Namibia Self Driving Family Trip

Namibia Self Driving Family Trip Claimed

9 Days | July 2012 | Family of 5 |Self Driving

Average Reviews

Trip Overview

Best family trip ever. Animals, nature, adventure. I'd recommend it to those who are up for an adventure. We did it self driving and not super high end - you can also experience Namibia very high end as well as backpacker level - so something for everyone.

Full Itinerary

Overall comment on planning the trip:

After lots of research we ended up using Cardboard Box Travel in Windhoek to help us with the planning. They were just terrific, giving us options of where to go and what to do given what were were interested in. They also booked all our hotels, our car and our activities for us and made it all so easy. All at no charge. Their suggestions were perfect. Given our timing we did not go to the famed red sand dunes nor to visit the tribes in the east unfortunately. On the next trip! 

Day 1

Arrive Hosea Kutako Airport in Windhoek. Transfer to Pension Onganga.

Spend Night at Pension Onganga – BB – 1 x family room (two rooms with shared bathroom – one room with a double bed, one room with three single beds). Rental Car delivered directly to the Pension.

We wandered around the pension area and explored a bit then headed to town for dinner at Joe’s Beer House. We had lots of wild game in a great atmosphere and after great jet lag made the kids fall asleep while sitting in front of a fire we headed home.

Sleep: Pension Onganga

Day 2

Drive Windhoek to Okaukeujo in Etosha park – 420 kilometres/all good tar roads/5 to 6 hours driving. Not a lot on the way – lots of open land, some warthogs on the side of the road, a couple little villages. Then you enter the gates of the park and drive to the Okaukeujo chalets.

Once we checked in we did an afternoon game drive. There are no instructions on how to behave with or find the animals -you are on your own. It doesn’t even say to not get out of the car!  We saw giraffes, lions, elephants and more. At the lodge itself there is a a watering hole where the animals come both during the day and at night. At night it was spectacular!

Sleep: Okaukeujo (bush chalets) – BB – 1 x double bush chalet and 1 x triple bush chalet, Etosha Park

Day 3

Game drives!  Such a good way to see on our own without a driver, being part of a group etc. Loved hanging out at the lodge watering hole – there is a viewing area where you can sit and read a book or watch the animals – awesome.

Sleep: Okaukeujo (bush chalets) – BB – 1 x double bush chalet and 1 x triple bush chalet, Etosha

Day 4

Drive to Grootberg lodge. Okaukeujo to Grootberg – 380 kilometres/270 on good tar roads/110 on gravel roads 4 to 5 hours driving. The driving on the gravel roads is very dusty and bumpy and is part of the adventure of Namibia! The Lodge is in the middle of nowhere (all of this area feel like nowhere though!) and then you see the view! It’s like looking out on a little Grand Canyon. There are little individual buildings you sleep in, with views to die for. There is a main lodge with bar, restaurant and pool. You can arrange rhino watching trip, which we did, or also you can visit a local tribe or do other outings.

Sleep: Grootberg Lodge – DBB – 1 x double room and 1 x triple room. This was a splurge stay as it was the priciest place we stayed on the trip by far.

Day 5

For a good part of the day we went rhino tracking with a couple guides. Long drive into the bush, where we finally did spot one. Unfortunate part of trip was seeing a mountain giraffe that had just been shot by a ranger for some reason.

Sleep: Grootberg Lodge – DBB – 1 x double room and 1 x triple room

Day 6

Big driving day! Grootberg to Swakopmund –  445 kilometres and it’s all gravel roads/7 to 8 hours. Lots of dust and very empty. Namibian countryside is very open and vast. But we did not get lost, which was good, nor run out of gas, which was also good. Plus at one point we saw the filming of the Mad Max movie in the middle of the desert which was a highlight after a loooong day of driving! Once in Swakopmund we checked into our hotel and drove into downtown for a German dinner.

Sleep: Alternative Space hotel. 1 x double room and 1 x triple room, Swakopmund

27/07 Alternative Space – BB –

Day 7

We drove to Sandwich Harbour just down the coast a bit. Via Cardboard Box travel we had signed up for a full day combo tour of kayaking and going to the dunes. We weren’t sure about the kayaking, but it turned out to be a highlight of the trip. The seals are everywhere around you and come up right to the boat and swim along with you. It’s like nothing we’d ever experienced – really magical. Then we drove up the dunes – this is one of the few places on earth where the desert meets the ocean – and ran around and then had a champagne lunch atop the dunes overlooking the ocean. We had good weather which helped! A great day.

Sleep: Alternative Space – BB, Swakopmund

Day 8

Also via Cardboard Box we had a 3 hour sandboarding and quad biking tour. They drove us up huge dunes and taught us to lie flat down them on boards and fly down the hill (it wasn’t like snowboarding boards, which we’d done on dunes in Peru). You could choose how hard a hill you wanted to master. Then we did a long quad bike tour – even our 12 year old had his own bike – and it was a bit long by the end but fun. 

We then drove back to Windhoek to our original hotel as we were leaving the next morning for Botswana. Swakopmund to Windhoek – 330 kilometres/all good tar roads/4 to 5 hours. We turned our car in that night and the hotel arranged a taxi to the airport the following morning.

Sleep: Pension Onganga, Windhoek BB

Day 9

Fly to Maun, Botswana on Air Namibia

Taxi to Audi Camp. Spend afternoon swimming, relaxing.

Sleep: Audi Camp, Maun, Botswana



Time of year


Type of Trip

Adventure/Active, Nature


1 week

Who Went

Family with teen kids

Accommodation Type





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