Namibia is the perfect country for an awesome road trip. Public transport is scarce and we don’t prefer to join a tour company. With our 4×4 we explored all corners of this beautiful country. We saw the most beautiful places and drove on the coolest roads. What are the most beautiful roads of Namibia that you really shouldn’t miss on your Namibia road trip?
Namibia road trip: 6 most scenic roads in Namibia
Note: you don’t need 4WD for these roads. They are dirt roads like in most of Namibia, but of good quality. The Peninsula near Lüderitz and the Fish River Canyon are the only exceptions to this, although you can also explore quite some part of it without a 4WD.
#1 The C34 along the Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is the most beautiful coastline in Namibia. This rugged coastal strip in the north of Namibia is named after the many ships that have stranded on the cliffs over the centuries. If the crew already survived shipwreck, chances were high that they wouln’t survive this rugged area anyways. It is a fascinating coastal strip with high sand dunes, empty beaches, mysterious shipwrecks and Africa’s largest seal colony. A road trip through this national park is absolutely a must on your travel itinerary for Namibia.
The C34 takes you from the northern tip of the coastline via Hentiesbaai to the city of Swakopmund. On a one day mini-road trip you can easily drive the whole road and make stops at the shipwrecks, the seal colony, etc. Read this blog for all our tips for the Skeleton Coast.
#2 The C27 by NamibRand Nature Reserve
From Sesriem – the base for a visit to the famous Sossusvlei – this road takes you to the south of Namibia. You’ll drive mainly through the NamibRand Nature Reserve. It’s is the largest privately owned nature reserve in Namibia. On this site you can read more about the nature reserve ánd the possibilities to stay there.
You can drive the C27 through this park (free of charge). Along the way you have beautiful vistas over the mountain desert landscape. The reserve also has lots of game to spot. We saw ostriches, oryx and springbok during our car ride.
#3 The Kuiseb Pass in Namib Park
If you drive from Swakopmund to Sesriem to visit the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei, you will probably pass through the beautiful Namib Park. We already wrote an extensive blog about a mini road trip in Namib, including the best camping options. Our main tip: if you want to get off the main roads, you have to buy a permit in advance in Swakopmund or Windhoek at the NWR.
But the main roads themselves are beautiful as well. The most beautiful part is the Kuiseb Pass, all the way to the east of the park. The river Kuiseb has carved a canyon through landscape, creating a beautiful landscape of a winding road and impressive mountains.
Look on your map for the C14 in the east of Namib to find this mountain pass. Besides the Kuiseb Pass, Namib itself is also a must on your road trip in Namibia!
#4 The Welwitschia Drive on the D1991
Namibia is not just home to impressive wildlife, but also to the most extraordinary plants. The Welwitschia Drive in the Namibpark is dedicated to two of them. It is named after the Welwitscha Mirabilis and you’ll also get the chance to spot the colourful lichenplant, both very fragile and only to be seen on few places in the country!
The drive can be found near Swakopmund and is one of the best day trips to make from this coastal town. Go for a day, read ahead about the unique flora and get ready for beautiful nature! In this blog we tell you all about the Welwitschia Drive, including practical tips for the required permit and the camping options.
#5 The 4×4 trail through the peninsula near Lüderitz
One of the highlights of the coastal town of Lüderitz is the peninsula directly next to it. How about a deep blue ocean against a clear blue sky, tough 4WD roads, penguins and flamingos, a red saltwater lake and a light house. And all of that is located in a rugged environment with only sand and stone. We drove around this desolate area for a morning, driving on cool 4WD roads to the most beautiful blue bays. We didn’t go for a swim there though, as the water is ice and ice cold.
You can visit the peninsula without a 4×4, but we liked the 4×4 trails on the beaches and to the small bays with their viewpoints the best. You can drive around the peninsula – in your 2WD or 4WD – in half a day.
#6 Fish River Canyon 4×4 Trail
One of the greatest sights in southern Namibia is the Fish River Canyon, an impressive snake-like canyon in the vast Namibian landscape. Of course, the Fish River Canyon is much visited, but not touristy. The most famous viewpoint is perhaps a bit crowded in high season, but in other places you will be able to sit undisturbed on the edge of the canyon to absorb the natural beauty in peace and quiet. A must!
Along the canyon, from the starting point at Hobas, multiple viewpoints offer magnificent views of the canyon. In one day you have plenty of time to visit all viewpoints. The main viewpoint is near Hobas and can be visited with all modes of transport. For the other points you need a 4WD though. At some points the road is so difficult and steep that you can not get any further there without 4WD. A full day gives you plenty of time to visit all the viewpoints.
Continue reading in this comprehensive guide to the Fish River Canyon to prepare your visit. Including all camping and lodge options, the hike through the canyon ánd the most beautiful viewpoints.