You can go on a road trip pretty much anywhere, but what about an off-road adventure? There are few places in the world with enough available wildernesses for you to go careering off into the distance, fingers revving on the handles of your quad bike. But in Namibia, that's exactly what's on offer: a quirky off-road trip, to be sure.
For the kind of journey we're talking about, you'll need a couple of weeks spare. But it will be worth it: a way of involving yourself first-hand with the nature and culture, really getting under the skin of this fascinating African nation. You'll be able to drive through dramatic mountain scenery, skid over giant sand dunes whilst nibbling on biltong, and appreciate the vastness of the apparent infinity of the Etosha Pan.
Not just a road trip, this is also a kind of safari, but with you behind the wheel. During your journey, you'll probably be lucky enough to spot African game such as leopards, giraffes, impala, zebras and elephants.
Starting from Windhoek, you'll soon head to the desert camp of Sossusvlei in Namibia's Sand Sea. Stay awake to watch the sun rise and set over the dunes, turning them to fire. Look out for shooting stars after dark and pay a visit to the eerie, petrified forest at Dead Vlei. But you don't have to rough it on this trip. Stay at a luxurious desert camp and you'll get to experience the sandy wilderness in style and comfort, and with fantastic food and drink.
From seaside Swakopmund, you can leave the road behind for a while in favour of a vehicle without a motor. Flex your arm muscles and settle into a kayak for a maritime exploration of the coastline. Here, you are likely to spot seals at the resident colony as well as other friendly sea-life.
After driving through the rough and ready beauty of Damaraland – where you might spot a desert elephant – it's worth stopping for a while in the Etosha Pan. This is the best place in the country for spotting wildlife and big game. Radio-track reclusive leopards and head out on some game drives to find the best the area has to offer.
Further south, the Okonjima animal rescue project is an inspirational place to wrap up your adventure. The staff here at the AfriCat headquarters care for all species of big cats which have been hurt or are unable to fend for themselves. None other than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie brought their children here for an up-close experience with the resident hyenas, cheetahs and leopards.
Your ultimate off-road adventure in Namibia is brought to you by Exsus Luxury Safaris