Flanked by the rolling mountainous sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert and the cool, crashing waves of the Atlantic, the scenic and predominantly arid landscapes of Namibia are some of the most dramatic in Africa. ‘Namibia’ literally translates as ‘big emptiness’ and here you will encounter lunar-like terrains of epic scale, where nomadic tribes roam and continue their traditional life herding goats and where you can spot giraffe, zebra and elephant in some of the most desertous and sparsely populated areas on the continent.
Vastness & Variety
The vastness and variety of the scenery means that your experiences in Namibia can be equally varied and are great to combine in one exciting itinerary. Damaraland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a wonderland of caves, rocky deserts, petrified forests and granite formations and is also home to the rare desert-adapted elephant. Some of the caves in this area contain bush art dating back 10-20,000 years. Northwest of here is the eerily named Skeleton Coast, a barren area and National Park whose name derives from the numerous giant whale skeletons and shipwrecks that pepper the coastline. Unusual rock formations, dry river beds and clay castles add to the fascinating other-worldly setting.
With such challenging conditions comes a surprising concentration of wildlife in Namibia. Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s most well-known reserves and offers huge potential to see game in close proximity. The shimmering silver of the Etosha Pan, a large salt pan that covers 5,000 sq km of the park, is even visible from outer space. Elephant, white rhino, lion, wildebeest, zebra, antelope all roam freely around Etosha, which also has over 340 species of bird.
The Deep South
Deeper south, the Fish River Canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon in USA and even has a thermal resort at its foot with hot springs. There are some excellent trekking options around this area for the more active. Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert is home to some of the most monumental dunes in the world and watching the red-hued shades intensify as the sun rises or sets is a truly unforgettable experience.
Fly & Drive
Namibia is not only extraordinarily enticing and different, it is also home to some of Africa’s most luxurious lodge accommodation and is one of the friendliest countries in Africa; Namibians are always intrigued by foreign tourists who come to visit their country. Many safaris we organise in Namibia are fly-in via light aircraft to facilitate travel between the main attractions, but with a good road system and well-maintained infrastructure, it is also a great place to enjoy a self-drive holiday, with no shortage of fascinating sights along the way.
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