Camping in Namibia

We are planning our honeymoon in Namibia. We’ll keep you updated on our plans here.

The best way to get around in Namibia is by 4×4 camping van. Roads in Namibia are safe, and there are plenty of amazing campsites all around the country. While the luxurious safari lodges are relatively expensive, camping offers an affordable alternative with a much more immersive nature experience.

16 day self-drive camping tour through Namibia

We have 16 days in Namibia, starting and ending our tour in Windhoek. Here’s our optimal route for 2.5 weeks in Namibia:

Day 1: Windhoek – Kalahari

We’re landing in Windhoek early in the morning. After fetching our 4×4 camping SUV, we’re planning to drive to the Kalahari desert, where we’ll arrive just in time for the famous Kalahari sunset.

Day 2: Kalahari – Keetmaanshoop – Fish river Canyon

The drive from the Kalahari desert to the Fish River Canyon is one of the longest drives in our journey. Consequently, we’ll have relatively early in the morning. After a short lunch at Keetmaanshoop at lunch time, we’ll arrive at Fish River Canyon in the evening.

Day 3: Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, only exceeded by the Grand Canyon in the United States. We’re planning to stay an entire day to go hiking and explore the Canyon.

Day 4 – fish river Canyon – kolmanskop – Lüderitz

We’re leaving Fish River Canyon in the morning to head to the former German colonial city of Lüderitz. Frankly, it still feels a little bit odd to us to find so many German words and location names in the middle of Africa. On the way to Lüderitz  we stop by the old mining ghost town of Kolmanskop.

Day 5: Lüderitz – Tiras Mountains

Most people drive straight from Lüderitz to the Namib desert in Sossusvlei. Following the recommendation of a friend and seasoned Namibia traveler, we decided to split the 7 hour drive in two parts and stay overnight in the Tiras Mountains.

Day 6: Tiras Mountains – Sossusvlei

We’ll begin the day with a hike in the Tiras Mountains. We’ll then proceed to Sossusvlei  where we intend to hike the famous Dune Number 7, which is the highest sand dune in the world. We’re not 100% decided though. After reading many reports that the dune is overrun with tourists, we are considering to switch to a less touristic alternative. Any thoughts? Feel free to share your feedback in the comments.

Sossusvlei was already booked out, so we booked a stay at nearby Tsauchab River Camp, where we can swim in the river and do one of several hiking tours around the camp.

Day 7: Sossusvlei – Swakopmund

From Sossusvlei we head to Swakopmund, or, as Lonely Planet puts it, “a coastal oasis with as much personality as it has sea frontage”. South of Swakopmund, you can also explore Walvis Bay (“Walfischbucht”, German for “Whale Bay”). Vast amounts of birds, including Pelicans and Flamingos, inhabit the sand banks ashore of Walfischbucht. We’ll decide spontaneously if we have enough time for the detour or if we stay in Swakopmund.

Day 8: Swakopmund – Cape Cross – Spitzkoppe

We were unsure if we wanted to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross. It’s a detour of several hours, and the smell of the 240,000 seals is literally breathtaking. Eventually, we decided that we shouldn’t miss this amazing display of nature. We’ll tell you if the smell is really that bad!

We plan to stay max. 1-2 hours at Cape Cross before we drive on to Spitzkoppe.

Day9: Spitzkoppe – Twyfelfontein

We intend to hike up the Spitzkoppe mountain, so we will just drive a “short” distance of 235 km to our next location. Twyfelfontein is home to prehistoric cave paintings that have been declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2009.

Day 10: Twyfelfontein – Etosha

From Twyfelfontein, we go on to Etosha National Park, which will certainly be one of the highlights of our trip. We plan to stay at Toshari Lodge, where we’ll treat us with one night in a bungalow and a game drive.

Day 11 + 12: Etosha

We’ll spend two full days at Etosha to see lions, giraffes, zebras and rhinos in action. We’ll stay at Halali Campsite, renowned for its waterhole, on the first day and at Fort Namutomi on the second day.

Day 13: etosha – waterberg plateau

We’ll continue to the Waterberg Plateau, where we’ll go hiking and discover the unique flora and fauna.

Day 14: waterberg plateau

We intend to stay another day for hiking.

Day 15: Waterberg Plateau – Windhoek

Back to Windhoek!

Day 16: Windhoek

We’ll have one day to explore Windhoek before our plane leaves in the evening.

What do you think of our route? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments. We’ll update this post if our plans change and after we’re back in Hamburg!

Photo credit: Flickr User Eric Bauer (Link)

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