Discover what makes Namibia one of the region's best safari and wilderness destinations. This self-drive tour goes from south to north visiting the major highlights of this vast, beautiful and empty country. Let’s inspire you to discover the most popular highlights Namibia can offer you in just 14 DAY’s.
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
Walvis Bay and Swakopmund
Etosha National Park
DAY 1; Airport –Windhoek
On arrival you will be met by a representative of Odyssey Car & 4x4 Hire. Your tour will start by driving 42km to Windhoek the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. You will receive a comprehensive 1-2 hours briefing of the vehicle, camping equipment & the route you will be driving. Following this you can buy provisions in Windhoek for the next 14 days self-drive adventure. Your first night spend will be overnighting in Windhoek in a Guesthouse.
If your flight are schedule to arrive after 15H00 no vehicle handover will take place only on day 2 but you would be transferred to your first nights’ accommodation. If flights are schedule to arrive before 10H00 am we can change first night in Windhoek to first night outside Windhoek to make day 2’s driving a bit less.
Notable landmarks to visit in Windhoek are: Parliament Gardens, Christ Church (lutheran church opened in 1910, built in the gothic revival style with Art Nouveau elements.), Tintenpalast (Ink Palace -within Parliament Gardens, the seat of both chambers of the Parliament of Namibia. Built between 1912 and 1913 and situated just north of Robert Mugabe Avenue), Alte Feste (built in 1890 and houses the National Museum), Reiterdenkmal (Equestrian Monument - a statue celebrating the victory of the German Empire over the Herero and Nama in the Herero and Namaqua War of 1904–1907), Supreme Court of Namibia Built between 1994 and 1996 it is Windhoek's only building erected post-independence in an African style of architecture.
Dinner at Sellenbosch Wine Bar Restaurant or at Joes Beerhouse would be a wonderful start to an African experience meal.
Namibian Highlights Camping Safari
"Christuskirche" (church of Christ)
The so-called Heroes Acre
Windhoek City centre
DAY 2; Windhoek – Solitaire/Sesriem/Sossosvlei
Today’s journey leads you to the southern parts of Namibia via the Tropic of Capricon to the Namib Naukluft Park the Khomas Highlands and the breath-taking view of the Spreetshoogte Pass.
Spreetshoogte Pass (Afrikaans: Spreetshoogtepas, literally English: Spreeth's Peak Pass) is a mountain pass in central Namibia, connecting the Namib Desert with the Khomas Highland by traversing the Great Escarpment, a geological feature of much of the southern part of the African continent. With gradients between 1:4.5 and 1:6 it is the steepest pass in Namibia, as well as the one straddling the biggest elevation difference, descending almost 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) within 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) of road. The top of the pass features a resting place from which there is a spectacular view into the adjacent Namib. The pass was erected during World War II by farmer Nicolaas Spreeth, after whom it is named.
You will then arrive at a small town called Solitaire the area was named Solitaire by Elsie Sophia van Coller (wife of Willem Christoffel van Coller). The name was chosen because of two meanings. Solitaire can mean a single set diamond and Solitaire can also mean solitude or loneliness. Combined these two meanings create the definition of being unique or one-of-a-kind and a precious but solitary place Solitaire is situated at the junction of main roads C14 (Walvis Bay - Bethanie), and C19 (Sesriem - Sossusvlei), both major tourist routes through the Namib-Naukluft National Park. At Solitaire you will find a petrol station, public restrooms, restaurant and bakery the worlds famous apfel strudel, the settlement also contains a tire repair workshop and a motel, continue to your explicit lodge. Already in the afternoon you will have the opportunity to join in on the first activities the lodge has to offer or just relax at the lodge swimming pool.
Overnight in the Naukluft Park surrounding
DAY 3; Sesriem/Sossosvlei
Today will be a leisure day to enjoy the fantastic sight of the Sossusvlei Dunes, The dead vlei and Sesriem Canyon.
The Sesriem Canyon derives its name from the fact that early Afrikaner trekkers had to use six ('ses') leather thongs ('riem') so that their buckets could reach the water far below. Because it is so deep and sheltered, it often holds water well into the dry season.
The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert are thought to be the highest dunes in the world. The best time to view Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset, when colours and shades change constantly, offering a photographer’s dream. The midday heat is intense and best spent in the shade. 'Vlei' is the Afrikaans word for a shallow depression or pan, surrounded by spectacular red dunes, sometimes fills with water. The pan only has water on rare occasions, during exceptional rainy seasons, when the Tsauchab River flows into this pan. The Sossusvlei is mostly a dry vlei except in good rainy season. The sand-dunes at Sossusvlei are some 60km from the Sesriem gate (the entrance to the park) and the drive takes about an hour. The area also hosts various vleis, such as the Naravlei, so called because of the countless cucumber-like melons (a vital source of nourishment for many desert creatures, including man) growing around the edge of the pan. Dead Vlei boasts dead camelthorn trees, some being over 800 years old. Out of view from the 2x4 car park, tucked behind a dune, is Hiddenvlei.
Again, Overnight in the Namib Naukluft Park surroundings.
Dunes of the Namib
DAY 4; Sossosvlei – Swakopmund
Enjoy your breakfast-with-a-view, before you depart through the rough Namib Desert till you arrive in the coastal town of Swakopmund.
The Namib Desert, the world's oldest desert (43 million years), covers just under 50 000km² and incorporates the Namib Naukluft Park, a section of the diamond area to the south and the Skeleton Coast to the north, which was recently proclaimed as the Dorop Park. It includes the Swakop River and Kuiseb River Canyons, which are dry rivers, except in exceptional good rainy seasons.
Overnight in one of Swakopmunds fabulous Guesthouse.
DAY 5; Swakopmund/ Walvis Bay
Today is yet another leisure day to participate in some activities. (Please book activities with us in advance).
Swakopmund (German for "Mouth of the Swakop River") is the ideal holiday destination of Namibia which lies on the west coast only 350km from Windhoek. Swakopmund was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, and a sizable part of its population is still German-speaking today. Boats were offloaded at Swakopmund’s landmark, the jetty. However, the natural potential of Swakopmund as a holiday resort was recognized, and this potential has subsequently been developed. Today tourism-related services form an important part of the town's economy. This little town is rich in beautiful German colonial architecture/buildings, e.g. the beautiful old train station which was converted into a hotel, the prison, the Woerman House which used to be the head office of the Woermann Line (colonial shipping line) and now houses the public library and shops, the Light House, the Jetty which now houses a restaurant, just to mention a few. Swakopmund has an excellent museum on the history of Namibia / Southwest Africa. Swakopmund has a lot to offer which include attractions like the National Marine Aquarium, the Crystal Gallery, the Martin Luther Steam locomotive and “things to do” like fishing, dolphin cruise, snake park, skydiving and quad biking, dune riding, ballooning, camel riding and excellent shopping possibilities.
Again, Overnight in one of Swakopmunds fabulous Guesthouse. Restaurants to try out in Swakopmind, Jetty 1905, Swakopmund Brauhaus, The Tug, kucki’s Pub, Tiger reef.
Colourful buildings in Swakopmund
Quadbide tour in Walvis bay
Shipwreck close to Swakopmund
Boat tour in Walvis Bay
DAY 6; Swakopmund/ Cape Cross/ Burn Mountains
From Swakopmund you will travel north, via Cape Cross, the seal colony to the Damaraland till you reach our next destination near Brandberg.
Cape Cross (Afrikaans: Kaap Kruis; German: Kreuzkap; Portuguese: Cabo da Cruz) is a small headland in the South Atlantic in Skeleton Coast, western Namibia. The Portuguese navigator and explorer Diogo Cão was in 1484 ordered by King João II, as part of the search for a sea route to India and the Spice Islands, to advance south into undiscovered regions along the west coast of Africa. While doing so, he was to choose some particularly salient points and claim them for Portugal by setting up on each a stone cross called padrão. The original Cape Cross padrão was removed in 1893 by Corvette captain Gottlieb Becker, commander of the SMS Falke of the German Navy, and taken to Berlin. A simple wooden cross was put in its place. The wooden cross was replaced two years later by a stone replica. At the end of the 20th century, thanks to private donations, another cross, more similar to the original one, was erected at Cape Cross, and thus there are now two crosses there.
Damaraland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, a huge, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region that offers the more traveller a more adventurous challenge. Here there are prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Towards the west, the geography changes dramatically with endless sandy wastes, that incredibly are able to sustain small, but wide-ranging, populations of desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, ostrich and springbok. These animals have adapted their lifestyles to survive the harshness of the sun-blistered, almost waterless desert spaces. Elephant move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to 70km in a day in search of food and water and unusually, do not destroy trees in their quest for food. Follow black rhino cow and her calf in typical Damaraland 'melkbos' terrain.
Together, Damaraland and Kaokoland are known as the Kaokoveld.
The Brandberg (Damara: Dâures; Otjiherero: Omukuruvaro) is Namibia's highest mountain. The Brandberg is a spiritual site of great significance to the San (Bushman) tribes. The main tourist attraction is The White Lady rock painting, located on a rock face with other art work, under a small rock overhang, in the Tsisab
Ravine at the foot of the mountain. The ravine contains more than 1 000 rock shelters, as well as more than 45 000 rock paintings
Overnight at the Brandberg surroundings
DAY 7; Twyfelfontein
It’s time to explore one of the World Heritage Sites, Namibia has to offer – Twyfelfontein with its wealth of ancient rock engravings, and the wonders of the Organ Pipes and the afterwards try to find the Desert Elephants. (Please book activities with us in advance)
Twyfelfontein valley has been inhabited by Stone-age hunter-gatherers of the Wilton Stone Age culture group since approximately 6,000 years ago. They made most of the engravings and probably all the paintings. 2,000 to 2,500 years ago the Khoikhoi, an ethnic group related to the San (Bushmen), occupied the valley, then known under its Damara/Nama name ǀUi-ǁAis (jumping waterhole). The Khoikhoi also produced rock art which can clearly be distinguished from the older engravings
Overnight at the Twyfelfontein surroundings
The Brandberg, Namibias highest mountain
Elephants in the Damaraland
Landscape in the Damaraland
Rock engravings at Twyfelfontein
DAY 8; Twyfelfontein – Etosha
On your way to the Etosha National Park, you may want to visit the Petrified Forest. Your journey then continues via Khorixas and Outjo to the lodge, just south of the Anderson Gate.
The Petrified forest located some 40 kilometres west of the Namibian town of Khorixas, on the C39 road, is a deposit of large tree trunks that have "turned to stone" through a process of diagenesis. There at least two large tree trunks exposed to view and more may be out of sight. The site was declared a National Monument on 1 March 1950. It is believed that the trees were swept downstream by a large flood and covered by alluvial sands. Deprived of air, the organic matter could not rot and decay, but instead, over millions of years, underwent silicification, whereby each cell is individually fossilised and the appearance, if not the colour, of wood is retained. The surrounding sands became sandstone, which is now eroding away. In addition, there are a large number of welwitschia plants at the site. Public access is by guided tour only. There are toilet and refreshment facilities.
Overnight close to the Etosha Park
DAY 9 & 10; Etosha
You have a full day, which you can use to explore the abundant wildlife in the Etosha Park, Namibia has to offer.
The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros.
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK is the gateway to Northern Namibia and Ovamboland. It is Namibia’s prime wildlife location and home to a large variety of mammals and birds. Etosha means the ‘great white area ‘this refers to large dried pan in the middle of the Etosha Park. What makes this park unique is the floodlit waterholes at all the main camps. Visit Etosha National Park in Namibia this season and share in Namibia’s
wildlife. Etosha Park is any photographers dream. Plan your visit to Namibia and experience the great white area of Etosha. The park was proclaimed a game reserve on March 22, 1907 in Ordinance 88 by the Governor of German South West Africa, Dr. Friedrich von Lindequist.
Overnight in Etosha Park
Elephant at a waterhole
Drinking giraffe bull
Leopard on the road
DAY 11; Etosha – Waterberg
Today you will drive through Otjiwarongo to Waterberg to your next destination.
The Herero people were the original settlers of this area, and they called the place Otjiwarongo, meaning "beautiful place".The main interest for tourists is Otjiwarongo's proximity to the Waterberg Plateau Park. Otjiwarongo is home to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, an internationally recognized organization dedicated to ensuring the long-term survival of the cheetah through research, conservation and education. On the edge of town is the Crocodile Ranch, one of the few captive breeding programs for the Nile Crocodile that has been registered with CITES.
The Waterberg Plateau Park is ecologically diverse and rich and has over 200 different species of bird with some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain. Geologically, the oldest rock stratum is over 850 million years old and dinosaurs tracks were left there some 200 million years ago.
Afternoon leisure, hiking, game watching, breathing in history or just enjoying the peaceful scenery of the Waterberg.
Overnight at the Waterberg Plateau Park.
View from the top
Dassie in the red stones
DAY 12; Waterberg – Erindi
You can do a morning hike to the Waterberg if you did not have the chance to do it on day 11.
Today you will travel to the Erindi Private Game Reserve located southeast of Omaruru.
Erindi is a protected reserve in central Namibia. Erindi, meaning “place of water”, is a sustainable natural wonderland. The land on which Erindi was founded, has been reclaimed as part of a massive rehabilitation and conservation venture. The owners, Chris and Gert Joubert, originally bought the 70 719 hectares of land with the intention of going into cattle farming. It was soon realized that farming cattle is an extremely costly practice, and they abandoned the idea in favor of a private game reserve. The aim was to restore endemic species to the area, with the hope that they would once again thrive there.
You can join on some of the activities Erindi have to offer or just relax next to the swimming pool and enjoy the surrounding.
Overnight in the surrounding of the Erindi Private Game Reserve.
Erindi Elephants and wildebeest
Hippos at the Erindi dam
DAY 13; Erindi – Windhoek
Today you drive back to Windhoek, where you will spend your last night. On arrival in Windhoek you need to drop off your rental vehicle and will then be transferred to your accommodation.
If you have a flight back home on the same day you will then be transferred to the airport the same day. Last shopping spring to Windhoek’s Craft Centers for gift/ souvenirs for back home.
For a farewell dinner Joes Beerhouse will give you the last Namibia feeling
Overnight in Windhoek Guesthouse
DAY 14; Windhoek – Airport
You will be picked up at the accommodation and taken to the airport for the departure flight back home
*** Hope to see you again soon ***