NAMIBIA Road Trip Itinerary

Gravel roads, Damaraland, Namibia

Namibia is one of the best countries for an ultimate road trip. From the white salt pan of Etosha National Park to rock formations in Damaraland, from the red dunes of Sossusvlei to the cold winds of the Skeleton Coast, from the beautiful colonial German town of Swakopmund to the Moon Landscape drive, every day is different. The landscape changes constantly. Driving for more than 100km without seeing another car is rare and hard to find nowadays.

Our 2-week road trip ITINERARY, day by day:

The country is HUGE, and it’s impossible to cover everything in two weeks. The roads are sometimes exhausting, so driving that much in a day is not an option. You will drive most of the time on gravel roads, although those are well maintained. It’s such a trouble-free country to navigate on your own, so I dare to say that anyone could do it.

We wanted to make the most out of this experience, so we rented a 4×4 Toyota Hilux with a rooftop tent, which is the most popular way to visit Namibia, driving around 3.000 kilometres. Nothing compares to the freedom you get when driving your car, choosing when to stop and where to go. We’ve visited this country in September, for two weeks and we’ve booked the campsites in May, but I would recommend booking well in advance if you are visiting the country in high season, from May to October.

Day 1. Arrive in Windhoek

First thing after emigration we bought a sim-data package for two weeks. Someone from the rental company picked us up from the airport and took us to Windhoek, 45km from the airport. 

At the rental office, we had a very detailed briefing of our 4×4 Hilux rooftop car. We were tired and mostly wanted to go to bed, but we knew this part was essential for a perfect road trip, so we paid attention to every detail. Which I encourage you to do as well. 

Sim-data package: MTC Super Aweh Voucher for one week: 65N$ (4€, 4.5US$) included: 700 free minutes, 1500 free SMS, 3 GB free, 750 MB free for Facebook&Whatsapp.

Accommodation: we decided to spend our first night in Windhoek, in one flat with private parking: 495N$ (30€, 34US$)/night.

Day 2. Windhoek – Etosha National Park (East Gate), 530km only on tarred roads, 5h30′ drive 

After a long and deep sleep, we bought some supplies for the week to come. There are plenty of supermarkets in Windhoek, like Pick&Pay, Spar or Chequers, where you can stock up on groceries.

The road from Windhoek to Etosha is pretty smooth, with very little traffic, easy to drive, on tarred roads. We stopped for a coffee at Otjiwarongo and then drove forward.

Accommodation, close enough to the east entry gate of the park: Onguma Tamboti Camp: 280N$ (17€, 19US$) /pp/night. Every camp had its own private ablution facility, own toilet and powerpoint. It was quieter, more intimate and cheaper than staying inside the park.

Driving on B1 tarred road from Windhoek to Etosha National Park, Namibia
Driving to Etosha National Park

Day 3. Etosha National Park, 77km from Onguma Tamboti Camp to Halali Rest Camp

Etosha National Park is Namibia’s best game-drive park and an essential destination on any 2-week road trip Namibia itinerary. With several entrance gates, Etosha is HUGE. The opening/closing times of the gates change weekly and are based on Sunrise and Sunset and we started as soon as possible since wildlife is very active early morning. Remember to release some air pressure from the tires, just like your car hire company advised you (we chose 1.6).
We searched for wildlife and headed to waterholes where animals congregate around. It is easy to navigate around the park, although it’s vast and you need at least two days to explore it. We’ve seen so many animals like zebra, giraffe, impala, springbok, kudu, oryx, black rhino, elephants, ostriches.

Etosha National Park day permit: 80N$/pp + 10 N$/car, 170N$ (11€, 12US$)/2pp

Accommodation inside the park at Halali Camp: 700N$/2pp/campsite/night (45€, 47.5US$). Campsites are close to each other, and it was a little bit too loud for us at night. Very dusty as well so definitely not our favourite!

Giraffe crossing the road in Etosha National Park, Namibia
Giraffe crossing the road in Etosha National Park
A herd of zebras in Etosha National Park, Namibia
A herd of zebras in Etosha National Park
Black-rhino watching us in Etosha National Park, Namibia
Black-rhino watching us in Etosha National Park

Day 4. Etosha National Park, 77km from Halali Rest Camp to Mondjila Safari Camp, outside the park

Another beautiful day spent inside the park, looking for wildlife and taking tons of photos. On our way out we headed to Okaukuejo Rest Camp. By far the best game viewing spot is from the shaded bench surrounding the waterhole, which anyone can use. Its’s a must on your way in or out of the park!

Accommodation: Mondjila Safari Camp, 30km south of the Etosha National Park: 330N$ ( 20€, 22US$). Each campsite with its own powerpoint, light and braai area. We loved this place so much!

So many giraffes inside Etosha National Park, Namibia
So many giraffes inside Etosha National Park!
and also so many zebras in Etosha National Park, Namibia
and so many zebras, Etosha National Park
Elephants, Etosha National Park
Okaukuejo Waterhole, Etosha National Park

Day 5. Etosha National Park – Damaraland, 362 km (200 km on tarred roads until Khorikas + 163 km on gravel roads), 4h30′ drive. Our longest day in Namibia due to the stops!

Beautiful landscape in Damaraland, Namibia
Beautiful landscape in Damaraland

Damaraland, one of the most scenic areas and one of the least populated regions of Namibia, offers spectacular rock formations made out of numerous red boulders. A must-have on any road trip through Namibia.

We got up early, made a quick stop for breakfast, at Outjo Bakery, 72km from Mondjila Safari Camp and headed to Damaraland.

Damaraland highlights for this day include the prehistoric petroglyphs at Twyfelfontein, the petrified trunk trees at Petrified Forest and the group of rock formations that resembles Organ Pipes. Those attractions are doable in the space of 3 hours. Beware the closing time: 5 pm.

The Petrified Forest

A national monument, discovered in 1940 by two farmers, the place itself has many fossilized tree trunks. The trees didn’t grown here, but this is the place where the river washed them down millions of years ago. We took a 45-minutes pleasant and entertaining guided walk.

Fossilized tree trunks, Petrified Forest, Namibia
Fossilized tree trunks, Petrified Forest

Twyfelfontein

After this, we headed to Twyfelfontein, which is famous not for its rock paintings but its petroglyphs which are incised by the use of quartz on soft sandstone. The guided Lion-Man tour takes around one hour. Site better visited late afternoon, for the best shots.

The Lion Man route, Twyfelfontein, Namibia
The Lion Man route, Twyfelfontein

Six kilometres from Twyfelfontein is a site called Organ Pipes. Worth a quick stop to wander through the formations.

Park fees: Twyfelfontein and Petrified Forest -100N$/pp (6€, 7US$), Organ Pipes, 50N$/pp (3€, 3.5US$)

Where to stay: Madisa CampD2612, GPS coordinates: -20.726401, 14.682374. 441N$/2 pax/night (28.50€, 31US$). Our favourite campsite – a hidden gem between fantastic rock formations.

Day 6. A day to relax at Madisa Camp, Damaraland

We slept a little bit more this morning, enjoying a delicious breakfast, entirely alone in the camp. Then we took a short walk around the vast Granite Bolder, made lots of photos, and later in the afternoon, we made use of the swimming pool. We spent the evening relaxing at the bar, with a drink and a good chat. It was a good day to take a break from our road trip and recharge the batteries.

Campsite, Madisa Camp, Namibia
Campsite no. 11, Madisa Camp
Pool, Madisa Camp, Namibia
Chilling at the pool, Madisa Camp
Elephant Sign, Damaraland, Namibia
Beware of elephants!

Day 7. Damaraland – Cape Cross – Henties Bay, 330 km, 4h drive

On the way to Skeleton Coast, we stopped for a coffee and a homemade cake at Cactus and Coffee; a lovely cactus shaded garden in the remote town Uis

Cactus, sukkulents and coffee, Uis, Namibia
Cactus and Coffee, Uis

Cape Cross

From Hentiesbei we drove on a beautiful salt road to reach the world’s largest breeding colony of Cape fur seals, Cape Cross. You would never expect to see so many seals in one place. There is a walkway above the ground for people to walk along and to take pictures. It is highly unusual to be able to get so close to wildlife, to see both adults and cute seal pups playing around. The noise and the smell are overwhelming, though. 

Tip: Don’t wear your best clothes since the stench is horrible and stays in the clothes for days. Choose something you won’t be needing soon. 

Seal Colony, Cape Cross, Namibia
Seal Colony, Cape Cross
Seal Colony, Cape Cross, Namibia
Seal Colony, Cape Cross

Nights are cold and windy on Skeleton Coast, so we decided to spend the night at Desert Rendevous, a gorgeous accommodation in Hentiesbaai. For dinner, we opted for Go Fishy restaurant, and I highly recommend you to do so. Fantastic food at average cost. Go for the capture of the day! 

Cape Cross entrance fee: 80N$/pp + 10 N$/car, 170N$ (11€, 12US$)/2pp

Accommodation: Desert Rendezvous, Hentiesbaai, 810N$ ( 50€, 54US$)/night/ double room with breakfast included. 

Dinner: Go Fishy Restaurant, 500N$ (30€, 34US$)/dinner+drinks

Seafood plate, Go Fishy Restaurant, Hentiesbaai, Namibia
Amazing seafood, Go Fishy Restaurant, Hentiesbaai

Day 8. Hentiesbaai – Dune 7 – Swakopmund, 160km, 2h30′ drive

Zeila

15 km south of Henties Bay is the wreck of the Zeila, stranded on August 25, 2008. The ship was sold as scrap metal but got shipwrecked after it left Walvis Bay on the way to India. It worths a quick stop to see the shipwreck, now colonized by birds. A few vendors approached us but a simple “no, thank you” was enough and they left us alone. 

Zeila, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
The Wreck of the Zeila, Skeleton Coast

Wlotzkasbake

Halfway between Hentiasbaai and Swakopmund is a small summer cottage community called Wlotzkasbake. We drove through, took some pictures and headed to Walvis Bay.

Wlotzkasbake, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Holiday cottage, Wlotzkasbake, Skeleton Coast

Dune 7

Dune 7, in Dorob National Park, about 10 kilometres est of Walvis Bay, is the highest dune in the area. It is about 383 meters high from the base and 570 metres above sea level. Reasonably easy to climb, the dune has lovely views over the desert — a must in everyone’s itinerary. 

Tip: Climb Dune 7 on the left-hand end and follow the trail. It is easier and takes no more than 20 minutes. 

Dune 7 near Walvis Bay, Namibia
Sand everywhere, Dune 7
Dune 7 near Walvis Bay, Namibia
Dune 7
Parking, Dune 7, Namibia
The parking lot, Dune 7

The lagoon of Walvis Bay

On the way back to Swakopmund, on the left side of the road, we saw some shallows packed with flamingos and pelicans. The lagoon of Walvis Bay is the hibernation area for thousands of migratory bird, especially for southern African greater flamingos. They were quite shy, so we left the car and walked a little bit until we found a spot from where we could watch them without being seen — such a great thing to observe them in their natural environment.

Lagoon of Walvis Bay, Namibia
Pelicans, Lagoon of Walvis Bay
Lagoon of Walvis Bay, Namibia
Flamingos, Lagoon of Walvis Bay
Lagoon of Walvis Bay, Namibia
Flamingos, Lagoon of Walvis Bay

Swakopmund

We spent the rest of the day exploring Swakopmund – walking on the promenade, taking photos of the old colonial buildings and finding the right restaurant.

Colonial german town, Swakopmund, Namibia
Old Railway Station Hotel, Swakopmund
De Mole Beach, Swakopmund, Namibia
De Mole Beach, Swakopmund

Accommodation: It gets freezing at night, in September, in Swakopmund, so we spent the night in a flat: 660N$ (40€, 45US$)/night

Dinner: Kücki’s Pub, a famous hangout place for locals and visitors alike. Delicious Seafood!

Day 9. Swakopmund – Moon Landscape – Spitzkoppe Campsite, 188km, 2h30′ drive

Swakopmund, the second largest town in Namibia, is well packed with supermarkets, so we filled our fridge with everything we needed for the second week. 

Moon Landscape

From Swakopmund, we’ve headed to the Welwitschia Plains for a scenic drive through Namib-Naukluft Park, another unique landscape of Namibia.

We got a day permit from the NWR office in Swakopmund although I’m still not sure if this was really necessary. After the Moon Landscape viewpoint, there is a T junction where we turned left and drove to Goanikontes oasis. Here we spoiled ourself with a great coffee and a light meal.

Tip: The area is a photographer’s heaven, so visit this place early morning or late afternoon for great pictures.

Moon Landscape, Namibia
Moon Landscape
Moon Landscape, Namibia
Moon Landscape

Spitzkoppe

We arrived early at Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp, and we began to search for the perfect spot. Boy, that wasn’t easy at all. We found every place better than the other one, but finally, we agreed that 11B wast the ideal campsite for us. With the perfect sunset and a delicious dinner, we completed the night. 

the road to Spitzkoppe, Namibia
On the road to Spitzkoppe
Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Beautiful views in Spitzkoppe
Sunset, Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Sunset in Spitzkoppe

Welwitschia Plains day permit: 40N$/pp and 10N$/car

Accommodation: Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp, 190N$ (11.6€, 13US$) /pp/night

Day 10. Spitzkoppe (Damaraland)

When the sunrise lit the rocks with the most beautiful light, we were ecstatic. We just immersed ourselves in the stillness and the beauty of the place and had a lovely breakfast.

Campsite 11B, Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Campsite 11B, Spitzkoppe

We spent the day exploring the area, hiking and climbing the giant boulders, taking lots of photos. We did two guided tours: Bushmen’s Paradise tour and the Small Bushmen’s Paradise tour. The Bushmen’s Paradise tour takes about an hour to complete, and the Small Bushmen’s Paradise takes about half an hour. No fees for the guided tours but tips are welcomed. By noon it gets very hot, so we spent some time at the bar, chilling. The sunset was once again spectacular. There was a full moon, and we enjoyed a clear sky. 

Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Just enjoying the views in Spitzkoppe
Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Bushmen’s Paradise, Spitzkoppe
Bar, Spitzkoppe, Namibia
chilling at the bar, Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Accommodation: Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp, 190N$ (11.6€, 13US$) /pp/night

Tip: Campsites 10 A, B, C and 11B, C are undoubtedly the best!

Day 11. Spitzkoppe – Sossusvlei, 488 km, around 6 h drive

Another long day spent on the road with lovely views and stops on the way.

Roads, Namibia
Finally another car on our way to Sossusvlei, Namibia

Tropic of Capricorn

Tropic of Capricorn, on C14, one of the most iconic signs in Africa. A must stop for every tourist in this part of the country. Luckily we had the sign for ourselves and we took lots of photos.

Tropic of Capricorn sign, Namibia
Tropic of Capricorn Sign, Namibia

Town of Solitaire

Town of Solitaire, a small town in the middle of nowhere, for us a great stop-off considering the long drive. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and the famous and most delicious apple pie. We took some photos as well since the surroundings are beautiful, with lots of old cars and succulent plants.

old cars, Solitaire, namibia
Solitaire, Namibia
Solitaire, Namibia
Solitaire, Namibia

From Solitaire we had one hour drive to our next campsite, near Sesriem Gate, our base for the next day. 

Accommodation: Sesriem Oasis Campsite, outside the Namib-Naukluft National Park: 230N$ (14€, 15.62US$)/pp/night

Day 12. Sossusvlei 

It is one of Namibia’s most iconic sites with unique dead trees surrounded by red-orange sand dunes and a must-see for anyone travelling to Namibia. We spent the day climbing Big Daddy dune (the largest in the area), then explored the Deadvlei mud pan before walking to the much less visited Hiddenvlei.

Big Daddy, Namib Naukluft National Park< Namibia
View from Big Daddy over Deadvlei
Deadvlei, Namibia
Deadvlei

How to plan the perfect day in Sossusvlei, here!

Namib-Naukluft National Park day permit: 80N$/pp + 10 N$/car

Accommodation: Sesriem Oasis Campsite, outside the Namib-Naukluft National Park: 230N$ (14€, 15.62US$)/pp/night

Day 13. Sossuvlei – Windhoek, 334 km, 4h30′ drive

We opted for the road less travelled to Windhoek, via Spreetshoogte Pass. Well worth the scenery. From Rehoboth, we drove on the tared road again until Windhoek.

On the way to Windhoek on our road trip in Namibia
Gravel roads, Namibia

Accommodation: we rented a flat for the last night in Namibia, 495N$ (30€, 33.62US$)/night/2pp

Day 14. Departure

We left the car at the rental company, and we had a lift to the airport from where we took the long flight back home. 

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