Namibia Birding Self-Drive Safari
17 Day Namibia Birding Self-Drive Safari
This trip really is the best of Namibia, driving at your own pace and staying at comfortable, superbly-located lodges and guesthouses. You will see the coastal scenery and wildlife around Walvis Bay, amazing sand dunes and unique birds and animals as you travel through the Erongo Mountains and Damaraland to Etosha and then a stop at the Africat Foundation. An adventure of a lifetime.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Enjoy ultimate flexibility with a self drive itinerary with plenty of time to enjoy the ever changing desert scenery
- Seek out the big game of Etosha National Park or simply wait by a watering hole and let it come to you.
- Visit the world renowned Africat Foundation and have close encounters with some of Africa’s large cats
- 16 nights’ accommodation
- Meals as per itinerary
- Car hire and necessary insurance
- Airport transfer
- Activities as per the itinerary
ITINERARY16 Nights 17 Days
- Day 1 | Arrive Windhoek, collect car
- Day 2 | Kalahari Game Ranch
- Days 3-4 | Sesreim & Sossusvlei
- Days 5-7 | Swakopmund
- Days 8-9 | Erongo Mountains
- Day 10 | Twyfelfontein
- Days 11-12 | Damaraland
- Days 13-14 | Etosha National Park
- Days 15-16 | Okonjima Africat Foundation
- Day 17 | Depart Windhoek
Arrive Windhoek, collect car
Arrive at Windhoek Airport and collect car. Drive to Olive Grove Guesthouse, close to the city centre. An optional sumptuous dinner is available and breakfast is included.
Kalahari Game Ranch
Drive to Kalahari Game Lodge. Check in to your private chalet and enjoy a pre-dinner drink close to the waterhole keeping watch for visiting animals. Dinner and breakfast included. Optional activities include guided nature drives, walks, horse riding and walks with local bushmen.
Sesreim & Sossusvlei - Hoodia Desert Lodge
Drive to Hoodia Desert Lodge overlooking the Tsauchab River where kudu and onyx graze. Accommodation is in comfortable canvas & wood chalets with dinner and breakfast included for two nights. Guided and self-guided walks are available and there are beautiful views from the lodge across the desert.
At leisure. Stay around the lodge and enjoy optional activities or walk along the river. Alternatively, drive from the lodge to the Sesreim Gate and on to Sossusvlei Park to experience the amazing multi-coloured, star-shaped dunes. Visit the Sesreim Canyon on your way back to the lodge.
Swakopmund - Cornerstone Guesthouse
Drive to the resort town of Swakopmund for two night stay at the Cornerstone Guesthouse on a B&B basis. Swakopmund is a fascinating town with architecture redolent of its German colonial past. A morning mist gives life to plants and animals up to 30km inland. Lots of interesting walks and drives.
Today, you will explore Walvis Bay on board a luxury catamaran. Sail past a Cape fur seal colony and look out for marine and bird life including orca, whales, flamingos and pelicans. Hope to see especially endemic Heavyside and other dolphins. Enjoy Walvis Bay oysters for lunch!
Today, take a guided tour to Sandwich Harbour passing wetlands with thousands of birds, including avocet, turnstone and flamingo. Continue into the Kuiseb Delta for archaeological sites and magnificent dunes, home to all sorts of secretive wildlife such as springbok, hyena, jackal and ostrich. An unforgettable day.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
Drive towards Erongo Wilderness Lodge on the edge of the Erongo Crater for two nights’ dinner and breakfast included. Birding is one of the main attractions here with 48 species seen locally including black eagle, rosy-faced lovebird and Ruppell’s parrot.
Guided walks are included and there are self-guided trails and optional drives into the conservation area. Be sure to take the sundown walk to an amazing viewpoint. The Lodge is known for its sumptuous catering combined with spectacular setting.
Visit the ancient rock etchings and paintings at Twyfelfontein today and then, at sunset drive to Burnt Mountain where the setting sun gives the impression of waves moving over the rock. Don’t miss the Valley of the Organ Pipes just across the road. Stay at Camp Kipwe with dinner and breakfast.
Etendeka Mountain Camp
Drive to Palwag for your transfer to guided 4X4 drive through the mountains to Etendeka Mountain Camp for 2 nights fully inclusive. This is part of the old Damaraland and you will look out for the rich variety of wildlife on guided walks and from the camp itself.
All plants and animals in the area are indigenous and you will hope to see the desert adapted black elephant and black rhino, along with reptiles, insects and endemic birds like the Herero chat, Monteiro’s hornbill and Ruppell’s Korhaan. The crystal mountain is also a geologist’s paradise.
Etosha National Park
Retrieve your car and continue to Ongava Lodge on dinner, bed & breakfast basis. This is in a private concession bordering the Etosha National Park. The lodge has superb views across the plain and wildlife can be seen at the watering hole.
Etosha National Park
Large concentrations of game congregate around the watering holes during the dry season, including elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, giraffe and zebra. Ostrich, raptors and other birds such as short-toed rockthrush, Hautlaub’s francolin, white-tailed shrike and chestnut weaves are in abundance. Good chances to see both black and white rhino.
Head to Otjiwarongo on the way back to Windhoek for two nights at Okonjima Plains Camp (dinner and breakfast included). On the way, call in at REST, where work is done to conserve native species including the Cape Griffon Vulture, spotted rubber frog, Damara dik-dik and dwarf python.
Okonjima Game Reserve
The Okonjima Game Reserve is home to the Africat Foundation, which works with farmers and locals to conserve the big cat species of Namibia. The highlight here is cheetah and leopard safaris, where these animals along with wild dogs, hyenas and leopards, can be seen in their natural environment.
Drive to Windhoek Airport for car drop-off and your onward or return journey.
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Perched upon a small hill in the Ongava Game Reserve this beautiful wildlife lodge offers stunning views over the plains and the abundant wildlife which resides in the area.
Situated on the southern boundary of Etosha National Park this wildlife camps consists of 14 luxurious private en-suite chalets built from brick, rock and thatch. Each chalet has been exquisitely decorated and furnished and all have large and comfortable beds, seating areas, air-conditioning and private verandas on which guests can enjoy the impressive views of the surrounding plains and the waterhole below where a host of wildlife species can be found.
The main areas of this beautiful wildlife lodge consist of a large main lounge and bar area and a beautiful swimming pool area in which to relax in the warm midday sun. Meals are served either in the thatched dining room or on the dining deck under the stars of the famous crystal clear night sky.
Ongava Lodge features almost all of the characteristic wildlife of the area, with plains game such as springbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, Burchell's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra, waterbuck, red hartebeest, giraffe, eland and endemic black-faced impala seen, while Etosha itself has elephant to add to the list. In Etosha, large herds of plains game concentrate around the waterholes in the dry season, making for exciting wildlife viewing. Lion move between the Park and the Reserve and both black and white rhino can be seen. Ten of Namibia’s 14 endemic bird species have been recorded in the 340 species seen on Ongava.
At Ongava Lodge there are numerous activities available - for example you can enjoy game drives through the Ongava Game Reserve at all times of the day, join a guided nature walk or take an excursion into Etosha National Park.
Olive Grove Guest House, Windhoek
This beautiful and fashionable guest house close to Windhoek city centre has been recently completely refurbished and offers stylish accommodation in a quiet and peaceful location.
The emphasis here is on simplicity and elegance in a tranquil setting to allow guests to enjoy a hint of luxury before or after their Namibian safari.
Each of the 10 rooms and 1 suite at Olive Grove Guest House have been decorated and furnished to the very highest of standards and feature large comfortable beds, air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar & snack bar, beautiful bathrooms built using natural stone cement and Moroccan lights which create a romantic and relaxing ambience for guests.
There are 5 standard en-suite rooms, 5 luxury en-suite rooms and 1 executive suite which has its own lounge and dining area, separate bedroom and luxurious bathroom.
The main area of the guest house features a tranquil garden and luxurious plunge pool along with a wellness room where guests can indulge in a number of wellness treatments including massages, facials and manicures.
Dining at Olive Grove Guest House is a wonderful experience in itself and a great deal of emphasis is placed on providing an unforgettable dining experience for all guests. A newly renovated open plan kitchen allows guests to see how meals are prepared as they enjoy drinks in the lounge and the menu has recently been reinvented to a fully a la carte menu which is quite unique for a guest house. Beautiful presentation rounds off delicious home-style food and there is even a new upper deck area where guests can choose to dine in private with beautiful views and luxurious surroundings.
Cornerstone Guesthouse, Swakopmund
Located within a short walk to the seafront and town centre of Swakopmund, Cornerstone Guesthouse provides charming accommodation on either a bed & breakfast basis or self catering basis.
Situated in a quiet corner of Swakopmund's old town, along Namibia's fascinating Skeleton Coast, this beautiful family-run guesthouse combines the charm and intimacy of a B&B with the modern amenities and luxuries of a hotel.
At Cornerstone Guesthouse you can choose between the comfort and convenience of a luxury bed and breakfast or the privacy and freedom of a luxury self-catering apartment.
The guesthouse has 7 en-suite bedrooms, 5 of which are double/twin rooms and 2 of which are family rooms which can sleep up to 4 people. Every room has been beautifully decorated to provide a relaxing setting and each room has its own private entrance and patio with outdoor seating area.
The 3 fantastic self catering villas all sleep up to 6 people with 3 luxurious bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. These luxury apartments have large balconies with barbecues and fabulous sea views along with sun-loungers, fully equipped kitchens and even a double garage.
The guesthouse itself features a beautiful private garden, dining area, relaxing lounge with satellite TV and is located within a 2 minute walk to the bars, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions of Swakopmund.
Etendeka Mountain Camp, Damaraland
Set amongst stunning scenery in the ancient Etendeka lava flows of northern Damaraland, the Etendeka Mountain Camp is a natural, eco-friendly camp where the emphasis is on becoming one with nature and experiencing a relaxing and authentic safari experience.
Lying at the foothills of the Grootberg massif this simple yet elegant camp offers the chance to explore Namibia’s unique natural attractions including beautiful landscapes and an array of wildlife.
Simple and cosy accommodation is provided in 10 en-suite meru tents which are connected by pathways to the main dining tent. Extensive use is made of solar power throughout, both in the kitchen and the guest bathrooms, as well as for general electricity requirements. All tents have flush toilets, hot-and-cold running water and fantastic open-air “bucket” showers. Delicious fresh meals are prepared, either on solar or on open fires, and are enjoyed al-fresco under the clear Namibia skies.
Days at Etendeka Mountain Camp are spent exploring the area via game drives or on foot and with the help of the exceptionally knowledgeable guides you will get the chance to encounter a diverse number of plant and mammal species including desert elephant, black rhino, cheetah, scorpions, snake eagles and thundering herds of oryx.
Okonjima Plains Camp
Situated in the beautiful Okonjima Nature Reserve this fabulous camp is home to the AfriCat Foundation and offers an authentic safari experience where you will have the chance to see Namibia's big cats and other carnivores as well as learn about their conservation.
The AfriCat Foundation rehabilitates cheetahs, wild dogs, hyaenas and leopards, and there are fantastic opportunities to see these beautiful carnivores in their natural environment.
The Okonjima Plains Camp has been recently redesigned to honour the Okonjima cattle-farming history and "The Barn", otherwise known as the main camp area, includes a beautiful dining and lounge area and a well-stocked curio shop. There is also a swimming pool and a plethora of outdoor seating space in which guests can soak up the views and the tranquil atmosphere.
Fantastic accommodation is provided in 14 'standard rooms' and 10 'view rooms' each of which have en-suite facilities, beautiful furnishings, large, comfortable beds and ceiling fans. Standard Rooms have a small verandah whilst the View Rooms have a larger verandah and benefit from fantastic views across the Okonjima grass plains.
Activities at Okonjima Plains Camp are varied and as expected they are mostly centred around the big cats. AfriCat is a non-profit organisation set up to conserve and protect threatened cheetah, leopard, and other wild carnivores of Namibia. Visitors will be able to observe some of this programme at work and learn more about these amazing and beautiful animals. Activities available include leopard viewing, visits to the "cheetah project", large carnivore tracking on foot, game drives and bird watching.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
Encircled by the Erongo Mountains,where the desert, mountain, and bushveld ecosystems combine you will find the Erongo Wilderness Lodge, a secluded and tranquil wildlife paradise.
This friendly and relaxed lodge caters to guests wishing to witness beautiful scenery and remarkable birdlife and wildlife in the heart of the wilderness without sacrificing on comfort.
Hidden in a secluded valley surrounded by granite boulders and breathtaking views are 10 luxurious tented chalets which have been designed and decorated to the highest of standards and where guests can expect a good night's sleep and access to some of Namibia's most impressive views.
Each tented chalet has been raised upon stilts so as to emphasise the views and offers comfortable and stylish accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, sumptuous beds and private sundecks.
Walking across raised wooden platforms you will find the main lodge area sitting atop a hill waiting to welcome guests with open arms. Here there is a large restaurant and lounge, a dining area and a traditionally decorated 'mokoro' bar overlooking a floodlit waterhole.
There is also a fabulous sundowner deck and a small swimming pool for guests to relax in comfort after a long day of exploring this remarkable area.
One of the many reasons this area is so popular is due to the many rare, endemic, and special species of animal, bird, and plant life which thrive here, making this one of Namibia’s most diverse and wildlife-rich areas. This wealth of natural and cultural history can be enjoyed by joining a guided nature drive, visiting one of the Bushman rock art sites, or walking among the mountains with one of the lodge's experienced and knowledgeable guides.
Hoodia Desert Lodge, Sossusvlei
Hoodia Desert Lodge is a beautiful and tranquil lodge situated on the banks of the Tsauchab River just 20 minutes from the Sesriem gate which is the entrance to the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei.
Offering a range of activities including tours around these Sossusvlei dunes this an an excellent base from which to explore this unique area.
Perched at the foot of the towering Namib-Naukluft Mountains this remote lodge offers beautiful accommodation, superb cuisine, warm and welcoming hospitality and a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for guests looking to enjoy their wonderful surroundings in exceptional comfort.
The lodge consists of 11 thatched and partly tented chalets with en-suite bathrooms, open-air shower, air-conditioning and private, shaded deck. There is a restaurant, lounge area with fireplace, shaded deck and swimming pool.
Activities include the Sossusvlei tour into the dunes with gourmet picnic lunch, followed by a walk in the Sesriem Canyon, with other options such as hot air balloon safari, horse-riding, quad biking and helicopter sightseeing also available.
Kalahari Game Lodge
Set amongst the dunes, close to Namibia's eastern border this unique camp offers high quality accommodation and food combined with a range of wildlife orientated activities making it an ideal stop off point for a couple of nights on any itinerary.
Adjacent to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park this excellent camp has a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere where the beautiful surrounding landscape blends in perfectly with the lodge and warm hospitality creates an ambience of total tranquillity.
Self-catering options are provided in luxurious guest chalets and camping options are also available. Guests can also enjoy delicious breakfasts and dinners in the lodge's brand new restaurant and a refreshing drink by the beautiful swimming pool.
Accommodation is in twin chalets with en-suite facilities, kitchenette and patio overlooking the Auob Riverbed. Breakfast is included and full lunches and dinner are also available at the restaurant.
Activities available include a variety of guided and self-guided game drives, including lion tracking and night drives, guided and self-guided walking safaris, birding trails, children's safaris, day trips into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, evening dune braais (BBQs) and guided stargazing.
Camp Kipwe, Twyfelfontein
Set within the Twyfelfontein Conservancy in Damaraland, Camp Kipwe is an excellent eco-friendly safari camp that offers exciting activities, beautiful accommodations and sweeping views across the Aba Huab valley.
Huddled amongst the rocks and almost completely hidden from view this delightful camp offers endless space for guests to explore. Enjoy an early morning game drive in search of elusive desert dwelling elephants, hike in the ancient surroundings of the Aba Huab River or travel back in time at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site, before returning to camp for delicious home-cooked meals, a dip in the luxurious plunge pool and a great night's sleep in your private bungalow in the wilderness.
Camp Kipwe has 9 beautiful igloo-shaped bungalows that provide spacious and comfortable accommodation for guests. Built among the plentiful boulders each bungalow has been constructed with local stone and has been designed to keep temperature levels optimal in order to cope with the extremes of Namibia's climate. Beautiful outdoor showers and en-suite facilities are complemented by large comfortable beds, elegant furnishings and a simplistic yet stylish design that blends perfectly into the surrounding environment. Shaded verandahs with outdoor furniture allow guests the opportunity to sit back, relax and soak up the views. Each bungalow also has air-conditioning and there is also a splendid thatched honeymoon suite which offers the ultimate in safari luxury.
The beautiful newly-renovated main area of the camp features a large open-fronted dining room with a balcony, a comfortable and welcoming lounge area with plush sofas and stunning views, and a small curio shop.
There is also a luxurious plunge pool set between 2 giant boulders and plentiful sundowner spots where guests are invited to walk to and enjoy a tasty drink from the bar as the sun sets on another day of adventure.
What Our Customers
• The lodges were excellent and very welcoming, I particularly remember the Kulala Desert Lodge for its wonderful location, however I think Damaraland Lodge has to take top spot, for the amazing bush lunch and dinner under the stars that they organised. I will also never forget the giant eagle owl that we saw hunting at dawn, a truly magical moment.
• We can’t thank you enough for recommending Namibia, it’s simply amazing! The people are so friendly, the landscapes are awe inspiring, the night skies unforgettable and the wildlife so diverse, we loved every minute. Doing a self drive was definitely the right option for us, it gave us just the flexibility we crave and felt completely safe, we would do it again without a doubt.
Really glad I went. Had a brilliant time. Guides were great. What an experience , saw everything I wanted and more. Village visit and project visits (despite my slightly negative expectation) were really enjoyable, in fact taught me a lesson or two.
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