Namibia in 2 weeks: travel itinerary + tips

by suitcasestoriesbe
Namibia in 2 weeks travel itinerary + tips

Our trip to Namibia was certainly one of the most unforgettable adventures we’ve experienced so far. Amazing wildlife, stunning nature, unique cultures, camping in the wilderness, and the most incredible sunsets. A road trip through Namibia is epic in every single way, and we can’t recommend it enough to everyone. That’s why we created the ultimate travel itinerary for Namibia in 2 weeks including all the places we’ve visited, recommendations on things to do, our favorite places to stay and tips on how to get around. To help you visualize this travel itinerary we’ve put it together on a map as well. Are you ready? Let’s go…

Read also: The 6 most beautiful lodges in Namibia

Namibia in 2 weeks travel itinerary + tips

Travel itinerary for Namibia: good to know

There are some things which are good to know before you read on. First of all, Namibia is remote, most of the time off-the-beaten-path and accommodations can be limited. You’ll have the choice to stay at luxury lodges or campsites; which is in our opinion the best way to experience this amazing country and exactly how we did it ourselves. It was our first time camping and never expected to be that comfortable. We rented a 4WD with a rooftop tent, slept under the stars, and alternated it with a few nights in a luxury lodge and guesthouses, which was the perfect combination.

One last thing, renting a 4WD in Namibia is essential. Especially when you follow this itinerary where you will be driving through Damaraland. A 4WD is a bit more expensive than renting a normal car but will be so much more comfortable on the long, bumpy gravel roads. If you would skip this area, you can also choose to rent a 2WD. (Find the best car rental rates  on Skyscanner, which compares the different car rental companies in Namibia)

Tip: if you are traveling solo or would like to join an organized trip, definitely check this website. They have really great tours in Namibia. Super cool!

Windhoek

When you travel to Namibia, you will fly to Windhoek, which is the capital and also the starting and finishing point of this itinerary. (search for cheap flights to Windhoek here) Depending on when you arrive, you will stay here for 1 night. We stayed in Urban Camp, which is a lovely campsite that has both campgrounds and glamping tents with a central location in the heart of Windhoek.

We rented a 4WD with Drive Namibia and were picked up at the airport. It is important that you go through your rental contract very carefully when you pick up your car and that you check you get a second spare tire. (we got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and were so lucky we had this). Staying in Windhoek is also a great opportunity to do all your shopping before you hit the road as there are many good supermarkets, for example, our favorite Food Lovers Market.

Recommended stay

  • 1 day

Where to stay

  • Glamping tents + campsite: Urban Camp
  • find more places to stay in Windhoek here

Where to eat

  • Joe’s Beerhouse (best-known restaurant in Windhoek with good food, great service, and incredible atmosphere)

How to get in Windhoek

  • We personally love to fly with Qatar Airways (check the best flight deals here) as they have an outstanding service and the best onboard entertainment. But there are a lot of other good options too depending on where you depart from. Check Skyscanner, where you can easily search and compare tickets from all different airlines.
  • The next step is renting a car, so you don’t need to take an overpriced taxi + you will need a car anyway to start your road trip the day after. (check this website to compare all different car rental companies or Drive Namibia for a 4WD)

Sossusvlei (Sesriem)

Sossusvlei is the heart of the Namibian desert, the oldest in the world, and is home to the highest sand dunes on the planet. (and yes, you can climb them!) Besides the fascinating landscapes, the scenic Deadvlei and Dune 45, you will encounter the most magical sunrises and sunsets here. There are just no words for this place. And it will forever hold a very special place in our hearts as it’s also the place where we got engaged. (watch the proposal movie here)

Most campsites and lodges are located in Sesriem which is located just outside the park gates where you enter Namib-Naukluft National Park to see all the highlights. From the gates it’s about a 60-minute drive to see the dunes and Deadvlei, so count at least one full day here.

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 3 days

Where to stay

Extra tip: If you like to enter the park before sunrise or stay after sunset, you’ll need to stay at Sesriem Campsite. (only campsite within the gates)

Things to do

  • Hike up the most photographed dune in the world, Dune 45 (most beautiful with sunrise and sunset, do this as early as possible as it gets really hot later in the day)
  • Visit Deadvlei and the 900-year-old Acacia trees (most comfortable way to reach Deadvlei is by parking your car at the parking area and taking one of the National Park jeeps that brings you to Deadvlei + be sure to take at least 2 liters of water per person, you’ll need it)
  • Walk up Big Daddy, the highest dune in the park (same like Dune 45, try to do this as early as possible as it gets really hot later in the day)
  • Treat yourself to the best apple pie and cinnamon rolls at McGregor’s Bakery in the abandoned town of Solitaire (on your way to Swakopmund)
  • Relax at the swimming pool of your campsite or lodge as it can be very hot at noon
  • Visit the natural gorge of Sesriem Canyon and climb down into the canyon (great to do in the afternoon)
  • Spoil yourself to an unforgettable sunrise hot air balloon ride and have a champagne breakfast in the dunes

Note: The entrance fees are N$80 per person ($5.50) and N$10 per vehicle (US$0.80) and you can go in and out as much as you like between sunrise and sunset.

Where to eat

  • We cooked our meals every night by ourselves at the campsite, which was amazing. But if you stay in one of the lodges, you’ll have a restaurant where you can eat.

How to get in Sesriem

  • Sesriem is located approx. 350km (6-8h drive) from Windhoek. We recommend renting a car,  as Namibia doesn’t have a very reliable public transport system. Driving yourself is also the best way to discover this beautiful country.
  • We recommend to stop at every gas station to refuel your car and check your tires as the distances are huge.

Walvis Bay

After a stop in Sossusvlei (Sesriem), you will pass the abandoned town of Solitaire (where you could stay an extra night) but we recommend only stopping here to have the best apple pie and drive directly to Walvis Bay or Swakopmund. Walvisbaai is a cute and quiet town that is famous for its many fisheries. There are a few things to do like climbing up Dune 7, see thousands of flamingos at the lagoon or just spend a lazy afternoon and have a dinner with a view at one of the great restaurants.

Recommended stay

  • 1 – 2 days

Where to stay

Things to do

Where to eat

How to get in Walvis Bay

  • From Sossusvlei (Sesriem) it’s 370km (5-6h drive) to Walvis Bay. We left very early in Sossusvlei and stopped along the way in Solitaire and at many epic viewpoints.

Swakopmund

Swakopmund is the biggest coastal town in Namibia and is located only 30 minutes from Walvis Bay. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful place to take a rest for a couple of days and enjoy the many great things you can do here. The town itself is lovely to walk around in the afternoon, with a cozy atmosphere and lots of great restaurants and shops to catch a souvenir.

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 3 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Chill out on the beach called the Mole
  • Walk the Swakopmund jetty and enjoy some sightseeing
  • Explore the Mondesa township just outside Swakopmund (we recommend doing this with a guide, and this tour is a great choice)
  • Go quad biking through some of the highest sanddunes in the world (we did it with this company, which we can highly recommend!)
  • If you don’t like to go quad biking, you could also opt to join a unique desert cycling experience
  • Go on a scenic guided tour to spot unique desert wildlife like scorpions, lizards, snakes, and more
  • For all the thrill-seekers: enjoy a scenic flight up to 11,000 feet and experience an unforgettable tandem skydive (if you’ve never done this before, this is one of the best places in the world to do it!)

Where to eat

How to get in Swakopmund

  • From Walvisbaai, it’s a short drive, approx. 40-50km (30-minute drive)

Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe is one of our favorite places on earth and (besides our engagement) the highlight of our entire trip through Namibia! Magical, peaceful, deserted, romantic sunsets and the most breathtaking sceneries. We stayed at Spitzkoppe Community Campsite, watched some Bushmen rock art paintings, set up a campfire and slept on giant boulder rocks right under the Milky Way. Unforgettable! We wished we could have stayed longer…

Read also: Best campsites in Namibia

Recommended stay

  • 1 – 2 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Join a guided tour to watch the Bushmen rock art paintings
  • Sleep outside on the rocks and stargaze the whole night
  • Get up early, climb the rocks and watch the sunrise
  • Take hundreds of epic sunrise + sunset shots

Where to eat

  • Cook your own meal at the campsite (or drive to the town of Usakos where you have 2-3 local restaurants)

How to get in Spitzkoppe

  • From Swakopmund, it’s around 150 km (2-3h drive)

Damaraland

Damaraland is the name for the region northwest of Namibia and truly one of the most scenic areas. It’s huge, untouched and known for its ancient rocks and dramatic landscapes. When you’re driving through Damaraland you’ll literally feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. (this is also the place where we got the flat tire) The highlights for us in Damaraland was definitely meeting the Himba nomads and learn more about their incredible culture. Next, a visit to the Bushmen rock art site at Twyfelfontein can’t be missed too. Beauce of the long drives and distances, we recommend staying at two different campsites as we did. (first near Twyfelfontein and then near Palmwag for the Himbas)

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 3 days

Where to stay

Things to do

  • Visit the UNESCO Bushman Paintings in Twyfelfontein
  • Enjoy the most breathtaking sunsets (no specific place, just everywhere you go is so stunning)
  • Meet the Himbas, which are the last semi-nomadic people in all of Namibia
  • Spent the night stargazing

Where to eat

  • Cook your own meal at the campsite or have a delicious dinner at the restaurant of your lodge, as there are not many restaurants in the area

How to get in Damaraland

  • From Spitzkoppe, it’s about 200km (3-4h drive) to Twyfelfontein or Madisa Camp. If you would go straight to Palmwag, it’s about 350km (4-5h drive)

Etosha National Park

A trip to Nambia can’t be complete without a visit to Etosha National Park. It’s one of the best national parks in Africa to see wildlife, covering more than 20000 sq km of beautiful landscapes. Etosha National Park is home to a large salt pan and many waterholes which attracts a lot of wildlife. You can find four of the Big Five here, with the exception of the buffalo. The roads are also well-maintained which means you can easily do a game drive yourself. Must do!

We stayed two nights inside Etosha National Park and one night in a luxury lodge nearby. Olifantsrus Campsite on the western side of Etosha was our first stop and located in the wilder, more remote side of the park. It’s the newest addition of Etosha, with only 10 campsites and no lodge/accommodation options. We loved the remoteness here and the lovely hide deck overlooking a man-made waterhole where we saw leopards, black rhinos and many elephants at night.

Okaukuejo Camp was the second stop which is the most famous campsite in Etosha and located near the southern entrance gate. It has the best waterhole in Etosha to see animals at night and the sunsets here are just breathtaking.

Finally, we decided to add one extra stop at Eagle Tented Lodge, which is located just outside the south entrance of Etosha and offers game drives in the Epacha Private Game Reserve. It’s a wonderful lodge, where we took the time to relax for a night, enjoyed some safaris en the most beautiful views from the deck of our luxury private tent. Heavenly!

Read also: The 6 most beautiful lodges in Namibia

Recommended stay

  • 2 – 4 days

Where to stay

  • Campsite: Olifantsrus Campsite (enter via the Galton Gate which is the west entrance of Etosha)
  • Lodge + Campsite: Okaukuejo Camp (enter via the Anderson Gate which is the south or main entrance of Etosha)
  • Lodge: Eagle Tented Lodge (located near the south entrance of Etosha)
  • find more great places to stay near Etosha National Park here

Read also: Best campsites in Namibia

Things to do

  • Go on a morning and afternoon safari yourself (maps are provided at the entrance gates, entrance fees are N$80 per person ($5,5) + N$10 per vehicle ($0,70)
  • Watch sunrise and sunset at one of the waterholes
  • During the day when it’s hot, enjoy a swim and relax at the pool
  • Stay inside the park at one of the campsites!! (unforgettable)
  • If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can also join one of the guided game drives that the campsites/lodges are offering

Where to eat

  • In Okaukuejo Camp and Eagle Tented Lodge, we ate in their restaurant and at Olifantsrus Campsite we cooked our own meals. Every campsite in Etosha offers BBQ facilities, so very easy to cook your own meals if you wouldn’t stay in a lodge.

How to get in Etosha National Park

  • From Damaraland (Palmwag), it’s 180 km to the west entrance of Etosha NP (2-3 hours).
  • If you would go straight to the south entrance, you can choose to drive via the west entrance to Okaukuejo. This is 370 km and takes you around 5 – 6 hours. (without stopping to spot wildlife)

Otjiwarongo

Otjiwarongo was our very last stop and worth a visit for one night. It not only breaks the distance from Etosha to Windhoek, but there are also some fun things to do like visiting the Cheetah Conservation Fund who are saving this vulnerable species from extinction. Besides, there is a great bakery in town you can’t miss.

Recommended stay

  • 1 day

Where to stay

Things to do

Where to eat

How to get in Otjiwarango

  • From Etosha NP (South entrance), it’s 170km (1,5-hour drive)
  • From Etosha NP (West entrance), it’s 360km (5 -6 hours)

Optional: Kolmanskop + Fish River Canyon

If you would like to see more in Namibia, have more time or want to skip some nights somewhere else, consider adding Kolmanskop and/or Fish River Canyon on your list. Kolmanskop is a fascinating ghost town and attracts photographers from all over the world. It’s located 7 – 8 hours driving from Windhoek or 5 – 6 hours from Sossusvlei.

A lit bit more south than Kolmanskop, you’ll find Fish River Canyon, Africa’s largest canyon. We visited this place the second time we did Namibia during our camping overland tour where we crossed the border coming from South Africa and is a beautiful place to do some hiking. It’s located 7 hours driving from Windhoek or 4 – 5 hours from Kolmanskop. If you would like to add both places into your itinerary, we would recommend going first to Fish River Canyon, then Kolmanskop to finally continue your way up to Sossusvlei.

Recommended stay

  • 1 – 2 days at each place

Where to stay

Now you’ve read our article about Namibia in 2 weeks: travel itinerary + tips, you might be ready to go. The following websites can help you plan the perfect trip:

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Namibia in 2 weeks travel itinerary + tips

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