12 days – Self Drive Namibia 4×4 – Go Wild (ACCOMMODATED)

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12 days
Self Drive
Windhoek - Windhoek
Namibia
Min Age : N/A (23 for car rental)
Max People : 4
Tour Details

Starting this self drive from Windhoek you will move north toward the famous Etosha National Park, where three nights will be enjoyed at the unique and quirky Etosha Safari Camp. From there you will move further northeast, be sure to enjoy a sunset on the Okavango River! As soon as you move into the Zambezi Region and toward the Kwando River, you will definitely “go wild”. A sanctuary for wildlife and countless photograph opportunities await you in the surrounding Bwabwata National Park. Be sure to keep your ears tuned to the sound of the hippos in the morning before driving further northeast to the floodplains of the Chobe River, Namibia’s very own version of the Serengeti. With a bit of luck you may see large herds of elephants, buffalo and antelope. Afterwards, you will experience the enchanted world of the mighty Zambezi River, where vervet monkeys scamper  through the trees and swamp boubous’ melodic banter rings through the air. This riverine landscape is home to over 450 species of birds filling the air with sound, activity and colour. Moving back west you will stop along the Okavango once more, ready to celebrate the experience you have shared with Namibia. Have a wild Namibian experience at a pace you set for yourself. See the true wilderness through the eyes of Namibians!

Highlights

Windhoek – Etosha National Park– Zambezi Region – Bwabwata National Park – Okavango River – Chobe River – Zambezi River- Kwando River

Note

This itinerary is tailor-made and can be amended with extra nights, accommodation- or vehicle upgrades.

Departure & Return Location

Windhoek – Windhoek

Departure Time

Any time

Price Includes

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • 11 x Breakfast
  • 12 days vehicle rental (type car depends on amount of people)
  • Reservation costs
  • Travel App with your itinerary
  • Travel Documentation & Directions
  • 24/7 assistance
  • Coverage by guarantee fund

Price Excludes

  • All flights (international and within South Africa, bookable via African Travels)
  • Meals/drinks not mentioned in the travel schedule
  • All Insurance (travel and/or cancellation)
  • Fuel
  • All entrance fees and conservation fees for parks and attractions
  • Tips
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Excess car rental
  • Visa costs

Accommodation

12 nights in accommodations that are part of the Gondwana collection in Namibia, a very sustainable brand of Namibian lodges.

African Travels will send you to the most beautiful and unique accommodations in Africa. They are not only run by excellent staff, they also give back to the local community and operate as eco friendly as possible. Located in the most beautiful and safe locations, they will contribute to your ultimate Africa experience. From small guesthouses, tented safari camps to luxury boutique hotels. We will make sure they tick all the boxes!

Restrictions

  • Minimum age car rental is 23

Extras/upgrades

  • Accommodation upgrade
  • Extra nights
  • Pre planned activities
Itinerary

Day 1, 2Etosha National Park

Travel northwards from Windhoek via Okahandja, where you can visit the woodcarving market and fill up with fuel, biltong and snacks for the road. Back on the road, the Omatakos, two conical mountains that jut out of the surrounding landscape, are prominent landmarks along the way. Take a break for lunch in Otjiwarongo or Outjo before reaching your friendly and relaxed home for the next two days – Etosha Safari Camp. A highlight of the stay is the Shebeen restaurant, modelled on ‘shebeens’ (informal township bars) of old, where people gathered to meet, have a drink and listen to music. The colourful and quirky restaurant has become a highlight of travellers’ itineraries. Enjoy the delicious dinner feast outdoors as you listen to the Etosha Boys strum their guitars and sing local melodies.

Situated on the outskirts of Etosha National Park, Etosha Safari Camp is the perfect base from which to explore this renowned wildlife sanctuary, with the option of a lunchtime siesta in your chalet or at the poolside. Instead of rushing ahead to your next destination, relish the opportunity to explore the waterholes in the Okaukuejo vicinity in your own time where there are a variety of animal visitors large and small. After a full and satisfying day of wildlife viewing, return to the warm hospitality of Etosha Safari Camp.

Day 3Etosha East

The third day of your safari is a celebration of wildlife as you travel through Etosha, visiting the waterholes further to the east and exiting the park in the late afternoon at Etosha’s northerly King Nehale Gate. Not far from the gate, on the Andoni Plains bordering the park, you’ll reach Etosha King Nehale your home for the night. Spend the evening in the comfort of this stylish lodge, embellished with both royal and African flourishes, ending your Etosha sojourn on a high note.

Day 4Okavango River

After a good night’s sleep and an introduction to the colourful character of the Owambo regions, take the turnoff onto the M121 before Ondangwa to travel northwards to Eenhana. Follow the B10 to the east on a tree-lined road that leads to the glittering Okavango River. Ten kilometres before the junction with the B8 on the outskirts of Rundu, you’ll find the access road to Hakusembe River Lodge, a green oasis on the banks of the river. Enjoy the peaceful surrounds of this relaxing lodge on an afternoon boat cruise or raise glasses from the wooden deck as the ruby sun sinks into the horizon.

Day 5, 6Kwando River

The drive today is eastward, towards the lush north-eastern corner of Namibia. Once known as the Caprivi, now renamed the Zambezi Region, it is a tree-filled expanse bisected by waterways. It is also home to a fascinating group of people and an abundance of wildlife and birds. Bwabwata National Park runs from the Okavango River to the Kwando River and, unusually, is home to both people and wildlife living side by side. Slow down as you pass through the settlements and keep eyes open for elephant and wild dog! At Kongola, turn right onto the C49 towards Namushasha River Lodge, a lodge that resonates with true Zambezi character. Set on the riverbank amidst the trees, the lodge is alive with the sound of hippos and birds and is a veritable wonderland in the region. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of the area.

The second day you have the opportunity to experience the many riches the river has to offer. Take a leisurely boat trip on the Kwando River and relish the magic of this water-Eden. Spot the abundant bird species, crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks and the pods of hippos among the waterlilies.
A highlight of your stay is the guided trip into the Bwabwata National Park, beginning with a boat cruise on the Kwando River. Downriver, guests disembark on to the riverbank where a game-viewing vehicle awaits for exploration into the national park. This includes a drive to the popular elephant-viewing spot at Horseshoe, an oxbow lake surrounded by Zambezi teak woodland. The afternoon is celebrated with drinks and snacks before heading back to the riverbank to board the boat as the sun begins to set.
Those comfortable with 4×4 driving can consider visiting the nearby Mudumu National Park, a good destination for a morning or afternoon expedition, or a day trip with a picnic lunch. Or continue to Nkasa Rupara National Park, slightly further afield. Allocate a full day for this water-rich gem of a park, with a stop along the way at the small Livingstone Museum (phone ahead to arrange a suitable time). (Caution is needed in muddy conditions, as well as 4×4 expertise.)
Other places to visit include Mashi Crafts, a treasure-house of crafts, located across the road from the Kongola fuel station and well worth a visit. For a touch of local culture, pop into the Namushasha Heritage Centre, a short distance from the lodge, to learn about the intriguing culture of the Eastern Zambezi region. The Living Museum of the Mafwe, reached from Kongola, provides another opportunity to learn about the local traditions.

Day 7Chobe river Front

Day seven takes you to the Chobe River and Chobe River Camp positioned on its banks overlooking the floodplains. From Namushasha River Lodge drive in an easterly direction along the C49 to Katima Mulilo. The road passes through the Mdumu and Nkasa Rupara national parks and wildlife can often be seen along the roadside. Look out for herds of elephant crossing the road and, further on, for the domestic animals of the settlements. From Katima, the B8 leads southwards to the Ngoma border post, the gateway between Namibia and Botswana. The turnoff to Chobe River Camp is 4 kilometres before Ngoma. The camp lies across from Chobe National Park. When the river is high mid-year, the camp’s boat trip is one of the finest excursions in the country to spot buffalo, elephant, water-adapted antelope and a variety of birdlife from the comfort of the boat. In drier times of the year, a guided nature drive along the river course provides opportunity for game viewing. Join an excursion or spend a relaxed afternoon at the camp. Dine outdoors in the lapa under the stars, listen to birdsong and revel in the calm beauty of this refreshingly simple African camp.

Day 8, 9Zambezi Region

A short drive north from Chobe River Camp takes you to the turnoff onto the D3508 and to Zambezi Mubala Lodge on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. The lodge is approximately 40km east of Katima Mulilo. A boat trip from Zambezi Mubala Camp is the only way to reach this attractive lodge on the riverbank. Mubala means ‘colour’ in the local Silozi language, a reference to the harmonious colours of nature reflected in the Zambezi waters. Enjoy a sundowner cruise after an afternoon spent relaxing at the pool. Dine outdoors and luxuriate in Mubala tranquillity.

The Zambezi River is popular for fishing, birding, boating and photography. You may be tempted to relax on your balcony overlooking the river. However, if more energetic, take a stroll to the carmine bee-eater colony (between mid-August and December), try your luck on the river for tiger fish (catch&release) and hop aboard the boat to explore the river. Home to a wide variety of birds, Zambezi Mubala Lodge is a treat for nature lovers. At the end of the day, savour the sunset colours and the soothing river setting.

Day 10Kwando River

Katima Mulilo is a good place to fill up with fuel and pick up essentials before following the B8 to Kongola and the C49. Namushasha River Lodge is your home for the night as you begin to retrace your steps. It’s a welcome return to the loveliness of the lodge and the wild and wonderful Kwando River.

Day 11Okavango River

Say your farewells to the Zambezi Region as you travel westwards to the Kavango Region for your final night at Hakusembe River Lodge. Enjoy a relaxed evening and dinner on the deck overlooking the river before a sound night’s sleep to the accompaniment of river lullabies.

Day 12End of itinerary

Rise early for the eight-hour drive back to Windhoek. Breakfast packs are available on request. It is recommended to overnight in Windhoek to ensure that there is sufficient time to catch your onward flight the next day. With a whole day ahead, you can enjoy the drive back to the mother city, after your superlative and enriching wildlife experience.

Map

Photos
FAQ

Can we upgrade our rental car?

Yes, after confirmation we will contact you about additional requests. For example a rental car upgrade etc.

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

You can use NAD and your bank/credit card should be accepted in most supermarkets, lodges and restaurants.

Can I book additional nights?

Yes you can. We can extent this trip. We can even include an extension to Botswana