Namibia is a vast country with great distances between destinations. In one week, it's possible to see the highlights of the deserts and national parks and go on a safari. However, two weeks is the right amount of time to drive to the main attractions and avoid spending too many hours in a vehicle. In three weeks, you can take a road trip around the country, go on multiday hikes, and venture into neighboring Botswana.

Planning Your Trip to Namibia

Since distances between destinations are far, taking a self-guided road trip through Namibia is best. In one week, travelers can visit desert highlights, go on a safari, and see the Atlantic coast. Two weeks is ideal for adding a cultural encounter, crossing the border to Botswana, or adding a multiday hike. Three weeks allows multiple visits to national parks and game reserves on safari while still having time for adventure sports and excursions. 

Namibia in 7-8 Days

Try spotting a black rhinoceros at Etosha National Park
Try spotting a black rhinoceros at Etosha National Park 

One week will allow you to road trip through central Namibia and choose whether you want to focus your time on safari in one of the national parks, spend more time on the coast, explore the desert's massive dunes, or experience a short visit to neighboring South Africa. 

See the highlights of central Namibia with a weeklong desert road trip itinerary. At sunset, try to spot giraffe, oryx, or wildebeest on a safari drive on the Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve. Next, rise early to visit the massive red dunes of Sossusvlei, the largest dunes in the world, located in Namib-Naukluft Park. Then, hike through Sesriem Canyon while the canyon glows with the early morning sun and end your trip with German-colonial architecture in Swakopmund, an important harbor during colonial times.

With one week, active travelers will want to try this explorer-themed itinerary for a taste of both South Africa and Namibia. Starting in South Africa, the adventure begins in Capetown for a quick look at Table Mountain and a visit to a Rooibos tea farm in Cederberg. Its rooibos and buchu plants only grow in this part of the world. Enjoy the scenery and landscapes as you cross the border into Namibia, paddle the Orange River, and climb the famous Dune 45, heading toward Fish River Canyon. End with a stop at Walvis Bay Lagoon, where you'll see a flamboyance of colorful flamingos if it's the right time of year.

This eight-day self-drive adventure begins in Windhoek, Namibia's capital. Glean insight into the country's history at the National Museum of Independence, then the next day, immerse yourself in the Namib Desert's dunes, rock formations, and wild game reserves. Spend some time in Swakopmund, a German-influenced town on the Atlantic coast. Nearby is Walvis Bay, where you can choose from excursions like the Dolphin Cruise, quad biking, or dune boarding. Explore the Sesriem Canyon carved into the rock by the Tsauchab River before enjoying hiking in Spitzkoppe, the "Matterhorn of Namibia."

Plan your trip to Namibia
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Namibia in 2 Weeks

Plan a cultural encounter with the Himba tribe in Opuwo

Travelers can complete a two-week self-drive itinerary with more time to preview the culture in Windhoek, visit multiple deserts, meet a local tribe, and watch wildlife on safari. Plus, add a trip to neighboring Botswana.

In this two-week self-drive itinerary, travelers can visit museums and try ethnic food in Windhoek before setting out for the Kalahari Desert and Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game park in Africa. Explore the Sossusvlei Desert, including Dune 45 and Dead Vlei, as you work your way toward the Atlantic coast. Next, discover the rock engravings and tribal paintings of Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Journey north to Opuwo to meet the Himba, a nomadic tribe with traditional culture, and finish at Etosha National Park and a private reserve for a special game-viewing adventure.

Experience Namibia on a self-guided drive from north to south. Begin at Fish River Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the world. Next, visit Luderitz for its colonial-style buildings, ocean views, and fresh seafood before journeying to the red dunes of Sossusvlei. Admire the scenery of Namib-Naukluft National Park and the Namib Sand Sea. Stop in Swakopmund, where you can tour a colonial home, admire marine life at the aquarium, or visit a Living Museum to see the everyday life of African tribespeople. Go on safari in Etosha National Park and end in Okonjima, where you're bound to spot cheetahs and leopards.

This two-week safari road trip through Namibia and Botswana will allow plenty of wildlife viewing for safari-lovers. First, visit Sossuvlei, Namibia, a large salt and clay pan area located in Namib-Naukluft National Park with impressive red dunes. On the way to Swakopmund, stop at Kuiseb Canyon, where ostrich and springbok roam. Drive the Skeleton Coast and admire the seal colony at Cape Cross. Watch for giraffes and zebras in Etosha National Park and enter Chobe National Park in Botswana, where you can observe the largest concentration of African elephants in action. Finish your journey watching diverse seabirds and land animals in the Okavango Delta.

Namibia in 3 Weeks

Colony of cape fur seals on Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Visit the colony of fur seals on the Skeleton Coast

With three weeks available, you can opt to see the highlights of Namibia and cross over into another country or two with options for expanding your itinerary depending on whether you want to see more wildlife, scenic viewpoints, or historical sites. 

On this 21-day safari road trip to Namibia and Botswana, you'll drive along scenic passes of the Namib Desert to Sossuvlei. Admire the rock formations of Damaraland on your way to the coast. Visit the marine life in Walvis Bay Lagoon and continue along the Skeleton Coast. Upon entering Botswana, you'll see plenty of wildlife in Etosha National Park, the Caprivi Strip, and Chobe National Park. From here, squeeze in a visit to Victoria Falls in Western Zimbabwe before continuing to the salt pans of Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and multiple game reserves. Finish by hippo-watching in the Okavango Delta.

More Great Destination Itineraries

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