Namibia Family Safari Adventure - Self Drive 13 Days
THIS TRIP IS COVERED UNDER A ZERO FEE COVID CANCELLATION POLICY!
Discover Namibia’s spectacular highlights on this thrilling self-drive itinerary through some of the country’s most iconic locations. From adventures through the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei to unforgettable game drives in Etosha National Park, this carefully selected itinerary offers something for all the family. Search for sightings of dolphins and seals along the coast, mountain bike through the Namib Desert and sleep out under the stars, track the endangered Desert Black rhinos and visit the famous Africat foundation; creating memories that you and your loved ones will cherish forever.
IMPORTANT: Accommodation throughout is of a high standard, using small or private camps which make it easy for social distancing to be achieved. Car hire is included in the price of the itinerary and cars will have been cleaned to strict guidelines before collection. This trip is also covered under a Zero Fee Covid cancellation policy – please enquire for more details.
This itinerary is also available as a fully-guided safari. Please click here for details and pricing.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- Discover Namibia’s wide open spaces on an excellent network of gravel and tar roads in your own rental vehicle
- Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes
- Escape the summer heat on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean
- Take part in one of a host of possible activities on offer in Namibia’s central coastal region
- Walk amongst pre-historic rock art at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein
- Search for desert adapted elephant in ephemeral river systems
- Track for the endangered black rhino in conjunction with the Save the Rhino Trust
- Embark on exciting game drives within the Etosha National Park in your own rental vehicle
- Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation and learn more about conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats
- Encounter an immeasurable variety of iconic wildlife including elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, leopard, cheetah, zebra and much more!
- All accommodation as per itinerary
- Meals and activities as described in itinerary
- Vehicle hire of a Toyota Hilux Double Cab Auto or similar with zero excess insurance cover
- Welcome pack with printed route maps, coolbox, road directions and mobile phone
ITINERARY12 Nights 13 Days
- Days 1 - 2 | Windhoek to Sossusvlei
- Days 3 - 4 | Swakopmund
- Day 5 | Damaraland - Twyfelfontein
- Days 6 - 7 | Damaraland – Game Drives & Rhino Tracking
- Days 8 - 10 | Etosha National Park
- Days 11 - 13 | Okonjima - Africat Foundation
Windhoek to Sossusvlei
After arriving independently to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, you will be greeted by your itinerary representative who will give you your welcome pack and assist you in collecting your included car rental. After a full briefing and making sure you are comfortable with the journey ahead, it will be time to set off through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands and down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below.
Your journey will take you to the Sossusvlei region where you will arrive at Camp Sossus in the Namib Tsaris Conservancy, just 30 minutes from the Sossusvlei gate, for your two nights stay. From here you will be able to enjoy all of the remarkable and unforgettable sights of the Namib Desert with your local guide.
After settling into your beautiful tented room, this afternoon you can either simply relax at the camp after your travels or join your guide for a walk or drive through the Namib Tsaris Conservancy. The conservation area is home to large concentrations of wildlife including Oryx, Springbok, Zebra, Kudu, Hartebeest, Giraffe and Aardwolf, as well as predators such as Leopard, Cheetah and Spotted Hyena.
The following day you may wish to join an unforgettable included early morning excursion to the Namib Naukluft National Park and the iconic towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei. As the sun rises over these towering shapes and curves you will definitely want to have your camera ready! After a thorough exploration of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and the surrounding dune fields you can enjoy a picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree before the tour makes its way back to camp via the equally impressive Sesriem Canyon.
The rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure. You may want to partake in some of the camp’s other activities including mountain biking and walking trails. For even more adventure, ask about the availability of hot air balloon or helicopter flights over these iconic landscapes. Please note, hot air balloon or helicopter flights are additional activities not included in your package.
2 nights’ accommodation at Camp Sossus in a tented room on a fully inclusive basis. All meals, local drinks and shared camp activities are included.
Leaving Camp Sossus behind this morning you will set off for a memorable drive through the Namib Naukluft National Park, passing the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons before reaching the coast and the port town of Walvis Bay. You may enjoy a stop here to stretch your legs and visit the area’s scenic lagoon which is home to countless seabirds including a vibrant mix of flamingos and pelicans. Continuing on to the coastal town of Swakopmund you will reach The Stiltz Villa, your accommodation for the next 2 nights.
After checking in and making yourself comfortable in your beautiful stilted wooden bungalow, the rest of the day will be at your leisure. We recommend spending some time strolling around this German-style coastal resort to see its charming cafes, boutiques, galleries and waterfront. There are some fantastic restaurants in the area which are definitely worth a try. Alternatively you could simply relax in your private bungalow soaking up the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby sand dunes.
The following day is free to explore more of Swakopmund, Walvis bay and the surrounding areas. You could join a morning dolphin and seal catamaran cruise or kayaking excursion on the Walvis Bay harbour, explore the nearby desert on an organised tour, or take an excursion into Sandwich Harbour, the most important wetlands and feeding area on the west coast of Southern Africa for many migratory birds…the choice is yours!
2 nights’ accommodation at The Stiltz Villa on a bed & breakfast basis. No activities included.
Damaraland - Twyfelfontein
Moving inland again, this morning you will set off for Damaraland passing the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, along the way. Your drive will be enlivened by sightings of local wildlife and dramatic scenery of vast landscapes, rock formations and table topped mountains…true Namibian wilderness!
An insight into Namibia’s fascinating geology and geography will continue this afternoon, as after you check in to the gorgeous Camp Onduli you can join a scheduled visit to the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Alternatively, you can use this afternoon to relax at your camp and take the Twyfelfontein on another day.
3 nights’ accommodation at Camp Onduli on a fully inclusive basis. All meals, local drinks and scheduled shared camp activities such as Twyfelfontein visit, game drives in search of sightings of desert adapted elephants and rhino tracking are included.
Damaraland – Game Drives & Rhino Tracking
Over the next two days you can enjoy a variety of included activities designed to allow you to witness up-close some of Namibia’s most iconic animals, whilst learning about the conservation efforts in place to ensure their survival. An exciting early morning guided 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys will allow you to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants that are often found here. The area is home to a number of desert adapted species and there will be high hopes for some memorable encounters.
Scenic nature drives and walks, guided excursions within the local conservancy area and enjoyable al-fresco picnics and lunches will fill your days, but the highlight is likely to be an unforgettable rhino tracking adventure. This is one of the only places in the world that is still home to wild populations of the endangered Black rhino, and this immersive activity will allow you and your family to not only search for sightings of these majestic creatures but to also learn all about how we can all help to fight against their extinction.
Etosha National Park
It’s now time for one of the wildlife highlights of your whole itinerary as you make your way to the famous Etosha National Park for some more unforgettable animal encounters. Today’s drive is a long one, and you will travel past the well-known towns of Outjo and Tsumeb before arriving at the delightful Mushara Lodge. Take some time to relax this evening and soak up the hospitality before tomorrow’s adventures.
On your first full day in Etosha you will be offered a morning and an afternoon game drive, both of which are included in your itinerary. There is so much to see here that we recommend taking advantage of both! The list of species that can be seen in Etosha is almost endless, with 114 mammal and over 340 bird species recorded here. During your time here you are likely to encounter elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger and warthog, as well as the endemic black faced impala…to name just a few!
On day 10 of your itinerary there will be no included activities, but you may wish to drive into the park yourself for your own self-drive game viewing adventure. Advice on routes and safety will be offered by the camp. Alternatively, you can join some of the lodge’s optional excursions, but these will be at an additional cost.
3 nights’ accommodation at Mushara Lodge with breakfasts and dinners included. One AM game drive and one PM game drive is included.
Okonjima - Africat Foundation
As you leave the wonders of Etosha behind there’s time for one more adventure as you drive to Okonjima, the home of the famous AfriCat Foundation, for 2 more nights of family fun. On the way you may wish to stop at Lake Otjikoto, a scenic spot to stretch your legs, before reaching the Okonjima Bush Suite in time to check in before lunch.
At Okonjima your days will be filled with various included activities, with a wide range available to suit guests of all ages. Activities available as part of your package include leopard tracking, game drives to learn more about endangered species in the area and track the big cats, visits to The AfriCat Foundation Carnivore Care And Information Centre and “off the beaten track” guided walks and drives.
The Africat Foundation is dedicated to creating conservation awareness, preserving habitat, promoting environmental educational research and supporting animal welfare, with their main focus being Africa's big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. AfriCat runs the largest cheetah and leopard rescue and release programme in the world and a visit here is a truly memorable and worthwhile experience.
2 nights’ accommodation at the exclusive Okonjima Bush Suite on a fully inclusive basis. All meals, most local drinks and privately guided camp activities are included. Please note, due to the nature of the Foundation’s activities, for safety reasons children under the age of 12 will not be able to participate in TRACKING ON FOOT. Those aged between 12 and 16 may participate as long as a special indemnity is signed by the parents or guardians.
On the morning of day 13 you will make your way back to the Hosea Kutako Windhoek International Airport to return your hire car and make your way homewards or onwards, filled with memories for the whole family to treasure for a lifetime.
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Okonjima Bush Suite
This luxurious bush suite can accommodate up to 4 people and is perfect for a family or small group adventure at the Home of the AfriCat Foundation. Okonjima is a wonderful safari destination that is just waiting to be explored, with the chance to see Namibia's big cats and other carnivores as well as learn about their conservation.
There are a number of accommodation options at Okonjima but one of the most luxurious and indulgent of them all is the Bush Suite where you and your group's every need will be met and where you can truly relax and enjoy your luxury safari experience.
The Bush Suite overlooks a beautiful waterhole with the sandstone Omboroko Mountains in the background and is situated in a secluded wilderness area about 3.5km from the main camp.
The suite has a delightful thatched roof and has 2 private, en-suite bedrooms with luxurious queen size beds, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and beautiful furnishings and decor. The doorways have an elegant but practical, ‘roll-down’ canvas partitioning which not only provides sufficient light, but also contributes to the impression of living in the wild by delivering the audible ambience of your surroundings, while still maintaining a degree of comfort and safety. There are also large glass-panelled windows to enhance your 180 degree vista on offer.
The main area of the suite has a fantastic fully fitted kitchen where your own personal chef will create delicious meals for you and your group, a spacious lounge, a dining area under-roof or outside under natural shade and an open, wood-burning fireplace.
There is also a uniquely designed private swimming pool and a large terrace on which guests can relax and soak up the views.
The Bush Suite comes with its own personal host or hostess and chef, and whilst you may never want to leave the luxury of your own suite you will also have your own exclusive guide and game-drive vehicle so that you and your group can set your own pace and partake in activities at whatever time suits you best.
This stylish and elegant camp is fantastically located for visiting the world famous Etosha National Park and is a perfect base for travellers wishing to explore all that this unique area has to offer while enjoying the luxuries and home comforts of a modern lodge.
Located in its own private reserve the Mushara Lodge is set amongst rolling lawns where visiting warthogs and antelope roam free, even often paying a visit to guests outside their chalets!
The chalets themselves are spacious and beautifully decorated and all have en-suite shower rooms, air-conditioning, crisp linen sheets and mini-bars. The chalets also have their own private patios for relaxing with a glass of wine after a long day of exploring this remarkable area.
The 10 thatched chalets are positioned in a horseshoe shape around a beautiful swimming pool and as well as the chalets there is also one family unit, a triple room and two single rooms, all of which have been decorated and equipped to the same high standards.
The thatched main area of the lodge features a beautiful lounge with a fireplace for winter evenings, a large restaurant, a curio shop, a small library, a bar and an extensive wine cellar. There is also a beautiful terrace where guests can choose to dine in the fairer weather or sit back and enjoy a drink whilst soaking up the beautiful surroundings.
Many visitors to Mushara Lodge tend to come on a self-drive basis and choose to explore the National Park in their own time, however, the lodge does provide a range of activities for those who do not have their own car including game drives and day tours to the Park where you can expect to witness exactly what Etosha National Park is famous for - a diverse and wide range of wildlife including all of the big cats, black rhino and a plethora of birdlife.
Camp Sossus, Sossusvlei
Designed for exclusive use, Camp Sossus is an excellent semi-permanent camp located within the Namib Tsaris Conservancy, just thirty minutes’ drive from the Sossusvlei gate. Rustic yet wonderfully comfortable, the camp’s 8 Meru tents, including 2 family tents, feature stonewalls on their eastern side to protect from the wind, and roofs made from recycled oil drums to offer even more protection. This unique accommodation option has been designed to have a low environmental impact, blending into its surroundings as much as possible and utilising recycled materials in as many elements as possible.
Each tent is equipped with comfortable beds, solar lighting, open-air bathrooms with flush toilets, bucket showers and washbasins, and patios with loungers for evenings out under the stars.
The main area of the camp features a large central dining area and lounge with fireplace, camp fire, communal electrical charging facilities and a nearby waterhole for wildlife viewing.
Activities include visits to Sossusvlei with your private guide and general exploration of the private Namib Tsaris Conservancy.
The Stiltz, Swakopmund
Consisting of 8 stilted bungalows located just minutes away from the town, these unique lodgings serve up one of the most spectacular views in all of Swakopmund. With vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, the lagoon and the Namib sand dunes, this one-of-a-kind accommodation will be memorable for all the right reasons. Each bungalow has been built on stilts to emphasise the views and has been creatively furnished and styled to provide optimum comfort.
Each stilted bungalow features a bathroom, large comfortable beds, natural furnishings, balcony, Wi-Fi, tea & coffee station and a mini bar. The bungalows are all connected to the main dining bungalow via a series of raised wooden walkways. Perfect for families, there are a number of larger family bungalows available.
Camp Onduli, Damaraland
Opened in July 2020, this exclusive camp has been constructed amongst granite outcrops on the Damaraland landscape, perfectly positioned for fantastic views of the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain. The layout and structure of the camp has been expertly designed to ensure impeccable views at every turn and to ensure that the camp effortlessly blends into its natural surroundings.
Each of the 6 en-suite tents feature king-size beds, louvered shutters which can be opened completely to allow guests to feel truly at one with their surroundings, partial open-air bathrooms and private decks which allow for the beds to be rolled outside for nights under the starry Namibian skies. The main area of the camp features a beautiful infinity pool and various indoor and outdoor relaxation areas.
What Our Customers
• The lodges were excellent and very welcoming, I particularly remember the Kulala Desert Lodge for its wonderful location, however I think Damaraland Lodge has to take top spot, for the amazing bush lunch and dinner under the stars that they organised. I will also never forget the giant eagle owl that we saw hunting at dawn, a truly magical moment.
• We can’t thank you enough for recommending Namibia, it’s simply amazing! The people are so friendly, the landscapes are awe inspiring, the night skies unforgettable and the wildlife so diverse, we loved every minute. Doing a self drive was definitely the right option for us, it gave us just the flexibility we crave and felt completely safe, we would do it again without a doubt.
Really glad I went. Had a brilliant time. Guides were great. What an experience , saw everything I wanted and more. Village visit and project visits (despite my slightly negative expectation) were really enjoyable, in fact taught me a lesson or two.
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