Namibia

Namibia

Vast, dry and desolate yet full of life, Namibia is one of the most fantastic and unusual countries in Africa. Namibia is home to the oldest desert in the world, the Namib. Its many sand dunes roll over the land stretching toward the sea and burying wrecked ships in their wake. Namibia has vast salt pans, jagged rock formations and arid plains dotted with mysterious fairy circles. Its vast open lands are home to healthy populations of endangered cheetah and black rhino, while desert-adapted elephants, lions and oryx make a living in seemingly inhospitable environments. In short, it is a lesser known but must-see destination in Africa.

Contact a Journey Specialist to get your questions answered, learn about flexible travel options, and to begin planning your perfect luxury Namibia safari. Call us at 303-778-1089.

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Below are our recommended places to visit. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Namibia safari just for you!

The Caprivi Strip

The northeastern most area of Namibia is a small strip of land known as ‘The Caprivi Strip’ or ‘The Zambezi Region.’ Bordered by Angola, Botswana and Zambia, this area is Namibia’s most lush, hosts its largest population and is more like its neighbors than the rest of the country. There are excellent game viewing opportunities including the chance to see water-loving antelope species such as red lechwe and sitatunga, great numbers of both dry country and water birds, as well as large animals such as elephant and buffalo. The area is also easily accessed from Chobe in Botswana.

Game drives, water safaris (both motorized and non-), cultural visits, walks and fishing – including tiger fishing – are all options in this region.

Damaraland

This area in north central Namibia is ideal for seeking desert-adapted wildlife such as elephants, lions and endangered black rhino. It is also home to some of the country’s most dramatic and breathtaking landscapes, including Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg. Crimson mountains, palm-fringed valleys, dramatic rock formations and some of the best rock art in Southern Africa can be explored at Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site in Damaraland.

Etosha National Park

Namibia’s best game viewing destination Etosha is a huge 7,800-square-mile park dominated by its massive, ancient namesake pan (dry/ephemeral lake). Prolific wildlife is found in the surrounding bush, especially during the dry season. Visitors might have the chance to see elephants, rhinos, zebras, lions, blue wildebeest and the rare black-faced impala at the park’s waterholes with the shimmering mirage of the pan as a stunning backdrop. Birders will be delighted with some 340 species to seek out. Nearby reserves offer access to the park, as well as activities not allowed in the park including walking, night drives and sleepouts.

Fish River Canyon National Park

Second in size only to the Grand Canyon, Fish River Canyon National Park boasts beautiful scenery, challenging hiking and few visitors. It’s possible to explore its fascinating geology by driving and stopping at myriad excellent viewpoints, on guided day hikes, as well as on an adventurous multi-day hike into the canyon (hiking is seasonal).

Kolmanskop

Abandoned in 1956, Kolmanskop is a ghost town that is succumbing to desert geology. It is best known from eerie and beautiful photographs immortalizing its desertion and slow reclamation by the desert. As you walk through houses knee-deep in sand taking in the Edwardian architecture, you can learn about its (literally) rich, diamond mining history and the speculators that once called this place home. It is a very special location for photography.

Kunene Region/Kaokoland

This wild sparsely inhabited (even by Namibian standards) region is best known for its true remoteness. Most travelers visit by air as getting to the few lodges scattered around this area require extremely experienced driver/guides to traverse challenging ‘roads,’ though for those with the time to go by road, it’s quite an adventure. This harsh land is home to the Himba, a semi-nomadic tribe living a traditional lifestyle in this desolate area. It has fascinating yet delicate landscapes that beg for a closer look. On the very rare occasion of rain, they burst into bloom.

The Kunene River is an oasis, marking the border between Namibia and Angola. Palm forests border its banks and host birdlife and small mammals, while hippo and crocodile can be seen in its waters. Sundowner cruises on the river are not to be missed.

ATV excursions among the dunes are and option at one camp, while boat trips, fishing excursions and guided hikes to take in the area’s incomparable beauty can be done from all lodges.

Namib-Nakluft National Park

Covering more than 19,000 sq miles, the Namib-Nakluft National Park is one of the largest in Africa. The park encompasses desert and semi-desert terrain and some of the most impressive sand dunes in the world, forming a crimson-hued ‘sand sea.’ Its incredible, ever-changing desert scenery and unique wildlife are fascinating, while its vastness and deep quiet are soul-restoring.

Sossusvlei translates to “dead-end marsh” and is an extremely photogenic and popular pan. Nearby are Namibia’s most impressive dunes, including famous Big Daddy. Climbing the dunes in the area isn’t for the faint of heart but rewards the hearty with stunning views and a fun run down the soft sands. Early morning is best for beautiful color and photography, and a hot air balloon ride is one of the most memorable ways to experience this beautiful slice of desert.

To the south, the NamibRand Nature Reserve borders the Namib-Nakluft National Park and offers unique accommodation, incredible walks (including multi-day treks) and beautiful drives. Additional activities include horseback riding and ebiking.

Skeleton Coast

While the Skeleton Coast’s environment may seem inhospitable, desert-adapted wildlife survives and thrives here. Very lucky travelers might spot oryx or springbok on the beaches, and every visitor will enjoy the incredibly gorgeous scenery. When ships ran aground on Namibia’s coast, survival for the marooned sailors was out of the question, though these days, travelers can stop for a picnic at one of the remaining picturesque wrecks. The Cape Cross Seal Reserve is worthy of a stop to see the huge (100,000+) cape fur seal population.

Those with more time to explore can spend a few days based at a private camp on the coast enjoying the beauty and solitude of the landscape. These trips let you explore the little things – watching crabs scuttling on the beach, learning about some of the oldest plants on earth, exploring ancient rock circles or visiting the Himba, a semi-nomadic tribe still living a traditional lifestyle. Ask your Journey Specialist about visiting the roaring dunes – one of the more amazing natural experiences on the coast!

Swakopmund

This quaint coastal town feels as though it has been displaced from Germany and is an overnight stop for many travelers visiting places like the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland or the Namib-Nakluft National Park. There are very good restaurants in town serving incredible seafood (don’t miss the oysters!) and plenty of activities including sandboarding and dune bike riding. Nearby Walvis Bay also offers excellent birdwatching, kayaking and boat trips to observe marine life.

When to Visit

Namibia’s desert climate sees temperatures ranging from very hot to very cold depending on the time of year. Late April to September marks the country’s dry season and has the most pleasant weather, though nights and early mornings can be quite cold, and travelers may encounter frost. These months are among the very best for wildlife viewing. Things warm up from October through December before Namibia’s wet season from January to April. The rain is regional, and there are areas with little to no rainfall year-round. Those that do receive rain can reveal a surprising lushness in the desert landscape, making for sometimes rare and unforgettable scenery. Temperatures this time of year can be very hot.

Namibia’s coast typically sees a cooler climate year-round.

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