See the highlights of Namibia on a weeklong road trip that offers you plenty of freedom and flexibility. You'll take a sunset safari drive on the Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve, see the famous Red Dunes of Sossusvlei, go on a sunrise hike through Sesriem Canyon, see German-colonial architecture in the oceanside town of Swakopmund, and more.


  • Learn about tracking with local bushmen in Mariental
  • Hike through the Namib Desert
  • See a sunrise in Sesriem Canyon
  • Take a dolphin-spotting cruise off the coast of Swakopmund

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Windhoek, Drive to Mariental Mariental
Day 2 Walk with Bushmen & Sunset Nature Drive Mariental
Day 3 See the Red Dunes of Sossusvlei Sossusvlei
Day 4 Drive to Sesriem Canyon Sossusvlei
Day 5 Drive to Swakopmund Swakopmund
Day 6 Free Day in Swakopmund Swakopmund
Day 7 Depart via Windhoek  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek, Drive to Mariental

View of Windhoek
View of Windhoek

Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek, you will be met by a representative who will present you with your info pack and brief you on your tour before helping you retrieve your rental car. You will then depart Windhoek and drive about 149 miles (240 km) to your hotel in the Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve near the town of Mariental.

Day 2: Walk with Bushmen & Sunset Nature Drive

Sunset nature drive
Sunset nature drive

This morning, you will be guided on a walk to a community of bushmen, where you will learn about tracking and craft making. In the late afternoon, you will take a sunset nature drive on the Intu Afrika Reserve. After your drive, you'll return to Mariental, where you can have dinner and spend the evening as you'd like.

Day 3: See the Red Dunes of Sossusvlei

Red Dunes of Sossusvlei
The Red Dunes of Sossusvlei

Today after breakfast, you will drive west to the world-famous Namib Desert 210 miles (338 km) from Mariental. You'll go see the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei situated in Namib-Naukluft Park. Your accommodation for the night is a lodge conveniently located at the park entrance. The rooms are air-conditioned, and enjoy views of the ever-changing colors of the Namib Desert. The lodge has its own beer garden, swimming pool, and sundowner deck.

Some activities you can book include:

  • Sunset nature drive
  • Guided excursions to the red dunes and Deadvlei
  • Quad buggy trail rides
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Nature walks
Plan your trip to Namibia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Drive to Sesriem Canyon

Inside Sesriem Canyon
Inside Sesriem Canyon

This morning, we suggest taking an early morning drive to Sossusvlei Dunes to visit Sesriem Canyon. The earlier you get there, the more brilliant and striking the orange colors of the canyon will be with the low sunlight, and you'll be able to better avoid the heat. You can hike around the canyon for as long as you'd wish before driving back to your accommodation.

Day 5: Drive to Swakopmund

On the beach in Swakopmund
On the beach in Swakopmund

After breakfast at your lodge this morning, you'll head to Namib Naukluft Park and drive toward Swakopmund. You'll be able to take in plenty of striking scenery on the way as you will pass the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons and drive over expansive gravel plains that make up certain areas of the Namib Desert. This evening, you'll have a free night to explore the coastal town of Swakopmund, where you can swim in the Atlantic, relax on the beach, and have a relaxing dinner.

Day 6: Free Day in Swakopmund

View of the Spitzkoppe Desert
View of the Spitzkoppe Desert

You'll have the entire day free to explore this charming and historic town. Modern Swakopmund has a very strong German influence due to colonization during the 1800s, and a large portion of its residents still speak German today.

Some suggestions for activities that you can book during your day in Swakopmund include:

  • Renting an all-terrain vehicle
  • Horseback riding
  • Taking a dolphin-spotting cruise
  • Paragliding
  • Fishing
  • Drive 21 miles (35 km) to the harbor town of Walvis Bay
  • Go hiking or rock climbing in the nearby Spitzkoppe Desert

Day 7: Depart Windhoek

German architecture in Swakopmund
German architecture in Swakopmund

It's time to say goodbye to Namibia! This morning after your breakfast, you will drive the 248 miles (400 km) back to Windhoek Airport, where you will return your rental vehicle and board your flight home.

More Great Namibia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Namibia? Check out these other Namibia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, wildlife safaris, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of Namibia Desert Road Trip  - 7 Days
Map of Namibia Desert Road Trip - 7 Days