The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Namibia
If you're looking for an incredible safari experience, look no further than Namibia. With its diverse landscape and abundance of wildlife, Namibia is a top destination for safaris. There are many reasons why you should visit Namibia on your next holiday, but we've compiled the top 10 here for you!
10 Reasons We love Namibia Safaris:
1. Namibia has some of the most amazing landscapes in the world, with towering dunes, spectacular sunsets, and rugged mountains.
2. The Milkway is Spectacular in Namibia
3. The wildlife you'll see is unparalleled, with elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes and more.
4. You can take part in amazing activities like sandboarding or hot air ballooning over the Namib Desert.
5. The luxury safaris in Namibia are top-notch, offering amazing accommodations and game drives to ensure you have a memorable experience.
6. The country is known for its commitment to conservation and sustainability, making it a great destination for eco-tourists.
7. You can experience culture, history and adventure in Namibia's many national parks.
8. Explore the Namibian coastline by whale watching or kayaking in one of the many lagoons.
9. Namibia's hospitality and service are second-to-none, with friendly locals and experienced guides to help you every step of the way.
10. Enjoy delicious local cuisine while taking in breathtaking views of this beautiful country.
Check out our best Family Safaris here! and Best African Countries for Safari Here!
Africa is dotted with vast tracts of arid desert - remote, often hostile places where life seems impossible and the idea of a safari seems ridiculous. This is not the case with Namibia, where the breathtaking beauty of its stark landscapes and the uniqueness of its desert-adapted wildlife species have helped to position it as one of the sub-continent's most sought-after destinations.
Where is Namibia Located?
Namibia is Wedged in the southwest corner of southern Africa, bordered by Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. The country is slightly larger than the state of Texas in the US and has an incredible array of landscapes and wildlife habitats to explore on safari.
Exceptional Wildlife Experiences (Wild Animals)
This landlocked country boasts a large variety of mammals including desert-adapted elephants & giraffes, lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Namibia is also home to a vast array of bird species, including numerous raptors, kingfishers and endangered vultures. All these animals can be seen in their natural habitats during safaris in Namibia.
Namibia is not a place you go to for high-octane game viewing. Don't expect huge concentrations of wildlife but do expect unique, desert-adapted species and spectacular sightings of iconic animals in enormously impressive landscapes.
From desert-adapted elephants, lions and rhinos to leopards and cheetahs, Namibia is blessed with its share of photogenic superstars. Add to the mix gemsbok (oryx), springbok, zebra, giraffe, brown hyena, jackal, Cape fur seals and even wild horses, and you're still just scratching the surface.
The dunes themselves are home to some fascinating creatures, such as the palmato gecko, shovel-snouted lizard, sidewinder snakes, Namaqua chameleon, dancing white lady spider and tok-tokkie beetle. There are also some 680 recorded bird species that can be seen in Namibia, from lovebirds and raptors to ostriches and larks.
Add to these endemic, rare and endangered species like the black-faced impala, painted wolf (African wild dog) and black rhino, and you know that Namibia is going to deliver the goods when it comes to putting on a wildlife show par excellence.
Spectacular Desert Landscapes
Namibia is famous for its vast desert landscapes, with the world’s oldest desert, the Namib Desert. This desolate area is home to iconic sand dunes which reach up to 300 meters high and are perfect for experiencing sunrises and sunsets like no other.
Out of this world. It's a phrase that comes into its own in Namibia, where the scenery outshines virtually everything else about this great desert nation. It's unlike anywhere else in Africa, and while you may think that vast arid landscapes may not hold much in the way of eye candy potential, think again - the vistas are both jaw-dropping and humbling.
From the Namib's sea of sand, where endless dunes stretch like silent waves towards distant horizons and Damaraland's towering, jagged mountain peaks that seem to slice through cloudless skies, to the shimmering white salt pans of Etosha and the verdant woodlands of the Caprivi Strip, Namibia is simply breathtaking.
The diversity is both astonishing and eye-catching - in one day's drive, you can experience incredibly different desert environments, each breathtakingly beautiful in their own right and inhabited by unique, endemic species that have adapted to the challenges such arid surroundings bring with them.
Unique Accommodation Options
From luxury lodges nestled amongst towering red sand dunes to tented camps under starry night skies, Namibia offers safari-goers a variety of accommodation options. Most lodges and camps are set up in private concessions or conservancies, ensuring that you can enjoy the best wildlife viewing opportunities in complete privacy.
Where to stay in Namibia for Safari?
Choose from the beautiful Sera Cafema on the Kunene River, Okahirongo Elephant Camp and Okahirongo River Lodge at Marienfluss, wedged between the Kunene and the Skeleton Coast, Hoanib Valley Camp and Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, both located in some of the most beautiful areas of Kaokaland with the kind of views that are life-affirming. All these luxury safari camps immerse guests in a range of incredible activities, from searching for desert-adapted elephants and other wildlife to meeting the Himba people and learning more about their culture.
Namibia Safari Tours
No safari to Namibia would be complete without taking part in a safari tour. Whether it’s flying across the dunes of Sossusvlei or heading out on foot with local Himba and Damara guides, you can experience an unforgettable journey into Namibia's wild places and learn about its unique cultural heritage.
For those who want to get up close and personal with the wildlife, safari-guided tours are available from a number of operators in Namibia. These tours will provide you with an opportunity to observe species like rhinos, giraffes and antelopes in their natural habitat as well as experience some spectacular landscapes on the way.
Famous Spots to Visit when you Visit Namibia
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, are two of the most iconic places to visit while on safari in Namibia.
Here you'll find stunningly beautiful red sand dunes that tower up to 300 meters high, the ancient pan of Deadvlei in the middle and a surreal landscape of dead Acacia trees that have been standing here for thousands of years.
The Namib is the world's most ancient desert and at the place where calcified white pans meet black petrified trees and soaring red sand dunes, it has become the stuff of legend. This is where the seasonal Tsauchab River carves its way through the Sesriem canyon and is stopped in its tracks by walls of sand, causing the "dead-end marsh" after which Sossusvlei is named.
It's here, in the heart of the Namib Naukluft National Park, that you'll find Dune 45 - the most photographed sand dune on the planet - and Big Daddy, the father of all sand dunes that reach some 325m in height, breaking records in the process.
Where to stay when visiting Sossusvlei:
Wolwedans - Located south of Sossusvlei on the NamibRand Nature Reserve, this one-of-a-kind destination offers conservation-centred sustainable tourism wrapped up in a wonderful, luxurious and thoroughly memorable package.
Here, a collection of camps is nestled in between towering rocky mountains, grassy plains and rolling red sand dunes. The views are spectacular, the service exemplary and the experience just superlative.
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is one of Namibia’s premier wildlife reserves, and home to a vast array of animals including elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, rhinos, leopards and a range of antelope species.
The park is located in the north of the country and covers an area of around 22 000 square kilometres. Its main feature is a series of salt pans which are scattered across the landscape and attract an incredible variety of birdlife.
Etosha name means "great white place" in the Oshindonga language, thanks to the boundless, flat Etosha salt pan which makes up the northern section of what is Namibia's leading game reserve. It's a stark, arid landscape, dotted with the occasional tree and man-made, pumped waterholes that attract a good diversity of endemic wildlife, including four of the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant and rhino.
Where to stay when visiting Etosha National Park
Onguma Nature Reserve is the perfect base to explore Etosha and its surroundings. This 36,000-ha private reserve is located adjacent to Etosha National Park and features a selection of accommodation options including the wonderful and distinctive Onguma The Fort. Alternatively, opt for the Mushara collection of camps along the eastern edge of Etosha. We can help you pick the perfect one for your needs.
Spitzkoppe in Namibia
The Spitzkoppe is a mountain range located in the Erongo Region of Namibia. It's an amazing destination that offers spectacular views and unique rock formations, such as free-standing boulders and rock sculptures. There are also many caves where you can find ancient Bushman paintings dating back thousands of years. This is definitely a highlight for any safari in Namibia.
Skeleton Coast- Namibia
Stretching all the way from the quaint and historic town of Swakopmund up to the northern border with Angola, this is one of the most desolate - and dangerous - coastlines in the world. It's believed to have been named after the skeleton-like wrecks of ships that foundered in the cold and lethal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, littering the coast with their rusting carcasses.
It's hard to distinguish where the beach ends and the dunes of the Namib begin, but in spite of its barren appearance, the Skeleton Coast is filled with life, from colonies of Cape fur seals, jackals and brown hyenas to desert lions who occasionally prey on seals.
It also brings life to the interior, thanks to the nutrient-rich fog that blows inland carrying moisture that's critical to the survival of desert plants and animals alike.
Where to stay when visiting the Skeleton Coast
The Shipwreck Lodge is the only lodge on a massive 146,600-ha concession between the Hoarusib and Hoanib Rivers in the Skeleton Coast National Park. This makes it one of the most, if not THE most exclusive lodge in Namibia! Secreted amongst the dunes with views out over the Atlantic, Shipwreck Lodge takes its design cue from the wrecks that dot the coastline. Understated, elegant, simple and yet luxurious, it's simply outstanding.
Damaraland Namibia Tours
Expansive, rugged to the point of harsh and fearfully dry, this region of northwest Namibia is marked by wide, grassy plains and impressive mountains that have been indelibly marked by history, both geographic and human.
This is where you'll find unique rock formations caused by ancient volcanic intrusions and petroglyphs - unique rock engravings that are thousands of years old, carved by the San bushmen who inhabited the region around what is now Twyfelfontein.
Petrified forests also dot the landscape, which is interrupted by Namibia's highest mountain - the impressive Brandberg, which towers 2573m high and is home to a wealth of ancient rock art.
The Verbrandeberg and Organ Pipes (Damaraland)
The so-called Organ Pipes are situated near the small inselberg of Burnt Mountain, west of the town of Khorixas in Namibia. They are rock formation that comprises a group of columnar basalts which resemble organ pipes.
Where to stay when visiting Damaraland
Desert Rhino Camp in north-western Damaraland offers an immersive and exclusive wilderness experience combined with the chance to see some of the last remaining free-roaming desert-adapted black rhinos in Africa, as well as Hartmann's zebra, giraffe, and the odd but extraordinarily hardy welwitschia plant. You have the option of tracking rhinos by vehicle or on foot, along with experts from the Save The Rhino Trust. Not to be missed!
Kaokaland and the Kunene River
Even more remote than Damaraland, and further north, stretching up to the border with Angola, this awe-inspiring region of Namibia begs to be explored. It's home to the fascinating Himba people, who to this day live a traditional nomadic way of life in this harsh and challenging environment.
Epupa Falls is a series of large waterfalls formed by the Kunene River on the border of Angola and Namibia, in the Kaokoland area of the Kunene Region.
The Himba women daub their bodies and their hair in a mixture of animal fat and red ochre, turning their skin a rich, deep red and creating distinctive, unique hair art in the process. This tradition makes them among the most photographed tribes in Africa.
Forming the border with Angola, the Kunene River snakes through the desert like a glistening, green snake. Its perennial waters give rise to oasis-like forests along its edges, complete with swaying palm trees and tumble down over the beautiful Epupa Falls - a series of impossibly beautiful cascades that end in an equally scenic gorge, where huge baobabs cling to the rocks as if hanging on for dear life. Crocodiles sun themselves on sandbanks and birdsong fills the air. This region of Namibia is highly recommended.
Namib Naukluft Park
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in Africa, and undoubtedly among its most spectacular. It contains a wide variety of landscapes from the striking red sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the rugged rocky plains of Damaraland. There is even a small desert lake teeming with wildfowl.
Wildlife sightings are abundant, but if you're looking for something more luxurious, there are also luxury lodges and camps in the park that offer guided safaris and other activities.
Waterberg Plateau Park
The Waterberg Plateau Park is an ancient rock formation of dramatic red, white and yellow sandstone formations. It's home to a variety of endemic wildlife, including the rare and endangered black rhino. The park also has some spectacular bird-watching opportunities, as well as great views from its elevated vantage point.
For those looking for a more immersive experience, there are also a number of trails and camping sites available.
These are just some of the amazing attractions Namibia has to offer. From desert safaris and luxury lodges to ancient rock art and unique wildlife encounters, it's no wonder why Namibia is becoming one of the most popular destinations for adventure seekers in Africa
When is the best time to visit Namibia?
The Best Time to do a Namibia Safari is May to October are the best months to visit Namibia on safari, but it can be a great destination at any point during the year. These peak months are the dry season in Namibia, which is when the animals can be spotted in large numbers around waterways
Suggested itineraries for Namibia
Our Rhino and Elephants Safari takes in the best of Damaraland, Kaokaland, Sossusvlei and includes a stay at Wolwedans. Or try our most popular Namibian itinerary - the Flying Safari - including Sossusvlei, Damaraland, Kaokoland, Kunene and the Skeleton Coast all by private plane, giving you exclusive access to these incredible destinations.
Namibia Self-Drive Safaris
If you feel like doing it yourself, then opt for our Self-drive Namibia Safari offering a circuitous route from Windhoek to Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund and Sossusvlei.
Many African countries also link well with Namibia, including Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and even Sao Tome and Principe! Check out two great itineraries here and here and get in touch to talk to us about putting together a bespoke Namibian itinerary just for you.
Co-Founder, Shaun Stanley's Thoughts on Namibia
Namibia is a land like no other and offers some of the most incredible, life-changing African Safari experiences on the continent. It also holds a special place in our hearts. It was here, in 1989, that co-founder Shaun Stanley's love affair with wild Africa began when he visited this mesmerising desert nation with his family.
"We travelled to Sossusvlei, Etosha, Damaraland, Epupa Falls and the Fish River Canyon," recalls Shaun. "It gave me my first taste of exploring the 'real' Africa and ignited a wanderlust in me that has never left," he adds.
"I fell in love with the endless dunes of the Namib Naukluft, Damaraland's petrified forest, the oasis of green around the Kunene River and the fascinating culture of the Himba people," explains Shaun. "Now I am in the privileged position of being able to share my passion for the place that kindled my love of the African wilderness with my clients."
Article by Craig Howes and Shaun Stanley
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