Topaz Honeymoon Self-Drive

20 Days

This three-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 to keep the budget in check, without stinting on the quality or enjoyment of your self drive honeymoon. It focuses on Namibia's huge variety of scenery: the Kalahari Desert, Fish River Canyon, the Skeleton Coast, Succulent Karoo, the Namib Desert, Damaraland, Etosha National Park and the Erongo Mountains.


If you prefer to avoid the hubbub of a city, this self drive itinerary takes you straight to 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 overlooking a picturesque landscape teeming with game. From here it is a fairly short, 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 - 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, 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, once a prosperous diamond mining area. Other areas of interest include a boat trip to Halifax Island, home to an important colony of African Penguins, as well as a visit to Dias Point. This is 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 ever to encounter. It is likely to be the highlight of your honeymoon. The Succulent Karoo, of which Aus is part, 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 breath-taking landscape. Finally there are the world-renowned dunes of Sossusvlei, with their ever changing hues and serpentine forms - a photographer's paradise.

It is then time to head for the coastal holiday town of Swakopmund with its array of interesting and fun-packed activities.  You can try 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, 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, is a World Heritage site and is an ancient settlement with some of the most remarkable rock art on earth.

On the next three nights of your trip, you can catch up on 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 you can book this itinerary 'as is', it is also 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.

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Itinerary

Combining luxury lodges with mid-market establishments.

Day 1

Gocheganas Nature Reserve

Windhoek

Under an hour's drive from 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.

Meal information Dinner only

Day 2

Kalahari Anib Lodge

Kalahari Desert

After a leisurely breakfast, it is an easy drive south to Kalahari Anib Lodge, 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. You may well 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.

Meal information Breakfast only

Day 3-4

Canyon Lodge

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. Canyon Lodge is situated on the 520 square kilometre, privately ... owned Gondwana Canyon Park. It is only 20kms from the main viewpoint of Fish River Canyon and is built from natural materials, including local rock and thatch roofs. The lodge is an ideal starting point for visits to the Fish River Canyon.

Meal information Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5

Kairos Cottage

Luderitz

As you approach Luderitz, the desert becomes ever more barren, so 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. Look out for springbok close to the sea or brown hyena on the lookout for lunch on the beach. Activities worth considering are either the catamaran trip to Halifax Island to see the African penguins, often escorted ... by heavy-side dolphins, or a trip to the ghost town of Kolmanskop about 10 kilometers inland from Luderitz. If you do not want to grab breakfast at one of the local cafes or restaurants, you will need to pick up provisions today.

Meal information Breakfast only

Day 6-7

Eagles Nest Chalets

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 complement 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. For those who prefer good, country cuisine, visit Desert Horse Inn a few kilometres from the camp. ... Braai packs and breakfast platters can also be arranged. This area is home to feral horse, which can be found at Garub, twenty kilometres west Aus. From a secluded hide, you can watch the horses at the water trough and take pictures. If you would like to explore the flora and fauna of the Succulent Karoo desert solo, there are six different hiking trails from which to choose. 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.

Meal information 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)

Day 8-9

Wolwedans Dunes Camp

Namib Rand Nature Reserve

The drive north to NamibRand Reserve takes you through some very beautiful scenery on some of the less travelled roads of Namibia. Please let the lodge know if you are going to arrive in time for lunch. We advise spending 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.

Meal information Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10-11

The Desert Grace

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. The Desert Grace is set just 60kms away from the towering dunes at Sossusvlei. This stunning, ultra-modern, luxury lodge is an ideal location for self-drive and individual travellers who wish to enjoy a true Namibian holiday experience and introduction ... to the desert before heading on to one of Namibia's top tourist attractions.

Meal information Breakfast only

Day 12-13

The Delight Swakopmund

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.

Meal information Breakfast only

Day 14-15

Camp Kipwe

Damaraland

Your next destination is 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. It is close to Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, where you can visit the renowned Bushman rock engravings. Game drives to see the elusive desert-adapted elephant, that roam in this area, are also available.

Meal information Breakfast only

Day 16-18

Etosha Safari Lodge

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. Etosha Safari Lodge is set on a hillock only 9km away from the Andersson Gate entrance into Etosha National Park. The closeness to the world famous park makes the lodge an ideal base, especially for those on a self drive holiday in Namibia, who wish to safari into Etosha without actually staying in the park itself.

Meal information Breakfast only

Day 19-20

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

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 includes leopard, kudu, oryx, eland, ... mountain zebra, springbok and steenbok. For birders, this unique location offers a rich and diverse variety of birdlife, including many endemic species. From Erongo, it is back to Windhoek International Airport and your flight home. We can book accommodation in Windhoek for the last night of your Namibian honeymoon.

Meal information Breakfast/Brunch & Dinner

Includes

  • 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

Excludes

  • 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

Vehicles

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

Enquire

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