Namiba Self Drive Explorer Itinerary
An extended tour that focusses on regional highlights and high quality walking experiences
From £5,360 per person sharing for a 3 week itinerary

Namibia is an ideal destination for a self-drive holiday – excellent roads, largely devoid of traffic, passing through scenic and alluring landscapes make driving a real pleasure. This three-week tour ensures you capture some of the well-known highlights of Namibia, whilst ensuring you spend quality time in off-the-beaten-track wilderness locations in between. Namibia is a sparsely inhabited country and you’ll rarely feel crowded in the must-see scenic spots that many visitors traipse through, such as Sossusvlei. We’ve included selected walking experiences that will get you out into Namibia’s beguiling desert and mountain landscapes, sleeping out beneath the stars in relative comfort (think guide, beds, wholesome meals) and discovering the less obvious flora and fauna of the country’s semi-arid landscape. The program is very flexible and can be shortened to 2 weeks.

SEQUENCE:   Naukluft Mountains  ♦  Tok-Tokkie Trails, NamibRand  ♦  Sossusvlei  ♦  Swakopmund  ♦  Southern Damaraland  ♦  Walking in Northern Damaraland  ♦  Ongava Reserve  ♦  Mundulea Bushcamp  ♦  Windhoek 

What's Included

  • 3 fully inclusive walking experiences: Tok-Tokkie Trails, Etendeka Walking Trail and Mundulea Walking Safari
  • Fully inclusive safari package at Ongava Game Reserve
  • B&B accommodation in Swakopmund and Windhoek
  • Full board accommodation at all other locations
  • Sossusvlei excursion with lunch in the dunes
  • Car hire for the duration or the tour (Mid-size SUV recommended) with zero excess

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 - Arrival in Namibia

Arrive at Hosea Kutako Airport, Windhoek, in the morning. Collect your hire car then follow our directions to Büllsport Guest Farm, about 3.5 hours’ drive. This is a well-known, traditional cattle and horse-breeding ranch which covers approximately 10,000Ha, including a section of the Naukluft Mountain range. Run by Johanna and Ernst Sauber, a stay here offers an insight into real Namibian farm life as well as the opportunity to enjoy a range of outdoor activities in this alluring landscape. It’s an ideal base for accessing hikes within the Naukluft section of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, located close by.


Plan to spend 3 nights at Büllsport Guest Farm if you wish to maximise hiking and/or riding opportunities. 2 nights is fine if you just wish to hike one of the main trails in the Naukluft mountains.


Note that if you prefer, your first night can be spent in Windhoek for a more relaxed start to the itinerary.


Overnight at Büllsport Guest Farm, Naukluft Mountains

DAY 2 - Day hike in the Naukluft Mountains

On your first full day our suggestion is that you undertake one of the two key day hike trails in the nearby Namib-Naukluft Park – either the Olive Trail (10km) or Waterkloof Trail (17km). The Naukluft is part of the “Great Escarpment” which separates the high interior plateau of Southern Africa from the coastal plains. This massif, which rises approximately 1000m above the foreland, offers a spectacular, semi-arid mountain landscape which features deep canyons and sustaining springs and streams which support a surprising amount of wildlife, including the endemic Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. Packed lunches can be ordered from the guest farm and it is recommended that you start out early to avoid the heat of the day.


Overnight at Büllsport Guest Farm, Naukluft Mountains

DAY 3 - Day hike within the Büllsport property

The suggestion today is to enjoy a hike on the Büllsport property, which extends into the Naukluft Mountains. A complete circuit can be made following the Quiver Tree Gorge Trail, the stand-out hike at Büllsport, and you should allow 6 hours for this, commencing and ending at the lodge. Once again, packed lunches can be ordered from the guest farm and route guidance will be given.


Overnight at Büllsport Guest Farm, Naukluft Mountains

DAY 4 - Commence the Tok-Tokkie Trail

Depart Büllsport at 9am so that you can drive to the Tok-Tokkie farmhouse in time for a pre-booked lunch at 13h00, ready to start the Tok-Tokkie Trail at 14h00.


The Tok-Tokkie Trail is a 3-day/2-night desert experience in the vast NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of Africa’s largest private reserves, on the fringes of the Namib desert proper. Its fully guided and supported and enables you to get close to nature in a beautiful, arid environment, experiencing the terrain on foot and, of great appeal, sleeping out beneath the stars. Enjoy a delicious 3-course meal on both evenings before retiring to your outdoor “room”, consisting of a fully made up camp bed, canvas wash basin, mat, canvas chair and lantern, set apart from others within the dunes. Each of the two camp locations used have a long drop loo and one bucket shower, with hot water provided on request.


Overnight at Tok-Tokkie Trails (sleeping beneath the stars) on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 5 - Tok-Tokkie Trail

Tok-Tokkie is very much a “walking” trail, as opposed to a “hiking” trail, with time taken to observe and unravel the secrets of desert flora and fauna in the company of your desert guide. You should expect to cover about 10km today, at a comfortable pace, and camp will be set up ahead of you in a new location for this evening.

Overnight at Tok-Tokkie Trails (sleeping beneath the stars) on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 6 - Complete Tok-Tokkie then drive to Sossusvlei

Enjoy a walk of around 7kms this morning, before ending the trail back at the Tok-Tokkie farmhouse, which you should reach at around 11h30. You’ll have a chance to take a shower if you’d like to and visit the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust if you have time. Having completed the trail, you’ll then drive to your lodge near Sossusvlei. This takes around 2 hours, depending upon which lodge you are heading for. A packed lunch can be ordered from Tok-Tokkie Trails. Having settled in at your lodge and taken refreshments, enjoy a sundowner tour from the lodge before returning for dinner.


Overnight at Hoodia Desert Lodge on a fully inclusive basis (includes DBB, lunch packs on departure day, Guided Sossusvlei Excursion including lunch in the dunes, sundowner tour and all drinks)


… or stay at an alternative that we recommend according to budget and preference, eg. Desert Homestead or Desert Homestead Outpost, Sossus Dune Lodge, the Desert Camp or the upmarket Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

DAY 7 - Visit the dunes at Sossusvlei

This morning you’ll join a guided excursion to Sossusvlei from the lodge and this includes lunch in the dunes. Afternoon activity of your choice, depending how you feel having sussed what’s on offer and got a feel for the area.


Overnight at Hoodia Desert Lodge on a fully inclusive basis (includes DBB, lunch packs on departure day, Guided Sossusvlei Excursion including lunch in the dunes, sundowner tour and all drinks)

DAY 8 - Drive across the desert to Swakopmund

Enjoy a very scenic drive to Swakopmund through the Namib-Naukluft National Park, enjoying a picnic lunch in a scenic spot along the way. The travel distance today is approximately 350km and you should allow 5 to 6 hours for the journey. Travel north through the tiny settlement of Solitaire, then cross the Gaub Pass before dropping down to the Kuiseb River Canyon to access the park. Once in the park, you’ll cross vast desert plains fringed by mountains in the east and dotted with occasional Inselbergs. A detour can be made to Gobabeb, where there’s a desert research station located on the Kuiseb river, which separates the gravel plains from the red dunes. Continue on to Walvis Bay and from here it’s a straightforward 30km drive along the coast road to Swakopmund.


Swakopmund is an interesting, if unusual little town, with plenty of evidence of its colonial German past. It’s a natural stop-over point as you move from Sossusvlei and the Naukluft up into Damaraland. Hotel reception staff will be able to steer you to notable bar and a restaurant for the evening.


Overnight at The Hansa Hotel on a B&B basis (or an alternative that we recommend according to budget and preference)

DAY 9 - Drive to Southern Damaraland

Damaraland forms part of the Kaokoveld, which is Namibia’s least inhabited region outside of the Namib Desert. Southern Damaraland is accessible by 2-wheel drive car and contains some of Namibia’s most appealing scenery. It’s a beguiling semi-arid region, containing vast plains peppered with dramatic rocky outcrops, incised by meandering dry riverbeds which are corridors for desert-adapted Elephants. A couple of days spent here seeking out these creatures, visiting notable rock formations, the bushman rock art at Twyfelfontein and other attractions is very worthwhile.


Overnight at Cape Kipwe on a full board basis (or an alternative that we recommend according to budget and preference)

DAY 10 - Search for Desert Elephantand visit Twyfelfontein

Enjoy a nature drive that explores the wonderful, rugged scenery on the area, seeking out elephant along the Aba Huab river. A visit to Twyfelfontein nearby to see San Bushman Art will be on the cards for most – a must-do touristy visit!


Overnight at Cape Kipwe on a full board basis (or an alternative that we recommend according to budget and preference)

DAY 11 - Commence the Etendeka Walking Trail

Enjoy a final morning activity at Camp Kipwe and brunch before moving on. You’ll drive for about 1 hour and 30 minutes north to Palmwag Lodge, which is the meeting point for your next adventure – the Etendeka Walking Trails experience – which takes place in the foothills of the Grootberg Massif, a rugged and unspoiled wilderness region of northern Damaraland. It’s a beguiling area which grows on you the longer you stay in it – whilst not dramatic or spectacular in the way that better-known and more iconic mountain regions are, the play of light on dry, rock-strewn flat-topped hills, the feeling of isolation and sense of space, the prehistoric atmosphere of the territory, and the flora and fauna which reveal themselves to those who linger, all conspire to create a memorable and enchanting few days which cannot be replicated in more tourist-trodden areas.


The experience is back-to-basics, but you are fully supported by a knowledgeable guide and camp crew and all meals are provided. The trail has two simple camps which are comprised of sleeping platforms which feature roof shades which can be retracted at night so that you can sleep beneath the stars. Each platform has a loo and basin and you sleep on proper beds with fresh linen. Having spent a night in each of the trails’ camps, round off with a 3rd night on the concession relaxing at the more comfortable Etendeka Mountain Camp.


Having arrived at Palmwag, you’ll leave your car in secure parking and set out from here on foot to the first trails camp. The walk takes between 2 and 3 hours and your luggage will be transported ahead of you in a 4×4.


Overnight at Etendeka Trails River Camp on a fully inclusive basis: River Camp overlooks a water hole next to an established trail used by wildlife. Although the experience is not built around game viewing the location allows for safe sightings of wildlife including Hartmann Mountain Zebra, Oryx and Steenbok and if you are extremely lucky, the rare desert-adapted Elephant and Black Rhino.

DAY 12 - A full day of walking at Etendeka

After your first night under the stars wake up as the sun rises, taking in the sounds and smells of the wilderness. Enjoy a cooked breakfast before setting out on foot for Camp 2, carrying a small pack containing snacks and water bottles. You’ll cover between 15 and 20 km today, enjoying remote scenery. Your guide will help you discover the ecology of the area, identify animal spoor where seen and share information on local history. You’ll stop en route for refreshments and aim to reach Hill Camp by early afternoon, where you can enjoy a late lunch and siesta. In the late afternoon you will be able to do a short sundowner walk around the plateau, before returning to enjoy a wholesome dinner around the campfire. Settle in on your sleeping platform perched on the edge of the mountain and enjoy a second night beneath the stars.


Overnight at Etendeka Trails Hill Camp on a fully inclusive basis: Hill Camp is positioned on cliffs overlooking a wonderful valley.


Note: there’s an option to spend a second night at Hill Camp and enjoy a 5-6 hour loop walk around Crystal Mountain and down into the valley below the camp, before returning for a late lunch and siesta.

DAY 13 - Move to Etendeka Mountain Camp

Following a leisurely start and a cooked breakfast at Hill Camp, enjoy a short walk off the plateau down to Etendeka Mountain Camp where you can enjoy a hot bucket shower in more comfortable surroundings. Founded in 1991 and run ever since by Dennis and Claire Liebenberg, Mountain Camp was one of the first safari-style camps in Namibia. It’s a rustic yet comfortable eco-camp which marries a traditional bush camp style – you sleep in shaded Meru tents featuring outdoor showers – with simple, solid structures that blend with the natural environment. There a small swimming pool which is the only real concession to luxury. As with the trails camps, walking is a key morning activity, but in the afternoon a scenic drive is offered which will take you to other parts of the concession and affords the opportunity to encounter the wide variety of animals that have adapted to this harsh environment. After dinner, stargazing with Dennis, aided by the camp’s telescope, is not to be missed.


Overnight at Etendeka Mountain Camp on a full board basis with activities

DAY 14 - Travel to Ongava Private Game Reserve

You’ll be driven back to Palmwag Lodge after breakfast so that you can rejoin your car mid-late morning. Drive to Ongava Game Reserve, which will take about 4 hours. Enjoy a game drive or a walking activity on Ongava in the late afternoon, before returning for sundowners and dinner.


Ongava Game Reserve is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park and is one of the largest private game reserves in Namibia. The reserve is unique in that it is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where there is a chance of seeing both black and white rhino, and tracking and approaching white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed here. There are over 125 square miles to explore on game drives within the reserve, and drives can also be made into Etosha National Park where lion, elephant, cheetah, gemsbok, springbok and hartebeest are seen regularly.


There’s a choice of four lodges at Ongava: Ongava Lodge, Ongava Tented Camp, Little Ongava and Anderssons. Little Ongava is the luxury option and Anderssons is a contemporary camp with close ties to the research and conservation initiatives on the reserve.


Overnight at Ongava Game Reserve on a Fully Inclusive basis

DAY 15 - Safari at Ongava

Enjoy a choice of safari activities at Ongava: morning game drives are made into the Okaukuejo section of the Etosha National Park, which borders Ongava Reserve and is therefore easy to access. Alternatively, a morning walk on Ongava Reserve can be arranged, something that cannot be done on Etosha, which is a National Park. Rhino Tracking is conducted on foot at Ongava during the dry season, when the grass and foliage is low. In the afternoon, following brunch, a siesta and tea, game drives take place on the Ongava Reserve, as do night drives, another activity which is not permitted within Etosha. Walking can also be undertaken in the afternoon, but you’ll return to camp before dusk for safety reasons.


Overnight at Ongava Game Reserve on a Fully Inclusive basis

DAY 16 - Travel to Mundulea Bushcamp

Enjoy a final early morning safari excursion at Ongava and brunch before making a 3½ hour drive to Mundulea Nature Reserve, a 13 000 Ha private property occupying a small upland plateau between the Otavi Mountains and the Waterberg. Mundulea is owned by Bruno Nebe, a highly respected guide in Namibia, who, over the last 20 or more years has been slowly returning the land to its original state before settler times, when over-grazing across much of northeast Namibia allowed acacia thicket to take over from tree savannah. The reserve is rich in montane bushland and it’s been a very successful and ongoing conservation project, with many species that were driven out in the last century now flourishing again.


Mundulea Bushcamp is essentially a walking camp, which has nature, conservation and environment at its heart – there is no such thing as a driving safari here. Visiting Mundulea is a 3-night experience, with Bruno hosting you throughout – it’s very immersive and personal, and doesn’t follow a fixed, mechanical format as one finds in so many safari camps. It’s hard not to become captivated and involved in what goes on here from a conservation and ecological perspective, and the blanket of nature on all sides is truly relaxing.


Overnight at Mundulea Bush Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 17 & 18 - Walking Safari at Mundulea

Enjoy the next two days fully immersing yourself in nature at Mundulea. The daytime is devoted to walking on trails within the reserve, at a pace and length dictated by guests. Usually you’ll walk for 3 or 4 hours in the early morning, then venture out to walk again for 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon, either exploring the limestone and marble hills which are riddled with caverns, pot-holes and gorges, or ambling more gently through sloping savannah and bush. Emphasis is placed on the flora and fauna that one encounters, and the ecology that binds it all together. Bruno accompanies guests on all walks and is keen to observe, point-out, explain and philosophise. Out here he’s in his element and his enthusiasm for the natural world around him is infectious. You can also spend time tracking or recording game at waterholes on the property, or simply enjoying views from some of the high points. A Pangolin rehabilitation and monitoring program was in hand when we visited and we were able to track and observe a collared specimen.


Overnight at Mundulea Bush Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 19 - Travel to Windhoek

Enjoy a final morning walk and breakfast before heading to Windhoek (4-4½ hours). It is possible to catch the early afternoon flight to Johannesburg, but this entails an early start and a rushed finish at Mundulea. Better to enjoy a relaxed departure, with an evening eating out in Windhoek and time to explore the city a bit in the morning.


Overnight at Olive Grove Guest House or an alternative that we recommend according to budget and preference (eg. Hilltop Guest House, The upmarket Heinitzburg Hotel or more modest Thule Hotel)

DAY 20 - International Departure

It’s worth taking a couple of hours in the morning to explore Windhoek a little. As a suggestion, the Namibia Craft Centre in the Old Breweries Complex close to the city centre is well worth a visit, and there’s a good café here too. Allow 45 minutes to drive to Hosea Kutako International Airport to drop your hire car and check in for your flight.



From start to finish, our entire experience with Angus at Walks in Africa was stellar. We planned our trip to Namibia and Botswana with him over several weeks, refining plans as our needs and interests evolved; Angus was not only receptive to the changes, but offered numerous suggestions based on his knowledge of the area and his understanding of our inclinations and our financial limitations. He really listened to us. Following arrival, everyone scheduled to meet us was there, on time; every venue awaited our arrival; every detail was as promised. The guide assigned to the Namibia portion of our journey was exceedingly knowledgeable, helpful and affable - we still keep in touch with him. We did some driving in Namibia, and Angus gave us sensible advice about how much territory we could anticipate covering, and how best to navigate. Every place we stayed, from a patch of sand in the Namib Desert to a B&B in Swakopmund to our camps in the Okavango Delta was precisely as advertised and just what we wanted. This trip remains a peak life experience.

Scroll to Top