Malachite Honeymoon Self Drive
A mid-range Namibian Honeymoon
This 14 day self-drive trip is a mid-range option designed for honeymooners who want to see the main attractions of Namibia without breaking the bank but still staying at good quality establishments. It includes game viewing in Etosha, the stunning scenery of Damaraland, the towering dunes of Sossusvlei as well as the tranquillity of the Namib Desert. As it stands it is not one of the most relaxing itineraries we have put together so if you prefer to take your time, we suggest talking with one of our travel consultants about adding a couple of extra nights.
After a brief night in Windhoek to acclimatise, your journey begins by driving north to Frans Indongo Lodge, close to the town of Otjiwarongo. Game viewing and unguided walking trails are available at the lodge but for those who want to explore further afield, it can be used as a base to visit the Waterberg Plateau Park or projects in the area such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
Your fourth day is about a 3 hour drive further north to Etosha National Park, where you will mainly be focusing on game viewing. The first night is on the eastern side, just outside the park at Etosha Aoba Lodge, and the other two nights are at Okaukuejo Rest Camp, one of the main establishments within the park and well-known for the abundance of game that it attracts to its waterhole.
Your next destination is Damaraland and although you may be lucky enough to catch sight of the desert-adapted elephants that roam in this area, this region is better known for its sweeping landscapes and rugged beauty. Camp Kipwe is also situated close to the World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein which is known for its extensive Bushman rock engravings.
Leaving Damaraland in a trail of dust, you now have 3 nights at the coast - your first at Cape Cross Lodge which, as its name suggests, is close to the seal colony of the same name, and the next two nights in the coastal town of Swakopmund. For some this is a chance to kick back and have some time to yourselves, for others this is a chance to book an array of adventurous day trips and activities, whether they be on sand, sea or air.
The final section of your journey takes you into the Namib-Naukluft Park and an opportunity to appreciate both the beauty and solitude of the Namib Desert. Your first night is at Desert Camp close to Sesriem. Although very simple this camp has stunning views over the desert and is well located for accessing the dunes at Sossusvlei. An early morning start is needed to make the most of the changing light especially as it is an hour's drive between the entrance gate at Sesriem to Sossusvlei.
For your final two nights it is then on to KuanguKuangu, a secluded self-catering cabin at the base of the Spreetshoogte Pass. This will really appeal to those who want to escape the frantic rush of the modern world and soak in the wild beauty of this region. It is a place for contemplation, star-gazing and communing with nature and hopefully will be the perfect finale to your perfect honeymoon.
Although it is possible to book this itinerary 'as is', as with all our self drive trips this is entirely customisable. We can add or delete days, change the accommodation used and generally design the tour to suit your individual requirements. Visitors who might prefer a break from driving themselves can arrange a guided safari.
- Day 1: Windhoek
- Situated in a quiet suburb of Windhoek, Terra Africa is the perfect place to unwind from a long flight and to acclimatise to your surroundings. They offer dinner on request so if you do not feel strong enough to explore Windhoek on your first night then we recommend arranging this option.
Accommodation: Terra Africa Guest House
- Day 2 & 3: Waterberg Region
- You start your Namibian adventure with an easy 2.5-3 hour drive on good tarred roads. Heading north from Windhoek you pass through the town of Okahandja which has an extensive wood carving market.
Frans Indongo Lodge is situated just slightly north-east of Otjiwarongo and this 17,000 hectare game farm boasts an abundance of Namibian wild animals, including white and black rhino, black wildebeest and hartebeest. Other than the activities offered at the lodge, you can also use this as a base to explore the surrounding area such as visiting Waterberg Plateau or one of the conservation projects close-by like the Rare and Endangered Species Trust, which is mainly concerned with protecting the Cape vulture, or the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
Accommodation: Frans Indongo Lodge
- Day 4: Eastern Etosha
- Driving further north today, you reach the eastern side of Etosha National Park with its rich array of game and birdlife. Etosha Aoba Lodge is situated on a 36000 hectare private reserve that borders the park and therefore has a good variety of game. They offer morning and afternoon guided drives on the property and in Etosha, a shorter sundowner trip and an easy walking trail that can be either be undertaken on your own or with a guide. As it is a 3 hour drive from Frans Indongo and you only have 1 night in this area, it is advisable to plan your arrival time around any activities you might want to partake in.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Etosha Aoba Lodge (comfort room)
- Day 5 & 6: Western Etosha
- Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa's finest game reserves. It is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish. If game viewing is a priority then we suggest coming in the dry season when more animals congregate around the various waterholes in the park. One way to discover where various animals have been spotted is to read through the visitor books at each of the main rest camps - Naumtoni, Halali & Okaukuejo. As one of the most established waterholes, Okaukuejo is well known for attracting a great deal of game both during the day and at night. In the early evenings, it is not uncommon to have black rhinoceros, elephant and lion, all drinking at the same time although it can lead to a few tussles!
Accommodation: Okaukuejo (bush chalet)
- Day 7: Twyfelfontein | Damaraland
- Today is roughly a 3 hour drive to Camp Kipwe in Damaraland. However, in the rainy season this area has many ephemeral rivers and streams that can make travelling a little more adventurous and a 4x4 vehicle is generally recommended. The lodge is close to the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein which are best viewed in the afternoon if it is not too hot. You can either undertake this on your own or as part of a guided tour. The accommodation is set amongst sculptural granite boulders and offer amazing views over the surrounding plains and koppies of Damaraland.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Camp Kipwe
- Day 8: Cape Cross | Skeleton Coast
- Today you head south to the coast. For anyone not in a 4x4, it is recommended to travel via Uis to Cape Cross. If travelling via Torra Bay, and the Skeleton Coast Park, then allow plenty of time for the journey as the road to the coast can be extremely rough.
This barren stretch of coastline is home to one of the largest mainland breeding colonies of Cape Fur Seals and they can easily be visited from the lodge. However, be warned that although the sight of thousands of seals is indeed impressive, the smell is even more overpowering! Black-backed jackals and brown hyena are also common in this area.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Cape Cross Lodge
- Day 9 & 10: Swakopmund
- The German colonial town of Swakopmund has a unique quality of a place caught in time but is not always what people expect of a coastal holiday resort. Unlike most beach destinations, the reason Swakopmund is loved by Namibians is for its cooler climate, the cold Atlantic creating often misty conditions as it hits the heat of the Namib Desert. Also, the water is icy and only for the really brave. Having said this, the area around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay offer numerous options to help you spend your time and money. For those interested in adventure activities sandboarding, quad biking, dune carting, parachuting, sea kayaking, hot air ballooning, shark fishing, deep sea fishing and beach angling are some of the activities you can book. There are also some excellent half and full day trips into the desert such as the 'Living Desert' tour, a trip to the 'Moon-landscape' or a trip to Sandwich Harbour.
Accommodation: Brigadoon or similar guest house in Swakopmund
- Day 11: Sossusvlei
- From Walvis Bay you head east through a flat stretch of the Namib before turning south and heading to the small settlement of Sesriem. En-route you may want to stop off at Solitaire for their famous home baked Apfelstrudel.
Desert Camp is nestled under centuries old camel thorn trees, and has a stunning 360° view over the surrounding desert landscape and mountains. It is just a few kms to the entrance gate to the park and therefore gives easy access to the dunes at Sossusvlei. However, due to the gate only opening at sunrise and the drive to the dunes being around an hour, it is necessary to make an early start if you want to see the changing light over the desert. In winter time in may be better to make this trip in the late afternoon as there are fewer people. However, this makes it a long day of driving.
The camp is mainly set up as a self-catering option but meals are available at the nearby Sossusvlei Lodge, although this is a car drive rather than within walking distance (we can also organise for a self catering basket to be provided at Desert Camp - but this needs to be booked in advance). If this does not appeal then we can suggest other alternatives in the area.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Desert Camp
- Day 12 & 13: Solitaire region
- The essence of the desert is in its awe-inspiring space, raw natural beauty and tranquillity. These are the qualities that make KuanguKuangu the ideal accommodation for your final two nights before leaving Namibia. This single, remote cabin was built to compliment and be in harmony with its natural surroundings. The main wood and stone structure is centred around the double bed and with one wall being constructed of glass, offers amazing views out on to the valley below. Behind the main room is an open air kitchen and bathroom. You can cater for yourselves or opt to make the short trip to the guest farm only 5-10 minutes walk away, which offers hearty home-cooked meals.
Meals: Breakfast on Day 12
- Day 14: Windhoek
- It is now time to head back to the capital and either catch an evening flight or arrange additional accommodation. If you are not in a 4x4 vehicle then you will need to travel via Remshoogte Pass as the Spreetshoogte is too steep for a normal sedan.
- All your meals and activities as specified.
A welcome pack including maps and vouchers for the places that you'll be visiting.
See the individual lodges for precise inclusions & exclusions
The Cardboard Box Travel Shop's own Namibia Guide Book
A 24 hour emergency assistance phone number
- Vehicle & Fuel
Park entrance fees (these need to be paid on arrival).
Tips and gratuities (which are optional).
Any meals or activities not specified.
See the individual lodges for detailed inclusions & exclusions.
- Although we have excluded the cost of renting a vehicle from the quoted rate we are happy to advise you on the best possible vehicle and arrange a rental for you. For an idea of what is available have a look at our car hire in Namibia section
20 Days - By using a range of accommodation types and styles this self drive manages to keep costs down while still visiting spectacular areas of the country.
14 Days - This spectacular self-drive itinerary, created especially for honeymooners, is the ultimate experience that Namibia has to offer in terms of luxury and exclusivity.
14 Days - Still staying in top quality accommodation the Tourmaline is a more realistic itinerary for those on a more upper mid-range budget.
14 Days - A good value for money mid range honeymoon self drive, visiting the best Namibia has to offer
9 Days - Etohsa Park & the dunes of the Namib Desert are the two main attractions on this trip