This 14 day self-drive includes the main highlights of northern and central Namibia, staying in up-market lodges and guest houses.
The trip starts and ends in Windhoek, Namibia's capital city and port of entry for most people flying into the country. Initially the trip heads north with the first stop being Okonjima Bush Camp. This lodge and research facility specialises in the rescue and rehabilitation of larger cats such as leopard and cheetah.
The next 3 nights are in Namibia's premier wildlife reserve, Etosha National Park, where you are likely to see an abundance of wildlife including elephant, rhino, lion, numerous antelope, zebra and giraffe. Here you can enjoy the freedom of exploring the park on your own, the many waterholes offering great game viewing during the dry season, or you can opt for a guided tour with Onguma Tented Camp (or Okaukuejo).
Next, you drive west into Damaraland which is characterised by rugged granite koppies and wild, open plains. Mowani Bush Camp is within close proximity to Twyfelfontein - a 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.
From Damaraland, you head to the coast for 2 nights, and if travelling in summer the cooler weather is a welcome relief after the heat of the interior. It is also a chance to enjoy some time away from attentive lodge staff and roam around at your own pace. If, however, you prefer to pack things in, the coast offers numerous day activities such as sand boarding, desert tours, quad biking, boat cruises (where you are likely to see dolphins, seals and pelicans) and sea kayaking.
The final section of your trip takes you further south to the magnificent Namib Desert with its towering red dunes, endless gravel plains and craggy hills. Your first night in this area is spent close to the most well known attraction of this region - Sossusvlei. Sossus Dune Lodge is the only lodge situated within the park boundaries and as such has earlier access to the dunes, an important factor for anyone interested in photographing this area. The last two nights are spent in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful areas of Namibia, namely the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
Then it is back to Windhoek, either to catch an evening flight back home or to stay for another night.
Still staying in top quality accommodation the Tourmaline is a more realistic itinerary for those on a more upper mid-range budget.
Due to most people taking a long haul flight to Namibia, your first night is in Windhoek. This allows time to get any last minute items, acclimatise a little and recover from the tiring journey. It is probably advisable to collect your rental vehicle at some point today as it often takes at least an hour to get through all the paperwork. Accommodation is in the lovely, owner-run Villa Vista which is situated in a quiet suburb, reasonable close to the city centre and within walking distance of several eateries.
So the real adventure begins with a leisurely drive north to Okonjima, a lovely lodge set in the Omboroko Mountains west of Waterberg Plateau. Apart from the beautiful location, great accommodation and good food, the main reason for visiting Okonjima is to view cats. There are a number of activities you can book here including cheetah feeding, leopard tracking and visits to night hides. Due to the fact that it is your honeymoon and some of these activities ask you ... to be up at the crack of dawn, we have not included the activities in the costing but rather left this decision up to you.
Today sees you travelling further north to Etosha National Park, where you will have the chance to do some serious game viewing. The first two nights are spent at Onguma Tented Camp which is situated on the eastern side of the park. The lodge is set on a 20 000 hectare nature reserve and boasts over thirty different animal species including rhino, lion, numerous antelope, zebra and giraffe. Your time can be divided between game drives inside the park and ... on the private reserve. The accommodation is in large luxury tents that have been stylishly decorated and include their own bath, shower, toilet, fan, tea/coffee station and a room safe.
Leaving Onguma, you traverse across the park to Okaukuejo, one of the main rest camps within the national park. The main attraction of staying at this location is the well-established waterhole that generally teams with animal and bird-life.
Your next destination is set in the dramatically beautiful scenery of Damaraland and Mowani is a great lodge from which to explore this area. Set amongst sculptured boulders at the top of a rocky cliff, the luxury tented accommodation offers spectacular views over the plains below. 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 included giving you the chance of seeing ... the elusive desert adapted elephant that roam in this area as well as participate in a guided nature walk.
After two nights in Damaraland, you head to the coastal town of Swakopmund, which has a distinctly German feel to it. 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. It also offers a variety of fun activities such as sand boarding, desert tours, quad biking, boat cruises (where you are likely ... to see dolphins, seals and pelicans) and sea kayaking. Your accommodation is set in the heart of the town and within close walking distance of both the beach (swimming only for the very brave) and a selection of restaurants, cafes and shops.
Today you head further south, crossing the Namib Desert from Walvis Bay to the Kuiseb Pass and then down towards the settlement of Sesriem. It is roughly a 3-4 hour drive on gravel (depending on conditions) so a reasonably early start is recommended especially during the rainy season. Your accommodation tonight is at Sossus Dune Lodge which is situated 4 kilometers inside the park and is the first establishment to be built within the boundaries of the park, allowing access ... to the dunes an hour before anyone else (with the exception of those staying at Sesriem camp site). It is important to arrive before sunset as this is when the gates to the park shut.
It is an early start today to catch the best light at Sossusvlei. Guided tours to the area can be arranged although it is easily done as a self-drive option (although once you get to the 2x4 parking we suggest taking the 4x4 shuttle as the road is thick sand). Another option is to book a guided walking tour. After returning from the dunes it is time to pack up and head off to your next destination, NamibRand Nature Reserve, located ... some 100 kilometers further south of Sesriem. This is a chance to really enjoy some of Namibia's most spectacular scenery and soak up the spirit of the desert before heading home. Morning or afternoon drives, full-day safari picnics in the wild, one or two half-day excursions, sundowners on the dunes or dinners by candlelight can all be arranged and are included as part of the package. However, if you want to splash out, consider ballooning over this extraordinary landscape - a truly magically experience.
After breakfast, it's time to head back to Windhoek. This is roughly a 5 hour drive but if you have an evening flight to catch it is important to remember that it is an additional hour to the international airport as this is situated on the east side of the city. We hope you will leave with some unforgettable memories of your Namibian honeymoon.
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
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.
This spectacular self-drive itinerary, created especially for honeymooners, is the ultimate experience that Namibia has to offer in terms of luxury and exclusivity.
A good value for money mid range honeymoon self drive, visiting the best Namibia has to offer.
Etohsa Park & the dunes of the Namib Desert are the two main attractions on this trip.
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