Namibian Odyssey: Deserts to Eden in 20 Days

From$2,586/per person
19 nights

Experiences

Self-drive
Seaside
Friends-trip
Safari
Dunes

Highlights

Enjoy the highlights of Namibia, from the seas of Swakopmund to the sands of Sossusvlei, before heading inland to the rugged mountains of Spitzkoppe and Palmwag. Follow the call of the wild to the vividly contrasting dry Etosha and the green Zambezi.

Best time to travel

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Best
Good
Acceptable

Trip route

Windhoek Airport

Trip overview

Arrival: Windhoek Airport

Windhoek AirportSossusvlei
375km | 5h 29min
1

1Sossusvlei

2 nights

Namibia’s most celebrated destination and home of the iconic red dunes, Sossusvlei is on everyone’s bucket list. Aside from hiking, explore the breathtaking Deadvlei or the Sesriem Canyon - naturally paved over millions of years.

Hotel
Desert Hills Lodge

Complete privacy in luxurious modern-designed rooms close to Sossusvlei gate

SossusvleiSwakopmund
1
439km | 7h 20min
2

When heading to the quaint and coastal town of Swakopmund, it’s worth stopping over in Solitaire en-route. It currently hosts the only café, fuel station and bakery you’ll encounter along the way.

2Swakopmund

2 nights

Welcome to Namibia’s adventure and extreme sports capital. Favoured by travellers and locals alike for its rich history and vibrance, this German-influenced town and its lively beach make for the perfect summer destination.

Hotel
The Delight Swakopmund

Colourful modern hotel in holiday town close to the beach

SwakopmundDamaraland South
2
433km | 7h
3

Leave the chilly coast behind with a full tank as you head into the interior on the B2. You'll pass Usakos and locals selling semi-precious stones and crystals mined from the mountains in the area along the roadside. Pass by the Spitzkoppe and continue east to the mountains rising over the horizon.

3Damaraland South

2 nights

In southern Kunene, large sandstone slabs lie in piles, covered with the continent’s greatest rock engravings. This is Twyfelfontein. A place with no permanent rivers, few inhabitants, and little wildlife. Perfect for watching and wondering.

Hotel
Ai Aiba Lodge

Thatched safari lodge in the rocky foothills of the Erongo Mountain range

Damaraland SouthPalmwag (Damaraland North)
3
125km | 4h 25min
4

This 5.5-hour trip takes you from the area around the Erongo Mountains, an ancient landscape known for its rock art. Appreciate the magnificently desolate environment à la Mad Max en route to Uis where you can fill up on fuel. With the last stretch to Palmwag, appreciate the undulating hills and mountainous landscape before reaching your destination.

4Palmwag (Damaraland North)

2 nights

Palmwag in northern Damaraland is a place of awe-inspiring desert scenery, dense wildlife populations and superb remote lodges. If you could only visit one part of the country, it would have to be the one.

Hotel
Grootberg Lodge

Community-owned lodge with truly expansive views located just outside Palmwag

Palmwag (Damaraland North)Etosha National Park Central (South)
4
364km | 7h 39min
5

From Palmwag in the heart of Damaraland, take the tar road to Kamanjab, a little town close to the western border of Etosha National Park. Fill up with fuel and goodies before your next leg. From there, it’s onto the gravel road, through a hilly landscape that smooths out as you reach the hinterland, heading north to Etosha’ Andersson Gate.

5Etosha National Park Central (South)

2 nights

Central Etosha National Park sets the scene for Namibia’s foremost wildlife showcase. Here, a series of waterholes guarantee spectacular game viewing, flanked by mystical, open grasslands along the edges of the inhospitable Etosha Pan.

Hotel
Etosha Safari Lodge

Breathtaking sunset views and elegant decor close to Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park Central (South)Etosha National Park East
5
187km | 4h 12min
6

The drive from the Anderson Gate in Etosha South to the Von Lindequist Gate is slow and meandering and warrants you taking your time. About halfway, stop at the Etosha Pan lookout point, where you have a fantastic view over the pan and surroundings.

6Etosha National Park East

2 nights

Eastern Etosha National Park is one of the quieter areas of the park, where visitors are few and game viewing is excellent! Expect typical Etosha landscapes of stark, white pans interspersed with patches of grassland.

Hotel
Onguma Tree Top Camp

Quaint camp found amid Onguma Reserve’s expansive treetops

Etosha National Park EastRundu
6
448km | 6h 2min
7

It’s about a 4 hour drive from the Von Lindequist gate near Namutoni in Etosha East to Rundu up near the border with Angola. The quickest way is to drive through Tsumeb and then Grootfontein, both large towns where you can fill up on the essentials.

7Rundu

1 night

Home of the famous Kavango woodcarvers, Rundu sits on the banks of the Okavango River in the north of Namibia. Though not the most exciting of towns, it is the most northerly town on the B8, which then goes on to head east into the Zambezi. Rundu is a good stopover spot to fill up on groceries and fuel.

Hotel
Hakusembe River Lodge

An enchanted destination found along the Okavango River

RunduMudumu National Park
7
498km | 7h 2min
8

This nearly 5 hour trek eastwards deep into the Zambezi Strip will see you passing a handful of game reserves and conservancies. Stop at Divundu for a break before tackling the last stretch towards Mudumu.

8Mudumu National Park

3 nights

East of Bwabwata, Mudumu National Park is a 737 km2 park bordered on its western side by the Kwando River. Its mopane woodlands and dense savannahs are a haven for various animal species and a few exceptional bird species.

Hotel
Namushasha River Lodge

Luxury bush lodge 24 km south of Kongola in East Caprivi

Mudumu National ParkRundu
8
447km | 6h 11min
9

Head north on the C49 from the Ngenda Park Gate towards the settlement of Kongola, from where you'll head west through the stem of the Zambezi. Appreciate the mix of communal and parkland before crossing the Okavango River near Divundu. Fill up with fuel before continuing with your last stretch on the B8 until you reach Rundu.

9Rundu

1 night

Home of the famous Kavango woodcarvers, Rundu sits on the banks of the Okavango River in the north of Namibia. Though not the most exciting of towns, it is the most northerly town on the B8, which then goes on to head east into the Zambezi. Rundu is a good stopover spot to fill up on groceries and fuel.

Hotel
Hakusembe River Lodge

An enchanted destination found along the Okavango River

RunduEtosha National Park East
9
411km | 5h 20min
10

The shortest way to Etosha from Rundu is to stay on the B8 to Grootfontein before heading northwest through Tsumeb and on to the Von Lindequist Gate. It’s a 4-hour drive, but make it pass easily by making stops along the way (perhaps even picking up an exquisitely carved wooden souvenir from a local expert!).

10Etosha National Park East

2 nights

Eastern Etosha National Park is one of the quieter areas of the park, where visitors are few and game viewing is excellent! Expect typical Etosha landscapes of stark, white pans interspersed with patches of grassland.

Hotel
The Mushara Lodge

Found along the eastern outskirts of Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park EastWindhoek Airport
10
610km | 8h 35min

It’s a big drive from Etosha East to Hosea Kutako International Airport - about 5.5 hours, to be exact! So leave early and stay on the main roads. From the Von Lindequist Gate, head southeast to Tsumeb then climb onto the B1 towards Otijwarongo. The B1 will take you all the way to Windhoek, passing through Okahandja (stop for a dip in a hot pool at Gross Barmen!) From Windhoek, head east on the B6 - with all its twists and turns - to the airport.

Departure: Windhoek Airport