A beautiful picture of the South Namibian Road Trip Adventure tour

South Namibian Road Trip Adventure

11 Nights

Tour Highlights:

Cultural exploration, desert thrill, and wildlife encounters
Scenic 4x4 Fish River Canyon expedition
Coastal charm of Walvis Bay's marine life

South Namibian Road Trip Adventure

Journey Overview

Embark on an exhilarating Central & South Namibian Road Trip Adventure spanning 12 days, commencing with a serene stay at the Peech Hotel in bustling Johannesburg. Take command of a fully-equipped 4x4, traversing awe-inspiring landscapes to the tranquil Goibib Mountain Lodge. Traverse the majestic Fish River Canyon, engaging in guided hikes, then delve into the enchanting Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground, each day unveiling new marvels.

Immerse yourself in Namibia's rich cultural tapestry and the captivating beauty of Luderitz and the historic Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Explore the natural wonders of Sesriem Canyon and the Solitaire Desert Farm. Experience the adrenaline rush of a desert sky adventure, encounter wildlife at a cheetah sanctuary, and enjoy an exhilarating nighttime game drive.

The journey peaks with a stay at the remote Gobabeb Research Centre, featuring a fluorescent scorpion hunt. It culminates in the coastal allure of Walvis Bay, teeming with marine life. Conclude your adventure with a memorable dolphin cruise, crafting a treasure trove of memories from this unparalleled African odyssey. Experience the essence of Namibian road trip adventure travel amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Namib Desert and beyond.

day 1
Johannesburg

Joburg Unveiled: Soweto Stories and Culinary Heights

  • Your Accommodation

    Welcome to Johannesburg, the vibrant and diverse city of gold. Your adventure begins today as you land at OR Tambo International Airport, where a friendly driver from The Peech Hotel (B&B) will greet you and take you to your hotel in Rosebank. You will stay in a cozy and elegant Classic Garden Room, with a lovely view of the lush gardens.

    Your home away from home:

  • Your Travel Time

  • Your Activities

    At 10:00, you will meet your guide from Coffeebeans Routes, who will take you on a fascinating tour of Soweto, the largest and most famous township in South Africa. Soweto is a place of history, culture, and resilience, where you will discover the stories of the people who shaped the struggle against apartheid and the vibrant life that thrives there today. Your guide will show you some of the highlights of Soweto, such as the Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived before his imprisonment; the Wine Bar, where you can sample some of the local wines and cuisine; the Soweto Theatre, where you can catch a glimpse of the artistic scene; and Soweto Gold, where you can taste the craft beer brewed in the township. You will also have the option to visit the Apartheid Museum, which is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of South Africa. The museum is a powerful and moving tribute to the victims and survivors of apartheid, and a testament to the triumph of democracy and human rights.

  • Your Food

    For dinner, you will experience the culinary excellence of Marble, one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg. Marble is a celebration of South African cuisine, with a focus on the art of grilling. You will savor the flavors of the finest local ingredients, cooked over an open fire and paired with exquisite wines. The restaurant also boasts a stunning view of the city skyline, creating a romantic and memorable atmosphere. The staff at The Peech will book a taxi for you, so you don’t have to worry about transportation.

    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast Only

day 2
Great Karas Mountains, Southern Namibia

Where History Meets Hospitality

  • Your Accommodation

    Today, your journey commences with a prompt pickup by your driver from The Peech at 09h00, ensuring a smooth transition to your flight from O R Tambo International Airport to Upington. Upon touchdown, you'll be greeted by your rental vehicle. After a thorough vehicle check, you're set for a substantial drive of over 4 hours covering a distance of 500km. We strongly suggest stocking up on ample water and snacks for this stretch. Your route today crosses the border from South Africa into Namibia, primarily on well-maintained tar roads, interspersed with sections of dirt road. Remember to adhere to dirt road driving etiquette: maintain speeds below 60kmph, avoid abrupt braking or steering, and treat the surface with caution, almost as if it were ice.

    Your destination, Goibib Mountain Lodge (DB&B), awaits in the arid landscape of the Karas Mountain district, where architectural grandeur gives way to practicality in the face of extreme climates. A favored resting point for locals and international visitors alike, Goibib is an ideal waypoint en route to the Namib or Windhoek, offering more than just convenient accommodations.

    Your home away from home:

    Goibib Mountain Lodge
    www.goibibmountainlodge.net
    Grunau, Namibia
    Tel +264 85 376 6299

  • Your Travel Time

  • Your Activities

    The lodge doubles as a working farm, hosting remarkable drought-resistant cattle and sheep breeds, alongside a diverse array of birdlife and antelope. The farm's motion-activated night cameras frequently capture glimpses of kudu, caracals, and bat-eared foxes. Explore the property’s secrets through cycling or hiking on marked trails, or opt for a guided tour for a deeper exploration, especially of its rich flora and insect life.

    Immersed in an environment that receives no more than 20 days of rain annually, Goibib is also a gateway to the historic ruins of Khauxanas. This site challenges preconceived notions about Namibia's indigenous people, revealing a history of architectural sophistication long attributed incorrectly to early German settlers. Moreover, Khauxanas is the historic fort from where Joseph Morenga, known as ‘The Black Napoleon’, led his resistance against German occupation post-1908, a figure still revered as a national hero.

    Should you reach Goibib before 16h00, you might have the opportunity to join a night drive — be sure to inquire upon arrival. The welcoming staff, many of whom have dedicated over a decade of service here, will undoubtedly enhance your stay at this unique and historically rich lodge.

  • Your Food

    You’re booked into a Twin Room, and your rate includes dinner this evening and breakfast tomorrow morning.

    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast & Dinner

days 3 - 4
Fish River Canyon

Embracing the Majesty of Namibia's Canyon

  • Your Accommodation

    We recommend a leisurely start to your morning, as you have a substantial drive to Fish River Lodge (DB&B), your home for the next two nights. You have two options: the quick route (150km / 2 hours) or the longer, more scenic path (300km / 4 hours) via the Ai-Ais Hot Springs, known for their therapeutic and relaxing qualities and offering unique eastern views of the canyon.

    Aiming to arrive at Fish River Canyon by lunch allows you to fully embrace your first afternoon there. Despite being the world's second-largest canyon, it's anything but small, with depths exceeding 550 meters in places and stretching over 100 miles. The canyon is an adventure in itself, typically requiring a week to traverse end-to-end by hiking, kayaking, or both, depending on the season and the intermittent flow of the Fish River.

    While it's challenging to grasp the enormity of Fish River Canyon from any single viewpoint, even a day's hike provides a deeper understanding. Much of the canyon is privately owned, with the majority of visitors gravitating towards the more accessible northern end where facilities are abundant.

    Even during a brief visit, there's much to see and do. The canyon, invisible until you're nearly upon it, houses diverse wildlife. This includes the klipbok, an agile antelope, along with an abundance of birds, insects, venomous snakes, and larger mammals like zebras and jackals. You might even witness the extraordinary sight of leopards fishing for catfish in the dry season.

    Sunsets here are extraordinary, with the canyon's mouth darkening against the illuminated rocks and plains.

    Fish River Lodge, a collection of detached buildings close to the canyon's edge, offers a striking contrast. It appears as a simple grouping of structures on the plain, but inside, a breathtaking vista unfolds. Constructed in 2009 with a focus on sustainable design, the lodge, despite not being owner-managed, recently earned a five-star Eco Awards Namibia rating for 2019, a testament to its commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

    Your accommodation is a Twin Room featuring an outdoor shower and private deck. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted with lunch. Spend the afternoon unwinding in the spa or enjoying your room's amenities.

    Your home away from home:

    Fish River Lodge
    fishriverlodge-namibia.com
    Seeheim, Namibia
    Tel +264 61 228 104

  • Your Travel Time

  • Your Activities

    At around 17h00, join the Sundowner Drive, included in your rate. This open 4x4 journey offers another perspective of the canyon, enriched by insights from your guide about the area's natural history.

    After returning to the lodge for dinner, prepare for a night under the stars. The next morning, embark on a full-day Canyon hike, feasible this time of year due to milder temperatures. Prepare for a challenging descent and ascent, requiring sturdy shoes or boots, gloves, sunscreen, and moisturizer.

    Your guided trek along the canyon floor will include wildlife spotting, lunch, and exploration of rock pools. Lasting 6-8 hours, it's as extensive as the first day of the full Fish River Canyon hike but immensely rewarding. Your evening will feature another Sundowner Drive, followed by dinner, as you spend your final night at the canyon.

  • Your Food

    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast & Dinner

days 5 - 6
Keetmanshoop

  • Your Accommodation

    Today, you'll embark on one of your trip's shortest and easiest drives, being 150km / 2 hours. Beginning with a slow exit from the canyon park on dirt roads, the journey improves significantly upon reaching the D463. Departing Fish River Lodge by 10h00, you should arrive at Alte Kalkofen (DB&B) by 12h00, where your hosts, Frikkie and Hilde Mouton, will welcome you with lunch. Your guide, Rudy Basson, meets you at 13h00 for an engaging half-day tour.

    At Alte Kalkofen, Frikkie and Hilde offer a distinct experience from Fish River Lodge, emphasizing hands-on management and personalized training of their long-term staff. Their blend of German and Namibian hospitality, expressed in Afrikaans, tells a story of Frikkie’s family, who have been in the area since 1890, mastering water conservation for extremophile plants. Their dedication continues with a unique lithoparium, showcasing stone-like succulents with stunning post-rainy season blooms.

    The lodge mirrors their commitment to environmental sensitivity, boasting a large solar array and a self-sustaining approach. Everything here has a story, from the stylishly decaying Ford pickup to the welcoming breakfast/dining room. Your accommodation is a cozy bungalow, with dinner and breakfast included, and an optional lunch at an additional cost.

    Your home away from home:

    Alte Kalkofen
    altekalkofen.com
    Keetmanshoop, Namibia
    Tel +264 81 170 0004

  • Your Travel Time

    150km / 2 hours

  • Your Activities

    Rudy, a local expert balancing his security business with a passion for the region's history and ecology, leads your excursions. The first, on your arrival day, explores Giant’s Playground and the Quiver Tree Forest. This ‘forest’ features aloidendron dichotomum, notable for their flower bursts attracting wildlife. These trees, once used by indigenous tribes to make arrow quivers, are now protected.

    Giant’s Playground, a remarkable rock formation, appears as if arranged by giants. Here, you'll encounter the adorable rock hyrax or ‘dassie’, surprisingly related to elephants.

    Day 6 starts with a 09h00 pickup for a Luderitz and Kolmanskop tour, contrasting an inhabited town with a ghost town. Luderitz, discovered by Europeans in 1487, showcases Art Nouveau architecture, a legacy of its trading and diamond mining history. However, its past also includes darker chapters, like the use of slave labor from the Herero tribe. The surrounding Possession Islands, untouched by humans, serve as sanctuaries for diverse marine life, including multiple whale and dolphin species.

    Luderitz annually hosts a unique desert-based international windsurfing event, challenging participants with strong winds in a narrow lagoon, where high speeds and risks abound.

    Kolmanskop, once a thriving diamond mining town, now a ghost town, offers a glimpse into a bygone era of luxury and excess. It's a testament to the fleeting nature of human settlements, as the encroaching desert sands gradually reclaim it.

    Your journey through this diverse landscape, rich in history and natural beauty, promises an enriching experience, bridging the past with the present, and connecting you deeply with the soul of Namibia.

  • Your Food

    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast & Dinner

days 7 - 8
Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei

Desert Beauty and Conservation

  • Your Accommodation

    On Day 7, prepare for a 450km / 5-hour drive, ensuring your vehicle is fueled and stocked with food and water. In Bethanien, about 45km north of Alte Kalkofen, you'll find petrol and diesel. This historical town, home to the Lutheran Church, one of the nation's oldest buildings, also marks the site where leader Josef Fredericks II was deceitfully coerced into surrendering a vast land area in 1883.

    Your route traverses the heart of Namibia along the C14, cutting through the immense Namib Naukluft National Park. About four hours from Alte Kalkofen, Sesriem awaits, the gateway to the Namib Naukluft. Here, explore Sesriem Canyon and the renowned Sossusvlei. Remember, reaching Sossusvlei from the Sesriem gate takes an hour, and you’ll need at least another hour there. To enjoy both Sesriem and Sossusvlei, aim to arrive at Sesriem no later than 13h00.

    Sesriem Canyon, over 30m deep but less than 1km long, offers a unique, compact experience. Sossusvlei, famous for its towering red and yellow sand dunes and a preserved dry, white salt pan, reflects sunlight in stunning hues. Interestingly, despite the aridity, the area does experience occasional rainfall, briefly transforming Sossusvlei with a glass-like sheen.

    Your home away from home for the next two nights is Solitaire Lodge (B&B). Situated on the Namib Naukluft National Park's edge, Solitaire has evolved from a mere fuel stop into a conservation-focused destination. The Solitaire Land Trust, spanning 45,000 hectares, reflects this commitment. Despite its remoteness, the lodge impresses with quality food, wine, and amenities like air conditioning. Enjoy nature drives, cheetah tracking, mountain biking, and hiking. The lodge combines traditional design with modern comforts in its rooms.

    Your home away from home:

    Solitaire Lodge
    www.solitairenamibia.com
    Solitaire, Namibia
    Tel +264 81 560 1400

  • Your Travel Time

  • Your Activities

    On the morning of day 8, embark on a breathtaking flight over the Namib Desert, weather permitting, around 07h00. The aerial perspective highlights the park's vastness and beauty, adding an exhilarating dimension to your adventure.

    Spend the morning relaxing at the lodge, then in the afternoon, visit the Namib Carnivore Conservation Center (NCCC) in Solitaire. This center plays a crucial role in protecting cheetahs, offering a unique opportunity to encounter these animals up close. Interestingly, Namibia hosts over 25% of the world's free-roaming cheetahs.

    Conclude your day with a night game drive across the Solitaire Land Trust's 45,000 acres. This drive offers chances to spot nocturnal wildlife like meerkats, hyenas, and the elusive Sidewinder viper.

  • Your Food

    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast Only

day 9
Namib-Naukluft Park

Into the Heart of Desert Biodiversity

  • Your Accommodation

    This morning, embark on a delightful 230km / 3-hour westward journey into the desert expanse of the Naukluft National Park, heading towards the esteemed Gobabeb Namib Research Institute (DLB&B). It's wise to stock up on drinking water and snacks for the journey, as Gobabeb offers no provisions and the next day's travel is also lengthy.

    Having resided on the outskirts of the park at Solitaire, today you'll venture deep into its heart, spending the night within its vast confines. The Namib-Naukluft Park, a colossal expanse encompassing sections of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountains, stands as Africa's largest game park and the world's fourth-largest. Your stay tonight is not only in one of the world's most remote locations but also in one of its driest. Plan to arrive at Gobabeb around 13h00 for lunch, meaning a departure from Solitaire no later than 10h00.

    Your home away from home:

    Gobabeb Namib Research Institute
    www.gobabeb.org
    Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
    Tel +264 64 694 198

  • Your Travel Time

    230km / 3-hour

  • Your Activities

    Gobabeb is a marvel, a testament to both nature and human ingenuity. Initially inhabited by the !Nomabeb Topnaar community, an isolated San tribe, its transformation began in 1958 when Dr. Charles Koch, captivated by the region's diverse desert beetles, established the research center. Today, it's an essential stop for those interested in biodiversity and sustainable futures. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch (not included in your accommodation) and a tour of the station and its facilities, or opt for the tour the following day if time is tight.

    The operation of this remote research station is intriguing, a study in sustainable technology in harsh environments. A diesel-solar hybrid system, consisting of 370 panels and two generators, powers its innovative water heating and recycling systems. Water is sourced from sewage treatment and fog harvesting, while organic waste feeds the local Topnaar goats, a common sight around the station.

    Settle into your basic, yet functional accommodation, a reflection of the station's practical focus. Depending on conditions, you might have the chance to join a Scorpion Tour (not included in your stay). If so, after dinner, usually post-20h00, venture out on a unique nocturnal quest for scorpions, which intriguingly glow under UV light due to their exoskeleton's fluorescent chemicals. The purpose of this evolutionary trait remains a mystery, and your guide might offer some intriguing theories. Remember to wear sturdy boots for this adventure!

  • Your Food

    Conclude your day with dinner at Gobabeb (included in your stay), followed by a night under the clear desert skies.

    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

days 10 - 12

Coastal Safari and Seal Kayaking

  • Your Accommodation

    Today's adventure leads you to Pelican Point Lodge (DLB&B) in Walvis Bay, a path so unique that even Google Maps hasn't charted it yet!

    Upon reaching Walvis Bay, locate the Pelican Bay Hotel. Here, you'll park your reliable 4x4, which will be safely stored during your stay at the Lodge. The shuttle to Pelican Point Lodge awaits you here. Dirk Maes or a member of his team will escort you on an exciting hour-long journey across dunes to the peninsula.

    Tonight, you exchange the remote desert for an equally secluded coastal setting. Nestled under the towering presence of a 35-meter tall cast iron lighthouse built in 1932, Pelican Point Lodge boasts a scenic spot on its own tranquil peninsula. It's a hive of activity here, with a viewing deck that offers glimpses of seals, dolphins, whales, the hefty Mola-Mola (Ocean Sunfish), and diverse marine life, along with passing vessels in Walvis Bay and overhead flights of flamingos, cormorants, and damara-terns.

    Your accommodation, the luxurious Captains Cove suite, promises a 360-degree panoramic view, blending sand, sea, and sky, making you feel like a ship's captain - all the luxury with none of the responsibility.

    Your home away from home:

    Pelican Point Lodge
    pelicanpointlodge.com
    Pelican Point Peninsula, Walvis Bay
    Tel +264 64 221 282

  • Your Travel Time

    Although it's only 100km in theory, it could take up to 3 hours.

  • Your Activities

    Interestingly, the lighthouse, originally at the tip of this landmass, hasn't moved. Instead, the sandbank has extended 2km into the ocean, shaped by sea currents, wind, and deposits from the Kuiseb river - it's a landscape in constant evolution.

    After settling in, embark on a Peninsula drive to meet Namibia's diverse coastal wildlife, including pelicans, flamingos, seals, and avocets, and maybe even a beach fox. The tour is split into two parts: first, the peninsula exploration, followed by a relaxing lunch. The afternoon offers an insightful visit to a salt refinery, key to the area's economy, and sights of a shipwreck and an old jetty in the lagoon. End the day with a mesmerizing guided sunset tour before enjoying dinner at the Pelican Point restaurant.

    On your next day, after breakfast, don a wetsuit, grab a kayak, and join the approximately 50,000 Cape Fur Seals for their morning meal. These playful, inquisitive creatures often swim alongside humans with apparent delight. Kayaking also allows for close encounters with flamingos and dolphins, adding to this unique experience.

    At Sandwich Harbour, witness where the golden desert dunes meet the ocean waves, a vivid representation of the evolutionary cycle, where the desert seems to emerge from the ocean itself.

    There's still one more thrilling experience awaiting you on your final day. Make sure you're up, checked out, and have had breakfast by 08h00. Immediately afterwards, your luggage will be transferred to the boat, setting the stage for an 08h30 departure on a Dolphin Cruise, contingent on good weather, which will conclude at the Waterfront in Walvis Bay. In case of adverse weather or sea conditions, your return will be via the same 4x4 route you arrived by.

    The Dolphin Cruise, as the name suggests, offers an intimate encounter with the bay's dolphins. It's an opportunity to observe and learn about their behavior and habits in their natural habitat, making for a delightful last morning in Namibia.

    You'll reach the jetty of Walvis Bay by around 09h45, where a guide will be waiting to escort you back to your vehicle. You should be hitting the road by 10h00, with a brief 20-minute drive to the Walvis Bay Airport. After returning your rental car, you'll be all set to board your flight, carrying memories of an unforgettable adventure.

    We'll be here for your next adventure. Travel safely!

  • Your Food

    The lodge's restaurant serves fresh, uncomplicated ocean fare, beautifully complemented by South African wines.
    Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

YOUR JOURNEY ENDS HERE

Contact Us

Exceed House
Springfield Office Park
Belleville, Cape Town
7450

Cell / WhatsApp +27 72 136 9096

WhatsApp +27 72 136 9096

Email: travel@whereitallbegan.co.za

Contact Us

About

We’re an ethical private travel planning company focused on Southern Africa.

We offer ready-made and also customised holidays and journeys across this unique region of the world.

When our clients travel with us, they are assured that their travel spend is directly supporting local African companies that offer sustainable products and services, both in terms of people and planet.

Ethos

Our logo is an image of a skull found in the Rising Star Cave System in Gauteng, South Africa in 2013. It was named ‘homo naledi’, meaning ‘human of the stars’.

The cave system has so far given rise to the remains of over 15 individuals, making it the largest hominid fossil remains site ever discovered.

Travelling to Southern Africa is truly a return to the source of humankind, to Where It All Began.

Whatsapp Icon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.