AROUND NAMIBIA SELF DRIVE SAFARI
Have an active adventure in Namibia on this 11 day safari! You will explore Namibia on a wide variety of activities, both exhilarating and restful, all from the comfort of a four-wheel drive vehicle that is included in the package.
Starting in Windhoek you head west toward the coastal town of Swakopmund where adventure awaits. From there head back inland to Damaraland, and make sure you see Twyfelfontein with its unique rock art and the popular Petrified Forrest. From there you move north to the Etosha Safari Camp and the famous Etosha National Park, stretching all the way to the Zambezi Region on the far north eastern side of the country. Along the Kwando River you will find varied and abundant wildlife and birds.
This fast-paced trip allows for incredible moments and authentic Namibian experiences, and will keep you busy throughout your journey. We suggest a one night stay over in Windhoek, before and after the tour.
Day 1 – 2 Swakopmund (The Delight Hotel)
From the capital, Windhoek, drive northwards to Okahandja where you can visit the woodcarving market, refuel and pick up snacks for the road. Turn westward from there to the coast and the desert via the small towns of Karibib and Usakos. The landscape transforms along the way from a tree-filled expanse to the gravel plains of the Namib Desert.
The Delight hotel is an uplifting and warm welcome to Swakopmund, and the perfect end to your first day’s journey. Spend the afternoon exploring the desert town, with its many coffee and curio shops, and choose your activities for the following day. At the end of the day, take a stroll on the wooden jetty to watch the sun set into the sea before savouring some of Swakopmund’s fine cuisine.
Day two is your day to enjoy the many exciting activities Swakopmund has to offer. The desert town has something for everyone, whether you prefer to paddle in the Walvis Bay lagoon or take a trip into the Namib Desert. Activities are either half or full day and many operators will collect you from the hotel in the morning, and return you in the evening.
After another night out on the town, unwind with a final night- cap in The Delight’s cosy lounge, as you reflect on the wonderful experiences enjoyed during your day.
Day 3 – 4 Damaraland (Damara Mopane Lodge)
After the delicious breakfast spread at The Delight, follow the salt road along the coast northwards towards Henties Bay, before heading inland to Damaraland. Your overnight stop, Damara Mopane Lodge, is 30km east of Khorixas.
Set amongst the mopane trees, the chalets are built in a semi-circular labyrinth design with a turquoise pool at their centre. Each chalet has its own veranda and small garden planted with a selection of fresh vegetables. Scarecrows peek out between the sunflowers and spinach, adding extra charm to this unexpected oasis in the middle of the sandy plains.
At the end of the day, don’t miss the walk up the koppie for sundowners and a sensational view of the lodge and surrounding mopane savannah before returning to the comfort of the lodge and the enticing aromas of dinner.
On day four explore the ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. Here, thousands of years ago, hunter-gatherer traditional healers spoke to their gods asking for healing, rain and luck for the hunt. The Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain are other interesting sites to visit in the area, as is the Damara Living Museum for some local culture.
On your return journey, consider making a stop at the Petrified Forest to view ancient fossilised tree trunks.
Day 5 – 6 Etosha National Park (Etosha Safari Camp)
After checking in to Etosha Safari Camp, if time allows, drive the 10km into the national park to sit at the large Okaukuejo waterhole, which is often frequented by wildlife, or visit the surrounding waterholes. For those just wanting a siesta, put your feet up and relax with a good book at the lodge pool. Etosha Safari Camp’s Shebeen restaurant has become a highlight on travellers’ itineraries. Modelled on Namibian ‘shebeens’ (informal township bars) of old, it is a co- lourful, lively venue. The dinner feast is enjoyed outside in the courtyard to the accompaniment of the musicians strumming their guitars and singing local melodies.
On day six explore Etosha National Park. Enjoy the opportunity to experience the many waterholes throughout the park in your own time. After full day of animal viewing, return to the warm hospitality of Etosha Safari Camp.
Day 7 Okavango River (Hakusembe River Lodge)
From Etosha head north east to the Hakusembe River Lodge along the Okavango River. Once you reach the Hakusembe River Lodge you can settle in and relax for the evening.
Day 8 – 9 Kwando River (Namushasha River Lodge)
The drive today is eastward, towards the north-eastern corner of Namibia. Once known as the Caprivi, now renamed the Zambezi region, it is a tree-filled expanse divided by waterways. It is also home to a fascinating group of people and an abundance of wildlife and birds.
Bwabwata National Park runs from the Okavango to the Kwando rivers and, unusually, is home to both people and wildlife living side by side. Slow down as you pass through settlements and keep eyes open for elephant and wild dogs!
Your home for the next two nights is Namushasha River Lodge, a lodge of true Zambezi character. Set on the riverbank, the lodge is alive with the sound of hippos and birds and is an absolute wonderland. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of the area.
On day nine savour a relaxing morning boat trip on the Kwando River as you uncover the many riches of this unique water-oasis. Spot the abundant bird species, crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks, or pods of hippos amongst the waterlilies. Take a stroll along the riverbank, or a short drive to the Namushasha Heritage Centre for a taste of the intriguing culture of the Eastern Zambezi region.
Don’t miss the guided trip into the Bwabwata National Park in the late afternoon, beginning with a boat cruise on the Kwando River. Downriver, guests climb onto a game-viewing vehicle for an exploration of the national park. This includes a drive to the popular elephant-viewing spot. The afternoon is celebrated with drinks and snacks before heading back to the riverbank to board the boat as the sun begins to set.
Day 10 Okavango River (Hakusembe River Lodge)
On day 10 you will retrace your steps to spend your final night at Hakusembe River Lodge. Enjoy a relaxed evening reflecting on your journey as you dine on the deck overlooking the river, before a sound night’s sleep to the gentle sounds of the river.
Day 11 Windhoek
You will need an early rise on day 11, and breakfast packs for the road, as your journey to Windhoek will be an eight hour drive.
Due to the distance between the Hakusembe River Lodge and Windhoek, we suggest that you book an additional night in Windhoek (the night of day 11), scheduling your flight for the following day to ensure that flights are not missed.
Climb the world’s highest dunes at Sossusvlei
Track rhino on foot
Exceptional sea and land-based wildlife viewing
See Cape fur seal colonies, desert adapted wildlife and dramatic shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast
Explore the extremely remote Hoanib Camp, home to rare desert lion
Accommodation as specified (all on a bed and breakfast basis)
Detailed en-route map guide
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