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Northern Namibia Highlights - Self Drive

An excellent introduction to Namibia, this seven day self-drive safari focuses on the wildlife and cultural highlights of Northern Namibia with superb and good value bush camps and lodges throughout.

Comprising relatively short driving distances this safari includes the game-rich plains of Etosha National Park, Damaraland's lava-sculpted landscape, and the Central Highlands' spectacular Erongo wilderness.

This itinerary ties in well with visits to Zambia's Victoria Falls, South Africa's Cape Town, or Botswana's Okavango Delta, or combines perfectly with our Southern Namibia itinerary for a longer more in-depth foray in Namibia.

Tailor-made Classic 8 days

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,036 per person economy class from London

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  • Concise 7-day self-drive adventure showcasing Northern Namibia's top wildlife destinations
  • Visit the shimmering 'lunar' landscape of Etosha National Park, and Okonjima's enlightening 'AfriCat Foundation'
  • Witness Damaraland's curious semi-desert landscape, and ancient bushman rock art at Twyfelfontein
  • Enjoy a restful 2-night finale in the beautiful Erongo Mountain wilderness, complete with gentle guided walks and nature drives 

  • Stay in characterful, affordable camps and lodges; some featuring waterholes frequented by abundant wildlife, others nestled into dramatic, boulder-strewn landscapes


On arrival at Windhoek Airport you will be welcomed and driven to the Elegant Guesthouse, located in a quiet suburb of Windhoek just a short drive from the capital's many shops and restaurants. The transfer takes around 45 minutes, with stops along the way to stock up on supplies. Your fully air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle will be delivered directly to the guesthouse. 
Accommodation: Elegant Guesthouse 
The self-drive tour commences today with a 3 hour journey to the beautiful Okonjima Nature Reserve. Nestled amidst the Omboroko Mountains, the reserve is home to the Africat Foundation, a conservation project well worth a visit, educating visitors and local communities about the protection of big cats. Enjoy an overnight stay at Okonjima Plains Camp, a tastefully upgraded ex-cattle farm which offers carnivore foot-tracking activities, bushman trails, and game drives in this game-rich area. Boasting two pools and an open-plan bar and lounge, the camp is a lovely place to relax, with fabulous views of the open grass plains.
Accommodation: Okonjima Plains Camp
Driving time: approximately 3 hours, excluding stops
Today's 5 hour drive leads to Mushara Bush Camp, a high quality safari base with a 'down-to-earth' feel in a delightful bush location, just 10 kilometres from Etosha National Park's eastern gate. The camp offers optional shared morning or afternoon game drives, and is a great place to unwind at the end of an eventful day. Each of the 16 tents have been thoughtfully designed to provide shelter from the heat, and boast large private verandas. Meals are served in the communal thatched dining area, and guests will enjoy sharing the day's wildlife sightings around the evening campfire.  
Accommodation: Mushara Bush Camp 
Driving time: approximately 5 hours, excluding stops 
Today's journey from Namutoni to Etosha National Park's southern reaches can be driven in just 2 ½ hours, but it's best to take your time and make a full day's game drive of it. The park’s tarmac roads are easy to navigate, and the arid, chalk-white landscape is home to a rich variety of wildlife including the rare black rhino, elephant, giraffe, blue wildebeest, zebra, impala, an abundance of big cats, and an impressive array of birdlife. Note that the park opens its gates at sunrise and closes at sunset, and the speed limit is 60 km/hour, so do keep this in mind when planning journey times. Stay overnight at the Okaukuejo Rest Camp, a former military outpost offering pristine and comfortable accommodation complete with bar, restaurant and swimming pool. This sizeable camp's main draw is its waterhole which is floodlit at night, and attracts an amazing diversity of animals, including lion, elephant, and the endangered black rhino.
Accommodation: Okaukuejo Rest Camp
Drive time: full day's game drive across Etosha National Park
Today's 4 ½ hour drive leads to Camp Kipwe in southern Damaraland. This quirky camp comprises 10 igloo-shaped chalets huddled amongst the rocks, with sweeping views across the Aba Huab Valley. Guided morning nature drives in search of Namibia's unique desert-adapted elephant are possible, along with afternoon excursions to Twyfelfontein, a world heritage site boasting impressive boulders inscribed with Africa's greatest concentrations of ancient rock art. Visits to Burnt Mountain, and a magical set of volcanic rock formations known as the 'Organ Pipes' which appear to shimmer in bright sunshine, are also included. If time allows, it's possible to visit the Damara Living Museum, a nearby community venture introducing visitors to local people and traditions, plus there are a number of guided nature walks in and around camp. Back at base enjoy a swim, a rest, and a hearty dinner at the end of an adventurous day.
Accommodation: Camp Kipwe 
Drive time: approximately 4 ½ hours excluding stops 
Today, take the 4 ½ hour drive to the relaxed and delightful Erongo Wilderness Lodge. On arrival, park at the bottom of the hillside, and a security guard will call the lodge and request a 4x4 transfer for the short distance over the boulders to the lodge. Occupying a spectacular setting in the foothills of the Erongo Mountains on the edge of the enormous Erongo Crater, this small 10-room lodge blends into the magnificent boulder-strewn landscape, with rooms linked by walkways meandering between the rocks. The camp has a laid-back pace, and there's a swimming pool with stunning views, along with a decking area for dining under the stars overlooking the floodlit waterhole. Morning and afternoon guided walks are available daily, and the camp also offers self-guided walking trails and guided nature drives into the 200,000 hectare conservation area.  The birdlife is a key attraction, and the evening sundowner walks leading to a fabulous viewpoint are a real highlight.  
Accommodation: Erongo Wilderness Lodge 
Drive time: approximately 4 ½ hours excluding stops 
Enjoy a final day at leisure in and around the lodge, taking part in optional activities as preferred. 
Accommodation: Erongo Wilderness Lodge 
Drive time: n/a 
Today's final drive takes you back to Windhoek airport. It's best to arrive at least 2 hours before flight departure in order to allow enough time to fill up at the airport’s petrol station, drop the hired vehicle back, and check in.
Accommodation: n/a
Drive time: approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours excluding stops


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

- Stylish and comfortable
- Helpful and friendly staff
- Convenient location

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

- Vibrant wildlife
- Famous cheetah conservation
- Spacious rooms with views

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

- Private reserve close to eastern side of Etosha
- Only 16 tents
- Family friendly
- Guided activities available

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

- Beautiful national park location
- Vibrant waterhole in camp
- Large property, affordable prices

Camp Kipwe


Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

-Elusive desert elephants
-Impressive boulder strewn landscape
-Locally run

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Central Highlands

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

- Luxury rooms with views
- Great walking trails
- Ideal for bird-spotting
- Pool in rock overlooking plains


Getting there

Namibia has excellent regular connections via Johannesburg (and less frequently via Cape Town). Air Namibia also operates via Frankfurt. Flights 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 school holiday periods.

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

Price includes

Guide price includes accommodation (on a mix of BB and HB), park fees, Ford Ranger Double Cab 4x4 or similar, MediVac insurance, cell phone, cool box and first aid kit

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 it is very rewarding and uncrowded.

This makes for an excellent couple and family adventure. There will be some restriction on children under the age of 7 years for guided safari / nature activities.


For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 499 reviews


  • The Namibia trip was fantastic!

    Self-driving was brilliant, and the chronology of the itinerary was perfect (against the flow/direction most other travelers took).

    As for specifics:

    This place was the best!
    Best service, best staff, best food, best experiences, best facilities.
    We saw a cheetah kill, leopards, and white rhino (which we were not expecting).
    If you’ve never been you should go...If I ever go back to Namibia I will revisit.

    The only (slight) disappointment.
    Maybe because it was right after Okonjima, but the service was lacking, the facilities were a bit run down, it was the only place with mosquitoes in the room with no net and no spray. Food was marginal. Not sure if there are better options in the area, though.

    Etosha Park was amazing. There was so much wildlife with so little crowds.
    The Okaukeujo Camp had the best watering hole with animals coming in at all times of the night. A great experience exclusive to the camp.

    Beautiful place. Very private. Food and service excellent.
    A nice stopping point on the drive.

    An amazing place...How they laid out and built it.
    Enjoyed exploring the grounds and the local area/sights.
    The staff was on par with Okonjima.
    2 days were perfect.

    Ivin provided us with good advice/information/recommendations along the route, along with a cell phone and cooler for the trip. The car was perfect.
    They represent Tourdust well!

    Again, another great trip you put together...Thank you!

    MissingEarl W reviewing Northern Namibia Highlights - Self Drive on 17 October 2018

  • 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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Call 855 686 7694 9am and 6pm GMT Monday to Friday

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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.

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,036 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 $6,850 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,036 per person economy class from London

A circular, self-drive roof-top camping adventure of Namibia enjoying the Sossusvlei dunes, searching for desert adapted elephant and spectacular big game in the Etosha National Park.

Tailor-made Adventure 10 - 14 days

Adults from $2,175 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,165 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,451 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 $1,165 per person economy class from London


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