Authentic Namibia, 15 nights

Our Authentic Namibia itinerary focusses on Namibia’s iconic highlights including many owner-managed lodges. These have been chosen specifically for their authentic atmosphere and commitment to long-term investment in the local community and conservation areas. Utilising a 4×4 double cab vehicle, perfect for our rugged terrain, this adventure starts & ends in Windhoek and includes the Gamsberg Mountains, Naukluft Mountains, Sossusvlei including a breath-taking hot air balloon trip, Swakopmund including a full-day Sandwich Harbour tour, Huab River, Etendeka Concession, and Etosha National Park.


Day 1

You will be met in the arrivals hall of Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport by one of our chauffeur drivers who will transfer you into town in an ATI luxury vehicle. After taking some time to shower, relax (and maybe have a quick nap), your hire car will be delivered to your guest house or hotel around 4pm. If you’re landing late in the day, it will be delivered around 8am the following morning. One of our representatives will meet you at the same time to offer a thorough briefing of your whole holiday and go through your marked road map, vouchers, and itinerary with you. We’re also on hand to book a restaurant for tonight, should we not have already done so.


Day 2

After breakfast you will set off on your self-drive journey to the next destination, following our detailed road directions and map. During your briefing we will have shown you the best places to stop off for lunch or a break, as well as any highlights which are worth visiting along the way. Maybe enjoy an afternoon sundown drive in this vast mountain landscape.


Day 3

Today you will drive a little further south, to Bullsport and the family-owned lodge at the base of the Nakuluft Mountains. Here you can relax or enjoy an optional guided walk or drive this afternoon.


Day 4

Today you will drive onwards to Elegant Desert Camp, and you have the opportunity to drive yourself into the Namib Naukluft National Park to visit Sesriem & Sossusvlei. The gates open at sunrise and close at sunset, and your lodge should be able to advise you of the exact times. Many guests like to stop at Dune 45, one of the highest in the Park, to stretch their legs and enjoy the amazing views.


Day 5

To the east of Sossusvlei, NamibRand Nature Reserves’ vast sandy plains are surrounded by towering granite mountains and rolling dunes. Here, in the oldest desert on the planet, amazingly adapted animals and plants come together to form one of the most visually stunning ecosystems in the world. And truly the best way to experience the heart of the Namib Desert is with your inclusive hot air balloon safari. Watching the spectacular sunrise over this magnificent landscape from a silent hot air balloon is the experience of a lifetime, never to be forgotten!


Day 6

Today you will drive northwards from the Sesriem area to your overnight destination at the coast. Solitaire is the perfect rest stop with a fuel station, café, shop, and the best apple pie in the Southern Hemisphere. You may like to stop briefly in Walvis bay to see the lagoon and look out for flamingos, pelicans, and other birdlife. The drive to Swakopmund should take you around 5.5 hours excluding stops.


Day 7

Turnstone Tours is a Swakopmund based company which specialises in high-quality guiding to some of the least accessible but most spectacular parts of Namibia.  Today you will take an inclusive guided day trip to Sandwich Harbour. The Lagoons at Walvis and at Sandwich Harbour have been designated as ‘Wetlands of International Importance’, and the Kuiseb Delta ecosystem is dotted with archaeological sites, 450 year-old animal tracks, wind blown graves and magnificent dunes. Spring tides and shifting dunes ensure an unpredictable route into Sandwich Harbour, but as you approach the towering, wind-sculptured sandcastles, there is a sense of entering a different world.


Day 8 – 9

Today you will drive north along the coastal road, turning inland at Henties Bay and continuing past the mighty Brandberg Mountain into Damaraland. Perhaps make a detour to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross if time allows. The drive should take you around 5.5 hours excluding stops or detours. Enjoy two nights relaxing at the Huab Lodge thermal bath, or taking one of the optional nature drives, guided bush walks, or perhaps a full day drive in search of the desert elephants.


Day 10

Today you will drive to Palmwag and hand your luggage over to the driver who will safely deliver it to the River Camp. Start your walk from Palmwag Lodge into the Etendeka Concession for approximately 2 to 3 hours to your 1st overnight camp. The scenery is incredible as you access the concession on foot and look out onto the pristine rocky plains set against the Namibian sky. Your experienced guide will give you a sense of what awaits as he identifies desert plants and trees. Keen birders and photographers should have their binoculars and cameras on hand.


Day 11

After your first night under the stars wake up early to the sounds and smells of the wilderness. Enjoy a full cooked breakfast before starting your walk to Hill Camp. Stop en route for refreshments and aim to reach Hill Camp by early-afternoon for a late lunch and siesta. The distance of this walk is between 15km and 20km and should take about 6 to 7 hours, including stops, depending on the groups fitness level. Hill Camp is situated on the top of Crystal Mountain with spectacular views and an abundance of crystals and exquisite rock formations.


Day 12 – 13

Today you will return to your vehicle at Palmwag and drive eastwards to southern Etosha, Namibia’s wildlife highlight. The drive should take you around 4.5 hours excluding stops. Your destination is the Ongava Reserve bordering Etosha National Park, Namibia’s prime wildlife area. During your time here you may enjoy optional guided game drives into Etosha and on the private Ongava reserve, guided walks, wildlife viewing at the lodge waterhole, and perhaps a visit to the fascinating Ongava research centre to learn more about the important scientific work being done here.


Day 14

After breakfast you will depart on your journey through Etosha, perhaps stopping at the central Rest Camp of Halali for some lunch and a break. The Park opening and closing times vary depending on sunrise and sunset, and your lodge will be able to advise on the current time. You will need to complete a form at the Park entrance, and pay Park fees at the closest Rest Camp. Park Fees cost N$150 per adult per 24-hour period, N$100 per child aged 9-16, no cost per child aged 0-8, plus N$50 per vehicle. Allow a whole day for this drive as you will want to make the most of the wildlife viewing.


Day 15

Depart Etosha today and drive southwards to the beautiful Frans Indongo Lodge. This welcoming property has been under the same management for many years, and is famous for exacting standards, amazing food, and fantastic service. Enjoy relaxing by the swimming pool, climbing the viewing tower for a fantastic view of the surrounding landscape, taking a self-guided walk, or an optional guided nature drive.


Day 16

You will continue your drive, ending at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport to drop your hire car off in time to connect with your onward flight.  The drive to the airport from Windhoek city centre takes around 45 minutes, and you should arrive no later than 2.5 hours before your flight departs in order to drop your car off and check in.


Transfers as specified

4×4 vehicle hire as specified

Accommodation on the meal & activity basis specified

Tourism levies, VAT, Park Entry fees, & community conservation contributions

24/7 on the ground support


International flights

Vehicle fuel

Personal insurance

Any drinks, meals, or activities not specified in the itinerary

Any visa costs

Gratuities and personal items