Namibia is a vast wilderness of stark, arid landscapes, rugged coastlines and ever-changing colours. It contains the oldest desert on the planet, the world’s highest sand dunes and second largest canyon, carved by the Fish River. There is plenty to see here, including a range of wildlife – though the real draw of Namibia is its wild, rugged landscapes.
On a tailor-made itinerary to Namibia we would recommend visiting the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It is home to Sossusvlei, the giant red sand dunes for which Namibia is best known. The area is truly a photographer’s paradise, especially at the Deadvlei clay pan. It is also incredible when viewed from above in a hot air balloon.
Go whale-watching, look-out for dolphins, seals and penguins on the west coast at Swakopmund before travelling inland to the heart of Damaraland. A highlight of a trip to Namibia is most certainly a stay at Grootberg Lodge, owned by the local community and set on the rim of the Grootberg plateau with breathtaking panoramic views of the Klip river valley.
For wildlife viewing, journey through Etosha National Park towards the dried out salt pan that dominates the landscape of the park. It is said that the salt pan originated over 12 million years ago as a shallow lake. For only a brief period each summer, the pan floods and teems with flamingos and pelicans. Other parts of the year, wildlife flock at the few watering holes, making them prime locations to spot lions, leopards, cheetahs and prey.
Meanwhile, the NamibRand Nature Reserve also features impressive dunes, alongside quirky ‘fairy circles’ (similar to crop circles) which bring an added mystery to the landscape. The reserve is one of Africa’s largest private sanctuaries and one of unparalleled beauty and diversity, inhabited by oryx, springboks, ostriches, cheetahs, aardwolfs and more.
Finally, the Caprivi Strip is often likened to Chobe National Park 15 years ago. Lush vegetation supports an array of wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, lions, hippos and crocodiles, which mostly live in the Caprivi’s five protected areas: Popa Falls Reserve and Mudumu, Mamila, Mahanga and Bwabwata national parks. This area is densely populated and so you will come across many local scenes en route.