The Ultimate Namibia Itinerary: A Self-Drive Adventure Across the Land of the Brave

The Ultimate Namibia Itinerary: A Self-Drive Adventure Across the Land of the Brave

Take a road trip from Namibia’s capital, across vast, sandy deserts to glistening shores and wildlife-filled parks. This itinerary puts you in the driver’s seat. Buckle up; it’s going to be a great ride. We’ve got affiliate links to our experiential friends at Nemo Travel throughout this article in case you feel inspired to book your trip.

a name literally translating as “vast place”, it’s
unsurprising that Namibia is one of the world’s least crowded
destinations with less than three people per square kilometre. With
you in the driver’s seat, this itinerary takes you from the
country’s capital, through rolling sand dunes, desert realms and
gaping canyons. Long stretches of open road ensures a trip as
diverse as it is rewarding. Choose your own pace, stop-offs and
timings, looping south through wilderness, coasting along
glistening shorelines and off-road driving through expansive
national parks.

Days 1-2:


Fly directly into Windhoek for a couple of days in Namibia’s
capital. Check in at The Olive Exclusive, a tranquil boutique hotel
just outside of the city centre, where you’ll enjoy a king-size
bed, freestanding bathtub and a private viewing deck and plunge
pool. Relax with a massage at a nearby spa before collecting your
car for the next two weeks. The next day, tour the city, stopping
by the Namibia Craft Centre, the Independence Memorial Museum and
the Katutura township to learn about the history and local culture
of Windhoek.

Days 2-4:


Post tour, depart for your first road trip of the holiday. Drive
south west through sprawling wilderness into the depths of the
Namib Desert to Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, where you’ll cool off in
the pool as the sun sets behind the dunes. Come morning, drive out
to Sesriem Canyon to hike up ridges and clamber across cliffs
before testing your mettle in an afternoon spent speeding across
the sands on an off-road buggy or sandboard. Reward your efforts
with a sundowner on the dunes, sipping an ice-cold beer while
soaking up the views. On your last day in Sossusvlei, wake before
sunrise for a hot-air balloon ride across the barren landscape,
gliding over the desert as the sands change colour in the morning

Days 4-6:


Clamber into your car to embark on a five-hour drive north to
Swakopmund. En route, stop at the sleepy town of Solitaire, located
at the edge of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, and do keep your
eyes peeled for abandoned cars overgrown with spiky cacti – the
wrecks were left here by the first settlers in the 40s. On arrival
in Swakopmund, dine out – the city is renowned for its food. Try
The Tug for locally sourced cuisine (we recommend the
oysters, harvested in the waters of nearby Walvis Bay).

Retire to hotel Pelican Point, a colonial lighthouse originally
built to watch over ships on the notorious Skeleton Coast. Now a
boutique hotel, it has rooms with sweeping views of sand dunes
running down to the ocean – dolphins, seals and whales can often be
spotted from windows. The next morning, wake for a tour of the
rugged Sandwich Harbour, part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
Nature lover? Try kayaking with the seal colonies of Walvis Bay or
unleash your inner Attenborough as you explore the species living
in the desert.

Days 6-8:


Drive through arid landscapes and deep valleys to arrive at your
next destination. In the shadow of the Brandberg Mountain (the
largest in the country), Sorris Sorris Lodge is the best place for
epic views and ultimate isolation. Viewing platforms and decks are
perfect for stargazing, while the idyllic pool is a must for a
cooling paddle after a day spent exploring.

Spend the rest of your time going on nature walks and drives
through the landscape – elephants, giraffes, oryx and lions that
live here have adapted for desert life, and while spotting them is
harder than at other national parks, these special animals are
worth the wait. Delve further into the rocky ridges to find ancient
caves filled with art made by the San Bushmen.

Days 8-10:

Etosha National Park

Beyond the mountains and across the arid deserts, Etosha
National Park provides a more typical safari experience. Arrive at
Little Ongava to find spacious rooms with private plunge pools,
perfect for a refreshing dip after a five-hour drive. Time here
should be divided up between guided sunrise walks for picnics from
vantage points throughout the park and game drives, on which guides
will take you to crowded waterholes brimming with thirsty animals
and incredible wildlife.

The Lowdown

We’ve teamed up with Nemo Travel to help
make experiences bookable. They’re a luxury travel company which
brings together insider advice with innovative technology. Catering
to the modern traveller, its unique itinerary builder gives you the
power to design a bespoke trip at a price that suits you. We’re
thrilled to be partnering with them to bring you the best in
experiential travel at the click of a button.