Located in Southern Africa, Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world (behind Mongolia). Namibia has an abundance of vast wilderness and giant sand dunes. The Namib Desert, the world’s oldest, and the Kalahari Desert make up over 80% of the countries land area. So why would someone want to go to a country that is only a desert? If you haven’t seen pictures of Namibia, google search: Deadvlei, Kolmanskop, Namib Desert, Fish River Canyon…or just keep reading!
Namibia is a country with harsh environment and little infrastructure. However, while most roads are gravel, there is good infrastructure, and these were some of the best gravel roads we have travelled on anywhere. Many tourists hire their own car or 4×4 truck and drive through Namibia over the course of a few weeks. With limited options for accommodation in several areas of the country, camping is a popular choice, especially at national parks. Namibia was one of our favorite countries. We recommend a minimum of two weeks to see the best locations. Don’t miss Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei if you are going for a quick stop.
Important Information to Know
Currency: The Namibian Dollar (NAD) is pegged to the South African Rand (ZAR). At the time of writing this article (April 2016), $1 USD was 15.68 NAD. Beer typically costs 20 NAD and food 50 – 80 NAD per person. Accommodations typically cost 120pp for camping and 160pp dorm rooms.
Sim Cards: MTC is the best for cell coverage. Purchase a sim card in Windhoek and not at the airport, which is three times the price. Make sure to ask about their specials. We purchased 100 minutes airtime, 700 SMS, and 1 G data for 30 NAD, good for 1 week; which was easy to renew every week.
Driving: The infrastructure is very good in Namibia, and it is very safe to drive on your own throughout the entire country. However, many roads are gravel or dirt, so there are risks of flat tires. There are a couple places in the country where a 4WD high clearance vehicle is the only way to explore. If visiting the skeleton coast this maybe the best option. However, it is possible to drive almost everywhere with a small car, as we did in a Volkswagen Polo. Expect to pay around $20/$60 US a day for a small car/4WD.
14 Day Itinerary in Namibia
~5,000 KM driving
Day 1 – 2: Windhoek
Finish any last minute planning. Pickup the rental car and get on your way!
TIP: Check that the car registration is current and that they supply a full spare tire.
Stay: Cardboard Box 100 NAD pp camping, 150 NAD pp dorms
Day 3-5: Etosha National Park
Drive to Etosha National Park on the morning of day 3, stopping in Otjiwarongo or Outjo for camping necessities. Stay outside of Anderson gate the first night and 2 days 2 nights in the park.
1 night at Eldorado B&B 90 NAD pp camping
1 night in the National Park at Halali Resort Campground 250 NAD per campsite plus 120 NAD pp camping
1 night at Namutoni Resort Campground 250 NAD per campsite plus 120 NAD pp camping.
CAMPING TIP: All camping sites have a braai pit (outdoor fire pit). Plan ahead and pickup firewood, tongs, and food to cook before coming into the park.
See the full article on Etosha National Park.
Day 6: Opuwo (1 night)
On the morning of Day 6 drive towards Opuwo. For an awesome detour, check with the Ruacana Lodge to see if the Ruacana Falls are flowing. This massive waterfall near the Angola border only flows 6-8 weeks per year, usually around March/April. Once in Opuwo, go on a tour of a Himba village in the afternoon.
Stay: Opuwo Lodge 140 NAD pp camping or Abba Guest House 160 NAD pp double room
See the full article on the Himba Village Tour.
Day 7-8: Swakopmund
On the morning of day 7, drive to Swakopmund. Spend 1 day exploring the sand dunes in Dorob National Park, and 1 day enjoying the many outdoor adventure activities, such as skydiving, Sand Dune Boarding, or a 4×4 quad tour.
Stay: Skeleton Beach Backpackers 120 NAD pp camping, 160 NAD pp dorm
See the full article on Swakopmund and the Outdoor Activities.
Day 9: Naukluft Mountains
Hike the Naukluft Mountains on either the Olive Trail (10km) or the longer Waterkloof Trail (17km).
Stay: Capricorn Rest Camp 80 NAD pp for camping
See the full article on our Waterkloof Trail hike.
TIP: While this is included our itinerary, we recommend to potentially skip this hike to spend more time at the sand dunes or on safari.
Day 10: Sossusvlei
Drive to Sesriem in the afternoon. Stay at the NWR Campground in the National Park to then wake up early to view sunrise from the top of Dune 45. Visit Sossusvlei and Deadvlei in the early morning before it gets too hot.
Stay: Sesriem Campsite 180 NAD pp Camping
See the full article on Sossusvlei and Deadvlei.
Day 11-12: Luderitz
Drive to Luderitz and visit the eerie Kolmanshop Ghost Town.
Stay: Element Riders Backpackers 120 NAD pp dorm or Luderitz Backpackers 170 NAD pp Camping
See the full article on Luderitz and Kolmanskop Ghost Town.
Day 13: Fish River Canyon
Drive to Hobas and Ais-Ais to view the massive Fish River Canyon.
Stay: Ais-Ais Hot Springs Resort 169 NAD pp inside the national park. If heading to South Africa, drive the 1 hour to the Orange River and stay at Felix Unite 150 NAD pp Camping.
See the full article on Fish River Canyon.
Day 14: Windhoek
Drive back to Windhoek to finish the trip. Alternatively, drive south to South Africa and head to Cape Town.
Namibia is full of natural beauty. From seeing the Big 5 in Etosha, the amazing sand dunes of Sossusvlei, and the second largest canyon in the world, Namibia cannot be missed. Check out each of the articles on Namibia to see more details and get a better idea of why this is such an amazing place to visit.
Etosha National Park click HERE
Himba Village Tour in Opuwo click HERE
Swakopmund and Outdoor Adventures click HERE
Naukluft Mountains Hike click HERE
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei click HERE
Luderitz and Kolmanskop Ghost Town click HERE
Fish River Canyon click HERE
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Visited from 03/08/2016 – 03/24/2016.