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Sandy tracks, Damaraland, Namibia

Self-Drive Across Namibia

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

12 Days

Prices Start from

$3,810 ex. flights

This classic journey takes you through Namibia’s relentlessly dramatic scenery, exploring at your own pace and at the wheel of a 4×4. Drive across this relaxed country, combining landscapes, wildlife and activities on a route that takes in Etosha, Damaraland, Sossusvlei and the coast.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Flight over Dunes, Sossusvlei, Namibia 1

Desert Dunes

Marvel at Sossusvlei’s 300m high dunes and the alien landscape of Dead Vlei.

Pair of rhinos, Palmwag Reserve, Namibia 2

Desert Rhinos

Track desert-adapted black rhinos, which only survive in Namibia’s wild northwest.

Elephant Feet, Etosha National Park, Etosha, Namibia 3

Etosha Safari

Drive through Etosha National Park, home to plains game and predators.

Twyfelfontein Rock Art, Damaraland, Namibia 4

Rock Art

Visit the ancient petroglyphs of Twyfelfontein, created by the predecessors of the Namibian Bushmen.

Why we like it

Self-driving through Namibia evokes a sense of exploration and discovery, free from the risks that usually accompanies such intrepid journeys. There is something both relaxing and exhilarating about driving across this Mad Max landscape. Yet, in spite of this sense of seclusion, Namibia is not short of activities. Fill your time searching for desert wildlife, hiking up dunes, kayaking beside seals, visiting rock art sites and riding horses through the desert.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
    Windhoek
  • Day 2
    Windhoek - Sossusvlei
  • Day 3
    Sossusvlei
  • Day 4
    Sossusvlei - Swakopmund
  • Day 5
    Swakopmund - Damaraland
  • Day 6
    Damaraland - Palmwag Reserve
  • Day 7
    Palmwag Reserve
  • Day 8
    Palmwag Reserve - Etosha National Park
  • Day 9
    Etosha National Park
  • Day 10
    Etosha National Park - Okonjima Nature Reserve
  • Day 11
    Okonjima Nature Reserve
  • Day 12
    Okonjima Nature Reserve - Windhoek
driving to Swakopmund, Namibia
Sossusvlei, Namibia

Self-Driving in Namibia

Namibia is perfect for self-driving. With little traffic and good roads (even the gravel ones), it is a stress-free destination for driving. We include a modern 4×4 as standard, giving you that extra comfort and the freedom to tackle more challenging terrain if you want.

Navigation is simple, with long straight roads a feature of Namibia. But we always include detailed maps, an emergency mobile and two spare tyres – just in case. You will also have a briefing on arrival, with a few tips and tricks for driving here.

Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sossusvlei, Namibia

Sossusvlei

Head south to the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei – a place of awe-inspiring beauty and spectacular scenery. Burnt orange dunes contrast against the endless blue skies, rising 300 metres above the desert floor.

This desolate wilderness is made for exploring, with hiking trails going up the ridges of some of the biggest dunes. For an aerial perspective, take a hot air balloon flights. Or set out into the desert on a horse-riding trail.

Old historic German Jetty, Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
Damaraland, Namibia

Swakopmund

Head north through desert scenery to the coastal oasis of Swakopmund, a small, Germanic-style coastal resort that faces the Atlantic. Its colonial architecture lends a quaint feeling to it, but it acts as a base for adventures on land and sea.

Visit the marine sanctuary at Sandwich Harbour or take a boat cruise to see dolphins, fur seals and many species of marine birds. In the desert, set out on a guided 4×4 drive through the dunes, try dune boarding or spot ancient Welwitschia plants.

 

Brandberg Mountain, Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namibia

Damaraland

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.

Visit the famed ancient petroglyphs of Twyfelfontein, created by the predecessors of the Namibian Bushmen, as well as the nearby petrified forests. If you’re feeling more energetic, there are also spectacular walking trails to follow.

Desert adapted elephant, Damaraland, Namibia
Desert-adapted elephant, Damaraland, Namibia

Desert Wildlife

Set out in search of the desert wildlife of Damaraland. This arid region is home to one of the last populations of black rhinos in Namibia, as well as desert-adapted elephants. Track these rhinos on the Palmwag Reserve, approaching on foot in the company of an expert guide.

Journey of giraffes, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Etosha National Park, Namibia

Etosha National Park

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. Here, all kinds of wildlife thrive, including big cats, giraffes, elephants and countless antelope species.

Take game drives through the nearby Ongava Reserve, as well as the national park. Wildlife can be spotted roaming this arid landscape, but it is the waterholes that attract the best sightings. Spend some time waiting beside one of these drinking spots, waiting to see if a thirsty leopard, rhino or hyena appears.

Resting cheetahs, Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia
Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia

Okonjima Nature Reserve

Located midway between Windhoek and Etosha National Park, the Okonjima Nature Reserve is a protected area where rescued predators can be rehabilitated. Covering a vast area of wild savannah, it is home to leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and wild dogs.

Track cheetahs or leopards alongside AfriCat’s experts. Set out on foot or in a 4×4, 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.

Accommodation

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

Hoodia Desert Lodge £££££

  • Namibia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Tented Camps

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. This warm and inviting lodge has a relaxing feel and facilities include a main lounge, restaurant serving international and traditional cuisine, a swimming pool set in a raised deck and sculpted into natural rock and an outside terrace overlooking the Tsauchab River. There are 12 tented bungalows set in front of a beautiful mountain backdrop, each with indoor and outdoor bathrooms and views of the river or plains and mountains.

Camp Kipwe £££££

  • Namibia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Unusual
  • Wilderness

Camp Kipwe lies in the heart of Damaraland, ideally located a short drive from the local attractions in the area. The camp is nestled amongst an outcrop of giant granite boulders, a stone’s throw away from the dry Aba Huab riverbed where desert-adapted elephants often traverse.

View Property

Desert Rhino Camp £££££

  • Namibia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Tented Camps

Desert Rhino Camp lies within private Palmwag Concession in northern Damaraland, a region highlighted for its remarkable tranquillity and minimalist beauty. There are eight canvas tented rooms on raised decks with walkways linking them to the main area, a classic-style canvas, shaded open-sided lounge and dining area that extends onto the magnificent landscape providing uninterrupted desert and mountain views. There is a library and curio corner, as well as a small swimming pool with sun loungers. The camp offers a brilliant insight into the ecology and conservation of Damaraland. At the same time, it contributes directly to the Save the Rhino Trust and ultimately the sustainability of this vulnerable area and its wildlife.

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Ongava Tented Camp £££££

  • Namibia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

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. Eight canvas tents including a family unit are set on a raised deck and include private verandas. The main area is built of stone, canvas and thatch and fronts a busy waterhole. There is a bar, dining area and open deck, library corner and small swimming pool for use when not out and about on day and night drives, guided walks, birding and black and white rhino spotting.

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Okonjima Plains Camp £££££

  • Namibia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Okonjima Plains Camp is nestled amongst the Ombokoro Mountains – a Herero name meaning, ‘place of the baboons’. The camp is family-run and is also the home of the AfriCat Foundation, a charitable organisation that rescues and relocates cheetahs, leopards and other predators. The main camp’s accommodation consists of Standard Rooms and View Rooms, each either overlooking the waterhole or the plains. The lovely main areas include a lapa, swimming pool and entertainment area. Activities available from Okonjima include radio-tracking rescued cheetahs and leopards on foot. There is also the opportunity to visit the AfriCat centre and join a guide on an informative and interactive Bushman trail. Nearby, Okonjima’s award-winning private villa and bush suites give a more luxurious safari experience, with each including a private chef, guide and safari vehicle.

View Property

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From $3,810 Per person

When to travel

Namibia in January

It is the peak of summer, with hot and humid conditions broken most afternoons by thundery downpours. Quiet season with lower visitor numbers and a good time to spot flamingos.

Namibia in February

The wettest month in many parts, especially in the north of the country. Wildlife is spread out so game viewing is not at its best, with plenty of vegetation. There is, however, the chance of spotting newborns.

Namibia in March

The wettest month in many parts, especially in the north of the country. Wildlife is spread out so game viewing is not at its best, with plenty of vegetation. There is, however, the chance of spotting newborns.

Namibia in April

The end of the wet season, with vegetation at its most lush, and cooler temperatures. A fantastic time to enjoy Namibia, with lower visitor numbers, flowers bursting through, and mainly dry weather.

Namibia in May

The beginning of winter. Almost every day is dry now, and water sources are drying up. Therefore wildlife is starting to congregate around water holes, but the landscapes are still colourful and nights aren’t chilly just yet. A great time to visit.

Namibia in June

Namibia’s winter runs from June until September. This is the most popular time to visit, as temperatures during the day are cool and the skies are clear. However, temperatures can drop close to freezing at night, particularly in the south.

Namibia in July

Namibia’s winter runs from June until September. This is the most popular time to visit, as temperatures during the day are cool and the skies are clear. However, temperatures can drop close to freezing at night, particularly in the south.

Namibia in August

Namibia’s winter runs from June until September. This is the most popular time to visit, as temperatures during the day are cool and the skies are clear. However, temperatures can drop close to freezing at night, particularly in the south.

Namibia in September

Namibia’s winter runs from June until September. This is the most popular time to visit, as temperatures during the day are cool and the skies are clear. However, temperatures can drop close to freezing at night, particularly in the south.

Namibia in October

From October to December, temperatures start to rise as summer arrives. In the heat of the day, it can be very hot, but mornings and evenings will still be cool. Showers start to become more frequent, but the weather is still mainly dry for most of the country.

Namibia in November

From October to December, temperatures start to rise as summer arrives. In the heat of the day, it can be very hot, but mornings and evenings will still be cool. Showers start to become more frequent, but the weather is still mainly dry for most of the country.

Namibia in December

From October to December, temperatures start to rise as summer arrives. In the heat of the day, it can be very hot, but mornings and evenings will still be cool. Showers start to become more frequent, but the weather is still mainly dry for most of the country.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes

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