16-Day Best of Namibia Safari with Southern Loop Self-Drive

This 16-Day Best of Namibia Safari takes you from the Kalahari to the Namib Desert. Down the Skeleton Coast, up through Damaraland to Etosha and finally a visit to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. You’ll also visit Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop Ghost Town, Sossusvlei and Dead Pan.

Namib means ‘vast place’. At times a harsh, brutal, desolate land but the animals do that amazing evolutionary thing, they adapt. Desert elephants take it in their stride and Namibia is home to the world’s largest population of free roaming cheetahs.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Windhoek

  • You will be met by the car rental company representative on arrival and transferred to their offices in Windhoek to complete all rental procedures
  • You will then meet with our representative to hand over your travel documents
  • The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing at your own leisure
  • For dinner tonight, you can head into town for a bite to eat at one of Windhoek’s well known restaurants

Day 2 - Kalahari

  • After breakfast, you can still pop into town for anything you might need and then depart heading south from Windhoek to the red sand dunes of the Kalahari
  • Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in this beautiful setting
  • Optional activities here include game and nature drives as well as a Bushman experience

Day 3 - Fish River

  • Head south via Mariental and Keetmanshoop to the Karas region, the Fish River Canyon area
  • Detour en-route to Giant's Playground and Quiver Tree Forest, a beautiful site where three large aloes grow between rocks
  • If time permits, visit the Fish River view point at sunset to end the day

Day 4 & 5 - Lüderitz

  • Enjoy a morning canyon view before heading west through harsh but beautiful terrain which changes to wide open desert plains as you make your way to the coast
  • Your drive will take you via Aus, where you may be lucky to view the wild desert horses in the area
  • 1 full day is set aside to enjoy the historic town of Lüderitz and visit the amazing Kolmanskop Ghost Town
  • Lunches and dinners can be enjoyed at any of the local restaurants in town

Day 6 & 7 - Namib Desert

  • After breakfast, you will depart to the "sea of sand" backtracking to Aus and then heading north via Helmeringhausen
  • Wake up early for breakfast (Day 7) and then head to the entrance to Sossusvlei, the Sesriem Gate
  • Spend the whole day in the beautiful Sossusvlei area, exploring the highlights: Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei, Dune 45, Big Daddy, Elim Dune and the Sesriem Canyon
  • Return to the lodge for lunch or arrange a lunch pack to enjoy in the dunes and return late afternoon for a well-earned rest
  • Optional extra activities: Guided Sossusvlei excursion, Hot air balloon safari, Nature drives

Day 8 & 9 - Swakopmund

  • Depart after breakfast and head north to Solitaire, then west crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons via the Namib Gravel Plains to the coast
  • Either via Walvis Bay to Swakopmund, or (recommended) detour via Ganab to the Welwitschia Plains and Moon Landscape
  • The Namibian coastline is generally known as The Skeleton Coast due to the barren areas, ship wrecks and, in days gone by, whale skeletons left on the beach
  • 1 full day is set aside for this lovely area where Swakopmund and Walvis Bay offer a wide range of activities such as: Dolphin cruise, Sandwich Harbour excursion (a real Skeleton Coast experience), Dune quad biking, Sand boarding, Sea kayaking, Lots more...
  • Lunches and dinners can be enjoyed at a café or restaurant overlooking the sea

Day 10 & 11 - Damaraland

  • Depart after breakfast and head north to Solitaire, then west crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons via the Namib Gravel Plains to the coast
  • Either via Walvis Bay to Swakopmund, or (recommended) detour via Ganab to the Welwitschia Plains and Moon Landscape
  • The Namibian coastline is generally known as The Skeleton Coast due to the barren areas, ship wrecks and, in days gone by, whale skeletons left on the beach
  • 1 full day is set aside for this lovely area where Swakopmund and Walvis Bay offer a wide range of activities such as: Dolphin cruise, Sandwich Harbour excursion (a real Skeleton Coast experience), Dune quad biking, Sand boarding, Sea kayaking, Lots more...
  • Lunches and dinners can be enjoyed at a café or restaurant overlooking the sea

Day 12 - Etosha National Park (South)

  • After breakfast, drive east towards Khorixas stopping at the Petrified Forest en-route
  • From Khorixas head further east along the tar road to Outjo and then north to your lodge which is situated very close to the southern entrance of Etosha, the Andersson Gate
  • If time permits, enter Etosha for an afternoon game drive. Depending on how often you stop today, you should arrive at your lodge in time for lunch (optional extra)
  • On entering the park, the first stop would be Okaukuejo where you pay your entry fee and I suggest you pop in at the local shop to purchase some drinks and snacks and most importantly, a map of Etosha which will show you all the waterholes along the way
  • Etosha is one of Africa's great game parks. With 114 species of mammal and 340 species of birds you are sure to see a great variety of wildlife on your safari

Day 13 & 14 - Etosha National Park (East)

  • From one side to the other side of the park is a full day game drive as you head slowly east stopping at numerous waterholes along the way
  • Take a slow drive in the morning and then enjoy a packed lunch (optional extra) overlooking one of the waterholes before continuing on through the park to the eastern side
  • 1 full day is set aside for game viewing, either all day or alternate with morning and afternoon drives. These are self-drive game drives but you can arrange at the lodge to go with their open safari vehicle and guide (optional extra)

Day 15 - Central Namibia

  • Head south via Otavi and Otjiwarongo to Okonjima, which is home to the AfriCat Foundation.
  • Aim to arrive here by 14h00 latest in order to enjoy the afternoon tea/coffee and cakes before heading off on your afternoon excursion

Day 16 - Windhoek

  • Early morning rise for a quick snack before joining the morning activity, which will be to visit the AfriCat Foundation or for a drive in the animal enclosure, which is more a game reserve
  • Back to the lodge for a hearty Namibian breakfast before departure
  • Head back to Windhoek today, where the vehicle is returned and your holiday comes to an end
  • Transfer to the airport to catch your departure flight.

(Keep in mind that you need to be at the airport 2 hours prior and the airport is still a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from town)