Namibia's Northern Hiking Tour
18 Day self-drive safari into Northern Namibia with a focus on hiking
Discover the pristine landscapes and abundant wildlife of Namibia on a decelerated safari through the northern parts of the country packed with hikes and excursions through breath-taking surrounds. This active safari with emphasis on the Erongo Mountains, Damaraland, Etosha National Park and the Kalahari allows plenty of time to absorb the impressive and diversified Namibian nature. The safari stands in contrast to many other Namibian safaris, who focus more on ticking off as many touristic highlights as possible.
You’ll spent much less time driving than on the usual Namibia tour. The guided and un-guided hiking trails are diverse and can be classified as easy to moderate. You should have a certain level of fitness though especially when travelling during the hot summer months.
Whether as a lodge tour or as a combination of camping / lodge safari, you will probably not forget this vacation soon.
Duration: 18 Days
But do take care: Once Namibia - Always Namibia!
Safari Overview - "Namibia’s Northern Hiking Tour"
- Day 1: Windhoek – Arrival, City Tour through Namibia’s capital
- Day 2-3: Erongo Mountains – Complete arrival, Hiking in the fascinating Erongo Mountains
- Day 4: Brandberg – Visit the rock painting "White Lady" at Namibia’s highest Mountain range
- Day 5-6: Twyfelfontein – World Heritage Site with famous rock engravings; On the search of the elusive desert-adapted elephants
- Day 7-8: Etendeka Walking Trail – Unique guided trail into a remote conservations area, sleeping under open Namibian skies
- Day 9-11: Etosha National Park – Three days of intense game viewing in Namibia’s famous Etosha National Park.
- Day 12-13: Kalahari – Spend a day with the San at the Ju/’hoansi Living Museum in the Kalahari. Deep insights into an ancient culture.
- Day 14-15: Cave dwelling and wine tasting – Visit the Uiseb Stalactite Cave, enjoy a wine tasting at one of only four of Namibia’s wineries.
- Day 16-17: Waterberg – Visit of the Cheetah Conservation Fund at the foot of the history-charged Waterberg
- Day 18: Return – Good-bye Namibia!
Tour overview- "Namibia Northern Hiking Tour"
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.
- Pick up at the airport and vehicle introduction.
- Windhoek city tour
- Accommodation Haus Sonneneck
Day 2: On the way to the Erongo Mountains ~ 250 km (4h)
After breakfast you can buy some supplies at the supermarket. Heading north you take the B1 to Okahandja. Continue on the B2 via Karibib and Usakos. In Usakos look out for the signboards to Hohenstein Lodge. You should not reach the lodge later than 2 pm. Here you will meet you guide who will accompany you the next two days and who will provide you with the details of the hiking program. After the briefing you depart with your guide through the spectacular landscape of the “Boulder Forest”. On the steep slopes of the mountain small miners are searching for semi-precious stones. You will get an authentic insight of the harsh life these miners are leading. On the way back you are rewarded with grant vistas onto the western savannas and the Spitzkoppe with a spectacular sunset.
Day 3: Absolute Erongo hike ~ 65 km
After a hearty breakfast you will drive in your own vehicle to Etemba (45 km), one of the first lodges in Namibia. You’ll reach the Etemba Wilderness Camp after a very scenic drive. The Camp is situated at an ancient settlement site of the San (Bushmen). After a light lunch we depart on today’s hike, which will take us to many rock paintings and pristine landscape dominated by characteristic granite rock formations.
Back in the camp a traditional barbeque will be served. The evening is spent around the camp fire.
Day 4: Brandberg Mountain ~ 140 km (3h)
The journey continues after breakfast. You drive through the dry and dusty landscape of the Damaraland. After around two hours you will reach the little village of Uis where you can have lunch in one of of the restaurant or restcamps in town. After lunch you pass through Uis and turn right onto the C35. Follow this road for 13 km before turning left onto the little gravel road towards the majestic Brandberg. Follow the signs to the Brandberg White Lady Lodge.
The Brandberg Massif not only holds the highest mountain in Namibia (Königsstein 2573m), but is also home to about 50.000 rock paintings. We highly recommend a visit to the famous “White Lady” rock painting. A 40-minute walk with a local guide through the Tsisab Gorge will take you to this beautiful painting. Depending on the weather conditions you can visit the Mountain either in the afternoon or in the cooler hours of the next morning.
Day 5: Twyfelfontein ~ 120 km (2,5h)
As you continue deeper into the Damaraland, the landscape becomes increasingly dramatic. You should reach your accommodation around lunch time. In the afternoon you will visit the Twyfelfontein rock engravings, the Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes, geological rock formations bearing witness of a time long gone.
Enjoy another breath-taking sunset with a refreshing drink.
Day 6: Twyfelfontein ~ Day Excursions
Today you have an early start into the day as you will spend the larger part of the morning in search of the illusive desert-adapted elephants. The hot part of the day is spent at the lodge or campsite. We recommend a visit to the Damara Living Museum in the afternoon where you will have a unique experience of historic Damara culture.
Day 7: Etendeka Walking Trail ~ 110 km (2h)
After yesterday’s early start you can have a late sleep today and a very relaxed breakfast – after all, you are on holiday! Today’s destination is Palmwag Lodge, which is only about two hours drive from Mowani. You travel along the D2612 until you get to the T-junctionC39. Here you turn left and continue through the beautiful Damaraland landscapes for about 60km before turning onto the C 43 to Palmwag Lodge.
Here a driver collects your luggage, who takes everything to the River Camp of the Etendeka Walking Trail while you meet your guide for the next three days. The first leg of the trail takes about 2-3 hours and takes you through impressive areas from the Palmwag into the Etendeka Concession. Your knowledgeable and experienced guide will introduce you to the flora and fauna of this arid Eden. You’ll arrive at the River Camp in the afternoon.
Dinner at River Camp is prepared over an open fire and enjoyed together. Sitting around the campfire, listening to stories told by the guide, another adventurous day comes to an end.
Day 8: Etendeka Walking Trail ~ 0 km
Early wake up from your first night under a starry sky filled with sounds and smells of the Namibian wilderness. Enjoy a tasty breakfast and pack your days provisions into the backpacks provided. Embark on the hike to Mountain Camp taking you through pristine landscapes around the Grootberg Mountain.
Walking distance today is between 15 and 20 kilometers. Depending on the fitness level of the group this takes about 6-7 hours.
The rocky plain offers a wonderful view onto the ancient Etendeka-Basalt formations and the flat mountains are home to many desert-adapted animals and plants. Giraffes, mountain zebras, oryx and steenbock are some of the mammals found here. With some luck you can even get to see the famous desert-adapted elephants and endangered black rhino. Your guide can show you countless animal tracks and has detailed knowledge about the history of the region.
The Mountain Camp is reached in the early afternoon in time for a light lunch. During the hottest time of the day it is time for a siesta. Also a time to reminisce about the impressions of the last few days.
The Mountain Camp is situated on top of the Crystal Mountain offering spectacular vistas, exquisite crystals and beautiful rock formations. You will again spend the night on platforms very similar to the ones at River Camp.
In the late afternoon you go on a short sundowner walk around the plateau. Afterwards a simple but delicious, wholesome meal is enjoyed around the camp fire.
Day 9: Via Grootberg Pass towards Etosha National Park ~ 300 km (4h)
Enjoy a short morning walk to Etendeka Mountain Camp after breakfast. Drive through picturesque landscapes in an open vehicle back to Palmwag Lodge where you pick up your vehicle and continue towards another highlight of your journey – the Etosha National Park.
From Palmwag Lodge you take the C40, which will take you along the breath-taking Grootberg Pass to the small village of Kamanjab. Continue towards Outjo and then northwards towards the wonderful Etosha National Park and your accommodation, the very pleasant Etosha Safari Camp.
Relax at the refreshing swimming pool after a long day of driving and start looking forward to tomorrows excursion into the famous Etosha National Park.
Day 10: Etosha National Park ~ 150 km (6h)
The morning and afternoons you will spend exploring the park always on the lookout for the wild animals of Namibia. The Etosha National Park hosts more than 110 mammals, some of which are elephants, white and black rhino, lion, leopard, hyena, several smaller predators, giraffe, zebra and uncountable antelopes. Furthermore more than 340 different bird species are found here. During the hot midday you can relax in the rest camp or return to your accommodation.
A stop at the Pan’s edge is as recommendable as exploring the different waterholes in the area. Especially during the dry season, which is from Mai to November/December, large herds of game gather at the waterholes to quench their thirst. In the visitor’s books at the restcamp receptions one can sometimes find hints about interesting sightings of rather rare species like leopards and predator kills.
Depending on the season one should focus on the central parts of the Etosha National Park around Okaukuejo or the eastern area around Namutoni, as the larger herds and with them the predators move between the areas during the course of the year. We will of course take this into consideration, depending during which season you book your safari and will advise accordingly.
Day 11: Etosha National Park ~ 150 km (6h)
Another whole day for exiting game viewing. You cross the park from the central area to the east. Experience new impressions on the way like a drive around the beautiful Fisher’s Pan.
Enjoy your last day in the Etosha National Park!
Day 12: Into "Bushmanland" ~ 230 km (4h)
After one last early game drive you exit the Etosha National Park. Hint: Before leaving, make a turn at Chudop and Klein Namutoni waterholes. This is often well worth it....
On the way to Roy's Camp via Tsumeb and Otavi the Otjikoto Lake can be visited, a collapsed karst cave, into which the German troops dumped a large amount of weapons and ammunition from the First World War. After the visit you drive on towards Grootfontein and from there on the B8 towards Rundu. After 51 km from Grootfontein you’ll find Roy’s Restcamp on your left.
Day 13: Ju/’Hoansi Living Museum ~ 190 km (3h)
Today your journey takes you to Grashoek into the Kalahari basin and one of the last resorts for the ancient inhabitants of southern Africa, the San (Bushmen). There is hardly a more fascinating culture and for one day you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of it.
The Ju/’Hoansi Living Museums offers different programs for visitors. We recommend the ‘Action Day’ which takes about 4 hours and includes demonstrations on making fire, jewelry and weapons. It also includes a bush walk where you get to know some of the most important plants of the San culture as well as singing and traditional dancing. A day not to be forgotten soon!
Day 14: Through the Maize Triangle to Gabus Game Ranch ~ 160 km (2h)
Enjoy a scrumptious, late breakfast before driving back to Grootfontein. Continue to Otavi through the beautiful Otavi Mountains with lush vegetation, a rather unusual sight in our dry country. You have the chance to visit the Hoba meteorite, the largest meteorite ever found until today. When entering Otavi continue straight on the C39 until your reach the D3031, which you follow all the way to Gabus Game Ranch.
Gabus offers numerous activities, like guided and unguided hikes, game drives, horse riding and bird watching. We recommend a visit to the nearby waterhole to enjoy your sundowner drink, whilst watching a variety of game coming to quench their thirst.
Day 15: Uiseb Stalactite Cave Excursion and wine tasting ~ 70 km (1h)
We strongly recommend to take part in the Uiseb Stalactite Cave Excursion offered by Gabus Game Ranch. Here you can visit up to three, pristine underground caves depending on your level of fitness. The caves with their exceptional display of stalactites and stalagmites are unique to this specific area. Only small groups are allowed to ensure the conservations of this underground world. A light lunch and refreshments are served after the excursion.
In the afternoon you have enough time to visit one of only four wine estates in Namibia, close to Gabus Game Ranch. Enjoy a taste of the locally produced wine and – for the brave the “Maroela Bliksem” a home-made spirit.
Day 16: To the Waterberg ~ 200 km (2h)
Again, only a short drive awaits you, hence you have enough time to part-take in activities at Gabus you missed during the last two days. A short drive takes you back to Otavi and from here you take the B1 south to Otjiwarongo, one of the larger towns in this sparsely populated country. Continue south on the B1 until you reach the turn off C22 to Waterberg on your left. Follow this road for about 35 km to reach Waterberg guest Farm – the ideal place to enjoy the last two days of your holidays.
Feel free to take one of the many guided or unguided hiking trails to explore the beautiful landscape of the Waterberg Plateau area. Trails vary in length so you are able to chose the one that suits you best.
Day 17: Cheetah Conservation Fund ~ 300 km (3h)
One of the specialities of Waterberg Guest Farm is a guided excursion to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The drive takes you through the grounds of the farm where you are introduced to cattle farming in Namibia as well as the challenges life-stock farmers face when it comes to predators, before reaching the Cheetah Conservation Fund. This visit will closely introduce you to these majestic predators, with the opportunity to take amazing pictures. On your return drive you will cross the “Little Serengeti” and enjoy your last magnificent African sunset of this journey.
Day 18: Back to Windhoek – Farewell from Namibia ~ 240 km (2,5h)
Today is the last day of your journey. Depending on your flight schedule you might have time to enjoy a relaxing massage offered by the lodge before saying farewell to the Waterberg and Namibia.
The drive back to the capital takes about 2.5 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
Good-bye Namibia !
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$ 35.500 (Camping/Lodge)
From N$ 55.000 (Lodge)
High season 2021
01.07.2021 - 31.12.2021
From N$ 43.000 (Camping/Lodge)
From N$ 62.000 (Lodge)
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: