Namibia – Itinerary, routes, and driving times

Disclaimer

We drove a lot in our 15-day trip in Namibia, probably more than most would be comfortable with (at least based on impressions gathered from the TripAdvisor travel forum). This is mostly because Namibia is vast, and we couldn’t chose between visiting the Northern and Southern parts of the country. So we ended up seeing a bit of both, which necessitated that we cover lots of ground every other day.

In the end all that driving wasn’t that bad because:

  1. We thoroughly enjoy driving through new and amazing landscapes (which Namibia is full of) and;
  2. We live in Canada, where we are used to driving long distances between cities anyway.

Itinerary

Itinerary

We landed early on Day 1 (6 a.m.), which allowed us plenty of time to drive down to our southern destination (Grunau).

Driving routes

Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport → Grunau (Day 1)
  • 659 km, approximately 6 hrs on good tar road (B1).
  • Easy drive but also probably the less scenic of the entire road trip.
day1
The landscapes along the B1 road in southern Namibia 
Grunau → Luderitz (Day 3)
  • 451 km, approximately 4-4h40 hrs on good tar roads (B1 and B4).
  • Straight forward drive on well-maintained highways. Scenery was generally more pleasant than the first day. Driving along the Koichab Pan between Aus and Luderitz was particularly lovely as the sun was starting to set.
Day2
Sunset on the B4 road towards Luderitz
Luderitz → Sesriem (Day 5) 
  • 466 km, approximately 8.5 hrs.
  • If you are puzzled by the discrepancy between the distance and time traveled, this is because this route takes you some of the famed Namibia gravel roads that significantly vary in quality.  The first 120 km of this drive was on tar (B4). The rest was on gravel roads that went from bad (heavy corrugation) to good to just ok and then back to bad on several occasions, resulting in top speeds oscillating between 20 kph and 70 kph.  I would say that our average speed was about 45-50 kph. We left bright and early (6h30 a.m.), made two brief stops for fuel, and arrived at our destination around 3 p.m.
  • That being said, the scenery was wonderful throughout this drive, with several animal sightings when crossing the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
day3
 On the road between Luderitz → Sesriem
Sesriem Solitaire (Day 6)
  • 90 km, approximately 2 hrs.
  • Short drive on bad roads. Probably the worse section of the entire trip as the roads were heavily corrugated.
Solitaire Swakopmund (Day 7)
  • 262 km, approximately 4.5 hrs.
  • This first section (approximately 1 hr) until you’ve crossed the Kuiseb Pass is pretty rough going at times.  Once you have crossed the pass, the road flattens out and the ride gets much smoother, allowing for driving at speeds near the limit (100 kph).
  • Your first photo stop on this drive will probably be for the Tropic of Capricorn sign.

Also note that once you leave Solitaire, you will not cross another petrol station for another 200 km or so (Walvis Bay).

Swakopmund Etosha National Park (Day 10)
  • 511 km, approximately 5.5 hrs (all on good tar roads, B2 then C33 then C38).
  • Although long, this was a pretty easy drive through some scenic landscapes.
Etosha National Park → Outjo (Day 13)
  • 120 km, approximately 1.5 hr  (all on good tar roads, C38 then B1).
  • Straightforward drive, backtracking through roads taken to get to Etosha NP.
Outjo Windhoek Game Camp (Day 14)
  • 310 km, approximately 3 hrs (all on good tar, B1).
  • Straightforward drive. Some nice scenery along the way.
Windhoek Game Camp Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport (Day 15)
  • 65 km, approximately 1 hr (all on good tar B1 then B6).

< Back to Namibia Main page

Go to Trip Highlights >