Namibia Featured, Countries
Famous for its arresting desert scenery and outstanding game viewing, Namibia is one of Southern Africa's top travel destinations. Its most captivating attraction, the ancient Namib Desert, presents endless ochre dunes and parched salt pans, whilst the game viewing gem of Etosha National Park offers a world-class safari experience. Natural wonders include the Fish River Canyon, Etosha Pan, Sossusvlei, Waterberg Plateau and the fertile Caprivi Strip.
* Namibia Highlights
- ∞Striking Namib desert landscapes
- ∞Wildlife safaris in Etosha National Park
- ∞Rugged and unusual, wide open horizons
- ∞Conservation success stories
- ∞Unique cultural encounters
- ∞Safe travel destination
- ∞Well-maintained infrastructure
- ∞High standard of accommodation
- ∞Family-friendly holidays
Namibia is Southern Africa's definitive desert destination; famous for its iconic orange-red dunes, spectacular scenery and surreal flora and fauna. Beyond the allure of the ancient Namib Desert, this vast country offers some of Africa's best game viewing in Etosha National Park, making it one of the most popular travel destinations on the sub-continent. Given Namibia's low population density and expansive 'empty' landscapes, it is a safari destination that can absorb huge volumes of travellers without becoming crowded for the most part.
Namibia is known for its excellent infrastructure, featuring well-maintained roads and high-quality lodges. Land travel in this arid country entails covering long distances on often-deserted roads (no pun intended!), either on escorted tours or self-drive safaris. The latter are a favourite with experienced travellers in Namibia, given the excellent network of roads and huge array of high-quality accommodation options; from B&B's to lodges and camping. Be aware that the distances are vast; if you have limited time available to see Namibia, it's far better to fly between destinations.
Family Safaris & Safety
Namibia is a popular family safari destination because it is a safe country to travel in and it offers a diversity of engaging attractions. Most of the country is malaria-free; the only risk areas are the far north and north-east areas. Part of Namibia's appeal is its political and economic stability, small population and the ease of travelling in this relatively modernized African nation. Another drawcard is the range of activities on offer across the country, especially in and around Swakopmund, considered one of the prime adventure destinations in Southern Africa.
Namibia is a Visual Destination
This country is a photographer's dream, where open plains, deserts and pans call for wide-angle lenses. The most memorable aspect of travel in Namibia is its striking terrain and remarkable geographical features; be it the deep chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the contrasts of Sossusvlei or the savage Skeleton Coastline. The harsh desertscapes offer Namibia's most startling imagery with their vivid colours, shifting shadows and sharp silhouttes, particularly at sunset and sunrise. The flat, white setting of the Etosha Pan is as visually arresting, ideal for capturing wildlife in the open. But here you will need a longer lens for best results, ideally up to 400 or 600mm.
Sense of Space
Namibia is one of those rare places where you can really stretch out, slow down and take a deep breath, miles from the bustle of human development. In Namibia, the travel highlights of Etosha, Windhoek, Sossusvlei and the Fish River Canyon lie far apart with seemingly endless spaces between them. Still landscapes stretch to the horizons over the long distances between destinations, becoming a part of the journey. The remote deserts, shores, hills and plains of Namibia are ideal for stargazing and staring up at boundless blue skies, soaking up the silence and solitude.
The best way to get to Namibia is to fly into the international airport in Windhoek, its capital city. Connecting flights travel between Windhoek and regional destinations, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, Maun in Botswana and Lusaka in Zambia. There are also flights to and from London and Frankfurt.
You can also easily access Namibia overland from South Africa, by bus, train or rental car. For overland 4x4 enthusiasts, there are also roads connecting Windhoek and northern Botswana, but the routes are less direct. There is little in the way of public transport between the major travel hubs. From Windhoek, most visitors make their way to Etosha National Park or Swakopmund by road, travelling with tour companies or self-driving. There are, however, flights to Walvis Bay, near Swakopmund, as well as trains, shared-taxis and buses.
Best Times to Visit
Namibia is considered a year-round destination, despite its sometimes baking-hot summer temperatures. Winter and spring (May to October) are the best times for game viewing in Namibia, when the roads are dry and the animals easy to spot in the sparse vegetation as they gather around dwindling water sources. The coastal areas are best visited in spring, summer and autumn when the winter sand storms have abated.
Travel in the desert regions is recommended during the winter months, despite the sharp drop in temperatures at night and in the early morning hours. Conditions are more comfortable in the cooler months than in the summer season when temperatures soar (over 30° C/ 86° F) and showers occur. The wet season is not the best for self-driving in Namibia, due to the unpredictability of gravel road conditions after rains.
How long to stay
Due to the immense distances involved, Namibia is not a short-stay destination that you tag on to the end of a Botswana or South Africa itinerary. If you have enough time, you can combine it with destinations like South Africa, northern Botswana or Victoria Falls, but it is a wonderful destination in its own right and deserves a stay of at least 6-7 days. An ideal Namibia itinerary would be 10-14 days, or even longer if you want to see all that this magnificent country has to offer.
Read about a couple's recent 6-week honeymoon photo-journey through Namibia
When to Visit Namibia Know when is good to go…
A guide to the seasons of Namibia and the best times to visit.
When to Visit Namibia
Before you go to Namibia Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Namibia
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention
Related Tours and Safaris10 Day Best of Namibia Safari
This 10-day Namibian safari takes you to many of the top attractions in this vast and fascinating country – the burnt-red dunes of Sossusvlei, The Skeleton Coast, Damaraland with its unique geographical features, two different sections of Etosha National Park – all with your own highly-experienced personal guide.
More about 10 Day Best of Namibia Safari
Related LocationsNamib Desert & Sossusvlei Dunes
Sossusvlei epitomizes the exquisite desert experience of Namibia, with its endless sea of dunes. The blazing-ochre Sossusvlei dunes rise up over 320m tall, making them some of the world's highest sand forms. These forever-shifting dunes are constantly reshaped by the winds into the sandy valleys, slopes and peaks of the ancient Namib. The reds, oranges, yellows and caramel browns of the soft dunes, and the bleached whites and washed-out pastel shades of the pans, are continuously transformed as the seasons turn and the light plays on the desert landscapes - glowing at dusk and dawn.
More about Namib Desert & Sossusvlei Dunes
Related LocationsEtosha National Park
Etosha National Park is Namibia's top game-viewing destination, rated as one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Covering some 22 270 km² of dramatic landscapes in northern Namibia, Etosha is home to a rich diversity of wildlife and birds, despite its stark appearance. The open terrain and sparse vegetation are ideal for spotting animals, especially when they congregate at watering holes during the winter months from June to August. The unique Etosha Pan stretches out over about a quarter of the park in an endless dry expanse where mirages rise in the heat, except when the rains come and transform the barren desert into shimmering, shallow lakes.
More about Etosha National Park