A north and south self-drive itinerary which takes in the 6 very diverse regions of Namibia offering huge contrast in scenery.
Beginning in Windhoek, you will spend a night recuperating from your flight before taking the drive south towards the Kalahari Desert. In contrast to the swirling red dunes of the Namib which you will see next, the Kalahari Desert is actually a fossil desert, its less arid than a true desert, thanks to higher levels of rainfall, encouraging a variety of wildlife to call it home. The landscape is of golden grass and small red dunes and Namibia's highest concentration of the very photographic Quivertrees.
Desert-adapted animals such as meerkats, gemsbok, a large number of the antelope family, giraffe, warthog and the black-maned Kalahari lion are present and can be seen on morning and afternoon game drives. The Kalahari Desert is inhabited by the San people (Namibian bushmen), the descendants of the earliest hunter gatherer peoples on the planet and, should you wish, you can partake in a unique walk with the Bushmen trackers to discover their desert survival techniques.
It is then time to head west towards the Namib Desert and specifically the famous Sossusvlei dunes, the most visually stunning part of this ancient desert. Famous for its towering red dunes, the highest of which is estimated to reach almost 325m, you can walk along their winding crests and reach the top for rewarding views. Or perhaps visit the curious Deadvlei, once an oasis, now a barren clay pan scattered with dead, blackened acacia trees. The area is a photographer's dream and is explorable from the air with hot air balloon rides and quad bikes and game drives on the ground. Be aware that the most beautiful vistas are found early in the morning and late in the afternoon when light and shadow add a more three-dimensional appearance of the landscape.
The itinerary then moves north to the coastal town of Swakopmund. Here you can uncover a strong German colonial link in the monuments and historic buildings that dot the city and explore an array of cafes and restaurants. The adventure activities from Swakopmund are what really define it, with the chance to experience sandboarding, quad biking, parachuting, paragliding, dolphin cruises and exciting scenic flights and ballooning above the sand dunes.
Damaraland is the next stop further north. One of Namibia's most scenic areas, you will look out upon distant mountain ranges, wide open plains and huge granite formations in a diverse and contrasting landscape. There's the chance to track critically endangered black rhino, see desert-adapted elephant, explore the Haub River system and, if you're up to it, to climb the Brandberg, Namibia's highest peak. Also worth a visit is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein. The site has more than 2,500 engravings and various paintings made by Bushmen thousands of years ago, a real treat for the budding archaeologist. Your time in Damaraland has been split into 2 separate locations to fully appreciate the diversity of the landscapes in the area.
It is now time for your safari. The Etosha National Park is Namibia's prime wildlife location and home to a wide variety of mammals and birds. Etosha is translated as 'great white area' and refers to the large dried pan in the middle of the park. The park is unique for its waterholes (many of which are floodlit for night viewing) allowing the animals to come to you! Whilst on morning and afternoon/evening game drives you can hopefully see springbok, eland, zebra, gemsbok, impala, black and white rhino, elephant, a variety of birdlife and the occasional predators such as leopard, lion and cheetah. At night, you can observe hyenas and other nocturnal animals.
For your final night, en route back to Windhoek you will visit the Waterberg area known as the cheetah capital of the world. Here you can learn more about these animals at the nearby Cheetah Conservation Fund or observe hundreds of Cape Vultures spiralling down from the sky at the feeding site of the Rare and Endangered Species Trust. You can explore the Waterberg Plateau Park or simply relax before your journey home the next day.
Whatever your budget, our travel experts will work with you and give expert advice to make the very most of your available time and funds. They will guide you on the best time of year to travel, select the best value destinations and secure the little ‘add-ons’ that will make your tailor-made trip that extra bit special.
We are confident that we will offer highly competitive rates direct from our supplier network but we are always happy to compare with other quotes to ensure you secure the best value.
Catch your overnight flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Windhoek International
Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport you will make your way to the car hire desk to collect your hire car. From here you will drive yourself to Windhoek city.
Today you will take the drive to the Kalahari.
Today you will take the drive to the Sossusvlei & the Namib Desert.
Today you will take the drive to the Swakopmund.
Today you will take the drive to the Damaraland.
Today you will take the drive to another region of the Damaraland.
Today you will take the drive to the Etosha & Surrounds.
Today you will take the drive to the Central Highlands.
Today you will take the drive to Windhoek International Airport where you will drop off your hire car and connect with your onward flight home.