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FROM US$3,220-US$3,700

Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari: Summary

Black Wildebeest Safari in a nutshell

This self-driven safari takes its travellers on an exciting journey, traversing two countries.

Beginning in South Africa’s stunning and cosmopolitan Cape Town, the journey then progresses through the heathlands of Namaqualand. Here, the hilltops burst with colour during the famous flower season (between late August and early September), offering stark contrast to the dramatic formations encountered along Namibia’s Fish River Canyon.

After the deep-red granite boulders of the canyon comes the fine sands surrounding Namtib Desert Lodge, which occupies a stunning location in a valley on the edge of the Namib Desert. Then comes the Namib-Naukluft National Park’s enormous desert dunes and stretching plains, before your arrival at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

Here, Cornerstone Guesthouse offers comfortable relaxation and gentle exploration of the surrounding area before your journey continues into Namibia’s central highlands, where gently rolling hills are set before the backdrop of Erongo Mountains.

Etosha National Park’s vast salt pans are the penultimate stop before your adventure concludes amidst the rolling hills of central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve.

As much as the excitement of the journey itself, this trip reveals a stunning progression of landscapes and habitats as you journey further north. Alongside this variety, you can expect a wonderful mixture of relaxation, hiking, ancient rock-art, wildlife safari and cultural discovery.

At a glance

Starts: Cape Town International Airport
3 nights Vineyard Hotel - Cape Town, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Ndedema Lodge - Namaqualand, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
1 night Annie's Cottage - Namaqualand, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Canyon Lodge - Fish River Canyon, Namibia Half Board
1 night Namtib Desert Lodge - Southern Namibia, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Hoodia Desert Lodge - Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Cornerstone Guesthouse - Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
1 night Ai Aiba Lodge - Central Highlands, Namibia Half Board
3 nights Okaukuejo Camp - Etosha National Park, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Okonjima Plains Camp - Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia Half Board
Ends: Windhoek International Airport

Vineyard Hotel

Days 1-4

The Vineyard Hotel is located in the leafy suburb of Newlands and has spectacular views dominated by Table Mountain. It's a very well-known landmark in Cape Town, and over the years has built up a good reputation and a loyal following of return visitors.

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Ndedema Lodge

Days 4-6

Ndedema Lodge is an elegant Victorian House in the heart of Clanwilliam, only about a 2 hour drive from Cape Town.

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Annie's Cottage

Day 6

Annie's Cottage is situated in the residential area in the heart of Springbok and is a good base from where you can explore the Namaqua National Park, especially in spring (the end of August/beginning of September) when the beautiful wild flowers bloom.

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Canyon Lodge

Days 7-9

Canyon Lodge (formerly Cañon Lodge, or even Canon Lodge) lies in the 1,270km² Gondwana Canyon Park, just 20km from Namibia’s iconic Fish River Canyon. Tucked away from the canyon edge among deep-red granite boulders, or kopjes, the lodge’s lush lawns are an oasis of green in this arid environment.

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Namtib Desert Lodge

Day 9

Namtib Desert Lodge is located just off the D707 – one of southern Namibia’s most scenic roads. It is part of the Namtib Biosphere Reserve – a farm covering about 16,400 hectares on the edge of the Namib Desert.

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Hoodia Desert Lodge

Days 10-12

Set at the foot of the Namib-Naukluft Mountains, Hoodia Desert Lodge overlooks the ephemeral Tsauchab River. It was opened in 2008 by owner-managers Thomas and Henreza Becker, an easy 22km drive to Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei. The name comes from the flowering cactus, which dots the surrounding plains that seem to go on forever.

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Cornerstone Guesthouse

Days 12-14

Cornerstone Guesthouse is a small, owner-run bed and breakfast, situated in a residential area within easy walking distance of Swakopmund's old town centre – and plenty of restaurants. In the opposite direction, the ocean is a short walk away.

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Ai Aiba Lodge

Day 14

Nestled at the foot of a granite kopje, Ai Aiba has enviable views of Namibia's Erongo Mountains. The surrounding area hides a high concentration of Bushman rock art, leading to the camp’s alternative name, The Rock Painting Lodge. Over 200 sites have been recorded here, some thought to be over 2,000 years old and many in excellent condition. The area’s rolling hills and rugged terrain are also well-known for hiking.

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Okaukuejo Camp

Days 15-18

Set in the heart of Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo Resort is a classic restcamp, with a range of accommodation. With over 100 rooms and a large campsite, it is one of the largest properties we feature. Yet accommodation is not what Okaukuejo is about; travellers stay here for one thing – the wildlife, and particularly the wildlife that visits the superb floodlit waterhole.

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Okonjima Plains Camp

Days 18-20

Okonjima Plains Camp is the most affordable place to stay within the 220km² private Okonjima Nature Reserve. Designed to reflect its cattle-farming origins, it opened in 2014, replacing the first lodge on the farm, Okonjima Main Camp, which had been converted from the original Hanssen family farmhouse. Predators, most notably leopard, roam across 220km² of plains and rolling hills, their presence underpinned by the work of the AfriCat Foundation, which was set up to conserve and protect Namibia's wildlife, focusing primarily on carnivores.

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Vineyard Hotel

Vineyard Hotel

Cape Town, South Africa

Ndedema Lodge

Ndedema Lodge

Namaqualand, South Africa

Annie's Cottage

Annie's Cottage

Namaqualand, South Africa

Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Namtib Desert Lodge

Namtib Desert Lodge

Southern Namibia, Namibia

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia

Ai Aiba Lodge

Ai Aiba Lodge

Central Highlands, Namibia

Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia

About image


Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari.

  • Taking in Cape Town from Table Mountain
  • Walking through Namaqualand's wildflower reserves
  • Exploring Fish River Canyon with a sunrise hike
  • Seeing ancient Bushman rock art in Erongo Mountains
  • Watching black rhino drink at a waterhole in Etosha


Some activities which can be included in the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari: talk to us about those which interest you.

  • 4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Canoeing

  • Cultural excursion

  • Dune-boarding

  • Fishing

  • Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

  • Horse-riding

  • Hot air ballooning

  • Kayaking

  • Microlight

  • Mountain biking

  • Night drive

  • Quad-biking

  • Scuba-diving

  • Self-guided walking

  • Snorkelling

  • Watersports

About image

Key species to see on the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

Based on our travellers' observations, we’ve estimated the likelihood of seeing these species during the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari. Click on the animals and our wildlife surveys page for more info.


100% chance


100% chance


100% chance


100% chance


99% chance


98% chance

Black Rhino

97% chance


89% chance


87% chance


87% chance

Spotted Hyena

80% chance

Brown Hyena

72% chance

White Rhino

69% chance

Sable antelope

64% chance

Roan antelope

28% chance

Wild dog

18% chance


14% chance


12% chance


5% chance

Side-trips whilst on this trip

We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari. Talk to us: they’re usually best arranged when you book.

Ballooning in the Namib Desert

Ballooning in the Namib Desert

Half day, including breakfast

Ballooning over the world’s oldest desert is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Enjoy spectacular views as the sun rises over the dune-covered plains and rocky mountains of the Namib Desert. You may even spot the occasional oryx or black-backed jackal punctuating the landscape below.

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94% (69 reviews)
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

Morning incl. tea, coffee & sandwiches

Get up close and personal with a colony of Cape fur seals on a kayaking excursion from Walvis Bay. Enjoy a gentle morning’s paddle in Walvis Bay Lagoon as seals surround and interact with you and your kayak. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of some Heaviside’s or bottlenose dolphins.

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98% (175 reviews)
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Full day

Experience this usually inaccessible part of the Skeleton Coast, where the dunes of the Namib plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. One of our top recommendations, this is an adventurous 4WD trip, guided by experts. You'll explore the Kuiseb Delta and (tides permitting) traverse dunes and the beach to reach Sandwich Harbour, a remote freshwater lagoon with abundant birdlife.

More about Coastal tour
94% (212 reviews)
Dolphin and seal cruise

Dolphin and seal cruise

Half-day inc brunch

A boat cruise around Walvis Bay lagoon is a must for lovers of wildlife and the great outdoors. Seek out the ‘marine big five’ – from Cape fur seals to bottlenose dolphins – and marvel at the range of bird species for whom this haven on the Skeleton Coast is home. Then round off the morning with an oyster brunch.

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92% (12 reviews)
Desert tour

Desert tour

Variable, depending on the tour

Discover the unexpected on a trip into the desert surrounding the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. A must for wilderness lovers, this extraordinary landscape encompasses the Welwitschia Plains, sculpted dunes, the magic of the Kuiseb Delta – and much more. There are plenty of options, each with its own unique focus.

More about Desert tour
96% (11 reviews)
Scenic flights in Namibia

Scenic flights in Namibia

Variable, depending on the flight

Namibia is famed for its stark beauty and boundless desert vistas and there is no better way to soak these in than from the air. A scenic flight gives you a unique perspective on this stunning and varied country, and may even provide a bird’s-eye view of areas that are out of reach to those restricted to terra firma.

More about Scenic flights
94% (7 reviews)
Winelands Private Tour

Winelands Private Tour

Full day

Spend a day exploring the beautiful vineyards, mountains and valleys of the Cape Winelands and sample some of the well-known wines they have to offer

More about Winelands Private Tour
100% (2 reviews)
Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Full day - normally nine hours

Get your camera ready for one of South Africa’s most breathtaking coastal drives in the company of an informative guide. Take in magnificent beaches, stunning scenery, wildlife on land and at sea, and the meeting of two great oceans, then round off your day in the tranquillity of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

More about Cape Point and Peninsula
92% (5 reviews)
City and Table Mountain Tour

City and Table Mountain Tour

Approximately four hours - AM or PM

From atop the iconic Table Mountain, the panoramic views of Cape Town can be breathtaking – and if the cable car isn’t operating, they’re just as good from nearby Signal Hill. Back at sea level, explore the highlights of this fascinating and pretty city, including the South African Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and the Houses of Parliament.

More about City and Table Mountain
93% (3 reviews)

Let us help you customise your trip

Like all of our holidays on this site, this is just an idea. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you.

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Prepare for your trip

The same Specialist will make the seamless arrangements for your trip, send you detailed travel documents, and be available to answer any questions before you depart.

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After you set off, you’ll be cared for by our partners in Africa, most of whom have worked with Expert Africa for decades. And if you ever need us urgently, we’re available 24/7.

When you return

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