“Namibia is not just another country, it truly feels like another planet with vast open spaces, dramatic scenery and diversity like no other.”
There are some places on Earth that feel other-worldly – and Namibia is one of them.
A country of dramatic, brooding beauty, with barren deserts home to colossal sand dunes and fertile Savannah teeming with Africa’s vast array of animal life. A land where 42% of the nation is under conservation management, making it one of the most ecologically minded countries on the planet.
A Namibia Safari is guaranteed to leave you breathlessly wanting more.
Namibia Safari Highlights
Namibia is a desert land, but also a lush paradise. A place of contradictions, with thick, green forests and meandering rivers to the north, the foreboding Kalahari Desert to the south, the hypnotic Skeleton Coast to the west and the Central Plateau dominating the interior – home to much of the nation’s population.
With such a staggering array of possibilities available, the biggest problem you’ll face on your Namibia safari tours is where to begin.
The Skeleton coast & the Namib Desert
When most think about Namibia they think of the Namib desert and its towering dunes plunging into the raging Atlantic Ocean.
The Namib desert, home to Namibia’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not only the oldest desert in the world, but also one of the driest, and home to the Sossusvlei dunes, the tallest sand dunes on the planet.
The name Namib translates as ‘vast place’ and that is a spectacular understatement. With a landmass of 160,000 km² (61,776 m²), condensed into a thin slither of land that runs along the coast through South Africa, Angola and Namibia, a visit to the Namib-Naukluft National Park, where you can track wild desert horses, is one of the world’s most mesmerising adventures.
The Central Plateau
But Namibia is more than just sand dunes – much more. The Central Plateau runs from north to south, effectively dividing the country, and it’s here that most major towns and cities are located as well as the fascinating Waterberg Plateau Park.
Namibia, like most countries in Africa, has a complicated past, but one that has risen to the challenge. Its capital Windhoek blends traditional German architecture left over from the country’s colonial past with a vibrance that can only be found in Africa.
A capital city that manages to feel both cosy and friendly, Windhoek makes for an excellent stop for any Namibian holiday.
Northern Namibia is home to the Bushveld area, a region that runs along the border with Angola and is Nambia’s most precipitous region receiving on average 400 mm of rain each year. Though because of the flat land and sand-rich soil, it is an area that struggles to support agriculture.
Further east, the Kavango and Zambezi Regions stand in stark contrast to the rest of Namibia. Their abundance of wildlife and varied landscapes that include swamps, flood plains, riverine forests and woodlands make them an ideal counterbalance to the desolate sandy world of the south and west.
The well-renowned Etosha National Park centred around a vast salt pan named the Etosha Pan, is one of the largest national parks on the entire continent and offers an unforgettable location for Namibian Safaris, while the nearby Bwabwata National Park was created by merging Caprivi Game Park and Mahango Game Reserve in 2007 to create another one of the great Namibian safari destinations – and a major stopover for large elephant herds regularly migrating between Botswana and Angola.
The Kalahari Desert & Southern Namibia
And finally, in southern Namibia, we come to a name that has become synonymous with adventure. The Kalahari Desert has long captured the imagination of travellers, writers and just about anybody who has ever visited it. Home to particularly resilient specimens of lions, oryx antelope, brown hyena, as well as meerkats, ostrich and even the occasional pack of African wild dogs, the Kalahari is a spectacular region that will live long in the memory.
Namibia’s Fish River Canyon may come with a slightly quaint name, but this is unquestionably one of the Namibia safari highlights. At 160 kilometres (100 miles) long, up to 27 km (17 miles) wide and in places just over half a kilometre (0.3 miles) deep, it is the largest canyon in Africa, promising an unparalleled feeling of space and tranquillity. This isn’t the Grand Canyon, but it’s pretty damn close.
- Population of 2.3 million, one of the least populated countries on Earth
- Situated on the southwest coast of Africa
- Namibia covers over 824 000 square km’s
- The Namibian Dollar (N$) is equal value to the South African Rand
- Official language is English however many other languages are widely spoken – especially German
- Capital of Namibia is Windhoek
- Namibia is considered to have a high state of peace according to the Global Peace Index
- 1570km of coastline
Where to go
Northern Namibia: Remote wilderness and desert adapted animals of Damaraland and the Kaokoveld, as well as BIG4 of the Etosha Pan.
Southern Namibia: Spectacular scenery of Namibia’s Fish River Canyon, Skeleton Coast, Namib Desert and Sossusvlei. Highest sand dunes in the world!
Why we like it
- World class scenery that really creates a photographic wonderland
- Offers immense diversity with adventures to be found around every corner
- Largely untouched landscapes with little to no people around
- A very unique and interesting history with a large German influence
- Excellent facilities and infrastructure making travelling easy and safe
Etosha National Park & SurroundsView location
Northern Namibia SafarisView location
Zambezi Region (Caprivi)View location
Southern Namib & KalahariView location
Southern NamibiaView location
Best time to visit Namibia for a safari
With over 300 days of sunshine, there’s rarely a bad time to visit for a Namibia safari holiday. Southern Africa generally enjoys splendid weather almost year-round, but with less extreme seasonal weather changes than other countries, Namibia is considered one of the driest and sunniest countries in the world. Yet there are always slight regional variations and it’s always worthwhile checking before making a booking.
Wet Season (November to April)
The wet season between November and April is unquestionably the most colourful time for Namibia safaris, but it’s a period that comes with high temperatures, sometimes climbing above 40C (104F).
This can be uncomfortable at times but does mean a quieter experience as this is typically when fewer tourists visit Namibia, while also providing those short-lived but spectacular thunderstorms that are any photographer’s wildest dreams.
The rainy season also brings with it the breeding period which means that if you’re one of the 99.9% of humanity who goes all gooey-eyed over baby animals tottering around uncertainly, then this is the time for your Namibia Safari.
Dry season (May to October)
The dry season between May and October is a popular time to visit Namibia and brings with it lower temperatures, less rain, but also much less newborn wildlife. It is however the best time for game viewing as there is a high concentration of wildlife at the waterholes because of the more limited vegetation.
We recommend Namibia safari tours between March and May, when temperatures remain steady, providing warm days and chilly nights that are wonderful for star-gazing. It’s a period that sees little rainfall but the landscape still retains that healthy post rainy season glow.
Whether you’re looking to travel the length of the famed Skeleton Coast, animal watch to your heart’s content in the Zambezi region, or experience the awe-inspiring power of the Kalahari and its desert wildlife, Namibia is a place of staggering possibilities.
With activities like quad biking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, desert walks, fly-in safaris and walking safaris on offer throughout Namibia, this is one country where you are thoroughly spoilt for choice.
Camping out in the desert is one of life’s breathtaking pleasures that everybody should experience at least once in their lives. With ancient rock art, the odd petrified forest, more wildlife than you can ever hope to see and stunning scenery that defies the images you saw before you arrived, Namibia is simply astonishing – southern Africa’s out of this world location that shouldn’t be missed.
Read more about best seasons to travel to different regions in Africa.
More about when to travel
|Etosha National Park & Surrounds|
|Northern Namibia Safaris|
|Southern Namib & Kalahari|
|Zambezi Region (Caprivi)|
A great time to visit Namibia is between March and May as it is a moderate temperature with warm days and chilly nights. Little to no rain falls during this period offering beautiful clear skies. It is also still quite green and there are plenty of birds around.
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