When you think about Namibia tours, you obviously think about Africa. And when we think about Africa we think about safari, right? Yes me too! But let me tell you Namibia is not only about safari. In fact some of the best tourist spots in Namibia have nothing to do with wildlife. What about Skeleton Coast, Namib Desert, the incredible sand dunes and Sossusvlei and Deadvlei?
All amazing things to do in Namibia, but is it possible to see all of them in a Namibia itinerary for 7 days? Yes it is!
Even better: in this itinerary for 1-week in Namibia I will also include some cultural activities and of course safari. Discover Namibia with this perfect route if you only have 7 days. Renting a car is one of the options to get around in Namibia, but you can also hitchhike (click on the link for an hilarious video).
Responsible travel in Namibia? Check out my days as a volunteer at Oana Flora & Fauna in the South of Namibia.
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Day 1: Etosha National Park
When you arrive at Windhoek Airport make sure you buy a Namibia sim card for your smartphone to avoid crazy roaming costs. Having a data connection will help you a lot navigating through the country. Windhoek is about 50 kilometers away from the airport and there is nothing special to see so my advice is to rent a car at Windhoek Airport and discover Namibia straight away. Drive North towards Etosha National Park. On your way buy supplies for 3 days on the road if you are on a self-driving Namibia road trip.
Game drives start right after the entrance and within 5 minutes I already saw zebras, giraffes and several antelopes.
If you are in time enter the National Park and stay overnight in one of the many campgrounds. These places also have rooms available. Choose one with a 24-hour waterhole so that you can watch wildlife in the middle of the night by yourself.
Etosha National Park accommodation options
- Etosha Village - $175 (just outside the park entrance with amazing buffets)
- Okutala Etosha Lodge - $250
- Safarihoek Lodge - $400
Day 2: Explore Etosha National Park
On day 2 of this Namibia itinerary you will have the whole day to search wildlife. If you are self driving I recommend you to bring lunch and eat it in your car. Every waterhole has ‘parking spots’ or a cool thing to do is to head out to the Etosha Pan, which can’t be missed. At this place, that looks like the end of the world, you are allowed to exit your car, but be aware that there is zero shade. Keep on exploring the Etosha National Park until the sun goes down and the park closes.
I hope you saw big cats by now. I failed in my mission to find leopards, lions or cheetahs though still had a great time in Etosha National Park. Even without seeing them it was worth it to visit Namibia. Watching wildlife is just one of those amazing cool things to do in this country.
Day 3: Head to the Skeleton Coast
If you decided to stay overnight inside Etosha National Park then use this morning for another short game drive, but start making your way towards the Skeleton Coast in time. The drive from Etosha to the Skeleton Coast is long and roads are not paved. Be prepared for a long day on the road. Distances are massive, you will find out sooner or later when you visit Namibia.
To break the long journey stop along the way at local villages. If you are keen on buying souvenirs or take photos with local tribes in traditional outfits this is your chance. Along the route you will find the Nama, Himba and the Herero tribes. The last ones are those typical Bushmen tribes with hardly any clothes on.
Even some cultural activities are present in this 7 days itinerary for Namibia.
Once you arrive at the skeleton coast marvel at the beautiful scenery where the desert meets the ocean.
The Skeleton Coast is super rough and some parts are off-limit for vehicles. I don’t have that many Namibia travel tips for the Skeleton Coast, as it seems pretty inaccessible. There are scenic flights from what I heard as well as some lodges that have day trips around their lodge with 4x4 jeeps.
Accommodation options for the Skeleton Coast:
Mid-range: Cape Cross Lodge
Day 4: Swakopmund
After three days on the road you might want a day with not that much driving so staying over night in the sleepy but very laid-back city of Swakopmund is great to slow down a little. Stop at some shipwrecks along the Skeleton Coast before you drive into town.
Grab a coffee at Slow Town Coffee, a very charming coffee place with the best coffee on this Namibia itinerary. In the afternoon make time for some cool things to in Swakopmund like: sandboarding, scenic flight over the Skeleton Coast, hot air balloon, helicopter ride or quad biking. All of these activities can easily be arranged from you hotel.
Stroll down the pier around sunset to see the sun go down in the ocean. If you rather sip a cocktail for sunset go to Strand Hotel Swakopmund.
Accommodation option Swakopmund
Luxury: Strand Hotel (4 star hotel, rooms with ocean and sunset view, balconies, beautiful rooms, best location right on the beach)
Mid-range: Hotel A La Mer (great location next to the pier, cheap, very good reviews) I stayed here too for 1 night. Driftwood Guesthouse (new modern guesthouse, great to meet people, everyone is raving about it).
A little more out of town, but perfect if you are doing this 7 days Namibia itinerary with your own car is Desert Breeze Lodge. You will love this place, have a look at the pictures!
Day 5: Drive towards Sossusvlei
Today you will have to cover a lot of ground again. The ride through the desert seems boring at first, but on your way towards the Naukluft-Namib National Park marvelous landscapes will unfold in front of you. This drive is one of the reasons why you should visit Namibia. Stop for some photos along the way and drive safely, because there are no paved roads in this part of the country.
You will pass through canyons and also find the Tropic of Capricorn on your way. One of the standard tourist spots in Namibia to take photos.
Your goal today is to get close to the National Park entrance for Sossusvlei because that is where you want to go early tomorrow morning. Get to your accommodation in time for sunset, because here in the middle of the desert you will surely have amazing sunsets.
Stay connected and buy a sim card in Namibia. Check here where you can buy it and how much it cost.
Accommodation options Sossusvlei
I would really recommend you to stay at Desert Quiver Camp if your budget allows you to do so. This magical place feels and looks like the middle of nowhere but is only 5 kilometer away from the Sossusvlei National Park entrance. The spectacular desert pool is a unique spot.
- Sossusvlei Lodge - $250
- Moon Mountain Lodge - $250
- Agama River Camp - $220
- Le Mirage Resort & Spa - $250
Day 6: Sossusvlei
Time is flying and this is already your last full day if you are on a 1 week itinerary in Namibia. But don’t worry I saved the best for last and today you have to make an early start if you want to beat the heat. On the program today will be the famous and probably the most well-known tourist spots in Namibia: Deadvlei and the sand dunes.
The park opens just before sunrise and you are probably not the only one who wants to enter then so go early. It is still a good 45 minutes drive till you reach Sossusvlei and are able to start hiking the big sand dune called Big Daddy. Definitely hike to the top and run down towards Deadvlei. It honestly is not too hard, just bring water and take your time. Deadvlei itself is simply unbelievable. If you don’t mind the heat then come a little later after all the early morning tourists are gone and you will have Deadvlei for yourself.
Before you leave the park also go see Dune 45, a popular dune to hike up and it only takes around 15 minutes. You can basically climb any dune you fancy along the way, there are no restrictions or whatsoever.
Additional activities in Sossusvlei:
- Visit the canyon
- Early morning balloon ride
- Scenic helicopter flight
Day 7: Back to the airport
Wake up in time if your flight is early. Driving from Sossusvlei to Windhoek is not too long, but definitely a good 4 hours. If time permits stop in Solitaire, a seemingly deserted desert town. Here you will find an excellent German bakery with bad coffee. If you are still up for some activities then spend $17 towards the NCCC and go to see cheetahs up close and personal. Tours start from Solitaire and take 1 hour only.
With this 1-week itinerary for Namibia you basically see the best tourists spots in Namibia. Wildlife in Etosha National Park, The Skeleton Coast, The Namib Desert, some tribes along the way, the famous orange dunes and the impressive Deadvlei.
If this 1 week route for Namibia is not enough for you yet then check out this amazing lodge on the rim of the Fish River Canyon crater. Hiking in Fish River Canyon is another unique thing to do in Namibia.
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Namibia travel blog
This country is the second least densely populated country on earth and when you travel to Namibia you will find out why. Distances are long and you will have to be ready to drive a lot with nothing in and between but fantastic landscapes. Roads can be really bad and most parts of this 1-week itinerary for Namibia contains unpaved roads. Don’t underestimate driving on gravel roads. Drive safely as this country is also notorious for traffic accidents. Always make sure you carry enough water with you and bring your own supplies. On this trip through Namibia there are only a few opportunities to go to a supermarket.
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Enjoy your trip to Namibia!