Namibia is the perfect country to rent a car and go to the various amazing destinations by yourself. However, renting a car (we recommend a 4×4), petrol and accommodation are expensive. Even if you are camping, your budget will decrease very fast. Here is our Namibia itinerary, this is how we traveled fast and efficient with still getting some of the best experiences in the country.
Day 1+2: Windhoek to Otjiwarongo
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon at the Windhoek airport and since we are not city people we drove straight away to Otjiwarongo on the way to Etosha National Park. Here we stayed two nights, but only because we needed to buy gas for our camping cooker and the only shop that sold them was closed that day.
Days 3 to 6: Etosha National Park
We spent the next four nights in one of the country’s main attractions, the Etosha National Park. During our time here, we took almost every road between the Anderson Gate and the King Nehale Gate (where you have high chances of seeing elephants). I wouldn’t recommend staying fewer days if you want to see a lot of the park.
Day 7: Etosha to Damaraland
After 4 nights in Etosha we made our way towards the Skeleton Coast. In between we stopped for a night at the Mowani Mountain Camp, which was way over our budget but the guard gave us a special deal. The scenery, the sunset, the milky way above you and the sunrise is just unreal. One of the most stunning landscapes we’ve ever seen.
Day 8: Damaraland to Cape Cross
This was a big driving day. We left the campsite early in the morning and visited the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain which were really worth it. The drive towards the coast was long, bumpy and without seeing any cars for hours, but the scenery is so special that we didn’t mind the effort. To finish the day we went to the huge seal colony at Cape Cross and stayed in the fabulous campsite of the lodge nearby.
Day 9: Cape Cross to Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund
After a night at Cape Cross, we drove 2.5 hours inland to visit the Spitzkoppe. We planned to stay at the rest camp there but after an unfortunate incident with the person at the reception we took some pictures and drove to Swakopmund. We camped here in the backyard of the Salty Jackal for two nights.
Day 10: Swakopmund
This day was pretty uneventful and we just walked around town, did some planning, used the very good internet and enjoyed a day without driving.
Day 11: Swakopmund to the Namib Naukluft National Park
From Swakopmund, we wanted to go the famous dunes of Sossusvlei, but on the way, we stopped at the Namib Naukluft National Park for one night and an early morning hike.
Day 12: Olive Trail and drive to Sossusvlei
The next day, we started the Olive Trail by sunrise to escape the biggest heat. After a four-hour hike, we made our way to Sossusvlei where we stayed at the rest camp inside the park for another early start the next day.
Day 13: Sossusvlei to Goais camping
We were one of the first cars waiting at the gate to start driving to Dune 45 to watch the sunrise. Before lunch, we completed the highlights in the park including Hidden Vlei, Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei (you won’t want to be walking around after 12 pm when it’s 40C). Afterwards, we drove towards Fish River Canyon and stayed at the amazing Goais campsite near Helmeringhausen.
Day 14: Goais camp to Fish River Canyon
After a chilled morning and a lovely chat with the campsite hosts, we drove the remaining 3.5 hours to the Fish River Canyon. We arrived with enough time for a splash in the pool before heading to the lookout for sunset.
Day 15: Fish River Canyon to Quiver Tree Forest
It was another early day to get the sunrise over the Fish River Canyon, but well worth it. Afterwards, we walked to the sunset lookout and drove to the Hikers Viewpoint. We wanted to stay at the Gondwana Canyon Lodge Campsite but it didn’t exist anymore so we left the area and stayed at the Quiver Tree Forest Camp, unfortunately, the most expensive campsite in Namibia so far.
The trees were really nice but it was the most expensive campsite outside Etosha and we wouldn’t pay it again.
Day 16: Quivertree Camp to Windhoek
On the last day, we just drove the 4.5 remaining hours to Windhoek where we set up our tent in the backyard of the Cardboard Box Hostel.