Walking Namibia Self-Drive, 17 nights

This specialist Self-Drive itinerary focuses on the best of Namibia’s spectacular guided walking trails. Utilising a 4×4 double cab vehicle, perfect for our rugged terrain, this adventure starts & ends in Windhoek and includes the Trans-Kalahari walk, Tok-Tokkie Namib Desert trail, Sesriem & Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, day hikes in the Erongo Mountains, Etendeka Walking Trails, Etosha National Park, and Okonjima/ AfriCat.


Day 1

You will be met in the arrival’s 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

Today you will drive southwards from Windhoek to your overnight destination situated in the red sands of the Kalahari Dunes . The drive should take you around 3.5 hours excluding stops. Your afternoon will be spent in Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge. Your guide will meet you to give you more details about the walk. Possible activities include animal watching at the waterhole, relaxing at the swimming pool, or a short walk. Dinner and overnight stay at the Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge.


Day 3

Enjoy an early start and maybe watch the sun rise while enjoying a cup of coffee on top of a dune. Your guided hike leads through red Kalahari dunes alternating with tree savannah. In the afternoon arrive at the cosy but luxurious dune camp with viewing deck and swimming pool, chalets with private bathroom and hot shower and shady lapa, all situated on top of a dune. This is where the evening braai will be served and the night spent.


Day 4

Shortly after sunrise, the day begins with breakfast on the terrace of the camp, where antelopes and giraffe can sometimes be seen at the waterhole. Your morning hike (duration 1 – 1.5 hours) leads back to Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge. Shower facilities are available before departure. Arrive at Tok Tokkie Trails by 14h00, and pack your small daypack to take along on the walk. Your luggage will be transferred to the overnight camp by vehicle. Today, you will walk over a slope strewn with mysterious “fairy circles” and over rolling sand dunes to the first overnight camp.  At camp, relax with a sundowner, marvel at the magnificent scenery and start “feeling” the desert before dinner is served. If the sky is clear and moonless, you will quickly understand why NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the few International Dark Sky Reserves in the world. Walking time: 1 – 2 hrs, sleeping out in the open on stretcher beds.


Day 5

Early morning tea or coffee is served before sunrise followed by a light breakfast so that you can set off in the cool of the early morning. The highlights of the walk are the breath-taking views of the dunes and plains, as well as the “coming alive” of the desert as the guide allows you to feel, smell, taste and see the oldest living desert in the world. You will walk over a mountain saddle before descending gently to a dry riverbed. Birding is surprisingly good and you may be lucky enough to see one of Namib endemics, the dune lark. Larger animals you might come across include bat-eared fox, oryx, springbok and ostrich. For lunch you will stop at a shady spot to enjoy the treats prepared by your chefs, and fill up your water bottles. There is plenty of time to relax, have a siesta and reflect on all you have seen. As the heat recedes you start walking again up and over the dunes to your second overnight spot. You might hear some barking geckos, owls or just deafening silence. Walking time: Morning: 4 – 4.5 hrs / Afternoon: 2 – 2.5 hrs. Sleeping out in the open on stretcher beds.


Day 6

Once again you are woken in the soft light shortly before sunrise. Coffee and breakfast is served before you set off through the dune field. Today’s walk is easy and you arrive at Tok Tokkie farmhouse at approximately 11h30. Walking time: Morning: 3 – 3.5 hrs. You will then take a relatively short drive (1.5 hrs) to Sesriem and your next overnight stop. Relax around the pool this afternoon, or take a drive to the nearby Elim Dune to watch the sunset.


Day 7

Today 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.  At the end of the tar road there are 4×4 shuttles ready to ferry guests through the deep sand. Deadvlei is worth seeing first before the day heats up, the walk from the drop off point takes around 20 mins each way, and you should take some time to enjoy the peace and solitude of this eerie landmark. After returning to the Deadvlei carpark, the shuttle drivers will drive you onwards to Sossusvlei where you can spend some time exploring before taking a shuttle back to your vehicle and paying the shuttle fee.

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.


Day 8

Today you have time to explore the town of Swakopmund, maybe enjoying an ice cream or coffee at one of the many cafes. We also love the aquarium which has a walk-through viewing tunnel and daily feeding  in the large tank at 15h00. On Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays the feeding is done by a diver which is great to watch, especially for children. Other attractions include the snake park, a brilliantly informative way to learn about Namibia’s reptiles, and the ‘Kristall Galerie’ which houses one of the world’s largest quartz crystals. And at the end of a busy day, we recommend champagne and oysters on the deck of The Jetty restaurant to watch the sunset.


Day 9 – 10

Your drive inland from the coast should take around 2.5 hrs. Enjoy a short inclusive sundown walk this afternoon, and then a full day at leisure. There are a variety of optional tours available from the lodge, including trips to the nearby San Living Museum, guided or self-guided hikes, nature drives, or mountain bike trails. These can all be booked directly at Ai Aiba lodge.


Day 11

Your drive this morning will take around 5.5 hrs. Meet at Palmwag Lodge at 16h00 for your 4×4 transfer into Etendeka. The walk to your 1st overnight camp will take approximately 2 to 3 hours. 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.

The two rustic overnight camps make the most of sleeping under the breathtaking desert sky. The five sleeping platforms are raised off the ground to ensure that guests are safe and comfortable, while having the unparalleled experience of falling asleep to the night sounds of the wilderness under a starry sky. Comfortable beds and ‘bed-rolls’ are your bed for the night, each contain a 100% cotton linen sheet, down duvets and pillow for your comfort. Each sleeping platform is equipped with a flush toilet and basin attached to the platform. There are communal open-air bathrooms including the typical much loved Etendeka Bucket Shower situated between the platforms.


Day 12

After your first night under the stars wake up early to the sounds and smells of the wilderness. Enjoy a full cooked breakfast, pack your travel snacks and water bottles into the backpacks provided and start your walk to Hill Camp. The route is spectacular and your guide will be able to identify animal spoor and share information about the history of the area. 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. In the afternoon you will be able to do a short sundowner walk around the plateau. Guests will enjoy a simple but delicious and wholesome dinner around the fire. Settle in on your sleeping platform perched on the edge of the mountain and enjoy the night under the stars.


Day 13

After an early rise, enjoy breakfast and embark on a 5 to 6 hour walk around Crystal Mountain and down into the valley below. Return to camp for lunch, and an afternoon siesta followed by a short sundowner walk in the afternoon. Overnight at Hill Camp.


Day 14 – 16

Enjoy a short walk down to Etendeka Mountain Camp where you will pick up the scenic nature drive back to Palmwag Lodge.  After collecting your car from the safe parking, you will drive for approximately 4.5 hrs to southern Etosha, National Park. 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. You can also choose to drive yourselves into the Park, wildlife viewing is easy on a self-drive basis.



Day 17

Today you will drive southwards from the southern side of Etosha to Okonjima. You will travel through the towns of Outjo and Otjiwarongo which both offer opportunities for lunch or a quick break. The drive should take you around 3 hours excluding stops.

The inclusive Leopard ‘experience’ will take you out into the Okonjima Nature Reserve and will allow you to spend more time with the experienced guides whilst participating in the research data collection for the long-standing leopard project and newly introduced brown hyaena program. Some of the adult leopards are radio collared which enables the guides to track them with a specialised telemetry device. Although this significantly increases the chance of an excellent sighting, it cannot ever be guaranteed as they are wild free-roaming predators.


Day 18

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