9 Day - Express Desert Collection Tour - Self Drive - 09SD2


Days 1 - 2

Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, is a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation. Windhoek is clean, safe and well-organised. The city centre is an interesting architectural mix of historical and modern buildings. The colonial legacy is still alive in its many German eateries and shops and the fairly widespread use of the German language.

City centre sights within easy walking distance: the Alte Feste (Old Fortress) museum; Christuskirche (Christ Church), consecrated in 1910; Tintenpalast (built in 1912/1913 as the seat of the colonial government and nicknamed Ink Palace), which is part of the parliamentary complex; the massive Independence Memorial Museum and the imposing contemporary building of the Supreme Court.

The international airport is 40 km east of Windhoek.


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Kalahari Namibia

Days 2 - 3

The Kalahari Basin covers most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. The name Kalahari means 'the great thirst' and describes the world’s largest continuous area of sand. It is an exceptionally beautiful semi-desert. In Namibia it is characterised by red dunes, acacia trees and wispy, mostly golden grass. The wide variety of wildlife includes gemsbok, impala, jackal and cheetah, not to forget the famous Meerkat. In all three countries the Kalahari is the last bastion of the indigenous San people who lived as hunter-gatherers in the whole of southern Africa before the modern world started to take over.

Fish River Canyon

Days 3 - 5

The Fish River Canyon is the most impressive natural wonder in southern Namibia. The canyon starts near Seeheim in the lower reaches of the Fish River and ends 160 km further south at Ai-Ais. It is an awe-inspiring gorge that meanders through the fissured Koubis massif at a depth of up to 550 metres. The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world.

The canyon started to form about 500 million years ago during a pluvial episode – i.e. a period of intense rainfall. The huge gorge was not only created by water erosion, however, but also by the collapse of the valley bottom due to tectonic movement and by glaciation during the Karoo Ice Age.

The Fish River Canyon is part of the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The entrance gate is at the Hobas Campsite, from where it is 10 kilometres to the canyon and the most stunning view of the famous Hell's Bend.

The 86 km Fish River Canyon hike is very popular. But it is a tough challenge of 4-6 days and aspiring hikers have to prove their physical fitness with a medical certificate when they apply for a permit from Namibia Wildlife Resorts in Windhoek. Due to soaring temperatures during the summer months, the trail is open only from May to September.

Much easier, but no less scenically beautiful hikes are offered in the adjacent private nature reserves Canyon Nature Park and Gondwana Canyon Park, which also have excellent accommodation.


Days 5 - 6

Set in a unique geographical location, the harbour town of Lüderitz is almost like a small stronghold of civilisation sandwiched between the thundering Atlantic Ocean and the arid Namib Desert. Lüderitz was the starting point of German colonisation in 1883. The historic buildings in Bismarck Street as well as Goerke House, Kreplin House and Felsenkirche (Church on a Rock) are remnants of that time. These days Lüderitz is famous for crayfish and oysters – and above all the nearby ghost town of Kolmanskop. Built on the wealth of diamonds early last century, Kolmanskop, some 10 km east of Lüderitz, was a thriving settlement for a brief period of time. It was largely abandoned during the 1930s and is being claimed back by the desert dunes ever since.

Activities: Explore the ghost town of Kolmanskop, one of the most fascinating attractions in this area; brave the elements and visit the windswept beaches which are home to flamingos, seals and penguins; venture to Diaz Point and see the stone cross that Portuguese seafarer Bartolomeu Dias erected in 1488; go on a catamaran cruise in Lüderitz Bay; join a day excursion into Sperrgebiet National Park to the deserted diamond mining settlement of Pomona and the massive Bogenfels rock arch on the coast south of Lüderitz.


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Days 6 - 7

Tucked away in the rocky Aus Mountains on the fringe of the Namib plains, the small village of Aus is located in the south-western ǁKaras Region. The arid surroundings are known for their unique botanical diversity. Aus lends itself as an excellent base from which to explore the area and view the main attraction: the feral horses of the Namib Desert, which run wild and free on the sparsely vegetated plains. Catch a glimpse of these desert-adapted creatures at the water trough at Garub just 20 km away from the village.

Activities: Experience the Succulent Karoo on a visit to the beautiful Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park, home to the most biodiverse desert in the world; take a scenic hike to discover fascinating indigenous fauna and flora; view the vast desert landscape from the back of a horse; camp under the dazzling Namibian night sky.

Wild horses


Days 7 - 9

Located in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is famous for its setting amidst the iconic red dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrasting with the towering dunes make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa and a photographer's dream. At up to 400 metres high, some of the ‘mountains of sand’ are among the highest in the world. In the morning and evening light the dunes come alive with amazing displays of colour that draw photography enthusiasts from around the globe. Sossusvlei is home to a variety of desert wildlife including gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and various reptiles. This awe-inspiring destination is the second-most visited attraction in Namibia.

Optional / Recommended Activities: Climb 'Big Daddy', one of Sossusvlei’s tallest dunes; explore neighbouring Deadvlei, a dazzling white clay pan dotted with ancient fossilised camel thorn trees; take a scenic flight across the Namib Sand Sea or a hot air balloon trip followed by a once-in-a-lifetime champagne breakfast amidst the majestic dunes.   (At Extra Cost)

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