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A unique opportunity to explore the breathtaking, far-flung reaches of northern Namibia
Namibia’s enduringly popularity with travellers, coupled with its relatively small number of places to visit means it can be hard to escape the crowds and get off the beaten track. However, for those who are prepared to deal with rough driving conditions and long days in the vehicle, the north of the country is an amazing region to visit and offers some incredibly rewarding travel experiences.
After arriving in Windhoek you will hit the road immediately, heading to the quaint coastal town of Swakopmund for the first 2 nights of your trip. This will give you the chance to relax, enjoy the coast and perhaps some activities around the town before the adventure starts in earnest the following morning. From Swakopmund you will drive north up the salt road to Mowe Bay, enjoying the stunning views of the appropriately named Skeleton Coast as you drive. From Mowe Bay continue on to the stunning Shipwreck Lodge which is the perfect base from which to explore the area with all manner of activities to enjoy. After exploring from the lodge you will continue on your way, picking your way through the interior of Namibia until you reach the beautiful Kunene River which marks the border between Namibia and Angola. Explore along the river, marvel at stunning waterfalls and gaze out to Angola across the river. Next up is a journey to the open plains of northern Etosha where you can enjoy the park’s iconic big game viewing without the crowds of other areas. Head back down towards Windhoek, stopping for one final overnight in the beautiful Waterberg region before driving to the airport for your flight home.
This is undoubtedly a more arduous road trip than many others in Namibia and requires some 4x4 driving experience, patience and powers of endurance, but it offers access to some truly remarkable parts of the country that few other visitors get to which really makes it an adventure in itself.
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Day 1: The adventure begins
This evening you will be flying from London Heathrow to Johannesburg with British Airways.
Day 2: Travel to Swakopmund
Connect through Johannesburg on a flight to Walvis Bay where you will collect your rental car and then set off for the coastal town of Swakopmund where you will be spending the next 2 nights at The Delight Swakopmund, a lovely hotel in the heart of the town. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax after your flights and to prepare for the adventure that awaits you.
Day 3: Explore Namibia's colonial past
Spend today relaxing and enjoying the genteel feel of Swakopmund. The streets are lined with colonial-style Germanic buildings and there are some excellent restaurants for you to enjoy. If you are feeling active then you can take a stroll along the beach, but we can also arrange all manner of activities including sea kayaking, boat trips, 4x4 driving trails, quad biking, horseriding or even skydiving if the mood takes you.
Day 4: A drive up the Skeleton Coast
Set off early this morning on the drive along the Skeleton Coast to the tiny outpost of Mowe Bay. After a quick break for refreshments, you will be met by a guide and enjoy an escorted transfer through to Shipwreck Lodge where you will be spending the next 3 nights. This is a beautiful but challenging drive and will be an undoubted highlight of the trip, especially for keen 4x4 drivers. Enjoy sundowner drinks outside the lodge on arrival.
Day 5: Venture in to the Hoarasib River valley
Today your adventure from Shipwreck Lodge starts in earnest as you plan how to spend your day. The lodge is found close to the Hoarasib River and a day trip here is the perfect way to get acquainted with the area as you see sights such as the clay castles, drive through spectacular landscapes whilst your guide keeps and eye out for the region’s varied wildlife such as brown hyena, lion and elephant.
Day 6: Exploring from Shipwreck Lodge
There are a number of activities which can be enjoyed closer to the lodge as well including dune boarding, quad bike trips and barbeque lunches on the beach. In between activities you can enjoy the unique surroundings of the lodge, marvel at the stunning views which the rooms have out to the beach and revel in the warm, natural hospitality for which the lodge is renowned. This is a truly special place and a glorious spot to spend a few days.
Day 7: In to the Kaokoveld
You will be setting off early this morning as your guide escorts you through the concession as far as the dirt road at Leyland’s Drift. From there you will continue under your own steam to Purros where you will spend the night at the spectacular Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, a beautiful spot perched overlooking the desert plains. Relax by the pool and enjoy the peace, tranquillity and remoteness for which this lodge is renowned.
Day 8: Explore Namibia's wilderness
Continue on your way through the rugged and beautiful interior of Namibia today as you head to the small town of Opuwo in the heart of the Kaokoveld for a stay at Opuwo Country Lodge. Surrounded by trees and with lush lawns by the sparkling swimming pool, this is a true oasis in the desert and a great choice for an overnight stay. If you are looking for something cultural to do on this trip there will be the chance to visit a local Himba village this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
Day 9: To the Epupua Falls
Keep driving north this morning as you head up to the dramatic Epupa Falls which sit on the mighty Kunene River. Epupa Camp will be your home for the next 2 nights, a basic but comfortable tented camp on the banks of the Kunene, surrounded by wild fig trees and baobabs. The lodge offers a variety of activities including sundowner drinks trips and boat trips which are perfect to while away the afternoon.
Day 10: Exploring the Kunene River
Today will be your chance to visit the stunning Epupa Falls, one of the most dramatic yet under visited parts of Namibia. As well as seeing the falls themselves, you can enjoy some of the hiking trails around them and along the riverbank with your guide. Given the permanent water the river offers there is a huge variety of flora here as well as abundant birdlife so it is a hugely interesting area to spend a day exploring.
Day 11: Rustic Ruacana
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking the Kunene before continuing on your way, following the course of the river at is heads east, stopping to spend the night in Ruacana at the charming Ruacana Eha Lodge. With a sparkling swimming pool as well as a convivial restaurant and bar there is plenty to keep you occupied when relaxing in the lodge this afternoon and getting ready for the safari adventure that awaits from tomorrow.
Day 12: The wilds of northern Etosha
After breakfast you will head down to the Etosha National Park, one of the most renowned parts of Namibia and a real treat for the senses. You will be staying in the very quiet northern part of the park at Etosha King Nehale Lodge, a new and exciting offering that allows access to a hitherto unvisited section of wildlife rich wilderness. The afternoon will be at leisure for you to relax.
Day 13: Game drives and wildlife
Spend your day exploring the wilds of northern Etosha with your guide. You will enjoy the same wildlife sightings as in other parts of the park so lion, leopard, elephant and rhino are all sightings that you can enjoy, but will be well away from the crowds that congregate in the other parts of the park. The lodge even has access to its own private water hole which is a great spot to park up and enjoy some amazing wildlife sightings.
Day 14: Relax and enjoy the lodge
As well as offering amazing wildlife viewing, the northern parts of Etosha are also amongst the most scenic parts of the park and have an incredible sense of isolation and tranquillity. In between activities relax and enjoy the lovely surroundings of the lodge including a welcoming swimming pool, sun terrace and an excellent bar and restaurant. The staff are wonderful and will really help to make your stay here a special experience.
Day 15: To the Waterberg
Enjoy breakfast in the lodge before setting off around the northern boundary of the park before heading south and down to the striking Waterberg region. This is a long day in the car but you will be rewarded by stunning views from Waterberg Wilderness Camp where you will be spending the night. Sit back and relax with a cold drink in hand after the long drive and reflect on what will have been an epic trip through northern Namibia.
Day 16: The journey home begins
From Waterberg Wilderness you will need to drive south to Windhoek airport, departing in time to make the drive and drop off your vehicle with plenty of time left to catch your flight to Johannesburg and then onward connection to London.
Duration: 16 days
Location: Namibia Holidays, Africa
This Northern Namibia Road Trip costs from £6,595 per person and includes:
- International and regional flights
- Car rental (Ford Ranger 4x4) for the duration of the trip with full insurance
- Cool box, cellphone, maps and full driving directions for the trip
- 2 nights with Breakfast at The Delight Swakopmund - Standard Room
- 3 nights Fully Inclusive at Shipwreck Lodge - Chalet
- 1 night Fully Inclusive at Okahirongo Elephant Lodge - Chalet
- 1 night with Breakfast at Opuwo Country Lodge - Luxury Room
- 2 nights Half Board at Epupa Camp - Standard Room
- 1 night with Breakfast at Ruacana Eha Lodge - Standard Room
- 3 nights with Breakfast at Etosha King Nehale Lodge - Chalet
- 1 night Half Board at Waterberg Wilderness Lodge - Standard Room
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