Popular Routes – Namibia

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Popular Routes in Namibia

Popular Routes Where Wildlife Viewing Is a Major Part of the Tour

Namibia is a popular self-drive destination. The roads are good, and traffic is low. Driving through the arid landscape will add to the experience and will underline what makes Namibia so special: the wide-open spaces. The circuits described below can be done as a self-drive package or can be done with a driver-guide. Most lodges have airstrips, and you can also choose a tailor-made safari, flying around any of the places described in the itineraries below.

Northern Namibia (1.5 to 2 weeks) – Etosha NP, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Cape Cross

With a stopover in Johannesburg, you'll arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek. From there you’ll take off by car through the central highlands to Etosha NP, where wildlife viewing is considerably better during the Dry season. The best way to experience Etosha’s wildlife is by sitting at one of the waterholes to watch the constant stream of animals come by. After a few nights in Etosha, you’ll drive on to Damaraland. This arid area has a special beauty and is home to many desert-adapted animals, including desert elephant. A visit to the rock-art site, Twyfelfontein, is a must. This dry place is home to the traditional Himba people, and a visit to a homestead can be organized. From here you drive south to Swakopmund at the coast. On the way, you can see the seal colony at Cape Cross. Swakopmund is a pretty town with lots of attractions. A visit to Pelican Point to see the flamingos is recommended, as is a day trip to Sandwich Harbor, a sanctuary for migrating birds. End your trip back in Windhoek for the flight home.

Popular add-ons:

  • Kaokoland for amazing scenery in the most remote region of Namibia
  • Sossusvlei in Namib-Naukluft NP for a real desert experience and great photo opportunities

Southern Namibia (1 to 2 weeks) – Namib-Naukluft NP, Fish River Canyon NP, Luderitz

With a stopover in Johannesburg, you’ll arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek. From there, you’ll take off by car to the Southern Kalahari. The next day, you’ll continue your drive south to the famous Fish River Canyon. The view over the canyon is unforgettable, and the more adventurous can put on their hiking shoes and explore it with a guide. The next day, you drive back north for a stopover in the village of Aus, where wild horses roam, or push on to Luderitz, a picturesque little town by the sea. From Luderitz, you can take a day trip to the derelict, old mining town of Kolmanskop, which has excellent photo opportunities. Driving north again toward Namib-Naukluft, the colors keep changing. By the time you’ve reached Sossusvlei, the sand has turned different shades of red. The next day, you’ll visit the giant dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. The photo opportunities are out of this world. Next is the Naukluft Mountains where you can relax or explore one of the many hiking trails. Your last day is spent driving back to Windhoek for the flight home.

Popular add-ons:

  • Swakopmund for adventure activities and visiting some amazing bird colonies

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