Namibia is one of the most satisfying places for dedicated and curious nature lovers to visit because it is so rewarding when you unlock its puzzles and secrets with a great guide. Instead of ‘nothing’ but seemingly lifeless sand, you will soon be dazzled by everything from the silk trapdoors made by dancing white lady spiders to seeing how desert-adapted elephants casually traverse enormous dunes. This is a place that teaches you one of the biggest lessons in life: it’s not what you have but what you do with it. Wildlife here has very little water and highly seasonal grazing and yet they play, breed and fight just like their cousins in richer environments. Finding them may be harder but what a total thrill when you spot a brown hyena on the beach or a Cape fox on the plains.
A network of precious rivers winds its way through the salt pans of Etosha, the dunes of the Namib, the plains of Damaraland and the canyons in the south. These have supported the Himba and other tribes for millennia and echoes of their culture can be found in rock painting and desert camps. Accommodation ranges from ultra-luxurious to seriously down to earth, and Namibia is a haven for travellers comfortable with 4×4 vehicles and sandy, rocky roads. This is one of the few places in Africa where you can drive yourself in safety but still feel like you are having an off-road adventure!
MEET SABRINA OUR NAMIBIA EXPERT
As a passionate explorer in search of adventures, Namibia has always been a top contender on my journey to-do list. The sheer beauty of its landscapes, from the golden sand dunes of the Namib Desert to the wildlife encounters in Etosha National Park, fills me with an exhilarating sense of anticipation, every time I travel there. Going on an extraordinary expedition through Namibia’s diverse and awe-inspiring scenery is a promise of an unforgettable experience.
ITINERARIES TO INSPIRE YOU
Here are our favourite Namibia Itineraries to inspire you. All of our itineraries can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.
Camps and lodges that surpass the bar when it comes to unusual activities, extra-special amenities and stand-out design.
Meaning ‘the great white place’ in the local language, Etosha has been a protected area since 1907 and is one of the biggest parks in Africa. Wildlife adapted to the arid conditions thrive here and it’s not unusual to see literally hundreds – if not thousands – of giraffe, elephant, springbok, kudu, eland, oryx, zebra, jackal and more flock to drink at places like Okaukuejo’s famous watering hole. Lion and cheetah make the most of the flat open terrain while leopard are known to hunker down in denser bush. Walking out onto the salt pan is a mind-blowing experience: the silence is awe inspiring.
Like Etosha, Sossusvlei is a must-do for every visitor to Namibia. Lying down south in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is where the Tsauchab River came to an end. The prehistoric marsh (or vlei) dried up, leaving only a snow-white clay pan studded with ember-black camelthorn tree stumps and surrounded by oxidized red star dunes. A walk through Sossusvlei makes you realise just how different the world once was: this was a thriving green area. Nearby is Deadvlei, smaller but no less visually arresting. Energetic visitors should scale Dune 45 (140m), Big Daddy (325m) or Dune 7 (383m and the highest in the country).
This seaside town is the ultimate culture shock: between the soft golden dunes and the Atlantic is a collection of high-tech beach mansions, upscale boutiques, streets made of salt and ornate colonial German architecture. The German influence is still so strong that it’s easy to find German cuisine and beer everywhere. ‘Swakop’ is the perfect stop-over for pelagic and marine birding, sunset cruises, quad biking on the dunes, scenic flights, skydiving and a hefty dose of shopping, eating and drinking. The old town is very well preserved and it’s worth spending a morning understanding what life was like here in the 1890s.
Don’t be alarmed that the gates to Skeleton Coast National Park are emblazoned with huge skulls and crossbones: this stretch of the Atlantic is world-famous for over a thousand shipwrecks caught in the crosshairs of strong currents, deep fogs and cold water. But the land presents a quirky environment for patient safari goers. Underwater rivers suddenly become deltas that support birdlife, lions and the most sought-after of all: the secretive brown hyena. Enormous colonies of Cape fur seals breed in November. In addition, there are plenty of outstanding geological features like clay outcrops, deep river gorges, basalt cliffs and beaches coloured pink by powdered garnet.
OPTIONS TO EXTEND YOUR NAMIBIA ITINERARY
Here are a few of our favourite options to add to your Namibia itinerary. These extensions are here for inspiration. We know that time is a precious commodity and we can tailor them to meet your requirements.