Namibia is home to dramatic sceneries, stunning landscapes and endless horizons. It requires slow traveling to truly appreciate it. There are very few highways and most other roads are gravel, so you will need to slow down eventually. You will witness spectacular sunsets, windstorms and unpredictable temperatures. You will also find peace, beauty and magic in this ancient living space.
It’s important to understand that it’s a custom-made itinerary we prepared for two of us based solely on our interests.
There are two main highlights that you absolutely shouldn’t miss in Namibia: Sossusvlei and Etosha National Park. Our other highlights include Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop and Swakopmund. But there are many more! Keep reading further.
Complete Three week Itinerary around Namibia
Day 1. Windhoek- Mariental via Kalahari Desert. Camping at River Chalets for 1 night. 265km
Long drive through Kalahari Desert. We arrived to our campsite at sundown and had a luxury to spent our first night in a tent under a billion stars.
Day 2. Mariental- Fish River Canyon Roadhouse campsite for 1 night. 380km
Long drive again, but at least first part was on a proper road. We stopped for a walk at the Quiver Tree Forest before continuing South towards the Fish River Canyon. The last 120km was gravel road but taking we had a Volkswagen polo it was good enough for any vehicle. Arriving to another campsite was a relieve, especially to find out that it has a pool too.
Day 3. Fish River Canyon- Fish River Lodge for 2 nights. 250km
There are many ways to explore Fish River Canyon. Canyon Roadhouse was 25km from the national park entry, so we woke up early in the morning and drove to a main viewpoint first, followed by a couple of lookouts for a walk on the edge of a canyon.
We set off for another long drive to our next lodge, which funny enough is straight ahead on the other side of a canyon but can only be reached driving around.
Day 4. Fish River Lodge
Only pure relaxation and breathtaking views can be found here. Set on the edge of a Fish River Canyon, it is one of the places that will surprise you so much; you will remember this panorama for the rest of your life. And yes, it’s worth the 100km deviation!
Day 5. Fish River Lodge- Klein Aus Vista. Klein Aus campsite for 3 nights. 230km
Our itinerary got affected a bit since yesterday, when I got bit by a snake and was unable to drive or walk for the next 4 days. So we had to spend a longer time in Aus before I can continue exploring on foot.
Day 7. Klein Aus Vista- Luderitz/ Kolmanskop- Klein Aus Vista. 220km
The highlight of the day was our visit to Kolmanskop – an abandoned diamond-mining town that was once the home to German diamond miners seeking to make their fortune in the Namibian desert. It is a beautiful place for pictures; white sand and clear blue skies give amazing contrast!
Day 8. Klein Aus Vista- Sossusvlei. Desert Quiver Camp for 1 night + Moon Mountain Lodge 1 night. 350km
A long ride again but it didn’t feel so long because we took the scenic C27 route and drove through the most amazing landscape filled with ostriches, antelopes, oryx, zebras and even a few giraffes.
Day 9. Sossusvlei
The highlights today were Dune45 and Deadvlei. Park was amazing but sun gets so hot, that it’s advised to go really early in the morning. Climb your chosen dune for amazing pictures and definitely trek those 2km to enjoy the view of Deadvlei. But wear closed shoes and take plenty of water!
Day 10. Sossusvlei- Swakompund. Indulge Accommodation for 3 nights. 350km
First thing to mention is stop at Solitaire petrol station for some of their famous apple pie. Portions are super big and they also serve tasty cappuccinos/hot chocolate.
On the way to Swakompund we’ve stopped in Walvis Bay to see flamingoes and giant pelicans, which was absolutely the highlight of the day. Don’t miss!
Day 11-13 Swakompund and around
Between desert and sea lies one of the most unusual and fascinating towns south of the equator. Swakompund itself is a town with many shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a good place to stop and relax for 3 days or so, and recharge your batteries before heading out exploring again. You can easily stay longer and find plenty of things to do.
Swakompund is the adventure hub of Namibia! The choice is endless and if you have always dreamt of paragliding, this is your opportunity. Top of my list: is quad biking and sand boarding.
Day 13. Swakompund- Uis via Skeleton coast. The White Lady campsite for 1 night. 280km
I advice to leave Swakompund early, as it is a long day driving again and Cape Cross is a bit out of the way. But it’s worth a visit, as it is a home to a biggest seal colony in the world, 250,000 of them in one place and you can get amazingly close to them.
Day 14-18. Etosha National Park
Day 14. Godwana Etosha Safari Camp 1 night
Day 15. Okaukuejo Rest Camp 1 night
Day 16-18. Onguma Bush Camp 2 nights
Etosha is probably the cheapest self-drive national park in Africa. Day pass cost only $6 with an option staying inside the park (only at the lodge or designated campsite). There are plenty of possibilities to see wild animals but in dry season waterhole is where you want to be. However, we went in wet season and found it really hard to spot wildlife as it was so green and wet everywhere. Okaukuejo campsite has a great fenced waterhole, where many animals gather around in dry season.
Day 19 Eastern gate- Tsumeb. Mousebird Backpackers 1 night. 100km
Day 20. Tsumeb- Windhoek. 500km
On the way to Windhoek we stopped at the Cheetah Conservation Fund. And we glad we’ve paid a visit. You can see many rescued cheetahs and learn more about work of the conservation. If you have a chance, visit it in the morning, as they have a Cheetah Run at 8am.
We also stayed a few nights in Windhoek before heading to Mozambique.
As you can see, our Namibia trip itinerary was a mix of a lot of driving, handful of sightseeing and a bit of downtime. You can easily visit most of places in less time if planned accordingly.
This is a lot of information to be digested, so if you feel confused, feel free to ask questions.
Planning a trip to Namibia? See my other more in depth articles about each place.