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12 day Self-Drive/Fly in Itinerary - Thoughts?

Saint Paul...
Level Contributor
199 posts
58 reviews
12 day Self-Drive/Fly in Itinerary - Thoughts?

We will be in Namibia mid to late November this year. We have about 12 days to spend and am most interested in Damaraland and Sossusvlei, but would like to have a couple days to rest in Swakopmund. We would like to do part of it as a self-drive but honestly, don't relish being in the car for more than 6 hours at a time and even that, is a long time in the car for me. I've been reading posts and scouring maps for days and have come up with a tentative itinerary. I have several questions and would appreciate some advice.

1. Is this a realistic itinerary? We are interested in nature, some game and culture. We don't want to go at too aggressive of a pace, but really want to get a nice flavor of the areas. Given our time restraints, I think we will pass on Etosha, as it does not seem prime time. We may instead go to Chobe or Hwange later in the trip.

2. My selection of lodges will probably not work within my budget. Any alternative suggestions? We really don't want to do self-catering but want to be comfortable. It would be nice to have 1 or 2 splurges, but don't need to have them all be 5 star. My thought was to perhaps try to save some money in Swakopmund but would love suggestions of any alternatives in the the other areas.

3. If fly-in to Sossuslvei is too expensive, how long is the drive from Swakopmund and then back to Winhoek? I recall 6-7 hours? Is there a good spot to stop mid way for an overnight, that would be interesting? I saw Rockstock Ritz Desert Lodge might be an option.

3. While I really want to develop an itinerary that is specific to our wishes, I think I might like to book through a local tour operator. Any suggestions? I've seen WildDog, Cardbox and a few others.

This is the very tentative itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive Windhoek from JNB at noon and pick up rental car

Drive to Ozongwindi Lodge (1 night)

Day 2 Leave mid-morning and drive to Mowani Mountain Lodge (2 nights)

Day 3 Mowani Mountain Lodge

Day 4 Leave late morning and drive to Desert Rhino Camp (2 nights)

Day 5 Desert Rhino Camp

Day 6 Leave late morning and drive to Cape Cross (1 night)

Day 7 Afternoon drive to Swakopmund (2 nights)

Day 8 Swakopmund

Day 10 Depart on a Fly-in to Little Kulala (2 nights)

Day 11 Little Kulala

Day 12 Return from Kulala to Winhoek, Flight to Vic Falls

Many thanks for your honest feedback.

4 replies to this topic
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
8 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: 12 day Self-Drive/Fly in Itinerary - Thoughts?

3. Drive from Swakopmund to Windhoek is 4 hours acording to locals, so say 5-6 hours including rest. Unless you have a 4x4, drive the B2 road, The C28 is shorter but can be really rough in places,

Level Contributor
11 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: 12 day Self-Drive/Fly in Itinerary - Thoughts?

Hi there

I am a tour consultant in Namibia and I can help you with a few things. Your itinerary sounds lovely and I agree with skipping Etosha. You will see plenty of animals in Botswana should you go there. Culture & Landscape is what Damaraland offers in abundance. The lodges you have chosen are brilliant, but there are many others that can be more gentle on your budget. Fly-in suggestion; you can take the "Air Taxi" (daily departures) from Swakopmund to Sossusvlei. But what about your car? I would suggest renting a vehicle which has offices in both Windhoek and Swakop. You drop off the vehicle in Swakopmund, fly to Sossusvlei, either take a road transfer back to Windhoek or jump on the "Air Taxi" again and rather fly back to Windhoek.

So there you go, my little 5 cents.

Windhoek, Namibia
1 post
3. Re: 12 day Self-Drive/Fly in Itinerary - Thoughts?

your ideas are good but expensive.

I can only recommend a local tour operator, Elite Safaris (www.elite-safaris.com)

they do brainstorming with the guests and develop individual trips.

Holly Springs...
Level Contributor
57 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: 12 day Self-Drive/Fly in Itinerary - Thoughts?

If I were you, I would drive from Swakop to Little Kulala and then drive on to Windhoek. We did much of this trip in reverse in May of 2017 and it took us maybe 5 hours from Windhoek to Little Kulala and just under 6 hourse from Little Kulala to Swakop. Should save some money without having to book flights. We found the drives (even the long ones) to be amazing since the scenery is so dramatic. Enjoy your trip.

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