Visiting Namibia – help deciding on which region to see

Namibia is a vast, empty and desolate land – something you would think would put many off travelling there. In fact the desolation is both it’s appeal and it’s illusion – the emptiness that is the desert is also it’s allure, the extreme climate is what’s shaped its beauty, and its popular image of a dry wasteland harbours untouched savanna. But, being so vast and diverse, one needs to pick a part of the country to visit before embarking on a journey, here are some pointers:

The South for spectacular canyons and top seafood

aerial shot of the fish river canyon in namibian desertIf you fly into Windhoek, one option open to you is to take the long drive south (alternatively make a road trip out of it and drive from South Africa) – here you’ll find the world’s second largest canyon, the Fish River Canyon, the quivertree forests, Orange River and a myriad of striking rock formations. Look out for the wild horses of the Namib on the road from Keetmanshoop to Luderitz where you’ll find excellent local crayfish and oysters in season. Take a side-trip out into the restricted diamond-rich areas to see the ghost towns like Kolmanskuppe, undoubtedly moving!

The central plateau and coast for beach, dunes and Namibia’s playground

dead trees in salt pan with dunes behind in namibiaThis is the most accessible part of Namibia if you fly in to Windhoek or Walvis Bay and is home to some of the country’s most famous natural sites. Alluring geological formations await you like the bald rock peaks of Spitzkoppe, the gaping Sesriem canyon and most famously for it’s many appearences in movies, the salt pan Sussusvlei with its giant red dunes and striking dead trees. A short drive from Windhoek (and even shorter from Walvis Bay) is the resort town of Swakopmund, famous for its well preserved German colonial architecture as well as its many activities like sandboarding, parasailing and even golf on one of the only all-grass desert golf courses in the world.

The North/Northeast for game viewing

Waterfall in the Caprivi StripGame viewing doesn’t get better than at the world famous Etosha National Park which is centred around the enormous seasonal pan by the same name. But where Namibia truly gets surprising is a little further East where you’ll find one of the wettest areas in all of Southern Africa, a stark contrast to the rest of the country. Here rivers wind over the well-watered plains and begin fanning out to form the world’s largest inland delta – the Okavango attracting vast herds of game. Remember with all this water, Malaria precautions are a must and travelling here will be for the adventurous, since the drive is long and a 4×4 is recommended; some overland tours also venture through this region.

Namibia is truly breathtakingly beautiful and well-worth the visit, if I haven’t managed to convince you, check out the Namibia Tourism board’s fantastic site from which I got these fantastic pictures!

Our Readers Comments

  1. looking for a mozambique holiday or similar african holiday.
    Dates 1/01 to 10/01/2011
    2 adults
    3 children…21/12/8yrs

    plz advise any suggestions
    tel 083 443 4156

    • Hi Sheree! Will get a consultant to contact you 🙂

  2. Namibia is a best place for traveling..I have been there and visited Skeleton Coast and the Etosha National Park.

    Windhoek is a sleepy little city, very quiet and clean. The real tourist attractions in Namibia are the Skeleton Coast and the Etosha National Park. The Etosha park is centered around a huge salt pan, and many animals visit the watering holes around it. I saw herds of elephants, several rhinos and lions, and countless zebras and kudus. There are two different “villages” (groups of bungalows) tourists can stay at in Etosha– not expensive at all.

    • Thanks for sharing! Not been to Etosha, but hear it’s amazing. One of my colleagues recently got back and had the most amazing photos to share.

  3. Namibia is one of the destination which is in the list of mine to have vacations.. The information you provided in the post about the place is very informative for me..

  4. 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years .interested in travelling to namibia for period 22sept coming back on 28 sept. travelling from durban. Thank you

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