Find here a video resume of our roadtrip with the best moments of our trip.
Some days ago we got back to Barcelona after spending two weeks in Namibia during our summer holidays. We had planned a trip around almost the entire country (excluding the Caprivi Strip) in an envisaged itinerary that we shared with you here some time ago. Now that the trip has ended and has become no longer a plan but a memory, we can say that we have mainly complied with the intended route, with some precious time for improvisation.
When we started thinking of Namibia as a holiday destination, we had some doubts about the days that we needed to cover the main hotspots of the country and the fact of doing a self-organized trip. Now we can say that it is possible to organize a trip to Namibia on your own and that, if you are not afraid of driving lots of hours each day (Namibia is quite large…), in two weeks you can get at least a good view of what the country has to offer. You will find below a general description of our final route. We will explain hotspots with more detail in future posts.
Day 0: Barcelona – Doha
We travelled from Barcelona to Windhoek via Doha with Qatar Airways. We landed in Doha in the night and did a quick transfer in the fascinating Hamad International Airport.
Day 1: Doha – Windhoek – Hoachanas (Kalahari Desert)
We arrived at Windhoek mid-morning and were picked up at the airport by a private transport company. The driver took us to the offices of Camping Car Hire, where we picked up our 4×4 with a roof top tent. In our opinion, it is highly advisable to arrange the transfer from and to the airport with your car rental company when possible. Afterwards, we moved to the Grove Mall of Namibia, where we had lunch and bought in the supermarket some groceries for our trip. And then we started our roadtrip towards the Southern Namibia and spent our first night in Panama Kalahari Guest Farm, located among the red dunes.
Day 2: Hoachanas (Kalahari Desert) – Fish River Canyon
That morning we had booked a walk with the Bushmen (San) in Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, which is located near Mariental. In this walk we had the chance to learn about their ancient traditions and survival skills and ended with our shoes full of the red sand of the Kalahari Desert. Then, we followed our trip towards the Fish River Canyon, the largest one in Africa, 160 km long. That night we slept in Hobas Camp, at the north end of the canyon.
Day 3: Fish River Canyon – Lüderitz
One of the reasons for us to visit the Southern Namibia (less touristic than the centre and the northwest of the country) was located 10 km inland from the coastal town of Lüderitz. Kolmanskop was once a rich diamond mining village that had been constructed in the architectural style of a German town. However, around the middle of the last century the village was abandoned and its inhabitants have been replaced by the sand of the Namib Desert. After a lunch in the Ghost Town Tavern, we moved to Lüderitz and visited the city centre, bought some groceries and exchanged some money to continue our trip. We also visited Diaz Point, while fighting against the wind, and slept in the Shark Island Campsite, next to the sea.
Day 4: Lüderitz – Sesriem
We left Lüderitz quite early in the morning and drove towards the Kanaan Desert Retreat (located in the border with the Namib-Naukluft National Park), where we had booked a scenic dune drive in that magical landscape. We had lunch in the lodge restaurant and followed our trip towards Sesriem. We hadn’t been able to find any accommodation available in Sesriem before our trip (it’s a very touristic place because it is in the entrance gate to the Namib-Naukluft National Park). However, we tried in the Sesriem Campsite and we managed to camp in their open space, that is, without access to power, but it didn’t matter: we were already inside the Park and that gives you access directly to the internal gate that opens before sunrise (while the general gate opens 1hlater). This allowed us to watch the sunrise while climbing Dune 45.
Day 5: Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Sesriem
We woke up really early to cross the internal gate on the opening time and stopped at Dune 45 to climb it during the sunrise. Afterwards, we drove towards Sossusvlei and climbed the Big Daddy, which is said to be the highest dune in the world. We could also contemplate the famous clay pan called Deadvlei, full of tree skeletons. Our last stop in the Park was the Sesriem Canyon. Then, we went to Hauchabfontein Camping Area, where we spent that night.
Day 6: Sesriem – Solitaire – Swakopmund
It was time to move to the north, to the coastal city of Swakopmund. In our way we passed through Solitaire, a curious settlement featuring a petrol station and a lodge. Solitaire is situated at the junction of the maing roads C14 (highly corrugated and dangerous) and C24, in a sparsely populated area; therefore, is a common stopover for tourists. Once in Swakopmund, we did a three-hour horse ride with Okakambe Horse Stables, during which we had the opportunity to watch the sunset in the moon landscape.
Day 7: Swakopmund – Walvis Bay – Swakopmund
We moved to Walvis Bay in the morning, from where the 4×4 guided tour to Sandwhich Harbour that we had booked departed. This is an amazing place where giant sand dunes run straight into the ocean. Later, we moved to the city centre of Swakopmund to do some shopping and relax in our campsite (Sophia Dale Base Camp, where we spent two nights: this one and the prior one). In the evening, we had a booking for dinner in Jetty 1905, a great restaurant located in Swakopmund’s jetty itself. Without any doubt, that was the best meal in our trip.
Day 8: Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe
In the morning we drove around the city and had an incredible experience: a scenic flight over the coastline of the Namib Desert. Definitely, the best way to explore Namibia’s landscapes is from the air. In the afternoon we moved to Spitzkoppe to spend a night in its community restcamp, under a sky full of stars. Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks located between Usakos and Swakopmund.
Day 9: Spitzkoppe – Cape Cross – Uis
From Spitzkoppe we went back to the coast, this time to Cape Cross, a small headland in the Skeleton Coast, 120 km north of Swakopmund. Cape Cross is now a protected area, home of the largest colony of Cape fur seals in the world. After lunch, we just drove through the Damaraland corrugated roads, which are rewarded by beautiful landscapes. The night found us in Uis, where we slept in the Brandberg Rest Camp.
Day 10: Uis – Twyfelfontein – Petrified Forest – Khorixas
Still in Damaraland, it was time to visit Namibia’s first World Heritage site: the ancient rock engravings of Twyfelfontein. And heading towards this historical site we got a bit lost, since initially we thought that we were driving in a different road than the actual one. But finally we managed to arrive at Twyfelfontein through the corrugated roads of the area and took the guided tour around the rock engravings. After having lunch in Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, we moved to the Petrified Forest, a deposit of large tree trunks that have turned to stone due to diagenesis (yes, a strange word… Dídac, as a physicist, knows better than me!). We ended our day in the Khorixas Rest Camp.
Day 11: Khorixas – Vingerklip – Opuwo
From Khorixas we drove to the east, to take some pictures of the Vingerklip, a rock finger, one of Namibia’s most remarkable rock formations. Then, we headed towards Opuwo, where we arrived with sufficient time to buy some groceries among Herero and Himba people. We also could relax in the terrace of our camp, Opuwo Country Lodge, which has a swimming pool with breathtaking views.
Day 12: Opuwo – Okaukuejo
We had booked a morning guided tour to a Himba settlement directly with Opuwo Country Lodge. During the visit we could learn about Himba’s culture and traditions, speak with the settlement’s inhabitants and buy some jewellery pieces handmade by them. Afterwards, we had a long journey to Okaukuejo Camp, in the Etosha National Park. We did the check-in, had dinner in a rush and did a guided night safari during which we managed to spot a male lion, elephants, hyenas and even rhinos!
Day 13: Okaukuejo – Namutoni
This day we drove from the west towards the east of the Etosha Pan and stopped in some waterholes where we could spot a female lion, elephants, hyenas, giraffes and lots of antilopes. We ended our day with a nice dinner in Namutoni Camp’s restaurant.
Day 14: Namutoni – Hoba Meteorite – Windhoek
We woke up in the Namutoni Camp and spent the first moments of the day exploring some waterholes. Then, we left Etosha and drove back to Windhoek, but we slightly deviated from the route to visit the Hoba Meteorite, the world’s largest one, located near Grootfontein. We arrived at Windhoek in the afternoon and had some time to visit the city centre. We slept in Arebbusch Travel Lodge.
Day 15: Windhoek – Doha
First thing in the morning in our last day in Namibia we returned our car and then a driver took us back to Hosea Kutako International Airport. Our flight was scheduled for mid-morning so we still had time to buy the last souvenirs and to have a coffee.
Day 16: Doha – Barcelona
And finally, we got back home with our bags full of new experiences! We really encourage you to visit this amazing country and hope that this information will be useful. Just one more tip: if you wish to visit Namibia in August as we did (Europe’s school holidays) book your accommodation in advance where possible, since tourists mainly use to go to Namibia on that time. Note that we slept all the nights in campsites; therefore, the lodges that we have mentioned in this post also have a camping area available.