Travel to Namibia and discover one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth. Crossing the border from South Africa, encounter Namibia's treacherously beautiful coastline, its soaring sand dunes, incredible moonscapes and savanna grasslands teeming with wildlife. Namibia is a country of contrasts and a paradise for wilderness lovers. See the best of this spectacular region by canoeing down rivers, scaling sand dunes, walking through the desert, savouring local dishes and relaxing in quaint towns and cities. Travel from Cape Town to Windhoek and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.


Start
Cape Town, South Africa
Finish
Windhoek, Namibia
Countries
Namibia, South Africa
Style
Comfort
Theme
Overland
Code
UBKN
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why we love this trip

  • Your dining experience in Lambert's Bay will be one to remember. This open-air restaurant, Muisbosskerm, was rated by National Geographic as having one of the 'Top Ten Sea Views to Dine For'

  • Take a canoe adventure down South Africa's longest stream, the picturesque Orange River

  • The scale of Fish River Canyon is staggering, but stunning African birdlife and a colour-changing sunset makes it so much more than one of the world's largest gorges

  • As eerie as they are fascinating, the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei can be seen in all their blazing glory from the top of Dune 45

  • Enjoy plenty of time for seaside leisure in Swakopmund, amid the dramatic breakers of the Atlantic Ocean

  • Etosha National Park is one of the best places in the world for wildlife-spotting, and you'll enjoy a full day of game drives here

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll travel in purpose-built overland vehicles for the duration of this trip. While our vehicles are not air-conditioned, all windows do open to allow fresh air flow.

  • Road travel in Africa comes with its fair share of dust, so while curtains are fitted to minimise the sunshine, it can get hot and windy.

  • There are some long travel days, which can be exacerbated by bumpy African roads.

  • You don't need to be a super-fit athlete to go on an overland safari, but you will need a good level of physical resilience and movement, especially for entering and exiting the vehicles, and for taking long trips on bumpy roads. There's also a half-day canoe trip along the Orange River.

  • Namibia summer ( Nov-Mar ) can be very hot and humid with maximum temperatures around 30-35°C and peaks of over 40°C in the desert.

  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Itinerary

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. For those with time here before the trip starts, highly recommended excursions include catching the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, taking the ferry across to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years), or the day trip down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain Hike - ZAR720
  • Cape Town - Table Mountain Aerial Cable - ZAR250
  • Cape Town - Robben Island tour - ZAR260
  • Cape Town - South African Museum - ZAR27
  • Cape Town - District Six Museum - ZAR25
  • Cape Town - Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - ZAR45
  • Cape Town - South Africa National Gallery - ZAR35
  • Cape Town - Harbour cruise - ZAR200
  • Cape Town - Bo-Kaap Museum - ZAR30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Depart Cape Town and travel along the west coast to the small seaside town of Lamberts Bay (265km approximately 4-5 hours). Its white beaches, lobsters and incredible wildlife earned this place the nickname ‘diamond of west coast’. It's also simply a quaint fishing town tucked into the western Cape Province, best explored by foot. You'll visit Cape Gannet Island today. At the right time of the year, you might be lucky enough to view the spectacular flocks of gannet, which make use of the spot for breeding in August and September. For birdwatchers, the colony at Lambert's Bay is the most accessible of the six gannet colonies in South Africa and Namibia. They are a spectacular sight in their tightly packed community, and it’s an awesome experience to see them wheel, land and settle into their designated positions. Sit down to a delicious feast at a local open-air restaurant, where the amazing ocean views are sure to dazzle.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lamberts Bay - Cape Gannet Island
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Farewell your coastal retreat as you cross the border into Namibia (500km approximately 7hrs). You should reach your destination on the banks of the Orange River by mid-afternoon. The border crossing and a few photo stops could delay this arrival a little. This is the longest river in South Africa, running from high up in the Drakensberg mountain range and on to the Atlantic Ocean. The river is significant for its role in transporting diamonds which in turn leaves deposits that are found along the Namibian coastline.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
500km, approximately 7hrs
Kick things off with a half-day canoe adventure along the Orange River today. You will wind through the ancient Richtersveld Mountains.
The canoe trip will be done in 2 man canoes with a local guide. It is a slow paced trip covering approximately 10km and we should be travelling down stream for most or all of the trip.
After you have returned to land you'll venture to the Fish River Canyon (200km approximately 5hrs), one of the biggest canyons in the world. Along the way you will stop at various lookouts, all great opportunities to catch this beautiful and gigantic gorge on camera. Look out for some exotic birdlife while you’re here: plovers, wagtails, hammerkops and herons. You might even catch a glimpse of a baboon or an antelope at dusk if you're lucky.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fish River Canyon - Canyon entrance
  • Orange River - Canoe trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a long travel day. We head to the eastern edge of the Namib Desert today (610km approximately 9hrs). This region of the world's oldest desert is known for its array of geological features. Take in the diversity and sprawling beauty of the scenery as you drive to your lodgings for the night.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will make an early morning visit to Sossusvlei, which lies at the end of an ancient riverbed. If you find yourself in the mood, a climb to the top of Dune 45 will reward you with unparalleled views of the region.
After breakfast head to Dead Vlei. A clay pan well known for the iconic postcard like images taken here by many. The pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, "Big Daddy" or "Crazy Dune" average about 350m.
If you'd like to avoid a long walk in the sun you can opt to pay for a 4x4 transfer from the 2x2 car park out to the Dead Vlei entrance point. This will cost approximately 130NAD per person.
In the afternoon you will visit Sesriem Gorge, tranquil natural corridor you can walk through and explore. The canyon was caused by water erosion over thousands of years. The people who lived in the area used to pull buckets of water up from the depths with six knotted belts. Therefore, the canyon was named after the Afrikaans word “Sesriem” meaning “six belts”.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sesriem - Sesriem Canyon
  • Sossusvlei - Dune 45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart your desert lodge and travel across the Namib Desert today (280km, approximately 6hrs), a trip culminating in the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean coastline. The drive goes through a beautiful, diverse, colourful landscape. You'll see the awesome Kuiseb Canyon along the way, before arriving at the beachside town of Swakopmund, located on the Skeleton Coast.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader.
Please note that it is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
Enjoy some free time in this pretty coastal spot. Your accommodation is within walking distance of town. Perhaps go for a stroll along the beach, explore the open-air markets or visit the local museum. The Namibian National Marine Aquarium is also a good choice. There are plenty of options on offer at the local activity centre, which your leader will take you to.

Notes: We have not risk-assessed all activities, and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure about anything, please check with your local guide. Please note that it is against company policy for leaders or guides to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk-assessed or do not adhere to our Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Swakopmund - Horse riding - USD65
  • Swakopmund - Swakopmund Museum - USD2
  • Swakopmund - Fishing trip - USD120
  • Swakopmund - Sand boarding - USD50
  • Swakopmund - Seal and dolphin cruise - USD60
  • Swakopmund - Quad Bike Trip (2 hours) - USD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Get off the beaten track and head into the heart of Damaraland (330km approximately 6hrs). You should arrive at your lodge this afternoon.
The ancient landscapes of the Kunene Region are ruggedly spectacular, awesome sunsets and night skies filled with a multitude of dazzling stars await you. This part of Namibia is also known as Damaraland, as it is the ancestral home land of the enigmatic Damara people whose exact origins remain unclear. Also home to the small population of hardy desert adapted elephant as well as a host of other unique flora and fauna.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Many of the roads we travel on today will be untarred and often corrogated. They are some of the worst on this itinerary so be prepared from some extra bumps.
Spend the morning visiting the surrounding sights such as Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest. Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of ancient rock engraving in southern Africa and is a fascinating insight into the past. The Petrified Forest looks back into nature’s history, where 280 million-year-old fossilised tree trunks lie.

We will be accompanied by local guides at both the Petrified forest and the Twyfelfontein sites. The guided walks take between 30-60mins and although not difficult there are some steep rocks and hills at the Twyfelfontein site. It can get hot at this time of day so be sure to have a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water with you.

Daytime temperatures often peak around 30°C here, so sightseeing is best completed as early as possible, before the thermometer climbs too high. Spend the remainder of the day back at the lodge, perhaps by the pool or relaxing in the shade.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Damaraland - Petrified Forest
  • Damaraland - Twyfelfontein Bushman Paintings
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Many of the roads we travel on today will be untarred and often corrogated. They are some of the worst on this itinerary so be prepared from some extra bumps.
Depart our lodge this morning and head towards Etosha National Park (220km approximately 5hrs). Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores here.
We head out on a short afternoon Game Drive in our truck on arrival.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Etosha National Park - Game drives
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a full day of game viewing in the truck.

Keep your eyes peeled for black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large, sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is hard to see through, but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to allow for some sightings.

Head back to the lodge this evening. You might like to finish up the day by taking a refreshing dip in the pool, or enjoying a drink with your fellow travellers to reflect on the day's adventure.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Etosha National Park - Game drives
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
From Etosha National Park you will head to Windhoek, an old German colonial town, now a cosmopolitan centre (400km approximately 6hrs). The Germanic colonial architecture of this city contributes to its charming feel. You'll arrive in the late afternoon or early evening. Your trip comes to an end here. If you're staying on, the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus are all well worth visiting.

Notes: You can fly out today if you wish, but bear in mind that the airport is an hour's drive from town. If you would like to book additional accommodation, you can request it when you book your trip.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, Canoe

Accommodation

Lodge (6 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Lamberts Bay - Cape Gannet Island
  • Fish River Canyon - Canyon entrance
  • Orange River - Canoe trip
  • Sesriem - Sesriem Canyon
  • Sossusvlei - Dune 45
  • Damaraland - Petrified Forest
  • Damaraland - Twyfelfontein Bushman Paintings
  • Etosha National Park - Game drives

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for more information.
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel.
3. This trip finishes on arrival in Windhoek on Day 13. Please do not book any flights out this evening. The Airport is located 1hr drive out of Windhoek and although we generally make it back to the hotel in Windhoek by 5:00pm, it can be difficult to get to the airport in time for flights.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Namibia Discovery trips score an average of 4.49 out of 5 based on 57 reviews in the last year.

Namibia Discovery, October 2017

Tom Harrop

Namibia Discovery, September 2017

Fabian Widmer