Welwitschia Self Drive
Budget Friendly Self Drive to Swakopmund - Namibia
This 3 day self-drive excursion from Windhoek to Swakopmund is the ideal get-away for those living or working in the city who wish to visit the coast for a few days. The accommodation used is in the budget range; mid- and up-market alternatives to this itinerary are available elsewhere on these pages.
Swakopmund is surrounded by either sand or sea. Both the desert and the ocean offers adventure and relaxation. The town itself has a wide range restaurants and bars and the coffee shops sell scrumptious traditional German pastries and cakes.
The coastline of Namibia is remarkable for its extreme conditions. It is here that the cold Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean meets the hot Namib Desert. Your visit should include a short drive to visit an incredible eco-system, which includes the amazing Welwitschia mirabilis, a cone-bearing dwarf tree related to conifers.
The water required for growth is thought to come from moist soil and fog dripping on to the soil surface, as a result of ocean meeting desert. Specimens can survive for 500 to 600 years on average with some living for 2,000 years or more. Unbelievably, the evergreen plant only produces a single pair of leaves in its lifetime, which grow from opposite sides of the stem, covering an area of about 1m², growing throughout the year.
Although it is possible to book this itinerary 'as is', as with all our self drive trips this is entirely customisable. We can add or delete days, change the accommodation used and generally design the tour to suit your individual requirements. If you do not like the idea of driving yourself, a guided safari could be arranged using a similar route.
- Day 1: Windhoek - Swakopmund
- The main route from Windhoek to Swakopmund is around 350km's and takes around three and a half hours on a good tarred road. There are two other, more scenic routes, through the Khomas Hochland Mountains - either using the Bosua or Gamsberg Passes but both of these take considerably longer (around 7 hours) as they use windy gravel roads. If you are in no particular rush to get to Swakopmund using one of these routes is a pleasant, if somewhat dusty, experience.
On arrival in Swakopmund check into your accommodation before heading out for a drink, dinner and a night on the town.
Accommodation: Alternative Space
- Day 2: Swakopmund
- This morning you get the chance to try your hand at 'lie-down' sandboarding on the Namib Desert dunes. Sand boarding is a lot like snowboarding except for the obvious substitution of sand for snow. After your morning in the dunes it is time to dust yourself off and head into Swakopmund for a quick look around. Being a very German style of town an excellent lager is never hard to find - and food ranges from Bratwurst to excellent local seafood.
This package does not include any activities this afternoon, but for the active their are a host of possibilities to choose from ranging from quadbiking to scenic flights, these can be pre-arranged when you book this itinerary or left for you to arrange on arrival is Swakopmund. Another excellent option for this afternoon is to head out into the desert on the Welwitschia drive - you do require a permit which can be obtained from the Ministry of Environment & Tourism offices in Swakopmund.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Snack
Accommodation: Alternative Space
- Day 3: Swakopmund - Windhoek
- After breakfast you will need to drive the 30km's from Swakop to Walvis Bay as you will be joining a dolphin cruise on the Walvis Lagoon. While enjoying sparkling wine & oysters you are likely to be joined by Cape Fur Seals, Heavyside Dolphins and a cornucopia of marine & bird life. After the cruise it is time for lunch and then the drive back to Windhoek.
- All your meals and activities as specified.
A welcome pack including maps and vouchers for the places that you'll be visiting.
See the individual lodges for precise inclusions & exclusions
A 24 hour emergency assistance phone number
- Vehicle & Fuel
Park entrance fees (these need to be paid on arrival).
Tips and gratuities (which are optional).
Any meals or activities not specified.
See the individual lodges for detailed inclusions & exclusions.
- Although we have excluded the cost of renting a vehicle from the quoted rate we are happy to advise you on the best possible vehicle and arrange a rental for you. For an idea of what is available have a look at our car hire in Namibia section
3 Days - A short visit to the sand dunes at Sossusvlei
3 Days - Get away to Swakopmund on the coast - includes sandboarding on the Namib Dunes as well as a dolphin cruise
4 Days - A game viewing trip to the famous Etosha National Park
8 Days - Combines a visit to Etosha National Park, with some time at Swakopmund and then the dunes at Sossusvlei
9 Days - Southern Namibia: Fish River, Luderitz, Sossusvlei with some self catering accommodation.
10 Days - The classic northern and central Namibia trip. Includes Waterberg Plateau, Etosha National Park, rock art in Damaraland, Cape Cross & Swakopmund and ends with two night near the dunes at Sossusvlei.
10 Days - A combination of Namibia & Botswana. Highlights include game viewing in the Etosha Park & a trip in a traditional dug out canoe in the Okavango Delta Panhandle.
14 Days - Two weeks worth of travel allow you to visit everything that is included in the Camelthorn Self Drive and add the vast expanses of southern Namibia. Additional stops include Luderitz, the Fish River Canyon and a night in the Kalahari Desert
20 Days - This includes Waterberg, Etosha, a visit to the densely populated Owamboland region on the Angolan border, Kaokoland and the nomadic Himba People, rock art and desert elephants in Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Luderitz, the Fish River and Kalahari.
20 Days - A circular route that includes Sossusvlei, the highlights of Northern Namibia, the Zambezi region and Chobe, Vic Falls and the Okavango Delta in Botswana