Namibia trip itinerary

Complete Namibia Trip Itinerary

In Africa, Namibia, Trip itineraries by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Namibia is a beautiful country that requires some slow traveling to truly appreciate it. There are very few highways and most other roads are gravel, so you will – literally – need to slow down. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you need a month to see Namibia. In fact, many ‘standard’ Namibia trip itineraries are no longer than 10 or 14 days. On the other hand, the distances between the main highlights are very big, so you cannot just visit the ‘top’ places and skip all the rest unless you opt for a fly-in safari. Having said all that, some of the very best, memorable experiences from our trip to Namibia had nothing to do with the most famous places.

No matter how much time you have in Namibia, you will have to make choices. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you want to visit more places or do you want to see more at fewer locations?
  • Do you also want to visit the South (Fish River Canyon) and/or the North (Caprivi Strip) of the country?
  • Maybe you even want to combine your Namibian trip with Botswana and Victoria Falls?
  • Or do you just stick to the main highlights of Namibia and skip the less known locations?

The choice is completely yours to make depending on your interests, time, budget, and some other factors, like malaria risk, for example. There are two main highlights that you absolutely shouldn’t miss in Namibia and that is Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei. Other highlights include Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop, Swakopmund, and Twyfelfontein. But there are more – keep reading.

For the best of Namibia, make sure to also check this out: Top-13 Fascinating Places You Don’t Want To Miss in Namibia.

Our Namibia road trip itinerary with kids

It’s important that you understand that it’s a custom-made itinerary we prepared for our family based on our interests and taking into account the fact that we were traveling with three young children under 6.

We opted for multiple nights at several locations and for shorter driving days when we could and we didn’t go to the Caprivi Strip in order to avoid malaria risk.

You could easily shorten this itinerary and still see about just as much as we did in 20-30% less time, certainly if you are camping and are less dependant on the location of accommodations.

Complete Namibia trip itinerary map

Click on the map for more detailed view


Day 1: Arrival in Windhoek. Windhoek – Kalahari desert. Eningu Clayhouse Lodge for 1 night. 110 km – 2hrs.

After picking up the rental car where we also got a short instruction video about driving on gravel, we headed to Windhoek for a short city walk and to stack on supplies of food and drinks for the next few days.
We opted to spend our first night outside of the city, in the Kalahari desert, and I would recommend this to everyone.

We felt that we were in Africa the moment we left the highway. We saw wild animals next to the road and we spent our first afternoon in the hot tub and our first evening dining under the stars.

TIP: Don’t stay in Windhoek. Choose one of the many lodges outside the city.

Children on a family trip to Namibia in Kalahari desert at sunset

Our first evening in Namibia, less than 24 hours after we left home


Day 2: Kalahari desert. Drive to Mariental. Kalahari Anib Lodge for 1 night. 270 km, 4-5hrs.

Long drive through Kalahari desert. We arrived at our next lodge just in time for a late afternoon safari ride and a sundowner. It was the first one during this trip, but we got bitten by a sundowner bug and tried to go on as many sundowners as possible during the rest of our trip.

TIP: Don’t miss Namibian sundowners, do at least one! All lodges in Namibia organise sundowner/safari rides, so make sure you get to your lodge in time for the late afternoon ride.

Day 3: Mariental – Fish River Canyon. Canyon Lodge for 2 nights. 410 km – 6hrs.

Long drive again, but the first part was on a tarmac road. We stopped at the Quiver Tree Forest and made a short walk around the Giant’s Playground before continuing South towards the Fish River Canyon. The last couple of hours we were driving through the desolate and very uninspiring landscape, but the surroundings of our next lodge were so beautiful that we quickly forgot the long drive.

Quivertree Forest Namibia

Quivertree Forest


Day 4: Fish River Canyon

There are many possibilities to explore the Fish River Canyon. You can also opt for some other excursions in the area. In the morning we drove to a couple of lookouts and made a walk on the rim of the canyon.

Fish River Canyon Namibia

Fish River Canyon


TIP for families traveling with children: In the afternoon we headed to a nearby Canyon Roadhouse for lunch. We chose this place because we knew our kids would love it there – they have a big collection of all kinds of old vehicles. Paradise for our boys!

Canyon Roadhouse at Fish River Canyon Namibia

Canyon Roadhouse is a paradise for boys


In the evening we opted for a sundowner walk at our lodge and enjoyed the most beautiful Namibian sunset in style.

Day 5: Fish River Canyon – Klein Aus Vista. Desert Horse Inn for 2 nights. 290 km – 4hrs.

A long drive again with some beautiful landscapes along the way. Our lodge is not half as nice as the previous one, but there isn’t really an alternative. There are lots of hiking trails in the area and so we spent the afternoon hiking. The walk was much nicer than we had expected.

TIP: Go hiking in the area around Klein Aus Vista.

Day 6: Klein Aus Vista – Luderitz/ Kolmanskop – Klein Aus Vista. 115 km – 1,5 hrs in one direction.

The highlight of the day was our visit to Kolmanskop – a ghost town that was once the home to German diamond miners seeking to make their fortune in the Namibian desert. It’s a real paradise for photographers. Our kids loved it too!

TIP: Go to Kolmanskop early in the morning for better pictures and less people.

We paid a short visit to Luderitz, but found it a rather uninspiring little town. We spent some time hoping to find the wild horses of Namib in Garub. No luck.


Kolmanskop Ghost Town Namibia

Kolmanskop Ghost Town


Day 7 – Klein Aus Vista – Sossusvlei. Sossus Dune Lodge for 2 nights. 350 km – 5hrs.

Long ride again, but it didn’t feel that long since we took the scenic route and drove through the most amazing landscape. Red sand roads, oryx antelopes, ostriches, and all kinds of other wild animals added plenty of distraction for the kids along the way.

TIP: take route C27 and not C14+C19 – it might be slower, but it’s really worth it.

We opted to stay at the Sossus Dune Lodge as it’s the only lodge that is inside the park allowing the guests to get to the Sossusvlei before the sunrise and after the sunset. We went to Elim dune for the sunset.

TIP: Stay inside the park if you can.

Day 8 – Sossusvlei

Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Dune 45, and the Sesriem canyon were the highlights today. Top day for the kids as well. They loved climbing the sand dunes and they loved rolling down the dunes even more…


Deadvlei at sunrise. Sossusvlei Namibia

Deadvlei at sunrise


Day 9 – Sossusvlei – Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge for 1 night. 140 km, 2 hrs.

TIP: Stop at Solitaire petrol station/restaurant for some of their famous apple pie.

We opted to break the long drive from Sossuvlei to Swakopmund and spend a night in rostock Ritz Desert Lodge. The lodge itself is not very special, but there are lots of excursion possibilities in the area and they have a meerkat encounter, which was again one of the highlights for the kids. We ended the day with another beautiful sundowner ride and some incredibly delicious food.

Meerkat in Namibia



Day 10 – Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge – Swakopmund for 3 nights. 230 km – 3,5 hrs.

We were so glad to be back in the living world again! We stopped in Walvis Bay for lunch. We could even choose from more than one restaurant! What a luxury.

TIP: Walvis Bay lagoon with thousands of wild flamingos was absolutely the highlight of the day. Don’t miss!

We stayed in Swakopmund, alternatively you can stay in Walvis Bay. The two towns are not far from each other, but we found that Swakopmund has a much nicer atmosphere, more hotel and restaurant choices, and more activities and day trips that leave from there. You can book your Swakopmund accommodation or Walvis Bay accommodation here.

Walvis Bay Flamingos in Namibia

Walvis Bay Flamingos


Day 11-12 – Swakopmund and the area

Swakopmund itself is a nice little town with many shops, restaurants and cafés. It’s definitely the nicest town in Namibia and 3 nights is certainly not too much for a stay. In fact, you could easily stay longer and find plenty of things to see and do.

TIP: Have lunch or dinner at the Village Café (Sam Nujoma Avenue).

There are many excursion possibilities in and around Swakopmund, so you will have no difficulties to find something that interests you. You can see and book some of the most popular tours from Swakopmund here. The popular tours include dolphin and whale watching from Walvis Bay, Living Dunes Experience, Moon Landscape and Welwitschia Drive, 4×4 tour to Sandwich Harbour, Quad Biking and Sand-boarding, etc. But there are many more possibilities. For example, you could drive to Spitzkoppe, as we did…

TIP (just for our readers – don’t tell anyone): Even though Spitzkoppe is not included in most Namibia trip itineraries, it’s one of our absolute favourite places in Namibia. It’s only 1,5 hrs drive from Swakopmund and you can make a nice half day-day trip to the area. Take water, picnic lunch and walking shoes with you. 

If you are camping, Spitzkoppe has the most amazing campsites you could imagine – don’t miss it!

Spitzkoppe natural arch Namibia

Even though Spitzkoppe is not included in most Namibia trip itineraries, it’s absolutely worth a visit!


Day 13 – Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein via Cape Cross. 411 km – 6+hrs. Twyfelfontein Country Lodge for 1 night.

TIP: Leave Swakopmund early in the morning if you want to go to Cape Cross first as it’s a long drive to Twyfelfontein and Cape Cross is a bit out of the way. But it’s absolutely worth it! Cape Cross is home to a huge seal colony (tens of thousands of seals live here) and you can get amazingly close to them. An experience like no other!

If you have time left, you can visit Petrified Forest on the road to Twyfelfntein or drive to the Burnt Mountain for sunset.

Cape Cross Seal Colony Namibia

Cape Cross Seals


Day 14 – Twyfelfontein – Palmwag. Palmwag Lodge for 2 nights. 115 km – 1h45.

Twyfelfontein UNESCO Heritage Site is absolutely worth the visit. You will be assigned a guide who will take you to the cavemen paintings and will tell you all you want to know about the ancient rock art.

TIP: Go to Twyfelfontein early in the morning before it gets busy. The most recommended walk is the Lion Man Route. Take water with you.

If you are interested in the local culture, pay a short visit to the Damara Living Museum. It’s not an authentic experience as it’s not a real village you are visiting, but one with paid actors, but it’s still interesting to see how people used to live in the area.

Twyfelfontein bushmen paintings Lion Man Route

Twyfelfontein Bushmen Rock Engravings – Lion Man Route


Day 15 – Palmwag

Free day in Palmwag area. There are several excursion and safari ride possibilities at the lodge. We opted for the safari and Himba village tour and had the most amazing day. The Himba village we visited was not comparable to the Damara ‘living musem’ we saw the other day. We met a real Himba family, saw the way they really live, and interaction with the people was real. Our kids went to play with their children, they were chasing the goats and the chicken and seemed to be having the time of their lives. Safari in Palmwag area was also one of the best ones of our whole trip.

TIP: Visit local Himba village. Read more about our experience visiting Namibia’s indigenous tribes.

Meeting Himbas in Namibia

Visiting Himba family in Northern Namibia


Day 16-19 – Etosha National Park

Day 16 – Palmwag – Etosha. Dolomite Camp for 1 night. 230 km – 3.5hrs
Day 17 – Dolomite Camp – Okaukuejo. 180 km – 4hrs. Okaukuejo Rest Camp for 2 nights.
Day 18 – Etosha.
Day 19 – Etosha: Okaukuejo – Mushara. 153 km – 2h15

Etosha is absolutely the highlight of any Namibian trip, but I cannot say the same about the Dolomite Camp. You can read more about our experience and Etosha hotels in my previous post.

There are plenty of possibilities to see wild animals in Etosha. The best times are early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and the best places are around the waterholes. The very best place to see lots of animals without much effort is the Okaukuejo waterhole.

TIP: Stay at Okaukuejo Rest Camp.

For more information about safari read this: Safari for first-timers: our best tips and Safari with kids: all your questions answered.

Zeebras in Etosha National Park

Zeebra Panic at Okaukuejo waterhole


Day 20 – Mushara – Otjiwarongo area. 300 km – 4hrs. Frans Indongo Lodge for 2 nights.

The only place somewhat worth a visit toady is Lake Otjikoto. It’s more of a place to stretch your legs a bit than anything else.

The area around Frans Indongo was not very spectacular. There are several walking trails, but if I were to go to Namibia again, I would either skip this step or only stay here one night.

Day 21 – Cheetah Conservation Fund and Crocodile Farm

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is a place you shouldn’t miss. It’s a serious honest project helping the animals and you have several possibilities to see cheethas from close by. Count half a day for the visit.

TIP: If you are traveling without kids, try to get there for the Cheetah Run early in the morning. With children, we could go on a jeep ride and saw plenty of cheetahs from the safety of the car.

We also visited the Crocodile Ranch of Otjiwarongo. You can see lots of crocodiles and even pet one so the kids liked it, but it’s not something you absolutely have to do. A good stop for half an hour for families passing by, but not more.

Cheetah Conservation Fund Namibia

Cheetahs at CCF


Day 22-23 – Erindi Private Game Reserve. Old Traders Lodge for 2 nights.

Day 22 – Otjiwarongo – Erindi Private Game Reserve. 270 km – 4 hrs. We drove to Erindi as soon as we could so that we could join some of the activities on the first day already.

Day 23 – Erindi. If there is one lodge I would love to go back to in Namibia, it’s Erindi Old Traders Lodge. It was also the most expensive lodge on our itinerary, but absolutely worth it. We had an all-in package with two safari rides per day and all the meals included. There were many other activities that you can do in Erindi. Visiting local San tribe was one of them. What we loved the most about or stay in Erindi? It was the restaurant terrace at the Old Traders Lodge overlooking the waterhole where we spent many relaxing hours eating cake, sipping cold drinks and watching the animals.

TIP: If you are on a tighter budget, you can stay at the Erindi Camp Elephant and visit the lodge during the day or you can just visit the place as a day tourist and have lunch there.

Erindi is a bit out of the way when driving from Etosha to Windhoek, but you’ll absolutely love it.

Elephant chasing hippos at Erindi waterhole

There is always action at Erindi waterhole – elephant chasing hippos


Day 24 – Erindi – Windhoek. 220 km – 3hrs. Na’ankuse Lodge for 1 night.

Depending on your flight schedule, you could drive straight to the airport and skip Windhoek altogether on the last day. We opted to stay at Erindi a bit longer and drove to the Na’ankuse Lodge close to the airport towards the evening. They do have all kinds of activities at the lodge, but by then we had seen everything we wanted to see and decided to spend a quiet evening at the lodge.

Day 25 – Windhoek and departure

Since we had plenty of time before our flight, we headed back to the centre of Windhoek. It was a bit livelier than on the first day of our trip and we enjoyed walking around the Post Street Mall. It’s a pedestrian mall lined with shops, restaurants, office buildings and craft sellers and is probably the liveliest place in town. We had a quiet late lunch at the famous Joe’s Beer House and headed to the airport for the flight home.

As you can see, our Namibia trip itinerary was a mix of seeing a lot and taking our time. As I said, you could easily visit the same places in less time. What could you skip or shorten?

Suggestions for a shorter, 2 or 3 weeks Namibia trip itinerary

  • If Kolmanskop is not of much interest to you, you could skip day 6 of the itinerary.
  • You could visit Sossusvlei in the morning and leave the area that same afternoon. If you don’t mind driving a lot, and I mean a lot, you could go straight to Swakopmund and skip days 9 and 10. In any case, you can easily skip one day here.
  • If you have limited time, you could stay just 2 nights in Swakopmund instead of 3, skip Palmwag altogether (it’s a bit out of the way if you don’t go to the Dolomite Camp) and spend less nights in Etosha.
  • You could stay just one night in Otjiwarongo area, see cheetahs in the morning and drive straight to Windhoek. That’s another 3-4 nights less.
  • If you opt to stay at Erindi or one of the many other private reserves in the area, you can stay there till the last day of your trip and go straight to the airport from there.

I know that this is a lot of information to digest, so feel free to ask questions. You can leave a reply below.

Complete Namibia trip itinerary. See the best of Namibia with this practical day-to-day guide to the most beautiful places in Namibia. Save for later!

Planning a trip to Namibia? Get the most out of your trip with these tips:
What I Wish I Had Known Before Traveling to Namibia
Complete Namibia Packing List for a Road Trip
Best Place to Stay in Etosha National Park
Why Namibia is the Best African Country for a Family Trip

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  1. Hello Jurga.

    I’m planning my trip to Namibia this September and found your writing very helpful!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Do you think 8 days is enough to cover Ethosa, Sossusvlei, and Fish River Canyon?
    What is your recommendation for 8 days itinerary?

    Many thanks for your help.

    1. Author

      Hi Christy, I honestly think that you should skip Fish River Canyon if you only have 8 days – it’s like a day to get there, a day at the canyon, then a day to get back – not worth it with so little time.
      Just concentrate on Etosha, Sossusvlei, and I think you’d best stop in Swakopmund for a few nights in between.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Oh I see.. Thanks for reply.

        How long do I need at least to cover these 3 places (Etosha, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon) then?

        So excited to visit Namibia.

        Have a good day.

        1. Author

          Hi Christy, it really depends on how you travel. If that’s all you want to visit then probably you can manage in 10 days (= lots of driving with few stops). If you want to visit some other places along the way, then I think two weeks is really a minimum for all of this. As you can see in our itinerary, we did 4 weeks over this trip, but then we also visited so many other amazing places in Namibia, not just ‘the musts’.
          Our itinerary is quite detailed, so if you pick the places you want to see, you can get a good idea how long it will take you. Use Google Maps to estimate driving times, but remember that you also need some extra time for photo stops, bathroom stops, food, etc.

  2. We are so inspired to visit Namibia after reading your blog! We are planning to possibly visit there in 2020 with our two children from California. Did you book all of your accommodations yourself or did you use a travel agent that you would recommend? Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    1. Author

      Hi Lauren, for this trip we used a travel agent here in Belgium, but this was some 4-5 years ago. You can book the whole trip on your own, especially now that booking online is much more available than it was when we travelled.
      The only place where it was tough to get accommodations even a year in advance was Okaukuejo in Etosha NP as travel agents pre-reserve those accommodations, so not always easy to do it yourself. But if you don’t really care to stay inside the park, you can easily book another accommodation nearby on your own as well.
      Hope this helps.

  3. Hi Jurga,
    thank you very much for your website, it is totally great!
    I would like to ask you about the Fish River Canyon because I have read that you need to have a reservation for visiting this canyon and it is only possible in 3 people. Are there any sightseeing road around the canyon and needn’t go inside? In which lodge did you stay?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Author

      Hi Hana, since we travelled in Namibia with young kids, we didn’t do any hiking at the canyon. We just drove to the main viewpoint and then several other viewpoints were accessible by car or on foot from there. So you can easily see the canyon. I’m not sure about hiking permits, I also heard that it’s quite strict indeed. You’d have to do more research if you are planning to hike down into the canyon.
      As for the hotel, we stayed at Gondwana Canyon Lodge , one of the best price/quality options in the area. If you stay there, I really recommend to join the sundowner walk that they offer at the lodge (it was free when we visited) – the views are amazing! Another great option nearby is Fish River Lodge. It’s a bit more expensive, but has amazing views over the canyon.
      If you are looking for lower budget accommodations (not much choice there in any case, so not really budget either), check Gondwana Canyon Village or Gondwana Canyon Roadhouse.

  4. Hi Jurga,
    I have enjoyed so much reading about your experiences and advice on traveling through Namibia. As a result, we have put together an itinerary quite similar to your for our family of 6 (four kids ages 6,8,8,&11). My question for you is about self-drive vs hiring a driver. I understand many of the roads are gravel, but are they gravel with lots of potholes or just gravel? Also, in the more remote areas, did you feel like it would have been a big problem if you had car trouble and needed help? And, how well signed are the roads? In other words, do you think it is better to hit a driver, or do you think the route is very manageable on our own?
    Many thanks for your thoughts and advice!

    1. Author

      Hi Jennifer, if I didn’t think the route was manageable on our own, I would have never done it with three kids younger than 5 ;). It is definitely manageable, but you have to be prepared. Most roads are gravel, condition of the roads varies a lot by region and depends a lot on the season (we travelled in dry season, so it was ok). The roads are generally well indicated, but we did have a good recent map and a GPS that surprisingly even found all the lodges but one. Usually, the main gravel roads are ok to drive at least 50-60km/h, sometimes even 80km/h, but you really shouldn’t go any faster than that.
      Now, did I feel comfortable that we would get help if the car broke down? No, not at all. We asked for 2 spare tires from the car rental, just in case. But for the rest you are pretty much on your own. Unless you have a satellite phone, you won’t have much network coverage in rural areas, so there is no way to call for help. Luckily, we never had any issues, but we did see other cars with flat tyres. Normally, people would stop to help others, but sometimes you are on the road where you just don’t meet many other people. So you really have to be well prepared. Make sure you have a first-aid kit, enough food and water to last at least a few days, etc. You can find more tips here: Namibia FAQ and What to pack for Namibia. When you rent a car, you have to ask everything that isn’t clear from the start, make sure you know where everything is and how it all works.
      The real question in your case is actually if you can find a car that will fit your family of 6. Most 4WD cars we saw on the roads (and for rent) were for 4-5 people max. So in your case it’s possible that it’s practically not feasible to hire a decent 4WD for your family. In that case hiring a driver with a big 4WD vehicle is maybe the best choice anyway.
      Also, you really should book accommodations well in advance. You won’t find any rooms for 6 in most parts of Namibia, so you’ll need 2 rooms in most places.
      Hope this helps a bit. Planning Namibia trip can be really tricky when you are travelling with kids, but it’s so worth it. You’ll love it!

      1. Hi Jurga, thank you for this insight on self-drive vs driver – very helpful!

        One more question, if you don’t mind: We will travel in July 2019, and I am working with Cedarberg to reserve all our accommodations. Unfortunately, in Etosha Okaukuejo Camp is already provisionally booked for the whole month of July. Cedarberg has provisionally booked us at Gondwana Etosha Safari Lodge, but I am curious about the alternatives you have suggested. What are your thoughts about the pros and cons of staying in Ongava or Okutala Etosha Lodge instead? Are there any other in-park lodges you would recommend?

        Many thanks, once again 🙂

        1. Author

          Hi Jennifer, I think that Gondwana Etosha Safari Lodge (I guess it’s this one?) is a very good option price/quality/location wise. It’s very close to Etosha gates, the only disadvantage is that you can’t see sunset or sunrise inside the park, but the location of this lodge looks beautiful enough to enjoy a beautiful sunset there (probably without any animals, but still nice).
          Staying at a nice lodge with good facilities is a very different experience than staying at Okaukuejo, which has a really basic accommodation. I think you’ll love that lodge, so really nothing to worry about.

          1. Hi Jurga, infinite thanks for your thoughts, advice, and inspiration!

  5. Hi Jurga
    Thanks again for your wonderful blog. It has been brilliant for me.
    I’m going in Jan/Feb 2019 (wet season unfortunately but that can’t be helped).
    I’m a 60+ solo female traveller & will be driving a SUV.
    I’ve been really struggling with my research & have read my Lonely Planet guidebook from cover to cover. I’ve been using the TripAdvisor Travel Forum also.
    I must say that your blog has been the most helpful research tool that I have found.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for this feedback, Christine. We are trying to provide as much helpful information to our readers as we can, but it’s not always easy, especially in places like Namibia.
      Please also see my answer to your comment on the other post, in regards to the choice of the car.
      Have a wonderful time in Namibia!

  6. Such an inspirational blog post, Jurga! You convinced me right away and I’m already planning our next family holiday 😉

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that, Miranda. You’ll love Namibia!

  7. Thanks for your answer!!
    Do you think doing that trip with a 2 year old boy is too hard/risky for him?

    If i Want to add etosha, how Many day do I need to plan?!

    1. Author

      I don’t think it’s ‘risky’ as such. It’s more for yourselves – how much can you handle and how long can the kids stay in the car. The same with animal watching – a 7 year old will probably be ok with sitting at the waterhole for an hour, while a 2-year old might have enough in just a few minutes…
      As for how many days you’d need to visit Etosha in combination with Swakomund and Sossusvlei – it all depends on how much time you want to spend in each place and how much you want to drive in one go. I think at least 10 days if you don’t want to rush too much and spend days and days in a row doing nothing but driving…

  8. Hi Jurga.

    Thanks a lot for your detailed description of your travel. Amazing and really helpful.
    i have a question.
    I will spend 3 weeks this summer.
    I will travel with my family. My wife + 2 girls of 7 and 5, and a boy of 2.

    We will spend 2weeks in South Africa (mainly 1weekKruger and 1 week Cape Town+ Hermanus for the whales etc). I have 1 week left and I was thinking on Namibia. (Swakupmund and Sossusvlei?? what do you think? what do you recommend? I have anything planned yet so I can change all my trip. My wife and I have been to South Africa years ago.
    thanks a million

    1. Author

      Hi Daniele, Swakopmund and Sossusvlei might be nice with kids, not too much driving that way and in Swakopmund you can book many activities and do nice day trips in the area (Spitzkoppe and also Cape Cross seal colony are my favourites). But if you want to see animals, then Etosha is definitely the place to be. Mostly the same animals as in Kruger, but in much bigger quantities. So it really depends on your interests I suppose. For landscapes – Sossusvlei is amazing.

  9. Thanks! I just came across your blog, and although we’ve already booked everything for our 16 days over Easter, it looks like a remarkably similar itinerary (minus that we are not headed south at all — something I am a bit relieved on after reading your blog, actually).

    We also booked a night at the Dolomite lodge, but after looking at youtube videos of people driving through Western Etosha, and the uniformly bad reviews of the place.. eh. Oh well. At least we’re young and have no children and can carry our luggage without waiting for the golf cart to never arrive. I’m surprised you had to wait to check out — what’s there to do if you prepaid? Can’t you just leave the keys and leave?

    1. Author

      You can’t see the whole of Namibia in 16 days, so yes, it’s probably wise no to go South in that time frame. That being said, there are some amazing places there that we loved.
      As for Dolomite Lodge, you’ll be fine, it’s a beautiful lodge, just try to take things as they come and not to get upset too much about lack of professionalism or customer love. And you do have to check out because you will probably have dinner there and will have to pay for that. Maybe also order a lunch to take you for the next day (it’s always a good idea, in all Namibian lodges, because you never know when you’ll find the next place to eat). At least you travel well-informed, so maybe you can take some precautions like checking out the evening before or first thing in the morning before breakfast…

  10. Hi
    Loved reading your itinerary. We are thinking about going to Namibia in April (Easter hols) and would have a week. The other week we will be visiting family in South Africa. We would hire a 4×4 and stay in lodges. But what would be the taster version of you trip. The ‘must must dos’. Any info would be appreciated! I have always wanted to go, but even more so after reading The Sheltering Desert by H.Martin.

    1. Author

      Hi Jasmin, if you only have a week in Namibia, I suggest to visit Sossusvlei and Etosha NP as the main highlights. Maybe stop in Swakopmund for a day or two in between, but even then it’s going to be a lot of driving. It is definitely possible though.

  11. This is a fabulously informative and useful article. It will really help us plan our family trip to Namibia in July 2018. I do have a question though, my husband is keen to travel in a motorhome (and wants to book it now!) but I’m concerned that this will greatly restrict the campsites where we can stay. Do you happen to know if motorhomes are permitted at a lot of campsites? Did you see many on your trip. I have searched the internet, but it’s very hard to find out, and I wonder if I have to contact each campsite individually?
    Many thanks for your help.

    1. Author

      Hello and thanks for your feedback. I honestly don’t know anything about the campsites in Namibia, so I am afraid I can’t help you with this.
      If I remember well, we saw just one camper in Namibia in 4 weeks (it had a flat tyre too). If you want to camp, it’s better to rent a 4WD tented vehicle rather than a big camper. We saw hundreds of those – it’s the most popular vehicle for those who like to camp in Namibia. Before our trip, we did some research and people who travelled by camper said that driving took them forever as they couldn’t drive fast on the gravel roads (think of speeds of max 40km/h). Namibia is really not the best place for big campers, unless you stick to the main tar roads (there are very few). So we decided not to rent one, and since tented vehicle was too small for our family of 5, we just rented a regular 4WD (you can check the prices here or here) and decided to stay at the lodges. Staying at the lodges in Africa is a great experience, most of our best memories from Namibia are from the sundowners we did theres, or the beautiful views at dinner, views over the waterholes, etc. I know people who camped and it’s also nice, but a very different experience. If you can afford, try to book at least a couple of nights at a really nice lodge somewhere – it will make your trip so much more memorable.

  12. Hi Jurga

    I’m so pleased I came across your website. Myself and 3 friends will be travelling to Namibia in December (I know it’s rainy season but the only time I can take leave) and we’re so excited, We’ll be there for 16 days, so will not do all of the stops you did, but we will be seeing a lot of them. Thanks so much for all your tips, they’re so helpful. I’ve bookmarked this, as I’m sure I’ll return to read it a few times before December 🙂

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for your feedback, Jenny. Glad you found this itinerary useful. You can see a lot of Namibia in 16 days. We were traveling with three young kids, so chose for slower pace and more stops, but if you concentrate on the main highlights of Namibia, I think you can cover them all in the time you have.
      Make sure to also check our other posts for more practical tips (e.g. Things I wish I knew before traveling to Namibia) and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. Happy to help 😉

  13. Thankyou so much for this!! Very helpful indeed. Our trip isn’t until 2018 but you have made our planning so much easier!!
    We were intending to go mid June for 3 weeks (to celebrate my 40th with husband and three kids),is the wildlife and weather ok at this time (apart from cold nights as you said) or would you recommend September more?

    1. Author

      Hi Tracy, glad you found this itinerary useful for planning your trip.
      I think June is perfect for Namibia. September might be a bit better weather-wise (somewhat warmer nights), but it will probably be busier/ more expensive too. We visited in July and day temperatures were very comfortable (22-27°C), but the nights were very cold in the South.
      As for wildlife, I don’t think there is much difference between June and September.
      Hope this helps. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have more questions.

  14. This was SO helpful! Thank you!

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that, Lisa. Have a great time in Namibia!

  15. Hi!

    Will be in Namibia june 17-29.
    Two 26 yo girls driving. Anywhere unsafe? We’re thinking about staying in those car roof tent for some nights and in lodges the rest.

    We want to see as much as we can and dont mind long drives. Your recommendations would be much appreciated.

    1. Author

      Hi Lilly, we never felt unsafe anywhere in Namibia, but we didn’t camp either. I met a woman traveling on her own and she said she felt perfectly safe there. I’d stay away from cities and parking lots close to towns, just in case. And try to camp in a camping area instead just anywhere.
      We met many people in a 4WD with a tent on the roof, so this kind of traveling is very common in Namibia.
      You’ll have to do a lot of driving and will have several days in a car, so try to plan your trip in such a way that you spend 2-3 nights in one place once in a while, otherwise you’ll get exhausted.
      Also, make sure you have 2 spare tyres and know how to change them if need be.
      Hope this helps.

  16. Good read and your photos are fantastic. We spent 3 months in South Africa last year and when I saw this post I was curious – we’d like to go back and spent some time in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. I’d be curious how much things cost but I’m a bit afraid to find out…

    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Author

      Hi Frank, it’s really difficult to say how much ‘things cost’ since it depends so much on your travel style. In Namibia (and I think in Botswana/Zambia too) you can rent a 4WD with a tent on the roof and camp along the way. It’s of course much more cost efficient than staying in the luxury lodges. Entrance fees are very low everywhere, and food/fuel is not extremely expensive either. The biggest cost will be renting a tented vehicle, and that you can quickly look up online. Good luck!

  17. Wow that is a serious itinerary! You really utilised all your time, I like the idea of your kids just flinging themselves down a sand dune!

    My boyfriend got to visit Namibia with his mum and brother as a child and he always talks about how amazing it is so I can’t wait to show him this post.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Really loving your blog if you haven’t noticed!

    1. Author

      Glad to hear you enjoy reading my blog, Bryony! Hope it inspires you to discover some amazing new places. Namibia is definitely one of a kind. We loved traveling around there!

  18. Very interesting! Your pictures are amazing! I will be in Namibia in September for 2 weeks and I am really looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      Thank you for your comment, Cecile! September is a great season to visit Namibia, probably even better than July when we went – at least you won’t freeze at night :). And you might even be able to enjoy some of the amazing swimming pools they have in the lodges!
      Glad you found the post useful. Have a wonderful time in Namibia!

  19. Wow, you already posted your itinerary 🙂 Thank you very much, I will start reading this evening ;):)

    1. Author

      You are welcome, Elisa! Hope you find it helpful!

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