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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 US$ 2,930 pps
Duration 16 days
Tour Type Self-drive
Highlights Damaraland, Etosha National Park, Kaokoland, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Waterberg

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


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 Details

You've arrived in the Land of the Brave. Welcome to Namibia. On arrival you will be met by the car rental company representative and transferred to their offices in Windhoek to complete all rental procedures. Once done, we'll arrange for you to meet with our meet and greet represenative to hand over your travel documents and detailed travel diary. Spend the remainder of the day relaxing once you've checked in. Head into town for dinner at one of Windhoek's restaurants. Try Joe's Beerhouse for local cuisine and an authentic Namibian atmosphere.

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Windhoek slideshow image 5d5e641e4b0f8

From Windhoek head south to the Namib Desert to explore the giant sand dunes. Head off early enough to enjoy the ever-changing landscapes and the journey as you make your way from the capital. Arrive in time for a sundowner and enjoy dinner under the dark night sky. The drive takes about five to six hours with stops along the way.

On the way: The drive reveals the transition from the ochre sands and thorn trees of the Kalahari to the world's oldest desert, the Namib. Drive south to Rehoboth and then west via the Remhoogte or Spreetshoogte Pass for incredible views before making your way to Solitaire for refreshments and on to the Sossusvlei area. Alternatively drive south from Rehoboth via Mariental and then west via the small town of Maltahöhe and the Tsaris Pass to Sossusvlei. The latter allows for an optional detour to view Duwisib Castle.

When you're there: Enter Sossusvlei as the gate opens at sunrise and remember to pack the camera, sunscreen, a hat, walking shoes and water. There's loads to see and it gets hot out there. Explore some of the world's highest dunes and the dry clay pans of Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei with eon old petrified trees. Take a climb. Enjoy the views and the endless rolling sand dunes as far as the eye can see.

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A five-hour drive north takes you from dunes and mountains to open plains and hills scattered with acacia trees on to the foggy coast of Swakopmund, a quaint resort town on the coast of the cold Atlantic Ocean.

On the way: Keep your eyes peeled for endemic Hartmann's mountain zebra and ostrich as you leave; stop at Solitaire, about 80km from Sesriem for some home-made bakes and an ice cold drink; Kuiseb Canyon has some picnic spots and view points not to miss; look out for springbok across the vast gravel plains of the Namib; the lunar landscape; and the ancient welwitschia of years gone by.

When you're there: There are plenty of shops and attractions in Swakopmund. Curios and good food on every corner. Enjoy the beach. There are loads of activities on offer, this is Namibia's activity centre. Visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon - a RAMSAR wetlands site - where you can see flamingoes, pelicans and numerous waders.

Visit our Swakopmund Activities page for a list of the best recommended things to do and what not to miss.

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Leaving the coast, make your way north exploring some of the coastline before you head inland to explore the rugged landscapes of Damaraland. An area know for its large granite boulders and rocky outcrops, vast open grassy plains and dry ephemeral riverbeds. This is one of the most scenic areas in the country. Leave early as it is a long day on the road with lots to see making the drive to Damaraland a full day, especially if you take the coastal route via Torra Bay.

On the way: Drive along the Skeleton Coast to Cape Cross via Henties Bay. Here you can see the largest breeding cape fur seal colony in the world. The sheer numbers and their stench is overwhelming. Enjoy lunch at Cape Cross Lodge or picnic along the way; stop at the lichen fields and a salt pan that is an excellent birding spot; take in Brandberg Mountain (if time allows); explore the Twyfelfontein rock paintings, Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes. If you're taking the coastal route, stop en-route to view some old shipwrecks.

When you're there: Game drives in the dry Huab riverbed in search of the elusive desert-adapted elephant, black rhino and giraffe; among other hardy plains game. Spend more time exploring the Twfylefontein highlights, the Petrified Forest and Vingerklip; hike up Namibia's highest mountain - Brandberg. Visit the Damara Living Museum for a hint of culture.

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This morning can still be spent exploring the area of Damaraland before you make your way further north through gradual changing landscapes into more remote areas of the Kunene Region. Here you'll find the Palmwag Concession an area of open plains and mountain ranges.

On the way: It's not a long days drive today, but most lodges in the area require a transfer with set pick up times. Drop your car and meet your guide. The lodge is not that far, but the road is quite rough. It's an afternoon scenic drive. A great way to take in the beautiful scenery and be on the lookout for wildlife.

While you're there: A full day is set aside to enjoy activities with the lodge and to explore the area. Take a hike or enjoy a walking trail. Explore by game drive, scenic drive and be sure to include a sundowner. This area is harsh and remote which makes it ever more about the amazing landscapes.

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Follow the scenic back roads to Opuwo in Kaokoland.

On the way: The road winds through rocky outcrops and open plains typical of Damaraland as you head further north into the rugged areas of Kaokoland. Your drive takes you via the Uniab Canyon to Warmquelle. Stop off in Sesfontein, a chance to refuel and then make your way via Joubert Pass; 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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Head south back toward Damaraland then west into Etosha National Park - the western sector is more quiet with less traffic and comprises mostly of vast areas of grassy plains, making it 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 an afternoon or evening game drive; birdwatching; scenic and photographic drives.

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After breakfast, make your way through the park from the west to the south. It's a full days game drive taking your time to enjoy the wildlife and to stop off at numerous waterholes along the way. 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 is known for excellent game viewing with good reason. A chance to spy some wildlife in numbers and those numbers are impressive with an estimated 20,000 springbok, 6,000 zebras, 2,500 giraffes, 2,000 elephants, 300 rhinos and 250 lions. The best part - that's not even all the game you could see and there's an abundance of birds which makes game viewing in Etosha something spectacular. There are also many private reserves bordering on and surrounding the park with equally great wildlife experiences and they offer drives into Etosha as well.

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When in Etosha, enjoy the wildlife and game viewing. Today has another line-up of great sightings in store as you make your way eastwards to your next lodge on this side of the park.

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 and drives on the private reserve.

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Leave Etosha and make your way to Waterberg. The drive will take about four hours.

On the way: Head off on a last early morning game drive in Etosha, if time allows. Visit the world's largest meteorite; have a picnic lunch at Lake Otjikoto or Lake Guinas.

When you're there: This area is known for great hiking and walking trails in nature. There's also wildlife and incredible birdlife. Arriving in the afternoon, you can spend the remainder of the day enjoying The Waterberg Plateau Park and surrounds; 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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Today you head home and it's time to drive back to Windhoek and on to the Windhoek International Airport. It's an easy drive on tarred roads, but plan accordingly giving you ample time to drop the rental vehicle and be at the airport at least 2 hours before your departure flight time. If you have a late departure flight (recommended), you can have a leisurely breakfast and still enjoy a morning wildlife activity.

On the way: Stop in Okahandja to view Namibia's largest local wood carvers market.

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Guests Accommodation Season (2021) Amount
2 Standard Low Season US$ 3,458 pps
2 Standard High Season US$ 3,679 pps
2 Luxury Low Season US$ 4,846 pps
2 Luxury High Season US$ 6,035 pps
4 Standard Low Season US$ 2,930 pps
4 Standard High Season US$ 3,097 pps
4 Luxury Low Season US$ 4,317 pps
4 Luxury High Season US$ 5,454 pps
  • As a rough guide Low Season throughout the region is from 1 January to 30 June and High Season is from 1 July to 31 December.
  • We give indicative Low and High Season rates on our website and exact prices in your quote when your travel dates are set.
  • These 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 quote now.

Booked Tours Based on This Sample Tour

We publish our clients’ current and upcoming tours to show you the final itineraries that we end up booking. Here is a selection of actual upcoming tours that are similar to this template sample tour.

About Us

  • Edward Edward
  • Wilmari Wilmari
  • Bianca Bianca
  • Ashlee Ashlee
  • Ulrike Ulrike
  • Jessica Jessica
  • Kirstie Kirstie

“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!”

“NTS was AMAZING! Special thanks to Wilmari for the best trip we have ever taken. 100% recommend!”

“This was a "bucket list" trip for us. It could not have been better. HIGHLY recommend you ask for Bianca.”

“I cannot say enough about this great company and Ashlee herself... best honeymoon we could have wished for!”

Ulrike helped us plan our safari for 2 years... patience of a saint and the insight and knowledge of a true local.”

Jessica was AMAZING and so helpful with all of our concerns and questions - we had the most amazing trip.”

Kirstie is always professional with a friendly pleasant manner and she is always welcoming.”