Take this classic self-drive around Namibia’s ‘northern circuit’, and enjoy some fantastic wildlife-viewing and photographic opportunities.
This superb route provides a comprehensive overview of the country's northern highlights and allows you to experience some of the country's stunning scenery and unique wildlife in the Damaraland, as well as spending time in the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, and two days at the AfriCat Foundation to learn about the cheetah and leopard conservation there.
Being self drive you have the complete freedom to stop off at sites en route whenever you like – it’s your trip!
Day1: Depart the UK
Day2: Arrive Windhoek
On arrival at Windhoek international airport pick up your rental vehicle. Once you have completed the paperwork, you can drive into central Windhoek and check in to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city.
Accommodation: Casa Piccolo Guesthouse, 1-night
Days3-4: Drive to Okonjima; vehicle safaris
This morning you depart the capital and drive north along the main highway (tarmac) to Okonjima, two to three hours' drive (the last 24 kilometres are on gravel track). This afternoon and the following day you can take advantage of the various wildlife activities on offer, and learn all about the work of AfriCat Foundation.
While at Etosha, we suggest you stay at two different locations: the first two nights to be spent at the eastern side of the park, followed by two nights further to the west. This provides a comprehensive overview of the park 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.
Accommodation: Onguma Bush Camp, 2-nights / Okaukuejo Rest Camp, 2-nights
Days9-10: Drive to Damaraland; 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).
Accommodation: Grootberg Lodge, 2-nights
Days11-12: Drive to Erongo; vehicle safaris
This morning you continue southeast, via Khorixas and Brandberg to your next lodge, just outside Omaruru. There is plenty to see en route, or you can opt to push on and enjoy some down time on arrival.
Depending on the departure time of your flight, you should have most of the day to drive back to Windhoek. 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 and a return overnight flight 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 £2,975 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 12 daysfrom £1,975 pp
Single supplement: From £165 (sgl accommodation supp, not single vehicle supp)
When to go: Jan-Dec
Situated in the huge Okonjima Nature Reserve, the AfriCat Foundation is a key conservation project, researching and rehabilitating hyenas, cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs. There is a good choice of accommodation, and unlimited opportunities to see carnivores in their natural environment on vehicle or walking safaris.
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.