Large vehicle with scenery

Highlights of Namibia - Roof-Top Camping

Self-drive mobile-camping exploration of Namibia enjoying the highlights of Sossusvlei Dunes, coastal resort town of Swakopmund, unique geological formations and rock art in Damaraland, followed by excellent wildlife experiences in Etosha and Okonjima.

Tailor-made Adventure 10 - 14 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,159 per person economy class from London

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…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

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Itinerary

Overview

  • Roof-top camping adventure
  • Apricot dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Big game experiences in Etosha
  • Search for desert adapted Elephant

A brilliant way to experience the vast spaces of Namibia, camping under the stars, preparing your own meals on an open fire, whilst enjoying the many diverse activities this arid country has to offer. Your vehicle will have all sleeping and living equipment on board, cooking utensils, water tank, gas bottle and 24/7 road side assistance. This trip has a sprinkling of accommodation for comfort at the beginning, end and in the middle.

The first highlight is the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the south, famed for its towering sand dunes, river valleys & pans, gravel plains and inselbergs & mountain outcrops. This is one of the oldest deserts in the world covering over 50 000 square kilometres.

The small coastal town Swakopmund is the most urban part of the journey with a good selection of restaurants offering all from Bavarian fare to excellent seafood, shops, museum, library and Living Desert Snake Park. You can take two routes here, take up all the adventure activities from sandboarding to sky diving or enjoy some of the marine wildlife from the Sandwich Harbour tour or fascinating desert insight such as ancient Welwitschia Plant Drive.

Damaraland, to the north of Swakopmund and east of the Skeleton coast has a number of unusual geological formations, from the Spitzkoppe in the south, the large rock art gallery of Brandberg including the White Lady painting which is 40cm tall, volcanic remains of the Messum and Doros craters, the balancing Vingerklip pinnacle rock formation, the Twyfelfontein rock art which unusually has both painting and engraving examples, petrified forest on sandstone bed, Burnt Mountain and the unique angular dolorite columns of the Organ Pipes formations. From a wildlife perspective the home to the elusive desert adapted elephant and rhino.

For such an arid environment, you would not expect to find such a wildlife refuge such as the Etosha National Park which is only 110 kilometres wide and 60 kilometres from north to south. However the Etosha Pan is the remnant of an inland lake which attracts good numbers of elephant, giraffe, eland, blue wildebeest, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, impala, steenbok and zebra, and predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah.

Okonjima is the home not only to the highly informative AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre which looks after vulnerable carnivores in captivity, but also to the ‘Okonjima Experience’ where visitors actively participate in a leopard sustainability programme by working with their professional guides to collect and collate data about this fascinating, elusive species. There is a very good chance of spotting wild dog and hyena from game drives, and rare species such as rhino and pangolin also roam the area.

A 4x4 Nissan vehicle with roof top tent and camping equipment is included. On arrival you will be given a full self-drive briefing with maps and instructions. Namibia road conditions are excellent with long straight, generally empty roads. This is a sample itinerary and can be extended into the southern regions or perhaps doing a full loop around to include parts of Botswana or take in the Victoria Falls.

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVE AND RELAX IN WINDHOEK
Arriving into Windhoek Airport you will be met and assisted with your car rental and you will then drive to your guest house. This afternoon will be a full self-drive briefing and a chance to do some shopping for the journey.
Meals Included: None
Accommodation: Guest House accommodation
Transport: Collection of your car rental, self-drive into Windhoek. +/-50 minutes

DAY 2: NAMIB DESERT
Today is a full day journey, depart after breakfast for the Namib Desert, arriving into your camp site for late afternoon. Settle into camp and enjoy barbeque under the stars
Meals Included: Breakfast included.
Accommodation: Roof-top camping
Transport: Drive from Windhoek to Namib Desert. +/- 5 hour

DAY 3: NAMIB DESERT
Early rise to be at the entrance to the Sossusvlei and Sesriem national park for sunrise on the dunes and spend the day exploring the surrounding area.
Meals Included: Self-catering
Accommodation: Roof-top camping

DAY 4: SWAKOPMUND
Depart north-west to the Atlantic seaside town of Swakopmund, cross the Tropic of Capricorn, the Gaud and Kuiseb pass and down the dry river bed over the canyon which opens into desert landscape. The desolated “Namib gravel plains” brings you to the coastal town of Swakopmund.
Meals Included: Self-catering
Accommodation: Guest house accommodation
Transport: Travel from Namib Desert to Swakopmund. +/- 5 hours

DAY 5: SWAKOPMUND
This morning you will be collected for a seal and dolphin cruise which departs from Walvis Bay 30 minutes away, enjoy snacks and drinks on board. You will be returned to your guest house and will have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy some adventure activities.
Meals Included: Breakfast included
Accommodation: Guest house accommodation

DAY 6: DAMARALAND
Heading north, just before the start of the Skeleton Coast, stop at Cape Cross to see the Cape Fur seal colony. Continue east, heading inland into the desert, the small town of Uis, an isolated mining town which is the best place to buy rough semi-precious stones which Namibia is known for, such as Amethyst and Tourmaline. The Brandberg Mountains is an ancient Bushman spiritual site and also home to Namibia’s highest peak, standing at 2573 metres. Burnt Mountain is a hill at the foot of a twelve kilometre long volcanic ridge and the nearby gorge which houses the Organ Pipes which are five metre high tall, angular dolomite columns, and well worth a visit.
Meals Included: Breakfast included
Accommodation: Roof-top camping
Transport: Travel from Swakopmund to Damaraland. +/- 5 hours

DAY 7: DAMARALAND
This morning will be a guided game drive to track elusive desert adapted rhino and elephant. This afternoon you could drive to the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein.
Meals Included: Self-catering
Accommodation: Roof-top camping

DAY 8: ETOSHA
Travel north to the Etosha National Park, staying on the western side of the park. After your evening meal around the fire, head to the floodlit waterhole which is a great draw card for black rhino, elephant, lion and a number of plains game. Due to the arid nature of this park, wildlife tend to congregate at these watering holes, particularly in winter when drinking water is at a premium (June – October)
Meals Included: Self-catering
Accommodation: Roof-top camping
Transport: Travel from Damaraland to Etosha National Park. +/- 5 hours

DAY 9: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Full day game driving in the national park ending at your campsite in the middle of the park
Meals Included: Self-catering
Accommodation: Roof-top camping

DAY 10: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Continue the journey across the park to the eastern side, stopping a various waterholes en route, days ends at campsite on the eastern side of the park.
Meals Included: Self-catering
Accommodation: Roof-top camping

DAY 11: OKONJIMA
Final early morning drive in Etosha before travelling south to Okonjima Lodge in the Okonjima Nature Reserve, home of the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre and the ‘Okonjima Experience’, a leopard sustainability programme which visitors participate in by collecting and collating data on this fascinating species.
Meals Included: Dinner included
Accommodation: Lodge accommodation
Transport: Travel from Etosha National Park to Okonjima. +/- 3 ½ hours

DAY 12: OKONJIMA
Morning or afternoon activity in the reserve.
Meals Included: Breakfast, dinner and AM or PM activity included
Accommodation: Lodge accommodation

DAY 13: DEPART
After breakfast take a leisurely drive to Windhoek, return hire car and check in for your onward journey.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Transport: Travel from Okonjima to Windhoek. +/- 3 hours

Details

Getting there

Excellent connections via South Africa with regular flights from Johannesburg and some options from Cape Town. Air Namibia do operate via Frankfurt. Flight from London to Windhoek via Johannesburg start from £780 -£1280 per person

Extensions to Botswana and the Victoria Falls are possible with regular connections.

Flight prices on this route are always cheaper booked in advance, particularly when flying during UK school holidays. If you are booking anything less than a month prior to departure expect to pay through Virgin and BA tend to offer flight sales around September and October, which are worth looking out for.

Please let us know your preferred departure airport and we would be pleased to quote for a flight inclusive ATOL protected package.

Price includes

Inclusive of car hire for the duration with unlimited mileage and comprehensive insurance, all living, kitchen & sleeping equipment, full water tank and gas bottle(s), nationwide 24/7 road side assistance & phone help-line, accommodation / camping with meals and activities as mentioned.

Exclusive of all drinks, additional meals and activities, park fees, gratuities, visa fees, comprehensive travel insurance, medical precautions and items of a personal nature.

Family Travel Cost:


For family travel in July/August, from £2995 per family of 2 adults travelling with 2 children under the age of 12 years. Flights in high season start from £980 per person.

When is best?

The months from June to September are winter in Southern Africa but temperatures during the day reach very comfortable early 20 degrees Celsius, just pretty chilly at night but you can keep comfortable with various layers. This is the time of the least / no rainfall making the vegetation less dense and the game easy to spot. You could use a standard sedan vehicle for this journey but a 2x4 makes the trip more comfortable.

Autumn, April-May tends to be a lovely time with all the young being born and the vegetation still green. Spring, late September into early November can have variable weather depending on the previous rainfall but offers excellent game viewing

The summer months November to March tend to be the highest rainfall which is generally when a 4x4 vehicle is suggested; it tends to be hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms.

Is it for me?

Namibia is a vast country with many fascinating and varied experience. It is a very arid environment for the most part. Journey times do tend to be longer but is very rewarding and uncrowded. As this has a mix of camping and accommodation, it has some comfort in between. Camping facilities are generally good and well maintained.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 493 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • The whole holiday start to finish was just fabulous, the accommodation was perfect and to a certain extent stunning at the Dar Hosnia in Marrakech.

    The transport, guides and staff at both locations were wonderful with a special mention to the Douar Samra team in Imlill. They were more than a bit special.

    The food at both locations was excellent and the ambience and fun we enjoyed in Douar Samra was beyond all expectations.

    We made many new friends whom I am sure we will keep in touch with way beyond this holiday.

    You put together a perfect package it was much more than just a great holiday it was a richly rewarding experience.

    Just finally to say a big thank you to you for organising one of the best trips we have had.

    Missingstuart w reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 15 April 2019

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Condensed 7-day self drive adventure focusing on Northern Namibia (Etosha NP, Damaraland, & Central Highlands) with superb wildlife viewing and good value, characterful accommodation.

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'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,030 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,334 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,030 per person economy class from London

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Tailor-made Luxury 12 days

Adults from $9,454 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,030 per person economy class from London

12 Day Highlights of Namibia with a private driver-guide. Features, Sossusvlei, Twyfelfontein, Swakopmund, Etosha NP, Onguma and Okonjima private reserves.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Adults from $7,053 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,030 per person economy class from London

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