Namibia is one of Southern Africa’s least visited (and one of the world’s most sparsely populated) countries. It’s full of interesting wildlife, has one of the planet’s most treacherous, shipwreck-filled coastlines and is made up of unforgettable, beautiful, otherworldly landscapes.
Many travelers don’t have Namibia on their radar, but those who are in the know are treated to one of the most unique and exciting destinations on the continent. While travelers can enjoy a traditional safari in Namibia’s best-known game area – Etosha National Park – there’s much, much more to do on a visit to the country. Here are a few highlights…
- Black rhino tracking – Namibia is home to the world’s largest population of black rhino, and because of strict, constitutionally-enforced conservation measures, their population is growing. AAC offers the opportunity to walk into the bush with expert guides and trackers to follow these incredible animals and observe them on foot.
- Ballooning over the world’s oldest desert – A hot air balloon ride leaves an impression no matter where you do it but floating above an 80-million-year-old desert full of shimmering, undulating copper dunes will leave you speechless.
- Stargazing – Stargazing in Namibia is no ordinary look up at the sky. The country has some of the darkest skies on earth due to very limited (to no!) light pollution. Namibia is home to one of only thirteen Gold Rated International Dark Sky reserves on earth and looking up at the heavens will blow you away and make you feel minute under its brilliance. We even have a staff favorite lodge we can recommend that has its own observatory and in-house astronomer! Contact a Journey Specialist for the insider tip!
- Kayaking the Skeleton Coast – The Skeleton Coast is so named because of its treacherous waters, which have churned up and ejected scores of ships over the centuries. But its waters are rich with sea life including seals, dolphins and whales, and we have expert guides that can help you safely ply the sea in search of wildlife and beautiful views. Exploring the coast by car or flying over in a small aircraft also lets you see and explore some of the myriad shipwrecks. There is even a special lodge designed after some of the famous shipwrecks – ask us for details.
- Culture – Namibia has nearly a dozen ethnic groups, several of whom still lead a semi-nomadic existence. You can visit with the Himba people, known for the women’s beautiful hair styles and russet-colored skin (made so by rubbing a mixture of ochre and fat onto the skin to protect it from the harsh desert climate), or spend time with the San – the ‘world’s oldest’ people – where you can learn about their culture.
- Get moving – Get out of the vehicle and climb the highest free-standing dunes on earth (we promise you’ll be panting after the first 15 minutes – no matter how fit you are!), quad bike (ATV) among the dunes, tiptoe through the ruins of a gold-rush ghost town (photographers – steel yourselves for one of your most rewarding days!), ‘sneak’ across the extremely remote Kunene river border for a cocktail in Angola (from one of our ’10 Safari Camps to Visit Before You Die’), and watch the sunset from what many of us agree is hands-down the best sundowner view in Africa in Damaraland.