HIGHLIGHTS OF NAMIBIA
Highlights of Namibia
Whether touring from the cold blue Atlantic Ocean bordering the harsh Namibian desert and the wild uninhabitable Skeleton coast in the west to the red sand dunes of the Kalahari in the east, or exploring the changing landscape of the lush green Okavango delta in the north to the dry grass planes in the south, Namibia will bring you the travel experience of a life time. With 11 ethnic groups living in harmony in Namibia there is no other place that will bring the peace and quiet that you will experience traveling our country. With a population of just over 2 million people you will be able to enjoy nature as it was intended. At the end of the day you can unpack and enjoy the most incredible sunsets.
Etosha National Park
Home to Africa's tallest elephants, the endangered black rhino and 91 other species of mammal Etosha National Park is Namibia’s top wildlife destination. Visitors to Etosha have good chances to see 4 of Africa’s Big 5 (Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhino). Etosha is the photographers haeven especially in the dry season. Sitting at the waterholes (along with the wildlife) promises to produce the most spectacular wildlife photos ever to be taken. Most visitors to Etosha will see plenty of zebra, springbuck, giraffe, elephant, lion, rhino and have a very good chance of seeing cheetah and leopard, along with a huge variety of birdlife. Etosha National Park doesn't offer scheduled game drives and rather promotes the self-drive safari experience.
The Namib desert is the oldest desert in the world and in the middle of this ancient desert is where you find the Namib Naukluft park. Travelling to Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft Park might just surprise you with a sporadic summer storm that will be a once in a lifetime experience and on your way back stop at the Dooie Vlei or “Deadvlei” surrounded by some of the highest sand dunes in the world called “Big Daddy” or “Crazy Dune”. Appreciate one of nature’s wonders of dead Camelthorn trees in the vlei estimated to be 900 years old, though not petrified but not decomposing because it is so dry. The Sesriem Canyon in this area is something not to be missed. Further to the north the ancient Welwitschia is also an attraction. Did you know this plant can be 1500 years old? Activities here includes hiking, hot-air ballooning and safari drives and it goes without saying this area hosts the most wonderful lodges.
The Skeleton Coast of Namibia
The Skeleton Coast of Namibia derives its name from the wrecks of hundreds of ships, whale bones and seal bones that litter the desert along this treacherous coastline. The Skeleton Coast takes up the northern half of Namibia's coast line. The water is rough and absolutely freezing, so swimming here is not for the faint hearted, but the beach is endless. Apart from the breathtaking scenery, shore based sea fishing is very popular here. The skeleton coast is a home to the Cape Fur seals which again attract predators such as hyena and jackals.
The Fish River Canyon
Being Africa’s largest canyon, the Fish River Canyon is thought to have formed about 500 million years ago. The canyon is located in southern Namibia. It has carved out over 160 km's of rock (100 miles), and some of the canyon walls are over half a kilometer high. Hiking the canyon is a very popular activity but only during the cooler months between May and September. Since there are no lodges or hotels to get food or water along the way, one has to be self sufficient and accommodation is in tents or in the open air. The hike offers spectacular views and with baboons, hyraxes and klipspringers becoming common sightings. To end the hike, staying at the Ai-Ais hot springs resort for a day or two will revive you well enough to continue with the rest of your journey.
The Caprivi Strip
Unlike the rest of Namibia, The Caprivi strip is green and populated. With a fingerlike strip of land in northern Namibia it juts eastward and borders Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, the four corners of Africa. With several major rivers like the mighty Zambezi, Okavango, Chobe and Linyanti flowing in the area this makes it ideal for water based safaris with lovely houseboats to choose from. For the bird lover this is a top destination with over four hundred species flying around. It has several national parks to enjoy filled with undisturbed wildlife and lovely lodges. It's easily combined with Botswana's national parks and the magnificent Victoria Falls.
Swakopmund is Namibia's premier seaside town. It relish German style colonial buildings and during the hot summer months (November to February) it is a very popular destination for local holiday makers and tourists coming here to escape the scorching heat of the inland. Swakopmund has a good number of hotels, restaurants and even a casino to enjoy. The water temperatures is quite chilly to really enjoy swimming here, but shore based fishing and other activities such as , dolphin, seal and whale watching, as well as birding will keep you occupied . Other fun like activities in the dunes attracts thousands with sandboarding and quadbiking in the Namib desert which is just inland. Watch the dunes turn red with spectacular sunsets when the Atlantic ocean swallows the hot African sun at the end of a fun filled day.
Brandberg Mountain or “fire mountain” is Namibia's highest mountain (2606 m) and lies in the northwest Namib desert. The Brandberg turns to a fiery red color at sunset from which it derives its name. Visitors come here to appreciate the stone-age rock art in the hundreds of caves on the mountain, of which the most famous is the "White Lady “. There are hundreds of wonderful depictions of ancient hunting scenes, mythical stories and more, all painted by San Bushmen thousands of years ago.
Kaokoland is home to the Himba, one of the traditional tribes of Namibia. Kaokoland is very remote and sparsely populated due to its arid, rocky landscape. There are some rivers and even waterfalls, that provide a little greenery, as well as beautiful mountain ranges. The Himba who make this their home makes a living by grazing goats and cattle. Visiting the Himba is a highlight for many people, as well as a chance to see the rare desert elephant. It is important to note that traveling here can only be done with a 4x4 vehicle.
Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia and is situated almost in the exact centre of Namibia. It was founded in the 1890’s by German soldiers who appreciated the natural springs the area offered and its location between two of Namibia's main tribes at that time, the Nama and Herero . Though temperatures can reach the high thirties during the day in summer it cools down pleasantly in the evenings making patio dinners very enjoyable. Well known landmarks such as the Christuskirche, a Lutheran church built in the 1910’s as well as the The Alte Feste (Old Fortress) a fortress and museum in downtown Windhoek, makes the city a very attractive destination. Windhoek hosts a kaleidoscope of entertainment that will fill your days and nights with never ending fun and if the hustling and bustling of the city is becoming too much there is a quiet lodge or game farm “just around the corner”. Finding a resting place for the night is as easy as “drive” as there are accommodation establishments catering for everyone, whether you will be camping or staying in a hotel or lodge. All over Namibia you will find small towns with friendly people always ready to be of assistance no matter what you might or might not need.