Day 1 International outbound flight
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Windhoek.
Day 2 Windhoek
On arrival in Windhoek, you're met by your private driver and driven to your guest house. Audley representatives will answer any questions you have and talk you through your information pack, which includes a mobile phone, cool box and driving directions. Your fully insured car is delivered to your accommodation, and the rest of the day is yours to relax or explore Namibia's capital. Depending on your time of arrival, you could browse the city's shops and markets, visit the State Museum to learn about Namibia's history, or head out for something to eat — we can book you a table at one of our recommended restaurants before your arrival should you wish.
Day 3 Sossusvlei & Sesriem
You make the six hour drive to the Sesriem area today, passing through the spectacular Naukluft Mountains and stopping to take photographs of the red dunes as they appear on the horizon. On arrival, you can simply relax at your hotel while enjoying views of the surrounding dunes, or walk to the top of one of the dunes to watch the sunset, which casts warm light and shifting shadows over the sand.
Day 4 Sossusvlei & Sesriem
Spend today making the most of your location within the Namib Desert's largest dunes — Big Daddy is the highest at 325 m (1,066 ft). It's worth rising early to see the sunrise transform the landscape. Activities may vary depending on where you're staying, but could include guided nature drives and walks to see some of the area's wildlife, early morning balloon flights, quad biking, evening horse rides up the dunes to watch the sunset and star gazing. We recommend visiting nearby Deadvlei, where the dark figures of dead acacia trees rise hauntingly from the contrasting orange sand and white salt pan.
Day 5 Swakopmund and Pelican Point
Drive for around six hours to Swakopmund today, a picturesque colonial town on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. After settling into your accommodation, you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring this small colonial town with its aquarium, museum, shops and galleries. Alternatively, join a Living Desert tour, where a guide takes you out to nearby dunes to show you some of the small creatures that manage to survive in the sand, such as shovel-nosed lizards and cartwheeling spiders.
Day 6 Swakopmund and Pelican Point
Today we suggest joining a half-day kayak trip to Pelican Point, a sand bar near Walvis Bay, where you share the sheltered lagoon with playful Cape fur seal colonies. If you're lucky, you may also spot some dolphins. On your way to Walvis Bay (you're driven for half an hour from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay), you may pass flamingos and pelicans feeding on the surrounding wetlands. The rest of the day is free to further explore the town and its surrounding area — sand boarding and quad biking are offered in the nearby dunes, or you could simply relax on the beach.
Day 7 Damaraland
Your drive north to Damaraland takes between four and six hours depending on where you're staying and how many stops you make en route. Along the way, you pass mountains, open plains and dry river beds frequented by desert-adapted elephant. If you're taking the coastal route, you could make a stop at the Cape Cross seal colony and visit the shipwreck of MS Winston at Durissa Bay. The alternative inland route is quicker and gives you views of the impressive Brandberg Mountain. On arrival, settle into your accommodation and relax in the wilderness scenery, perhaps taking a walk to explore the red rock landscape.
Day 8 Damaraland
You have all day to explore Damaraland. Activities can vary depending on where you're staying, but you could join a guided nature drive in search of desert-adapted elephant, go hiking through the arid landscape or take a day trip to see the ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein. Over 2,500 engravings and paintings make up the collection, many of which were created up to 6,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers in the area.
Day 9 Etosha National Park
Driving east to Etosha National Park today takes around five hours, depending on where you're staying and how many stops you make en route. You'll pass through barren but dramatic landscape of reddish-grey rock, and may wish to stop for refreshments at the small city of Outjo south of Etosha. Once you pass into the park you can look out for some of the key wildlife species, including elephant, giraffe, lion, springbok, and wildebeest. Settle into your camp — this evening you can gather around the camp fire for a drink and gaze up at the uninterrupted night sky.
Day 10 Etosha National Park
Spend the day on safari. Despite being one of Africa's largest national parks, Etosha is easy to drive around yourself as all roads lead back to the main road. This means you can take your time visiting the many different waterholes, where animals gather to quench their thirst. Vegetation elsewhere provides habitat for giraffe, zebra and oryx. Staff at your camp can recommend the best places to go to see the wildlife that most interests you.
Day 11 The Central Highlands
Following time in Etosha, it is off to Okonjima in the Central Highlands. This is the home of AfriCat and here at Okonjima you have the exciting opportunity to track the leopards from the truck and to track the cheetahs on foot, with two very experienced guides.
Day 12 The Central Highlands
The excursions on offer at Okonjima are really superb. An opportunity to learn more about the AfriCat Foundation and to head out with the experienced guides and trackers for a fantastic opportunity to spot the big cats.
Day 13 Windhoek
Following two nights in Okonjima, you make the three hour drive back to Windhoek for a final evening in the city's capital. From here your 4x4 will be picked up by a representative and you will be transferred in the morning back to the airport for your onward flights home.
Day 14 International return flight
A transfer will be arranged to take you back to the International airport, just a short 45 minute drive away.
Day 15 International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.
Classic Namibia self-drive safari
- Watch an incredible sunrise and sunset over Sossusvlei’s orange dunes.
- Kayak among hundreds of seals at the Pelican Point seal colony near Swakopmund.
- Head out with a guide to track desert-adapted elephant in Damaraland.
- Admire Twyfelfontein’s rock art, carved by hunter-gatherers thousands of years ago.
- Enjoy a safari in Etosha National Park, watching lion, zebra and elephant drinking at waterholes.