Namibia is an incredible country with spectacular landscapes, people and animals and here is a 14 Night Self Drive Namibia Itinerary.
Namibia is a very large country and you can never underestimate the driving distances. When driving I would always recommend starting early in the morning. This is because it is cool, the early morning light makes the scenery particularly beautiful and you often see animals on the roadside. You are also never quite sure exactly how long it is going to take you.
We did this route in Namibia with kids ages 12,11,11.
How to plan a trip to Nambia with Kids?
First work out what time you have. Is your Namibia Itinerary 21 days, or is it Namibia for a week that you have time for?
Secondly work out your budget.
Thirdly work out what style of accommodation you are prepared to stay in. Are you prepared to camp in Namibia, or do you prefer luxury accommodation?
We booked this trip with Namibia family holiday Tim at Speke Travel and I can highly recommend the company and the service we received. If you do get in touch with Tim please tell him I recommended him for a Namibia family holiday.
Day 1 – Self-Drive Namibia Itinerary 14 days
From the UK you will usually fly overnight, arriving into Windhoek at a good time in the morning.
On arrival in Windhoek either arrange a transfer to be taken to your hotel in the city centre and have the car delivered there (less stressful in my experience) or save some money and pick up your car at the airport. Ideally you’ll collect a cool box and a mobile phone/mobile phone SIM to take with you on your journey around Namibia .
There are some excellent restaurants in Windhoek. We loved Joe’s Beerhouse and actually had our first meal there and our last.
We stayed at The Olive Grove Guesthouse
Day 2 & 3 – Namibia Road Trip
Our Namibian road trip with kids began with a drive South to Sossusvlei. The first 120km is on tarmac before the roads turn to gravel. Cross mountain passes and enjoy the evolving scenery as you head further South. The drive will take around four to five hours depending on how many times you stop so this afternoon you can either settle in and relax, enjoying the starkly beautiful scenery or head out on afternoon activity from your lodge.
We stayed at Desert Homestead Lodge.
The views from the luxury tented camp are simply magnificent and the whole setting is peaceful and serene. If you are feeling a little bit more adventurous go on the horse riding sundowner or sunrise excursion which is excellent fun.
Today you can either utilise your own vehicle and drive to Sossusvlei or make use of the guided activities. Its recommended that you leave at first light so you will be some of the first people in the area, but we chose to head off after lunch for the afternoon as we had a 3am alarm call the following morning for a hot air balloon trip. Both Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei are worth visiting as they offer very different perspectives. If you have the energy clamber up one of the dunes as you are then able to get more of a sense of perspective.
Before we left Sossusveli for our drive to Swakupmond we did the most incredible hot air balloon flight over the desert. Everything was completely incredible and well worth getting up at 3am to do. Very expensive but incredibly well done.
There are also plenty of other options in Sesriem/Sossusvlei for a Namibia family holiday.
Day 4, 5 & 6 – Self Drive Namibia with Kids
We left Sossusvlei behind and drove to Swakopmund. This drive will take about 5 hours. Along the way you will pass through a couple of fascinating canyons.
In Swakopmund you will have a choice of loads of activities. On day one we chose an amazing trip down to Sandwich Harbour in a 4×4 which the kids dubbed the Top Gear experience, and a boat trip with the seals at Pelican point.
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Day 7 & 8 – Self Drive Namibia with Kids
On the morning of day 7 the twins that run did parkrun! Who knew Parkrun would have made it as far as Namibia.
We then left the coast behind and drove inland towards Twyfelfontein. There are some rock engravings here which are thousands of years old. In addition you have an opportunity to track the incredible desert adapted elephants.
For us this was our only miss step on our trip. We initially stayed at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge but as it was Christmas Eve/Christmas Day they were too busy and couldn’t really cope with demand. It’s got a great pool but we didn’t love it.
We actually escaped to Camp Kipwe for Christmas Day and were lucky enough to stay in an amazing suite. Totally amazing.
Day 9 & 10 – Self Drive Namibia with Kids
We then went onto Grootberg which has a dramatic setting at the top of the pass. We stayed at Grootberg Lodge, Damaraland.
They can organise both rhino and elephant tracking as well as visits to the nearby Himba communities when they are in the area.
Matt did a rhino trekking tour here but the trip did take 8-9 hours as the rhino at the time we were staying were at least 3 hours away.
We stayed here last time we travelled to Namibia pre-kids. Its a very special place and run by the community for the community but the drive to find the rhino and the elephants is challenging and you might choose not to.
Day 11 & 12 – Self Drive Namibia Itinerary
Today we drove onto Etosha National Park.
We stayed at Okaukuejo Rest Camp, Etosha National Park last time we stayed but this time doing Namibia with Kids we stayed at Etosha Safari Camp. Etosha Safari Camp is on the same site as Etosha Safari Lodge. The Safari lodge is more expensive for accommodation and food, but if you’ve got dinner included at the Safari Camp you can book to eat at the Lodge which was nicer and great fun.
At Etosha there are number of self drive routes you can take round the park with good opportunities to see rhino, lion or even occasionally leopard. It is also possible to pay locally and take a guided night activity which offers the opportunity to see normally elusive nocturnal species.
We spent one night on the West side of Etosha, so spent an afternoon in the park, and then we spent the next full day in Etosha driving across to the East where we stayed at Mushara Lodge. We stayed at The Mushara Outpost, in a Luxury Tent when we visited pre-kids.
Day 13 – Self Drive Namibia Family Holiday
Today you will drive down a tarmac road to Okonjima.
We stayed in the Bushcamp rooms. The lodge is the home of the Africat, one of the finest conservation projects in Namibia – you are likely to get the chance of seeing both leopard and cheetah close up as well as getting to see the night hide where watching porcupine feed is a fascinating experience.
We LOVED the leopard tracking tour and were hugely lucky to see two rhino on our drive into the park which is very unusual as they are usually miles away from the road. I would skip the cheetah trip though, they head off far to early and they don’t seem very happy.
Day 14 – Self Drive Namibia Itinerary
After your morning activity you can drive to the airport. It is about 3 hours from Okonjima so leave plenty of time. In addition please note that the airport is 45 minutes beyond Windhoek when driving from Okonjima. If you have time you can stop off in Windhoek for some last minute souvenir shopping. At the airport you will drop off the car and fly home overnight.
Why not PIN this 14 Night Self Drive Namibia Itinerary
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.