If you’re considering a visit to Namibia, what we can tell you is that you’re going to be blown away, surprised, overwhelmed – in awe at how beautiful, diverse and special this place is. It’s unlike anywhere you have ever been to before, and while this is incredibly exciting, it certainly does make it a little tricky to know where to go and what to do. It’s kind of essential that you see and do as much as you possibly can – because even the places, experiences and encounters throughout this country are unique from one another. If you’re strapped for time (and perhaps energy too), we’d recommend you plan your trip around your interests – whether that be hiking, 4x4ing, boating, cultural experiences, city excursions etc – as this will help guide your planning.
We’ve also curated a list of Namibia’s most fascinating areas and experiences, which we believe are absolute must-do’s!
Swakopmund | City, Desert and Ocean
Swakopmund is one of Namibia’s largest cities. It’s likely you’ll land in Swakopmund, which gives you the perfect opportunity to explore all it has to offer before moving onto the next place. What makes Swakopmund so special is that it’s a bustling city located between desert and ocean, which means the landscape is extreme and ultra-unique. You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities, as you can go boating and dolphin-watching one day, and dune hopping and 4x4ing the next. We’d recommend you spend at least a few nights in a hotel in Swakopmund because there’s too many not-to-be-missed experiences in this city!
Sossusvlei | Desert and Dunes
Sossusvlei is the region you visit if you’re looking for desert and dunes for as far as your eye can see. If you’re looking to be surrounded by extreme nature of a different kind, you’ll find Sossusvlei your dream locale. While it’s a desert, there’s so much happening here, especially for the adventure seekers and nature lovers. The most popular activities include climb the tallest dune ‘Big Daddy’, sand-boarding, quad-biking or 4x4ing, visiting ‘Deadvlei’ – one of the most photographed areas in Africa and hot air ballooning over the dunes during sunrise or sunset. The Dunes are located in Namib-Naukluft National Park which requires a permit to enter. The permit, in some cases, can be bought at the hotel you’re staying at, or at the entrance to the park – but make sure you arrive early to avoid hour long ques. Outside of the park the terrain is not much different, though much more flat and solid than the sandy expanse found in the reserve. For this reason the reserve is truly worth the visit. Some say if you haven’t been to Sossusvlei’s Namib-Naukluft National Park you haven’t been to Namibia!
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Etosha National Park | Wildlife Safaris
Etosha National Park is a pleasantly surprising place for many visitors because it’s one of the greatest places in Africa to go on a wildlife safari. We told you Namibia was diverse! If you’re looking for an authentic African experience we’d recommend you make a turn at Etosha National Park, home to the big five, elephant, cheetah, lion, buffalo, leopard and more. Etosha is also one of the few places in Southern Africa home to the cheetah, and in fact it has the largest population of cheetah in Africa.
Damaraland | Cultural Encounters
Damaraland is located in the north of Namibia, and is inhabited by a cultural tribe known as the Damaras. Visiting Damaraland means not only experiencing the wonders of nature, but of the fascinating cultures home to Namibia. You’ll get to see their interesting tribal homesteads/communities and their uniquely African dress – and if you lucky you may even get to meet the friendly Damara people. It’s also in Damaraland that you’ll find ancient rock art painted by the bushmen hundreds of thousands of years ago. Damaraland is totally worth the visit as it’s a learning experience that’s sure to add that extra special bit of substance to an already fantastic trip. (And you’ll go home with many interesting stories!)
Skeleton Coast | Extreme Natural Sights
The Skeleton Coast is an absolute must do for anyone visiting Namibia. It’s extraordinary to see two very different landscapes (ocean and desert) meet along this extreme coast. It’s a sight to behold! Either you can make a road trip out of it and self-drive to the Skeleton Coast, though it’s essential you’re accompanied by a team or convoy. Alternatively, you can take a scenic flight over the coast where you’ll get a birds-eye view of the ‘line’ separating ocean and desert.