Namibia really is a land of contrasts - a cliche used on many a marketing document, but for good reason. From the Namib & Kalahari Deserts in the south, Fish River Canyon, the barren Skeleton Coast, Semi nomadic Himba tribes in the north, exquisite scenery and wildlife in Damaraland, Etosha National Park and the lush game parks of the Caprivi Strip...there really is something for everybody in an ever changing landscape!
Etosha National Park
The Etosha Pan approximately 130x50 kms in size dominates the scenery at Etosha National Park.
The salt pan is empty most of the year and fills during rainy season attracting flamingoes and pelicans.
Etosha is the jewel in Namibia's crown, home to a wide variety of bird and animal life.
4 of the Big 5 (lion, elephant, black rhino and leopard) can be found as well as zebra, giraffe, oryx, kudu, springbok, black faced impala and many others.
The Namib Desert stretches 1200km in length, but is a mere 70kms in width and is home to the highest dunes in the world.
A visit to the towering red sand dunes of the Namib Desert is a highlight of many travellers visits to Namibia and is quite unmissable.
The Namib Desert is a super arid desert and temperatures average 30 degrees throughout the year dropping when the sun sets.
There are many activities in the area ranging from guided desert walks to Deadvlei and Sossusvlei, guided walks in Sesriem Canyon, hot air ballooning over the desert, scenic flights and quad biking
Damaraland is situated in the North/Central region of Namibia and is an area of great geological and wildlife interest. Damaraland is home predominately to the Herero and Damara people of Namibia and is a pristine wilderness area.
Attractions in Damaraland included:-
Twyfelfontein : The area around Twyfelfontein houses rock engravings possibly up to 6000 years old, the Petrified Forest, petrified tree trunks that were carried downstream in a great flood from the north dated at 250million years old, the Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes, dolerite pillars approcimately 120 million years old
Desert elephant and rhino tracking : A popular activity at many of the lodges in the area to allow you to go out with qualified rangers and track these elusive creatures.
One of the last remaining wilderness areas in Namibia. kaokoland is home to the semi nomadic Himba tribe who still maintain their traditional ways and mostly remain isolated from the modern world. The Himba wear little clothing and the women are famous for covering themselves in a mixture of butter fat and ochre giving them a distinctly red, earthly look. The women are intrigued by beuaty and braid each others hair covering it in the ochre mix. Visits to Himba settlements can be arranged for you.
Other attractions in Kaokoland include:-
Epupa Falls: A small waterfall on the Kunene River bordering Angola. Although not a particularly large waterfall Epupa Falls is extremely scenic and a wonderful destination to visit.
Marienfluss Valley : The Marienfluss Valley is beautiful and has such breathe taking views of green valleys; it is also right next to the Hartmann Valley. There are also different types of animals. Such as rare desert dwelling elephants, black rhinos and giraffes. 4x4 vehicles are recommend for this area.
Fish River Canyon
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Mahangu, Bwabwata, Mamili and Mudumu National Parks : These national parks based in the Caprivi region of Namibia are less visited by tourists due to their location, but the Caprivi has so much to offer that for a true Namibian wildlife experience they are unmissable and each offer something a little different.
The majority of lodges are located on riverfronts and so boat and mokoro excursions are popular. Most lodges also offer fishing for tiger fish.
The Caprivi is an excellent game viewing destination, but also is a top location for birdwatching in Namibia with many endemic and migratory species found here.
The Fish River Canyon is the second oldest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa.
Various activities can be organised from hiking and horse trails to game drives and sundowner drives.
Fish River Lodge is the only lodge with a canyon rim view, which is perfect for sunrise and sunset.
Guided hiking trails can be organised into the Canyon in Winter which last 1-5 days.
Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the adventure capitals of Namibia.
Using Swakopmund as your base you can take part in sky diving, scenic flights over the Skeleton Coast, quadbiking and sandboarding on the dunes, seal and dolphin cruises, kayaking with seals, exciting day trips to Sandwich Harbour and much, much more.
The Kalahari Desert is the second desert in Namibia. This tranquil destination is home to a variety of creatures from lions and antelope to meerkats and Springbok.
It is also possible to learn about the native bushmen in this area.