USA & Canada
Antarctica & Arctic
Explore the mighty Namibia on your own terms.
Destinations > Namibia > Authentic Namibia Self Drive
Meals: Daily breakfast, and 6 dinners.
Accommodation: 10 nights’ accommodation.
Transportation: Meet and greet in Windhoek at Cullinan Namibia. Europcar Car Rental Category R - 4x2 SUV Toyota Corolla Cross or similar.
*Price is per person based on twin share. Please speak to our team or view our terms and conditions for more information
Daily, subject to availability
Namibia is a country of extremes that welcomes visitors to explore and discover its incredible desert adapted wildlife, understand ancient civilizations, astound at its landscapes set in big sky country. It is Africa’s home to a road trip that enthralls visitors around every corner, making the journey as well as the destination an epic memory making experience.
Back to Namibia Tours
Namibia is rich in cultural diversity, with various indigenous communities like the Herero, Himba and San people. Opportunities for activities to visit these communities are available in Damaraland and Okahandja.
Spending time learning about Namibia’s Living Desert whilst in Swakopmund.
Onguma Tented Camp, Ongava Lodge and Mowani Mountain Lodge are all located on conservancies that promote community-based conservation and sustainable tourism practices.
View All Days
Welcome to Namibia!
Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you will be met by an Adventure World Representative to talk you through your journey, make recommendations and tell you more about our concierge service. After this meeting, they will assist you to collect your rental vehicle, complete the formalities and you’re your way towards Windhoek. Your first foray onto Namibian soil will take you approximately 42km into the capital of Windhoek, a bustling metropolis with a distinctive German flavour. You then have the opportunity to get a few supplies at the local supermarket and continue North to Waterberg.
The plateau reaches heights up to 656 feet (200 m). The Waterberg wilderness is a green oasis in the Kalahari region. The wooded and diverse vegetation and remoteness of the park make this a wildlife haven. Acacia bushes, evergreen trees, broad-leafed wooded areas, and grasslands create an ecosystem that enables a series of threatened species to survive and even thrive. Some of the most popular species include the black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, giraffe, oryx, kudu, roan antelope, sable antelope, and a series of other smaller antelope. Some of the predator species include leopard, hyena, cheetah, and wild dog. Cape vultures and Verreaux’s Eagles are two of the highlights of over 200 species of birds found nesting or migrating through the park’s borders.
Once you have checked into your lodge, you can join the Rhino Drive which departs at 16:00 and spending some 2-3 hours in the Kalahari bush savannah looking for the elusive Black Rhino. (At own cost).
Once you are back at the lodge, you have time to refresh in your room before heading to the dining room for a hearty dinner and then a good night’s rest is in order. (D)
After a relaxed breakfast, you travel to the East of Etosha National Park. You may opt to visit the Hoba Meteorite en-route to Etosha National Park, situated in the vicinity of Grootfontein. It has been uncovered, but because of its large mass, has never been moved from where it fell. The main mass is estimated at more than 60 tonnes. It is the largest known intact meteorite (as a single piece) and about twice as massive as the largest fragment of either the Cape York meteorite's 31-tonne Ahnighito kept in Manhattan or the Campo del Cielo's 31-tonne Gancedo in Argentina. It is also the most massive naturally occurring piece of iron (actually ferronickel) known on Earth's surface. The name "Hoba" comes from a Khoekhoegowab word meaning "gift". Following donation to the government in 1987, a visitor centre was constructed with a circular stone access and seating area.
On arrival at the lodge, you may take the option to enter Etosha National Park at your own leisure or enjoy the lodge and the serenity it has to offer. Onguma offers a Sundowner Drive on their reserve. The Reserve boasts over thirty different animal species. Plains game roam freely on the Reserve and predators although not always easy to spot, are nevertheless common residents of the area. Lions and Cheetahs are frequently seen and often heard. There is a healthy black rhino and leopard population, and hyenas are also often seen and heard. (B)(D)
On your second day at this lodge, you can opt to go to the Etosha National Park with the lodge or you head into Etosha at your own pace.
It is claimed that game viewing is best during the dry spells as animals will then congregate closer to water. But even in the rainy season the park remains an abundant wildlife haven. You then have the pleasure of experiencing the rebirth of life as the young foals, cubs and chicks are seen frolicking with their parents and the sprouting new green shrubs and grasses create a pleasing green oasis. (Activities at own cost) (B)(D)
After a relaxed breakfast, you travel to the South of Etosha National Park. Once you have reached your lodge located just outside of the National Park, you can either relax at your lodge or head onto a safari into the National Park in your touring vehicle. Explore the various waterholes located close to Okaukuejo and the Andersons gate. (B)(L)(D)
You may encounter animal species we have not seen before and look forward to any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. The Etosha Pan dominates the park. This salt pan desert, which is nearly completely enclosed by the park and is lined by numerous watering holes, is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places. During Etosha’s notorious dry spells the pan is a deathly place, lying parched and cracked under the molten African sun. (B)(L)(D)
Today you travel to Damaraland. Twyfelfontein, which translates to “doubtful fountain” or “Fountain of Doubt” is the name of a valley in the Damara highland about 70 km west of Khorixas. The valley was inhabited by the Damara, who call the valley Uri-Ais (jumping fountain) in their language.
In 1947 white farmers settled in the valley, but the fountain was unreliable and had little water. The farms were abandoned by the white settlers due to the Odendaal plan in 1964, where the local population of Namibia was relocated in "Homelands".
In the heat, dust, and stunning landscapes of Damaraland, lies a sanctuary - Mowani Mountain Camp. Dwarfed by massive ochre boulders, the camp is absorbed into the landscape, making it one with the shared history of life in this prehistoric land. Every soft curve or ragged edge frames the landscape in a different way, as if seeing it for the first time, every time. Game drives along ancient dry riverbeds reveal life that in its sparseness reminds us just how special it is. Rare, desert dwelling elephants, springbok, gemsbok, and jackal roam these plains, while their images are found etched in the rocks at Twyfelfontein, Namibia's first World Heritage Site. Relax in thea sparkling pool, enjoy a sundowner, and pause, breathe in and know that this is luxury as nature intended it.
(Activities at own cost) (B)(L)(D)
After breakfast and a good night’s rest the journey continues, this time towards the cold Atlantic coast, and Namibia’s premier holiday town, Swakopmund.
You head towards Henties Bay and have time to explore this quant town before continuing to Swakopmund, the drive of only around 50km is quite surreal, with the cold Atlantic glimmering from inky black to all shades of blue to your right and the tall Namib dunes to your left of the road. Notice the almost camel-coloured dunes differ from those of Sossusvlei, yet it is still considered part of the oldest desert in the world.
With its palm-lined streets and seaside promenade Swakopmund rates as Namibia’s most popular seaside destination. The town acts as a base for many and varied activities ranging from quad biking in the Namib, to sand boarding and even desert tours. An enjoyable pastime is to do what the locals do and 16:00 Kaffee-Kuchen is taken very seriously. It offers an excellent opportunity to take a mid-afternoon break for a coffee and slice of baked cheesecake, or decadent Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, right from the heart of the Motherland.
Swakopmund also features a host of excellent restaurants, and the seafood is of course fantastic. However, never far away is typically German fare, sushi, and seafood as is the norm in this part, or if we can secure a space at The Tug, an eclectic menu at the restaurant that happens to boast the best view in Namibia – over the age-old jetty where you can watch the fog roll in for the night.
Don’t be surprised waking up in the morning to the desert fog covering the town but soon this should be burnt off to showcase the town in all its beauty. You will be picked up at your hotel around 08:00/08:30.
This Desert Day Tour takes you past the Moon Landscape, through the Swakopmund River Valley, and into the Welwitschia Plains.
Over Millions of years water flow contributed to the formation of the lunar-like landscape called the Moon Valley. According to Geologists, the group of hills was pushed through the earth's surface about 500 million years ago and eroded by the Swakop River into an otherworldly landscape ever since. This valley is rich in biodiversity and is a photographer's haven.
This tour follows the Swakop River under huge Acacias and Ana trees lined by Salvadora shrubs along the riverbanks. This linear oasis where water flows beneath the dry surface sand provides an oasis for several bird species and desert-adapted animals. Once on the plain the most notable feature of this area is the presence of the high concentrations of Welwitschia Plants (Welwitschia mirabilis) in the area. Not only is the Welwitschia endemic to the Namib Desert but it is also taxonomically very distinct, being the only representative in its family, and only one of three species in the order Gnetales. (B)
We’re heading for the red dunes of Namib Desert and recommend a departure shortly after breakfast. You will continue along stretches of grassy plains interspersed with huge mountain ranges to the area of Sossusvlei. The lodge is conveniently situated right at the entrance to Sesriem. Arrival in the afternoon.
Situated at the Entrance Gate to the Namib Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei Lodge offers direct access to the towering red sand dunes, the famous pan of Sossusvlei, the scorched black trees of Dead Vlei and the remarkable depths of the Sesriem Canyon. The Superior Accommodation units at Sossusvlei Lodge feature a patio to enjoy views over the Desert landscapes, a spacious air-conditioned twin-bedded room, and a full en-suite bathroom.
Experience the true art of Hospitality with the thoughtful touch of attentive staff to contribute to a truly memorable experience. Facilities include a sparkling pool, bar, sundowner deck, beer garden and an al fresco terrace where one can enjoy exquisite food, award-winning wines, and magnificent views of the floodlit waterhole.
The Sossusvlei Lodge Adventure Centre provides a range of activities including Guided Excursions to Deadvlei and Sossusvlei, Elim dune walks, Sundowner Trips, Hot Air Ballooning, Scenic Flights and much more to explore the area's natural beauty. (B)(D)
Today requires an early rise to make the most of the day. The gates open at sunrise and as you make your way towards the heart of Sossusvlei, notice how the dunes change colour ranging from black to ochre to apricot. Sossusvlei is known for the highest dunes in the world, and you will also have the opportunity to climb some of these with names such as Dune 45 or Big Daddy. The walk into the Dead Vlei is approximately 1,1km but well worth the effort as the memory of this will remain. En-route back to the gate, you may wish to call at the Sesriem Canyon, a 30-meter-deep gauge eroded into the desert floor by the forces of the mighty Tsauchab River. Return to the lodge for a relaxing afternoon and respite from the heat.
Your first stop is at the Deadvlei. Deadvlei is a clay pan characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor. The pan was formed when the Tsauchab River flooded, and the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. However, the climate changed, and the sand dunes encroached on the pan, blocking the river from reaching the area. The trees are estimated to be approximately 900 years old, however they have not decomposed due to the dry climate.
Deadvlei is a paradise for photographers as the contrast between the pitch-black trees and bleached-white pans, and the rusty-red dunes and deep blue sky make for incredible images. Deadvlei is at least 1km walk from the parking lot so be sure to take drinking water with you.
After your visit to Deadvlei, proceed further with shuttle to the Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei literally translates to "dead-end marsh", as it is the place where the dunes come together preventing the Tsauchab Rive to flow any further, some 60km east from the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the dry conditions in the Namib desert, the river seldom flows this far, and the pan remains bone-dry most of the years. During an exceptional rainy season, the Tsauchab fills the pan, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Tip: Visit Deadvlei and Sossusvlei in the early morning so that you can leave the vlei before the heat of the heat of the day prior to 10.00. Early mornings the dunes of the Sossusvlei shows off the wonderful colours of red and orange.
Return to your car via the shuttle and return to the Sesriem gate. En route have a stop at Dune 45, which is a star dune in the Sossusvlei area of the Namib Desert in Namibia. Its name comes from the fact that it is at the 45th kilometer of the road that connects the Sesriem gate and Sossusvlei.
Your last stop on this wonderful journey is the Sesriem Canyon. The canyon’s birth dates back between two and four million years, when continental upheaval resulted in the creation of most of the westward flowing rivers in the Namib Desert region. Today the Tsauchab River only runs after good rains fall in the nearby Naukluft Mountains, but the canyon is a testament to the river’s long-past prime some 15- 18 million years ago when the gorge was created by the river’s once sweeping movement. The canyon is up to 30 metres deep at points and is roughly about 1km long- with a width that ranges between one and three metres wide, flattening out as it approaches the iconic Sossusvlei. The name Sesriem is derived from the Dutch/Afrikaans words for “six (zes) belts (riem)” and was given to the settlement by explorers returning from the Dorsland Treks. “Six belt” is a reference to the six belts, usually made of Oryx hide, that a thirsty settler would have to tie together to reach down into the deep hollows in the canyon floor to extract the crystal clear cool underground water which collects under the canyon’s floor.
Return to the Lodge where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
The journey will take you via Okahandja, home of the Herero people in Namibia. Here you may want to pause at the wood carvers’ market to view some of the artefacts that are sold here and comes across Namibia, even as far as the Caprivi. Not only the military has an important base here in Okahandja. The location just off the main road that connects Namibia's capital with the north of the country, attracts all kinds of businesses to the area. Numerous industrial buildings are hidden behind the tracks, which provide jobs for the residents but also attract skilled workers from all over the country.
Okahandja is the hometown of the Herero people as indicated. The stately Herero ladies often wear their long, colorful dresses with matching headdresses, said to be inspired by the German colonial women of the time. Somehow Okahandja seems caught in a time warp between a modern world and a sleepy town and instead of lingering, you press on towards Windhoek.
Proceed through Windhoek and then onward to the Windhoek International Airport. (B)
View the Terms & Conditions
Conserving for Future Generations
September 05, 2023
Food: A way to the heart of a culture
August 11, 2023
Celebrating International Women's Day
March 08, 2023