13 Day Naturally Namibia Self-Drive Safari

Tour overview

13 Days to visit some of the major highlights Namibia has to offer.  Spend time amongst the ancient sand dunes in Sossusvlei, go back in time with the coastal time of Swakopmund. Experience the vast landscapes and rocky outcrops of the Erongo  and Kaokoland Region  and exceptional game viewing at the world famous Etosha National Park. Finally spend some time at the Africat Foundation.

Tour Information

Departure Any day of the week. Subject to availability of accommodation and rental vehicle.
ReturnWindhoek
PassengersNo minimum number
Upgrade An upgrade is available on request.
StyleSelf drive. Alternatively this safari can also be done as a private guided tour or a flying safari.
Vehicle4×4 Double Cab or similar
CombinationsThis tour can be tailored to your exact requirements and number of days available.

Daily Tour Overview - Accommodated

DayDestinationsAccommodationMeals
1Sossusvlei AreaSossusvlei LodgeD
2Sossusvlei AreaSossusvlei LodgeB, D
3SwakopmundVilla MargeritaB
4SwakopmundVilla MargeritaB
5Central NamibiaErongo Wilderness LodgeB, D
6KaokoveldHobatere LodgeB, D
7KaokoveldHobatere LodgeB, D
8Etosha National Park AreaAndersons CampB, D
9Etosha National Park AreaAndersons CampB, D
10Etosha National Park AreaMushara Bush CampB, D
11Etosha National Park AreaMushara Bush CampB, D
12Okonjima – Africat FoundationOkonjima Bush CampB, D
13Return to WindhoekB
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, SC = Self-Categring, RO = Room Only

Daily tour description

Day 1

Windhoek to Sossusvlei 

Depart from Windhoek in the morning and continue to the Namib Desert. Spend 2 nights in the Sossusvlei area.  Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib.  The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers heaven. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei – other attractions in the area include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet its plains.

Overnight at the Sossusvlei Lodge.    Situated at the Entrance Gate to the Namib Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei Lodge offers direct access to the towering red sand dunes, the famous pan of Sossusvlei, the scorched black trees of Dead Vlei and the remarkable depths of the Sesriem Canyon.

The 45 individual luxurious accommodation units at Sossusvlei Lodge are carefully laid out to perfectly blend in with the magnificent surrounding natural environment. Each fully air-conditioned unit has a patio, en-suite bathroom with shower and a spacious bedroom under canvas with adobe-style plaster walls to give the visitor a distinctive sense of being close to nature.

Experience the true art of Hospitality with the thoughtful touch of attentive staff to contribute to a truly memorable experience. Facilities include a sparkling pool, bar, beer garden and an al fresco terrace where one can enjoy exquisite food, award-winning wines and magnificent views of the floodlit waterhole.

The Sossusvlei Lodge Adventure Centre provides a range of activities including Quad-Biking, Guided Excursions, Sun-downer Trips, Hot Air Ballooning, Scenic Flights and much more to explore the area’s natural beauty.

 

Day 2

Sosssusvlei – Deadvlei – Dune 45

Today you have the opportunity to visit the famous Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Dune 45 and the Sesriem Canyon.

Deadvlei – This ancient clay pan was once an oasis, studded with acacias and fed by a river that suddenly changed course, leaving the earth to dry up along with the trees it previously supported. So dry were the climatic conditions that the trees never decomposed – instead they were entirely leached of moisture so that today, 900 years later, they remain as dessicated, blackened sentinels dotting the pan’s cracked surface. Surrounded by the red-pink dunes of the Namib Desert, they create a surreal spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.

Dune 45 – Named for its location 45 kilometres past the town of Sesriem, Dune 45 is renowned for its elegant shape, which – along with its position close to the road – have earned it the distinction of ‘most photographed dune in the world’. If you’re not keen for the strenuous hike to the top of Big Daddy, Dune 45 is a more forgiving alternative, standing at only 80 metres and featuring a much gentler gradient.

Sesriem Canyon – Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon.

 

Day 3

Sossusvlei Lodge to Swakopmund, Villa Margherita

Depart from Sossusvlei in the morning and travel via the small settlement of Solitaire, before arriving in Swakopmund in the afternoon. Spend 2 nights in this famous coastal town.

Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it very popular.

Overnight 2 nights at Villa Margherita. Villa Margherita, The Charming House, is a small luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Swakopmund.
A fusion of contemporary art and historic colonial buildings. With its few double rooms, most of them having a private lounge area, Villa Margherita offers seclusion and personalized service.
All the rooms offer a flat screen TV, safe and free wireless internet connection and room service. Personal laptops available upon request (subject to availability).

With only 9 rooms and 15 angels to fulfill almost every wish, we ensure you are feeling utterly pampered and special.

 

Day 4

Swakopmund

Full day in Swakopmund to spend exploring the town on foot, or book one of the many activities offered in Swakopmund (activities optional)

Some suggested itineraries:

Catamaran Charters

The Catamaran Charters Team invites you aboard the 45ft Royal Cape Sailing Catamaran Silverwind, or the 60ft Simon Sailing Catamaran Silversand, or the 40ft Admiral Motorised Catamaran Silvermoon, to enjoy an adventure packed tour to Pelican Point and Walvis Bay’s beautiful bay area.
The chances of encountering dolphins, whales, turtles, seals and Mola Mola (sunfish) make the search for the marine big 5 and adventurous tour by enjoying sparkling wine, fresh oysters and other mouth-watering snacks aboard the spacious and comfortable catamarans.

Scenic Desert Flights

A dramatic flight over the Namib Desert, see how the seldom present waters of the Kuiseb River stop the advance of the red sands of the Namib, experience the vastness of the magnificent dune formations as you fly south to Sossusvlei and then return along the coast passing over long gone mining settlements, lonely shipwrecks, seal colonies, colourful salt works, Windhoek Harbour and finally back to Swakopmund.

 

Day 5 

Swakopmund to Erongo Wilderness Lodge

After a leisurely breakfast, depart from Swakopmund and continue to the central parts of Namibia and spend the night in the Erongo Region close to Omaruru.

The Erongo Region is one of the largest of the 13 regions found in Namibia and received its name for the majestic Erongo Massif that dominates the area around Karibib, Omaruru and Usakos. The region reaches up to the Atlantic Ocean and includes the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, its northern boundary ending at the Ugab River where the Skeleton Coast National Park begins its stretch to Angola.

Overnight at the Erongo Wilderness Lodge.  There is a special wilderness area, encircled by the Erongo Mountains, where the desert, mountain, and bushveld ecosystems combine.  Here, in a secluded valley, you will find ten luxury tented chalets in a dramatic setting of granite
boulders and breathtaking views. Raised wooden walkways and natural stone steps connect the chalets to the main area, where the restaurant, lounge, swimming pool and sundowner deck invite you to relax and fully unwind.  The open-plan lounge and restaurant overlooks a floodlit waterhole, and is warmed by a central fireplace in the winter. Delicious and original meals, freshly baked breads and pastries, and sumptuous breakfasts, are all complemented by the spectacular setting.   The chalets, raised on stilts, are in harmony with their surroundings, with broad, shaded decks, and indulgent bathrooms built around the existing rocks and trees. Inside, each spacious tent is a haven of thoughtful comfort and casual luxury.
Nature provides the compelling reasons for visiting this unique environment. Many rare, endemic, and special species of animal, bird, and plant life thrive here, making this one of Namibia’s most diverse and wildlife-rich areas.  This wealth of natural and cultural history can be enjoyed by joining a guided nature drive, visiting one of the Bushman rock art sites, or walking among the mountains with one of our knowledgeable guides.
Or make the experience a more personal one by simply exploring on your own, or just soaking up the atmosphere from the private deck of your tent.
luxuriate in this richness of nature.

Optional Activities

Guided walks
Walking the area surrounding the Lodge is highly encouraged and is the best way to experience the beauty of the Erongo Mountains. Our guides have been very well trained on the interesting Fauna and Flora of the area and are available to escort guests through the property at any time that suits them. An unlimited number of guided walks are included in the rate. We have put together a number of interesting walks to suit people of all different fitness levels.

Birding
Erongo Wilderness Lodge has an abundance of bird life. From the raptors to the tiniest of sunbirds, the viewing of birds in the area is superb.

The nest of the resident breeding pair of Black (Verreaux) Eagles can be seen on cliff faces, with sightings of this magnificent bird occurring frequently. The lodge dining room and bar overlook a small valley where a fantastic variety of species can be sighted drinking from one of the three water points. These include both Namibian and South African endemics such as: Hartlaub’s Francolin, Redbilled Francolin, Ruppell’s Parrot, Rosyfaced Lovebird, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Carp’s Black Tit, Damara Rockrunner, Pririt Batis, Whitetailed Shrike, Violet-eared Waxbill, and the Redheaded Finch.

The abundance of water around the lodge in what is an otherwise dry area, also make it a haven
for Plumcoloured Starlings, Melba Finches, Rock Kestrels, Masked Weavers, Rock Buntings, Whitebellied Sunbirds and a whole host of others.

Nature Drive / Paula’s Cave
Erongo Wilderness Lodge forms part of the 200 000 hectare Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy. This pristine wilderness area straddles the Erongo Mountains: a natural reserve within a vast volcanic crater complex, which boasts unparalleled biodiversity. After about an hour and a half’s drive through the scenically beautiful lodge property you will end up at the foot of the hill where the site of Paula’s Cave can be found. An easy walk up the hill will take you to the National Monument site of some outstanding bushman rock art.
After exploring the rock art, relax with a cold ‘sundowner’ drink and enjoy the closing of the day. A slow drive searching for nocturnal animals with the help of a spotlight will bring you back to the lodge in time for dinner. A must-see for anyone visiting the area. This drive can be done both in the morning or the afternoon.

 

Day 6

Erongo Wilderness Lodge to Hobatere Lodge, Koakoveld

Today’s journey takes you into the Koakoveld, where you spend the next 2 nights at the very special Hobatere Lodge. The Kaokoveld is a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region that takes in the harsh beauty of the Skeleton Coast and the coppery sands of the northern Namib Desert. The area is inhabited by three main ethnic groups – the Damara, Herero and Himba people – each with their unique customs, traditions and rituals.

The name Hobatere means “Find me”, and once you do, you will enjoy a warm welcome and personalized service.
Hobatere Lodge is located 80 km north of Kamanjab on the western border of the Etosha National park, situated in a concession area of 32 000 ha, which is home to a wide selection of game including Lion, Leopard, Oryx, Eland, Cheetah, Giraffe, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and Elephant. Our activities centre around day or night game drives, bird watching and guided walks, affording guests ample opportunity to view the abundance of wildlife and endemic species in the area. We also have a hide overlooking a nearby waterhole and a sundeck with panoramic views, which is floodlit for part of the night

 

Day 7

 Hobatere Lodge, Koakoveld

Hobatere offers the visitor the opportunity to experience optional game drives in open vehicles and optional nature walks with well-knowledgeable rangers. Early morning and night drives are part of the optional activities on offer where many nocturnal animals, such as aardvark, cape fox, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, genet and many more are encountered. Guided safaris to the Etosha National park are also offered.

Game drives AM or PM Hobatere offers the visitor the opportunity to experience game drives in open vehicles with knowledgeable and experienced rangers. In both the morning and afternoon drives the guests will have all the benefit of enjoying an exclusive wildlife-rich area, whilst bird-watching enthusiasts can also applaud the variety of species found in this concession.

Guided walk Enjoy a scrumptious, wholesome breakfast on the veranda or deck of the restaurant. Your guide will meet you at the lodge for an early start to explore the concession on foot. You will have an opportunity to see and learn about the local flora and fauna and perhaps encounter the shy wildlife living in the area.

Etosha full day excursion If you don’t feel like driving yourself and want to relax in a game viewer to just absorb one of the most beautiful game parks in Southern Africa through your camera lenses, come and join our full day Etosha drive. The excursion starts at approximately 06H30, depending on the park gate’s opening times which vary seasonally. This is a full day trip which follows a route through the Galton Gate to Okaukuejo and further on to various waterholes in a circular route. There is also a stop-over for lunch at the Okaukuejo waterhole to enjoy top quality refreshments prepared by our kitchen staff and offering you the opportunity to ‘stretch your legs’ before returning back to lodge.

 

Day 8

Hobatere Lodge, Koakoveld to Andersons Camp, Etosha National Park 

Nestled in mopane scrub on white calcrete soils, Andersson’s Camp is situated 4.5 km from Etosha’s Andersson Gate. The camp was named after Swedish explorer Charles Andersson – one of the first Europeans to “discover” Etosha, Africa’s largest saltpan.

The resurrected former farmstead that stands on the site now forms the centre of a charming camp fronting onto a productive waterhole. The 18 tented en-suite units (including two family suites) are raised on decks. The camp is an exciting example of sustainable construction; this model of eco-sensitive lodging provides an authentic, safe and down-to-earth experience for small groups, families and independent travellers to the Etosha region and is easily accessible by either road or air.

Optional Activities include morning and/or afternoon game drives in Etosha National Park, and morning and afternoon/evening drives (on request) and nature walks on Ongava Reserve. The sunken hide at the waterhole in front of camp is an excellent place from which to watch wildlife coming down to drink.

 

Day 9

Andersons Camp, Etosha National Park 

Full day to spend in the Etosha National Park with own rental vehicle, or book one of the many optional activities offered at Andersons Camp. The Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premiere game viewing experience, situated in the northwest of Namibia and is an area well known for its wildlife.  Vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains attracting a diversity of wildlife. In the heart of the Park is The Etosha Pan – a shallow depression that covers an area of 5000sq kilometres. Dry and shimmering for most of the year, the pans fill up with water after good rains to a depth which is seldom deeper than 1m.  In the dry season wildlife is attracted to perennial springs and waterholes that makes for excellent game viewing.

Excursions into Etosha National Park – Full- or half-day guided morning and afternoon game drives in Etosha, Namibia’s prime savannah wilderness area (with a picnic) allow you to see the massive saltpan as well as perennial springs that provide the water required by the Park’s high-density big game population.

Night drives –  Night drives on the 30 000-hectare private Ongava Game Reserve take place on request. These excursions explore the reserve by night, trying to spot nocturnal life, such as lion, rhino and spotted hyaena.

Guided Nature Walks – Offered seasonally and subject to an available walking guide, nature walks through the area take in the abundant array of life, from unusual plants to arid-adapted animals.

Hide – Andersson’s hide allows for unobtrusive game viewing of the camp’s productive waterhole. Often frequented by plains game including warthog, zebra, giraffe and an array of antelope, the waterhole also attracts rhino and sometimes even lion.

 

Day 10 

Andersons Camp, Etosha National Park to Mushara Bush Camp, Etosha East

Drive via the Etosha National Park, crossing the park from west to the eastern side, spending the whole day visiting various waterholes along the way.

Continue to the Mushara Bush Camp where you spend 2 nights in this area.  The Bush Camp  accommodates 32 guest and 8 children in custom made tent like structures. The Mushara Bush Camp offers a down-to-earth tented bush camp experience which is well suited as an exceptional affordable base for independent travelers and families exploring the magical Etosha Pan National Park. The main Bush Camp House is thatched and has a true bush camp feel to it. The early evenings see a camp fire lit where guest can exchange stories of the day’s wildlife sightings. Dinner, lunch and breakfast are served on the thatched verandah with the bush being a mere step away.

 

 

Day 11 

Mushara Bush Camp, Etosha East

Another full day to explore the Etosha National Park with your rental vehicle.   Stop over for lunch at one of the restcamps.  Etosha offers some of the best game viewing in Namibia.

 

Day 12

Mushara Bush Camp to Okonjima Bush Lodge. 

Drive from Mushara Bush Camp to Okonjima.  Home of the Africat Foundation.  Halfway between Windhoek and Etosha lies the well-known Okonjima Nature Reserve. The 22 000 ha Nature Reserve is surrounded by 96 km of fence and was finally completed in 2010. Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a Carnivore Conservation, which gives the captive carnivores a second chance to be released back into the wild and to take the time it needs, to become a completely independent hunter – in a protected area right in the middle of commercial farmland! Also in the Reserve is a 2000 ha ‘safe’ zone around Plains Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite, the Omboroko Campsite as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.

The Okonjima Bush Suite overlooks a waterhole and is nestled in the open Acacia thorn-veld with the sandstone Omboroko Mountains in the background. Situated in a secluded wilderness area, the Bush Suite is approximately 3.5 km from Plains Camp and 500m from the Luxury Bush Camp.
The Bush Suite has 2 separate bedrooms under a magnificent thatched roof, which together, can accommodate a family or small group of 4. It consists of a modern, chef-designed kitchenette, with wine and soft drink coolers, both gas and electrical cooking facilities and an endless supply of ice from a double door refrigerator. The living space boasts a spacious lounge, a dining area under-roof or outside under natural shade and an open, wood-burning fireplace. The Bush Suite’s uniquely designed pool ads a wonderful ambiance with its crystal clear blue water on the edge of the wilderness.

Optional Activities:

Leopard Viewing –  Leopards are frequently seen, giving visitors an opportunity to observe these magnificent predators that are ‘radio-tracked’ from our game-viewing vehicles. The leopards roam freely and catch their own prey within the 20 000ha / 200km2 rehabilitation nature reserves. These cats however, are notoriously people-shy and sightings are not guaranteed.

The AfriCat Foundation – AfriCat is a non-profit organisation set up to conserve and protect threatened cheetah, leopard, and other wild carnivores of Namibia.  Visitors will be able to observe some of this programme at work and learn more about these amazing and beautiful animals.

The Cheetah Project –  Offers visitors a valuable insight into the ‘welfare work’ of The AfriCat Foundation. [DAY-VISITORS will now be able to observe some of this programme’s work and learn more about these endangered, amazing & beautiful animals!]

Game Drives – After dinner, guests are invited to join a guided, night-drive in the 20 000ha / 200km² private, nature reserves.

Large Carnivore tracking on foot – Okonjima guests are invited to participate on foot in the radio-tracking of the rehabilitated Cheetahs, Wild Dogs or the Spotted Hyaenas on the Tracking Trail within the 20 000ha / 200km2 rehabilitation nature reserves. PLEASE NOTE: Tracking of the rehabilitated carnivores in the 200km2 Okonjima Reserve is reserved for guests staying at one of Okonjima’s lodges.

 

Day 13

 Okonjima Bush Lodge to Windhoek 

Depending on your flight out of Windhoek, spend the morning at leisure at the Okonjima Bush Lodge before departing via Okahandja, back to Windhoek.  Drop of your rental vehicle and check in for your return flight.  Alternatively you can spend the last night in Namibia in Windhoek. (Optional)

 

 

Tour dates

Tour dates available on request

Price

Price per person starting from $34400

01 November 2016 – 15 June 2017

$ 6100.00 Single Supplement

16 June 2017 – 31 October 2017

$ 37700.00 per person sharing

$6100.00 Single Supplement

 

All rates are quoted in Namibian Dollars per person sharing NET and include vehicle rental.

 All prices are based on 2 people travelling.  Prices will change with larger groups sharing vehicle costs.

 

Upgrades

Upgrade to more luxury accommodation is available.