How to travel
Obviously your style of travel around Namibia depends on your budget, though more expensive doesn't always guarantee a better trip.
Backpacking around Namibia is very limiting. You need private transport to see most of the national parks, and will be missing out on a lot if you don't have it. However, if you can splash out on a few days' car hire here, and a couple of guided trips from a lodge there, you might get by on £20/US$32 per day for the rest of your time.
The best way to see the country is certainly to have your own vehicle. Whether you opt to use camps, lodges and restcamps, or bring your own camping kit, is then merely a matter of style.
If you have a tight budget, a much better bet than backpacking would be to find four people to share the car, and camp everywhere. Then you could keep costs to around £40/US$64 per person per day.
For a less basic self-drive trip, with two people sharing the car and staying in a variety of small lodges and restcamps, expect a cost of about £80/US$128 each. If you choose more expensive lodges, with guided activities included, then this might rise to about £120/US$190 per day each – but should guarantee a first-class trip.
Another option is to take a guided group tour around the country. These suit single travellers as they provide ready-made companions, and also the elderly, who may not feel confident driving. In either case, provided that you are happy to spend your whole holiday with the same group of people, such a trip might be ideal. Guided trips are generally more expensive than self-drive trips which follow the same itinerary.
Generally, the smaller the vehicle used, the better and the more expensive the trip becomes. On a cheaper trip, expect to camp, with a group size of 12–15 people, for around £65/US$100 per day, based on a 12-day itinerary. For something less basic, using smaller minibuses, a trip of one to two weeks will cost around £120/US$190 per person sharing, including all meals and activities. Several of the better operators run small-group trips in Land Rovers, with professional guides rather than simply drivers. These can be excellent, but will cost more than a self-drive trip around the same itinerary. Expect to pay upwards of £150/US$240 per person per night.
Finally if your budget is flexible (and especially if your time is very limited), then consider doing some or all of your trip as a fly-in safari. Small private charter flights can be arranged to many of the smaller lodges and guest farms; it's a very easy way to travel. It is also the only way to get to some of the more inaccessible corners, like the northern section of the Skeleton Coast.
A very popular combination is to fly down to the Sesriem area for three or four nights, hop up to Swakopmund, and then pick up a hire car to drive yourself north to Damaraland and Etosha. Another place commonly visited on short fly-in trips is the Fish River Canyon.
Expect to pay upwards of about £250/US$400 per person per night for a full fly-in trip, and note that your choice of lodges will be restricted to those that can arrange all your activities for you.