Self Drive Safari Namibia

Self drive safaris in Namibia are a great way to explore the country at your own pace. Roads and infrastructure are good and vehicles are modern with good back, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey. No special driving skills and no need to pitch camp you will stay in comfortable well placed lodges and camps with good facilities. This safari itinerary takes you to many of the key destinations in this incredibly beautiful and diverse country. Busanga Safaris have very good ground support in Namibia and you will have all the support you migh want.

Arranged on a Bed & Breakfast basis to allow you the flexibilty to arrive and depart and eat when it suits you. 

Day 1    Chameleon Guesthouse & Backpackers, Windhoek – 1night bed and breakfast

Upon arrival in Windhoek, collect your vehicle and drive to Chameleon Guesthouse. Here, you’ll meet a tour consultant who will go through your travel plans and answer any last minute questions. Depending on your arrival time you may choose to wander into the city centre, join an optional township tour, horse ride, or even head out for a birding trip. Overnight in a simple twin share room with en suite facilities on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals will be at client’s expense. 

Windhoek Capital City: Located within the Central Region of the country, Windhoek nestles in a basin surrounded by rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the northeast, the Auas Mountains to the southeast and the Khomas Hochland in the west and with a population of around 250,000 people this small city has a laid-back ambience.  It is often described as having a continental atmosphere, mixing African lifestyle with European history; picturesque German architecture, European influenced restaurants and shopping malls combine with street-vendors make it unique.  Windhoek offers a wide choice of accommodation options, ranging from four-star hotels and homely pensions to backpackers establishments and campsites. Just outside of the city are a number of lodges and guest farms

Day 2 Desert Camp, nr Namib Naukluft Park – 
1night accommodation only

Drive via Rehoboth to the amazing Namib Naukluft Park, arriving at Desert Camp early afternoon.  It is in a superb location, just 3km from the park gate and offers excellent value for money. Overnight is based in twin share, permanent style tent with en-suite bathroom, kitchenette facilities and a small, private wooden deck with bench and braai facilities – self catering. There is also a swimming pool and bar to relax around. Should you not feel like self-catering you can have your meals at the nearby Sossusvlei Lodge.

Day 3 Desert Camp, nr Namib Naukluft Park – 
1night accommodation only

Recommend a dawn departure from camp to arrive at the park gate at sunrise, collect your entry permit and from here drive through to the dune sea. Please note the last 5kms section is 4x4 only and we recommend you walk or take the shuttle service. If you are lucky and Namibia has received excellent rains you may find water in Sossusvlei and enjoy seeing a lake in the desert. Ensure you visit nearby Dead Vlei, where the ancient and skeletal camel thorn trees stand on the white pan with the backdrop of orange sand dunes and blue sky - a photographer’s delight. On your way back to Desert Camp, you may wish to stop at Dune 45 – one of the most famous dunes, and visit nearby Sesriem Canyon near the entrance of the park. Overnight in a permanent tented chalet, all meals will be at client’s expense. 

Sesriem Canyon: At the entry to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, Where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30 to 40 m, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time when early pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs (reins) together and secured to a bucket to draw water from the pools

Sossusvlei: Namibia’s most recently listed UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Namib Naukluft Sand Sea became a member of this prestigious group in 2013.  Sossusvlei is a clay pan set amid monstrous piles of sand known as star dunes that reach the height of a 70storey skyscraper and rank among the tallest dunes on earth. A deathly white against red sands, the pan is the endpoint of a usually dry river, Tsauchab, in the interior of the Great Sand Sea. The river course rises south of the Naukluft Mountains in the Great escarpment. It penetrates the sand sea for some 55km before it finally peters out about the same distance from the Atlantic. Until dunes stopped it in its tracks 60 000 years ago, the Tsauchab reached the sea, as ephemeral rivers still do in the northern half of the Namib. Sand-locked pans to the west were endpoints before Sossusvlei. The dunes in the vicinity of Sossusvlei get to be as high as 220m. They look even higher when their base rests on an elevated surface such as a river terrace. Indeed one of them that lie beside the Tsauchab rises 325m above the valley floor. Once a decade or so rainfall over the escarpment is sufficient to bring the river down in flood and fill the pan. On such occasions the mirror images of dunes and gnarled trees around the pan are reflected in the water. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. In one of them, Dead Vlei, big camel thorn trees, dead for want of water, still stand erect. They grew in that place until about 900 years ago when the sand sea finally blocked the occasional floods. 

Day 4 & 5            Cornerstone Guesthouse, Swakopmund – 2nights bed and breakfast 

Drive through the desert to Swakopmund today, en-route stop at Walvis Bay to visit the lagoon, a protected RAMSAR wetland site, where you may see the many species of birds including greater and lesser flamingos, pelicans, avocets, plovers and the endemic Damara tern before a short stop at the salt farm. From here, it is a short coastal drive to the historic and adventure seaside town of Swakopmund, where you can join optional activities, perhaps take part in a morning marine cruise watching out for seals, dolphins, whales and some of the other marine life found off the Skeleton Coast and Atlantic shores. Alternatively, there is a highly recommended day trip to Sandwich Harbour or perhaps a scenic flight over the dunes and coastline where you will see dunes falling into the ocean, a shipwreck 200m inland and of course, the dunes of Sossusvlei region There is a safe beach for swimming, an interesting aquarium and museum or you may want to sit back and relax with a coffee and cake and watch the world go by. Overnight is in twin share room on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities will be at client’s expense.

Swakopmund Town: Swakopmund is a town with an air of enchantment about it, as if the ornate buildings of the old quarter and the lush greenery of the seafront were somehow spirited away from their proper setting, only to be left without rhyme or reason in an African desert. Beyond the last row of houses the desert is devoid of vegetation except for low bushes. On a slight rise above the seashore, the town is exposed to both the Atlantic and the Namib, with gravel plains to the north and east. It stands on the north bank of a river course that is nearly always dry. A narrow belt of sand dunes, outriders of the Great Sand Sea to the south, comes to a halt on the opposite bank. A bare plain beside a rough sea and dry river is hardly a prime position for a holiday resort. In fact the town was never meant to be a resort, but became one against all the odds. It was established as a harbour town. Swakopmund had its beginning as a landing station in 1892 when the Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site.  Initially cargo and passengers were rowed ashore in surfboats from steamers anchored offshore. Once a concrete Mole or breakwater had been built it became possible to use tugs and barges instead Sandwich Harbour: The reed-fringed lagoon at Sandwich Harbour, situated 48kms south of Walvis Bay at the foot of towering ivory-coloured dunes, is a spectacular and photo worthy destination.  It was once an open bay, which became silted up over the years. Today anglers, ornithologists, and nature lovers seek it out.  The lagoon is fed by fresh water seeping from an inland aquifer, and is a sanctuary for large numbers of coastal and freshwater birds.  It is also an important breeding ground for a variety of fish species.  There is also a great legend that buried somewhere in the dunes above the high water mark is a ship with a rich cargo of ivory, gold and precious stones - to date, nothing has been found but not from the lack of trying enthusiasts (of course, deep in the south of the country a     Cont.   shipwreck dating back to the 16th century was recently found and is likely to be one of the first European vessels - so who knows what may turn up in the future). Visits to Sandwich Harbour are recommended with a recognised tour company who know the ever-changing sand dunes well. Bookings can be made through Chameleon.

Restaurants include:  The Tug – a must but needs to be pre-booked situated on the beach and partly built of a tug boat; The Jetty – good for seafood and sundowners; Erichs; The Lighthouse – ideal for families; Driftwood; This is just a small selection of many, there are also a number of cafes and bars

Day 6 Aabadi Mountain Camp, Twyfelfontein – 
1night bed & breakfast 

Depart from Swakopmund after breakfast and drive north along the Skeleton Coast, stopping at a shipwreck south of Henties Bay and from here you may wish to visit Cape Cross seal colony – a huge colony where over 100,000 congregate here during breeding season. From here turn inland; your destination today is a camp in the Twyfelfontein area, a very vulnerable and delicate ecosystem renowned for some of the best rock engravings in Southern Africa. Interesting rock formations and the remainder of prehistoric volcanic action can be seen in the organ pipes and burnt mountain, among the most prominent geographic features. The fauna and flora of Damaraland is as interesting as the landscape, with plants such as welwitschia, Moringa and variety of commiphora species. Twyfelfontein achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status and is home to one of the largest collections of rock art in Southern Africa and a local guide will ensure you learn about some of the history.

Twyfelfontein: Strewn over a hillside at Twyfelfontein in the southern Kaokoveld, boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2 500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petro glyphs in Africa. The engravings show animals such as elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, rhinoceros, springbok, zebra and ostrich that once used to drink from a fountain at the bottom of the hill. In some cases footprints were engraved instead of hooves or paws. The abstract motifs feature mainly circles. Stone tools and other artefacts found at Twyfelfontein suggest that hunter- gatherers occupied the site over a period of perhaps 7 000 years. The exact age of the engravings is unknown, but the patina on individual figures the darker, the older does give an idea of their relative age. Guides take visitors to view the rock art. The engravings lie along two circular routes, one an hour’s climb and the other 40 minutes longer. The engravings are best seen in the softer light of early morning or late afternoon. Twyfelfontein is a national monument situated about 100 km south – west of Khorixas in a valley among flat- topped mountains of red sandstone.

Day 7 & 8 Grootberg Lodge, Northern Damaraland – 2nights dinner,              bed & breakfast.

Onto the heart of Northern Damaraland your journey takes you onto Grootberg Lodge, a community-based establishment, where plateaus reach high on skyline and strange plant life dominates the surrounds.  One of the most renowned lodges in the region, there is the chance to join optional activities such as rhino or elephant tracking, hiking, Himba community excursions and game drives.  Overnight based in a double room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis; activities at own expense

Grootberg Lodge is a landmark in Namibia and the tourism industry as it is the first middle-market establishment in the country that is 100% owned by the conservancy. The European Union funded the project through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism's Development Programme with a donation of N$4.5 million to develop the 16-room lodge. The purpose of the Grootberg Lodge is not only to offer a professional service, great surroundings with good food, well-trained guides and exceptionally good local management but, at the same time, to benefit the local community thanks to the revenues generated by the Lodge. While sustainability of the Conservancy is a primary objective which the lodge contribute towards, there are additional benefits such as increasing direct job opportunities in a poorly developed area; supporting marginal people with projects such as building schools, clinics, creating a community kitchen for the elderly and vulnerable groups and award bursaries to promising pupils with the proceeds of the lodge.  Another important aim is to reduce the animal/human conflict in this community so that locals will be more tolerant of the lions, cheetahs and elephants and give them a value from a tourism perspective. The success of the lodge is critical to demonstrate the value of the land-use which the conservancy is promoting. The exclusive development area needs to show the value in setting aside "core" areas for tourism and biodiversity conservation. The following day you can enjoy optional activities such as elephant tracking – you can head off in search of these elusive beasts that roam freely in this harsh environment – it’s amazing to learn about the distances they travel.  Perhaps you may wish to go in search of the black rhino – these protected animals live in the nearby valley and you can track them by vehicle and on foot. Alternatively, you may wish to join a visit to a local Himba community – these amazing people manage to live a traditional lifestyle in today’s modern world, the women cover themselves in ochre and butterfat, looking after the children and village, whilst the men tend to the cattle and goats. Nature walks and game drives are also available

Day 9 &10 Okaukuejo, Waterhole Chalet, bed & breakfast

Day 11 Namutoni, Bush Chalet, bed & breakfast 

Onward to Etosha, one of the best game reserves in Southern Africa and home to many species of game including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, hyena, giraffe, and many types of antelope including the endemic black faced impala. Overnight inside the park for four nights and each rest camp has its own swimming pool, floodlit waterhole, shop, restaurant and bar (subject to availability). Here you can drive around the park by yourselves, exploring the different waterholes and roads, or join optional game drives in open vehicles.

Etosha National Park:  With translations such as “Great, White Place”, “Place of Mirages” and “Land of Dry Water”, its no wonder Etosha has a certain mystery around it. The Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of around 110km from east to west and 60km from south to north is likely to be the remains of a large inland lake that flowed from the Angolan highlands.  However, continental uplift changed the slope of the land and direction towards the Atlantic.  Slowly, the lake dried - if the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world. Etosha is the largest of the pans, 4 760 km in extent, or about half the size of Lebanon. It is nowadays filled with water only when sufficient rain falls to the north in Angola to induce floods to flow southward along the Cuvelai drainage system. Etosha is open through out the year and is accessible with the tarred roads via the Andersson Gate in the central southern section and the Von Lindequist Gate in the east. There are 5 resorts, Dolomite located on the west (accommodation), Okaukuejo in the centre of the park, Halali in the centre, Namutoni in the east and Onkoshi just a little north of here (luxury accommodation), and the camps have their own distinctive character and atmosphere. Each has a floodlit waterhole where wildlife can be viewed throughout the day and night. The roads are normally accessible in a 2x4 vehicle though care needs to be exercised after heavy rains. As a game reserve, it excels particularly during the dry season when huge amounts of animals congregate at the waterholes, as a visitor, watching the sun set as hundreds of animals come to quench their thirst, dust kicked up from hooves and bellows of animals across the veldt ring out makes it a wonderful experience.  There are over 115 mammals in the park including endangered species such as cheetah and black rhino, as well as elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe and a whole host of plains game.  In conjunction there’s 340 species of bird recorded including uncommon members of hawk and vulture. 

Day 12&13 Roys Camp, Grootfontein, San/Bushmen –             2nights bed & breakfast  

This morning you head to Roy’s Camp, a rustic camp that gives off a true African ambience and regarded as the easiest place to find blackfaced babbler in Southern Africa. While here you can enjoy one of the walking trails or alternatively enjoy a nature drive – this camp offers excellent birding. This afternoon or tomorrow morning you may wish drive down to the bushman village where you will be sharing the most wonderful experience of the trip with the Bushman people. You will have a chance to also get some original craft made by the Bushman at the village, some of the highlights will be going out with a San tracker to collect bush foods experiencing how the traditional San collect veld food –generally a fascinating experience for westerners where you are able to ask questions of how they survive in today’s modern world. Overnight in a twin/double room on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities will be at client’s expense. 

Day 14 Waterberg Plateau, Bernabe de la Bat – 1night bed & breakfast 

Head south to Waterberg Plateau Park, a compacted Etjo sandstone formation, and some 250m high and formed around 180-200m years ago it’s the remnant of a much larger plateau that covered the region.  There are a number of springs at the base and this provides a vital water source. This afternoon you may wish to take a walk to the top of the plateau where you can enjoy the views, whilst keeping your eyes open for some of the game. Overnight in a bush chalet on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals will be at client’s expense.  

Waterberg Plateau Park: Initially created as a sanctuary for rare and endangered species the region is quite unique in Namibia. Here, the red “Etjo” sandstone rises majestically above the surrounding plains and for those that head to the top of the plateau it offers terrific views across the veldt.  It’s approximately 48km long by 8-16km wide and the vegetation changes from acacia savannah to lush green, almost sub-tropical woodlands filled with fig, lead wood, silver terminalia and a host of other trees. Visitors can enjoy game drives into the park to search for the variety of game such as rhino, eland, giraffe, oryx, kudu, baboon, hyena as well as leopard and cheetah and many other species.  It is also worth remembering this site historically – bushman were the first inhabitants, followed by the Damara during the 19th century and then Hereros.  The explorers Anderson and Galton were the first Europeans reported to visit Waterberg.  In 1873 a Rhenish mission station was erected but destroyed just 7 years later during the Khoikhoi and Herero water, to be later rebuilt (there is little remaining these days).  However, during 1904 there was a Herero uprising against the German forces and many people lost their lives or fled into the desert for safety.  The battle of Waterberg is commemorated during August at the cemetery near the battle site where more than 70 Schutztruppe lie buried.

Day 15           Chameleon Guesthouse & Backpackers, Windhoek – 1night bed & breakfast  

Continuing your way back to Windhoek, perhaps stop at Okahandja, for some last minute souvenir shopping at the craft markets where you can barter some gifts before returning to Windhoek and onto Chameleon Guesthouse & Backpackers, where you will be based for your final night. Overnight in a twin/double room on a bed and breakfast basis

Day 16           Departure

Onto the airport to drop off the vehicle and continue with your onward flight. 

Rates for this Safari
Safari Summary

Includes – Accommodation and activities as set out in itinerary; car rental as indicated; meals as stated in itinerary; vat; tourism levy; welcome pack

Excludes – International and other flights; visas; fuel; additional meals and optional activities; personal insurance; tips/gratuities; items of a personal nature; curios; entry fees to parks and places of interest; additionals for car hire as indicated below, etc Note entry fees to National Parks currently N$80/person/day and N$10/vehicle/day.

Car Hire :

Namibia Car Rental – zero excess 4x4 Daihatsu Terios or similar Includes: 15% VAT , unlimited kilometres; collision damage waiver; standard tools, contract fee; second driver; 2 x spare wheels; airport transfers; map; tourism levy; stamp duty; tyre and windshield cover Excludes: Refundable deposit (N$2000); fuel, claim admin fee; fines and fine handling fee; sand, water and undercarriage damage; cross border permits ; Young driver (18-20 years) N$100/day;  tow in /recovery service if not mechanical; jerry can N$50/rental; lost key call out fee N $10/km; GPS rental N$65/day; fridge N$65/day

Full Safari Details
Self Drive Safari Namibia

 Self drive safaris in Namibia are a great way to explore the country at your own pace. Roads and infrastructure are good and vehicles are modern with good back, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey. No special driving skills and no need to pitch camp you will stay in comfortable well placed lodges and camps with good facilities. This safari itinerary takes you to many of the key destinations in this incredibly beautiful and diverse country. Busanga Safaris have very good ground support in Namibia and you will have all the support you migh want.

Arranged on a Bed & Breakfast basis to allow you the flexibilty to arrive and depart and eat when it suits you. 

Day 1    Chameleon Guesthouse & Backpackers, Windhoek – 1night bed and breakfast

Upon arrival in Windhoek, collect your vehicle and drive to Chameleon Guesthouse. Here, you’ll meet a tour consultant who will go through your travel plans and answer any last minute questions. Depending on your arrival time you may choose to wander into the city centre, join an optional township tour, horse ride, or even head out for a birding trip. Overnight in a simple twin share room with en suite facilities on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals will be at client’s expense. 

Windhoek Capital City: Located within the Central Region of the country, Windhoek nestles in a basin surrounded by rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the northeast, the Auas Mountains to the southeast and the Khomas Hochland in the west and with a population of around 250,000 people this small city has a laid-back ambience.  It is often described as having a continental atmosphere, mixing African lifestyle with European history; picturesque German architecture, European influenced restaurants and shopping malls combine with street-vendors make it unique.  Windhoek offers a wide choice of accommodation options, ranging from four-star hotels and homely pensions to backpackers establishments and campsites. Just outside of the city are a number of lodges and guest farms

Day 2 Desert Camp, nr Namib Naukluft Park – 
1night accommodation only

Drive via Rehoboth to the amazing Namib Naukluft Park, arriving at Desert Camp early afternoon.  It is in a superb location, just 3km from the park gate and offers excellent value for money. Overnight is based in twin share, permanent style tent with en-suite bathroom, kitchenette facilities and a small, private wooden deck with bench and braai facilities – self catering. There is also a swimming pool and bar to relax around. Should you not feel like self-catering you can have your meals at the nearby Sossusvlei Lodge.

Day 3 Desert Camp, nr Namib Naukluft Park – 
1night accommodation only

Recommend a dawn departure from camp to arrive at the park gate at sunrise, collect your entry permit and from here drive through to the dune sea. Please note the last 5kms section is 4x4 only and we recommend you walk or take the shuttle service. If you are lucky and Namibia has received excellent rains you may find water in Sossusvlei and enjoy seeing a lake in the desert. Ensure you visit nearby Dead Vlei, where the ancient and skeletal camel thorn trees stand on the white pan with the backdrop of orange sand dunes and blue sky - a photographer’s delight. On your way back to Desert Camp, you may wish to stop at Dune 45 – one of the most famous dunes, and visit nearby Sesriem Canyon near the entrance of the park. Overnight in a permanent tented chalet, all meals will be at client’s expense. 

Sesriem Canyon: At the entry to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, Where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30 to 40 m, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time when early pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs (reins) together and secured to a bucket to draw water from the pools

Sossusvlei: Namibia’s most recently listed UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Namib Naukluft Sand Sea became a member of this prestigious group in 2013.  Sossusvlei is a clay pan set amid monstrous piles of sand known as star dunes that reach the height of a 70storey skyscraper and rank among the tallest dunes on earth. A deathly white against red sands, the pan is the endpoint of a usually dry river, Tsauchab, in the interior of the Great Sand Sea. The river course rises south of the Naukluft Mountains in the Great escarpment. It penetrates the sand sea for some 55km before it finally peters out about the same distance from the Atlantic. Until dunes stopped it in its tracks 60 000 years ago, the Tsauchab reached the sea, as ephemeral rivers still do in the northern half of the Namib. Sand-locked pans to the west were endpoints before Sossusvlei. The dunes in the vicinity of Sossusvlei get to be as high as 220m. They look even higher when their base rests on an elevated surface such as a river terrace. Indeed one of them that lie beside the Tsauchab rises 325m above the valley floor. Once a decade or so rainfall over the escarpment is sufficient to bring the river down in flood and fill the pan. On such occasions the mirror images of dunes and gnarled trees around the pan are reflected in the water. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. In one of them, Dead Vlei, big camel thorn trees, dead for want of water, still stand erect. They grew in that place until about 900 years ago when the sand sea finally blocked the occasional floods. 

Day 4 & 5            Cornerstone Guesthouse, Swakopmund – 2nights bed and breakfast 

Drive through the desert to Swakopmund today, en-route stop at Walvis Bay to visit the lagoon, a protected RAMSAR wetland site, where you may see the many species of birds including greater and lesser flamingos, pelicans, avocets, plovers and the endemic Damara tern before a short stop at the salt farm. From here, it is a short coastal drive to the historic and adventure seaside town of Swakopmund, where you can join optional activities, perhaps take part in a morning marine cruise watching out for seals, dolphins, whales and some of the other marine life found off the Skeleton Coast and Atlantic shores. Alternatively, there is a highly recommended day trip to Sandwich Harbour or perhaps a scenic flight over the dunes and coastline where you will see dunes falling into the ocean, a shipwreck 200m inland and of course, the dunes of Sossusvlei region There is a safe beach for swimming, an interesting aquarium and museum or you may want to sit back and relax with a coffee and cake and watch the world go by. Overnight is in twin share room on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities will be at client’s expense.

Swakopmund Town: Swakopmund is a town with an air of enchantment about it, as if the ornate buildings of the old quarter and the lush greenery of the seafront were somehow spirited away from their proper setting, only to be left without rhyme or reason in an African desert. Beyond the last row of houses the desert is devoid of vegetation except for low bushes. On a slight rise above the seashore, the town is exposed to both the Atlantic and the Namib, with gravel plains to the north and east. It stands on the north bank of a river course that is nearly always dry. A narrow belt of sand dunes, outriders of the Great Sand Sea to the south, comes to a halt on the opposite bank. A bare plain beside a rough sea and dry river is hardly a prime position for a holiday resort. In fact the town was never meant to be a resort, but became one against all the odds. It was established as a harbour town. Swakopmund had its beginning as a landing station in 1892 when the Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site.  Initially cargo and passengers were rowed ashore in surfboats from steamers anchored offshore. Once a concrete Mole or breakwater had been built it became possible to use tugs and barges instead Sandwich Harbour: The reed-fringed lagoon at Sandwich Harbour, situated 48kms south of Walvis Bay at the foot of towering ivory-coloured dunes, is a spectacular and photo worthy destination.  It was once an open bay, which became silted up over the years. Today anglers, ornithologists, and nature lovers seek it out.  The lagoon is fed by fresh water seeping from an inland aquifer, and is a sanctuary for large numbers of coastal and freshwater birds.  It is also an important breeding ground for a variety of fish species.  There is also a great legend that buried somewhere in the dunes above the high water mark is a ship with a rich cargo of ivory, gold and precious stones - to date, nothing has been found but not from the lack of trying enthusiasts (of course, deep in the south of the country a     Cont.   shipwreck dating back to the 16th century was recently found and is likely to be one of the first European vessels - so who knows what may turn up in the future). Visits to Sandwich Harbour are recommended with a recognised tour company who know the ever-changing sand dunes well. Bookings can be made through Chameleon.

Restaurants include:  The Tug – a must but needs to be pre-booked situated on the beach and partly built of a tug boat; The Jetty – good for seafood and sundowners; Erichs; The Lighthouse – ideal for families; Driftwood; This is just a small selection of many, there are also a number of cafes and bars

Day 6 Aabadi Mountain Camp, Twyfelfontein – 
1night bed & breakfast 

Depart from Swakopmund after breakfast and drive north along the Skeleton Coast, stopping at a shipwreck south of Henties Bay and from here you may wish to visit Cape Cross seal colony – a huge colony where over 100,000 congregate here during breeding season. From here turn inland; your destination today is a camp in the Twyfelfontein area, a very vulnerable and delicate ecosystem renowned for some of the best rock engravings in Southern Africa. Interesting rock formations and the remainder of prehistoric volcanic action can be seen in the organ pipes and burnt mountain, among the most prominent geographic features. The fauna and flora of Damaraland is as interesting as the landscape, with plants such as welwitschia, Moringa and variety of commiphora species. Twyfelfontein achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status and is home to one of the largest collections of rock art in Southern Africa and a local guide will ensure you learn about some of the history.

Twyfelfontein: Strewn over a hillside at Twyfelfontein in the southern Kaokoveld, boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2 500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petro glyphs in Africa. The engravings show animals such as elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, rhinoceros, springbok, zebra and ostrich that once used to drink from a fountain at the bottom of the hill. In some cases footprints were engraved instead of hooves or paws. The abstract motifs feature mainly circles. Stone tools and other artefacts found at Twyfelfontein suggest that hunter- gatherers occupied the site over a period of perhaps 7 000 years. The exact age of the engravings is unknown, but the patina on individual figures the darker, the older does give an idea of their relative age. Guides take visitors to view the rock art. The engravings lie along two circular routes, one an hour’s climb and the other 40 minutes longer. The engravings are best seen in the softer light of early morning or late afternoon. Twyfelfontein is a national monument situated about 100 km south – west of Khorixas in a valley among flat- topped mountains of red sandstone.

Day 7 & 8 Grootberg Lodge, Northern Damaraland – 2nights dinner,              bed & breakfast.

Onto the heart of Northern Damaraland your journey takes you onto Grootberg Lodge, a community-based establishment, where plateaus reach high on skyline and strange plant life dominates the surrounds.  One of the most renowned lodges in the region, there is the chance to join optional activities such as rhino or elephant tracking, hiking, Himba community excursions and game drives.  Overnight based in a double room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis; activities at own expense

Grootberg Lodge is a landmark in Namibia and the tourism industry as it is the first middle-market establishment in the country that is 100% owned by the conservancy. The European Union funded the project through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism's Development Programme with a donation of N$4.5 million to develop the 16-room lodge. The purpose of the Grootberg Lodge is not only to offer a professional service, great surroundings with good food, well-trained guides and exceptionally good local management but, at the same time, to benefit the local community thanks to the revenues generated by the Lodge. While sustainability of the Conservancy is a primary objective which the lodge contribute towards, there are additional benefits such as increasing direct job opportunities in a poorly developed area; supporting marginal people with projects such as building schools, clinics, creating a community kitchen for the elderly and vulnerable groups and award bursaries to promising pupils with the proceeds of the lodge.  Another important aim is to reduce the animal/human conflict in this community so that locals will be more tolerant of the lions, cheetahs and elephants and give them a value from a tourism perspective. The success of the lodge is critical to demonstrate the value of the land-use which the conservancy is promoting. The exclusive development area needs to show the value in setting aside "core" areas for tourism and biodiversity conservation. The following day you can enjoy optional activities such as elephant tracking – you can head off in search of these elusive beasts that roam freely in this harsh environment – it’s amazing to learn about the distances they travel.  Perhaps you may wish to go in search of the black rhino – these protected animals live in the nearby valley and you can track them by vehicle and on foot. Alternatively, you may wish to join a visit to a local Himba community – these amazing people manage to live a traditional lifestyle in today’s modern world, the women cover themselves in ochre and butterfat, looking after the children and village, whilst the men tend to the cattle and goats. Nature walks and game drives are also available

Day 9 &10 Okaukuejo, Waterhole Chalet, bed & breakfast

Day 11 Namutoni, Bush Chalet, bed & breakfast 

Onward to Etosha, one of the best game reserves in Southern Africa and home to many species of game including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, hyena, giraffe, and many types of antelope including the endemic black faced impala. Overnight inside the park for four nights and each rest camp has its own swimming pool, floodlit waterhole, shop, restaurant and bar (subject to availability). Here you can drive around the park by yourselves, exploring the different waterholes and roads, or join optional game drives in open vehicles.

Etosha National Park:  With translations such as “Great, White Place”, “Place of Mirages” and “Land of Dry Water”, its no wonder Etosha has a certain mystery around it. The Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of around 110km from east to west and 60km from south to north is likely to be the remains of a large inland lake that flowed from the Angolan highlands.  However, continental uplift changed the slope of the land and direction towards the Atlantic.  Slowly, the lake dried - if the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world. Etosha is the largest of the pans, 4 760 km in extent, or about half the size of Lebanon. It is nowadays filled with water only when sufficient rain falls to the north in Angola to induce floods to flow southward along the Cuvelai drainage system. Etosha is open through out the year and is accessible with the tarred roads via the Andersson Gate in the central southern section and the Von Lindequist Gate in the east. There are 5 resorts, Dolomite located on the west (accommodation), Okaukuejo in the centre of the park, Halali in the centre, Namutoni in the east and Onkoshi just a little north of here (luxury accommodation), and the camps have their own distinctive character and atmosphere. Each has a floodlit waterhole where wildlife can be viewed throughout the day and night. The roads are normally accessible in a 2x4 vehicle though care needs to be exercised after heavy rains. As a game reserve, it excels particularly during the dry season when huge amounts of animals congregate at the waterholes, as a visitor, watching the sun set as hundreds of animals come to quench their thirst, dust kicked up from hooves and bellows of animals across the veldt ring out makes it a wonderful experience.  There are over 115 mammals in the park including endangered species such as cheetah and black rhino, as well as elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, giraffe and a whole host of plains game.  In conjunction there’s 340 species of bird recorded including uncommon members of hawk and vulture. 

Day 12&13 Roys Camp, Grootfontein, San/Bushmen –             2nights bed & breakfast  

This morning you head to Roy’s Camp, a rustic camp that gives off a true African ambience and regarded as the easiest place to find blackfaced babbler in Southern Africa. While here you can enjoy one of the walking trails or alternatively enjoy a nature drive – this camp offers excellent birding. This afternoon or tomorrow morning you may wish drive down to the bushman village where you will be sharing the most wonderful experience of the trip with the Bushman people. You will have a chance to also get some original craft made by the Bushman at the village, some of the highlights will be going out with a San tracker to collect bush foods experiencing how the traditional San collect veld food –generally a fascinating experience for westerners where you are able to ask questions of how they survive in today’s modern world. Overnight in a twin/double room on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities will be at client’s expense. 

Day 14 Waterberg Plateau, Bernabe de la Bat – 1night bed & breakfast 

Head south to Waterberg Plateau Park, a compacted Etjo sandstone formation, and some 250m high and formed around 180-200m years ago it’s the remnant of a much larger plateau that covered the region.  There are a number of springs at the base and this provides a vital water source. This afternoon you may wish to take a walk to the top of the plateau where you can enjoy the views, whilst keeping your eyes open for some of the game. Overnight in a bush chalet on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals will be at client’s expense.  

Waterberg Plateau Park: Initially created as a sanctuary for rare and endangered species the region is quite unique in Namibia. Here, the red “Etjo” sandstone rises majestically above the surrounding plains and for those that head to the top of the plateau it offers terrific views across the veldt.  It’s approximately 48km long by 8-16km wide and the vegetation changes from acacia savannah to lush green, almost sub-tropical woodlands filled with fig, lead wood, silver terminalia and a host of other trees. Visitors can enjoy game drives into the park to search for the variety of game such as rhino, eland, giraffe, oryx, kudu, baboon, hyena as well as leopard and cheetah and many other species.  It is also worth remembering this site historically – bushman were the first inhabitants, followed by the Damara during the 19th century and then Hereros.  The explorers Anderson and Galton were the first Europeans reported to visit Waterberg.  In 1873 a Rhenish mission station was erected but destroyed just 7 years later during the Khoikhoi and Herero water, to be later rebuilt (there is little remaining these days).  However, during 1904 there was a Herero uprising against the German forces and many people lost their lives or fled into the desert for safety.  The battle of Waterberg is commemorated during August at the cemetery near the battle site where more than 70 Schutztruppe lie buried.

Day 15           Chameleon Guesthouse & Backpackers, Windhoek – 1night bed & breakfast  

Continuing your way back to Windhoek, perhaps stop at Okahandja, for some last minute souvenir shopping at the craft markets where you can barter some gifts before returning to Windhoek and onto Chameleon Guesthouse & Backpackers, where you will be based for your final night. Overnight in a twin/double room on a bed and breakfast basis

Day 16           Departure

Onto the airport to drop off the vehicle and continue with your onward flight. 

Rates for this Safari
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Safari Summary

Includes – Accommodation and activities as set out in itinerary; car rental as indicated; meals as stated in itinerary; vat; tourism levy; welcome pack

Excludes – International and other flights; visas; fuel; additional meals and optional activities; personal insurance; tips/gratuities; items of a personal nature; curios; entry fees to parks and places of interest; additionals for car hire as indicated below, etc Note entry fees to National Parks currently N$80/person/day and N$10/vehicle/day.

Car Hire :

Namibia Car Rental – zero excess 4x4 Daihatsu Terios or similar Includes: 15% VAT , unlimited kilometres; collision damage waiver; standard tools, contract fee; second driver; 2 x spare wheels; airport transfers; map; tourism levy; stamp duty; tyre and windshield cover Excludes: Refundable deposit (N$2000); fuel, claim admin fee; fines and fine handling fee; sand, water and undercarriage damage; cross border permits ; Young driver (18-20 years) N$100/day;  tow in /recovery service if not mechanical; jerry can N$50/rental; lost key call out fee N $10/km; GPS rental N$65/day; fridge N$65/day