This active itinerary explores many of Namibia's more offbeat destinations, including: Mundulea Nature Reserve - a beautiful area where walks are guided by one of they country's best guides; the Palmwag Concession where activities concentrate on tracking black rhino on foot with Save the Rhino Trust guides; and the impressive Erongo Mountains where you can mix birdwatching with scenic walks. There is also time to explore Etosha National Park, one of Africa's best game reserves, and learn more about the conservation of Namibia's big cats with the AfriCat Foundation.
1 night at Villa Violet (bed & breakfast) | Windhoek, Namibia
On arrival at Windhoek Airport, pick up your hire car and drive to Windhoek
city where you overnight in cosy and modern Villa Violet.
1 night at Erongo Wilderness Lodge (half board) | Central Highlands, Namibia
Set off after breakfast on a relatively easy drive along tarmac roads, passing through commercial farmland and rural towns, to reach the imposing Erongo Mountains
. Leave the main road and continue a short distance on gravel roads to enter the Erongo Mountain Conservancy. The lodge is nestled amongst giant granite outcrops with striking views in all directions. Later this afternoon you can join a guided walk to the top of a nearby kopje to enjoy the sunset and endless vistas. You'll stay for one night at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
2 nights at Doro Nawas (half board) | Damaraland, Namibia
Those feeling energetic can join a morning guided walk before returning for a delicious brunch. You then continue on your safari, heading north-west to Damaraland
: a spectacular region punctuated by sandstone and flat-topped mountains. During your two night stay here you can visit the local attractions in your hired vehicle; such as the bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein
, the geological sites of Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes, and a Damara cultural village. You may also like to consider joining a 4WD guided nature drive which includes tracking desert-adapted elephant if they are in the area, an optional extra whilst staying at Doro Nawas.
2 nights at Desert Rhino Camp (full board & activities) | Damaraland, Namibia
It's a reasonably short drive to Palmwag
today, where you leave your hired vehicle and take a 4WD 2½ hour transfer deep into this unique wilderness area. Thanks to the dedicated work of Save the Rhino Trust
, this is the only place in Africa where black rhino occur naturally outside of a national park or private game reserve. You have all guided activities included in your stay here – of which the rhino tracking on foot is a real highlight. You may also see gemsbok, Hartmann's mountain zebra, springbok, lion and leopard during your two night stay at the remote Desert Rhino Camp.
2 nights at Okaukuejo Camp (bed & breakfast) | Etosha National Park, Namibia
A 4WD transfer takes you back to your hired vehicle to continue your self-drive journey, driving east over the Grootberg Pass en-route to your destination within Etosha National Park
. Spanning 22,270km², Etosha is one of Africa's largest game parks. Much of the park's landscape is open savannah and most of Africa's big-game species can be found here; making for exciting and often easy game viewing from your hire car. After dark, you can relax by the floodlit waterhole at camp and watch nocturnal animals come in to drink during your two night stay at Okaukeujo Camp.
2 nights at Namutoni Camp (bed & breakfast) | Etosha National Park, Namibia
Spend a full day game driving across to the eastern side of Etosha National Park, with the option to stop at Halali Restcamp to have lunch and take a dip in the pool. Visit some of the many waterholes along the southern edge of the vast, silvery Etosha Pan
; they make ideal places to stop, sit, observe and photograph wildlife. Stay your next two nights in the Park at Namutoni Camp.
3 nights at Mundulea Reserve (full board & activities) | Central Highlands, Namibia
After a final morning game drive you exit Etosha's eastern gate and proceed to Mundulea Reserve
in the scenic Otavi Mountains. This private 120km2 nature reserve is beautiful and relatively lush; its rugged hills and steep gorges offer great hiking trails. Explore the area on foot and gain an in-depth appreciation for the vegetation and wildlife with one of Namibia's top guides. You'll be immersed in the bush whilst staying three nights at the delightfully rustic Mundulea Reserve.
2 nights at Okonjima Plains Camp (full board) | Okonjima Nature Reserve , Namibia
An easy drive today brings you to Okonjima
where big cats are the main attraction. Over 20% of the world's cheetah population is found in Namibia, and Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation
which is devoted to conserving these magnificent cats as well as other predators. Spend your time here learning about the work of the AfriCat Foundation
and enjoying two guided activities which may include tracking some of the predators. Your first night here includes all meals and two guided activities
. Your second night includes dinner and breakfast, with the option to join additional activities as desired (at extra cost payable direct).
It's roughly a 3½ hour drive back to Windhoek Airport this morning, perhaps stopping at Okahandja or Windhoek craft market en-route for any last-minute curios. Arrive at the airport in good time to drop off your rental car and connect with your onward arrangements.