We are planning a trip from Livingstone (Zambia) to Namibia. We have two and a half weeks to get from Livingstone to Johannesburg and are thinking that traveling through Namibia would be the most fun. What’s the best way to get to the Skeleton Coast (we’re assuming that would be the best place to start) without flying? I’ve heard about Intercape and am not sure about it — it’s obviously not the local way of traveling but seems like the most convenient. Unfortunately, they do not leave Livingstone the day we want, and using them would add two extra days in Livingstone when we’ve already spent a couple days there. Intercape is only $83/person to go all the way to Swakopmund, so maybe it’s worth waiting two extra days. Is it worth spending one night in Windhoek, or should we continue on and spend more time on the coast? From there, we’d like to go down and spend some time in Cape Town (making some stops along the way), and again Intercape can take us there unless there’s another/better way. And from there we are going to take a bus to Johannesburg. Any suggestions? As you know, finding out any information online is really tough, and we really appreciate any help. Thanks!
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That’s about 5000km, without any detours, so I’d be tempted to pick a few interesting places along the way where you can spend a few days exploring the local area, and then get between them as quickly as possible – which probably does mean using Intercape for the longer legs of your journey.
You’ll get just under 3hr in Windhoek waiting for the connecting Intercape service to Swakopmund, and as the long-distance bus station is just south of the centre that’ll probably be enough time to have a quick wander around town (your time is better spent elsewhere in all honesty).
Swakopmund is something of an adventure-sports destination, with sandboarding on the dunes just outside town particularly popular, but it also makes a good base for the southern section of the Skeleton Coast and the northern Namib-Naukluft. Most of Namibia’s majestic landscape is only accessible to those with their own transport, but from Swakopmund you could take a tour north along the coast to the seal colony at Cape Cross or south to see the flamingos at Walvis Bay (also reachable by bus), as well as the must-see sights around Sossusvlei.
If you can arrange to get to Rehoboth from the Sossuslvei area, then you can pick up the Cape Town-bound Intercape service from Windhoek, which would save you having to backtrack to Swakopmund / Windhoek. Note, though, that there are no services on this route on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays.