28 days – customizable
those who have time and want to see the whole country, and want to experience places by spending more time at each destination
in a month's time you really get that unique feeling of being only a small individual, driving through far stretched landscapes on endless roads in one of the least dense countries in the world
by adding a few days to spend in the undisturbed nature of Namibia's far northwest
After your arrival you will spend a first night in Namibia’s capital Windhoek. This will give you the opportunity to acclimatize, walk through the city center and prepare for the next day. Leaving the city behind, the endless plains of the vast Kalahari Desert are the perfect welcome to Namibia. You drive through beautiful colored landscapes of red dunes covered by golden grass. Although the name Kalahari means “great thirst”, the region is popular with many animal species. Keep your eyes open for springbok, zebra and wildebeest during a sunset safari. And relax on top of a dune with a cool drink in your hand, while this semi-desert reveals its most beautiful colors. End the day while gazing upon the starry sky.
In Namibia's far south, you will encounter an amazing natural phenomenon: the Fish River Canyon. About 650 million years ago, plate movement formed a lowered area, along which the ancient Fish River could flow and eventually erode a flat plain, which is today's start of the canyon. Where the surface suddenly comes to an abrupt end, the ground drops for a vertiginous 500 meters. There, meandering between the high rocky walls, runs the 650 kilometers long Fish River that is on its way to the Orange River, the natural border with South Africa. From several viewpoints, you will have spectacular sights of the Canyon. At Ai-Ais you will find natural hot springs. If you favor a good hike we can plan a stay in a lodge offering guided hikes.
Driving towards the coast, the landscape turns into a ``deserted desert”. Take a stroll through the coastal harbor town Lüderitz: a quiet village with old German houses dating from 1900, and which experienced its most wealthy years during the diamond-rush between the world wars. A visit to the desolated ``ghost town`` Kolmanskop will certainly leave an impression: what once was a wealthy mine worker village with a casino, theatre, shops and villas, was taken over by nature soon after the town was abandoned. What is left is a bizarre sight, and a heaven for photographers.
Your journey continues north via one of Namibia's most scenic routes, along the Tiras mountains. A visit to Sossusvlei, of the oldest desert on Earth, is not to be missed in your self-drive adventure. Keep your camera close and take as many photos as possible. The landscape almost looks surreal! Sharp lines separating the intense red dunes, that surround an eye blinding white salt pan scattered with scorched black trees at Deadvlei. Climbing one of world’s highest dunes will be very rewarding, especially during an early sunrise or late sunset. Nature will show its most spectacular colors. A nature drive or a visit to Sesriem Canyon are definitely worthwhile if you want to explore a bit more of the surroundings.
Enjoy a nice sea breeze at the Atlantic Coast, while strolling around the coastal town of Swakopmund. This historical town has still a bit of the characteristics of a German seaside resort: apart from an ocean, beach and swaying palm trees, you will find this influence here and there and can enjoy a coffee with an “Apfelstrudel” or a “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte”. The surroundings of Swakopmund come with many possibilities for animal-lovers and for thrill seekers: meet seals and dolphins during a kayaking excursion or catamaran cruise, or join a guide into the dunes while driving quad bike or speeding down on a sandboard. Also, a ``Living desert tour`` is a great way to get more understanding of this special eco system and the miraculous ways in which life adapts to the harsh conditions of the desert climate.
Before heading back inland, make a stopover at the Cape Cross Seal Colony: you will see seals scattered along the coast for as far as you can see. On the way to beautiful Damaraland, soon the Brandberg rises from the dry savanna plains. The Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain with its 2606 m and is known for its ``White Lady``, a rock painting showing a white figure holding a drinking cup. The landscape of this region is scattered with giant boulders that hide the area’s main secret: the more than 2,500 rock engravings of Twyfelfontein. The San-people, hunter-gatherers and experts on living in the bush, used this rock art to inform their fellow tribe members on nearby water resources and possible predators. If you are lucky, you might bump into the largest inhabitants of the area, the mysterious desert elephants. These beautiful animals have remarkably adapted to the harsh conditions of the desert.
Kaokoland is also known as Namibia’s last wilderness and is home to the Himba people. Time and modern ways seem to pass by their traditions: many Himba people have an authentic, nomadic lifestyle where life is organized around cattle. A guided visit to a Himba settlement will give more insight in their way of life and traditions. After leaving Opuwo and heading north you reach the most northern destination, the Kunene river. The Kunene River, the natural border to Angola, comes with a pleasant surprise: the Epupa Falls. Enjoy and relax at the waterfront while enjoying the cheerful sounds of many birds. You will then drive back in a southern direction, staying the night at a Cheetah Farm, where you can have an unforgettable experience when seeing these beautiful cats from close by.
Finally, it is time to enter Etosha National Park and go on ‘safari’. You have seen already quite some animals; however Etosha National Park is home to many different species and a large number of them. It is an amazing experience to drive through these 22,270 square kilometers of protected nature, choosing from endless numbers of routes. To see as much of Etosha National Park as possible you will be staying at different lodges or campsites in and around the park. Have your binoculars ready and see if you can spot lions, cheetahs and maybe even leopards. In the late afternoon, settle down at one of the park’s waterholes and let the animals come to you: elephants, giraffes, zebras and antelopes will gather to relief themselves from thirst.
Leaving the animal world of Etosha National Park behind, you will continue to Grootfontein, where you can visit a traditional San-village. This is an unforgettable experience as you enter their intriguing and ancient hunter-gatherer culture and lifestyle.
Your last stop before returning to Windhoek is the Waterberg Plateau, a rock formation rising up from the surface to about 200 meters high. This national park lends itself for some nice hikes. Those who did not yet see enough animals can go on a game drive to find buffalos and white rhinos.
Your last stop before returning to Windhoek is the Waterberg Plateau, a rock formation rising up from the surface to about 400 meters high. This national park lends itself for some nice hikes. Those who did not yet see enough animals can go on a game drive to find buffalos and white rhinos.