This self-drive tour of Namibia is a must-do holiday for animal and wildlife lovers in one of the most beautiful regions of Africa.
Duration: 15 Nights
Summary: 1 Night Windhoek, 3 Nights Soussusvlei, 3 Nights Swakopmund, 3 Nights Damaraland, 4 Nights Etosha & 1 Night Windhoek
Fly direct from London Heathrow to Johannesburg with South African Airways. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation - one night at the Hotel Pension Steiner in Windhoek. Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by the Central highlands, an area of rolling hills, acacia trees, deep ravines and sharp ridges. The Pension is very centrally located within the Windhoek city centre, Independence Avenue, local restaurants, pubs and night clubs are all within walking distance.
Pick up your vehicle for the remainder of your stay. Your car will come equipped with insurance, air conditioning and power steering. You will drive to Soussusvlei which is approximately 4/5 hours away and spend three nights at the Desert Homestead hotel. You will find it hard to find a more idyllic setting than the Desert Homestead with views of the distant Nubib Mountains, purple in the morning sunlight. It lies south of Sesriem, the gate into the Soussusvlei dunes of the Namib Naukluft National Park and so makes an excellent base for exploring both Sossusvlei and the rest of the Namib Desert. Desert Homestead is also known in particular for its horse-riding with morning and sunset horse safaris for keen riders as a highlight on your Namibian holiday.
The main building at Desert Homestead is a restored farmhouse with dining area and sitting room. However, meals are usually served on the covered stoep (veranda) enjoying the view of Nubib Mountains. Each of their 16 rustic rock chalets has an en suite bathroom and stunning views over the desert plains. They are eco-friendly being powered by wind and solar power during the daytime hours. All toiletries are also environmentally friendly.
Drive to Swakopmund where you will spend the next three nights at the Namibia Beach Lodge - the only B&B establishment directly on the Swakopmund beach. Enjoy the magnificent view of the sea from each room, listen to the waves and smell the fresh sea breeze.
Swakopmund has a distinctive continental atmosphere and many picturesque reminders of the German colonial era, somewhat incongruous in the midst of the Namib Desert! This charming town, with its palm-lined streets, provides a welcome resting place where you can stroll along the beach, enjoy superb seafood or marvel at the High German architecture.
There is plenty to do and see such as visiting the Seal Colony at Cape Cross, the flamingos at Walvis Bay and Sandwich Bay or exploring the Welwitschia forest. Visit the surreal landscape of the 'Moon Mountains', an area of deep chasms and interesting geological features, or perhaps try some sand-boarding, quad-biking or riding a camel into the desert.
Leave Swakopmund and drive north to Damaraland - approximately 4 hours away. Stay three nights at the Twyfelfontein Lodge. Twyfelfontein Lodge is situated only 4km from the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. The lodge is an excellent place from which to explore the attractions of Damaraland. The Twyfelfontein area, a very vulnerable and delicate ecosystem, is renowned for some of the best examples of bushman paintings and engravings in Southern Africa. Interesting rock formations and the remains of prehistoric volcanic action can be seen in the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, Doros Crater and the Petrified Forest among the most prominent geographic features.
Take an early morning exploration of the area before taking a 3 hour drive to an undoubted highlight of the trip to the Otijitotongwe Cheetah Farm in north western Namibia. This is a non-profit organisation aimed at conserving cheetahs in a natural environment. The farm has both tame and wild cheetahs, many bought from farmers to prevent them from being killed. The farm offers superb photographic opportunities at scheduled cheetah feedings, and also offers guided game drives and nature walks.
Leave the cheetahs behind and head to Etosha where you will have 4 nights in total staying in two different lodges.
The Etosha National Park covers over 22,000km and is one of the finest game parks in Africa. It encloses a vast saltpan that becomes an immense, shallow lake in rainy periods, attracting great numbers of flamingos and other water birds. The open plains are home to tens of thousands of animals with large herds of springbok, gemsbok, zebra, wildebeest, elephant and of course, the predators - particularly cheetah and lion. You will have two nights at the Dolomite Camp which is the only camp situated in western Etosha. Then move to the East side of the park and stay for two nights at the Namutoni rest camp where again you will have two nights on a B&B basis.
Leave Etosha and drive back towards Windhoek. This will be a long drive but you have a really nice relaxing place to stay before you return home at the Okapuka Lodge. There are daily viewings and feeding of lions, this is bound to be the closest you will ever want to get! Apart from the lions, Okapuka also has many antelope, zebra, wildebeest, a rich bird life and perhaps most impressive rhino. Okapuka lodge is situated only 30km from Windhoek, and as such is an ideal overnight stop for those arriving or departing from the Windhoek International Airport.
Return to the airport in time for your return flight home.