Discover Namibia and South Africa's rich culture, natural landscapes, and abundant wildlife on this 14-day tour across both countries. Start with a city break in Windhoek before driving to the Namib Desert to climb sand dunes and rise above the landscape in a hot-air balloon. Drive along the Skeleton Coast next, where elephants and black rhinos await you. Then, fly to South Africa to explore the Cape Peninsula, the coastal town of Hermanus, and the picturesque vineyards of the Cape Winelands.


  • Dive into Namibia's scenery with dune climbs and hot-air balloon rides
  • Go on guided game drives to spot Damaraland's abundant wildlife
  • Visit some of Cape Town's iconic landmarks, like Robben Island
  • Look for the Big Five marine animals surrounding Hermanus
  • Sample local produce, wine, and chocolate in the Cape Winelands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Windhoek (Namibia), Explore the Capital at Your Own Pace Windhoek
Day 2 Drive to Sossusvlei, Explore the Namib Desert  Sossusvlei
Day 3 Enjoy a Hot-Air Balloon Ride Over the Desert or Explore on Foot  Sossusvlei
Day 4 Drive to Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast Swakopmund
Day 5 Drive to Damaraland via the Cape Cross Seal Reserve Damaraland
Day 6 Desert Elephant Tracking, Sunset Game Drive Damaraland
Day 7 Look for Black Rhinos in the Desert, Drive to Windhoek Windhoek
Day 8 Fly to Cape Town (South Africa), Enjoy a Traditional African Dinner Cape Town
Day 9 Full-Day Tour of Cape Town & Robben Island Cape Town
Day 10 Full-Day Tour of the Cape Peninsula  Cape Town
Day 11 Transfer to Hermanus via the Elgin Valley  Hermanus
Day 12 Hike on the Hermanus Cliff Path, Boat Cruise to Dyer Island Hermanus
Day 13 Transfer to Franschhoek, Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tour Franschhoek
Day 14 Curated Wine Tour, Transfer to Cape Town, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Windhoek (Namibia), Explore the Capital at Your Own Pace

Wander through Windhoek, stopping at landmarks like Christuskirche, a German Lutheran church

Welcome to Namibia's vibrant capital, Windhoek! Upon arrival at the airport, pick up your rental car and any necessary travel documents, then drive to your hotel to refresh. When you're ready, venture out to explore the city on your own. A good place to start is the Independence Museum to learn about the country's rich history, from colonial rule to sovereignty. Browse the collection of artifacts and photographs chronicling key historical events and the sacrifices of Namibian people during their fight for freedom from South African rule.

Continue to the Old Breweries Craft Market, a bustling market full of Namibian crafts, intricate jewelry, and unique artwork. Then, wander through the historic center lined with colonial-era buildings, charming boutiques, and inviting cafés. Stop at Christuskirche, a German Lutheran church that blends Gothic and Art Nouveau architectural elements. Step inside to see the stained glass windows and intricate woodwork before ending your self-guided tour along Independence Avenue, a main thoroughfare lined with restaurants, to choose somewhere for dinner.

Day 2: Drive to Sossusvlei, Explore the Namib Desert 

Climb Dune 45 for panoramic views of the Namib Desert

After just one night in Windhoek, leave the capital behind to drive five hours to Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert. On your way, stop in the small town of Solitaire to get gas, snacks, and any other supplies you may need on your road trip. Back in the car, watch as the landscape changes from arid plains to the towering red dunes of the desert. When you arrive, check into your hotel and refresh before venturing out to explore the area on your own. One of the most popular activities in the area is climbing Dune 45, named after its location at the 45th kilometer along the road leading into the desert. 

Although the climb to the top is demanding, it's well worth the effort, as each step brings you closer to unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape. When you reach the top, look out at the red dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. Try to time your visit for sunset so you can see the towering dunes transform from amber to fiery red. When darkness falls, stay in the desert to watch the sky come alive with stars, far away from any city lights. After witnessing the desert's natural beauty, return to your hotel to rest.

Day 3: Enjoy a Hot-Air Balloon Ride Over the Desert or Explore on Foot 

Wake up early for a hot-air balloon ride over the desert at sunrise

Enjoy another free day in the desert to spend at your leisure. One memorable activity you can partake in is a hot-air balloon ride over the dunes at sunrise. Head to the launch site and watch the crew inflate the massive balloons. When they're ready, jump into the basket and hold on tight as you rise into the air while the desert unfolds below you. Back on land, you could head to Big Daddy Dune next, one of the tallest sand dunes in the world, to conquer its summit. It's a more challenging trek compared to Dune 45, so it's not for the faint of heart.

That said, after the arduous climb, you'll be greeted by panoramic views of the vast desert while you celebrate your accomplishment. If you'd rather stay on flat ground, visit Deadvlei, a white clay pan punctuated with skeletal camel thorn trees and red sand dunes. Try to visit at sunset to see the landscape transition from muted earth tones to deep purples and reds. When darkness starts to fall, return to your hotel, or stay for another night of stargazing. 

Day 4: Drive to Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast

Stop in Walvis Bay to enjoy a picnic overlooking the lagoon full of flamingoes

Trade the desert for the ocean this morning, as you drive five hours north along the Skeleton Coast to the seaside town of Swakopmund. On the way, cross Kuiseb Pass, where you can take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and canyons. Continuing westward, the arid desert scenery changes to coastal plains as you cross the Tropic of Capricorn line. Stop in the port town of Walvis Bay for a picnic lunch by the water, where flamingoes frequently make an appearance. After lunch, complete the drive to Swakopmund, just 30 minutes north. 

Check into your hotel and refresh, then venture out to explore the area on your own. A good place to start is the Swakopmund Museum to delve into the diverse heritage of this coastal region, first occupied by the Herero people before it was colonized by the Germans. Browse the artifacts and displays on the Indigenous community, the geological wonders of the surrounding desert, and the town's colonial-era development. Take a leisurely stroll along Swakopmund Beach next and visit one of the waterfront restaurants for a fresh seafood dinner.
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Day 5: Drive to Damaraland via the Cape Cross Seal Reserve

Head to Twyfelfontein to see the ancient rock engravings adorning the red sandstone mountains

Explore more of the Skeleton Coast this morning as you set off on a five-hour drive to the mountainous region of Damaraland, also known as Kunene. On the way, stop at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve to see one of the largest Cape fur seal colonies in the world. Walk along the boardwalk to watch the seals bask in the sun, play, and navigate the rocky shores, then sit down for lunch at a nearby restaurant. After lunch, complete the drive to your lodge, where you can refresh before venturing out to explore the area on your own. 

Head to Twyfelfontein to see the UNESCO-listed rock carvings etched into red sandstone mountains thousands of years ago by early hunter-gatherer communities. Wander through the open-air art gallery and admire the ancient etchings depicting wildlife, human figures, and intricate geometric patterns. Continue to the Petrified Forest, a surreal landscape of fossilized tree trunks that have existed since the Triassic period. Stroll through the ancient forest and admire the trunks lined with agate, jasper, and other minerals formed by the petrification process. 

Day 6: Desert Elephant Tracking, Sunset Game Drive

Head deeper into Damaraland to find the elusive desert elephants 

After breakfast, meet your guide and an expert tracker, then set off to a conservation area to look for elephants that have evolved to survive in the desert. Look out for subtle signs left by these gentle giants as you track them, like fresh footprints or dung. Meet members of the local Damara community along the way and learn about their rich culture and traditions. When you find the elephants, give them space and observe them in their natural habitat as they bathe in dust or forage for food. Enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of a towering tree, then return to the lodge to relax.

In the evening, explore more of Damaraland, this time in a 4WD vehicle to the Etendeka Plateau, home to wildlife like antelope, zebras, jackals, leopards, and lions. Listen as your guide teaches you more about the region and the animals that have adapted to thrive here as you look at them through the windows. When the sun starts to set, get out of the car to watch the sky transform into hues of orange and pink before returning to your lodge for the night.

Day 7: Look for Black Rhinos in the Desert, Drive to Windhoek

Spend your last morning in the desert looking for black rhinos

Spend your final morning in Damaraland looking for black rhinos on foot and in a 4WD vehicle. Drive down to the Klip River Valley with your guide and the game trackers, then set off across the vast and rugged terrain to find the elusive rhinos. When you find them, stay quiet so you don't startle them, and take pictures from afar. In the afternoon, it's time to return to Windhoek with a four-hour drive. Before you leave the desert behind, look out for wildlife along the roads, like oryx or springbok. When you finally arrive, settle into your hotel for the evening.

Day 8: Fly to Cape Town (South Africa), Enjoy a Traditional African Dinner

Spend your free time in Cape Town taking a cable car up Table Mountain

Bid farewell to Namibia this morning as you drive to the airport to drop off your rental car and catch a two-hour flight to Cape Town, South Africa's legislative capital. Meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel, where you can rest before tonight's dinner or venture out to explore the area on your own. If you want to relax, head to Camp's Bay Beach, nestled between the Twelve Apostles mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean. Walk along the palm-lined promenade, lie on the golden sands, and go for a refreshing swim. 

Those who want to take in panoramic views of the city can take a cable car up Table Mountain instead. When you reach the top, look out at the cityscape below and landmarks like Signal Hill and Lion's Head Peak. In the evening, visit a local restaurant for a 14-dish tasting menu, inspired by recipes from across the continent. Learn about the ingredients and culinary culture of South Africa while you eat, then sit back for a performance by African musicians and dancers. If you're traveling with children, they can take part in the fun by learning how to beat a djembe, a traditional drum.

Day 9: Full-Day Tour of Cape Town & Robben Island

Admire the colorful houses lining the streets in Bo-Kaap, the city's Malay quarter

Dive into Cape Town's history today on a full-day guided tour of the city, starting at the V&A Waterfront to catch a 40-minute ferry to Robben Island, which has served as a prison, leper colony, and asylum over the years. When you arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, meet your guide, a former prisoner, to tour the maximum-security prison, which was shut down in 1996. Stop at the cell that once housed Nelson Mandela for 18 years during the apartheid era. Back on the mainland, drive through Bo-Kaap to see the colorful houses painted by formerly enslaved Malays and Indonesians.

Your next stop is the Company's Garden, the oldest garden in the country, as it was established in the 1650s. Wander along the well-manicured pathways, looking out at the vibrant flowers and native plants, until you reach the on-site Iziko South African Museum. Step inside to see the extensive collection of fossils, taxidermied mammals, and archaeological findings. End the tour at the Castle of Good Hope, a 17th-century fortress built by the Dutch East India Company. Step through the massive gates to see the well-preserved bastion of military architecture and the exhibits full of period furniture and intricate art.

Day 10: Full-Day Tour of the Cape Peninsula 

Watch the colony of African penguins in their natural habitat on Boulder's Beach

Leave the city behind for the day as you set off on a private tour of the Cape Peninsula, starting in the historic suburb of Sea Point. Stroll down the picturesque promenade overlooking the ocean, then continue down the coastal road to Clifton and the neighboring suburb of Camp's Bay, both renowned for their pristine beaches. After admiring the view and dipping your toes in the sand, head to Boulder's Beach, just 50 minutes south of the city. Pay the entrance fee at the visitor's center, then follow the boardwalk down the beach to see the colony of African penguins in their natural habitat. 

You also have the option to set off on a two-hour kayak tour from the beach to get up close and personal with the penguins. Then, wander through the nearby Simon's Town, a historic naval town full of Victorian architecture and colorful buildings. In the afternoon, head another 30 minutes down the coast to Cape Point. Stop for lunch at a nearby restaurant, then ride the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the cape's summit, where a historic lighthouse awaits you. Enjoy panoramic views of False Bay before taking the funicular back down to the car and returning to Cape Town.

Day 11: Transfer to Hermanus via the Elgin Valley 

Sample local varietals at a boutique winery in the Elgin Valley

Say goodbye to Cape Town this morning, as you meet your driver for a two-hour transfer to the seaside town of Hermanus. On the way, stop in the Elgin Valley, known for its cool climate and fertile soil, to visit a local farm and sample fresh products, like honey, chocolate, preserves, cheeses, and apples, as the region produces 60% of South Africa's apple crop. Drive through the picturesque vineyards next to one of the many boutique wineries in the area. Sample some delicious varietals, from elegant reds to crisp whites and Méthode Cap Classique (MCC), a type of sparkling wine made only in South Africa.

If you're not too full, you can sit down for lunch at a restaurant your driver recommends or make one last stop at the Elgin Railway Market to taste freshly made apple cider and browse the stalls full of artisanal products, handcrafted goods, and gourmet treats. After all that eating, it's time to complete the drive to your hotel in Hermanus. The rest of the day is then yours to spend as you wish. You could head to the waterfront to take in views of the ocean, then sit down for a fresh seafood dinner overlooking the water.

Day 12: Hike on the Hermanus Cliff Path, Boat Cruise to Dyer Island

Look out for southern right whales jumping out of the water as you follow the Hermanus Cliff Path

Hermanus is renowned as one of the best land-based whale watching destinations in the world, so today's adventure is a trek along the Hermanus Cliff Path to try to spot these majestic creatures. The path stretches 7.4 miles (12 km), from Hermanus New Harbour to Grotto Beach, but you don't have to walk the entire trail. If you visit during whale season, from June to November, keep an eye on the water to try to spot humpback whales or southern right whales from the shore. Even if it's not the right time of year, the coastal path, lined with native plants, still offers beautiful views of Walker Bay.

In the afternoon, head to the harbor for a boat cruise to spot the Big Five marine animals—whales, dolphins, penguins, seals, and great white sharks. On board, enjoy a welcome drink and don an all-weather jacket to keep you warm, then cruise to Dyer Island, home to an African penguin colony, and the neighboring Geyser Rock, where over 60,000 fur seals reside year-round. After looking out at all these playful creatures, cruise down the channel between the islands to look for great white sharks, whales, and dolphins. After three hours on the water, return to land and transfer to your hotel.

Day 13: Transfer to Franschhoek, Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tour

The stunning Cape Winelands region of South Africa
Enjoy a wine, chocolate, and cheese tour in the Cape Winelands

Today you transfer to your final South African destination, Franschhoek, a charming town in the Cape Winelands. When you arrive, set off on a cheese, chocolate, and wine tour, starting at Fairview Wine and Cheese, just 30 minutes outside of town. The owners of this combined vineyard and goat farm pride themselves on growing sustainable produce and creating great artisanal products, which you can see for yourself with a tasting of eight different wines, paired with cheese and olives. Return to Franschhoek next for a stroll through town and a sit-down lunch at a restaurant your guide recommends.

After lunch, hit the road again for a 30-minute transfer to Stellenbosch, another charming town in the Winelands. Admire the canal-lined avenues, historic buildings, and towering oak trees as you head to your final destination, the Waterford Estate. Stroll through the vineyards and learn about the estate's viticulture practices and grape varieties. Then head inside to savor a selection of the estate's signature blends and varietals paired with chocolates made by a master chocolatier. When you're full of delicious wine and chocolate, return to your hotel to relax.

Day 14: Curated Wine Tour, Transfer to Cape Town, Depart

Curated Wine Tour
Take a tram through the picturesque vineyards to get to a local wine estate

Start your final day in South Africa off right with another wine tour, beginning with a tram ride to a local estate, where your knowledgeable guide will be waiting for you. Learn about the region's rich history and the science of winemaking while you sample different varietals. After the tasting, visit the estate's cellar to see the rows of carefully stacked barrels full of aging wine.

Following the tour, sit down for a curated three-course lunch at the on-site restaurant paired with a delicious glass of wine. In the afternoon, visit two more wineries in the area to sample premium vintages. When it's time, return to your hotel to grab your bags, and meet your driver for a one-hour transfer to Cape Town International Airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Highlights of Namibia & South Africa - 14 Days
Map of Highlights of Namibia & South Africa - 14 Days