Take this classic self-drive around the country’s ‘northern circuit’, and enjoy some fantastic game-viewing and photographic opportunities.
This superb route offers fantastic game-viewing and photographic opportunities throughout, while staying in good quality (but not over the top!) accommodation. Furthermore, being self drive you have the complete freedom to stop off at sites en-route whenever you like – it’s your trip!
Day1: Depart UK
Day2: Arrive Windhoek, 1-night guesthouse
On arrival at Windhoek international airport pick up your rental vehicle. Once you have completed the paperwork, you can drive into central Windhoek (45 kilometres away) and check in to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city.
Days3-4: Drive to Okonjima, 2-nights lodge/tented camp. Vehicle safaris
This morning you depart the capital and drive north along the main highway (tarmac) to Okonjima Lodge, roughly 225 kilometres or around 2½ hours drive. The last 24 kilometres are on gravel track. After checking in at the lodge and settling in to your room, in the afternoon you can take advantage of the various wildlife activities on offer. Accommodation: Okonjima Main Camp, 2 nights, half board basis.
You have a full day to explore Okonjima, get to know its wildlife and learn all about the work of the foundation. A variety of activities are on offer.
Days5-6: Drive to Eastern Etosha, 2-nights lodge/tented camp. Vehicle safaris
Continue your drive northwards on the tar road via Ojitwarongo and Tsumeb to Etosha National Park - roughly 300 kilometres or just over three hours drive. While at Etosha, you will stay at two different locations. The first two nights are spent at the eastern side of the park, followed by two nights further to the west. This provides a comprehensive overview of the region and allows you to explore different areas of this remarkable wildlife sanctuary at your leisure. Alternatively you can book guided game drives at your accommodation.
Days7-8: Drive to Western Etosha, 2-nights lodge/tented camp. Vehicle safaris
Days9-10: Drive to Damaraland, 2-nights lodge/tented camp. See ancient rock engravings
This morning it's time to leave behind the wonders of Etosha for the impressive landscape and rugged valleys of the Damaraland Highlands, as you make your way south to Twyfelfontein on gravel roads - a drive of roughly 330 kilometres, or five to six hours.
Days11-12: Drive to Erongo, 2-nights lodge/ tented camp. Vehicle safaris
This morning you continue southeast on gravel roads, a drive of just over 300 kilometres or between five and six hours, via Khorixas and Brandberg to Erongo Wilderness Lodge outside Omaruru. There is plenty to see en route, or you can opt to push on and enjoy some down time on arrival.
Day13: Drive to Windhoek and depart
Depending on the departure time of your flight, you have most of the day to drive back to Windhoek via Okahandja - a drive of around 230 kilometres, mostly on good tar road, taking around three hours. You can stop in downtown Windhoek to do some last minute shopping or visit museums before heading the final 45 kilometres out to the international airport. Please ensure you leave sufficient time to drop off your hire vehicle before checking in for the overnight flight to London via Johannesburg.
Day14: Arrive UK
You should note: At certain times of year a 4 wheel drive is recommended.
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 14 daysfrom £3,595 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 12 daysfrom £2,595 pp
Single supplement: From £165 (sgl accommodation supp, not single vehicle supp)
When to go: Jan-Dec
The Africat Foundation is set high upon the edge of a rugged escarpment with beautiful panoramic views. The surrounding woodland is a birdwatcher’s paradise sustaining over 200 species and their cheetah project provides a fascinating insight to their welfare work and opportunities to track on foot or in vehicles.
Where: Otjozondjupa Region
Ideal for viewing: cheetah, Hartlaub’s francolin, leopard, Monteiro’s hornbill, rockrunner
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris
Etosha is considered to be one of the finest sanctuaries in southern Africa. It is famous for its vast, dazzling saltpan with permanent waterholes, which attract a multitude of wildlife particularly during the dry winter. The neighbouring Ongava Private Game Reserve offers the attraction of tracking rhino on foot.
Where: Oshikoto & Oshana Region
Ideal for viewing: black rhino, black-faced impala, damara dik-dik, African elephant, lion
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Just Conservation
Damaraland is an ancient area of arid plains, deep chasms and dramatic red, rocky peaks, dominated by the huge Brandberg Mountain. With the Atlantic coast nearby, sea mists drift inland providing sustenance to various desert life forms and natural laws of food and water dictate the movement of the desert elephant.
Where: Erongo Region
Ideal for viewing: black rhino, desert elephant, springbok, white-tailed shrike, augur buzzard
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris
The pleasant, relatively modern city of Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, and is the starting point of most wildlife safaris. A small city of contrasts, it combines modern Europe with modern Africa, together with a sprinkling of attractive old buildings of German architecture.