Topaz Honeymoon Self Drive
A mid-range Namibian Honeymoon
This 3 week self drive trip has been designed for people who have more time to really explore Namibia. The accommodation is a mix of different price ranges in order to keep the budget in check, yet not to the detriment of the quality or enjoyment of your self drive honeymoon. It particularly focuses on the vast variety of scenery that you can experience in Namibia - the Kalahari Desert, Fish River Canyon, the Skeleton Coast, Succulent Karoo, the Namib Desert, Damaraland, Etosha National Park and the Erongo Mountains.
For those that prefer to avoid the hubbub of a city, this self drive itinerary immediately takes you into the hills south of Windhoek to a haven for both Namibian wildlife and travellers alike. Here you can unwind with a massage and a sundowner drink overlooking a picturesque landscape that teems with game. From here it is a fairly short and easy drive into the Kalahari Desert, with its distinct rolling red dunes and diverse fauna and flora.
There is no disputing that Fish River Canyon is a spectacular sight - ancient rock that has been carved over 500 million years to create a vast and dramatic ravine that is 160m long, 27kms wide and 550m deep. You have two nights in this area allowing time to explore the canyon.
Next up on this honeymoon itinerary is the small and quirky town of Luderitz is set in one of the most barren and remote regions of Namibia, the desert constantly trying to reclaim the land. This is most clearly seen at Kolmanskop, a ghost town just inland from the port, that once was a prosperous diamond mining area. Other interests in this area include a boat trip to Halifax Island where there is an important colony of African Penguins, as well as visiting Dias Point where in 1488 Bartholomew Dias erected a stone cross on his expedition to find a trade route with India.
The next five days of self driving provides some of the most beautiful and tranquil desert scenery you are likely to ever encounter, and are likely to be the highlight of your honeymoon. The Succulent Karoo, of which Aus is part of, is a biodiversity hotspot, boasting the richest succulent flora on earth. It also sustains a number of unique species of lizards, tortoises and scorpions. Travelling further north, in itself a picturesque journey, you come to NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of the largest private parks in southern Africa. With a combination of vast desert plains, craggy mountains and sculpted sand dunes, this is a truly a breath-taking landscape. And finally there is the world renowned dunes of Sossusvlei with their ever changing hues and serpentine forms, a photographers paradise.
It is then time to head for the coastal holiday town of Swakopmund where there are an array of interesting and fun-packed activities that can keep you entertained including sand boarding, desert tours, quad biking, boat cruises (where you are likely to see dolphins, seals and pelicans) and sea kayaking.
Damaraland is known for its wide open spaces and rugged koppies and mountains. It is home to a number of animals that have adapted to the harsh arid environment including the desert dwelling elephants and black rhino although these are rare to see. Twyfelfontein close to Khorixas has been named a world heritage site - an ancient settlement with some of the most remarkable rock art on earth.
The next 3 nights of your trip are where you can catch up on some more intensive game viewing in one of Southern Africa's premier wildlife reserves - Etosha National Park. Whilst driving around the numerous waterholes dotted around the vast salt pan that dominates this landscape, you are likely to spot a wide number of Namibian animals including lion, elephant, rhino, giraffe, zebra and numerous species of antelope.
To end your trip you spend two nights at the beautiful Erongo Wilderness Lodge which is nestled amongst massive granite boulders and surrounded by the Erongo Mountains. A rare confluence of eco-systems are formed in this region which in turn has become home to numerous mammal, plant, bird and reptile species, some endemic to Namibia. This is a good place to relax and enjoy the last few days of your self driving honeymoon in Namibia.
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. Visitors who might prefer a break from driving themselves can arrange a guided safari.
- Day 1: Windhoek Surrounds
- Under an hour's drive from the Windhoek International Airport, this lodge transports you straight to the beauty of the Namibian wilderness. Set on a hill with spectacular views of the mountainous surroundings, this is a perfect spot to soak away your long-haul flight aches and pains and start your self drive honeymoon adventure. You can either choose to join a game drive or treat yourself to a massage.
- Day 2: Kalahari Desert
- After a leisurely breakfast, it is an easy drive south to Kalahari Anib Lodge, situated just north-east of Mariental. Set amongst the rolling red dunes that typically characterise the Kalahari, it is worth joining one of the scenic drives (afternoon or early morning) that explores Gondwana Kalahari Park as it is likely that you will see a variety of interesting animal and birdlife including springbok, gemsbok, kudu, zebra and ostrich. Jackal, hare and porcupine also inhabit the dunes and dune valleys.
Accommodation: Kalahari Anib Lodge
- Day 3 & 4: Fish River Canyon
- Today is a longer day of driving (around 5-6 hours) so it is worth leaving at a reasonable time. Unless you want to see the Quiver Tree Forest, which is fairly major detour, this is not one of the most inspiring drives until you get closer to your destination. There are a few basic options for lunch in Keetmanshoop but this is about the limit of what is available en-route. The final stretch to the lodge is on a rough gravel road and for this reason it is advisable to have a high clearance rental vehicle such as a 4x4 or a bakkie.
The lodge is perched on the edge of the canyon and offers breath-taking views both from the rooms, the swimming pool and the communal area. The lodge offers an interesting day trip into the canyon which is a good option for winter months (May-Aug) but since temperatures are often hot even at this time of year, during summertime you might want to just relax at the top. Although offering spectacular vistas, the drive down into Fish River Canyon is a slow and sometimes knuckle-biting experience and therefore people who are scared of heights may want to consider if it suitable for them.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Fish River Lodge
- Day 5: Luderitz
- As you approach Luderitz the desert gets more and more barren and it is advisable to watch out for any changes on the road as the desert sand often starts building up along this stretch. Numerous colonial-style buildings overlook the bay and the architecture continues throughout the town. Watch out for springbok close to the sea or brown hyena on the lookout for lunch on the beach. Activities that are worth considering are either the catamaran trip to Halifax Island to see the African penguins, often escorted by heavyside dolphins, or a trip to the ghost town of Kolmanskop situated about 10km inland from Luderitz. If you do not want to grab breakfast at one of the local cafes or restaurants then you will need to pick up provisions today.
Accommodation: Kairos Cottage
- Day6 & 7: Aus
- Just a short drive from Luderitz and bordering the Sperrgebiet (the restricted diamond mining area) is the idyllic Eagles Nest Lodge. Set at the foot of a boulder-strewn hillside, nine individual cabins have been designed to compliment their surroundings, often using the granite rocks as part of their structure. Each unit has a fully equipped kitchenette so guests can appreciate some time alone but for those who prefer good country cuisine can go to Desert Horse Inn a few kilometres from the camp. Braai packs and breakfast platters can also be arranged.
This area is home to feral horses and these can often be seen 20 kilometres west of Aus at a water trough at Garub. From a hide you can watch the horses and take pictures. If you want to explore the flora and fauna of the Succulent Karoo desert on your own there are six different hiking trails to choose from. They are well marked and take you through the wildly romantic scenery of the Aus Mountains. There are also a variety of guided nature drives on offer.
Meals: Self-catering on Day 6, Breakfast on Day 7 (breakfast platters can be delivered to Eagles Nest or breakfast can be taken at Desert Horse Inn)
Accommodation: Eagles Nest, Klein Aus Vista
- Day 8 & 9: NamibRand Nature Reserve | Wolwedans
- The drive north to NamibRand Reserve takes you through some very beautiful scenery on some of the less travelled roads of Namibia. If you are going to arrive in time for lunch then it is important to let the lodge know in advance. The typical programme that most people enjoy when staying at Wolwedans for two nights is to spend the first afternoon on a nature drive with sunset drinks, followed by a full day-safari with picnic lunch en-route. Alternatively you can join one or two half-day excursions, perfect if you feel like lazing around for an afternoon, simply admiring the amazing views of the Namib Desert.
Meals: All meals
Accommodation: Wolwedans Dune Camp
- Day 10 & 11: Sesriem
- Due to the closeness of Sesriem, there is no rush today and if you want to really treat yourselves to a very unique experience and don't mind another early morning activity, this might be the perfect time to book a balloon trip over the Namib desert.
Desert Camp is situated just a few kilometres from the main Sesriem gate where you enter the Namib Naukluft Park to visit the dunes at Sossusvlei. If you are travelling during winter months then it can be preferable to visit in the afternoon as there are far fewer people. However, it is an hour drive from the gate to the 2x4 parking close to Sossusvlei and due to the fact that the gates close at sunset and only open at sunrise, you need to make sure that you allow enough time for the trip.
The camp is set up as a self-catering option and offer 'starter' packs for those who are interested in cooking for themselves. The other option is to book meals at Sossusvlei Lodge which is at Sesriem.
Meals: Breakfast (Breakfast is at Sossusvlei Lodge)
Accommodation: Desert Camp
- Day 12 & 13: Swakopmund
- Today you have a drive of around 300kms which will take you around 4-5 hours. Your route will take you through the Gaub and Kuiseb passes and then across the gravel plains of the Namib Desert. Due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, the Skeleton Coast is much more temperate than the rest of Namibia and offers relief from the scorching temperatures of the interior if you are travelling during summer months. There are a host of adventure activities to participate in while in Swakopmund. These range from eco-desert tours to sky-diving. No activities are included in this package but they can be pre-arranged when you book this itinerary or left for you to arrange on arrival is Swakopmund.
Accommodation: Cornerstone Guest House
- Day 14 & 15: Damaraland
- Your next destination is set in the dramatically beautiful scenery of Damaraland and Camp Kipwe is a great lodge from which to explore this area. Set amongst granite boulders and built in a sympathetic style to blend in with their environment, the accommodation offers stunning views of the surrounding plains and koppies. Within close proximity to Twyfelfontein you have the chance to visit this World Heritage site that is renowned for its Bushman rock engravings. Game drives are also available giving you the chance of seeing the elusive desert-adapted elephant that roam in this area.
Accommodation: Camp Kipwe
- Day 16, 17 & 18: Etosha National Park
- Due to the fact that the gates to Etosha close at sunset it is important to give yourself plenty of time to reach the park with time to spare. You will enter Etosha at the Andersson Gate from where it is only a short drive to Okaukuejo. The chances are that immediately on entering the national park you will start to see interesting wildlife, so covering even the shortest distance can be a rewarding and time consuming business.
If you want to maximise your chances of seeing game then the next few days will involve some early starts as most wildlife is more active during the cooler hours (early morning and late afternoon) especially during summer months. It is also worth checking out the camp's sighting book that records where and what people have recently encountered.
Accommodation: Okaukuejo Rest Camp (Bush Chalet)
- Day 19 & 20: Erongo Mountains
- Today is a 3-4 hour drive so there is no rush and Omaruru, the closest town to the lodge, offers a few reasonable lunch options. Erongo Wilderness Lodge is a great place to enjoy your last few days in Namibia as although it is recommended to join one of the lodge's guided walks and/or drives, it is also a place to just relax and soak up the tranquility and beauty of this pristine wilderness. Wildlife in the area include leopard, kudu, oryx, eland, mountain zebra, springbok and steenbok. For anyone interested in birding this unique location offers a rich and diverse variety of birdlife including many endemic species.
From Erongo it is back to the international airport and your flight home (for those needing accommodation in Windhoek we can book somewhere suitable for the last night of your Namibian honeymoon)
Meals: Breakfast/ Brunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Erongo Wilderness Lodge
- 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
20 Days - By using a range of accommodation types and styles this self drive manages to keep costs down while still visiting spectacular areas of the country.
14 Days - This spectacular self-drive itinerary, created especially for honeymooners, is the ultimate experience that Namibia has to offer in terms of luxury and exclusivity.
14 Days - Still staying in top quality accommodation the Tourmaline is a more realistic itinerary for those on a more upper mid-range budget.
14 Days - A good value for money mid range honeymoon self drive, visiting the best Namibia has to offer
9 Days - Etohsa Park & the dunes of the Namib Desert are the two main attractions on this trip