Elephant Self Drive

Introduction

This 20day self-drive offers you most of Namibia’s highlights. From the stunning landscapes, wildlife to the beautiful sunrise and sunsets.

Waterberg Plateau is your first destination for this tour. Waterberg Resort offers you some great hiking trails. Game drives to the top of the plateau can also be booked. Waterberg is home to our Buffalo and a variety of wildlife. Waterberg has strong permanent springs at the foot of the mountain as well as surface water. This is the reason for the lush green flora.

Etosha National Park offers an extraordinary wealth of animal and plant life. The Etosha Pan is usually dry, except for periods of heavy rainfall and when northern flood-water flow into i when this happens large flocks of flamingos use the pan for breeding. The park’s waterholes are a magnet for attracting game and stunning wildlife action. Self-driving allows for flexible and timely game-viewing.

To the north of Etosha is Owamboland. This area is seldom visited by tourists but is one of the more fascinating areas of Namibia – the majority of Namibia’s population lives in this area. Here you will be able to wander around the markets and local shops.

Here you will stay in accommodation which is part of a traditional Owambo ‘kraal’ or settlement and get to participate and experience the lifestyle of the local people.

Next you will be driving west into an area called Kaokoland. Kaokoland is known for the nomadic Himba tribes. The landscape will change completely.
Puros, approximately 100km Northwest of Sesfontein, is one of the best locations to view Kaokoland’s famous ‘desert-adapted elephants’. The true wilderness adventure continues with the opportunity to go canoeing on the Kunene River.

It is now time to head south.
In Damaraland, you have another opportunity to search for the elusive desert-adapted elephants. At Twyfelfontein you can view the ancient Bushman rock art, Brandberg the highest point in Namibia also has its own rock art. The Petrified Forest and the Ugab Vingerklip is all great places to see.

Then it is off to the coast. On your way you can go and view the seal colony at Cape Cross Seal Reserve, that is located North of Henties Bay. You will also be able to see a replica of the padrão (stone cross), planted by the Portuguese explorer and navigator Diego Cão over 500 years ago.

Swakopmund offer a lot to choose from. Swakopmund is surrounded by sea and dunes and has a lot of original German style building. Defiantly great restaurants and good beer. Here you can enjoy activities such as: Sandboarding, Quad-biking, Day tours into the dunes to Dolphin Cruises.
After the wonderful sea air is off to the 2nd most visited place in Namibia, the Namib Naukluft Park, where you will experience the most beautiful dunes. Here you will be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery and climbing of the dunes, Deadvlei and the Sesriem Canyon.

From Sossusvlei you head further south along the Namib Naukluft Park towards the southern coastal town of Luderitz. Its colonial style buildings, stormy bay and diving seals and penguins are attracting more and more tourist. 10 kilometers inland the famous diamond ghost town, Kolmanskop.

Fish River Canyon is the next destination. The main lookout point is at Hobas. Here you will be able to experience the most wonderful view. This canyon is the 2nd largest of its kind, competing with the Grand Canyon.
The last stop before your drive back to Windhoek is at a lodge in the Kalahari Desert. Here you will enjoy the last red dunes and the savannah fields. On your way to the Kalahari, you will pass Giant’s Playground and the Quiver Tree Forest. Worth a look.

All our itinerary’s is customizable to suit your self-drive safaris. Days could be added or deleted. Accommodation is 100% your choice. You can browse the area and suggest where you would like to stay instead. We strive to make your stay as memorable as possible.

Tour Summary
Duration:
20 Days
Distance:
4584 km
Destinations:

Windhoek – Erongo – Etosha – Northern Namibia – - Damaraland – West Coast – Naukluft – Spergebiet – Southern Namibia – Southern Kalahari

Rates are valid:

Overview

 

Day Accommodation Destination Basis Duration
Day 0 Arebbusch Windhoek BB 1 Night
Day 1 Waterberg Resort Central Namibia DBB 1 Night
Day 2 Okaukuejo Resort Etosha DBB 1 Night
Day 3 Halali Resort Etosha DBB 1 Night
Day 4 Namutoni Resort Etosha DBB 1 Night
Day 5 Ongula Village Northern Namibia   BB 1 Night
Day 6 Kunene River Lodge Northern Namibia  BB 1 Night
Day 7 & 8 Epupa Lodge Kaokoland  BB 2 Nights
Day 9 Palmwag Lodge Damaraland  BB 1 Night
Day 10 White Lady Lodge Damaraland  BB 1 Night
Day 11 & 12 Alte Brucke Resort West Coast  BB 2 Nights
Day 13 & 14 Sossus Dune Lodge Naukluft Park DBB 2 Nights
Day 15 & 16 Nest Hotel/ Shark Island Spergebiet  BB 2 Nights
Day 17 Canyon Roadhouse Southern Namibia  BB 1 Night
Day 18 & 19 Kalahari Anib Lodge Southern Kalahari  BB  2 Nights
Day 20   Windhoek    
Swipe the above table to view the full details.

Included

The following is included:

  • Your vouchers, itinerary and a 24-hour emergency assistance phone number

See the individual lodges for detailed inclusions.

Excluded

The following is excluded:

  • Vehicle & Fuel
  • Park entrance fees (these need to be paid on arrival).
  • Tips and gratuities (which are optional).
  • Any meals or activities not specified.
  • See the individual lodges for detailed inclusions & exclusions.

See the individual lodges for detailed exclusions.

Itinierary

This includes Waterberg, Etosha, a visit to the densely populated Owamboland region on the Angolan border, Kaokoland and the nomadic Himba People, rock art and desert elephants in Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Luderitz, the Fish River and Kalahari.

Day 1 Windhoek - Waterberg

Waterberg is situated north of Windhoek. Your drive will be 305 kilometers, roughly 3 hours to reach Waterberg.  Once you pass through the town of Okahandja the landscape becomes flat, and the road is straight - pretty much the only notable geographical feature along this section of the road are the Omatako Mountains.

Here you will be able to do a guided safari up the Plato searching for Buffalo – Roan- Sable and other species. The view from the top is breath taking. There are beautiful hiking trails to enjoy in the vast green area as well.  Sunsets makes the contras of the huge red mountain spectacular.

We would recommend Waterberg Resort, as it is part of the Waterberg National Park. If you prefer other accommodation please see our map CENTRAL NAMIBIA, to choose different accommodation and we will book accordingly.

Day 2 Waterberg - Etosha

On your way to Etosha you will pass the towns called Otjiwarongo and Outjo. Your total drive to Park will be 300 kilometers and will take you around 3 hours. As you enter the park at the Anderson Gate you will start to see wildlife. Your next three days you will be driving around the park, trying to see as much animals as you can. We do hope you get to see our rhinos.

There is a variety of lodges to choose from our map ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK, to stay outside the park. Inside we would suggest a night’s stay at Okaukuejo Resort, a night at Halali Resort and the last evening at Namutoni Resort. Due to the size of the park, the habitat differs from the eastern side to the western side.

Okaukuejo Resort will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map ETOSHA, and we will book accordingly.

Day 3 Etosha

Today you will be driving from Okaukuejo Resort to Halali Resort. Exploring nature and the animal life. Visiting as much waterholes as you can.

Day 4 Etosha

Today you will be driving form Halali Resort to Namutoni Resort. Exploring the nature and animal life. Seeing as much waterholes as you can.

Namutoni Resort will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map ETOSHA, and we will book accordingly.

Etosha Park

It is worth waking early and heading out on your game drive as soon as the gates open at sunrise. Animals are most active in the cool of the day (early morning and late afternoon) and in order to maximize your chances of good viewings it is worth imitating their behavior. The roads in Etosha are unsealed gravel roads but are in reasonable condition - and the general tourist behavior is to drive between various waterholes searching for animals. As the day gets hotter head for shade, and lunch, at one of the parks three camps, Okaukuejo, Namutoni or Halali. When things start to cool down again head out for another game drive. With two days of self-driving in the park you should have sightings of most of the parks inhabitants (although be warned the cats are notoriously hard to find - and of course what you see is determined by luck and more importantly your ability to spot wildlife).

Day 5 Etosha - Owamboland

Leaving Etosha via the King Nehale Gate you will be heading to a much more crowded area. 60% of the Namibian populations resides up north. You will be experiencing local markets, bars, cows, donkeys and goats everywhere.

Ongula Village Homestead Lodge is a traditional homestead. Here you will experience a fantastic stay in a 3rd world setting. Here you will be able to see how the cultural group live day by day.

Ongula Village Homestead will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map NORTHERN NAMIBIA, and we will book accordingly.

Day 6 Owamboland - Ruacana

The Kunene River Lodge is located on the shores of the Kunene River that run between Namibia and Angola. Traveling to Kunene River Lodge you have two options –

  • 1st route (the more scenic & time consuming of the options) follows the Kunene River heading due east of Ruacana (along the border with Angola), but this is only suitable for 4x4s and sections can be incredibly rough, in the wet season it is often completely impossible.
  • 2nd rout: An easier route will take the tarred C41 road to the town of Opuwo (the capital of the region) and then head northwards until they reach Kunene River Lodge (close to Swarbooisdrift). This may seem like a big detour but trust us if you are not in a 4x4 it is worth it!

Kunene River Lodge is set in a scenic & tranquil river environment, it is a great place to relax and enjoy the river or to visit a nearby Himba Village. The lodge offers white river rafting on the Kunene River, which is an awesome experience and one not to be missed - as you get to experience the beautiful river valley in all its splendor (and have one or two rapid induced thrills along the way). The choice of how you spend your time and what activities you do is up to you.

Kunene River Lodge will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map KAOKOLAND, and we will book accordingly.

Day 7 & 8 Ruacana - Epupa Falls

Today’s road you will travel via Epembe to Epupa. This route will take 4-5 hours, although the road is in fairly good condition. Occasionally you will encounter Himba cattle in the road & frequently when you near a settlement Himba woman & children will rush to the roadside, all of this makes for a tough and slow drive. When reaching Epupa Falls check into your accommodation at Omarunga Epupa-Falls Camp (situated on the hill above the Epupa settlement). Before sunset head down to the falls (here you can employ a local guide - they do not cost a lot and it helps the community) who will show you the best viewpoints.

Epupa-Falls Lodge will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map KAOKOLAND, and we will book accordingly

Day 9 Kunene River - Palmwag

Today is another long drive, as you will be traveling around 415 kilometers that will take around 6.5Hours. Today you are entering Damaraland. Just south of Palmwag you will find a vetenary fence. No meat products may be taken beyond this point. Your vehicle will be inspected. The fence is there as it’s a disease monitoring line. You will find a fuel station and lodge here. Your lodge for the evening will be Palmwag Lodge.

Here you will be able to do game drives, hiking or Rhino Tracking.

Palmwag Lodge will be our choice of accommodation. If you prefer another choice, please see our map DAMARALAND, and we will book accordingly.

 

Day 10 Palmwag - Damaraland

There are plenty of activities at Palmwag Lodge, these range from Desert Elephant & Rhino tracking to guided walks, speak to the lodge management to find out what is available and suits your interests best.

Leaving Palmwag, drive towards Khorixas. From Khorixas you proceed westwards till you reach the Petrified Forest. Here you will have to pay a local guide to show you the remains of the million year old petrified tree trunks. From here your head to Twyfelfontein. This world heritage site has an extremely high density of bushman rock engravings. Here you will be able to hire a local guide as well to show you more striking engravings.

The lucky ones will be able to see our desert adapted Elephants or Black Rhino on their journey.

Here you will also be able to choose accommodation from our map DAMARALAND. We recommend White Lady Lodge.

Day 11 Damaraland - Swakopmund

On your drive towards Uis, we would recommend a stop at the Brandberg Mountain. Brandberg Mountain is the highest point in Namibia. Here you will be able to see the “White Lady” rock painting.

From Brandberg you will be driving towards the coast, roughly 130 kilometers, where you will reach Henties Bay. From Henties you can turn north to visit Cape Cross which is 60 kilometers away. Here you will see the seal colony.

Once you had enough of them, you can turn back past Henties towards Swakopmund. The drive back is about 130 kilometres.

On arrival to Swakopmund we recommend you go and do your check in at your accommodation for your two nights, before you head out for a cold drink and a bite.

Swakopmund offers you a host of adventure activities. From sandboarding, quad biking, skydiving to a relaxed dolphin cruise in Walvisbay.

Activities could be booked beforehand, or one could book it on arrival in Swakopmund.

Swakopmund offers you great food and fantastic Beer!

Alte Brucke would be a great choice of accommodation. You can also see more places on our map WEST COAST.

Day 12 Swakopmund

Fun filled day. Swakopmund offers you a host of adventure activities:

  • Sandboarding down the Namib dunes
  • Guided tour into the dunes exploring the vast contras.
  • Skydiving
  • Camel ride
  • Quad-bike trip into the dunes
  • Scenic flights
  • You can also do the Welwitschia drive; you do however need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism office.
  • Dolphin Cruise in Walvis Bay

Activities could be booked beforehand, or one could book it on arrival in Swakopmund.

Swakopmund offers you great food and fantastic Beer!

Day 13 Swakopmund - Sossusvlei

As you leave Swakopmund towards Walvis Bay, you can explore the lagoon where you will able to view the pink flamingos.

Your drive will be around 350 kilometers for the day, which will take around 4-5 hours. You will drive through the Kuiseb & Gaub pass to reach Sossusvlei. The contras is spectacular.

We would recommend staying in Sossus Dune lodge. Advantage staying with them is, you are already in the park so with first light you can head down to the dunes.

There is a wide variety of other lodges to stay. Please see our map NAMIB NAULKUFT

Day 14 Sossusvlei

Wake up early and leave your lodge, heading for the Sesriem entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park. This gate only opens at sunrise, so there is no point arriving much earlier, but driving the 60 kilometres from Sesriem through the dunes towards Sossusvlei while the sun rises is a real pleasure. The first major dune you will encounter goes by the imaginative name of Dune 45 - many people choose to stop and climb this dune, but we suggest you continue onwards towards Sossusvlei. Park at the 2x4 car park (unless you have a 4x4 vehicle this is as far as you can drive), Sossusvlei is a further 4 kilometres from here, but you are already amongst fairly large dunes. The walk along the dry riverbed into Sossusvlei is lovely but for the very unfit or terminally lazy there are 4x4 shuttles from the car park to Sossusvlei. Deadvlei, so named because it is a large pan with sculptural dead trees, is close by and worth a visit. When you have had enough sand - head back to your vehicle (there really is no shame in taking the shuttle back - the sand is likely to be hot, and the walk less pleasant than the one in the cool of the morning.) On your way back to the lodge stop at the Sesriem Canyon - follow the signs from the Sesriem Campsite.

Day 15-16 Sossusvlei to Luderitz

Today you will be traveling south along the Namib Naukluft Park, with Luderitz as your destination in sight. It is a beautiful scenic drive down south.

You will reach a tar road at Aus. At Aus you can enjoy a light lunch and stretch the legs. From here you will drive westwards through the restricted Sperrgebiet (Diamond Area) Here your scenery will be empty plains with small dunes. At the end of the road, you will find the harbor town of Luderitz where you will be able to spend two nights.

Kolmanskop, the ghost town is definitely worth a visit. There are catamaran trips in the mornings from the harbor which will allow you to see Diaz Point, Cape Fur Seals, occasional penguin and Flamingos.

We would recommend Nest Hotel. If you prefer other accommodation, please see our map SPERRGEBIET and we will book accordingly.

Day 17 Luderitz - Fish River

Today you will head back towards Aus and then continue inland until turning south towards the Fish River Canyon. Often compared to America's Grand Canyon the Fish River is smaller but still impressive. The main lookout point is at Hobas. A view with a 1000 words.

We recommend Canyon Roadhouse for the night’s stay. Please see alternative accommodation on our map SOUTHERN NAMIBIA, and we will book accordingly.

Day 18 - 19 Fish River - Kalahari Desert

From the Fish River you will be driving northward via the town of Keetmanshoop. Not far from Keetmanshoop is the Quiver Tree Forest and the Giants Playground. Here you will find some 300 quiver trees.

From here you will travel to town of Mariental. Passing the town, you will turn right after 10 kilometers towards Stampriet and on the way you’ll find Kalahari Anib Lodge on your left.

Here you will be able to do you last guided sundowner in the magnificent Kalahari, where you will be surrounded by red dunes and savannah fields.

After such an intense travel a last day to relax or to explore the activities or to visit Stampriet, will be the best.

We recommend Kalahari Anib Lodge for the last 2 nights stay. Please see alternative accommodation on our map SOUTHERN KALAHARI, and we will book accordingly.

Day 20 Kalahari Desert - Windhoek

On the last day of the tour you head northwards back to Windhoek. Your route leads you through the town of Rehoboth before you finally arrive back in Windhoek.

Today we drive back to Windhoek. Enjoy your breakfast and the last part of Namibia’s open roads.  If you are not flying out today, we could recommend you accommodation, see our map WINDHOEK REGION, and book it for you.

Vehicles

We have a wide option of vehicles to rent on our site. We will also be able to advise you on the best possible vehicle for your tour, and to arrange the rental for you.

Terms & Conditions

Camping - starting from
N$ 4 500 per person
Lodging - starting from
N$ 27 500 per person
Tour Summary
Duration:
20 Days
Distance:
4584 km
Destinations:

Windhoek – Erongo – Etosha – Northern Namibia – - Damaraland – West Coast – Naukluft – Spergebiet – Southern Namibia – Southern Kalahari

Tour Request

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Camping from N$ 4 500 per person
Lodging from N$ 27 500 per person