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FROM US$2,800-US$3,130

Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

A classic 12-night self-drive adventure around the highlights of eastern and northern Namibia taking in Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha and a final stop at Okonjima. Comfortable lodges and great value.

Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive: Summary

N. Chameleon Self-drive in a nutshell

This self-drive safari is a great introduction to Namibia, a classic loop discovering the most spectacular landscapes and wildlife in the east and north that also neatly fits into a two-week holiday with flights. Staying at a great selection of camps and lodges, its excellent value without any compromise on comfort or character.

After your flight touches down, pick up your rental car and the short drive into Namibia’s diminutive capital, Windhoek, for a relaxed first evening. In the morning, head southwest, getting your first taste of the country’s arid landscapes and gravel roads, en route to the remote Desert Homestead Outpost. There are some great hikes and guided horse trails from t*while the region’s highlight, Sossusvlei’s famous dunes, are a short drive away.

Turn north and head for the coastal town of Swakopmund, a quirky colonial relic between the desert and Atlantic that is a great base for adventure activities like sand boarding, sea kayaking and sky diving. Then head back inland, crossing Damaraland’s rugged hills to find Camp Kipwe hidden among orange boulders. A beautiful spot, see Twyfelfontein’s prehistoric rock engravings and search for desert-adapted elephant herds.

More wildlife awaits at Safarihoek Lodge. Set in a huge and exclusive reserve, explore on day and night game drives, on foot and dine out in the bush among oryx, kudu, zebra and giraffe. It’s also a particularly good spot for black rhino. Next drive into the neighbouring Etosha National Park for a stay at a rather simple camp that that more than makes up for it with its location right in the middle of the park next to a floodlit waterhole. Exploring the edge of the Ethosha’s lunar pan at your own pace, you’ll be greeted by huge congregations of species great and small as they gather around precious water sources.

Finally turning south, spend a night in the Okonjima Nature Reserve. Home to the AfriCat Foundation, learn about their conservation work as you track leopards, brown hyena, cheetah and more.

At a glance

Starts: Windhoek International Airport
1 night Elegant Guesthouse - Windhoek, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Desert H-stead Outpost - Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Namib Guesthouse - Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Camp Kipwe - Damaraland, Namibia Half Board
2 nights Safarihoek Lodge - Etosha National Park, Namibia Full Board & Activities
2 nights Halali Camp - Etosha National Park, Namibia Bed & Breakfast
1 night Okonjima Plains Camp - Okonjima Nature Reserve , Namibia Half Board
Ends: Windhoek International Airport

Elegant Guesthouse

Day 1

The Elegant Guesthouse is a relatively simple but stylish owner-run guesthouse situated in the residential area of Klein Windhoek. It's just a few minutes' drive from the shops, restaurants and other attractions of central Windhoek.

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Desert Homestead Outpost

Days 2-4

Opened in July 2015, Desert Homestead Outpost is a 30km drive from the Sesriem gate, the entrance to the magnificent Namib-Naukluft Park. A very comfortable, if slightly remote base for exploring the Sossusvlei area, it has individual stilted houses with panoramic views over the vast gravel plains and mountains in the distance.

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Namib Guesthouse

Days 4-6

Located in a quiet, residential area of Swakopmund, Namib Guesthouse is a small, eco-friendly bed and breakfast. It is conveniently located, just 10-15 minutes walk from the seafront and a similar distance to the town centre.

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Camp Kipwe

Days 6-8

Camp Kipwe, set within the Twyfelfontein Conservancy, is built to an unusual design that fits in harmoniously with its rocky kopje surroundings in Namibia's Aba Huab valley.

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Safarihoek Lodge

Days 8-10

Built on a hill with views over mopane woodland and a small pan to the expanse of Etosha National Park beyond, Safarihoek Lodge lies in the heart of one of Namibia’s largest private reserves. The wildlife-rich Etosha Heights Reserve covers 600km2 and shares a 70km fence with Namibia’s premier wildlife park. Also marketed as Etosha Heights Safarihoek Lodge, it opened in its current form in 2016.

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Halali Camp

Days 10-12

Strategically located alongside the middle of Etosha Pan in Etosha National Park, Halali is one of five government-run camps and lodges inside the park. It stands beside one of the very few hills in Etosha, with its own floodlit waterhole, and is the smallest and quietest of the original restcamps – although it's much larger than most camps in Namibia.

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Okonjima Plains Camp

Day 12

Set amidst plains and rolling hills in a 220km2 private reserve just south of Otjiwarongo, Okonjima Plains Camp opened in 2014. It is the most affordable of the places to stay on the Okonjima Nature Reserve, whose raison d'etre is the AfriCat Foundation, set up to conserve and protect Namibia's threatened cheetah, leopard and other wild carnivores. A stay here gives you the opportunity to learn about these animals and to see them up close.

The Okonjima Nature Reserve no longer acts as a release site for former captive cheetahs, therefore cheetah tracking is no longer offered as an activity. Please see the activities section below, for more information on this as well as the other activities on offer.

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Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

Windhoek, Namibia

Desert Homestead Outpost

Desert H-stead Outpost

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Namib Guesthouse

Namib Guesthouse

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia

Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

Damaraland, Namibia

Safarihoek Lodge

Safarihoek Lodge

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Halali Camp

Halali Camp

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Nature Reserve , Namibia

About image

Highlights

Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive.

    Activities

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

    • 4WD Safari

    • Birdwatching

    • Boat trip

    • Cultural excursion

    • Dune-boarding

    • Fishing

    • Fly-camping

    • Guided walking safari

    • Helicopter

    • Horse-riding

    • Hot air ballooning

    • Kayaking

    • Mountain biking

    • Night drive

    • Quad-biking

    • Self-guided walking

    • Sleeping under the stars

    About image

    Key species to see on the Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

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


    Leopard

    100% chance

    Elephant

    100% chance

    Giraffe

    100% chance

    Oryx

    100% chance

    Wildebeest

    100% chance

    Zebra

    100% chance

    Black Rhino

    99% chance

    Lion

    95% chance

    Eland

    94% chance

    White Rhino

    80% chance

    Spotted Hyena

    68% chance

    Cheetah

    64% chance

    Brown Hyena

    64% chance

    Sable antelope

    53% chance

    Roan antelope

    25% chance

    Pangolin

    14% chance

    Wild dog

    11% chance

    Aardvark

    7% chance

    Meerkat

    0% chance

    Side-trips whilst on this holiday

    We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the Namaqua Chameleon 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
    93% (59 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% (152 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% (190 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 and seal cruise
    90% (10 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
    100% (9 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)

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