9 days – Self Drive Namibia 4×4 – Go Great (ACCOMMODATED)

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

Starting this self drive in Windhoek, enjoy a full-bodied Namibian adventure on this nine-day trip into the heart of the country. Join the Gondwana Collection and Namibia2Go for a special Namibian experience. This carefully planned safari incorporates a feast of wildlife viewing in Etosha National Park with a friendly taste of Damaraland where you have the opportunity to view the ancient Twyfelfontein rock engravings and to track desert-adapted rhino. The trip ends in Swakopmund where you can partake in activities like dolphin cruises and living desert tours, or explore the town with its many restaurants and curio shops at your leisure.

Beginning in Windhoek, the route leads directly to Etosha National Park for a wildlife feast, first staying at the stylish Etosha King Nehale Lodge on the Andoni Plains north of the park and then at Etosha Safari Lodge near the central gate. Spend time exploring Etosha, visiting the waterholes, which attract a variety of animals large and small, and returning to the lodge for siestas, to refresh in the pool and to raise glasses as the sun sets at the end of the day.

The journey continues westwards to Palmwag Lodge, built in a stand of makalani palm trees and overlooking the dramatic scenery of flat-topped mountains and vistas of red basalt rock dotted with green euphorbias. Wake early to track desert-adapted rhino, explore the concession area, take a guided walk or join a sunset drive to soak up the striking landscape. Visit the ancient Twyfelfontein rock engravings and the Petrified Forest en route to Khorixas and Damara Mopane Lodge, your refreshing destination for the night. Built in a semi-circular labyrinth design amid the mopane trees, Damara Mopane is an oasis of a lodge with the chalet gardens sporting a selection of vegetables and herbs. Stroll up to the sunset deck in the evening to watch the sun dip into the mopane woodland.

The route southwards crosses the ephemeral Ugab River and takes you past the colourful roadside stalls of the Herero women selling their well-made Herero dolls. It continues past Brandberg Mountain to the small town of Uis before heading in a south-westerly direction to Henties Bay and the coast. It’s a short drive from there to Swakopmund and The Delight Hotel, your home for the last two nights of the journey. Savour oysters and champagne at The Delight’s delicious breakfast spread before joining desert activities or exploring the town. Watch the sun sink into the sea from the jetty and dine at Swakopmund’s fine restaurants. The drive back to the capital city is a few hours’ long, giving you enough time to happily reminisce about your exciting  experiences and the adventures of the last nine days. 


 Windhoek – Etosha National Park – Palmwag – DamaralandSpitzkoppe – Swakopmund 


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

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

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


8 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!


  • Minimum age car rental is 23


  • Accommodation upgrade
  • Extra nights
  • Pre planned activities

Day 1, 2Etosha East

Make sure of an early start from Windhoek to make the most of this full day that takes you into Etosha and through its most northerly gate. The route from Windhoek passes the town of Okahandja where the first turnoff leads to the woodcarvers’ market. Further north towards Otjiwarongo, the Omatakos, a pair of conical mountains, are prominent landmarks along the route. Termite mounds reach for the sky and warthogs root along the roadside. The B1 passes the towns of Otavi and Tsumeb before you veer left onto the C38 to Etosha’s Von Lindequist Gate. Spend the afternoon enjoying the drive northwards through Etosha. Etosha King Nehale awaits you soon after the King Nehale Gate, where you can kick off shoes and raise glasses as the sun sets over the Andoni Plains, relishing the comfort of this stylish lodge.

The second day can be used to explore northern and eastern Etosha, visiting the waterholes, which attract a variety of animals that come to quench their thirst. The 22 912km² wildlife haven is home to 114 mammal species, including elephant giants and diminutive Damara dik-diks, and 340 species of birds. Etosha King Nehale has a waterhole reserved especially for lodge guests. Spend the day in the park or return to the lodge for lunch and to relax and luxuriate in your private plunge pool.

Day 3Etosha National Park

The Etosha feast continues as you journey westwards into the heart of the ‘Great White Place’. Etosha has a variety of landscapes and vegetation types including grassland and dwarf-shrub, woodland and thornbush savannah. At its centre is the shimmering mirage-like pan, which fills with water in years of good rainfall and gives the chalky character to the park. The pan formed 120 million years ago when continental drift changed the slope of the land and redirected the course of the ancient rivers, which dried up over time. Day three provides the opportunity to hopscotch from waterhole to waterhole as you travel towards Okaukuejo. Keep in mind that it is often slow-going through the park. Enjoy a lunchbreak midway at Halali. Both the Halali and Okaukuejo camps have popular waterholes, which attract animals large and small. In the late afternoon exit from Okaukuejo at Andersson Gate to drive the ten kilometres to Etosha Safari Lodge. Arrive in time to enjoy a sundowner drink overlooking the mopane woodland, when the world is painted in gold. Enjoy supper at the lodge or reserve a table at Etosha Safari Camp’s Shebeen restaurant for a fun-filled relaxed evening. The restaurant is 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 on travellers’ itineraries. The delicious buffet spread is eaten outdoors as you listen to the Etosha Boys strum their guitars and sing local melodies.

Day 4, 5Palmwag

After a leisurely breakfast take the C38 southwards to the town of Outjo, where you’ll be able to fill your fuel tank and stock up with snacks and essentials for the journey. From Outjo take the C40 north-west to Kamanjab. (There is an option to reach Kamanjab on the gravel roads via the D2695, south of Etosha Safari Lodge.) Stock up and fill fuel tanks in Kamanjab before continuing on the scenic Grootberg Pass to Palmwag. Take it slowly and carefully around the bends, and keep eyes open for desert elephants in the valley. Flat-topped Etendeka Mountains and rich red rock dotted with green euphorbias and robust mopane trees characterise the area around Palmwag. Palmwag Lodge is set in a grove of makalani palm trees that mark the underground watercourse of the Uniab River and the lodge overlooks the sweeping Damaraland landscape. Make sure you arrive in time to sip a sundowner as the sun dips in the sky, transforming the landscape into deep reds and shades of pastel pink. Arrange your activities for the next day on your arrival before soaking up the beauty of the surroundings.

Choose how best to spend your second day at Palmwag. Activities include an early start to track desert-adapted black rhino with the conservancy rhino rangers, taking a guided walk to become better acquainted with the environment and self-driving or joining a sundowner drive into the 582 000-hectare Palmwag Concession, a vast conservation area with an abundance of wildlife. Palmwag collaborates with neighbouring conservancies, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Save the Rhino Trust to safeguard this rich wild heritage. During the day, enjoy a relaxed lunch at the pool bar and in the evening keep eyes open for the resident bull elephant ‘Jimbo’, who often makes an appearance.

Day 6Damaraland

After an early breakfast, travel southwards on the C43 and eastwards on the C39 until the D2612 turnoff to the Twyfelfontein engravings. Two to six thousand years old, the engravings, mostly of animals, were made by hunters and gatherers who congregated at the springs in the mountain in the dry season. It is believed that their shamans chiselled into the Mount Etjo sandstone as a form of prayer as they beseeched the gods for healing, rain, food and protection for their people. Guided walks are available to visit the main sites. If time allows, in the vicinity are also a series of rock formations known as the Organ Pipes and a Damara Living Museum to experience the traditions of the Damara people. The Twyfelfontein Lodge is a convenient place for lunch or a cold drink during the day, or request lunch packs from Palmwag in advance.
Retracing your steps after a fascinating morning at Twyfelfontein, continue on the C39 eastwards towards Khorixas. Another optional stop on the route is the small Petrified Forest where a number of conifers from ancient rivers were deposited millions of years ago, eventually fossilising into stone. Damara Mopane Lodge, a refreshingly different oasis-like lodge, is reached 20km after Khorixas. Built in the traditional design of an African king’s residence, a semi-circular labyrinth of passageways leads to the spacious chalets, each with its own productive food garden. The gardens are planted with a selection of fresh vegetables and herbs, which form part of the delicious supper spread. A gigantic turquoise pool is the perfect place to relax in the afternoon before making your way up to the sundowner deck to toast the day from above the mopane woodland. Stroll back down to the lodge to sit outdoors and enjoy the mouth-watering dinner buffet.

Day 7, 8Swakopmund

The coast is calling today, as is The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund. Just before Khorixas take the gravel C35 southwards to Henties Bay. This route takes you past Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, and the town of Uis.
(For those who don’t mind retracing the route from the previous day, an option is to travel along the C39, through the Springbokwasser Gate and down the infamous Skeleton Coast to Swakopmund. The road follows the attractive Huab valley until the coast. Look out for the many welwitschia plants along this stretch of road, and before the Ugab Gate the remains of the South West Seal, a 90-ton South African fishing vessel that caught fire and beached here in 1979. After the Ugab Gate, you’ll notice many fishing spots along this desolate coastline, some with interesting local names like Sarah se Gat, named after a well-known fisherwoman. Visit the colony of Cape fur seals at Cape Cross and enjoy lunch at the adjacent Cape Cross Lodge.)
Elephant caution signs dot the roadside at the beginning of the C35 as the north-western corner is desert elephant territory. The desert elephants often travel along the ephemeral river systems that remain dry until summer rainfall fills their catchment areas. The colourful stalls of the Herero women selling their well-made Herero dolls line the road near the Ugab River. Their striking long dresses, worn even in the stifling heat, and their cow-horn headdresses make a lasting impression. Further along, Himba from further north have also set up their stalls adding to the intrigue. Continuing to Uis, Brandberg (‘Burning Mountain’) appears on the right-hand side. It is so named for its orange-red glow in the late afternoon as the sun catches its granite rock,
setting it aflame in colour. Brandberg’s Königstein peak, at 2573m, towers above the grassy plains. Brandberg is also known for its White Lady rock painting. Much younger than the Twyfelfontein engravings, the Brandberg paintings are estimated to be approximately 2000 years old and are predominantly of people. The name ‘White Lady’, coined by Henri Breuil in 1955, is now understood to represent a healer or medicine man holding a bow and arrow in one hand and a cup or wand in the other. The guided walk to see the painting is a two- to three-hour return trip, only to be included if time allows. Ensure that you carry enough water and wear closed shoes and a hat. Uis is a convenient place for a lunch or tea stop and to fill fuel tanks. Cactus and Coffee on the outskirts of the town serves light meals and coffee and cake in their outside courtyard. It’s still 100km on the gravel to reach the coast, so don’t linger too long. Around Uis, roadside stalls, often creatively decorated, sell an array of colourful Namibian gemstones.
South of Henties Bay, you’ll find the 2008 Zeila wreck, a fishing trawler whose towline broke in the early hours. It is only 70km from Henties to Swakopmund on the tar and the excitement starts to escalate as you enter this unusual town, with its early-20th century German architecture, fringed by the icy Atlantic on the one side and the Namib Desert on the other. Swakopmund is often shrouded in a curtain of mist, the precious moisture that sustains the flora and fauna of the Namib. So, don a jersey and make your way to your bright and cheerful home for the next two nights. Welcome to The Delight!

Day 9End of itinerary

You have another opportunity to enjoy The Delight’s breakfast before you return to the capital city. The drive is approximately four hours. Make a stop along the way at the Ûiba-Ôas crystal market at the turnoff to Spitzkoppe for one of the finest displays of Namibian gemstones. Further on, the Wilhelmstal Padstal is a good place for Apfelstreusel and biltong. After that it’s only a hop and a skip back to Windhoek as you breeze along, reminiscing about the incredible adventures of the trip.



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