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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 
Sand dunes of the Namib Desert, Sossusvlei

Essential Namibia Self-Drive

By Helen Austin
Purchasing Manager for Alfred&

Discover Namibia on this highlights self-drive or guided tour, which takes you through ancient deserts and mountain-studded plains to the wave-worn coastline. Along the way, you’ll scale Sossusvlei’s towering sand dunes, spot marine life in Swakopmund and park beside Etosha’s waterholes for a wildlife bonanza. Round off your adventure with game drives in Okonjima, where you’ll meet endangered species and visit the AfriCat Foundation.

Places

Length
11 days
Guide price range
£3,495 - £3,675pp
including international flights
Best months to go
July to October

Top Experiences
Itinerary Highlights

Sundowners on the terrace at Elegant Desert Camp
Namib Desert and Sossusvlei

Elegant Desert Camp: an eco-oasis in the Namib Desert

The beds can be rolled out onto the deck, so you can sleep beneath the African stars – that’s always a highlight...

Okonjima Day Centre cheetahs
Okonjima and Otjiwarongo

Meet AfriCat’s rescued cheetahs

The cheetahs act as ambassadors for their species and live peacefully in up to 50-acre enclosures on the Okonjima Reserve...

Onguma sundowner drive
Etosha National Park

Discover Onguma’s diverse wildlife

You never know what you’ll come across – last night some guests witnessed a party of nine lions attacking a zebra...

Day by day
Itinerary in detail

1

Arrival in Windhoek

Welcome to Namibia. Upon arrival in Windhoek, a driver will transfer you to your boutique hotel in the oldest suburb of the city. Settle in and meet a local tour representative, who’ll go over your itinerary and, if you’re taking a self-drive trip, help you plot your route. Spend the rest of the day as you please. Relax in the tropical garden, take a dip in the pool or explore Windhoek’s German-colonial architecture. After dinner, enjoy drinks around the fire pit ahead of tomorrow’s journey. Overnight at The Elegant Guesthouse.

2

Namib Desert

Today you’ll drive four hours south to the Namib, the world’s oldest desert. Check into an eco-friendly camp, where you’ll stay in a luxury, safari-style tent. Take in views of the desert and Naukluft mountains from your private deck, sip a sundowner by the pool and dine in the open-air boma. The beds at Elegant Desert Camp can be rolled out onto the deck so you can fall asleep beneath the African stars. Overnight at The Elegant Desert Camp.

Things to do:

3

Namib Desert & Sossusvlei

Discover the wonders of the Namib Desert today, either on your own or with a guided excursion. Head out early to watch the sunrise at Sossusvlei, a former riverbed home to some of the tallest sand dunes on the planet, including Big Daddy and Dune 45. Scale one of these epic sand masses for panoramic views and visit iconic Deadvlei, a collection of skeletal camelthorn trees stuck in a lunar-like salt flat. On your way back to camp, stop at Sesriem Canyon, a geological gem carved by the Tsauchab River over 15 million years. Overnight at Elegant Desert Camp.

Things to do:

4

Swakopmund

Today starts with a five-hour drive north to the coastal town of Swakopmund. Sandwiched by the ocean and The Namib, the city is a launching pad for boat cruises and desert excursions. Check into your hotel, then explore this colonial German seaport. Wander streets lined with half-timber houses, stroll on the pier and visit the candy-striped lighthouse. For dinner, you can feast on bratwurst and Bavarian beer at one of the city’s German-inspired eateries. Overnight at Namib Guesthouse.

Things to do:

5

Swakopmund

Uncover Namibia’s coastal treasures with a variety of optional tours. Take a catamaran cruise on Walvis Bay to spot pelagic birds and the marine Big Five: whales, dolphins, sunfish, leatherback turtles and seals. The highlight is visiting a colony of around 60,000 barking Cape Fur Seals. If you want to get your blood pumping, take a sandboarding trip to rocket down dunes at speeds reaching 50km an hour. For a gentler adventure, take a cycle through the desert on a fat bike, savouring dune-top views of the coast and looking out for desert creatures. Overnight at Namib Guesthouse.

Things to do:

6

Damaraland

Continue your journey north to rugged Damaraland. Here, the vast grasslands are scattered with gorges, petrified forests and mountains. These include Namibia’s highest peak, Brandberg, and the Matterhorn-shaped Spitzkoppe. You’ll stay in Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its extensive prehistoric rock art collection. Peruse over 2,500 engravings carved by Namibia’s nomadic hunter-gatherer communities such as the Damara, San and Himba people. Overnight at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge.

Things to do:

7

Etosha

Drive four hours east today to the wildlife-rich plains of Etosha. This national park is home to Africa’s largest salt pan, which is visible from space. It’s also one of the best places to spot wildlife in Namibia thanks to its spring-fed waterholes that draw a kaleidoscope of African beasts. Settle into your peaceful lodge, which lies on a dolomite outcrop shaded by mopane trees. Take the rest of the day to relax, or to enjoy your first self-drive game drive in the park or an optional 4x4 guided game drive. Overnight at Etosha Toshari Lodge.

Things to do:

8

Etosha

Spend today on a self-drive safari in Etosha National Park. The waterholes are particularly impressive during dry season when animals flock to these vital water sources. Look out for over 114 species of mammals and 350 bird species. Highlights include bathing elephants, big cat hunts and colourful birdlife. Travel on to your next camp, where you’ll stay in a luxe thatched bungalow. Cool off with a swim followed by a cold sundowner overlooking the camp’s active waterhole. Overnight at Onguma Forest Camp.

Things to do:

9

Etosha

Enjoy an early-morning game drive in Etosha National Park, courtesy of your lodge. Travel in an open safari vehicle with an expert guide, who’ll take you to the top places in the park for observing animals. Along the way, watch the sunrise over the plains. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to photograph wildlife and learn about Etosha’s vegetation and geology, including its salt pan, which was once a colossal lake. If you’re visiting during the rainy season, the pans may have transformed into glassy lagoons that attract algae-munching flamingos. End the day with an sundowner game drive on the Onguma Reserve. Overnight at Onguma Forest Camp.

Things to do:

10

Okonjima

After breakfast, drive four hours south to Okonjima, a 22,000-hectare nature reserve. Visit the on-site AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre to learn all about the non-profit foundation’s work and visit some of their rescued cheetahs. In the afternoon, you'll head out for a game drive with one of the lodge’s experienced guides. Thanks partly to the AfriCat Foundation, Okonjima is home to Namibia’s largest density of leopards, some of which have been radio-collared for research purposes. Look out for these stealthy big cats, as well as other endangered species that live in the reserve, from rhinos to brown hyenas and pangolins. Overnight at Okonjima Plains Camp. Ask our travel experts about adding an additional night here to enjoy all the reserve has at a more relaxed pace.

Things to do:

11

Okonjima & Departure

Drive back to Windhoek this morning in time for your onward flight.

Another stop?

We recommend finishing your African adventure with a trip to South Africa’s vibrant capital, Cape Town, or perhaps the world-famous Victoria Falls.

Extensions

Extensions

Holiday Budget
Guide price information

Low Season (Self-Drive)

01 Jan - 30 Jun, 01 Dec - 30 Dec

£3,495

High Season (Self-Drive)

01 Jul - 30 Nov

£3,675

Private Guided Option

Includes your own personal guide who will chauffeur you in a sturdy, air-conditioned vehicle and help you develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for Namibia.

£5,250

Alfred & Helen Austin

Helen was fascinated by travel from an early age, avidly watching holiday programmes and dreaming of future travel plans. Fantasy became reality when she joined Kuoni just over 20 years ago, and she has continued to explore ever since. She fell in love with Africa on her first safari experience in Zambia, watching an elephant herd meander across a dusty track as the sun set dramatically. Subsequent trips to South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya have further fuelled her passion for the wildlife, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes of her favourite continent.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Contact us and one of our UK team will help shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. Someone like Malcolm who's travelled extensively in Namibia. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the expert guides who can help you spot rare animals or the fat bike enthusiasts who can take you on a cycling adventure through the Namib Desert. Give us a call, set up and appointment or enquire online to start planning your tailor-made Namibia holiday.

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