You’ve been wanting to take a road trip for a while, but you’re not sure where to go. Cape Town To Namibia is the perfect destination for your next adventure. This route has it all – from beach towns and wildlife safaris to historic sites and mountain ranges.
With this itinerary, you’ll have plenty of time to explore each region at your own pace without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by too many sights in one day. Plus, we’ve included tips on how to make the most of your experience with our packing list!
Cape Town To Namibia Overview
What Is Cape Town To Namibia Road Trip?
Cape Town to Namibia is a road trip that can be done as a one off trip, as a drive through South Africa, as part of an African vacation or as an extension to any Coastal Namibia holiday.
In the first instance it is a 972km journey from Cape Town itself to Windhoek in Namibia. You will encounter some interesting towns and cities along the way, including Swellendam, Mossel Bay, Springbok and Upington.
The second option is to drive South Africa’s Garden Route which stretches from Cape Town all the way up North to Port Elisabeth. The last two are where you encounter most of the attractions associated with this trip. You can take a game or nature tour in any of these cities or if you are staying along the Garden Route, it makes for a good day trip to the coast.
It is a road trip that covers 1050 km in distance with over 2700 meters of elevation changes. The journey starts in Cape Town, South Africa and ends at Sossusvlei, Namibia. The road trip takes around 5 – 7 days and passes through some of the most interesting landscapes.
There are many highlights that include, the Cape of Good Hope, Winelands and Fish River Canyon. This road trip is definitely for those who enjoy long drives through scenic landscapes as well as those looking for great weather.
It is not a trip for someone looking to meet locals in person. There are very few locals in the area and many towns visited are small, however it makes up for with immense natural beauty.
Ways To Travel From Cape Touwn To Namibia
The best way to travel from Cape Town to Namibia is either by car or bus. There are no direct flights between Cape Town and Namibia; you will need to fly into Johannesburg and then take a connecting flight.
For those who do not want to drive, there are buses that take two days to get from Cape Town to Namibia. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can purchase a one-way bus ticket that only takes around 5 hours.
Cape Town To Namibia Road Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Cape Town to Vredendal (Cederberg mountains) – 345km
Start early from the Mother City, and head along the coastal road towards Rawsonville. Descend into the Langkloof valley, where you will go past Tiffindel ski resort en-route to Vanrhynsdorp.
Stop at a roadside stall for a quick snack before heading through the Cederberg mountains proper. Stop at the foot of Wolfberg Cracks, and head up to Haarhoff Pass for stunning views over the Cederberg mountains.
If time allows, make a slight deviation and drive through Langkloof and cross the Swartberg Pass (between Matjiesfontein and Oudtshoorn). On through Citrusdal and on to Vredendal, a quiet town about an hour from Citrusdal.
Day 2: Vredendal to Swakopmund – 424km
From Vredendal, drive through the mountains of the Palmiet Nature Reserve to Grabouw, where you will join Ou Kaapse Weg towards Riviersonderend. Drive through to the Langkloof, and then descend into Buffelsbaai along a fantastic stretch of road.
In Summerstrand, stop for a snack at the seaside before heading on to Heidelberg. From Heidelberg, drive through Garies and Hanover to Springbok where you will enjoy a quick coffee break.
In the afternoon it’s time to head up into the mountains towards Sesriem, then on through Solitaire and past Spitzkop to Swakopmund where you can safely park your car at a secure parking facility. This is a good base for a few days R&R before heading North towards Sossusvlei.
Swakopmund is a popular resort town with the most fantastic beaches on the Namibian coast, some of which are blessed with views of some dunes in Sossusvlei, about 200km south along the coast.
Some suggested activities include sandboarding at Dune 45 – an easy trip from Swakopmund, a boat ride on the Swakop River, a visit to the Historical Museum and a drive up the coast to Walvis Bay for a stunning view of Pelican Point.
Day 3: Swakopmund to Sossusvlei – 260km
Today is an early start if you want to visit the world famous Sossusvlei dunes at sunrise, which are just about an hour’s drive from Swakopmund. We highly recommend this experience as the dunes are amazing structures under a blanket of stars and gently shifting sands glistening in moonlight.
Sleeping out under the stars is an otherworldly experience you will never forget. Everyone should at least once in their life experience such a timeless event… but be sure to take lots of strong insect repellent as well as wearing long trousers and covering up as much exposed skin as possible. Return to town early evening, and spend the night at the same secure parking facility where you left your car.
Day 4: Sossusvlei to Sesriem – 150km
Today you will make the long journey back South along the coast, via Solitaire again. Stop in at the mouth of the Kuiseb canyon for a quick photo stop before journeying on to Walvis Bay and then Swakopmund again.
From here drive over Haarweg Pass and on to Sesriem where you will have a chance to enjoy a well-deserved lunch before entering the Namib Naukluft National Park via the famous Sesriem gate.
Spend today relaxing at your campsite, or go on a guided walk with a friendly ranger. Another good option is to head out into the desert in an experienced 4×4 vehicle, which can take you on a trip along Dune 45 and back for some epic views of the Namib Desert.
Day 5: Sesriem to Spitzkoppe – 220km
Early morning start today on the long journey back North along the coast, past Walvis Bay and on to Hentiesbay where you will pass through the Erongo Mountain range via Spitzkoppe, famous for its impressive granite tors.
Drive through Stampriet and on to the coast, then drive up the dramatic Skeleton Coast to Swakopmund where you will spend your final night in Namibia at a secure parking facility.
Today we suggest you just chill and enjoy the relaxed vibe of Swakopmund – you’ve certainly deserved it after your epic road trip. Your hosts can recommend a number of places to eat, drink and relax.
We also recommend visiting the local museum or even booking a table at one of the excellent restaurants for an evening meal – if you haven’t already sampled some of the local delicacies.
It’s time to say goodbye to your seasoned steed this morning, so give your trusty 4×4 a big hug and send it on its way! After you have said goodbye, visit the Swakopmund Dune Park which is an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll. In the early afternoon head to Walvis Bay airport for your onward flight to Johannesburg.
After a long flight, you’ll arrive in Johannesburg early this morning. Your final destination is Cape Town, South Africa’s Mother City… an amazing city known for its spectacular coastline and diverse cultural influences – the perfect destination to end your epic Namibia roadtrip!
Spitzkoppe is the most spectacular granite mountain range in Namibia and a favourite amongst 4×4 enthusiasts – if you have time, definitely visit – but make sure to fill up on fuel as there are no petrol stations. With your own transport you can also head back along Dune 45 again, via Solitaire and make a quick stop in Sesriem for a photo of the dunes and some lunch.
We recommend you stay at Camp Mara Tented Camp on your way back to Swakopmund as they offer excellent facilities, secure parking and very reasonable rates (from R350pp).
You have a choice today of either returning via Solitaire and visiting the Kuiseb Canyon again, or alternatively taking the inland route to Spitzkoppe via Uis. The latter is longer but has less traffic, so you can enjoy the journey through cattle country. The former is more scenic but takes you back to Walvis Bay, so there will be more traffic. Your choice!
We recommend staying at the excellent Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve for this night (from R1600pp) which is on your way between Swakopmund and Spitzkoppe. It has excellent game viewing, excellent service and well-decorated chalets – perfect for finishing your epic Namibia road trip.
The drive to Spitzkoppe is perhaps the most spectacular of the entire route. With sensational views of granite mountains in dramatic shades of red, green, blue and purple, this journey will leave you breathless.
Day 6: Spitzkoppe to Keetmanshoop – 200km
Leaving Spitzkoppe, head through Usakos and Continue West onto the B2 for Keetmanshoop. Once in Keetmanshoop you’ll need to head north on the B1 to Lüderitz (the coastal town famous for its excellent 4×4 trails).
From here, head along the coast to Lüderitzbucht and either continue on to Wuppertal (an amazing piece of German architecture – a true ‘gem’ – built by the colonials) or return to Keetmanshoop. We recommend you stay at Spreetshoogte Guest Farm in Keetmanshoop (from R560pp) for this night as they have secure parking, clean & comfy rooms and excellent facilities.
Day 7: Keetmanshoop to Upington – 130km
Leaving Keetmanshoop today, head North on the B1 to Springbok for lunch and continue on the N14 to Upington. It’s a stunning drive, so be sure to keep your camera handy!
We recommend you stay at Little Ongava Tented Camp (from R1500pp) which is just before the entrance to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Upington. They offer excellent facilities and a warm welcome (and if you’re really lucky, you may even see a leopard in the early morning).
Day 8: Upington To Kakamas- 475km
From Upington, head north on the N14 to Keimoes and west onto the R27 for Kakamas. From here, take the N10 north towards Calvinia. You can stop at Aggeneys & Augrabies Falls en route before continuing on through Van Wyksvlei to the N7.
We recommend you stay at the fantastic Little Karoo Lodge just outside of Beaufort West (from R1000pp) which is located on a working ostrich farm with lovely rooms, excellent facilities and an engaging owner (who will give you tips about what to do in southern Namibia).
Day 9: Kakamas to Namibia Border – 180km
Leave Kakamas and head north on the N7 towards Keetmanshoop. At Grünau, take the turn-off onto the B1 and continue up to Aus where you can stop for a coffee before crossing into Namibia via the Nakop border post (open 7am – 7pm). Continue north on the B1 to the B6 where you’ll turn East towards Karasburg. From here, continue on to Rehoboth.
We recommend you stay at Green Acres Lodge in Rehoboth (from R500pp) which is a fantastic little guest house with lovely rooms, excellent service and secure parking for your vehicle.
Cape Town To Namibia Trip Tips
Do you plan on taking a trip from Cape Town to Namibia? Here are some of the top tips for you:
1. Leave early in the morning to save time. Check your vehicle is well serviced and ensure that you have a spare wheel and all other necessary equipment
2. Ensure that you have a check list of what you will need for your trip, i.e cold box (for cold drinks), food etc.
3. Check if your car insurance covers you for the countries you will be travelling through and make sure that there is adequate cover for damage to 3rd parties and property (if applicable).
4. Ensure that your passport, visas and travel documents are up to date. Make some bookings in advance such as hotels if you plan on sleeping and camping if you plan on wild camping.
5. Do a refresh of any previous trips you may have undertaken with the same company such as City Rock and make sure there are no rules or regulations that have changed since your last trip.
6. Make sure you get a good nights sleep the night before your departure and ensure that both yourself and your car is well hydrated and prepared for the drive ahead.
7. Keep an eye on the weather forecast so you can pack accordingly e.g bring plenty of warm clothing for desert regions. You should also make sure you have a pair of sunglasses for each occupant in your car.
8. Check the vehicle’s oil, water level etc to ensure it’s topped up before departure. Check tyre pressure levels and carry an air pump with you. Ensure that your vehicle is well serviced and you have checked the oil, water, tyre pressure etc.
9. Make sure you have all travel insurance sorted (if applicable) and leave with at least R200 cash for petrol stations along the way.
10. Don’t forget to take some plasters in case of any blisters, sun cream and your camera to capture the beauty of Namibia.
11. Figure out which countries will be on your way and what requirements you need for those countries as well as any transfers.
12. Make sure you download a map of Namibia and the neighbouring countries as there is limited coverage on route. And if possible drive during hours when traffic is low such as early mornings and overnight to make those long drives more manageable.
13. Make yourself aware of road signs and any speed restrictions etc and ensure that your vehicle has all the necessary tools and equipment and all paperwork is up to date.
14. For your mechanical safety make sure you have a comprehensive tool kit, jacks, engine oil etc
15. Check for any security issues in the area eg crime rates, civil unrest etc so that you are aware of what things are like in these areas before you visit. Things such as theft and crime can be rife in certain parts of the world.
16. Make sure your phone is fully charged and bring a spare battery pack to charge your phone on route throughout the journey.
17. If possible use GPS applications such as Maps Me which allow you to make points and mark roads and places of interest for later reference or to share with friends and family.
18. Ensure that there is enough space for your luggage and if possible make use of roof racks to keep your stuff safe and secure.
19. Make sure you book any accommodation in advance where possible especially hotels, guest houses and campsites so you have a place to stay if required.
20. Lastly enjoy yourself as this is a once in a lifetime experience! Most importantly have fun on your trip, spread the word to others about what you are doing and take lots of pictures.
What is the best time to go on this road trip?
The journey from Cape Town to Namibia begins in the Western Cape Region of South Africa. There are a majority of scenic routes that you can take including the N1, N12 and R60. The ideal time for a road trip is during the winter months as it will allow for more opportunity for adventure and will be less congested with traffic. In terms of getting from point A to point B, it’s best to drive during daylight hours for safety reasons.
What are the must-sees along this route?
Some of the must-sees along this route include Atlantic beaches, wildlife reserves, surfing hotspots and much more. We recommend you visit the following towns and cities,including Cape Town (Cape of Good Hope, Clifton Beach and Table Mountain), Bridgetown, Swellendam (beaches, nature reserves and antiques), Fish River Sun (relaxation and open spaces), etc.
Is Cape Town To Namibia safe?
Yes, it’s completely safe and we highly recommend taking the scenic route which we outline in our pamphlet. The Western Cape Region of South Africa is very safe and we’ve outlined a few safety tips to consider when you’re on your road trip.
1) Avoid taking single lane roads during the night as it’s more dangerous.
2) Make sure to keep an eye on your back rear-view mirrors; if someone is following you, make sure to turn around and check them out.
3) If there’s a weird smell coming from inside your car, make sure to check for any leaks or other problems that could have occurred.
Is it safe for solo female travelers to visit Cape Town To Namibia?
Yes, Cape Town is a safe and beautiful city and we encourage solo female travelers to visit! However, before you go on your trip there are a few safety tips that we recommend:
– Stay in populated areas while traveling; this means meeting up with other people or taking other forms of transportation such as Uber or Lyft.
– Carry your personal belongings close to you like putting your bag on the front of your body rather than on the back of your body. If you need help, try asking someone who appears to be less suspicious.
In conclusion, Cape Town To Namibia is a great way to experience Africa’s natural beauty. The road trip begins in the Western Cape Region of South Africa and ends up onto Namibia. The journey includes wildlife reserves, beaches, open spaces and much more to enjoy on your trip.
The tour lasts from 13 days and 12 nights with two full days spent exploring the city of Cape Town as well as three overnight safaris in Kruger National Park. So if you’re thinking about checking out this destination next year or just want to know what it offers for travelers interested in African culture then book your spot now!
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