For those of you with a passion for adventure, Namibia offers it all. Breath-taking scenery, exciting wildlife, a dramatic coastline, and some of the most developed tourist facilities in Africa that will ensure your trip runs smoothly. Traditional culture remains prominent throughout Namibia and this paired with the vast wildlife and opportunities for thrills ensures that you’ll make unforgettable memories.
It’s impossible to think of Namibia and not have images of beautiful, exotic nature drawn up in your mind. The wildlife is what most people go for, and the gorgeous scenery is what they fall in love with. Located on the southwest coast of Africa, the country’s coast stretches extensively and is has been the focus of many photographers for years due to its dramatic beauty. This contrasts strikingly with the dunescapes of the Namib Desert in the west, the oldest in the world, and again with the awe-inspiring Fish River Canyon in the Deep South. The best way to explore all this is by private car, thankfully due to the extensive road networks it’s really simple. Gaze out your window as you fly through the shifting landscapes of this serene country and take in its charming culture and stunning scenery.
First on the itinery has to be the renowned Etosh National Park. Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s finest game parks. Private vehicles are permitted and the time will soon vanish as you settle in next to a watering hole and watch the wild animals go about their daily lives. The landscape of the park varies from wide open grasslands, to a large spaces of camel thorn and monani trees as well as a 4731km2 pan that for a few days each ear is transformed into a lagoon. The rich vegetation ensures an abundance of wildlife. Animals sighted are lions, rhinos, leopards, flamingos, elephants, gemsbocks etc. If you wish to stay in the park, there are various accommodation options ranging from camping and luxury chalets overlooking the waterholes. Due to its immense beauty and variety of wildlife, the park gets extremely busy so if you can book before it’d certainly be beneficial.
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Another must-see on the list is the extraordinary Fish River Canyon. Its sheer vast scale is a thing of beauty and whether your visiting briefly, or joining one of the hiking excursions you’ll never forget its beauty. The huge rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley over 500 millions years ago. The canyon measures a whopping 160km long by 27km wide and is as deep as 550m at points. Throughout the year the landscape varies dramatically, and in wet seasons the lush vegetation attracts a variety of different animals including many exotic reptiles and soaring birds. The Fish River Canyon is one of nature’s greatest wonders.
Sossusvlei is vast and dramatic and despite it being number 1 on many visitors lists it’s impossible not to feel isolated here. Sossusvlei is located in the largest conservation area in Africa, the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The word Sossusvlei translates as ‘dead-end’ and the desert seems never-ending for sure. The beautiful red dunes of the Namib Desert have been the focus of photographers for many years and it is the deserts shifting image, due to the wind and light, which makes it such an enchanting space. There are number of different accommodation options here as well as a variety of excursions to help you explore the desert and see Africa in one of its most extreme states.
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Many visiting Namibia may be mistaken in only focusing their attention on the country’s exciting wildlife. Actually, visiting the capital, Windhoek is also another fabulous side to Namibia. Its modern and well-groomed and offers beautiful architecture and cultural sights. The food, history and shopping experiences are wonderful in Windhoek and its nice to take an urban break away from the isolated of the desert dunes or wild plains. Visit the Independence Memorial Museum, or the National Museum or perhaps one of the unusually out of place German castles. Sample some of the finest food in the country and wander its malls or galleries for a peek into city life in Namibia.
For another view of the intriguing German architecture in Namibia, head to Lüderitz. The town is a colonial relic, and includes beautiful German art nouveau architecture. It’s located between the Namib Desert and the windy South Atlantic coast and the wildlife and scenery that surrounds the town is really special. For many visitors to Namibia, they are shocked by being most charmed by the little town of Lüderitz .
Despite its long coastline, don’t expect a typical beach holiday from Namibia. The water is freezing and the air wild and chilling. Having said this, don’t skip the beaches because their scenery and wildlife is just as beautiful as inland. One of the best views of wildlife on the coast is the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, a breeding colony for Cape fur seals along the Namib coast. Visiting here means you may have the unique opportunity to see more than 100,000 seals basking on the beach and playing in the wild waters.
Namibia is huge and varied and exploring it to its full extent takes time, but every corner is beautiful, dramatic and enchanting. Have you visited Namibia before? What was your highlight? Let us know in the comments below.
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