Warthog Self Drive
Etosha, Erongo Mountains & Sossusvlei - Namibia
This 8 day itinerary includes 2 of the country's main highlights, and also manages to fit in 2 nights at one of our favourite lodges, Erongo Wilderness Lodge.This self drive is named after the warthog, which travel in small family groups and are a common sight in Namibia, often seen wandering along the side of the road. They live mainly on short grasses, fruit, roots and carrion.
The first 3 days are similar to the Springbuck Self-Drive itinerary, beginning with an early start and a long first day's drive to Mushara Lodge. This will also allow for an optional afternoon game drive into Etosha National Park, as the lodge is only a short drive away from the eastern entrance, the Von Lindequist Gate. Local wildlife occasionally visit the lawn.
Two more outstanding days searching numerous waterholes for wildlife activity follow. For many the real excitement happens at Okaukuejo. The flood-lit waterhole is right next to the camp. Any limitations previously experienced in your vehicle do not apply here. Nocturnal visitors include black rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe and many species of antelope. Animal sightings are not guaranteed though and the presence of animals is seasonal.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge is nestled amongst the Erongo Mountains. The drive to central Namibia changes en-route making for an interesting and enjoyable trip. There is desert to the west and a mixed, woodland savannah to the east. 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. As if this isn't enough, your overnight accommodation is nestled amongst, and surrounded by, huge boulders and granite formations, all on the outskirts of an ancient volcano.
Your gravel road-trip from Erongo to Sossusvlei will test both your driving and navigational skills. Desert Homestead is approximately 32kms south-east of Sesriem. Magnificent views of the distant dunes of the Namib Desert to the west are a highlight. Sossusvlei is the top attraction in the Namib-Naukluft Park. The rather eerie Dead Pan refers to the large dead camelthorn trees on the pan. Before you leave for Sesriem Canyon, pause and gently remind yourself of the unbelievable scenery you have just visited, the like of which you may never see again.
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.
- Day 1: Windhoek - Etosha Park
- Hit the road as early as possible as after you complete your 435km drive to the park you can fit in an extra afternoon's game drive. Your route due north of the capital city is via the towns of Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Outjo and Tsumeb. Your accommodation tonight is at a comfortable lodge on the eastern outskirts of the park, with a short drive to follow into the park itself. Another option is to pre-book one of the lodges guided game drives into the park. Depart the Von Linquist Gate before sunset and return to Emanya for drinks and dinner.
Accommodation: Emanya at Etosha Lodge
- Day 2 & 3: Etosha Park
- It is really worth waking early and heading out on your game drive as soon as the gates open at sunrise. Animals are most active in the cool of the day (early morning & late afternoon) and in order to maximise your chances of good viewings it is worth imitating their behaviour. The roads in Etosha are unsealed gravel roads but are in reasonable condition - and the general tourist behaviour is to drive between various waterholes searching for animals.
As the day gets hotter head for shade, and lunch, at one of the parks three camps, Okaukuejo, Namutoni or Halali. When things start to cool down again head out for another game drive. With two full days in the park you should have sightings of most of the parks inhabitants (although be warned the cats are notoriously hard to find - and of course what you see is determined by luck and more importantly your ability to spot wildlife)
- Day 4 & 5 : Etosha Park - Omaruru
- Time for a game drive out of Etosha followed by a leisurely drive via Outjo and Otjiwarongo to the small town of Omaruru. Just west of the town nestled amongst the granite Erongo Mountains is a small part of paradise called Erongo Wilderness Lodge. You will spend two nights here allowing you a full day to experience the tranquillity that the lodge has to offer. This is not a lodge that offers a multitude of activities but you are free to walk around the surrounding veld or just sit on your verandah with a cold beverage and enjoy Namibia. The early morning guided walk offered by the lodge is excellent - with an attentive guide, and the sundowner drives are good value for money and frequently stop at the rock art in Paula's caves.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Erongo Wilderness Lodge
- Day 6: Erongo - Sossusvlei
- Todays drive takes in some of the smaller, less used roads of Namibia (these are often referd to as "D" roads due to their raod numbers starting with the letter "D") and as there is no direct route from Erongo to Sossusvlei you will find your self zigzagging accross some interesting parts of the country. The drive could well take you most of the day so think about getting away realtively early and perhaps ask the lodge for a packed lunch.
Your destination is a lodge close to the dunes at Sossusvlei
Accommodation: Little Sossus Lodge
- Day 7: Sossusvlei
- Head for the Sesriem entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park to arrive at the gate opening time of sunrise. A 60km drive from Sesriem through the dunes towards Sossusvlei follows. The colours and shades of the dunes as the sun rises is truly amazing. On the way down you might want to climb Dune 45. A suggestion would be to continue on towards Sossusvlei and either park at the 2x4 car park or drive on in your 4x4 vehicle. Walk amongst large dunes along a dry riverbed for 4km to Sossusvlei. Alternatively you can take a shuttle there and back.
Serious dune climbers can try Crazy Dune south of Dead Vlei. It has the highest slipface of any dune and therefore presents the biggest challenge. It will take at least 1hr and is so-called because you must be 'crazy' to try and climb it! Deadvlei attracts both nature lovers and photographers and the name refers to the dead camelthorn trees on the pan. Stop at Sesriem Canyon on your return journey to lodge. The Tsauchab River can flow down the canyon and onto Sossusvlei in a heavy rainy season although for most of the time you can walk down 25 to 30mtrs and along for 1km.
Accommodation: Little Sossus Lodge
- Day 8: Sossusvlei - Windhoek
- If you are looking for a spectacular way yo end your trip you should consider joining a balloon flight over Sossusvlei this morning. Otherwise after breakfast, pack up and head back to Windhoek. Although not as breathtakingly spectacular as the drive over the Spreetshoogte (there are not many views that are!) the route over the Remhoogte Pass is very scenic.
- 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 self drive trip to the dunes at Sossusvlei
3 Days - Two nights in the coastal town of Swakopmund, this is the ideal get-away for those living or working in Windhoek. Includes a catamaran cruise on the Walvis Lagoon
4 Days - Elephants, rhino, zebra & giraffe are just some of the animals you can expect to see while you are in Etosha
8 Days - Etosha, Swakopmund & the dunes at Sossusvlei are the highlights of this trip
8 Days - Etosha, Erongo Mountains and Sossusvlei
10 Days - Waterberg, Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei
10 Days - Botswana & Namibia combination self drive - includes Etosha Park and a mokoro trip in the Okavango Delta
12 Days - Okonjima Bush Camp, Etosha, Damaraland, Erongo Mountains, Swakopmund & Sossusvlei
14 Days - Okonjima, Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Klein Aus & Kalahari Desert
20 Days - Visits all the best Namibia has to offer including Okonjima, Etosha, Damaraland, elephant tracking, the Erongo Mountains, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Klein Aus Vista, Fish River Canyon & Kalahari Deserts
21 Days - Visits the highlights of Central and Northern Namibia, the Zambezi region (formerly Caprivi), Vic Falls & the Okavango Delta in Botswana
24 Days - As you would expect from our longest self drive safari, it visits most of Namibia including Owamboland & Kaokoland - two areas which seldom appear on trips through the country