Tailor-Made Holiday

Namibia - Self Drive Holiday

Etosha, Sossusvlei and Damaraland

14 days

from £3,295pp

This classic Namibia holiday offers a very comprehensive journey around some incredibly diverse areas of the country. Self-driving is easy, and offers a chance to take in Namibia's relentlessly dramatic scenery at your own pace.

  • See the dunes at Sossusvlei and search for desert adapted elephant in Damaraland
  • Seek out the big game of Etosha National Park
  • Relax at the coast in colonial Swakopmund
  • Self-drive though beautiful desert scenery

From Windhoek, journey south to the mighty dunes at Sossusvlei, before heading north through remote desert scenery to the Damaraland, stopping off at the coastal oasis of Swakopmund. Seek out big game in Etosha National Park before heading to Okonjima for a big cat experience.

There is so much to see and do on this holiday and the activities on offer are endless. The properties we suggest are all in such dramatic locations that you would be well within your rights to just relax and soak it all in from the comfort of your camp. Take plenty of memory cards for your camera!

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Johannesburg overnight

Day 2

Fly Johannesburg to Windhoek


Namibia's capital and only city, Windhoek, is a vibrant place of many contrasts. Seemingly misplaced German architecture stands side by side with modern sky scrapers, while African drums and wood-carvings from the north displayed on pavements vie with elegant shops offering sophisticated Swakara garments and gemstone jewellery.

A pedestrian-friendly city with a cosmopolitan outlook, Windhoek makes for a wonderful stopover. This is modern Africa at its most fascinating - a melting pot of modernity, colonial echoes and African tradition.


You will be staying at Olive Grove Guesthouse, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Windhoek to Sossusvlei


Head south to the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei, a journey time of approx. 5 hours.


In the heart of the Namib-Naukluft Park, surrounded by a sea of ever changing dunes lies Sossusvlei - a place of awe inspiring beauty and home to some pretty spectacular scenery. Burnt orange dunes tower into the vast blue sky, some 300 metres above the desert floor. It's hard not to be moved by this desolate wilderness.


Scenic air and hot air balloon flights, sunset game drives, hiking trips, horseback trails and more await; and for those with added sense of adventure, climbing the dunes is an unforgettable experience.


Namib Naukluft Mountain Excursion
Experience this hidden jewel with on a professionally guided tour. A mountain lunch in a beautiful natural habitat with water springs will is a highlight after hiking in the mountains.


You will be staying at Hoodia Desert Lodge, Half board

Day 4

Sossusvlei Day Trip
Spend the day exploring Sossusvlei. Enjoy the eerie silence of the desert at sunrise, before others are allowed to enter and make the most of the solitude! The drive is around 70km from the lodge and the last section of road into Sossusvlei is a 4x4 area only but you can leave your vehicle at the car park and proceed on foot (a beautiful walk), or take the shuttle. Enjoy the amazing scenery of the desert, take a short walk to Deadvlei, a bizarre collection of ancient camelthorn trees, or climb the nearby dunes.


You will be staying at Hoodia Desert Lodge, Half board

Day 5

Drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund


A journey time of approx.6 hours.


Swakopmund Excursion
See the marine sanctuary of Sandwich Harbour, a unique environment of towering dunes, a freshwater lagoon and the wild Atlantic Ocean. Alternatively, take a boat cruise from Walvis Bay to see dolphins, fur seals and many species of marine birds.

Swakopmund resembles a small, German coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea. It boasts a charming combination of German colonial architecture blended with modern hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, craft centres, galleries and cafés.

Swakopmund had its beginnings as a landing station in 1892 when the German Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site. Settlers followed and made attempts to create a harbour town by constructing a concrete Mole and then an iron jetty - which attempts were ultimately unsuccessful. The advent of World War one halted developments, and the town sank into decline until half a century later when infrastructure improved and an asphalt road opened between Windhoek and Swakopmund. This made reaching the previously isolated town quicker and easier and it prospered once again to become Namibia's premier resort town.

Although the sea is normally cold for swimming there are pleasant beaches and the cooler climate is refreshing after time spent in the desert.


You will be staying at Villa Margherita, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Drive from Swakopmund to Damaraland


Situated near the rugged Skeleton Coast, Damaraland is scenically magnificent with vast desert landscapes, granite kopjes, deep gorges and open plains. Colourful rock formations brighten this desolate landscape, contrasting wonderfully with deep-blue Namibian skies.

The region is famed for the ancient petroglyphs of Twyfelfontein, created by the predecessors of the Namibian Bushmen, as well as the nearby petrified forests. Desert-adapted elephants roam Damaraland, surviving in the harshest conditions, whilst populations of wild black rhinos can be found in the Palmwag Reserve and the environs of the remote Ugab River valley.


You will be staying at Camp Kipwe, Half board

Day 7

Drive from Damaraland to Palmwag Reserve


A Wilderness guide will be waiting at Twee Palms to escort you to the semi-nomadic Desert Rhino Camp. The pick-up time is 15h00, you will leave your vehicle here and be escorted to the camp on a 4x4 game drive.


Home to the largest free roaming population of black rhino in Africa, as well as desert-adapted elephant, Palmwag is a very important reserve indeed. Located in northern Damaraland between Etosha and the Skeleton Coast, this area is known for its stark desert beauty and is home to amazing wildlife and an abundance of endemic birdlife.


You will be staying at Desert Rhino Camp, Half board

Day 8

Days at Desert Rhino Camp
Activities at the Rhino Camp concentrate on rhino tracking. Start out early this morning in a 4x4 vehicle, searching for wildlife. Meanwhile, trackers are out and about, looking for rhino. When one is found, they radio over to your vehicle, which approaches to a point which doesn't disturb the rhino. This may be a kilometre or more away.
You then go in closer on foot, with your guide, at a slow and steady pace. The trackers will always ensure that you stay a safe distance away, but the sheer exhilaration of being within a couple of hundred metres of a rhino whilst on foot more than makes up for the fact that you do not get right up to it.

Although the walking isn't very strenuous, the terrain can be uneven as the landscape is strewn with small rocks and boulders. Sure-footedness and sturdy walking shoes are therefore recommended.


You will join the lodge shared activities here.


You will be staying at Desert Rhino Camp, Half board

Day 9

Drive from Palmwag Reserve to Etosha National Park


Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa's finest and most important game reserves.

Situated in northern Namibia, Etosha, meaning 'Great White Place', is dominated by a massive shimmering mineral pan, which is flat, rugged and, for much of the year, dry and dusty. All the same, it supports some of the best game viewing in the whole of Southern Africa.


You will be staying at Ongava Tented Camp, All inclusive

Day 10

A Typical day at Ongava Lodge
Full days at Ongava Lodge are mostly spend on game drives, rhino tracking and nature walks in the Ongava Reserve. One of the day will be a full or half day guided morning and afternoon game drive in Etosha National Park and the massive saltpan.


You will be staying at Ongava Tented Camp, All inclusive

Day 11

Etosha National Park to Okonjima Nature Reserve


En route to Okonjima there is the opportunity to stop for a visit at REST (www.restafrica.org) which is housed on a piece of land adjacent to Okonjima, just before entering the reserve. For a donation, be shown around facilities including an interpretation centre with information on the various animals species they work with including Cape Griffon vultures, the spotted rubber frog, pangolin, Damara dik-dik, dwarf python and wild dog. REST is also home to some non-releasable Cape Griffon vultures as well as having a hide at the 'Vulture Restaurant'. Definitely a bonus for anyone wanting to learn about Namibia's wildlife and contribute in a meaningful way.


Located midway between Windhoek and Etosha National Park, the Okonjima Nature Reserve was established as a protected area in which orphaned cats can be rehabilitated. Entirely fenced and covering a vast area of wild savannah, this important reserve is home to leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and wild dog.

Founded by AfriCat, Okonjima is part of greater conservation project in which the rehabilitated carnivores roam freely. Radio-tracking, health checks and research gathering are all part of a concerted effort to learn more about these threatened species.


You will be staying at Okonjima Plains Camp, Half board

Day 12

Track Big Cats with AfriCat
Track cheetahs or leopards alongside AfriCat's experts. Set out on foot or in a 4x4, depending on which carnivores are known to be in the area. The big cats within the reserve have all been fitted with radio collars, allowing them to be closely monitored and Researchers record their welfare, condition and hunting successes.

AfriCat's large carnivore rehabilitation programme was initiated in 2000 to return captive cheetahs to their natural environment. Since then, the project has expanded and accelerated, with the ultimate aim of returning more large carnivores to the wild.

In 2010, four wild dogs were released by AfriCat into the reserve. The release has been a success and the pack is now hunting and taking down adult prey.


You will be staying at Okonjima Plains Camp, Half board

Day 13

Drive from Okonjima Nature Reserve to Windhoek


A journey of around two or three hours.

Fly Windhoek to Johannesburg

Fly Johannesburg to London overnight

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe lies in the heart of Damaraland, ideally located a short drive from the local attractions in the area....

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Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

Tucked into a shady hidden valley at the foot of a dolomite hill at the southern boundary of Etosha National Park, Ongava Tented Camp sits within the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve....

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Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp is nestled amongst the Ombokoro Mountains - a Herero name meaning, 'place of the baboons'....

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Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp lies within private Palmwag Concession in northern Damaraland, a region highlighted for its remarkable tranquillity and minimalist beauty....

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Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Situated on the banks of the Tsauchab River, Hoodia Desert Lodge is an easy distance from the entrance to Sossusvlei, and is an ideal location to visit Sesriem Canyon and the Namib Naukluft Park....

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Olive Grove Guesthouse

Olive Grove Guesthouse

Olive Grove is a small boutique guest house located in a leafy residential area of Namibia's capital city Windhoek....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Namibia

Illona Cross, Travel Expert

"Illona was quite simply brilliant. She listened and carefully noted what we thought we wanted, made suggestions and came up with an itinerary which suited us down to the ground."

"Excellent personal service; well-informed local knowledge; dependable outcome; quality of experience."

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Jackie Devereux, Travel Expert

"Every part of our trip was the highlight and it is not possible for us to point out just one thing, event or place."

"However, we received a magnificent surprise of a helicopter ride between camps in Botswana which meant a flight over the delta and an opportunity to see the delta and how it is formed. It was a wonderful surprise organised by Jackie and we were both absolutely overjoyed with the opportunity. I do not believe that there was more that could have been done as we had a magnificent trip."

"Jackie was excellent- she listened and was very knowledgeable."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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