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With a 4×4 through Namibia, 17 day itinerary for Namibia with kids!

Not too far to fly, nice temperature, not a big chance to catch malaria, in Africa, lot’s of wildlife and safe to travel. It’s decided, we are taking a 4×4 through Namibia!


Together with my parents, my husband, our 9 year old son and 3 year old daughter. We’ll organize the trip ourselves. That way you get to decide what you want to see and how long you need for it. We like to travel fast and stay in the same location for a maximum of 2 nights.

On an adventure in a 4x4 through Namibia

After a little research it’s soon clear that the best way for road tripping Namibia is by car with a roof tent. It’s relaxed and the kids have their ‘fixed’ place to sleep. You can choose a car with 2 tents for 2 people, so 4 in total, or 1 tent for 2 people. You quickly get the hang of setting it up, the matrasses lie lovely and the tent is surprisingly spacious.  Aside from the tent, the car comes with a fridge with a freezer, pots, pans, a kettle and 2 gas burners. Finally, some chairs and a table are of course included.


Driving on the left side does take a little getting used to. Luckily there isn’t a lot of traffic so if you do make a mistake there and now, it’s not a big thing.

A 4x4 through Namibia, yes or no?

We’ve had our doubts but in hindsight it’s a sure must. You’re sure to run into worn out roads full of holes, so a 4×4 is the safest and most comfortable way to travel. Be sure to buy out your ‘own risk’ from your insurance in the Netherlands, it’s cheaper than buying insurance at the rental company. Spending the money before your trip may not be very welcome, but it beats getting the bill presented to you after you get back any day.

What route do we take, left around or right around?

And then for the fun part, planning the route! I always take a look at what route the big tour operators do. That way you see what places they visit and where they sleep. We make sure to book somewhere else. 


Namibia knows 2 common routes, left around and right around with an optional visit to Fish River Canyon. We chose to go to Windhoek, travel south and go to Etosha through the west coast. We plan our route trough Google, including the amount of kilometers and more important, the travel time. Over there, kilometers vs travel time is certainly a lot different to the Netherlands. Be sure to take that into account when you’re planning your trip. Through Tripadvisor you can find the best camping sites.


We briefly thought about ‘wild camping’ but that’s illegal and you will risk getting fined. If the land where you park belongs to a tribe, you need to ask the chieftain for permission.

Our route in a 4x4 through Namibia

Windhoek – 2 nights
We slept in an African Kwela Guest House, a quiet place to stay the night with a pool and a perfect breakfast. There is a restaurant at walking distance where you can toast to a successful flight and to the jitters of the upcoming trip. 

Bagatelle Kalahari – 1 night 
Yes, we arrive at the first camping site. And what a sight this is! A spacious camping area and the nearby hotel is terrific too. A large pool and free cupcakes during tea-hour. Luxurious and spacious, just perfect! We’re quick to book a safari to see our first African wildlife.  

Garas – 1 night 
Garas lies a little more southern. An artistic campsite with mysterious tube trees. To be honest, after 15 minutes I’m done looking. In the evening it storms, making the night in the roof tent a real experience. From this campsite we visit Fish River Canyon. Everywhere it reads you really shouldn’t miss this so we’re really curious. We’ll find out tomorrow. 

Klein Aus – 2 nights
Well, we visited Fish River Canyon but were greatly disappointed. It’s impressive to see the gorge of course and to imagine water used to run through here. But it’s now dry, arid and not suitable for kids. Luckily, we’ve arrived at a nice campsite; clean, a good spot and at the foot of several walking routes.  

Sesriem Camping Site – 1 night 
We stay here to visit the Sossusvlei with it’s red dunes. If you stay at the campsite you are let into the place before anyone else. It’s busy because everyone wants to sit on top of the dunes before sunrise. The campsite is run by the government. It’s set up largely and like any other campsite, it has a pool. We sleep in the desert and that makes an impression. What a sight to see all the stars and it’s very quiet (once everyone has gone to sleep). 

Swakopmund – 2 nights

Being in the city takes getting used to. We sleep in a luxurious apartment but with cold water. It’s nice to be able to clean the car and wash our clothes. There is a shopping mall near to stock up your food. We do this with every shop we encounter because we never know when the next shop will be. We buy water, charcoal and food in cans. Be sure to fill the gas tank everywhere too!

Doubt Fountain – 2 nights
We choose Daureb Isib. The beautiful thing about this place is the open air shower. It is private of course. Look above and witness the stars. I don’t have to stay up late for that either. At 19.00 hours it’s pitch dark.

Kamanjab – 1 night 
A large campsite run by the Belgian Eva and her husband. You can go for beautiful walks and run into the ‘house’ giraffes. From here, it’s only a 2,5 hour drive to the national park. 

National Park Etosha, Elephant rush – 1 night 
Our highlight! Seeing all the animals, such as lions, is amazing. Especially fun for the kids. At the entrance you receive a picture of all the animals and you can cross off every animal you come across. With lot’s of cheers of course!

I had trouble organizing the nightly stays. There are five campsites and you don’t want to arrive at your place to sleep too late. Multiple blogs describe the distances as enormous between campsites but in our experience it’s not that bad. Our route was well to do. We chose to stay one night at Elephant rush. There is a water hole which you reach by taking a spectacular staircase. It’s a rather small campsite so be sure to make reservations in advance. The facilities such as the washing room are tidy. The animals do shorten your night because once you reach the water hole there is so much going on you don’t want to go to sleep. So a short night and on to Halali. 

National Park Etosha – Halali – 1 night
Halali is larger and here too: the water hole is spectacular. As we spotted elephants the first night, here we see rhinos, hyena’s and lions. No long stairway here but a tribune on the rocks to view all the wildlife. 

Toshari Lodge – 1 night 
With pain in our heart we leave the park. To make up for our sorrow, we treat ourselves to a luxurious campsite and this is certainly the case at the Toshari Lodge. It’s located near Etosha so you can take the whole day to visit the place. Put up your roof tent, visit the lounge for a refreshing dive in the pool and enjoy the buffet. For real, we still talk about this place at home! 

Waterberg Wilderness Lodge – 1 night
For our last night in the tent at Waterberg we have nice private camping places. From here, you can go for beautiful walks, with or without a guide. The route up to the mountain is surely recommended.  


African Kwela, we meet again Namibia. We relax and get ready for our journey back. The men go and clean the car and it’s done.

5 Practical tips before you leave

1# You need English documentation for the kids, which you can get at the council office. When we arrived, families were being refused in at customs. 

2# On you can download roadmaps beforehand. Do that in the Netherlands because the mobile range in Namibia is limited.  

3# Are you going with multiple cars? Buy walkie talkies. Very handy on the road and in the wildlife parks. Do you see the lion grandma? Or as a reminder; guys, next stop we need to fill up the tank! 

4# Put your credit card in the Netherlands on world coverage with no limit. Especially the deposit for the car is extremely high. 

5# Buy headlights. The days in Namibia go by quickly. At 19.00 hours it’s dark. It’s nice and cozy with candles at the barbecue and all, but you want to be able to some reading or brush your teeth and then you really need some light.

What does a trip with a 4x4 through Namibia cost?

Take about € 7.000 for a 17 day trip per family into account when your travelling with a 4×4 through Namibia.

The specific costs are as follows:


* Car rental including insurance: € 1.720,-
* Airline tickets: € 865 per adult
* Airline tickets: € 725 per child
* Campsite average:€ 70 per night/car 

* Other costs include shopping, a night going out for dinner now and then, gas, excursions and souvenirs.


A trip like this to Namibia is not cheap but absolutely unique in it’s kind and a sure recommendation! Are you thinking of a similar trip and do you have any questions? I’m happy to answer them.

This article is written by guest blogger Annemarije.


“Hi there! I’m Annemarije, 38 years old and living in the beautiful Utrecht. I’m happily married to Rutger for years and mother to the cool breakdancer Xander (9 years) and ‘ready for school’ Elize (3 years). Our hobby is sailing which has probably to do with the fact that we are from the province of Friesland. Aside from that we like to passively watch Netflix or actively dancing. Oh, and thinking of our next destination of course!”

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