Why we like it
- Dramatic and rugged mountain ranges with ancient dry riverbeds.
- An abundance of unusual wildlife and plants.
- Photographic paradise.
- Vast untouched landscapes with little to no human interferences.
Vast, endless, magnificent and unimaginable are only a few words used to describe Namibia.
These words are a good start when discussing the country, but still, they struggle to truly do Namibia justice. There simply is no frame of reference, nothing that even comes close. Namibia is one of those all-encompassing experiences that must be seen in the flesh to be truly believed.
Bordering South Africa to the South, Botswana to the West, and Angola to the North, with the arm-like branch of the Caprivi Strip reaching out east to touch the border of Zambia, Namibia is well placed in Southern Africa and a phenomenal place to either do a safari or simply visit some of the country’s staggeringly beautiful sights and breathtaking national parks.
Northern Namibia is home to the wild and wonderfully remote areas of the Skeleton coast, Kaokoveld, Damaraland, and Khaudom – each uniquely different and mind-blowing in its own way – while the Etosha National Park is, without a doubt, the place to go to experience Namibia’s scintillating and varied wildlife.
Namibia is a beautiful country, to use a glorious understatement, but Northern Namibia will simply take your breath away.
Experience the meaning of true wilderness in Damaraland with rugged, rocky landscapes, rolling hills, ancient riverbeds, and deep gorges.
The isolated area presents harsh living conditions, yet a select few animals have adapted to it – including the rare desert elephant, white rhino, black rhino, and mountain zebra. Unlike the abundant numbers in other parts of the country, wildlife in Damaraland can be scarce but that’s what makes it even more special and unique, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you can be sure to have any wildlife sighting completely to yourself.
Large numbers of birding enthusiasts visit the area in the hope of seeing Namibian endemics, such as the Damara hornbill, the Carp’s tit, and the Rüpell’s korhaan. Sleeping outside under the stars in this untamed region is a humbling experience and highly recommended.
Damaraland also boasts the geologically fascinating Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is home to thousands of ancient rock art, and Brandberg Mountain, Namibia’s highest point, a challenging but hugely rewarding hike if you feel you’re up to it.
With petrified forests and lush valleys that appear like oases in Southern Africa’s unforgiving landscape, Damaraland is a region of staggering differences that make it one of the most fascinating areas to visit in all of Africa.
You know the name, you’ve no doubt seen plenty of images on Instagram, but nothing quite prepares you for Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. With its haunting mist and untouched landscapes, it’s not difficult to imagine yourself on a different planet.
This 40 km wide and 500 km long stretch of coastline got its name from the many ships that sank here because of the wild, treacherous conditions. Unbelievably, this eerie place is home to a variety of desert-adapted animals, such as the gemsbok, springbok, steenbok, and scrub hare, while also playing host to plenty of strange vegetation, including the Nara plant and Welwitschia mirabilis.
Cape Cross, located in the southern section of the Skeleton Coast National Park, is home to a mammoth seal colony and the only place in the world where you can see the Cape Fur Seal. With an estimated 200,000 plus seals during the breeding season (November & December) the Cape Cross Seal Reserve is the largest breeding colony in the world and well worth a visit.
Well off the beaten track lies the extremely remote Kaokoveld (also known as Kaokoland), an untamed desert oasis that is rarely visited, but provides a wonderful adventure and insight into the local people, their culture, and this wild land they call home.
Rugged terrain, ancient valleys, and unbroken sand dunes display the extremes of nature and offer a variety of activities to the adventurous.
For an authentic cultural experience, visit the semi-nomadic Himba people who have largely kept their traditions and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoveld. Unique desert-adapted wildlife calls this area home, such as desert elephants and giraffes, while there is nowhere in Africa that gives you a higher chance of seeing one of the last remaining black rhinos on the continent. If you’re looking for an intimate safari experience, then look no further.
Etosha National Park
The Etosha National Park is the best wildlife region in Namibia with an abundance of birds and animals including most of the BIG5.
25% of the park is covered by a huge salt pan that is so large that it can be seen from space and makes the park truly unique. During the winter months, the animals congregate around the waterholes on the pan’s edge offering close and intimate encounters.
During the wet season, the pan becomes a serene lake attracting thousands of beautiful flamingos – a photographer’s dream. More than 340 different species of bird have been seen in the Etosha National National Park, making this a superb safari destination no matter whether you’re eagerly looking for herds of elephants, exciting game drives, or excellent birding.
The Etosha National Park may not have the same regal ring to it as some of the parks in East Africa, but it is both one of the most accessible reserves in Southern Africa and thankfully has no risk of malaria, making it a hugely popular choice for Namibia safaris and self-drive safaris.
Khaudum National Park
A warden at the park said it best- “It is wild, and we want to keep it like that.”
Khaudum National Park is an isolated region in the breathtaking Kalahari Desert in northeast Namibia. One of five parks in this Northern Namibia region, along with the Bwabwata National Park, Mudumu National park, Mangetti National Park, and Nkasa Lupala National Park, Khaudum is one of the most pristine nature conservation areas in Namibia but is not suitable for the novice traveller.
Purely a 4×4 destination with minimal camping facilities, it offers a true insight into wild Africa. Camps are unfenced so expect few visitors, but also much fewer amenities than in other areas of the country. The Khaudum National Park is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re searching for that rough and tumble, free-wheeling adventure in an African country, you can’t go wrong here.
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