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16-day Classic Namibia Safari (Self-drive)

Discover what makes Namibia one of the region's best safari and wilderness destinations. This 16-day tour goes from south to north visiting the major highlights of this vast, beautiful and empty country.

Price from USD 3,441 pps
Duration 16 days
Tour Type Self-drive
Highlights Damaraland, Etosha National Park, Kaokoland, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Waterberg
Includes

Accommodation; Meals (SQ); Vehicle hire; Meet and Greet; Airport Transfers; 24-hour support; Comprehensive tour file with detailed itinerary, map, route descriptions, booking vouchers, contact numbers and useful information

Excludes

International flights; Personal travel insurance; Entry visas; Fuel; Park entry fees; Staff gratuities

In 16 days, The Classic Namibia Safari visits most of the highlights of Namibia: Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, with its great sand sea, the charming town of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast ; Damaraland , with its fascinating rock formations, Bushman rock art and desert-adapted wildlife; Kaokoland , the last frontier of true wilderness and the realm of the nomadic Himba people; Etosha National Park - one of Africa's great game parks; and the Waterberg Plateau, a scenic haven for Namibia's rare and endangered species.

Itinerary Summary

Itinerary Details

Day 1: Windhoek ( 1 night )

You will be met by the car rental company representative on arrival and transferred to their offices in Windhoek to complete all rental procedures. You will then meet with our representative to hand over your travel documents. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing at your own leisure. For dinner tonight, you can head into town for a bite to eat at one of Windhoek’s well known restaurants.

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Day 2 & 3: Sossusvlei ( 2 nights )

From Windhoek head south to the Namib Desert and its Great Sand Sea. Arrive in time for a sundowner at your suitably poised lodge or atop the nearby Elim Dune. The drive takes about four hours.

On the way: The drive reveals the transition from Kalahari thornveld to the true desert of the Namib; Lilyveld, a valley 30km north of Maltahöhe, springs into bloom for about a week after good rains; Duiwiseb Castle is an interesting diversion 70km south-west of Maltahöhe.

When you're there: Enter Sossusvlei at sunrise and remember to take plenty of film or memory, sun cream, a hat, walking shoes and water. Explore the world's highest dunes and a sheltered pan with petrified trees that are hundreds of years old; climb the dunes and look out over a sea of sand. Private reserves in the area reveal fascinating flora, fauna and ancient desert landscapes.

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Day 4 & 5: Swakopmund ( 2 nights )

A five-hour drive north takes you through the gradual change from mountains and dunes to rolling grass-covered hills with scattered acacia trees. Swakopmund is a quaint resort town by the sea with an obvious German heritage at odds with its bleak surrounds.

On the way: Look out for the endemic Hartmann's mountain zebra as you leave; stop at Solitaire, about 80km from Sesriem for some home-made bread and an ice cold drink; Kuiseb Canyon has some shady picnic spots; you can see springbok and pure-bred wild ostrich across the vast gravel plains of the Namib; the lunar landscape; look out for the welwitschia plant.

When you're there: Visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon - a RAMSAR wetlands site - where thousands of flamingoes, pelicans and numerous waders feed in the nutrient-rich shallows; restaurants, shops and attractions in Swakopmund; spend an extra day making the most of the cool air and refreshing sea.

Among the many organised activities, we recommend a scenic flight over Skeleton Coast; a comfortable and informative boat cruise of Walvis Bay where you meet dolphins, sea lions, pelicans and terns; and quad biking, which is an exciting way to experience the sand dunes.

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Day 6: Damaraland ( 1 night )

Enormous granite outcrops and dolerite dykes have been carved over aeons. Grassy plains, tree-studded riverbeds and endless open skies add to the grandeur and make this area one of the most scenic regions of Namibia. The drive to Damaraland takes up to five hours because there is much to see and do along the way.

On the way: Drive along the Skeleton Coast to Cape Cross - the largest breeding cape fur seal colony in the world. The stench of 100,000 seals can be a tad over-powering: take a handkerchief to cover your nose; lunch at Cape Cross Lodge or picnic at some suitably serene and other-worldly spot; stop at the lichen fields and a salt pan that is an excellent birding spot; visit the Twfylefontein rock paintings, the Petrified Forest and the Organ Pipes.

When you're there: Game drives on private reserves in search of the famed desert-adapted elephant, black rhino and giraffe; among other hardy plains herds look out for Hartmann's mountain zebra; spend more time exploring the Twfylefontein rock paintings, the Petrified Forest, Vingerklip and the Organ Pipes; hike up the Brandberg Mountain, Namibia's highest point at 2,573m.

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Day 7 & 8: Damaraland - remote areas ( 2 nights )

Today you will head north through open plains and mountain ranges to the veterinary control fence close to Palmwag Lodge. The lodge guide will collect you from the pick–up point with his safari vehicle and take you to the lodge from here.

On the way: It is not that far to the lodge, but the road is quite rough and therefore the afternoon will be spent on a nature drive to get there. A great way to see the beautiful scenery, not to mention all the wildlife.

While you're there: A full day is set aside in this incredible area with activities such as a nature hike or game drive to enjoy this remote and harsh, but beautiful landscape.

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Day 9: Kaokoland ( 1 night )

Follow the scenic back roads to Opuwo.

On the way: The road winds through rocky outcrops and grassy plains typical of Damaraland; the drive is short enough to visit the interesting rock formations and San rock art if you missed them on the way in. Pass the western edge of Etosha looking out for wildlife on both sides of the road; Dorsland Trek Monument; the Joubert Mountains; stop for a picnic with some wild and daunting countryside for a backdrop.

When you're there: Meet Himba villagers and discover their fascinating ways; scenic drives through Kaokoland; hikes; birdwatching and game viewing.

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Day 10: Etosha National Park - West ( 1 night )

Head south back toward Damaraland then west into Etosha National Park - the western sector has only recently been opened to the public and this vast area of grassy plains is quite unique to the rest of the park.

On the way: Looking out for wildlife on both sides of the road.

When you're there: Enjoy and afternoon or evening game drive; birdwatching; scenic and photographic drives.

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Day 11 & 12: Etosha National Park - South ( 2 nights )

After breakfast head south towards your next lodge. Look out for Etosha's wildlife, though the animals are far more wary of vehicles in the western regions; self-drive safaris can stop at Pie Alberts Koppies and Outjo for a comfort break.

When you're there: Etosha has an estimated 250 lions, 300 rhinos, 2,500 giraffes, 6,000 zebras, 20,000 springbok and 2,000 elephants. This on top of a large number of lesser and common plains herds, and abundant birds makes game viewing in Etosha something special. The surrounding lodges all have private reserves with equally impressive wildlife numbers and they offer private game viewing activities into the park.

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Day 13 & 14: Etosha National Park - East ( 2 nights )

Game drive eastwards to your next lodge.

On the way: You can stop as often as you like for as long as you like. There are many waterholes en route as you travel through the park to your lodge on the eastern side of Etosha Park.

When you're there: Your lodge will offer guided games drives in the park as well as guided game walks in the private reserve.

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Day 15: Waterberg ( 1 night )

The drive to the Waterberg area will take about four hours.

On the way: Visit the world's largest meteorite; have picnic lunch at Lake Otjikoto or Lake Guinas.

When you're there: The Waterberg Plateau Park has several excellent hiking trails, the wildlife and birdlife and scenery make for a good hike; private game farms in the area offer game viewing and some have active conservation programmes like AfriCat and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

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Day 16: Windhoek ( Departure / End of Tour )

The drive to Windhoek Airport for your return flight is short and comfortable on paved roads. The journey should take about three hours, so you've got time for an early wildlife activity and a leisurely breakfast.

On the way: Stop at Okahandja to collect any carvings you set aside

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Prices

Guests Accommodation Season Amount
2 Standard Low Season USD 3,441 pps
2 Standard High Season USD 3,620 pps
2 Luxury Low Season USD 5,080 pps
2 Luxury High Season USD 5,894 pps
  • Low Season is from 1 January to 30 June and High Season is from 1 July to 31 December.
  • Our prices are based on two adults sharing accommodation unless otherwise stated.
  • Please treat all pricing as a guide only. Read more about our pricing.
  • Contact us for a personalised obligation-free quote.

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About Us

  • DanieDanie
  • EdwardEdward
  • WilmariWilmari
  • BiancaBianca
  • UlrikeUlrike
  • ChantelleChantelle
  • AshleeAshlee
  • BoniqueBonique
  • TessaTessa
  • JanineJanine
  • CarmenCarmen
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“I highly recommend you use Namibia Tours & Safaris if you're planning a visit to this country. Great logistics, great value, really personal service. Very fun to work with!”

“I feel that Edward is honest, extremely helpful, and a true professional. I will recommend this company and Edward's expertise to anyone heading to Africa. A perfect trip!!”

“We had an 18-day private guided tour (Namibia, Botswana and Vic Falls) organised by the NTS team. Our consultant Wilmari was amazing both in preparation to and during our travel. Responsive, personable and diligent she put together an excellent itinerary.”

“Our fly-in safari was a life experience we treasure. The scenery, people and arrangements were all outstanding. Bianca of Namibia Tours & Safaris put together the trip of our dreams. We highly recommend her!”

“Namibia Tours and Safaris and their consultants are the best. Ulrike, our consultant, helped us over a 2 year period to plan our 4x4 Safari details. She had the patience of a saint and the insight and knowledge of a true local.”

“Chantelle did a fantastic job in organizing our self-drive trip through Namibia. Nothing was too much hassle and Chantelle was so helpful and responsive throughout the whole process.”

“Having tried to organise this trip myself I was very appreciative of the knowledge and support given by Ashlee who could not have been more supportive.”

“The organisation and response from the initial contact was fast and flawless thanks to Bonique our tour consultant. Her recommendations were perfectly tailored to our needs with a lot of foresight and local knowledge.”

“The service and help we got from Tessa was fantastic, as a result we had a tremendous trip and loved everything in Namibia.”

“Janine from NTS proposed us a great trip that suited our needs and wishes finding the right accommodation and great places. We had a wonderful stay and it was nice to meet with her in Swakop. Definitely recommend!”

“I have no words to express my gratitude to Carmen Scott and all the NTS team for their excellent work. Keep it up and all the best!”

“I cannot find any hassle or negative point for the organisation of this trip. Outstanding material, good accommodation, simply perfect. What a great company!”