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FROM US$7,770-US$9,800

Brown Hyena Self-drive

The perfect trip for those who want to mix the adventure and freedom of a self-drive with some of our favourite luxury camps in Namibia and a great mix of activities.

Brown Hyena Self-drive: Summary

Brown Hyena Self-drive in a nutshell

A two-week trip encapsulating what we love about Namibia – epic landscapes, unique wildlife encounters, a selection of our favourite luxury lodges and the freedom of exploring it all on a self-drive. This is a great introduction to Namibia’s highlights staying in some spectacular, remote spots that don’t hold back on comfort.

Pick up your car at Windhoek’s airport for the short drive to your villa at Otjimbondona Kalahari, a relaxing first stop where you’re free to explore the reserve on foot or bike. The following day’s journey is long but scenic, crossing the country west to the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast protected area half the size of Belgium.

Based at the fabulous Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, you can watch the sunrise between your toes as oryx amble outside your open-sided tent from bed, learn about the ancient desert eco-system from excellent guides and, being an International Dark Sky Reserve, enjoy some of the best stargazing on earth.

Follow the orange sands north to the Namib-Naukluft Park, home to Sossusvlei’s towering dunes, Deadvlei’s surrealist tree remains and the cool depths of Sesriem Canyon, then return to civilisation in the colonial seaside town of Swakopmund, a hub of adventure activities,

Dive back into the rugged deserts of Damaraland and a stay at Mowani Camp, venturing out to visit ancient rock art sites and seek desert-adapted elephant. Next is the wide white expanse of Etosha National Park. First spend two nights in the private Ongava Game Reserve on the park’s southern border in search wildlife on game drives and guided walks. Encountering white rhino on foot is a real highlight. Spend a day in Etosha at your own pace, stopping at waterholes that are a magnet for all manner of game, reaching Onguma Reserve and more safari activities. En route south back to the capital, spend a final night at Okonjima, tracking leopard and learning about the work or the AfriCat Foundation.

At a glance

Starts: Windhoek International Airport
1 night Otjimbondona - Southern Namibia, Namibia Full Board & Activities
2 nights Wolwedans Desert Lodge - NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia Full Board & Activities
2 nights Hoodia Desert Lodge - Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Strand Hotel - Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Mowani Mountain Camp - Damaraland, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Ongava Lodge - Etosha National Park, Namibia Full Board
2 nights Onguma Tented Camp - Etosha National Park, Namibia Full Board & Activities
1 night Okonjima Bush Camp - Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia Half Board
Ends: Windhoek International Airport

Otjimbondona Kalahari

Day 1

On the edge of the Namibian Kalahari in a 30km² private reserve, Otjimbondona Kalahari is a luxurious lodge in a convenient location, some 81km south-east of Windhoek International Airport. With a surprising proliferation of game, a relaxed atmosphere and charming hosts it offers some gentle game viewing, as well as easy access to Namibia’s longest cave system at Arnhem.

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Wolwedans Desert Lodge

Days 2-4

Wolwedans Desert Lodge is situated on the private NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast area of 2,100km² located in the Namib Desert in southern Namibia. Built along the top of a dune plateau and overlooking the desert in all directions, this is the most substantial property in the Wolwedans Collection.

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Hoodia Desert Lodge

Days 4-6

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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Strand Hotel

Days 6-8

The Strand is an exciting new development on Swakopmund's historic Mole. Built on the site of the old Strand Hotel, and opened in 2015, it has the Atlantic Ocean on three sides – giving uninterrupted sea views from some of its 125 rooms.

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Mowani Mountain Camp

Days 8-10

Situated in the heart of southern Damaraland, between Namibia's Ugab and the Huab rivers, the smart Mowani Mountain Camp commands a stunning location. Perched high on a rocky outcrop, the camp is nestled amongst large granite boulders and has superb views across gravel plains to the mountains beyond.

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Ongava Lodge

Days 10-12

Perched on the top of a small kopje, Ongava Lodge has stunning views of the plains below. Started in the early 1990s, this was the original "luxury game lodge" near Etosha, sitting on the private Ongava Game Reserve, which borders the southern side of Etosha National Park near the Andersson Gate, south of Okaukuejo.

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Onguma Tented Camp

Days 12-14

Onguma Tented Camp is situated on the private Onguma Reserve, which borders the eastern side of Namibia’s Etosha National Park – so you can explore great wildlife both on the reserve and inside the national park. Fresh, modern and tastefully designed, the camp is laid out around a floodlit waterhole which can be seen from both the main areas and the individual rooms.

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Okonjima Bush Camp

Day 14

The rolling hills and grassy plains of the Okonjima Nature Reserve are home to Okonjima Bush Camp. The 220km² reserve, just south of Otjiwarongo, is also the base for the AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up to conserve and protect Namibia's wildlife – with a focus on carnivores. From this small camp, guests are invited to learn about human-wildlife conflict and to get up close to some of the country’s endangered species, especially the elusive leopard.

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Otjimbondona Kalahari


Southern Namibia, Namibia

Wolwedans Desert Lodge

Wolwedans Desert Lodge

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Strand Hotel

Strand Hotel

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia

Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

Damaraland, Namibia

Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia

About image


Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Brown Hyena Self-drive.

  • Exploring the extraordinary NamibRand
  • Seeing the sunrise over Sossusvlei’s dunes
  • Tracking rhino, leopards & desert elephants
  • Walking & night safaris in Etosha's private reserves
  • Excellent guiding, service & cuisine


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

  • 4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Cultural excursion

  • Dune-boarding

  • Fishing

  • Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

  • Horse-riding

  • Hot air ballooning

  • Kayaking

  • Mountain biking

  • Night drive

  • Quad-biking

  • Self-guided walking

About image

Key species to see on the Brown Hyena Self-drive

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


100% chance


100% chance

White Rhino

100% chance


100% chance


100% chance


99% chance


95% chance


84% chance

Black Rhino

81% chance


80% chance


77% chance

Brown Hyena

65% chance


57% chance

Sable antelope

56% chance

Roan antelope

45% chance

Spotted Hyena

42% chance


17% chance


5% chance

Wild dog

1% chance

Side-trips whilst on this trip

We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the Brown Hyena Self-drive. 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.

More about Ballooning
95% (73 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.

More about Kayaking with seals
98% (176 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% (220 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.

More about Dolphin & seal cruise
89% (14 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)

Let us help you customise your trip

All of our holidays on this site are just ideas; none are fixed. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you. Talk to an Expert and let us help you to work out your perfect trip.

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