Unusual for such extreme physical terrain, Namibia is actually well suited for a self-drive holiday. The roads are a mixture of tarmac and gravel, but the traffic is sparse enabling you to enjoy the scenery and travel at your own pace. The driving distances can appear long but they are fun to drive and very easy to navigate.
Soaring sand-dunes, dramatic plains and rocky mountains combine with wonderful wildlife viewing to provide a taste of real Africa from the seat of your car. However, to enhance your stay, most of the hotels and lodges will also provide their own 4×4 vehicle safaris to take you in to the heart of the surrounding landscapes.
Starting in the capital of Windhoek you can head south and into the Kalahari Desert. Here the epic savannah landscapes provide the perfect introduction to the unique scenery of Namibia.
Switch the Kalahari for the silence of Namib desert where the highest
dunes in the world reign supreme at Sossusvlei. It is possible to climb the highest dune at dawn to view the glorious sunrise across the orange sands. Be sure to take your camera to the salt flats at Deadvlie, where the remains of the dead forest provide stark contrast to the orange sand and white salt.
You can follow the sand to the coast at Walvis Bay and the town of Swakopmund, where the moisture from the sea creates a different climate and the cool breezes provide the perfect conditions for windsurfing, sailing and fishing.
Further north you head in to the moonscapes of Damaraland, where rocky outcrops and empty plains enable you to feel like you are on a different planet. Be sure to look up at night to see the heavens untouched by light-pollution and dominated by the Southern Cross.
Finally Embrace the wildlife by day around the water-holes of the Etosha National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for big-cats, large herds of elephants and the distinctive horned Oryx as they come by to quench their thirst.
As an added bonus on the return drive to Windhoek, why not stop in at Okanjima, home of the Africat charity. Here you can witness first hand how volunteers assist injured animals and rehabilitate them ready for a return to the wild. Spend a day tracking cheetah, leopard or Hyena with a guide to really appreciate these beautiful animals.