Namibia is the perfect destination for those who like to be on the move and who enjoy a holiday that is varied and full of activity.
There is no better way to explore this land of contrasts than on a 4×4 self-drive allowing you to explore at your own pace with safe and easy driving conditions.
Expect clear blue skies and starry nights exploring the Namib Desert with scaling Sossusvlei Red Dunes and colonial Swakopmund on the wild Atlantic Coast. Continuing to rugged Damaraland to find elusive desert adapted elephants and rhino, taking in the fascinating Twyfelfontein Rock Art, game viewing in wildlife-rich Etosha and visiting the renowned Africat Foundation at Okonjima.
Whilst this sample itinerary includes luxury accommodation, we are happy to tailor this to suit your budget.
On arrival into Windhoek you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation. Our representative will deliver the vehicle to you and provide all of your travel documents.
Depending on time of arrival there may be time to visit the city’s State Museum or browse the city’s markets and shops. We can also recommend restaurants for dinner and book these in advance of your trip.
After breakfast, pop into town for any provisions you might need for the journey (cool box supplied by us).
Today you will have a 5 to 6 hour drive passing through the spectacular Naukluft Mountains to Sossusvlei. Your drive will reveal the transition from Kalahari thorn veld to the true desert of the Namib.
Spend 2 nights at Hoodia Desert Lodge surrounded by majestic mountains on the banks of the Tsauchab River.
This evening head west on a Sundowner drive to admire the breath taking views over the red dunes.
We recommend you take a Sossusvlei Excursion with a professional guide in camp’s 4×4 Safari Vehicle starting before sunrise and including an “Out of Africa” Dune Picnic Lunch.
Only a 20 minute drive will bring you to the Sesriem Gate, the entrance to the world famous red sand-dunes of the Sossusvlei. Along the way your guide will provide fascinating insights into the history, geology, flora and fauna of this area.
Climb the Namib Desert’s largest dunes including Big Daddy or Dune 45 (at 170 metres tall and the most well known dune chosen to climb by visitors). Then a visit to Dead Vlei is a must. It’s a dried white clay pan that was once a lush marsh until encroaching dunes cut off the Tsauchab River. Now all that remains are 900 year old blackened tree skeletons trapped in a white clay marsh, set against red rusted dunes and a brilliant blue sky.
As an incredible finale book the optional extra of a Balloon Safari followed by a champagne breakfast for life-long memories.
Today drive for around six hours to Swakopmund on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Departing Sossuvlei head north to Solitaire, then west crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons via the Namib gravel plains to the coast.
Spend 2 nights in Strand Hotel including breakfast
Swakopmund is a picturesque colonial town, its German past evident in the many historic buildings and charming streets – perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll and for a stop in a quaint cafe for a slice of Sachertorte!
One full day set aside for Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
The Namibian Coastline is generally known as The Skeleton Coast due to the barren areas, ship wrecks and in days gone by whale skeletons left on the beach.
We can book your preferred activity whether that be the Sandwich Harbour excursion, dolphin cruise, go kayaking with seals off Pelican Point, quad biking in the nearby dunes, taking a light aircraft flight over the Skeleton Coast or join a Living Desert tour where a guide takes you out to nearby dunes to show you some of the smaller creatures such as sidewinder snakes, Namaqua chameleons and Grey’s Larks.
Drive north for approximately 7 to 8 hours to Damaraland. En route travel via Henties Bay to visit the Cape Cross seal colony and the Lichen Fields. Heading inland drive across wide open plains to Uis marvelling at the mirages! Finally arriving in the Twyfelfontein area.
Spend 2 nights at Mowani Mountain Camp in the heart of southern Damaraland between the Ugab and Huab Rivers.
Exploring Damaraland – Mowani’s local guides share with their guest an intimate knowledge and respect for the land. With new insight into local traditions you will come to fully appreciate the geology, botany and wildlife of the area. Local villagers are welcoming and keen to share their traditions and experiences.
You will easily be able to self-drive over to the ancient rock engravings of Twyfelfontein as well as the Organ Pipes.
Guided activities include safari into the Huab Riverbed in search of desert adapted elephant and hikes through the spectacular scenery.
On Day 8 – After breakfast drive east stopping at the Petrified Forest en-route. Your drive today is approximately 4 to 5 hours before arriving at the exclusive Ongava Private Reserve adjacent to the southern entrance of Etosha National Park.
Spend 2 nights at Ongava Tented Camp, fully inclusive
Ongava is a 30,000 Ha Private Reserve and one of Namibia’s largest rhino custodianships for both black and white rhino. Twice daily safari activities are included with half and full day guided game drives into Etosha NP as well as night game drives on the reserve. Bush walks and birding experiences too.
Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, enclosing game rich savannah and a huge salt pan of 22,000km². Productive waterholes fringe the edges of the pan sustaining a high density of large mammals from elephant and lion, as well as hippos and rhino to vast herds of springbok, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and gemsbok.
Day 10 – Depart Ongava Reserve and cross from the west to the eastern side of Etosha enjoying a full day game drive and stopping at numerous waterholes along the way.
Late afternoon arrive at Onguma Private Reserve to spend 2 nights at Onguma Tented Camp, Fully Inclusive. A true back to nature experience with access to exclusive areas away from the beaten path.
Day 11 – Explore the eastern side of Etosha National Park on guided game drives in the morning and in the afternoon take a Sundowner drive on the Onguma Reserve.
The adventures continue as you drive south to Okonjima, home to the AfriCat Foundation.
Spend 2 nights at Okonjima Bush Camp, Fully Inclusive
Okonjima Bush Camp lies in a 20,000 hectare nature reserve, south of Otjiwarongo surrounded by undulating hills and grassy plains. Your luxury chalet is the perfect finale. From here you can track cheetah on-foot, go in search of leopard and rhino, visit bird hides (porcupine feeding at night gives you armchair viewing!) and visit the AfriCat Foundation centre to learn all about its mission for the long term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores.
After breakfast, make your drive back to Windhoek to drop off your vehicle and catch your flight (dependent on flight times). Alternatively relax and enjoy dinner and overnight in Windhoek before your homeward journey on the following day.
Hoodia Desert Lodge named after the native flowering cactus nestles in the Sossusvlei Dunes and is surrounded by majestic mountains on the banks of the Tsauchab River in south west Namibia.
Hoodia Desert Lodge is a comfortable family owned and managed property, accommodating guests in 11 luxury tented chalets under thatch. The chalets are spread out in a line to ensure privacy in this breath-taking location. Each ensuite chalet comes with outdoor bathroom, mosquito nets and air conditioning. Designed with large windows and doors that look out over beautiful landscape vistas.
The main areas of the lodge include a large lounge with an eclectic mix of furniture, including some interesting artwork as well as a restaurant serving a wide range of local and international dishes. There is also a small swimming pool.
Strand Hotel stands on the Swakopmund coastline with tremendous views over the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The contemporary style of the hotel is a gentle historical reminder of both German and Namibian interior and exterior architectural design.
The Strand Hotel boasts a collection of 125 contemporary rooms and suites with beach, sea, garden or park views. Standard Rooms feature panoramic and sliding windows, while the Luxury Rooms also feature ‘step-out’ balconies. All rooms are well appointed with en-suite bathrooms, Wi-Fi, LCD televisions, tea and coffee making facilities.
Mowani Mountain Camp commands a stunning location − perched high on a rocky outcrop, nestled amongst large granite boulders and overlooking gravel plains to the mountains beyond in Namibia's stunning Damaraland.
Mowani Mountain Camp has 15 rooms all with en-suite facilities and decorated in African style. Winner of an architectural eco-design award in Germany, the organic nature of the design is felt through the camp. Colours, textures and comforts envelope you, while the vaulted cathedral like thatched ceilings are Africa’s way of paying homage to nature.
Lounging by the pool tucked in amongst the rocks or relaxing on your private deck is also a wonderful way to enjoy the spectacular surroundings.
Ongava Tented Camp nestles in mopane woodland at the foot of a low hill on the private 30,000 Ha Ongava Game Reserve, overlooking a waterhole and bordering the Etosha National Park.
Ongava has the cosy feel of a bushcamp, accommodating guests in eight canvas tents that includes one family unit. The tents are set on a raised deck with double doors and gravel walkways. Each tent includes open plan en-suite facilities of a flush WC, basin and indoor and outdoor shower; ceiling fan, easy chair, tea and coffee facilities and private verandas.
The main area is built of stone, canvas and thatch and fronts the much frequented waterhole; watching wildlife coming to drink from here or from the swimming pool is a favourite pastime.
Onguma Tented Camp offers elegant safari chic located on the private 34,000 Ha Onguma Reserve east of Etosha National Park.
Seven well appointed large and luxurious en-suite tented rooms overlook the waterhole. Each room is decorated in earthy tones to blend in with the surroundings. The camp has a rim flow pool as well as a hide to view game from.
Superb activities including day game drives in Etosha as well as night game drives on the private reserve. Interpretative bush walks are also offered with knowledgeable guides.
Okonjima Bush Camp lies in a 20,000 hectare nature reserve, south of Otjiwarongo surrounded by undulating hills and grassy plains. This is the base for the AfriCat Foundation.
The Bush Camp comprises of eight thatched African style chalets and one honeymoon suite. Each exclusive chalet enjoys complete privacy, and is a unique combination of earthy ochre walls and khaki-green canvas, under a thatched roof. The honeymoon suite boasts 2 double beds, a bathtub, an out-side shower and a fireplace.
The AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up to conserve and protect Namibia’s threatened cheetah, leopard and other wild carnivores. From this small camp, guests are invited to learn about Namibia’s big cats, with excellent opportunities to view them at close quarters.
Meet & Greet upon Arrival
4×4 Car Hire with Tour File with detailed itinerary, map with route descriptions and 24 hour support
Windhoek Boutique Hotel and Strand Hotel in Swakopmund on a b&b basis
Hoodia Desert Lodge – 2 Night Package including Dinner & Breakfast with Sundowner Drive, Guided Sossusvlei Excursion including lunch in the Dunes. Cool drinks, beer and wines.
Mowani Mountain Camp – 2 Night Package including all meals with two activities and return Twyfelfontein transfers.
Ongava Tented Camp – Fully Inclusive of all meals, twice daily scheduled camp activities, park fees, laundry and local drinks
Onguma Tented Camp – Fully Inclusive of all meals, local brand alcohol and soft drinks, twice daily scheduled camp activities with guide including Sundowner drive on Onguma Reserve and Etosha morning game drive.
Okonjima Bush Camp – Fully inclusive of all meals, 2 activities, local brand alcohol and soft drinks and laundry.
Just wanted to say how much we thoroughly enjoyed our safari holiday to Namibia. There is nothing I would change, the trip was exactly what we wanted it to be. We found the detailed itinerary particularly helpful, in fact invaluable, especially as it gave us detailed driving instructions, route co-ordinates for the SatNav and also estimated timings. We were hugely impressed!
We liked all the camps that Katharine chose for us, each was different in its own way and each experience at the respective camp was unique. I would have no hesitation in recommending The Big 5 to anyone wishing to book a safari holiday. In terms of your rating for our holiday I would give you a 10 without hesitation.
Sossusvlei is a natural wonder with stunning views in all directions - arrive at sunrise for outstanding photo opportunities!!
I just wanted to thank you once again for all the time and effort you put into making our holiday in Namibia such a fantastic experience. Our passionate and delightful guide in Etosha had such knowledge of the reserve and what it had to offer including grasses, trees and special birds that were a privilege to see!