Travel Report Namibia: Highlights and tips for a 14 days rental car round trip
Is it worth visiting Namibia for 14 days? What could a photo tour look like?
Our Namibia travel report summarizes the highlights of our photo trip and gives you valuable tips on how to prepare. Here are our highlights in short form:
Arrival from Munich > Johannesburg > Windhuk
1.Day: Hotel Heinitzburg
2.-4.Day: Windhuk > Sossus Dune Lodge
5.Day: Sossus Dune Lodge > Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge
6.-7.Day: Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge > Swakopmund Cornerstone Guest House
8.Day: Swakopmund > Erongo Wilderness Lodge
9-10.Day: Erongo Wilderness Lodge > Damaraland Doro!Nawas
11.Day: Damaraland Doro!Nawas > Etosha, Okaukuejo Camp
12.-13.Day: Etosha, Okaukuejo Camp > Mushara The Outpost
14.Day: Mushara The Outpost > Winhoek, Olive Grove Guest House
Where is Namibia?
What you should definitely think about when traveling to Namibia
Local currency: Namibia Dolle. For payments or cash withdrawals you can use your credit card everywhere in the country. Cash is more needed for tips and Fuel.
Vaccinations: Coming from Germany, no vaccinations are required. However, the standard vaccinations are recommended, see suggestions from the German Foreign Office. Additionally COVID-19 vaccination card.
Drone flying in Namibia, is it allowed?
YES, but the question is whether it is worth the effort!
In Namibia, all drones must now be registered. There are different requirements depending on the intended use (private or commercial).
Private users must apply for an RPAS Letter of Approval (RLA). This application must be submitted by foreign nationals at least 60 days in advance and must include the following information:
- Formal letter of application to the Executive Director of the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) detailing the purpose of the drone flights and intended duration.
- A map showing the intended flight areas and with the coordinates of the ascent site.
- Risk analysis and a “Safety Management Plan.”
- Documentation on the aircraft showing the technical standards to which the drone was manufactured.
- Proof of drone insurance that also covers third party damages in Namibia.
- Proof of payment for the transfer of the processing fee of currently 1,200 NAD (approx. 80 Euro).
- You can see that it is extremely time-consuming to get an official permit from the NCAA. I doubt that the effort is worth it for a private vacation.
Detailled Travel Report Namibia - important questions:
Is Namibia worth it at all for 14 days?
Namibia is definitely worth a trip. The former German Southwest Africa is ideal for Africa beginners, as it is very westernized, has high health standards, a good infrastructure and is considered relatively safe for tourists. The only thing you have to get used to is the left-hand traffic – as in all of Africa – as well as the gravel roads.
Except for the areas around Etosha Park and in the direction of Botswana, Namibia is also considered malaria-free, which makes it even more attractive. In terms of landscape, Namibia is varied and you can find practically everything between deserts, sea and bush land. At least once in a lifetime you should visit this great country.
How to get to Namibia?
From Germany, there are several direct flights or alternatively you can fly via Johannesburg (South Africa). Alternatively, you can also enter via South Africa with a rental car, e.g. coming from Cape Town.
Do I need a rental car in Namibia?
Our recommendation is definitely a rental car. For those who have the necessary change and little time, a flight safari with its own pilot can also be an option, but most will still opt for the rental car. At the Windhoek airport you will find all major providers. We recommend full insurance without excess and at least one, better two spare tires. The gravel roads are merciless to the tires. A 4×4 is not a must in most areas – like on our tour – but if possible we would always advise 4×4, midnesten an SUV, if already no 4×4. Great deals can be found e.g. at Check 24,, then you don’t have to worry about anything.
The airport of Windhoek is very small and manageable and the rental car counters of the major stations are located in the airport.
Windhoek is the ideal starting point for our Namibia round trip. We chose the Heinitzburg, one of the best hotels in Windhoek. The castle hotel has a breathtaking view over the city and is equipped with modern comforts, as well as a very good restaurant. There are only 17 rooms. Each room has air conditioning and a view of the city. The drive from the airport takes about 1 hour.
Namib, Sossusvlei an Sossus Dune Lodge
The Namib is the oldest desert in the world and in it lies the famous Sossusvlei, in the middle of the national park. The driving time from Windhoek is about 5h.
Sossus Dune Lodge is the only lodge in the national park, which is an advantage not to be underestimated. There are more luxurious lodges than this government run lodge, outside the national park. But if you want to be one of the first to sit on the dunes in the morning and watch the sunrise, you should book here. We were already sitting on the dune when the other cars on the horizon were still entering the park. None of them experienced the sunrise like we did. You have the desert practically to yourself and when the other tourists come you are already gone.
The lodge is very nicely located and the tents are good to luxury comfort. The sunset at the lodge an experience.
Photo tip: One of the most beautiful dunes is the Duene 45 near Deadvlei. The guides take all the tourists there, but it is also worth it. From below the dune does not look high, but it is. Also, a visit to Sossusvlei, a beige salt-clay pan enclosed by sand dunes that only holds water in rare good rainy years, is part of a visit. When it rains, a lake a few centimeters to several meters deep forms for a short time in the vlei at the end of the Tsauchab. The petrified trees attract thousands of photographers every year.
Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge
Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge is a good point to break the long stretch between the Namib and Swakopmund. The lodge is nicely situated, offers good food, a regular porcupine visit, and a pool with a great view over the landscape. However, we didn’t like the accommodations – 11 African-style roundhouses – that much and were glad to leave after one night.
On the way to Swakopmund you pass Solitaire. Soltaire itself consists only of a gas station, a store, a chapel and a bakery with an attached cafe. The latter is world famous for its apple pie, the “best in Namibia”. A lodge and a campground complete Solitaire. Here you can also get the soccer results of the Bundesliga on a chalkboard, as well as other news and also fans of classic cars come at your expense.
Swakopmund, Cornerstone Guest House
Swakopmund and Walfish Bay are among the highlights on the coast, by the sea. Both cities are still very much influenced by the German occupation, which can be seen without a doubt in the many German street signs, the design of the houses or the name of the hotels (Hotel Hansa). Also, German is still spoken very much. By the way, it is the only country, except Austria, Switzerland and a few villages in Latin America. It’s kind of funny when you suddenly walk past locals, regardless of skin color, and German is spoken.
We stay at Cornerstone Guest House, which we can recommend. Price-performance top and the location as well. In the city itself, the Hansa Hotel and the Hotel Swakopmund are also very nice, but there all bus tourists descend. You have to like it.
Flight over the Namib Desert
From Swakopmund a flight over the Namib is worthwhile. This sightseeing flight takes about an hour and there are several providers. It is flown with 6-seater Chesnas. An experience that you should definitely not miss.
Boatstour from Walfishbay
By car it is about 45min from Swakopmund to Walfishbay, from where you can book great boat tours. It usually goes to the seal colony, old shipwrecks and to the oyster beds. Yes, some of the best oysters in the world are farmed here, although global warming is making this increasingly difficult. On the tour you can also see dolphins and pelicans up close. At the parking lot there are masses of sellers of jewelry and everything else. Until today we can not forget that we gave the one seller before the boat tour wrong names (Dirk & Stefanie) and when we came back he stood there with 2 bracelets for Dirk and Stefanie. We still have a guilty conscience.
The boat tours usually start at 9am and last until 12:30pm. You should be at the port at 08:45 at the latest.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
This lodge even appears in the classic book “Hummeldumm” by Thommy Jaud (as well as some other places on our trip), although the book was written later. The driving time from Swakopmund is about 3,5h. Erongo Wilderness Lodge is located on the Erongo Mountains and in a nature reserve consisting of 30 privately owned farms. The luxurious, thatched, bungalow tents offer all the necessary comforts of a modern camping vacation. The main building has a great restaurant, views of a waterhole and a small pool. The lodge itself is beautifully nestled in the surrounding mountains.
Doro Nawas Camp is located in the dry river valley of the Aba Huab and offers visitors accommodation in 16 chalets. Several activities can be booked, including game drives and walks with experienced guides, a guided tour to the rock engraving site of Twyfelfontein or a visit to the Damara Living Museum. However, the main reason for us to stop here were the desert elephants. The driving time was about 5h.
Each chalet has a terrace with a great view, beds with mosquito nets, and an ensuite bathroom. All accommodations are very luxurious.
We know elephants as water-loving creatures that not only like to bathe in rivers, but also easily drink a bathtub full of it. All the more surprising that there are trunk-bearers who voluntarily do without it and live in the Namibian desert. Unfortunately, the total population of these unique animals has shrunk to about 80 to 150 animals. In Namibia they are thus on the verge of extinction. That is exactly why we still wanted to see them.
Etosha, Okaukuejo Camp
Okaukuejo Rest Camp was originally a military outpost established in 1901 to which a tower was added in 1963. Okaukuejo is located in the south of Etosha National Park and only 17 km from Anderson Gate.
In Okaukuejo you can choose between different types of accommodation and you will also find, among other things, a gas station and a small store. On warm days you can cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy the drinks and food offered in the restaurant. Already from the early morning hours animals are active for which the waterhole is a popular place to go. Especially during the winter, a large number of animals gather in the vicinity of the waterhole to quench their thirst. After sunset the waterhole is floodlit.
Etosha National Park is unique within Africa. The main feature of the park is the salt pan, which is visible even from space. Despite this, there is an abundant wildlife population that congregates at waterholes, so animal sightings are guaranteed. Additionally, Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible reserves in Namibia and southern Africa.
The park is now malaria free, accessible by regular small cars, and the camps offer numerous places to stay as well as restaurants, viewpoints, stores, and gas stations. Luxury camps in the remote areas of Etosha Park also add top-end accommodations.
Mushara The Outpost
Mushara Outpost is another member of the Mushara Collection, located just 10 km from the Von Lindequist Gate of the world famous Etosha National Park, offering exquisite accommodations.
Exclusive tents, like in Beyond Africa. Get away from it all, enjoy nature. A super base for excursions to the beautiful Ethosa Park Super friendly staff and equally great service. We were welcomed with beaming faces. The food is just the best, as well as the whole ambience around. Outside shower. Warthogs in the middle of the garden. Campfire before dinner, absolute sense of adventure. Also the trips with our guide. The only drawback of this really fantastic accommodation is that it is located outside the park.
The lodge is designed for a maximum of 16 guests in 8 specially built tent-like structures made of wood and canvas, but they leave nothing to be desired. The main house of the lodge offers the charm of an old farmhouse with high walls and a veranda.
Windhuk, Olive Grove Guest House
From Mushara Outpost it is a 5-6h drive on one of the few tarred roads in Namibia to arrive back in Windhoek, the starting point of the trip. We stay at the Olive Grove Guest House.
Olive Grove Guesthouse is located on a hill overlooking the northern suburbs of Windhoek and just a short drive from the city center. The upscale accommodation combines comfort and tranquility with all the luxuries necessary to make guests feel welcome and pampered.
Namibia is a great country that you should definitely visit. The country is about twice the size of Germany and has only 2-3 million inhabitants. So actually you could say it is deserted. This is also noticeable in the large distances between places, where you drive for hours and meet no other people. It is exactly this quietness and originality that give Namibia its charm. We will go there again, because there is still a lot in this country that we have not yet discovered.
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What photo equipment for Namibia?
The photo equipment we took to Namibia is listed below. In addition, you have the possibility to order the used photo equipment directly via our Photo-Store and to request further technical details. There you can also find a lot of extras.
- Nikon D90 & D70
- Apple Iphone 6
- Nikon 70-300mm
- Nikon 18-105mm