Kaokoveld - Etosha Safari
17 day self-drive safari to northwestern Namibia
On this safari you will get to know the scenic highlights of Namibia's northwestern savanna and mountain landscapes, with still some time to spare to visit the wonderful, wildlife infested Etosha National Park at the end of your journey. Like all of our self-drive tours, this safari makes enough time to get to know the impressive, deserted expanses of Namibia. In a sturdy 4x4 vehicle you will explore the northwestern parts of our beautiful country, often also called the "Wild Northwest". But not to worry - this "Kaokoveld Lite" Tour is suitable for Africa newcomers as well as for repeaters and you can travel safely, without a second accompanying car, through this part of the country.
Whether as a lodge tour or a mixed lodge / camping safari, you will probably not forget this holiday for a long time.
Duration: 17 days
But do take care: Once Namibia - Always Namibia!
Safari Overview - "Kaokoveld - Etosha Safari"
- Day 1: Windhoek - Arrival, City Tour through Namibia's capital
- Day 2-3: Erongo - Arrive properly, relax in the fascinating Erongo Mountains
- Day 4: Twyfelfontein - Visit the "White Lady" at the Brandberg and the World heritage rock engravings at Twyfelfontein
- Day 5-6: Palmwag - Desert oasis Palmwag, excursion into the deserted Palmwag Concession
- Day 7: Opuwo - Stopover in Opuwo, the hazy shopping town of the Ovahimba
- Day 8-9: Epupa - Ovahimba culture and the wonderful Epupa Falls
- Day 10-11: Kunene - Relaxation or action (rafting, boat cruise, etc.) at the Kunene
- Day 12: Uukwaluudhi - Ovambo culture and stopover to Etosha National Park
- Day 13-15: Etosha - Fascinating fauna in the world-famous Etosha National Park
- Day 16: Waterberg - Visit of the Cheetah Conservation Fund at the foot of the historically interesting Waterberg
- Day 17: Return - Good-bye Namibia
Tour overview- "Kaokoveld - Etosha Safari"
Day 1: Arrival in Namibia ~ 45 km
After your arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport approx. 45 km east of Windhoek, you will be welcomed by the car rental company and taken to Windhoek where you will take over your vehicle with all the necessary instructions and information. Afterwards you will drive to your accommodation where you are able to freshen up and rest. In the afternoon you will be picked up by your guide from Bwana Tucke-Tucke for an interesting Windhoek city tour, during which you will get to know historical buildings and the township of Katutura. In the evening you can go out for a relaxing dinner. We can recommend Joe's Beerhouse, Cape Town Fish Market or The Stellenbosch.
Day 2: On the way to the Erongo Mountains ~ 260 km (3,5h)
After breakfast you can visit the nearest supermarket to fill-up on supplies. Take the B1 in northern direction to Okahandja. Continue on the B2 towards Karibib. At Wilhelmstal you turn right onto the gravel road towards Omaruru and into the Erongo Mountains to your accommodation for tonight. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll amidst this pristine landscape with its characteristic boulders of the Erongo formation – beautiful sceneries in the golden light of sunset.
Day 3: Erongo ~ 0 km
Today is at your leisure. You can take explore the surreal formations of the Erongo or you explore the surrounds and rock paintings on a game drive with your hosts – or enjoy both! Another very interesting and exciting alternative is a visit to the San Living Museum nearby. There is definitely enough time to relax, to observe and to enjoy the solitude. With the darkness settling down, there is most certainly a breath-taking night sky to marvel at.
Day 4: From Erongo pass the Brandberg to Twyfelfontein ~ 240 km (4h)
After an early breakfast you continue your journey deeper into the rugged north-western Namibia. You drive through the dry and deserted landscapes of Damaraland. After approximately two hours you reach the turn-off to the Brandberg Mountain Range where Namibia’s highest mountain (Königsstein 2573 m) is found. We recommend a visit to the famous rock painting the “White Lady”. A 40-minute guided walk takes you through the Tsisab Gorge to this beautiful piece of art.
Enjoy a lunch break before proceeding to Twyfelfontein. The deeper you venture into Damaraland the more dramatic and exciting the landscape becomes. You should reach your beautifully located accommodation amidst granite boulders in the late afternoon. Another picturesque sunset is best enjoyed with a refreshing drink after an adventurous day.
Day 5: Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site and Palmwag Oasis ~ 130 km (2h)
As there are a couple of highlights awaiting you today, you should get going early in the morning. A definite must is a visit to the rock engravings of Twyfelfontein, as is the Damara Living Museum, where you can experience historic Damara culture in a unique way.
During the hottest part of the day you travel to Palmwag, a green oasis amidst a seemingly endless basalt landscape that was created by massive magma eruptions around 125 million years ago, at a time when Africa and South America still existed as the coherent land mass of Gondwana. Take advantage of the refreshing swimming pool at Palmwag Lodge in the afternoon. With some luck you might get to see the resident desert-dwelling elephants.
Day 6: Palmwag Concession ~ 60 km (4h)
We highly recommend an excursion into the impressive Palmwag Concession. The immense area is an extremely important refuge for rare animal species, some of which are threatened with extinction. It is estimated that more than 70% of the hooked-lipped rhinos that are still living in the wild can be found here. The fascinating desert-dwelling elephants, mountain zebras and giraffes also roam the area. A healthy population of antelopes attracts a substantial number of large predators such as leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. In addition, a group of "desert lions" has adapted to the arid conditions of the Palmwag concession.
Day 7: From Palmwag to Opuwo ~ 460 km (4-5h)
Most of the day is spent driving through the impressive landscapes of the Kaokoveld. Today the route becomes the destination – opposed to the destination being the destination...
After a relaxed breakfast you travel along the C43 north. If time allows you can visit the Ongongo Waterfall, a natural fountain, which invites for a refreshing swim. Alternativly you can continue to Sesfontein for lunch. Via the Joubert’s Pass you continue further into the wilderness until you reach civilisation (Ohavimba Capital Opuwo). The town will probably not win the prize for being Africa’s most beautiful town, but it definitely presents an interesting melange of different people from modern to very traditional. It also provides for all necessary supplies and you can top up fuel, food supplies and other necessities.
The accommodation for lodgers is Opuwo Country Lodge in town, whereas campers continue north for another 40 km to pitch up camp at the beautiful Omungonda Campsite.
Day 8: Opuwo, Ovahimba culture and Epupa ~ 180 km (3h)
From Opuwo you advance north on the C43. After 40 km a visit to the Living Museum of the Ovahimba should be on you bucket list. The museum presents a large traditional homestead where the Ovahimba demonstrate their everyday live to interested guests and invites them to participate in it. Important aspects of the ancient tradition are the production of food, craftsmenship (forging, pottery, wood carving, leather tanning), building of mud huts, as well as singing and dancing. Guests get an insight into the setup of the traditional homestead, the meaning of the Holy Fire, parts of their religious believes and the importance of cattle within the culture of the Ovahimba.
After you have strengthened your cultural expertise, you drive to the northern border of Namibia, to the legendary Epupa Waterfalls, a real natural spectacle after the barren stone desert of the Kaokoveld.
Day 9: Epupa ~ 0 km
Today you can take an extended hike along the Kunene directly from the lodge and enjoy many views of the Epupa Waterfalls.) Depending on the water level, there are also some swimming opportunities directly in the rocks above the Falls (across from the communal campsite). Otherwise you should generally refrain from bathing here - there are no hippos in the Kunene, but there are a lot of crocodiles.
Action junkies are welcome to book a rafting tour at the neighbouring camp, "Epupa Camp". Availability is always subject to saisonal waterl levels. Just check at the reception a day in advance.
Just before sunset we recommend a short climb onto the small hillock west of Epupa. Here you have amazing vistas onto the Falls.
Day 10: Off to Kunene River Lodge ~ 100 km (2h)
Another beautifull accommodation awaits you today. Before departing you should enquire at reception of Omarunga Lodge on the road condition of the D3700 directly along the Kunene to Swartboois Drift. After heavy rains the road can be in a very adventurous state and should only be travelled with two vehicles. Should the route be fine to take, you save yourself 70 km on top of being able to travel an amazing road. Otherwise rather take the road C43 via Epembe and further on the D3701 to Swartboois Drift and the beautiful Kunene River Lodge.
Day 11: Kunene River Lodge ~ 0 km
Enjoy an idyllic day at the Kunene, watching Vervet Monkeys running around or go for another walk along the river. Kunene River Lodge also offers numerous activities like canoeing or fishing and also a half-day rafting adventure (depending on the water level).
Day 12: From the Kunene to Uukwaluudhi Lodge ~ 210 km (3h)
After four days you have to bid farewell to the Kunene River paradise. Before turning south again you might want to visit the Ruacana Falls. At Ruacana the Kunene plummets 120 m into a 700 m wide gorge thus forming the impressive Ruacana Falls (provided the sluices are open). Two hydroelectric power stations have been built here, the bigger on already in 1970 by South Africa, and the Kunene has been dammed for this purpose.
After this detour you drive south along the C35. After 85 km you have reached your destination - Uukwaluudhi Lodge, located north of the famous Etosha National Park. A visit of the Royal Homestead, a traditional village of the Ovambo, is highly recommendable.
Day 13: Into the Etosha National Park ~ 220 km (3h)
Finally, you will enter the world famous Etosha National Park. Entering through the Otjovasondu Gate you will explore the eastern part of the park today. More than 110 mammal species are found in the Etosha National Park like elephant, square- and hooked-lipped rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and many smaller predators, giraffe, zebra and numerous other antelopes. Furthermore, about 340 bird species can be discoverd.
You’ll spend the night in the beautifully located Dolomite Camp.
Day 14: Etosha Nationalpark ~ 220 km (6h)
You’ll spend the whole day on game drive, thereby crossing the park from east towards the main restcamp Okaukuejo, always on the lookout for wild animals. It makes sense to visit as many waterholes as possible on the way. Especially during the dry season, i.e. from May to December, large herds meet around the waterholes to quench their thirst. In the sightings books, found at the reception of all restcamps one can often find useful hints on locations of special sightings in the park. At the waterholes Okondeka and Wolfsnes lions are frequently seen. At Ozonjuitji m' Bari large herds of different game species like to gather.
At sunset you have to leave the park to spend your night at one of the nice lodges outside
Day 15: Etosha Nationalpark ~ 150 km (5h)
One more day spent in the park. At Okaukuejo Restcamp you can have a lunch break and make use of the refreshing pool. If you feel like you’ve spent enough time sitting in the car, we suggest you take a walk to the waterhole at Okaukuejo. Especially during the dry season there is alway something to be seen there.
A visit of the pan’s edge is also worthwhile. You should definitely visit the waterholes Olifantsbad, Gemsbokvlakte and Nebrowni – always something happening there! On your way out of the park (or in) make sure to make a turn at Ombika waterhole – one of the preferred waterholes by lions.
Day 16: Drive to the Waterberg ~ 280 km (3h)
After breakfast the journey continues towards the Waterberg. On the way, just north of Otjiwarongo, you will find the turn off to the center of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). The CCF fights for the survival of free roaming cheetahs and is probably the most reputable organization worldwide when it comes to these fast African big cats. Day visitors are welcome!
You'll reach the Waterberg during the early afternoon. Enough time to go for a walk in the beautiful surrounds or to go on a game drive offered by the accommodation.
Day 17: Back to Windhoek – Farewell from Namibia ~ 250 km (2,5h)
Today is the last day of your journey. Time to say farewell to the Waterberg and Namibia. Depending on your flight schedule you can either spend some more time at the Waterberg or you can so some more souvenir shopping in Windhoek.
The drive back to the capital takes about three hours. You drop off your vehicle at the car rental and they will take you to the airport, as arranged at the beginning of your tour.
As with single bookings, our price guarantee also applies when booking a complete safari, meaning that you pay exactly the same amount as you would when booking the tour yourself (exception goes for campsite bookings).
- The price indicated is based on bookings for two people.
- For groups of four the rate will decrease as the rental car costs will be divided by the number of persons. This will be taken into account upon your booking request.
Low season 2021
01.01.2021 - 30.06.2021
From N$ 23.000 (Camping/Lodge)
From N$ 41.000 (Lodge - Comfort)
From N$ 52.000 (Lodge - Luxury)
High season 2021
From N$ 30.000 (Camping/Lodge)
From N$ 48.000 (Lodge - Comfort)
From N$ 59.500 (Lodge - Luxury)
The standard rates of the tours are approximate costs to give you an idea of the budget you can work with. The price is subject to availability of the accommodation and the rental vehicle and might change slightly if we have to book alternatives. We prefer working with smaller, more personal accommodation facilities and car rental companies, guaranteeing a consistent quality of service. Thus it is advisable to book at least one year in advance, especially when planning to travel during Namibia's touristic high season. Should we need to book alternative accommodation / rental vehicle we try to stick to this policy.
Dream holiday Namibia
After receiving your booking request, we will check availability of accommodation, before getting back to you with the exact cost of the tour. For special requests (amendments to the routing / accommodation / time frame.....) please use the field "Your message to us".
Should you prefer a complete individual routing for your self-drive or fly-in safari, please fill out our "dream travel questionnaire".
- Accommodation, activities and meals as per itinerary
- 4x4 rental vehicle with the lowest excess
- Airport transfers
- 24 hour backup support
- Detailed tour description with insider hints, telephone list for emergencies, vouchers – all sent in advance by e-mail for you to print and to familiarise yourself with.
- International flight
- Personal travel insurances
- Fuel costs
- Park and entrance fees
- Drinks and missing meals in the itinerary
Namibia is a safe country to travel in and with its good infrastructure it is ideal for self-drive safaris. Especially those, who like to get an individual impression of the country a tour in a rented vehicle is highly recommendable. You’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot about the country and people and also to experience a lot off the beaten track.
Here we answer the most important and most frequently asked questions: