Driving through Namibia, Week 2. From Swakopmund to Epupa falls

Second week of our Namibia road trip prepared some nice surprises for us we saw a lot and enjoyed every moment of it! It started at Cape Cross with thousands of seals walking and swimming around and finished far in the North with stunning Epupa falls. We hope our Driving through Namibia article will help to plan your trip! If you haven’t read about our first week in Namibia you’re more than welcome to check HERE.

Namibia road trip map, Part 2, from Swakopmund to Epupa Falls

Driving through Namibia, Week 2, from Swakopmund to Epupa Falls. Total distance 1394km

In the beginning of every day we write some practical info to make your route planning easier.

Road trip Namibia

We loved old abandoned cars in Namibian desert!

Namibia travel budget for 7 days, two people:

Petrol (NAD11-11,5 per 1l) – NAD2066/US$157.
Accommodation (6 nights camping) – NAD1510/$115.
Food, drinks – 1550/$118.
Entrance fees – 530/$40.
Total: NAD5656/$430 or NAD404/$30 per person per day.

Namibia travel budget. 1 week, 2 people

Namibia travel budget. 1 week, 2 people

Driving through Namibia, Week 2, Day 1

Swakopmund — Henties Bay – Cape Cross seal reserve, 122km, 1h30min.

Practical info:

  • Henties Bay (70km) – petrol stations, ATMs, supermarkets.
  • Drinking water – refill in Fruit and Veg supermarket in Swakopmund, NAD7 for 5l.
  • Road quality – tarred except last 5km on the gravel road from the turn to Cape Cross.
  • Campsites – Waterpomp 14 (30km), Mile 72 (80km), Cape Cross Lodge (122km).

We left Swakopmund in the morning and first drove to Walvis Bay to see flamingos and after started driving up Skeleton coast. Driving along the coast don’t miss Zeila ship wreck, about 14km south of Henties Bay, there is a sign. A big cargo ship about 70m long quite close to the shore gives a chance for some good photos. There are more wrecks along the coast but not all of them are indicated.

Driving the Skeleton coast, Swakopmund. Road trip Namibia

Driving the Skeleton coast, Swakopmund. Driving through Namibia

Zeila ship wreck, Skeleton coast.

Zeila ship wreck, Skeleton coast.

There should be a skeleton on the Skeleton coast! Zeila wreck on the background

There should be a skeleton on the Skeleton coast! Zeila wreck on the background.

We were recommended Cape Cross lodge campsite since we had time we decided to camp there. Very good spacious campsite with good facilities for NAD100/$8 per person. If your budget is not that tight you can stay in a room with sea view for NAD2000/$155 for a double.

Cape Cross campsite facilities

  • Hot shower – Yes
  • Flushing toilets – Yes
  • Electricity – Yes, at each site
  • Outlets – Yes, at each site
  • Running water – Yes
  • Wi-Fi – Yes, at the restaurant
  • Braai place – Yes
  • Potable water – No
  • Other – basin and cooking area under the rood, restaurant/bar, museum, accept cards.
Cape Cross Lodge/campsite, the Skeleton coast. Road trip Namibia

Cape Cross Lodge/campsite, the Skeleton coast. Road trip Namibia.

Seal colony at Cape Cross

The main attraction here is a huge seal colony about 20-30 000 seals. The Nature Reserve is opened from 8am till 5pm, admission NAD60/$5 per person, plus NAD10/$0,7 per vehicle. It’s absolutely crazy seals are just everywhere; on the shore, in the water, on the wooden bridges! The best time to see new born babies from mid December. We spent more than 2 hours watching these guys! Amazing and must visit place. Except for seals we spotted dolphins near the shore and a couple of jackals hanging around the park gate.

Thousands of seals at Cape Cross Nature reserve, Skeleton coast.

Thousands of seals at Cape Cross Nature reserve, Skeleton coast. Driving through Namibia.

Cape Cross seal colony

Seal babies are super cute! Was difficult to choose only two photos!

Baby seal at Cape Cross seal colony. Road trip Namibia

Look in his eyes!

Cape Cross seal colony

Adults’ talk!

A couple of jackals were hanging all the time around the gate.

A couple of jackals were hanging all the time around the gate.

Day 2

Cape Cross – Hentiesbaai – Brandberg (The White Lady lodge), 232km, 3 hours.

Practical info:

  • Henties Bay (59km) – petrol stations, ATMs, supermarkets.
  • Uis (140km) – petrol station, shop, ATM.
  • Road quality – tarred first 59km, gravel after the turn to Uis.
  • Drinking water – buy in Hentiesbaai. Water in White Lady lodge tastes salty not really nice even to make tea/coffee.
  • Campsites – Mile 72 (50km), White Lady lodge (232km).

From Cape Cross first we went back to Hentiesbaai to buy some food and get cash and after drove to the White Lady. We camped at White Lady lodge The lodge is beautiful, an oasis in the desert with a swimming pool, restaurant and garden. Campsite is very big with many massive trees that make nice shadow. It’s nice to chill down in the swimming pool during the day. Don’t miss sunset from the view point it’s amazing! Around the garden we saw ground squirrels. Camping is NAD110/$8,5 per person plus NAD30/$2,5 for a car.

White Lady campsite facilities

  • Hot shower – Yes
  • Flushing toilets – Yes
  • Electricity – No
  • Outlets – Yes, at the reception area
  • Running water – Yes
  • Wi-Fi – No
  • Braai place – Yes
  • Potable water – No
  • Other – restaurant, swimming pool, sunset view point.
The White Lady lodge/campsite. Road trip Namibia

The White Lady lodge/campsite. Driving through Namibia

White Lady Rock painting

The rock painting is located near Brandberg mountain (2573m) the highest point of Namibia, about 10 min. drive from the lodge. The White Lady is one of the thousands bushmen rock paintings in the area. To see it you walk for about an hour from the park entrance with a guide (compulsory) through the rocky area. Your guide shows you some plants, animals and birds on the way. The painting is considered to be 2000 years old. The name White Lady comes from a white figure in the center that is actually not a lady at all but a man, a medicine man. Unfortunately the painting is not very clear. The area is nice but it gets quite hot so go early in the morning. Take sunscreen, cap, sunglasses, comfortable shoes and water. The entrance is NAD60/US$ 4,5 return walk takes about 2 hours.

Scenery near the White Lady rock painting.

Scenery near the White Lady rock painting.

The White Lady (medicine man) himself.

The White Lady (medicine man) himself.

THe White Lady painting

There are more paintings except for the White Lady on the wall from different time periods.

Day 3

White Lady – Outjo – Etosha (Mopane Village lodge), 315km, 3h30min.

Practical info:

  • Outjo (222km) – petrol stations (only cash), ATMs, supermarkets, nice bakery/restaurant.
  • Drinking water – refill in OK shop in Outjo, NAD10 for 5l.
  • Road quality – gravel first half and tarred second half all the way to Etosha.
  • Campsites – quite a few, Etotongwe in Outjo (22km), many lodges/campsites close to Etosha (300km).
Nice bakery in Outjo.

Nice bakery in Outjo.

We camped outside the park at Mopane Village lodge, NAD150/$11 per person (with two eagles at the gate) less than 10min drive to Anderson gate, the South entrance to Etosha. Campsites inside Etosha are quite expensive, from NAD250/$20 pp. Mopane Village lodge has a wonderful camping area. There is a small pool at the reception, bar/restaurant. Wi-fi is available at the reception. Prices for bungalows start from NAD700/US$52pp, breakfast included.

Mopane Village campsite facilities

  • Hot shower – Yes, at each site
  • Flushing toilets – Yes, at each site
  • Electricity – Yes, at each site
  • Outlets – Yes, at each site
  • Running water – Yes
  • Wi-Fi – Yes, at the reception
  • Braai place – Yes
  • Potable water – No
  • Other – roof area for shadow, restaurant, swimming pool, tour desk, accept cards.
Driving to Etosha

Changing in landscape, from the desert to green fields!

Mopane Village lodge, near Etosha. Road trip Namibia

Mopane Village lodge, near Etosha. Driving through Namibia

Day 4

Mopane Village lodge – Etosha – Mopane Village lodge, 20km plus drive in Etosha, 6 hours

We were quite unlucky in Etosha but we expected it we came in a wrong rainy season, plus it rained even more than usually there was just too much water everywhere. The best time to visit the park is the end of dry season when animals come to the few waterholes and all you do is just sit in the car and wait.

We spent 6-7 hours in the park driving around and we did see some animals but not the ones we’d like to see, just normal stuff like springboks, warthogs, gemsboks, giraffes, zebras, jackals and our highlight, hyena. And many birds rainy season is a good time for bird watching in Etosha. Entrance fee to Etosha for NAD80/$6 per person, don’t forget to bring your passport it’s compulsory!

Giraffes we met near the entrance. Etosh park, Anderson gate

Giraffes that we met near the entrance. Etosha park, Anderson gate

Many zebras in Etosha. Road trip Namibia

Many zebras in Etosha. Driving through Namibia

Springboks in Etosha park

Thousands of springboks in Etosha! Those are chased by a jackal, some action at least!

Hyena in Etosha park

Highlight of our trip, hyena!

Etosha pan

Beautiful green and in blossom Etosha pan, supposed to be dry!

That's how our car looked after the whole day of driving in Etosha!

That’s how our car looked after the whole day of driving in Etosha!

Day 5

Etosha – Kamanjab – Palmwag (Khowarib lodge), 365km, 5h30min.

Practical info:

  • Outjo (100km) – petrol stations (only cash), ATMs, supermarkets, nice bakery/restaurant.
  • Kamanjab (170km) – petrol stations (accept cards), ATM (was broken), a local shop.
  • Drinking water – tap water is not potable in the area, refill in OK shop in Outjo, NAD10 for 5l.
  • Road quality – Shorter way 170 km from Mopane lodge (Anderson gate) to Kamanjab is on a bad gravel road very muddy if it rained before with deep pools. The longer route 232km through Outjo is a tarred road to Kamanjab. From Kamanjab to Palmwag ok gravel road.
  • Campsites – Palmwag lodge in Palmwag (340km), Khowarib lodge (365km).

The way from Kamanjab to Palmwag is a scenic drive through Grootberg pass; amazing view from the top over the mountains and valley. Beautiful area and very different from what you’ve seen before in Namibia.

Grootberg pass, Palmwag. Road trip Namibia

Grootberg pass, Palmwag. Driving through Namibia

Scenic drive from Etosha to Palmwag!

Scenic drive from Etosha to Palmwag!

We camped at Khowarib lodge NAD150/$11 pp. The lodge is located in a beautiful place at the river surrounded by mountains. The campsite has hot water showers, toilets, each site has electricity, outlets, braai place, roof, basin, no wi-fi in the lodge, accept cards. Tap water is not potable but good enough for cooking. At the reception you can buy wood, meat, cool drinks and beer. They serve breakfast for NAD90 pp.

Khowarib campsite facilities

  • Hot shower – Yes
  • Flushing toilets – Yes
  • Electricity – Yes, at each site
  • Outlets – Yes, at each site
  • Running water – Yes
  • Wi-Fi – No
  • Braai place – Yes
  • Potable water – No
  • Other – restaurant, accept cards.
Khowarib lodge, Palmwag.

Khowarib lodge, Palmwag.

Day 6

Palmwag – Opuwo – Ovahimba Living museum/Omungunda campsite, 200km, 3h30min.

Practical info:

  • Opuwo (160km) – petrol stations (only cash), ATMs, OK and SPAR supermarkets. Highly recommend to make your tank full next petrol station won’t be soon.
  • Drinking water – tap water is not potable in the area, buy 5l bottles in OK/SPAR, NAD21 for 5l.
  • Road quality – Don’t take an old bad road to Opuwo, our GPS suggested it. Follow the sign Sesfontein first till you see Opuwo sign and then turn right.
  • Campsites – Opuwo Country lodge and Epupa Falls Guest house in Opuwo (160km), Omungunda campsite (200km).

The drive is beautiful with some small Himba villages along the road. Opuwo is a capital of the Himba people. You can see many of them walking in their traditional clothes I’d say traditionally naked (topless ladies) around. The town itself is a bit of a damp. There are two or three fancy lodges behind massive walls. We’d rather recommended to drive further and stay outside the town.

Giant termites' mounds, Opuwo

The area is famous for giant termites’ mounds. Campbell it trying to climb one of them.

Opuwo, Namibia

Opuwo, the Himbas and Herero walking around in their traditional clothes

Ovahimba Living museum

We stopped at Omungunda campsite, NAD110/$8 pp. The place is amazing, located 40km outside Opuwo here you can camp, see the Himba people and experience their traditional life style. Campsite has basic facilities. There are many activities you can do here from traditional Himba dancing to short hiking to rock paintings and giant baobab tree. The place was one of the highlights of our trip and is highly recommended to visit even if you don’t want to camp here.

Omungunda campsite facilities

  • Hot shower – No
  • Flushing toilets – Yes
  • Electricity – No
  • Outlets – No
  • Running water – Yes
  • Wi-Fi – No
  • Braai place – Yes
  • Potable water – No
  • Other – Ovahimba museum, giant baobab tree.
Omunguna campsite at Ovahimba Living museum

Omunguna campsite at Ovahimba Living museum

A giant baobab tree (23m diameter) at Ovahimba living museum. Road trip Namibia

A giant baobab tree (23m diameter) at Ovahimba living museum. Driving through Namibia

Ovahimba living museum

A Himba lady helping us to make a fire, Ovahimba living museum

Himba family in Ovahimba village, Opuwo

Himba family in Ovahimba village, Opuwo

Beautiful Himba children, Ovahimba living museum

Beautiful Himba children, Ovahimba living museum

Day 7

Ovahimba Living museum – Epupa Falls, 140km, 2h.

Practical info:

  • No pertol stations or town, some locals sell petrol in plastic bottles. You’ll see signs next to the road.
  • Drinking water – can buy 1,5l bottles in your campsite for NAD20.
  • Road quality – Gravel road all the way sometimes quite bad. We lost our number plate driving here.
  • Campsites – Epupa Falls lodge, Omarunga lodge at Epupa Falls (140km).

.
At the falls there are several lodges/campsites we camped at Epupa Falls lodge the closest one to the waterfall from the top deck bar you can see it quite close. Camping is NAD120 pp/$9 it has good facilities; hot showers, clean toilets, charging station and wifi at the bar, braai places, sinks. You can get food or buy snacks and drinks at the bar. Tap water is not potable and to buy bottled water is quite expensive NAD20/$1,5 for 1,5l.

Epupa Falls campsite facilities

  • Hot shower – Yes
  • Flushing toilets – Yes
  • Electricity – Yes
  • Outlets – Yes
  • Running water – Yes
  • Wi-Fi – Ys, at the bar
  • Braai place – Yes
  • Potable water – No
  • Other – restaurant/bar, tour desk.
Epupa falls lodge. Road trip Namibia

Epupa falls lodge. Road trip Namibia

View from the bar over the waterfall, Epupa falls lodge

View from the bar over the waterfall, Epupa falls lodge

Epupa Falls

To do a short hike (1 hour) to see the waterfalls you don’t need a guide and it’s free. Just follow the path outside the lodge it goes all the way along the river bank and ends at a sandy beach. The best time to visit the waterfalls is rainy season (Jan-March). The area is stunning with many small and big falls, giant baobabs and rocky hills/mountains. It’s very different from any other place in Namibia.
From the campsite you can do a tour to see crocodiles (there are very few) or to visit Himba village.

Epupa Falls

Epupa Falls in the morning, impressive isn’t it?!

Epupa Falls.

Epupa Falls at sunset. Driving through Namibia

Cunene river, Epupa Falls

Cunene river past the Falls, beautiful landscape.

Epupa Falls, Namibia

Epupa Falls, Namibia

It was our second week in Namibia, you can find third week of our Namiba road trip HERE.

Need to know about Namibia

  • Left side driving (like in SA, Australia, England etc.).
  • Local currency Namibian dollar (NAD) linked to South African Rand (ZAR) both (NAD1=ZAR1) are equally used in Namibia. Exchange rate in March 2017 USD1=NAD13.
  • English is spoken everywhere, Afrikaans and German in certain areas.
  • Power plugs are 220V type M the same as in South Africa.
  • Drinking water in some areas you can drink tap water but it has a lot of chlorine, in some areas tap water isn’t potable. Water refills at some supermarkets (SPAR).
  • Tropical diseases. Malaria in the North East (Caprivi) region.
  • Visa. Citizens of most countries get visa free 90 days on arrival for Namibia.

    Namibian outlets and plugs, type M

    Namibian outlets and plugs, type M

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