Namibia road trip is exciting with its adventurous itinerary for travellers. Windows down, our favourite tunes on, wind flowing by means of our hair and the epic Namib panorama rolling out before our eyes; this was the most excited we would feel on our travels. We felt free, invigorated, barely uneasy and stupidly completely happy.
Namibia road trip itinerary
Namibia’s huge, otherworldly, desolate, and infinite landscapes could appear the antithesis of a superhighway journey, but we discovered it to be probably the most stunning international location on the planet.
The mountainous pink/orange dunes of Sossusvlei, the stark and threatening Skeleton Coast, the moonscapes of Spitzkoppe, the unbelievable wildlife viewing in Etosha, the deep valleys of Fish River Canyon, the infinite starry skies, the pleasant locals, and significantly scrumptious meals in the Namibia road trip itinerary.
Then there are the sunsets. Each evening, the African skylights as much as present probably the most vibrant finish of the day, which coupled with a sundowner, could have you feeling as content material as you will ever be.
As Namibia has long been a highway journey vacation spot, the sealed roads are wonderful and gravel roads well-managed. Namibia can also be dwelling among the biggest campsites you will ever witness (taking a look at you Etosha).
Yep, Namibia is the right place for a highway journey, and our 10-day Namibia self-drive itinerary is the easiest way to discover all this nation has to supply.
After beginning our personal Namibia self-drive journey, we quickly realised that we would utterly underestimate the size and distances between every vacation spot – Namibia is Massive.
The driving circumstances will be robust, unforgiving and prolonged, and in the event, you do not plan your journey effectively, you possibly can find yourself losing numerous times.
That is why we put collectively this Namibia highway journey itinerary so as to be taught from our errors and luxuriate in a highway journey by means of Namibia without lacking out on all of the unbelievable issues to see and do.
We have chosen this anti-clockwise route as we imagine it is the perfect and best to get probably the most out of your Namibian highway journey in the name of the Namibia road trip itinerary.
Beginning and ending in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, the route takes you to the wildlife haven of Etosha Nationwide Park, earlier than shifting south in direction of the moonscapes of Spitzkoppe, probably the most distinctive rock formations on this planet.
From Spitzkoppe, the route heads to the adrenalin capital of Africa, Swakopmund, by way of the smelly but distinctive Cape Cross Seal Colony.
After the highs of Swakopmund, head to even greater surroundings in Sossusvlei, dwelling to the well-known pink sand dunes.
The ultimate cease is the second largest canyon on this planet, Fish River Canyon, earlier than heading again to Windhoek.
All in all, our Namibia self-drive itinerary is 10 nights and is predicated on having your personal 4×4 or renting automotive with the tenting gear in the Namibia road trip itinerary.
You may obtain our Namibia self-drive itinerary map here. You can even save the map to your cellphone to be used in offline mode.
Namibia Self-drive Itinerary | Day By Day
1. Windhoek | 1 Night
Your unbelievable Namibian highway journey will probably begin in Windhoek.
Relying on once you arrive, we advocate it’s best to spend an evening getting relaxation earlier than you begin your Namibian highway journey.
When selecting your 4×4 camper, run means of a full briefing together with your rental firm to be sure you’re absolutely conscious of your automobile – the very last thing you need is to be caught in the course of the desert without figuring out methods to repair that blown tyre.
We extremely advocate selecting your entire provides for the following ten days, together with meals and necessary highway journey snacks, further water bottles, and a highway map of Namibia in Windhoek, as supermarkets, will be few and between on the highway through Namibia road trip itinerary.
There are a variety of huge supermarkets in Windhoek, however, we advocate procuring at Choose n Pay, Checkers or Shoprite.
Regardless of being an enjoyable little metropolis, there’s not an enormous quantity to see and do in Windhoek.
If you happen to acquire time, try Christuskirche, the gingerbread fashion church in the centre of the city, or visit the native craft markets.
An ideal place to remain is City Camp. Centrally positioned with snug tenting grounds, its acquired massive shady timber, wi-fi web, good loos and a glowing pool through a Namibia road trip itinerary.
The place to remain in Windhoek | Urban Camp, Windhoek
Lodging prices | Campsite N$170 per particular person
Automotive rental | Book your car rentals through rentalcars.com
2. Windhoek – Etosha | 2 Nights
The wildlife Eden of Etosha National Park is, without a doubt, one of the nice safari locations in Africa.
In contrast to many African safari areas, Etosha is semi-arid, with many waterholes scattered by means of the park promising some epic sports viewing of the endangered black rhino, lions, elephants, giraffes, antelope, springbok, zebra, wildebeest.
Etosha Nationwide Park is around a 4-5 hour drive from Windhoek and pretty simple to navigate (compared to the remainder of Namibia).
We advocate staying in one of many of the Park’s most important campsites – Okaukuejo and Halali are two nice choices, with Halali having a formidable wildlife viewing platform over the Moringa waterhole.
You need to guide prematurely because the campsites fill shortly, particularly throughout the college holidays in Namibia road trip itinerary.
If you happen to employ your personal 4×4, you may have the choice of a self-drive safari in Etosha.
There are a lot of professionals and cons to this; the liberty afforded to drive the place you want (on the tracks, in fact), and never having to take care of others jostling for photographs being two professionals; however you might get misplaced, and also you definitely will not have the know-all of area information.
Recognizing animals will be onerous and largely right down to luck, however, use your instinct and comply with any group of safari jeeps or autos heading in a sure path, as they may have the within phrase on a gaggle of animals!
You need to spend your evenings and mornings out on safari – it is when wildlife viewing is at it is best and you can spot that elusive massive 5!
In the course of the day, when the noon solar is at it is most ferocious, sit again and calm down within the shade or by the pool.
If you happen to after extra data on Etosha Nationwide Park, this is an awesome in-depth guide.
Distance | 415kms from Windhoek to Etosha Nationwide Park
Drive time | 4 – 5 hours
The right way to get there | Use this map to get from Windhoek to Etosha Nationwide Park
The place to remain in Etosha Nationwide Park | Okaukuejo camp, Halali camp
Lodging prices | N$200, plus a per particular person price of N$110
Park charges | N$80 per grownup, per day, + N$10 per automobile per day
3. Etosha – Spitzkoppe | 1 Night
Proper within the coronary heart of Namibia lies Damaraland, dwelling to the towering granite mountains of Spitzkoppe by the name of Namibia road trip itinerary.
It will take around 6hrs to get from Etosha to Spitzkoppe, alongside some very lengthy and infrequently dusty roads, however, believe us, it completely values it.
Nicknamed the ‘Matterhorn of Africa’ on account of its dramatic form, Spitzkoppe is all that continues to be of a 700 million-year-old historical volcano.
It is barely off the vacationer monitor and one in every one of our favourite locations to go to in Namibia.
There is a heap to do inside Spitzkoppe, resembling climbing and exploring the distinctive panorama, together with imposing boulders, historical caves, and desert plains, or do what we did – hang around on the Rock Archway and snap some epic photographs.
Watch the sundown gently up the granite boulders with streaks of pink and orange, earlier than retiring to your campsite to prepare dinner up a campfire feast beneath the endlessly starry Namibian sky. It is mainly all of your desert goals rolled into one.
There are many campsites throughout the park, however, we advocate staying close to the pure arch because the campsites are stunning and effectively protected.
For these, after a heat bathes and flush bathrooms, the campsite close to reception is your finest wager.
Distance| 420kms from Etosha National Park to Spitzkoppe
Drive time| 6 hours
Every campsite has primary amenities, together with a restroom and braai/barbeque.
Park charges | Tenting and park charges are N$165pp per evening
4. Spitzkoppe To Swakopmund Via Cape Cross Seal Colony | 2 Nights
The famed Skeleton Coast is the following cease in your Namibia highway journey itinerary.
First cease after leaving Sptizkoppe is Cape Cross, a website well-known for 2 causes: seals, and Portuguese exploration.
That is the world’s largest breeding colony of Cape fur seals, who flock right here to mate and benefit from the wealthy provide of fish within the currents.
With 100,000 wriggling shapes over the sand, it is an unbelievable website to see, however, the odour is maybe the worst we have ever encountered.
It was additionally at this headland that celebrated Portuguese explorer Diogo Câo landed on the Namibian shoreline in 1486 and established his nation’s declaration to the territory by erecting a stone pillar topped with a cross known as a padrâo. It values a glance, and that is about all.
One your option to Swakopmund you will move a visual shipwreck, the Zeila, 14kms south of Henties Bay.
It is value a cease – simply thoughts the various touts within the space and hold a detailed eye in your automobile.
Swakopmund is a former German colonial city on the coast of Namibia, and upon arrival, it feels as if you’re stepping straight into Germany; the structure, language, and meals all mirror its colonial historical past.
However, Swakopmund is now well-known for one thing totally different. Journey. And if it’s the journey you search, Swakopmund is your final paradise.
Relying upon your fancy, you possibly can skydive over the Namib desert, sandboard down the dunes, take pleasure in 4-wheel sand adventures by quad bike and 4×4, or float on the breeze by paragliding down Swakop’s large sand dunes.
If you happen to search for barely much less heart-racing experiences, there are additionally fishing expeditions, scenic flights, dolphin and seal catamaran cruises, and dwelling desert excursions to take pleasure in.
Swakopmund additionally has a stupendous foreshore space to stroll, in addition to the Swakopmund Jetty, which is a superb place to observe the African solar set into the Atlantic Ocean.
We advocate consuming at one of many conventional German pubs within the city – our favourite was Kücki’s Pub, which serves conventional German meals with a Namibian twist.
It additionally serves nice beer on the faucet together with Windhoek Lager and Hansa.
Distance | 165kms from Spitzkoppe to Cape Cross seal colony – 130kms from Cape Cross Seal Colony to Swakopmund
Drive time | 4.15 hours in the whole
The right way to get to Swakopmund | Use this map to get from Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund by way of Cape Cross
The place to remain in Swakopmund | Guide Skeleton Seaside Backpackers
Lodging prices | Tenting: N$120 per particular person to camp. Dorm: N$170 per particular person, per evening
Advisable excursions | There are a heap of excursions based mostly in Swakopmund – top-of-the-line is the Swakopmund self-drive Namib desert journey tour
5. Swakopmund to Sossusvlei | 2 Night
The spotlight of any Namibia highway journey is definitely the pink desert dunes of Sossusvlei. Certainly, there aren’t many locations on earth that boast a panorama fairly as particular as this one contained in the Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park.
Few phrases can describe the way it feels as you stand earlier than a towering orange sand dune stretching some 300m in direction of the brilliant blue sky, stroll amongst 900-year-old fossilised Acacia timber within the huge white clay pan of Deadvlei, or contact the shifting sands of the world’s oldest desert, the Namib.
We are able to stress sufficiently how unbelievable this place is.
We had been gobsmacked as we stepped over the lip of a dune and laid eyes on Deadvlei for the primary time.
It’s utterly surreal to see and we actually advocate taking the time to soak all of it in.
The drive from Swakopmund to Sossusvlei is unbelievable in itself, passing by means of the Kuiseb Cross, one of many highest roads in Namibia.
It is upright here you could really recognize the dimensions and panorama of Namibia.
Midway to Sossusvlei is the Tropic of Capricorn, which makes for an awesome picture cease.
You must also cease at Solitaire, a small settlement with an unusual edge and the perfect apple pie in all of Namibia!
Upon arrival into Sossusvlei, we advocate establishing camp and heading straight into the nationwide park and Deadvlei for late afternoon and sundown.
From the park gates, it is a couple of 60km drive alongside a tarred highway to achieve a 2-wheel-drive parking space.
From right here, you possibly can choose the Nationwide Parks 4×4 which is able to take you to Deadvlei and the extra in-style dunes.
The perfect time to see the fantastic dunes is throughout dawn when the sunshine coming from the east paints them in vivid black and orange contrasts.
Get your train in by climbing probably the most accessible, Dune 45 for dawn – be warned although, it is completely taxing so take some water.
Distance | 350kms
Drive time | 5 – 6 hours
The right way to get to Sossusvlei | Use this map to get from Sossusvlei to Sesriem
The place to remain in Sossusvlei | If you happen to the tent, Sesriem Camp, positioned contained in the park grounds, is a superb possibility.
Not solely is it an inexpensive different to the lodge exterior to the park, but you’ll even be contained in the park and in a position to journey contained in the park at your will; good for photographers aiming to seize the late sundown, or star scapes, or these making an attempt to keep away from the crowds.
Alternatively, you possibly can keep it at the Sossus Oasis campsite exterior of the grounds.
Lodging prices | N$220 – 240 per campsite
Park charges | N$80 per particular person, per day for non-SADC guests, obtained on the park workplace simply contained in the gates.
Accessing Sossusvlei | Sossusvlei is positioned throughout the Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park and as such, you require a allow to enter.
Please remember that in case you are not staying throughout the designated park boundaries, you possibly can solely enter the park between dawn and sundown.
If you happen to head in for dawn, be sure that get you to allow the day before.
6. Sossusvlei To Fish River Canyon | 1 Night
In all probability, the toughest, most gruelling part of this Namibia highway journey itinerary is getting from Sossusvlei to Hobas, the principal entry level for Fish River Canyon – the roads are lengthy, dusty, and in elements treacherous.
It is the right alternative to show up to the music, get the snacks prepared, and settle in for an old-school highway journey.
However, when you’re standing on the lip of Fish River Canyon, you will know it is all been valued it.
Fish River Canyon is 500 million years previous, 160km lengthy, 27km broad and as much as 550 metres deep in elements.
The jagged canyon is the second largest on this planet, after the Grand Canyon, and is assured to make you are feeling tiny in the very best method.
With views over Hell’s Nook (a pointy bend within the Fish River under) the Fish River Canyon viewpoint might be the perfect place to snap your finest pictures, although it’s undoubtedly valued exploring the rocky outcrops to both aspects of it to get a really feel for the sheer scale.
Given the time and distance to go fishing in River Canyon, attempt to spend as a lot of time across the Canyon edge as potential, together with the sundown which is an unbelievable Namibia road trip itinerary.
If you happen to be there in direction of the top of summertime, you may additionally be fortunate sufficient to catch sight of the Fish River as heavy moist season rainfall transforms from a collection of slim interconnecting swimming pools on the canyon ground right into a raging flash flood.
We advocate staying on the most important campsite, known as Hobas. There’s even a pool to chill off in after a protracted day’s drive.
Distance | 532kms
Drive time | eight hours
The right way to get to Fish River Canyon | Use this map to get from Sesriem to Hobas, Fish River Canyon
The place to remain in Fish River Canyon | Hobas Camp
Lodging prices | N$190 – 210 per evening, relying on the season
Park charges| N$80 per particular person, N$10 per automobile
7. Fish River Canyon to Windhoek | 1 Night
Earlier than the long drive again to Windhoek and the top of your unbelievable Namibia highway journey, head to Kooigoedhoogte Cross throughout the nationwide park for one more unbelievable view of Fish River Canyon through the Namibia road trip itinerary.
Then, seize yourself an ice cream and settle in for the lengthy drive again to Windhoek. When you hit the B1 highway close to Grunau, it is one straight, tarred highway again to the capital, Windhoek.
Drive time | 6 – 7 hours
The right way to get to Windhoek | Use this map to get from Hobas campsite to Windhoek
The place to remain in Windhoek | City Camp, Windhoek
Lodging prices | Campsite N$170 per particular person
Kolmanskop is an eerie ghost city lengthy deserted by time and slowly sinking again into the sand of the Namib desert.
Go away from the sand dunes and desert air behind and head up north to the slim strip of land generally known as the Caprivi, the place the panorama adjustments drastically to grow to be fertile floodplains and plush countryside.
Tips on Namibia Road Trip
We have put collectively a ‘driving in Namibia’ publish which could have all the knowledge you want earlier than heading off on your self-drive journey. However, listed here are just a few details.
No matter whether or not you are self-driving or on a tour, it is crucial you get journey insurance coverage for any journey in Namibia.
The distances are huge, the danger of breaking down, accident or harm is nice, and let’s not overlook that we’re speaking about travelling by means of a freaking dessert right here by the name of Namibia road trip itinerary!
We advocate organising complete journey insurance coverage by means of World Nomads earlier than you go.
If you happen to plan on driving to Namibia, we’d counsel utilizing a 4×4 or AWD.
Whereas the community of roads is in-depth and wonderful, there will probably be occasions it is advisable to drive off-road, or at the very least alongside grime roads.
Take it from us, this generally is hair-raising expertise and one made higher with extra applicable automotive.
There are a lot of 4×4/automotive rent companies, nonetheless, we actually don’t advocate utilizing Bidvest, as we had many points with our automotive rental.
*2020 Replace | We now advocate hiring your car via rentalcars.com – they’re the world’s largest online automotive rental service with a worth match assurance and free cancellations
Essential observation: We employed an automotive in Cape City and drove it to Windhoek. We had been hit with a ridiculously massive ‘cross-border’ cost which we weren’t made conscious of earlier than hiring.
If you happen to plan on hiring an automotive, we advocate not crossing borders – it’ll value you in the name of the Namibia road trip itinerary!
Licence needed for hiring a car
The driving licence necessities in Namibia state that you need to have a full driving licence that’s legitimate in your nation of residence.
A world driver’s licence can also be required in case your driving licence isn’t in English
The driving force has to be 23 years of age and has held their licence for not less than 1 yr relying on the provider.
Some suppliers may require you to be over 25 and can cost these between 21-25 an extra insurance coverage price.
It’s necessary you take into account the sheer measurement of the nation; it’s enormous.
As a result of its measurement, the gap between cities will be appreciable; our rule of thumb was to refill with the gas each time we noticed a petroleum station.
Petrol will be costly, particularly in rural areas.
If you happen to plan on going off-highway, it is advisable to take precautions; embody further water, meals and gas in your boot.
Expenses in Namibia tour
Namibia is an inexpensive self-drive vacation spot. The Namibian greenback is pegged to the South African Rand, which up to now few years has suffered a pointy decline.
If you happen to be self-driving, the prices you really want to account for are gas, campsite charges, nationwide park charges, meals and snacks.
We imagine that is probably the most inexpensive option to journey inside Namibia.
4×4 HIRE | Ranging from N$800 per day ($65 USD)
PETROL | Round N$12 per litre ($1 USD)
CAMPSITES | From N$150 – $250 per evening ($10 – $20 USD)
The price of meals does depend upon every city, so we recommend you seize all of the important provides in Windhoek in Namibia’s road trip itinerary.
ATMs/Banks will be present in nearly every city, though it pays to have onerous forex, particularly if travelling into the far reaches of the nation. Watch out when utilizing your bank card as fraud in this part of the world is widespread.
Cellphone reception is widespread and fairly good all through the nation. There have been only some occasions the place we had been without reception, and this tended to be once we had been travelling in tremendously distant areas. 4G reception is accessible in most important cities, whereas 3G is commonest.
The web is accessible in nearly every city in Namibia, as is wi-fi. Nearly all lodging we visited supplied wi-fi; simply don’t anticipate super-fast speeds!
We used our Lonely Planet Southern Africa information religiously on this journey and advocate you buy and browse one earlier than travelling.
Namibia Road Trip Itinerary
The following Namibia road trip itinerary can be useful for the traveller:
- Okahandja (north of Windhoek) – 2 nights.
- Okonjima Nature Reserve – 1 night.
- Etosha National Park (outside park) – 2 nights.
- Etosha National Park (inside the park) – 1 night.
- Damaraland – 2 nights.
- Swakopmund – 3 nights.
- Sossusvlei – 3 nights.
- Windhoek – 1 night.
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