Cape City – Namibia street journey was our first lengthy street journey outdoors of South Africa. We’d pushed earlier than the Garden Route and the West Coast and had some tenting gear and a little bit of expertise. The principle distinction between this street journey was extraordinarily lengthy distances between sights, cities and even petrol stations. You all the time must plan upfront and verify when you have sufficient petrol, water, and meals provides to final you until the subsequent inhabitable place on the route. This street journey was an thrilling journey with many amazing places to see in Namibia.
One of the best time for the Cape City – Namibia street journey
July to September, the tip of the dry season, are the most effective months for watching animals in Etosha Nationwide Park. There may be not a lot water contained in the park; all animals together with huge cats come to a few waterholes to drink. You’ll be able to simply sit in your automotive subsequent to one of many water holes and see loads of totally different animals. We visited Etosha in February and it was a complete catastrophe. It was extraordinarily muddy and your complete dried pan become one huge lake. We did see loads of deer and birds however that’s just about it. The wet season is a good time for birdwatching in Etosha.
June to September are the coldest months which suggests no scorching warmth in the course of the day although night time temperatures will be fairly chilly even within the south of the nation. When you’re planning to camp then ensure to convey heat garments and sleeping baggage.
To see the well-known Namaqualand (West Coast of South Africa) in the course of the flower season July – September are once more the most effective months. After winter rains often, naked fields are lined in colourful flowers.
The identical months (July-September) are nice for visiting Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park although it’s a little bit of a detour from the route it’s an incredible place to see wildlife.
For Southern Namibia (Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Spitzkope) season doesn’t make a giant distinction besides it’s considerably hotter throughout summer season months (October – April) and cooler within the winter.
If you wish to see hundreds of seal cubs at Cape Cross north of Swakopmund then the summer season months of January and February are the most effective time for the street journey.
Journey insurance coverage to your street journey
It’s all the time really helpful to have journey insurance coverage while you go abroad particularly when you’re planning on doing an extended street journey or sort out some journey actions. When selecting an insurance coverage firm ensure they work along with your chosen vacation spot and their protection coverage so you recognize you’ll be totally lined in case one thing occurs. When you don’t have an organization that you simply use regularly we are able to advocate our companions World Nomads. They’ve loads of expertise masking vacationers from everywhere in the world in a whole lot of locations. Their insurance coverage coverage may be very versatile it will possibly cowl your total journey or simply part of it. You should purchase it inline at any time earlier than or throughout your journey, it takes a few minutes. Get your instant quote now!
What automotive to decide on for the Cape City – Namibia drive?
When you’re planning on staying on the principle vacationer route with out going off-road you received’t want a 4×4 automobile however this street journey isn’t for a small automotive both. You want a biggish automotive many of the route is on gravel roads which can be typically very bumpy. We drove with our Daihatsu Terios all the way in which and by no means had any issues besides one flat tire on the way in which again. Even in deep mud in Etosha, it by no means obtained caught. The one place it was actually tough to drive was the final 7 km to Deadvlei in Sossusvlei which had been on gentle sand however there you’ll be able to take a shuttle to and again if you’re fearful about getting caught.
The place to hire a automotive for the journey?
When you’re planning to start out your journey in Cape City it is going to be essentially the most logical to hire a automotive there. Ensure you’re allowed to drive along with your rental automotive throughout the border and that it has all the mandatory paperwork for taking it to Namibia. When you come again to Cape City after the journey you’ll be able to drop it on the similar place. When you’re not coming again you must discover out if it’s attainable to drop off the automotive in Windhoek. The second possibility can be costlier.
Doing the journey with a tour
If renting a automotive and planning the journey feels like an excessive amount of of a mission or when you’re touring solo take into account becoming a member of an organized tour that features transport, information, lodging, and meals. There are some excursions with a similar to our itinerary and route.
Put together for the journey
Certainly one of our major Namibia travel tips is to be sure you have not less than one spare tire you is likely to be fortunate and haven’t any flats in any respect or very unfortunate and get a flat tire in the course of nowhere which is just about most of Southern Namibia.
Pack a tire restore equipment with you in case you get multiple flat tire in at some point.
Carry a canister with petrol, fuel stations are far aside in Namibia. All the time fill your automotive while you see a fuel station on the way in which.
All the time have a giant bottle of consuming water within the automotive you don’t need to get caught in the course of nowhere with none water.
Purchase an area SIM card. It is likely to be helpful for navigation and in case you want some assist.
Hold some native money in your pockets, some campsites, meals stops, and even petrol stations may not settle for bank cards.
Carry a cooler field particularly when you’re planning to camp each on occasion you get to a spot with a grocery store the place you’ll be able to inventory for the subsequent couple of days.
Helpful objects for pack for the journey
- Travel adaptor – many of the energy retailers in South Africa and Namibia are Kind M. When you’re coming from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Europe you’ll positively want an adaptor.
- Sunglasses – it’s sunny on daily basis in Namibia.
- Sunscreen – apply it each time you get out of your automotive for a stroll.
- Mosquito repellent – when you’re planning on doing safari drives and go to northern elements of Namibia.
Lodging on the street journey
There are many lodges, guesthouses, and campsites alongside the route. Tenting with your personal tent is the most affordable possibility although it takes time to pitch your tent within the night and break it down and pack the whole lot within the morning. It’s a bit of labor particularly when you’re transferring on daily basis from place to put.
Funds-friendly indoor lodging on the Cape City – Namibia street journey will be present in larger cities like Luderitz or Swakopmund. As soon as there you’ll be able to have a break from pitching and breaking your campsite on daily basis. For tenting, it’s not essential to have a roof-top tent or a motorhome except you’re planning on tenting at unfenced campsites in Kgalagadi Nationwide Park. A standard tent will work simply high quality although roof-top tents are faster to pack and unpack.
When you choose consolation and don’t thoughts paying for it it is possible for you to to seek out some unbelievable lodges however most of them are fairly expensive. When you’re going to remain indoors you don’t must convey tenting or cooking gear with you on the journey.
Books and guidebooks to your Cape City to Namibia journey
Cape City – Namibia street journey itinerary
The primary a part of the street journey from Cape City to Fish River Canyon is kind of lengthy, 800km. It’s attainable to drive in at some point as we did once we went hiking Fish River Canyon however you must begin your journey early. There are lots of superb coffee shops in Cape Town that may give an ideal begin to your journey. When you occur to do that street journey within the spring, between July and September, it’s value spending a while in Namaqualand to see wildflowers. When you drive outdoors of the flower season and have finished the West Coast earlier than you’ll be able to drive all the way in which from Cape City to Ai-Ais in at some point.
Earlier than heading to Namibia be sure you haven’t missed something there are lots of amazing things to do in Cape Town!
Day 1. Cape City – Vredendal
- Distance – 325 km (alongside the coast)
- Driving time – 3h40min.
- Petrol stations – at each city alongside the way in which
- West Coast Nationwide Park the place you’ll be able to see spring flowers in August – September
If you wish to go to a few locations alongside the way in which it’s higher to start out the drive early. Relying on what time of the yr you’re going to Namibia the highlights of the journey will range. When you do that journey between July and September you’ll be fortunate to see Namaqualand in blossom. In July starting of August, you’ve gotten higher probabilities of seeing wildflowers from Vredendal up north. In September go to West Coast Nationwide Park in Langebaan to see spring flowers.
The West Coast itself even outdoors the flower season is a stupendous and distinctive place to go to. You probably have a few additional days you’ll be able to cease in Langebaan and revel in its lengthy white-sand seashores and turquoise coloration lagoon. For seafood and fish lover Paternoster is very really helpful. There are a few good eating places that serve native each day catch.
Locations to remain close to Vredendal
Day 2. Vredendal – Ai-Ais (Fish River Canyon)
- Distance – 522 km
- Driving time – 5 hours
- Petrol stations – at 400 km (after the border), at 522 km in Ai-Ais
- Namaqua Nationwide Park it’s a pleasant place to cease for wildflowers in July-August
- Orange River
- Weird rock formations on the stretch from the border to Ai-Ais
In Vredendal ensure to purchase some provides there can be no huge supermarkets within the subsequent couple of days.
From Vredendal we drove to Noordoewer border management. It’s a very simple border, took us about 20 min. to complete all formalities. To enter Namibia with a automotive you pay N$320/US$21 street price. Hold the receipt till you exit the nation typically at roadblocks police can ask for it. Noordoewer border is open 24 hours so you’ll be able to cross it any time. There are two petrol stations after the border cross; one has a store and a Wimpy, each settle for playing cards. The following petrol station is at Ai-Ais, 118 km away, it accepts solely money. Petrol is cheaper in Namibia than in South Africa.
The primary 40km after the border to Ai-Ais you drive on a tar street then you definately flip off to an okayish gravel street. There are two locations within the canyon the place you’ll be able to keep; Ai-Ais Hot Springs and Hobas campsite. We all the time keep at Ai-Ais, it has higher services; grassy campsite, electrical energy, energy socket, a kitchen with fuel stoves and sinks. Contained in the lodge, there are a restaurant and swimming swimming pools with sizzling spring water. When you keep at Ai-Ais (tenting or indoor) you get free entry to the thermal swimming pools. You’ll be able to ebook a room when you don’t need to camp. Value for tenting N$400/US$ per web site (as much as 4 individuals), rooms from N$550 per particular person together with breakfast.
One of the best views of the canyon are from the viewpoints close to Hobas campsite the place the doorway to the canyon is. At Ai-Ais you’re on the finish of the canyon you’ll be able to stroll upstream following the river simply ensure to take sufficient water on the hike. Hobas and the viewpoints can be one the way in which to Luderitz you don’t must drive to and again from Ai-Ais. Whichever place you select to remain, all the time look ahead to baboons. There are lots of of them at each campsites.
Ai-Ais campsite services
- Scorching bathe – Sure
- Flushing bathrooms – Sure
- Electrical energy – Sure
- Retailers – Sure
- Working water – Sure
- Wi-fi – No
- Braai place – Sure
- Ingesting water – Sure
- Different – electrical stoves, roofed space for cooking and washing, sizzling springs.
The choice Cape City – Namibia route
You probably have a bit extra time and wish to go to some amazing attractions in the Northern Cape and do a safari drive in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park as an alternative of driving alongside the West Coast you’ll be able to go extra inland towards Upington. Go to some off-the-beaten-track locations on the way in which and enter Namibia by the Kgalagadi. When you determine on this feature ensure to do all border crossing formalities on the Twee Rivieren entrance there can be no additional border controls within the park. On this case, if you wish to go to Fish River Canyon you’ll must drive again south or maintain it for the return journey (when you’re driving again to South Africa).
Day 3. Ai-Ais Scorching Springs – Luderitz
- Distance – 480 km
- Driving time – 5h30min.
- Petrol stations – at 83 km at Canyon Roadhouse; at 355 km in Aus; at 480 km in Luderitz
- Fish River Canyon
- Outdated rusted vehicles at Canyon Roadhouse, many nice spots for taking photographs
- Chamietes about 125 km from Ai-Ais, a small store and one other cease for taking photographs with outdated vehicles
- Wild horses close to Aus
- Kolmanskop, a ghost city however by the point you arrive there, it’ll be closed. It’s near Luderitz and you may go to it the subsequent day.
The street is gravel all the way in which from Ai-Ais to Luderitz. Fortunately there are a number of attention-grabbing and entertaining stops on the route.
Hobas Campsite is a must-stop on the way in which. It’s a gateway to the most effective views of Fish River Canyon. The viewpoints are a few kilometers away from the gate. The view of the canyon from the highest is spectacular. You’ll be able to stroll round a bit taking photographs. To get to the point of view you pay N$160/US$11 per particular person and N$20/US$1,5 per automotive.
The following cease is Canyon Roadhouse, about 27 km from the point of view, an oasis within the desert with inexperienced grass, quiver bushes, and a swimming pool. It’s an important place to cease for lunch or espresso. There are a bar/restaurant and a store. When you don’t really feel like driving anymore or actually like this place you’ll be able to keep right here for the night time. You’ll be able to camp right here or book one of the rooms.
About 100 km on there’s a meals cease/visitor home Chamieites (Chamaites) the place you could find extra good outdated vehicles for photographs. They promote selfmade pies, biltong, and droewors in case you get hungry and want some snacks.
Driving in direction of Aus look ahead to wild horses, gemsboks, and zebras. These horses stay within the wild although not throughout them look good and wholesome. We noticed a few them within the city on the petrol station looking for meals. When you occurred to have an apple or a carrot it’ll be extremely appreciated.
12 km earlier than Luderitz you’ll see the well-known Kolmanskop, a ghost city within the desert. You’ll be able to cease there for some photographs however you’ll in all probability be too late to go to it, the gate closes at 1pm.
Locations to remain in Luderitz
Day 4. Luderitz & Kolmanskop
Luderitz isn’t essentially the most stunning city in Namibia however there are some attention-grabbing issues to do right here, value stopping for a day. The principle issues to see in Luderitz are the ghost city of Kolmanskop, Diaz level with the lighthouse and a seal colony, Grosse Bucht the place you’ll be able to see flamingos and pelicans, and Shark Island, an ex-concentration camp. You’ll find extra details about the city in our things to do in Luderitz put up. The city has a few good espresso retailers and eating places the place you’ll be able to have lunch, dinner or breakfast.
Kolmanskop might be the principle sight that draws vacationers to Luderitz. When you come this fashion it’s positively value visiting. I’d advocate going there within the morning earlier than it will get too sizzling. Entrance price N$75/US$5.
There are a few supermarkets in Luderitz the place you’ll be able to inventory meals and water for the subsequent couple of days. Don’t overlook to inventory your meals and water provides right here.
The choice route
When you don’t have sufficient time or simply don’t really feel like driving a number of hundred kilometers additional to see the ghost city you’ll be able to skip Luderitz and from Fish River canyon drive straight to Sossusvlei. It’ll prevent 2 days.
Day 5. Luderitz – Sesriem (Sossusvlei)
- Distance – 465 km
- Driving time – 6 hours
- Petrol stations – at 125 km in Aus; at 330 km at Betta campsite and the subsequent one at 465 km in Sesriem
- Wild horses and gemsboks close to Aus.
- Large nests of social weavers, these birds construct them on bushes, poles, and even street indicators.
- Loads of nothing typically it feels such as you’re driving on Mars reasonably than Earth.
It’s a gravel street all the way in which from Luderitz to Sesriem with some fairly dangerous stretches. There are solely two locations to cease alongside the way in which; Aus and Betta Campsite. Betta Campsite is a pleasant place to cease to stretch your legs, drink a cup of espresso or eat lunch. There are a small meals/curiosity store and a espresso store on the campsite.
Sossusvlei Oasis Campsite is the one place to remain contained in the par. It’s a spacious campsite with good services proper on the entrance to the well-known desert. An enormous benefit of tenting right here is you could begin driving to Sossusvlei about 1 hour earlier than the gate opening time since you’re already contained in the park. If you wish to be in time for the dawn at Dune 45 you must keep on the campsite in any other case you’ll be too late. Due to the placement, the campsite is kind of widespread with vacationers. I’d recommend making an advanced booking to make sure you get a spot.
Oasis Sossusvlei campsite services
- Scorching bathe (personal) – Sure
- Flushing bathrooms (personal) – Sure
- Electrical energy – Sure
- Retailers – Sure
- Working water – Sure
- Wi-fi – No
- Braai place – Sure
- Ingesting water – No
- Different – roofed space for pitching a tent or placing chairs and tables
When you choose staying indoors to tenting there’s a very good lodge simply 3 km from the doorway gate that provides cozy bungalows with AC. Desert Quiver Camp is a good place to remain in luxurious and luxury in the course of the Namib desert. You’ll be able to book your bungalow online.
The doorway price to the park is N$80/US$5 for South Africans, N$100/$7 for vacationers from different international locations.
Day 6. Sesriem – Swakopmund
- Distance – 343 km + about 120 km driving to Sossusvlei and sand dunes and again to Sesriem
- Driving time – 4 hours + 3-4 hours in Sossusvlei
- Petrol stations – 2 stations at Sesriem; at 82 km at Solitaire; at 343 km in Swakopmund
- Dawn at Dune 45
- The beautiful Sossusvlei
- Useless Vlei, in all probability essentially the most spectacular dried pan within the Namib desert
- Tropic of Capricorn
- Dune 7, the very best dune within the Namib desert
This place is among the highlights of any Namibia road trip. Begin your day early to make it in time for the sundown at Dune 45. The dune is about 45 km from the doorway, a 45-minutes drive. You’ll want 15-20 min. to get to the highest of the dune. The doorway gate opens at 6.30 within the morning when you don’t keep contained in the park you’ll be on the dune between 7.30 and seven.45. The dawn is someplace between 6.45 and seven.15 which suggests you’ll miss it. Verify for dawn occasions here.
Early morning is the most effective time for driving within the dunes. The rising solar creates shades that define the sides of the dunes.
The drive contained in the park was on a tough type of a tar street virtually all the way in which to the tip besides the final 7 km to the pan that you simply drive on a really dangerous and sandy street. For this half, you’ll want a 4×4 automotive. Our Terios made it to and again however a few occasions we had been actually fearful that we’d get caught there. When you’re undecided about your automotive or your off-road driving expertise it’s higher to park your automotive there and take a shuttle to the pan. The return shuttle prices NAD 150/US$ 12 per particular person.
Extra particulars on the highlights of the Namib desert you could find in our detailed guide to Sossusvlei.
Sesriem – Swakopmund drive
The drive is on the gravel street virtually all the way in which to Swakopmund, besides the final 30 km on the tar street. The drive to Swakopmund is kind of stunning. The panorama modifications from small canyon-like rock formations to dry flats and sand dunes.
Earlier than you begin driving in direction of Swakopmund verify your tires and petrol. When you want any assist there’s a tire restore place at Sesriem and a petroleum station.
When you spend loads of time driving across the Sossusvlei and don’t really feel like driving all the way in which to Swakopmund you’ll be able to cease at Solitaire, which is about 80 km from Sesriem. There are a few lodges, campsites, and eating places within the space. The Solitaire lodge provides comfy AC cabins with beautiful views of the Namib desert that may be booked online. For a extra finances possibility, you’ll be able to hire a cabin at Gentle Journey Camp, 20 km earlier than Solitaire.
Solitaire is a good place to cease for lunch or espresso. There’s a bakery that makes contemporary bread and pastry. Solitaire is one other outdated automotive spot on the street journey. There are a number of rusted vehicles for taking photographs.
50 km after Solitaire you’ll cross the Tropic of Capricorn or the Southern Tropic. You received’t miss it. There’s a signal subsequent to the street with many stickers on it.
About 40 km earlier than Swakopmund you’ll attain Dune 7, the very best dune in Namibia. You probably have time we’d advocate stopping there. You’ll be able to stroll to the highest of it. It’s fairly tiresome. You’ll in all probability attain Dune 7 someplace near the sundown which is the most effective time for getting spectacular sunset views.
Locations to remain in Swakopmund
Day 7. Swakopmund
Swakopmund is a stupendous city and has sufficient to maintain you busy for a few days. A pleasant place for chilling, assembly individuals, strolling on the seaside, and simply resting from packing and driving on daily basis, will be exhausting. I’d recommend staying right here for 2 nights however when you have additional time you’ll be able to simply keep right here longer. There are lots of amazing things to do in Swakopmund and its environment together with some journey actions.
There are lots of actions and attention-grabbing locations in and round Swakopmund. For us, a go to to Cape Cross Seal Colony, 130 km north of Swakopmund was one of many highlights of our Cape City – Namibia street journey. It’s fairly an extended journey to the colony and again but it surely’s value it. You’ll be able to drive that method on the way in which to Spitzkoppe, it’s a little bit of a loop however nonetheless much less driving than from Swakopmund and again.
At Cape Cross, you get an opportunity to see tens of hundreds of seals. When you come there between January and March you’ll see many cute cubs. It’s an important place for wildlife photographers and animal lovers. When you journey with kids they’ll for positive love Cape Cross. Entrance price N$80/US$5.
The drive from Swakopmund to Cape Cross is alongside the Skeleton Coast with a few attention-grabbing shipwrecks. When you don’t really feel like driving to Cape Cross and again you’ll be able to embrace the place in your itinerary and as an alternative of driving to Spitzkoppe from Swakopmund reasonably go do Cape Cross camp there and from there proceed driving in direction of Etosha. The campsite/lodge at Cape Cross is one among our favorites campsites in Namibia. It’s a pleasant place and quiet place with good services.
One other place to see wildlife is Walvis Bay, 40 km south of Swakopmund. There you’ll be able to see a whole lot of pink flamingos parading alongside the seaside. One other good spot for superb wildlife photographs.
For journey lovers there are many thrilling actions right here; from skydiving within the desert to sandboarding and driving in a buggy over the dunes.
Advisable excursions and actions in Swakopmund
Day 8. Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe
- Distance – 155 km
- Driving time – 1h50min.
- Petrol stations – in Swakopmund; at 50 km in Arandis
- Spectacular sand dunes
- Weird rock formations of Spitzkoppe
- Beautiful night time sky with shiny stars
Whichever method you’re heading from Swakopmund earlier than leaving don’t overlook to cease at a grocery store to refill your meals and water provides and fill your petrol. The following and the final petrol station for the day can be in Arandis, 50 km away. The following petrol station can be solely the subsequent day in Usakos, 60 km from Spitzkoppe.
In the present day is a really quick drive in comparison with the earlier days. When you didn’t have time to cease at Dune 7 or to do some actions in Swakopmund you’ve gotten sufficient time for it within the morning. You’ll be able to even drive to Cape Cross Seal Colony first and from there to Spitzkoppe. It’ll add 135 km additional to your whole distance making it to about 300 km for the day.
Spitzkoppe is known for its easy granite rock formations and the unbelievable night time sky. There are a number of mountain climbing trails and locations for mountaineering. You’ll be able to discover the realm on foot, benefit from the tranquility and soak in rock swimming pools. Spitzkoppe is an efficient place for birdwatching although you’ll want a binocular.
Tenting there’s one of the best ways to expertise the realm. Campsites are fairly remoted and much other than one another and have fundamental services. Don’t get excited when you get a very distant one removed from the gate bathrooms and showers are on the major ablution advanced near the gate. We had a dry rest room nearer but it surely wasn’t very good. Tenting N$ 190/US$ 13 per particular person, N$ 130/US$ 9 kids (2-12 yo), the doorway price is included within the tenting value.
Day 9. Spitzkoppe – Etosha Nationwide Park
- Distance – 400 km
- Driving time – 4h30min.
- Petrol stations – at 60 km in Usakos; at 95 km in Karibib; at 158 km in Omaruru; at 320 km in Outjo; at 400 km in Etosha (Okaukuejo campsite).
- Large termite nests subsequent to the street
- Many social weavers nests
- Omaruru, a small charming city that’s thought of to be the artwork capital of the area.
A straightforward drive on a tar street all the way in which to Etosha with many small cities and lodges to cease for meals and petrol alongside the way in which. Omaruru is the nicest city to cease, it’s about midway to Etosha. There are a few espresso retailers that serve good espresso, sandwiches, and freshly-baked pastry.
Etosha Nationwide Park entrance price for South Africans N$60/US$4, vacationers from different international locations N$80/US$5.
Day 10. Etosha Nationwide Park
Etosha Nationwide Park is among the largest safari parks in Southern Africa. It’s positively a must-include in your Namibia itinerary. You probably have time I’d recommend staying right here for a few days to be sure you get essentially the most out of your go to.
Etosha National Park occupies an enormous space of 4731 km². The massive a part of it’s a dried salt pan that within the wet season turns into an enormous lake which makes it very tough to see animals. Through the dry season when water is scarce all animals come to waterholes to drink so guests can simply spot them simply ready at one of many waterholes within the park.
We did our Cape City – Namibia street journey in January – February and once we reached Etosha it’d already rained rather a lot. There was loads of water within the park. We noticed loads of deer, giraffes, elephants, zebras, actually loads of birds and one hyena. No actually huge cats or different predators. If you wish to see mammals reasonably come right here in the course of the dry season (Might to October).
In Etosha, you’ll be able to see 4 of the African Large 5 animals; lions, elephants, rhinos, and leopards. The buffalo is the one you’ll be able to’t see in Etosha. Lions and elephants are in abundance within the park. There’s a wholesome inhabitants of black rhinos. Leopards are current within the park however they’re all the time tough to identify. Moreover the Large 5, you’ll be able to see many mammals in Etosha similar to giraffes, wildebeests, cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, jackals, foxes, and plenty of others. In whole greater than 100 mammal species within the park.
There are 6 campsites contained in the park the place you’ll be able to camp with your personal tent/caravan or keep at a bungalow. All campsites are fenced and have good services.