details and contact phone numbers. You can then spend the rest of the day exploring Namibia痴 capital city.
Day 2:Drive from Windhoek to Kalahari Desert - Today, you値l drive south for approximately three hours to your lovely lodge just outside of the village of Stampriet in the fertile valley of the seasonal Auob River. Here, you can relax by the lodge痴 pool, or join a scenic drive in the Gondwana Kalahari Park, which is just 30 kilometres away. We highly recommend joining a sunset walk with a local San bushman. The San are believed to be southern Africa's original inhabitants and around a third of the 90,000 remaining San live in Namibia.
Day 3:Drive from Kalahari to Fish River Canyon - After breakfast at your lodge you値l drive south to the spectacular Fish River Canyon, with a stop at Quiver Tree Forest en route. You値l arrive at your lodge mid-afternoon in time to join a sunset walk, before returning to the lodge for a delicious evening meal.
Day 4:Explore Fish River Canyon - Today, you値l have a full day to explore the incredible Fish River Canyon. Fish River Canyon features a gigantic ravine, about 160 kilometres long, up to 2 kilometres wide and in places, almost 550 metres deep. The immensity of this spectacular landscape is truly breathtaking. You may wish to go for a morning hike in the canyon, enjoy a scenic drive to marvel at the dramatic, arid landscape, join a guided sunset walk or kayak on the river.
Day 5:Drive from Fish River Canyon to Luderitz - This morning you値l enjoy breakfast overlooking the canyon before making your way north and towards the coast. The landscape changes drastically, as you arrive at the start of vast sandy dunes. A highlight of this region is Kholmanskop Ghost Town. Once a small, but extremely rich mining village, Kholmanskop was hastily abandoned and is now a popular tourist spot with visitors intrigued by the eerie buildings half-filled with sand. Tonight, you値l stay in Luderitz for one night and enjoy your first view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 6:Drive from Luderitz to Sossusvlei - After breakfast, you値l drive to Sossusvlei, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the southwest of the country. Known for its orange sand dunes and white salt pans, Sossusvlei is Namibia痴 most spectacular and best-known attraction. You値l stay in Sossusvlei for the next two nights and you値l have time to explore the iconic towering sand dunes, as well as other incredible geographical formations of the region, such as Sesriem Canyon.
Day 7:Explore Sossusvlei - Today, you have a full day to discover the towering sand dunes and incredible landscape of Sossusvlei. There are a number of attractions in the Sossusvlei area to explore, including Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45, Big Daddy and Deadvlei. We recommend that you wake up early to climb the iconic sand dunes at sunrise; or if you prefer, you can soar above this breathtaking landscape in a hot air balloon. Other activities you can enjoy include a nature drive to spot the desert-adapted wildlife, a dune walk or an eco-sensitive guided quad bike excursion, sand boarding and horse riding. In the evening, you can enjoy a gin and tonic on a sundowner tour, or after dark you can join a star gazing excursion with a knowledgeable guide.
Day 8:Drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund - This morning, you値l leave the Namib Desert and drive north through beautiful canyons and striking scenery as you head towards to the lovely town of Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Walvis Bay is a stunning spot just outside Swakopmund and we highly recommend stopping off on your way into town. Sheltered by the Pelican Point sand spit, Walvis Bay痴 tidal lagoon is home to abundant birdlife, including flamingos and pelicans. Swakopmund itself is a former colonial town famous for its German architecture and culture - many residents speak German and there's even an Oktoberfest beer festival. It is an ideal place to spend a couple of days between visiting the dunes of Sossusvlei and exploring the attractions of northern Namibia.
Day 9:Explore Swakopmund - Today, you値l have a full day to explore Swakopmund and the surrounding area. You can search for Cape Fur seals and dolphins off Pelican Point on a boat cruise or guided kayaking trip, take a scenic flight over the desert, join a bird-watching excursion or a living desert tour, or you may wish to visit the Swakopmund Lighthouse, the Swakopmund Museum and Sandwich Harbour. Just outside Swakopmund, several sand dunes have been set aside for adventure activities, including sand boarding, quad biking, camel riding and off-road driving.
Day 10:Drive from Swakopmund to Damaraland - This morning, you will resume your Namibian road trip and head further north up the Skeleton Coast to Damaraland. En route, we recommend that you stop at Henties Bay to see the Cape Cross seal colony and you may wish to visit the shipwreck of MS Winston at Durissa Bay. On arrival, you値l settle into your accommodation and you can spend the afternoon relaxing at your lodge/camp. Or if you wish, you can take a walk in the surrounding area, stopping at viewpoints to marvel at the beautiful Damaraland landscape.
Day 11:Explore Damaraland - Today, you値l have a full day to explore Damaraland. You can join a rhino tracking experience, plus there are also options for you to take an elephant nature drive in search of Namibia's desert-dwelling elephant, or you may wish to join the Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes excursion to see the rock engravings at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein.
Day 12:Drive from Damaraland to Etosha National Park - After breakfast, you値l get back in your vehicle and drive east towards Etosha National Park. Etosha offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities, particularly around the waterholes. You can expect to see elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, zebra, springbok and gemsbok, plus it痴 also one of the best places in southern Africa to see the endangered cheetah, black rhino and rare antelope species such as black-faced impala, Damara dik dik and roan antelope.
Day 13:Explore Etosha National Park - Today, you値l have a full day to explore Etosha National Park. Despite being one of Africa's largest national parks, Etosha is easy to drive around yourself as all roads lead back to the main road. This means you can take your time visiting the many different waterholes such as Halali, Okondeka and Okaukuejo, where large concentrations of wildlife congregate. Almost a quarter of Etosha consists of salt pans, including the Etosha Pan, which is undoubtedly the park痴 most distinctive and dramatic feature. The Etosha Pan is the only known mass breeding ground for flamingos in Namibia and at times, there can be up to a million flamingos here.
Day 14:Drive from Etosha to Okonjima Nature Reserve - This morning, you値l leave Etosha and head south to the Okonjima Nature Reserve, which is home of the famous Africat Foundation - an education and research facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of Namibia's big cats, particularly cheetah and leopard. During your time here, you値l have an opportunity to observe and learn about Africat痴 conservation work. Depending on your interests, you can also go mountain biking or hike up the mountains to watch the sunrise, join a bird-watching excursion to spot some of the 250+ species of birdlife in the area, enjoy a nocturnal game drive, or you can experience a day in the life of a San Bushman on a bushman trail.
Day 15:Explore Okonjima - During your time here, you値l have an opportunity to observe and learn about Africat痴 conservation work. Depending on your interests, you can also go mountain biking or hike up the mountains to watch the sunrise, join a bird-watching excursion to spot some of the 250+ species of birdlife in the area, enjoy a nocturnal game drive, or you can experience a day in the life of a San Bushman on a bushman trail.
Day 16:Return to Windhoek - Following breakfast at your hotel, you値l drive back to Windhoek which should take approximately three hours. On arrival, you値l have time to get some lunch and drop off your hire car, before heading to the airport to catch your international flight home.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Namibia self drive adventure holiday

Environment

You will visit several national parks and reserves on this itinerary, including Etosha National Park and Chobe Game Reserve. In our detailed pre-departure travel pack we have included a note to remind you not leave any litter in the national parks and reserves everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to the wildlife.

On this itinerary you値l spend two days at the Okonjima Plains Camp located within the Okonjima Nature Reserve, home of the famous Africat Foundation - an education and research facility dedicated to the rescue, relocation and rehabilitation of Namibia's big cats, particularly cheetah and leopard. Okonjima own several farms up in the mountains, split into large enclosures where cheetah and leopard roam. It is a fantastic programme and it offers an incredible opportunity to get close to big cats and learn about them. Activities from Okonjima include drives to track the leopard and view the cheetah and to learn more about Africat's work.

Community

During your time in Namibia you should try to interact and engage with the local people as this will offer a much more meaningful and enriching travel experience.

On this holiday you値l have the option of staying at the Kalahari Farmhouse where you can go for a walk with one of the local San Bushmen. The San are believed to be southern Africa's original inhabitants and around a third of the 90,000 remaining San live in Namibia. Walking through the Kalahari with one of the San Bushmen offers a unique insight into their culture, and the knowledge and understanding that they have of the land. There may also be opportunities to meet the women of the tribe who can show you how they create the beautiful hand crafted jewellery they adorn themselves with. Spending time with the San people is a fascinating cultural experience and it may well be the highlight of your Namibia holiday.

On this trip we have incorporated visits to towns and villages such as Swakopmund. We encourage you to support the local economy by buying authentic handmade products such as cotton fabrics, wood carvings, pottery and silver jewellery at markets, villages and small-scale souvenir shops rather than hotel tourist shops or on organised shopping trips. When you buy products at markets, villages and small-scale souvenir shops you are helping to support a fragile economy and supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive. We recommend that you visit the Cosdef Arts & Crafts Centre in Swakopmund which supports local artisans and unemployed people by providing a shopfront for their work. The quality of the products is high and by purchasing items here you are supporting sustainability in local communities.

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