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namibia itinerary ideas

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East namibia itinerary ideas

1. Posted by socalexplorer (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

hi all, i live in los angeles and am going to do some charity work in cape town in april. i have some extra time on the front end of my trip and have decided to go to namibia. i will have 9 days/8 nights flying in and out of windhoek, arriving friday march 27 2015 in the afternoon, departing sunday april 5 in the afternoon.

i know that's not nearly enough time to do everything (obviously) but it's better than nothing. i've done major safari stuff before and will not be doing anything like that on this trip.

outside of the need to start and end up in windhoek for flights i'm pretty flexible. there's a chance i will want to get up to tsumeb (for a different charity, bicycles for humanity) for a day or so, that will probably make things even tougher because it looks like it's sort of out of the way but i'll find out on that soon.

something i very much would like to do is see a himba village, and villages and authentic culture in general. i'm intrigued by the sand dunes of sossuslvei and would like to work that in if possible but i understand geographically i may not be able to. i've been to over 50 countries in the world so i've seen a lot so the deeper into culture and more unique the experience the better. i have no interest in seeing for example museums in large cities like windhoek. no need for luxury accommodations, though a well appointed lodge (like grootberg maybe?) would be nice. obviously i want to keep things safe throughout the trip.

as far as transportation, i'm not particularly cost conscious and would be wiling to take flights if and when they exist to some of these places. renting a car to drive myself seems like too much work to be honest, at least with the limited amount of time but i'd definitely consider something like hiring a driver/car/translator for the entire time. i have no interest in working with some fancy pricey travel agent who wants you to stay in expensive safari lodges and such, but having a local guide cruise around with me (e.g. someone one of you may have traveled with and/or know personally) might be a good way to go.

ideas on how to pull this off? checking in and out of a hotel every day doesn't sound like much fun but obviously i'll have to do at least a few of them and that's ok.

thanks in advance for any comments or ideas.

2. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 528 posts) 1y

There are adventure tours that originate in Cape Town, go to Namibia; and continue on to Botswana, Zambia and Victoria Falls. Some tour companies, such as Nomad, allow people to hop on and off for portions of the tour, so you could conceivably begin in Cape Town, visit all the places you mentioned in your post, then leave the tour in Windhoek before it continues to Etosha National Park and Botswana. These tours leave Cape Town every few days. Alternatively, you could contact lodges in Sesriem, Khorixias, Kamanjab and Windhoek for ideas, including contact information for guides and drivers. Namibia is amazing; and I plan to return. Hope this helps.

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 1y

I can surely recommend to rent a car, despite the fact you think it is too much work. You'd pay more for one with a driver. And why would you need a translator? Most people speak English anyway. It is not expensive and if you don't go off the main roads a regular car could really be enough trust me.

It definitely is not and gives you loads of flexibility. Roads are extremely well maintained even the main gravel roads. Though if you want to visit Himba country you need a sturdy 4wd vehicle and probably need to arrange some things beforehand.

WIth about a week or a little more you could do a loop from Windhoek west towards Namib-Naukluft NP and Sossusvlei, before going towards the coast near Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. From there, go up the coast north towards the Skeleton Coast and inland to Twyfelfontein area, drive south of Etosha NP towards Tsumeb and back to Windhoek be sure to visit Waterberg Plateau, a great area. Otjiwarongo and Okahandja have some more African feel to it and you might find the cultural aspect of Namibia you want to visit. But to be honest: Namibia is mostly known for its landscapes, nature, wide skies (beautiful at night as well!) and a bit of wildlife as well (although less than surrounding countries).

Have fun!

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Mar-2015, at 08:39 by Utrecht ]

4. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 528 posts) 1y

Utrecht is quite right. The roads are good. I've met others who rented cars in Namibia and South Africa. Watch your speed while driving on dirt and gravel roads.

5. Posted by socalexplorer (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

Quoting Utrecht

I can surely recommend to rent a car, despite the fact you think it is too much work. You'd pay more for one with a driver. And why would you need a translator? Most people speak English anyway. It is not expensive and if you don't go off the main roads a regular car could really be enough trust me.

It definitely is not and gives you loads of flexibility. Roads are extremely well maintained even the main gravel roads. Though if you want to visit Himba country you need a sturdy 4wd vehicle and probably need to arrange some things beforehand.

WIth about a week or a little more you could do a loop from Windhoek west towards Namib-Naukluft NP and Sossusvlei, before going towards the coast near Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. From there, go up the coast north towards the Skeleton Coast and inland to Twyfelfontein area, drive south of Etosha NP towards Tsumeb and back to Windhoek be sure to visit Waterberg Plateau, a great area. Otjiwarongo and Okahandja have some more African feel to it and you might find the cultural aspect of Namibia you want to visit. But to be honest: Namibia is mostly known for its landscapes, nature, wide skies (beautiful at night as well!) and a bit of wildlife as well (although less than surrounding countries).

Have fun!

thanks so much to all of you who have posted already! you know i think i may just rent a car as you suggest, i certainly would like the flexibility to change my mind along the way. i had read somewhere to get a translator if you were going to an authentic himba village so that's what got me thinking that way but i could always just find one for that day. do you have a car hire company you recommend?

i've also read about some puddle jumper flights from like walvis bay to epupa falls so i may be able to do that if the driving gets to be too much (especially if i decide to go to tsumeh. i'm assuming a larger car hire company would let you drop off in a city different that your pickup (most likely at an additional charge).

i'm going to play around with your route a little and once i have something tentative i may post it here.

thanks again, i really do appreciate it.

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 1y

Quoting socalexplorer

do you have a car hire company you recommend?

I guess most companies are available on Windhoek Airport. If I remember correctly we had a Hertz car from there. But probably Avis, Europcar and Budget have offices too.

But my experience is that it's best not to book directly through them, but instead use a broker. If you google 'car rental Namibia' you get some of them already like rentalcars.com, holidaycars and holidayautos, easyterra etc etc. They offer the same international companies as well, but with much lower prices.

They have offices throughout the country as well, so it might be possible to leave the car elsewhere, but sometimes you pay a drop-off fee.

Cheers
Michael.

7. Posted by socalexplorer (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

Quoting Utrecht

I can surely recommend to rent a car, despite the fact you think it is too much work. You'd pay more for one with a driver. And why would you need a translator? Most people speak English anyway. It is not expensive and if you don't go off the main roads a regular car could really be enough trust me.

It definitely is not and gives you loads of flexibility. Roads are extremely well maintained even the main gravel roads. Though if you want to visit Himba country you need a sturdy 4wd vehicle and probably need to arrange some things beforehand.

WIth about a week or a little more you could do a loop from Windhoek west towards Namib-Naukluft NP and Sossusvlei, before going towards the coast near Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. From there, go up the coast north towards the Skeleton Coast and inland to Twyfelfontein area, drive south of Etosha NP towards Tsumeb and back to Windhoek be sure to visit Waterberg Plateau, a great area. Otjiwarongo and Okahandja have some more African feel to it and you might find the cultural aspect of Namibia you want to visit. But to be honest: Namibia is mostly known for its landscapes, nature, wide skies (beautiful at night as well!) and a bit of wildlife as well (although less than surrounding countries).

Have fun!

ok so i've done my research and am now thinking the following. as i mentioned what's most important to me on this trip is to see some indigenous villages/tribes. it seems to me that the most important area to get to (at least as far at the himba are concerned) is opuwo. so i'm currently thinking something like this:

fly into windhoek, pick up rental car (two wheel drive should suffice)
may or may not need to go to tsumeb, if so head there for the first night, if not, windhoek
drive to otavi, spend the night (unless i feel like driving all the way to kamanjab)
drive to kamanjab, spend the night
drive to opuwo, spend two nights

from there, i have two choices: head up to epupa falls for a couple of nights, then make my way back to windhoek. alternatively (and i'm leaning this way, though i can change on the fly), from opuwo i could:

drive to twyfelfontain, spend the night
drive to spitzkoppe, spend the night
drive to swakopmund, spend the night
drive back to windhoek

i know this misses the coast and especially sossuslvei, but i'm not sure how i can fit in getting to opuwo and sossuslvei in nine days without an enormous amount of driving.

thoughts? advice on what to do in any specific places?

thanks all, i appreciate the help.