Namibia Itineraries

Want to discover Namibia? Read on to explore our exciting Namibia itineraries that will guide you through this fascinating country with authenticity and passion, whether it's the bustling Windhoek, the serene majesty of the Namib Desert, or the historic charm of Swakopmund.

Itinerary tips from Lucy: your Namibia Travel Expert

Our Namibia expert Lucy believes that creating an itinerary for Namibia is an adventure in itself. She emphasizes the incredible importance of a well-thought-out plan.

Namibia offers an abundance of contrasting landscapes, cultures, and experiences. From the bustling streets of Windhoek to the serene expanse of the Namib Desert, each place has its special appeal. That's why a customized itinerary will help you make the most of your trip, guiding you to the hidden gems and rich cultural attractions that make Namibia unique.

With Lucy's extensive knowledge and wealth of experience, she will guide you through every step of the planning process. Whether you want to explore the vast desert dunes, sample the unique local cuisine, or embark on a spectacular wildlife safari, a carefully designed itinerary will ensure a seamless and rewarding journey.

So let's work together to create an itinerary that suits your individual preferences, pace, and interests and make your Namibia adventure truly unforgettable.

If you're planning your own trip to Kenya, use these expert-craft itineraries as a starting point. For more inspiration, dive into our itineraries for different durations: 7 days - 10 days

7-day Namibia itinerary

Begin your exploration of Namibia with a fascinating 7-day trip starting in Windhoek, where you'll be greeted by a unique blend of African and German architecture and lively street life. The adventure continues as you venture into the vast landscapes of Namib-Naukluft Park to hike through the mesmerizing Sesriem Canyon, before admiring a stunning sunset over the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei.

Day three begins with a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over Sossusvlei, before heading to the coastal town of Swakopmund in the afternoon. Here, colonial sights are juxtaposed with adventure sports: you can go quad biking or sandboarding. On the fifth day, you'll head to Damaraland, where you'll see ancient rock paintings at Twyfelfontein and encounter desert-adapted elephants.

On day six, you'll head to the famous Etosha National Park for an unforgettable afternoon walk against a backdrop of vast salt marshes and a host of wildlife sightings. End your Namibia safari with a full day in Etosha, immersing yourself in the wilderness and spending a serene evening under the starry African sky.

Walvis Bay Lagoon Flamingos© kavram/Shutterstock

Walvis Bay Lagoon Flamingos, Namibia

10-day Namibia itinerary

Begin your 10-day journey through Namibia with the lively atmosphere of Windhoek, immersing yourself in its unique blend of history and modernity. On day two, head to the Waterberg Plateau, where hiking trails lead you through lush landscapes and to wildlife habitats. On day three, you'll find yourself in Etosha National Park, where you'll begin the first of two days of thrilling wildlife drives, each offering special experiences and animal encounters.

On day five, move on to the haunting beauty of the Skeleton Coast, exploring mysterious shipwrecks and enjoying the sight of sprawling seal colonies. The next day you'll venture into the rugged landscapes of Damaraland, where you can see ancient rock art and wildlife adapted to the desert. On the seventh day, refresh your spirit in Swakopmund, where the desert meets the sea, offering a combination of adventure sports and relaxation.

Day eight takes you to Walvis Bay, where you'll spend a serene day of bird watching and kayaking surrounded by playful marine life. On day nine, the adventure intensifies as you venture into the heart of the Namib Desert, climbing the majestic Big Daddy Dune and visiting surreal Deadvlei. 

End your journey in the serene beauty of the NamibRand Nature Reserve with a final day of desert walks and stargazing before returning to Windhoek, where your Namibian odyssey comes to an end.

Namib desert, Sossusvlei, Namibia © JaySi/Shutterstock

Namib desert, Sossusvlei, Namibia © JaySi/Shutterstock

14-day Namibia itinerary

For a fully immersive experience, embark on a two-week odyssey through Namibia, starting in the bustling capital city of Windhoek. On day two, head to the Cheetah Conservation Trust near Otjiwarongo to take part in wildlife conservation. On the third and fourth days, you'll head to Etosha National Park for an unforgettable wildlife safari.

On day five, move on to the serene landscapes of Damaraland, exploring the ancient rock paintings at Twyfelfontein and tracking rare desert-adapted species. On day six, continue to the Skeleton Coast, discovering the haunting beauty of shipwrecks and seal colonies. On day seven, spend the seventh day in the charming coastal town of Swakopmund.

Day eight will introduce you to the dramatic landscapes of the Namib Desert. You'll begin your exploration in Sossusvlei, climb the legendary dunes and visit Deadvlei. On day nine, immerse yourself in the seclusion of the NamibRand Reserve, enjoying guided walks and night sky observations. On day ten, move to the lush south and explore Fish River Canyon.

On the eleventh and twelfth days, spend the eleventh and twelfth days in the Lüderitz and Kolmanskop area, exploring historic sites and diamond ghost towns. On the thirteenth day, the journey returns north where you'll visit the Quiver Tree Forest and Giant's Playground. Finish your grand tour in Windhoek.

First Namibian President monument and Lutheran Christ Church in the centre of Windhoek, Namibia

First Namibian President monument and Lutheran Christ Church in the centre of Windhoek, Namibia 

Namibia Itinerary 1 - The Grand Tour

The distances are too vast to cover all the country’s highlights in one tour, but starting in the capital and finishing in Victoria Falls you could manage most of the well-known sights by road in three weeks – longer if you want to linger.

Begin your journey in Windhoek, Namibia's quaint capital in the Central Highlands, where you can experience local crafts and cuisine. Then admire the breathtaking views of Fish River Canyon, hiking opportunities, and hot springs. 

In Lüderitz, admire German colonial architecture and visit the sand-covered ghost town of Kolmanskop. Sossusvlei beckons like a photographer's dream, offering stunning sunrise and sunset views of dunes and ghostly vlei.

Swakopmund, the premier seaside resort, offers desert excursions, adrenaline-pumping dune activities, and leisurely lunches. Discover ancient San rock paintings in Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site surrounded by geological wonders. Carve out a few days in Etosha National Park to observe a variety of wildlife by the waterholes. 

Head to the Zambezi region for a sunset river cruise amidst lush vegetation, colorful birds, and large animals. End your epic tour at Victoria Falls, where activities range from bungee jumping and rafting to luxury restaurants and wildlife tours.

Canoe drifting down the Orange river which forms the border of South Africa and Namibia © Andre Gie/Shutterstock

Canoe drifting down the Orange river which forms the border of South Africa and Namibia © Andre Gie/Shutterstock

Namibia Itinerary 2 - The activity circuit

You’d need close to three action-packed weeks to fit in all these activities, longer if you want to do the whole five-day canoe trip down the Orange River.

Start your three-week adventure with a day or extended five-day canoe trip on the scenic Orange River, camping on sandbanks. Then embark on a challenging five-day hike through Fish River Canyon, traversing boulders and rock pools, and finish with a relaxing swim in the |Ai-|Ais hot springs. In the Aus Mountains, cycle along scenic trails or take the two-day Klein-Aus Challenge for the most energetic.

Fly over the Namib Desert in a dawn hot air balloon from the Naukluft Mountains, capturing stunning desert scenery from above. Then head to Swakopmund, Namibia's adventure capital, for activities such as sandboarding, quad biking, skydiving and surfing. 

Climb the Brandberg Massif for a day of strenuous climbing and enjoy ancient rock art and breathtaking desert vistas. End your trip at Victoria Falls to enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities such as rafting, ziplining, and admire the majestic waterfall.

Sunset in Etosha, Namibia © Lottie Gross

Sunset in Etosha, Namibia © Lottie Gross

Lion cubs in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Lion cubs in Etosha National Park, Namibia

The best time for a Namibia holiday

The best time to travel to Namibia is usually during the cool, dry winter months of May to October, when wildlife watching is at its peak due to the congregation of animals near waterholes, especially in Etosha National Park. This period also sees clear skies and pleasant daytime temperatures, perfect for exploring the desert landscapes and outdoor activities. However, the nights can be cold, so it's worth bringing outerwear.

Outside of the peak season, the summer months from November to April present a different kind of beauty. This is Namibia's rainy season, which transforms the landscape into a vibrant palette of green and brings the desert to life. This time is great for bird watching: migratory birds arrive and the desert blooms with color.

However, warmer temperatures and humidity can make daytime activity difficult, and some remote areas may be inaccessible due to heavy rains. Despite these challenges, there are fewer tourists and lower prices during the summer months, making this time a good option for those seeking solitude and lush scenery.

Planning to explore Africa further? Check out our South Africa itineraries.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 07.05.2024

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