If your time in Namibia is reasonably short and you want to pack in as much as possible, then this 8 day self drive combination will suit you perfectly. It visits the 2 major tourist attractions of the country as well as the coast. Springbuck, or springbok in Afrikaans, are found in a wide range of habitats which includes living on the sparse vegetation offered by the Namib Desert. Survival is in some part due to their ability to browse in the dry season and graze in the wet.
Leaving Windhoek early on the first day will allow time for an afternoon game drive in Etosha National Park. Mushara Lodge is situated just 8km from the eastern gate to the park and is set on it’s own 2,500 ha private reserve. A variety of wildlife and birdlife visit the grounds. The purple pod terminalia tree, from which the Mushara name is derived, surrounds the premises.
A further 2 days in one of the world's most exciting game viewing destinations follows. You can spend your days visiting waterholes, and game driving on the parks gravel road network where any number of animals might suddenly emerge. Fischer's Pan provides the birding alternative. As the end of the day approaches, race the sun home to Etosha Safari Camp to laughter, comfort and good cheer. Tap toes to the beat of Africa.
Next up is Swakopmund - Namibia's favourite seaside resort. The impressive German colonial architecture as been maintained to a very high standard over the years, complimented by a wide choice of restaurants, bars and cafés. Visitors to the region in the first half of 2011, were able to watch the Swakop River flowing strongly into the sea from the Tiger Reef Beach Bar, a rare sight.
The drive south from the ocean along gravel roads will eventually lead you to the 2nd most visited tourist attraction in Namibia - the dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert. In the rainy season when you drive through the valley to Sossusvlei, the Tsauchab River may well be flowing alongside, all be it out of sight. Watch out where the tarred road and river meet. The small drift has been the venue for many a stuck vehicle over the years. The journey ends with a lovely scenic drive back to Windhoek.
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.
Etosha, Swakopmund & the dunes at Sossusvlei are the highlights of this trip.
The 530 kilometer drive to the park warrants an early start. Drive north via Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Otavi and Tsumeb to your overnight accommodation on a private reserve. Enter the park via the Von Lindequist gate as soon as possible and either self-drive around the waterholes near Namutoni or book one of the lodge's guided game drives. As you have a couple of days in Etosha some prior planning is advisable as game viewing is unpredictable.
Best to be into the park gates as soon as they open at sunrise to maximise the opportunities of animal sightings. If you can make the time it is often worth the effort to check the sightings books in the visitor's centre in each camp for the repeated presence of animals in a particular location. The gravel roads are usually in a decent condition, an advantage as you head from waterhole to waterhole in search of mammals all the way ... west to Okaukuejo. Your lunch stop will depend on your wildlife sightings and on the time you decide to wait for the animals to come to you. Any main camp will suffice but Halali is favourite as it is half-way. Remember there is a speed limit in the camp. Your choice to stay 2 nights at Etosha Safari Camp is a great one to explore the national park on your own or join our professional guides for an enlightening and informative wildlife journey. Or do both, with a break in the day for a siesta at the Camp. From the black-faced impala to the wizened elephant giants and lion kings, the wild world is simply spellbinding. During the day you check the sightings book in the main office at Okaukuejo before you leave for a safari. Plan your drives accordingly. Nebrownii often offers regular sightings of lion, hyena, rhino and elephants.
Another early start and long drive so pack up early and head out of the park via the Andersson's Gate entrance. You can game drive on the way out but remember you have a 560 kilometer drive ahead. We recommend a lunch stop in Omaruru. It has developed over the years as an artists retreat and there are a number of cafes open for lunch. Continue on via Karibib and Usakos and then you're in the Namib Desert the rest ... of the way to Swakopmund. Your overnight accommodation is centrally located. Park up, dust off and take a pleasant walk to the beach, or to chill and relax in the cafes, restaurants and pubs for your night out at the seaside.
There are a host of adventure activities to participate in while in Swakopmund. These range from adventure activities such as sand-boarding, quad biking and sky-diving, while those wanting to learn more about the Namib Desert environment will be interested in the Living Desert Day Trip & Historical Quad Bike Tour for those interested in nocturnal activities of desert creatures the new and exciting Namib Desert Night Walk starts from the Rossmund Lodge just outside of town. While no activities are ... included in this package, there are many to choose from and there is sure to be something to suit your interests, our travel consultants will gladly advise on what is available. Activities can be pre-arranged when you book this itinerary or left for you to arrange on arrival is Swakopmund. Being a German inspired town good food and beer is never hard to find, so we are sure you will find something productive to do!
Your route to the desert first takes you south to Namibia's major harbour town Walvis Bay. The lagoon is the main attraction with a prolific Namibian endemic birdlife and recreational opportunities. You can get a closer view on a catamaran cruise (on your own account). Your day's driving distance is about 300 kilometers of some 4-5 hours duration. The journey across the gravel plains of the Namib Desert ventures though the scenic Kuiseb and Gaub Passes.
Although you need an early start today, the entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park at Sesriem only opens at sunrise, so there is no point arriving any earlier. The 60 kilometer drive from Sesriem on a surfaced road through the dunes towards Sossusvlei while the sun rises is stunning. You can take on Dune 45 on the way down as many people choose to stop and climb this dune but others prefer to continue towards Sossusvlei itself. Decide if ... you want to park at the the 2x4 car park (unless you have a 4x4 vehicle this is as far as you can drive) and walk a further 4 kilometers to Sossusvlei or take one of the of the 4x4's shuttle the final distance. Your are already dwarfed by fairly large dunes. The walk along the dry river bed into Sossusvlei is very scenic but for the fit really. Once there you can climb Big Daddy and admire the stunning view from this superb vantage point. Other notable attractions are Deadvlei a dried out white clay pan scattered with 600 year old camel.
A balloon flight over Sossusvlei would make for the perfect ending to your self-drive holiday. View the desert and mountains from above with the possibility of sighting the dunes of Sossusvlei. After a flight of around 1 hour a champagne breakfast awaits wherever you many land. Otherwise you might like to stop off at Neuras Winery and Wildlife Estate on the back to Windhoek for lunch and a spot of wine tasting.
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
A self drive trip to the dunes at Sossusvlei.
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.
Elephants, rhino, zebra & giraffe are just some of the animals you can expect to see while you are in Etosha.
Etosha, Erongo Mountains and Sossusvlei
Waterberg, Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei.
Okonjima Bush Camp, Etosha, Damaraland, Erongo Mountains, Swakopmund & Sossusvlei.
Okonjima, Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Klein Aus & Kalahari Desert.
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.
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.
13 Nights: Windhoek, Waterberg Plateau National Park, Etosha East, Etosha South, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei and Mariental.
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