Namibia Guided Self-Drive

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Trip Details

from $0 per person

  • Trip Outline
  • Trip Includes
  • Trip Excludes
  • Reviews
  • Booking
  • FAQ
  • This tour starts and ends in Windhoek 
  • We can book your international flights
  • Fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek
  • Fly back from Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek
  • A transfer from and back to the airport is included
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour can be arranged for an extra cost

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival to Windhoek

Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you will be met by your guide and together complete the formalities for the rental vehicles.
You will then make your way towards the Kalahari by getting your first taste of gravel road driving in Namibia. The C15 leads directly from the airport, bypassing the capital.

You will travel into the largest sand mass on Earth, the Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari is a vast semidesert of wind-blown sand held by a sparse mantle of thorn scrub, making it the largest continuous stretch of sand covering 9 African countries. Unlike other true deserts, the Kalahari does receive erratic rainfall. For many, therefore, “thirstland” is a more fitting description. Lacking permanent surface water, the Kalahari is a challenging place to live except for those who have adapted to not only survive but flourish here. The Bushmen refer to it as the “Soul of the World”, an emotive description for this area! With its deep red dunes and endless grass plains interspersed with acacia and shrubs, it is still home to a surprisingly large amount of specially adapted wildlife.
We chose a property that is more than an overnight – it is a destination in itself. The many varied activities on offer are only limited by your energy level and time. Enjoy an afternoon nature drive or a walk with the Bushmen of the Kalahari. And lest we forget, the always entertaining Meerkats!

We have included a sundowner drive with another night drive after dinner.

Day 2 & 3

Sossusvlei

Enjoy a sunrise this morning from an optional horseback ride before breakfast and return to the lodge for a quick freshen-up and breakfast.
 
The journey will take you via Mariental and the Hardap Dam and then west towards Maltahohe where you will make a comfortable stop before reaching the lodge in the early afternoon. Upon arrival at the lodge with its magnificent location, you will have the opportunity to freshen up before enjoying an afternoon nature drive on the reserve.
 
Return in time for dinner and a gentle reminder to keep an eye on the incredible night skies.

The next morning you will have an early rise to visit the infamous Sossusvlei. This early rise will be well rewarded with 50 shades of red – or more! After an early coffee, you will depart with your guide on an excursion to explore the Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei, and Sesriem Canyon. Considered some of the tallest dunes in the world, even surpassing those of the Sahara, these monumentally high star-shaped dunes are a sought-after destination for photographers and artists. The warm tint of the sand contrasts with the dazzling white surfaces of the clay pans in the surrounding areas. The hues constantly change with the sun rising from deep apricot to warm red and all shades in between. Here you will have the opportunity to climb these awesome dunes and explore the Deadvlei – make sure your camera’s hard drive has space! After enjoying a lunch pack amongst the dunes, you will then continue towards Sesriem Canyon before returning to the lodge. The afternoon can be spent enjoying the lodge or the optional spa treatments available at the lodge.
 
Enjoy star gazing and quad biking here.
 

Day 4

Swakopmund

We have another early rise and this morning it will be for the ballooning over the desert – an incredible experience! Upon your return, you will depart via Solitaire towards the coast for an early afternoon arrival. Depending on the arrival time, you may wish to enjoy some optional activities such as quad biking in the oldest desert in the world.

Alternatively, you may wish to undertake an optional scenic flight over the Skelton Coast or explore Swakopmund on foot with your guide. Established by the German colonists in 1892, the town’s colonial landmarks include the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the Mole, an old sea wall. Next to the lighthouse, the Swakopmund Museum documents Namibian history. Inland, the elegant Swakopmund Railway Station, now a hotel, also dates to the colonial era.
The Strand Hotel has an excellent location right on the promenade and offers several in-house dining options.

Swakopmund boasts a variety of excellent restaurants ranging from typical German good hearty faire to excellent fish restaurants. Your guide will make suggestions based on your preference. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

Day 5

A full-day fishing

This morning you will meet your expert local fisherman and marine guide for the day for a full day of fishing along the Atlantic with its chilly waters and rich marine life. Departure will be around 08:00 in the morning and return around 15:00. The skipper will take the boat to an area where a good catch can be expected, usually between 100-800 m from the shore and up to 20 km north or south of Swakopmund. Steenbras, Barbel, Black Bream, Garrick, and a variety of sharks – come up to over 100 kg! — are all found in these cold waters. Sharks may not be kept and should be returned as soon as caught. Fishing tackle and bait will be provided for the day’s excursion, and any additional wishes for lunch onboard the boat should be communicated to the guide the night before. Please ensure that you have a jacket and sun protection ready. Water, cold drinks, and beer are included in the day’s fishing. Note this is an exclusive activity. The actual length of the fishing will very much be determined by the weather on a particular day.

Day 6

Damaraland

Namibia is all about distances, remote places, and natural beauty. The journey today will be a long but rewarding one!

You will leave Swakopmund behind and make your way northbound along the coast after breakfast, stopping off at the Zeila Shipwreck, visible from the shore. You then continue further up north along the coast. The journey now continues via Henties Bay, a small seaside town famous locally for exceptional fishing. You may choose to have a short stop here or push on towards the inland. Heading inland, the journey will snake via Uis and Khorixas and then to Kamanjab.

Arriving at the lodge in the afternoon, you may have already encountered some wildlife of Damaraland ranging from giraffes to the Hartmann zebras as well as possibly some elephants and even lions.
The lodge is situated in an 8-800-hectare concession area, known for its wildlife in this arid region of the country.

As it is a long day of driving, we leave the option for a night drive open for the guests to decide if they are up for it, therefore remaining optional. Expect to see a variety of nocturnal animals including aardvark, cape fox, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, and genet.

Day 7

Another day in Damaraland

Today is an exciting day and armed with the lunch packs you will depart the lodge for a day of exploration in your rental vehicles. Your expert guide will take you on a 4×4 route that will include some technical driving off-road that includes thick sand and traversing riverbeds. Some of these routes are off the beaten track, and you may encounter wildlife in this area that ranges from mountain zebra and giraffes to elephants and even lions.
The aim is to reach Khowarib Lodge, located on the banks of the Hoanib River in the Khowarib Gorge. It is a sparsely populated area, known mostly for the desert-dwelling elephant, some of which you may encounter, as well as some remote Himba settlements.
En route to the lodge, you will also encounter the Ongongo Waterfall, a warm water spring set in a small canyon in this desolate landscape. Permanent water flows from the mountain and is relatively warm, allowing for swimming year-round. The road leading to the falls is on rocky terrain and it is advisable to take this route slowly and cautiously.

Only 4×4 vehicles are permitted into the gorge, where these can be left in the parking areas whilst you enjoy the waters of the falls! After some swimming, it is time to move on to Khowarib Lodge, an impressive setting where you will overnight this evening.

Depending on your arrival time, you may join an afternoon drive in the area with a sundowner.

Day 8

4x4 extreme driving

Start the day out with a morning game drive to explore the area and search for wildlife.

Upon your return you will enjoy a hearty breakfast before departing southbound and enjoy another day of exciting driving. The guide will lead you towards De Riet, a community far removed from the touristy highlights. The drive today will take you along some dry riverbeds, where you will keep a lookout for desert-dwelling elephants. It will be a day of strenuous 4×4 driving, and we do recommend that the guests have some skill in this department.
Arrival will be at the lodge in the afternoon.

Day 9 & 10

Mowe Bay

Upon arrival at Mowe Bay, you will be met and collected for your transfer to the lodge located in the heart of the Skeleton Coast. The on-site small local museum at Mowe Bay is crammed with facts about the area, and a real recommendation is to step inside and watch a bit of a bygone era, still very much alive today.

Allow yourself to be pampered in this unique location. Enjoy an afternoon drive exploring the dunes and surreal landscapes and visit some shipwrecks in the immediate area such as the Suiderkruis and Karimona, learning about ghost waves – and real ghosts! You may even catch a glimpse of the desert elephant! Then retire to your room after an exquisite meal, falling asleep to the sound of a lone jackal cry and the rolling fog that harbors secrets to the perished ships that lay strewn along the cold and dangerous Atlantic.

The next day can be filled with some activities on offer by the lodge. This range from sundowners and walks on the beach, game drives within the Skeleton Coast National Park, quad biking, or a 4×4 excursion to the Clay Castles and the Hoanib River Delta.
This unique lodge and it's even more unique setting made waves internationally and from the Conde Nast to the Elle travel section, it featured a mention. There’s an Alice-in-Wonderland meets Shakespeare Sister meeting Pirates of the Caribbean flavor to the lodge, anchored by the real desolation of the area, as the shipwrecks and mysterious disappearances show.

Day 11

Walvis Bay

After breakfast, you leave this remote part of the world behind and make your way back toward civilization and Mowe Bay where your vehicle awaits. The journey will then back-track whence you came from, this time to Walvis Bay. Here you will leave the vehicles parked and take a 4x4 transfer to one of the most remote experiences in Namibia – Pelican Point. Note that we only recommend this journey to be made by very experienced drivers upon authorization to use this road. If guests are not certain about their off-roading skills we highly recommend using the transfer. Should time permit, upon arrival at the lighthouse you may enjoy an afternoon marine drive where you will explore the area, taking in the seal colonies, the thousands of flamingos who call this area home, and spot some of the jackal who thrive in this area. Enjoy an appetizing sundowner with fresh canapes. Return to the lodge in time to freshen up before dinner is served.

Day 12

Windhoek

This morning you will depart towards the capital again via the gravel road towards the Bosua Pass. However, you will first call at the Moon Landscape and the Welwitschia plants, said to grow over 2000 years old outside Swakopmund before taking on the drive towards the capital.
 
The Bosua Pass is of an elevation of over 1 700m above sea level and also one of Namibia’s steepest routes with an incline of about 20%! Your guide will take this section at a slow pace. Whilst the pass is certainly scenic, the drive may be technical of nature and some skill is required.
En-route you will enjoy a packed lunch before arrival in Windhoek in the afternoon.
The remainder of the evening will be at leisure and dinner may be enjoyed at the excellent in-house restaurant of the hotel where fine dining is at the order of the day, or alternatively at a venue suggested by your guide.

Day 13

End of adventure

You will make your way to the airport today where you will drop the vehicles and the tour ends upon finalizing the formalities.

• Accommodation
• Meet & Greet at Airport
• English-speaking Guide
• Guide-Meals & Accommodation
• 3x Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Automatic Rental Vehicles
• Skeleton Coast Permit
• Hot air ballooning in Sossusvlei
• Fuel for all 3 vehicles
• Water, cold drinks & Snacks
• Porterage (1 standard luggage piece per person)
• Activities where mentioned
• Park Entrance fees & conservation fees

• All airfares, air reservations and airport taxes
• All other accommodation
• All other meals
• All other transport
• All other sightseeing
• Gratuities for meals, tourist guides, drivers, game rangers and trackers
• Personal expenses such as alcoholic and other beverages, telephone calls and laundry
• Any other services not mentioned above

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