Vast, endless, magnificent and unimaginable, are only a few words used to describe Namibia. These are good words as far as words go but they don’t really do Namibia justice. There simply is no frame of reference, nothing that even comes close. You have to experience it yourself to understand!
Itinerary in Brief
Highlights of Northern Namibia takes you through northern Namibia, home to the wild and remote areas of Damaraland, Skeleton Coast and Etosha – each uniquely different and mind-blowing in their own way. This trip offers the chance to experience Northern Namibia in all its beauty!
Starting off in the capital city Windhoek, this trip continues towards the Atlantic Coast, where you’ll find the small town Swakopund, which is not only unique for bordering the coast and the desert, but also for its historical feel. Then, travelling further north through to the Erongo Mountains and Damaraland, both offering breath-taking wilderness, unique desert adapted animals and ancient rock paintings. Followed by Etosha National Park, which is known as one of the best game viewing spots in southern Africa, thus a must for this itinerary. Then finally finishing off with a more intimate safari experience in the Erindi Private Game Reserve.
Namibia is a perfect self-drive country, thus this trip can be organized ideally for individual travellers or alternatively accompanied by a private guide. Travelling is possible throughout the whole year, as Namibia is a year-round destination with less extreme seasonal changes. A great time to visit Namibia is between March and May as it is a moderate temperature with warm days and chilly nights and little to no rain falls during this period offering beautiful clear skies. The selected accommodation is comfortable and special settings provide a very authentic experience enabling travellers to enjoy Northern Namibia in all its beauty.
1st Night: Windhoek - River Crossing Lodge
Welcome to Namibia! Windhoek is the perfect start to your trip. You will have some time to recover from the exertions of the flight and explore the capital of Namibia. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is present in the widespread use of the German language.
Visit some city sights, such as the 1896 Christuskirche Christ Church, Alte Feste – an old fort or the more contemporary Independence Memorial Museum. Typical for Windhoek are the many street vendors, who offer their handicrafts where you can buy your first souvenir.
Enjoy your first evening in one of the city’s restaurants, e.g. Joe’s Beerhouse, which offers delicious and authentic food inspired by the fascinating character of Namibia and its people. The River Crossing Lodge is located in a private game reserve directly outside Windhoek and offers a beautiful view over the city.
2nd and 3rd Night: Swakopmund – Desert Breeze Lodge
Today you’ll continue your journey towards the coast. Passing through vast scenery you’ll reach Swakopmund, a small city on the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy the breeze! Swakopmund is a city full of contrast: The colonial German architecture seems surreal in its surroundings and the hot desert winds collide with the breeze of the ocean. Spend your day strolling through this fascinating city where palm trees line the promenade, visit some cosy cafés or spend time in the bustling markets.
Swakomund and the surrounding areas offer a variety of interesting activities – on land, at sea or in the air. You can book some marine activity on the Atlantic Ocean like kite surfing, kayaking or join a seal and dolphin boat cruise. Explore the desert on special tours to learn more about the fascinating variety of desert adapted animals. If you are seeking adrenaline you can also go quad-biking, try sand boarding or take a scenic flight to have the ideal view of this unique place, where the desert meets the ocean.
Swakopmund offers a variety of excellent sea-food restaurant. You could have dinner at “The tug” or Jetty 1905, which are both located at the shore, so you can watch the sun set over the ocean and enjoy some delicious food.
4th Night: Erongo – Erongo Wilderness Lodge
Today you’ll leave the coast behind you and drive towards the Erongo Mountains and you’ll see that the scenery will once again change drastically. The Erongo Mountains are a circular massif, which is an eroded relic of a volcano that was active 150 million years ago. The area is characterized by many huge granite boulders that are scattered around the landscape and a variety of pre-historic rock paintings and engravings.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge lays surrounded by a breath-taking mountain backdrop and is an ideal location to explore the area. Spend your day hiking and find some bushman rock-art at Paula’s Cave. As the region also has a high wildlife population you can join a nature drive, on which you’ll also see some game such as oryx, kudu, mountain zebra, eland and giraffe. If you’re very lucky you might even find some leopard, which thrive in this mountainous and rocky environment.
5th and 6th Night: Twyfelfontein – Camp Kipwe
Travelling further into Damaraland, through a region that is known for its endless and untouched landscapes – you might even get a feeling of having arrived on another planet. Experience the meaning of true wilderness in Damaraland with rugged, rocky landscapes, rolling hills, ancient riverbeds and deep gorges.
The wildlife can be scarce but even more special and unique, offering a once in a lifetime experience, as you can be sure to have any wildlife-sighting completely to yourself. Damaraland also boasts the geologically fascinating Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, which is home to thousands of ancient Bushman rock engravings.
Explore Damaraland on an early morning game drive in search of elusive desert dwelling elephants, hike in the ancient surroundings of the Aba Huab River or travel back in time at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site.
7th and 8th Night: Palmwag – Desert Rhino Camp
The Palmwag Concession will be your next stop, where you’ll be able to get up close with the largest free-ranging populations of the critically endangered desert-adapted black rhino. Desert Rhino Camp lays deep in the dramatic landscape of Damaraland in a wide valley surrounded by stacked granite rocks, deeply carved gorges. The camp is run in conjunction with the local community and Save the Rhino Trust and offers unique activities with trackers from the conservation organisation.
Spend your days on safari with highly-knowledgeable guides in search of desert adapted rhino, elephant, gemsbok, giraffe and Hartmann’s mountain zebra. If you’re lucky you might even catch glimpse of predators such as lion, cheetah and brown or spotted hyena. Rhino tracking on foot is a truly unforgettable and exclusive experience and enables up-close encounters with these unique creatures.
9th, 10th and 11th Night: Etosha National Park – Ongava Tented Camp & Onguma Tented Camp
Continuing your route Northbound you’ll reach a highlight of this trip: Etosha National Park – The place to go when wanting to truly experience everything Namibia has to offer in terms of wildlife. Especially during the dry winter month you’ll have fantastic game sightings.
Spanning over an area of over 22,270 km2 Etosha is one of the most accessible game reserves in Southern Africa and ideal for self-driving. You can visit the park’s various watering holes and observe animals in their natural state and get up close with its healthy population of predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard, as well as different herbivore species such as kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx and zebra.Take your time while driving: You’ll have the best chance of seeing wildlife by doing things slowly, being observant and paying attention to the small things.
The park is named after the huge salt pan – it’s most distinctive and dramatic feature, visible even from space. You’ll be accommodated in two private game reserves directly bordering Etosha, which offer game drives in Etosha as well as in the Ongava Reserve. Enjoy an authentic Etosha experience with many private game sightings.
12th Night: Erindi – Old Traders Lodge
Leaving Etosha behind you, you’ll make your way southbound. Before returning to Windhoek, you’ll have one night at Erinidi Private Game Reserve, which offers 70,719 hectares of pristine wilderness and wildlife.
Enjoy varied activities such as cultural village tours, educational trips around the reserve, guided bush walks and game drives encountering elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, hyenas, zebras, kudu, wildebeest and many other animals. Do not miss the opportunity to take a night drive to catch a glimpse of the nocturnal species. Alternatively, you could spend your afternoon enjoying the view over the lodge’s highly frequented waterhole.
13th Night: Windhoek: River Crossing Lodge
Back in Windhoek you can spend your last day in Namibia strolling around the city or simply reminiscing about all the unforgettable memoires made in this beautiful country, before returning to every-day-life.
Want to experience the wild north of Namibia? Get in touch!
Much like most of our tours, this itinerary serves as a guide line or example of what is possible and any part of this tour and be changed or additions added. We also create custom itineraries to suite your budget and the experiences you are after. Please contact us so we can create your own personally tailored safari!