Namibia Self-drive Safari Tour

Experience the rich wildlife and spectacular desert scenery of Namibia on this self-drive safari holiday.

We include all the highlights and landmarks – wildlife in Etosha, Damaraland mountain landscapes and the Skeleton Coast.

Not finished there, there is also the bright red Sossusvlei sand dunes, Fish River Canyon and the Kalahari desert.

Our suggested itinerary – which is completely flexible and can be tailored to your exact needs – takes you to some of Namibia’s most beautiful spots.

More on Namibia self-drive safari

Starting from Windhoek, we head north to Etosha National Park. Game is plentiful, and you never tire of driving into the park to view animals, or sitting quietly by the camp spotlit waterholes as rhino and lions come to drink after dark.

Your journey continues into the semi-desert area of Damaraland, where the World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein has many excellent San rock engravings.

Then it is on to the coast where you will visit the seal colony at Cape Cross before spending some time in the town of Swakopmund. After relaxing or joining one of the many adventure activities – quad biking, sandboarding, wildlife cruises – in Swakopmund you continue southwards deep into the Namib Desert.

One of the highlights of your trip is likely to be the sand dunes at Sossusvlei. The light over the vast sea of dunes is most stunning at sunrise and sunset and it’s well worth making an extra effort to get out and explore before the heat kicks in.

From here you continue southwards through the Namib Naukluft Park towards the southern coastal town of Luderitz.

After visiting Luderitz and the ghost town of Kolmanskop there is one last stop at the Fish River Canyon, often compared to America’s Grand Canyon, before returning to Windhoek, breaking the journey at a relaxing lodge in the Kalahari Desert.



Trip Highlights

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  • Incredible wildlife from sea lions to elephants, lions and zebra.

  • Self-drive on quiet roads through amazing scenery and to wonderful campsites.

  • We take care of the logistics so you can enjoy the journey.

  • Fully flexible itinerary so you can choose your own African adventure.

Namibia is a fantastic place to take your family - the wildlife, scenery and empty spaces are amazing.

K. Jarvis, Namibia

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Windhoek, hotel

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Days 2 to 3: Etosha, Aoba Lodge

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Days 4 to 5: Okaukuejo lodge, Etosha (2 x B)

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Days 6 to 7: Twyfelfontein Lodge, Damaraland (2 x B)

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Days 8 to 9: Swakopmund, hotel (2 x B)

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Days 10 to 11: Namib Naukluft Lodge, Sossusvlei (2 x B)

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Days 12 to 13: Little Sossus Lodge, Sesriem (2 x B)

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Days 14 to 15: Bay View, Luderitz (2 x B)

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Days 16 to 17: Desert Horse Inn, Aus (2 x B)

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Days 18 to 19: Fish River Canyon (2 x B)

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Days 20 to 21: Kalahari (2 x B)

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Day 22: Windhoek, hotel (B)

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Prices From $3,879 / £3,103 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

Toyota landcruiser rental, accommodation as listed or similar, breakfasts.

What's Not Included?

Other meals, flights, tips, drinks, personal items, insurance.


Accommodation

This is an entirely flexible itinerary.

Below more information about the type of accommodation we use.

Etosha Aoba Lodge is situated near Etosha National Park in a Tamboti-Terminalia forest next to a dry river bed. Guided game drives into Etosha National Park or sundowner drives on the farm are available if pre-booked. There are also walking trails on the Fischers Pan Private Game Reserve which you can take at your leisure. Even if you are staying close to the pool or on the veranda, you are likely to see bushbabies, birds and squirrels, and you need not wander far for the chance to see antelope.

Okaukuejo camp is the oldest tourist camp in Etosha and it currently functions as the administrative hub of the park, and the home of the Etosha Ecological Institute. It is situated at the western end of the pan. The main attraction of this camp is that it overlooks a permanent waterhole which is floodlit at night, giving you an opportunity to see some of the shy, nocturnal wildlife. The animals that visit the waterhole appear to be unaware of the Okaukuejo camp.

Twyfelfontein Lodge is situated only 4km from the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. The lodge is an excellent place from which to explore the attractions of Damaraland. The Twyfelfontein area, a very vulnerable and delicate ecosystem, is renowned for some of the best examples of bushman paintings and engravings in Southern Africa. Interesting rock formations and the remains of prehistoric volcanic action can be seen in the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, Doros Crater and the Petrified Forest among the most prominent geographic features.

The Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, situated in the heart of the Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy, boasts 56 en-suite double rooms, reception, lounge, curio shop, dining room, bar and swimming pool. The development was done to minimise the visual impact on the environment and blends into the mountain side with the use of thatch rooms, natural stone and paint colours blending with the surrounding rock formations. The central thatch building has a pool, reception, curio shop, bar, lounge and restaurant – this range of areas gives guests a good choice of relaxation areas.

Bed and Breakfast. The only B&B establishment directly on the Swakopmund beach! Enjoy the magnificent view of the sea from each room, listen to the waves and smell the fresh sea breeze. Situated about 5km from the town centre.

Namib Naukluft Lodge is a fourteen room lodge situated amongst amazing granite hills. Every room has its own patio that opens onto the Namib Desert. The bar or main veranda are an ideal place to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset. The lodge offers desert drives, hiking trails and Sossusvlei excursions. Namib Naukluft Lodge offers 16 tastefully furnished rooms with en-suite facilities and a private, spacious patio with a striking view. Excellent traditional meals are served in the restaurant, on the adjacent verandah or in the boma from the open fire. The lounge and pool area offer a relaxed atmosphere after an active day in the desert.

Little Sossus Lodge lies 35km southeast of Sesriem. It is surrounded by the Nubib, Tsaris and Naukluft mountains with views of the dunes in the west. In this exquisite location, you will be accommodated in simple but stylish stone chalets, built from the local occurring rock. Accommodation is in 16 well furnished chalets which offer an en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet.

The Bay View Hotel is one of the larger hotels in Luderitz, however it still has the homely feel of a small hotel. The building is part of the old town, and the 22 comfortable rooms are built around the courtyard and swimming pool.

The Pirate Bar specialises in lobster and seafood, so you can enjoy a delicious meal from the a-la-carte menu, and the lounge provides a comfortable area to sit and relax. Whatever you decide to do, whether reading in the comfortable lounge, a drink or meal in the Pirate Bar or swimming in the pool, you will enjoy the warm friendly atmosphere of this hotel.

Desert Horse Inn – Double (B&B) Klein Aus Vista is situated 2km from Aus in southern Namibia. Apart from offering accommodation the lodge also organises mountain biking, horse riding and is the ideal place for hikers. One of the highlights of the area are the Namib Desert Wild Horses which are often found near the lodge. The lodge is situated on a 10 hectare farm that borders on the Sperrgebiet (forbidden diamond mining area). Accommodation is in self catering units and camping is also available.

Namibia/Fish River: Canon Roadhouse – Double (B&B) The Canon Roadhouse is situated on the Gondwana Cañon Park, and is located 20 kilometres from the main viewpoint of the Fish River Canyon. Coming from the north, it is the logical stop on your way to one of Namibia’s greatest natural wonders. The Roadhouse offers everything the weary traveller needs. The 8 individually decorated en-suite rooms are gathered around an inner courtyard, creating a feel of tranquil homeliness.

Mariental/Surrounds: Kalahari Anib Lodge – Double (B&B) In the midst of the red dunes of the Kalahari in eastern Namibia the Kalahari Anib Lodge rises like a plush green oasis, the restaurant and chalets are arranged around a shaded courtyard with a large swimming pool. There are 35 rooms available for tour groups and 9 rooms for individual travelers. Located about 30 km north-east of Mariental the lodge makes for an ideal stopover on the way south. Anib is the word for the male bird in the Nama language. The Nama people are predominant in the southern regions of Namibia and the bird plays an important role in their mythology. The Kalahari in this area is notable for green acacias and yellow grass on the red sand which extend over hundreds of kilometers of the Gondwana Kalahari Park, an area of 100 km².

Namibia/Windhoek: Hotel Pension Steiner – Double (B&B) Hotel Pension Steiner is a small private hotel in Windhoek. The Pension is very centrally located within the Windhoek city centre, Independence Avenue, local restaurants, pubs and night clubs are only a few minutes walk away.  All rooms at Hotel Pension Steiner are equipped with en-suite bathroom, telephone, mini bar, fan, hair dryer and satellite-TV with English language channels.

Tour Staff

This is a self-drive trip. We can provide guides at extra cost – please ask.


Meals

We provide breakfasts at hotels. In general, these will feature hot drinks, teas, coffees, cereals, toasts etc.

Activity Level

This trip is open to anyone who wishes an African safari. There are no fitness requirements as such, but the more mobile you are, the more you will enjoy it.

The driver needs to have a full, current driving licence and be able to drive for several hours.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.

 

Overview

Generally the days can be quite hot and the evenings and early mornings can be remarkably cool in Namibia.

For clothing, neutral colours are better for safaris than bright yellows, oranges and reds.

 

Below is a more detailed guide.

 

Detailed kit list

  • Good binoculars.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Tight-weave, light weight long trousers.
  • Quick dry socks.
  • Wind proof jacket – good for the morning safaris.
  • Warm jumpers.
  • Long-sleeved tight-weave shirts.
  • T-shirts.
  • Shorts.
  • Water bottle (2 litres approx.).
  • Sun cream (high factor, min. 30+) and lip salve.
  • A broad-brimmed hat that will not come off on windy drives.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • Bandana/buff, to protect from the sun.
  • Swimsuit for hotel pools.
  • A pair of trainers/teva sandals for relaxing/pools.
  • Low hiking boots.
  • Insect repellent.
  • The original and a photocopy of your passport.
  • Drivers – 0riginal and a photocopy of your driving licence
  • Yellow fever inoculation certificate (if arriving from a country with yellow fever).
  • A large, bright head torch, spare batteries and bulb.
  • Cash (small denomination bills, USD or GBP sterling) for souvenirs at the lodge, alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antibiotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Quick dry towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Toilet roll.
  • Small brushhand brush (like a hand brush, or a scrub brush) to clean your shoes and bags. There will be sand everywhere.
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners to protect your luggage from sand.
  • Large, soft holdall (better than a hard shell suitcase).
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.

 

Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • South African Rand bought before arrival.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel.

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

Health and Safety

A full Health and Safety document will be sent to you at the time of booking and before you travel.

You can also read it on our website, or contact us for more information.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking any of our holidays that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for trip cancellation (by you), activities involved and destination. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue.

We work with Travel Nomads, who offer insurance solutions to people in more than 140 countries across the world.

Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment.

And lastly...

Many of our tours travel through remote areas.

We believe our clients should be aware that the remoteness of some of our tours so very special could also cause certain problems.

Thus, whilst we endeavour to minimise the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to.

This is the very nature of adventure travel and we expect our clients to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in our programmed events.

Also, shared tours may include travellers from all over the world whose native language is not English.


ATOL protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

Namibia Festivals

March  

Festival: Enjando Street Festival / Mbapira 

Dance, music and national costumes    

Location: Windhoek   

 

April  

Festival: Windhoek Karneval 

Musical performances, masked ball and children’s avenue parade.  

Location: Windhoek 

 

May 

Festival: Africa Day 

Celebration of diversity and people.    

Location: Country wide  

 

August 

Festival: Kuste Karneval 

Street party with parades and food stalls.  

Location: Swakopmund 

 

Festival: Heroes’ Day (Maharero Day) 

Processions and traditional costumes.  

Location: Okahandaja 

Communication, Namibia

Dialling codes

The international code for Namibia is +264.

Regions have dialling codes.

 

 

Landlines

Namibia’s landlines have 6 or 7 digits. To call landline-landline in the same region, simply dial the 7 digit code, e.g. 1234567

If calling landline to another regional landline, dial the regionalcode including the 0, then the number e.g. 061 1234567 for Windhoek (code = 061)

If using your own mobile phone to call a landline, dial the country code, the regional code without the 0, and then the number, e.g. +264 61 1234567.

 

Mobiles

Mobiles begin with 081 and have 7 digits.

There is very little coverage outside of the big towns/cities/main roads. Satellite phones are a better back-up/emergency phone than a mobile.

 

If using your own mobile phone to call a Namibian mobile, dial the country code, then the full number minus the 0 e.g. +264 81 1234567.

Check roaming rates with your operator before leaving – they can be very high.

Some unlocked phones can be used with a local SIM in Namibia – check before arriving.

 

 

Internet

Most hotels, cafes, restaurants and lodges offer free and generally good Wi-Fi.

There are also internet cafes in most towns and cities.

Kit list, Namibia self drive

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.

 

Overview

Generally the days can be quite hot and the evenings and early mornings can be remarkably cool in Namibia.

For clothing, neutral colours are better for safaris than bright yellows, oranges and reds.

 

Below is a more detailed guide.

 

Detailed kit list

  • Good binoculars.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Tight-weave, light weight long trousers.
  • Quick dry socks.
  • Wind proof jacket – good for the morning safaris.
  • Warm jumpers.
  • Long-sleeved tight-weave shirts.
  • T-shirts.
  • Shorts.
  • Water bottle (2 litres approx.).
  • Sun cream (high factor, min. 30+) and lip salve.
  • A broad-brimmed hat that will not come off on windy drives.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • Bandana/buff, to protect from the sun.
  • Swimsuit for hotel pools.
  • A pair of trainers/teva sandals for relaxing/pools.
  • Low hiking boots.
  • Insect repellent.
  • The original and a photocopy of your passport.
  • Drivers – 0riginal and a photocopy of your driving licence
  • Yellow fever inoculation certificate (if arriving from a country with yellow fever).
  • A large, bright head torch, spare batteries and bulb.
  • Cash (small denomination bills, USD or GBP sterling) for souvenirs at the lodge, alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antibiotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Quick dry towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Toilet roll.
  • Small brushhand brush (like a hand brush, or a scrub brush) to clean your shoes and bags. There will be sand everywhere.
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners to protect your luggage from sand.
  • Large, soft holdall (better than a hard shell suitcase).
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.

 

Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • South African Rand bought before arrival.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel.

Weather in Namibia

Namibia has a mainly subtropical desert climate with low rainfall and overall low humidity.

 

Dry season

The dry season, winter, is May-Oct and while days can be warm, nighttime temperatures can fall to below freezing in deserts and higher altitude parks.

There is little to no rainfall during the entire winter and humidity is low. Wildlife will gather around waterholes and rivers when other water resources dry up.

May is still warm (24-28°C) and the countryside green, but by June the pleasant day time 20°C can be as low as freezing at night in the deserts.

July & August are the main winter months and morning drives in open vehicles will be cold as it can fall to below freezing at night in the deserts and higher areas.

September & October – the morning chill is less, it is dry and the skies are clear. Vegetation is starting to fade by now.

 

Wet season

Summer, is Nov-April.

The heat continues to rise and by November it is very hot, but the humidity is still low, keeping it quite pleasant. Average daytime temperature is above 30°C/86°F, but can be a lot higher in the deserts.

The first rains usually arrive in December and with them the temperature drops.

January & February is midsummer, and it tends to be hot and humid with maximum temperatures around 30-35°C/86-95°F with peaks of over 40°C/104°F in the desert.

Mornings are usually clear but there may be torrential downpours in the afternoon.

March & April: It cools down after the rains and the nights start to get cold again. Average daytime temperatures 25-30°C.

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