Etosha National Park
In the vast semi-arid area of North Central Namibia lies one of Africa’s best wildlife sanctuaries. Known locally as ‘the great white place’ and famous for the sheer numbers of animals that congregate around the numerous waterholes, Etosha is a paradise for birders and wildlife enthusiasts alike. For such a dry and parched land the amount of animals found here often surprises. At over 20 000km², it is also one of Africa´s largest parks, encompassing a saltpan so large it can be seen from space. The accessibility of the park makes it an ideal place for both self drives and privately guided safaris.
The Skeleton Coast
This evocating expression is commonly used to indicate the desolate northern Namibian coast, including the mysterious Skeleton Coast National Park although actually covering the entire Namibian coastline. It is one of the most inhospitable yet dauntingly beautiful environments on earth. It is a captivating place for those that yearn for the most unique and wild places on earth. Superlatives can be found lacking when describing this special area that contains numerous shipwrecks, whale and seal bones along its treacherous coastline where the towering dunes meet the cold Atlantic Ocean.
More inland you might also encounter animals that have uniquely adapted to this land including desert adapted elephants, desert lions, and antelopes that survive in this the most barren of places, ensuring that this area will provide an unforgettable nature experience simply unlike any other. Because of its remoteness, it best to view this area in a small aircraft, but limited opportunities do exist to explore with a vehicle.
Damaraland and Kaokoland
With its several geological and historical attractions it is a popular region for rugged off-road and adventure expeditions. It provides for some of the country’s most scenic and dramatic landscapes. Popular attractions in this area are the petroglyphs of Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first world heritage site, along with the Petrified Forest, as well as the country’s highest mountain, the Brandberg. The north western part of this region is one of Africa´s last true wilderness areas where no people live except for the semi-nomadic Himba tribe.
Further toward the west it sustains numerous species of mammals including the desert adapted elephants as well as the endangered Black rhino. It is also here where the countries successful concept of communal conservancies started. These conservancies are largely controlled by local communities and are highly complementary to Namibia’s already existing protected areas and allows for some of the profits made from tourism being ploughed back to the communities at ground level as well as actively involving the communities in the protection of their natural resources.
In the southern part of the Namib Desert, you will find Sossusvlei. This area lays claim to so many accolades including being located in the largest park in Africa, part of a World Heritage Site, located in the Oldest and only Coastal Desert in the world and most famous for having arguably the highest dunes in the world. It is therefore no surprise that the towering dunes of Sossusvlei are the most popular of Namibia’s attractions. It is also home to many endemic species including the Dune lark, Namibia´s only true endemic bird, and the Peringuey’s adder, a snake known for its side winding capabilities. It is an area that simply has to be experienced on any Namibian journey and it will undoubtedly be one of your abiding memories.
Covering much of the eastern part of country is Namibia’s second desert, the Kalahari. The word Kalahari comes from the Tswana word Kgalagadi, meaning “the big thirst”. This unique area includes vast red sandy dunes but also a large part characterized by grassy plains, shrubs and acacia trees. This set of contrasts of landscapes is partly due to the difference of temperatures within the vastness of the Kalahari. Although receiving more rain than the Namib the porous and sandy soils cannot retain much surface water. Even so, this area is home to a number of plant, mammal, amphibian, reptile and bird species.
Fish River Canyon
Situated in the far south of Namibia, the Fish River Canyon is the second biggest canyon in the world, just after the Grand Canyon in the US, and is true geological wonder. At a 160 km long and up to 500 m deep, it provides for beautiful awe inspiring landscapes where deep gorges and towering rock faces provides for some of Africa´s most dramatic landscapes. A truly unique landscape that is often and sadly unseen because of the vast distances needed to reach it.
Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip)
This newly renamed and often overlooked area of the country offers an experience different to the rest of Namibia. Recently renamed as the Zambezi Region after the great Zambezi River, it boasts 4 of the countries less explored national parks, the Mamili, Mudumu, Bwabwata and Mahangu parks as well as four perennial rivers that also act as the national borders. All these parks contain large numbers of mammal species and yet still hold on to than ‘frontier’ feeling when exploring.
Apace with influences from four other countries with which it shares a border, namely Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, it makes for a very unique mixture of traditions and languages. With its large green trees, flowing rivers it provides for an experience to not to be found anywhere else in Namibia and definitely a worthwhile visit especially for the avid birders.
One of the most interesting and surreal towns in Namibia. It is both, a perfect place to get some rest and recreation after a demanding safari as well as a centre for adventure activities including quad biking, skydiving and dune boarding. This is Namibia´s premier holiday resort in the summer months and over holiday weekends as the cool coastal temperatures provides relief from the intense heat of the interior.
Namibia's capital city, located almost at the geographical epicentre of the country, is the perfect place to start and end your journey. The city centre of this clean, organized city can at times remind you of a small European city, but undoubtedly has that unique African blend of culture and tradition. You will immediately feel at home in this charming city. Quality restaurants and modern shops will also ensure that you will be well taken care of.