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Day 1 Windhoek / Okahandja (see itinerary for The South) If you have an extra day available, stop over at the guest farm at Okonjima on your way up to Etosha where Africat Foundation is based. This is a sanctuary for orphaned cheetahs and leopards, and cats that farmers want removed from their land. Okonjima is a two and a half hour drive from Windhoek. www.africat.org Day 2 E tosha via Lake Otjikoto Etosha is often described as one of Africa’s greatest game parks. On the way you can break your journey at Lake Otjikoto, where the Germans ditched cannons at the end of World War 1. You should arrive at Namutoni Camp in plenty of time for an evening’s wildlife viewing at the waterhole. A ccommodation: n Namutoni Rest Camp. There are no private lodges inside Etosha and many people choose to stay at one of the park’s three rest camps, regardless of their budget. Here you can camp or rent a bungalow. During school holidays accommodation here gets busy and it’s best to book in advance www.nwr.com.na. DRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVE TIMETIMETIMETIME: n six hours Day 3-4 E tosha The gravel roads through Etosha are excellent. The speed restriction is 60km/h but you will go a lot slower as you watch out for animals. The park is home to 114 different mammals, 110 reptile species and 340 different species of bird. Talk to the wardens and check the game-viewing book at camp reception to find out where the cats and large mammals are hanging 24 Travel Namibiaout. The wildlife watching does not end when the sun goes down as each rest camp is based at a floodlit watering hole where animals come in the evenings to drink. Okaukuejo’s waterhole is famous for regular visits by black rhino. A ccommodation: n Choose between Halali camp (a leisurely two hours from Namutoni) or Okaukuejo Rest Camp (another easy two hours from Halali). n There are a number of private lodges just outside the park. Mokuti Lodge is in its own reserve with no dangerous game so is a good family option. www.namibsunhotels.com.na If you want to move on after two nights in Etosha you can head to Palmwag in Northern Damaraland where it is possible to track rhino with the Save the Rhino Trust. A ccommodation: n www.palmwag.com.na n www.wilderness-safaris.com DRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVE TIMETIMETIMETIME: n Okaukuejo Camp to Palmwag is four hours. Palmwag to Twyfelfontein is two hours. Day 5 TwTw y felfontein This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a wealth of things to see in a relatively small area. The highlight is the 6,000-year-old rock art. Nearby is the Petrified Forest which contains around 50 tree fossils that lived some 260 million years ago. You could also visit Burnt Mountain, which is stunning at sunset, and a group of basalt columns called the Organ Pipes. A ccommodation: n Aba-Huab is the budget option for camping. n Twyfelfontein Country Lodge has its own waterfall, rock art and petrol station www.nambialodges.com DRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVE TIMETIMETIMETIME: n Okaukuejo Rest Camp to Twyfelfontein is four hours with some sightseeing stops. Day 6 SwSw a kopmund Swakopmund is Namibia’s adrenalin capital. There is a vast range of activities available, from dune surfing to windsurfing, quad biking to horse riding and skydiving to fishing. There are some great excursions to be made in your car too. The four-five hour Welwitschia Tour takes you into a corner of the Namib Naukluft National Park to a welwitschia plant that is thought to be 1,500 years old. Permits for the drive can be bought from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Bismarck Street. Alternatively, the Cape Coast Seal Colony is easily accessible from here in a 2WD. It is very pleasant to spend half a day just wondering around this relaxed town visiting the art studios, book shops and munching on apple strudel in one of the many coffee houses. A ccommodation: n Camping here is cold and windy. Try a backpackers’ instead for budget accommodation. Desert Sky is a popular option. www.swakop.com n The town is awash with small pensions and B&Bs. n Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie checked into the Burning Shore Beach Lodge, on Swakopmund’s outskirts, for the birth of their daughter. www.burningshore.info DRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVEDRIVE TIMETIMETIMETIME: n Twyfelfontein to Swakopmund is four hours. The north 7 days Itineraries

Travel Namibia 25 4WD ALTERNATIVE ROUTE In a 4WD from Twyfelfontein you can drive part of the bleak Skeleton Coast National Park via the gate at Springbokwasser. On the C24 road you’ll pass the wrecks of many ships that have fallen foul of this foggy coastline, and can visit the Cape Coast Seal Colony before reaching Swakopmund. This route will take you a good seven hours, but it’s a great adventure. Be sure you have enough fuel on board as your first petrol station is at Henties Bay. Day 7 Swawakopmundundund oror Spititzkoppe Swakopmund and nearby Walvis Bay have plenty to keep you occupied for two days, but if you’d prefer a quieter end to your tour, head to Spitzkoppe and camp. Here each carefully-planned pitch is isolated among the rocky outcrops that rise up spectacularly from the gravel plains. Showers are cold buckets on a pulley system set among the rocks and some pitches have carefully hidden alfresco long-drop toilets – all immaculately clean. Spitzkoppe has a number of cheetahs, although these can be elusive. Similarly difficult to spot is the bushman art that is dotted around this community-run site. Accommodationodationodationodationodationodationodation: n Spitzkoppe Community Camp www.nacobta.com.na DRIVE TIME: n From Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe is a two-hour drive. It is three to four hours from both Spitzkoppe and Swakopmund to Windhoek to complete your circuit. C LOCKWISE FROM THE TOP: Okaukuejo’s floodlit waterhole; the road to Damaraland; quadbiking at Swakopmund; an ancient welwitschia plant, a cheetah cub at Africat. Chris Marais