Namibia Safaris – Namibia offers a wide range of exceptional attractions which are easy to view while on a guided safari. The large destination is divided into 3 sections; Northern Namibia, Central Namibia and Southern Namibia each with stunning attractions. The northern section of Namibia is typical wilderness famous for great wildlife, large open landscape and the Skeleton Coast, Etosha national park and the Damaraland Mountains. This is a region where that harbors elephants and rhinos among other game. A safari through Central Namibia takes you through the coastal land of Sossusvlei to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay to watch the whales. Most of the trips ride through the beautiful desert with views of the distant surrounding areas. Southern Namibia is on the Northern border of the Republic of South Africa and the main attraction here is the Ai-Ais Transfrontier Park with river Orange crossing through, River Canyon which attract diverse wildlife, NamibRand nature Nature reserve is a home to animal species like oryx, zebras, springbok among others and Luderitz colonial town at the coast. Do not miss to experience the breath taking adventure of canoeing on river Orange that gives fascinating views of the desert.
The county’s youngest national park, Sperrgebiet National park is in southern Namibia together with the diamond mining area.
Some of the major wildlife destinations that offer great attractions for safari tours in Namibia are Etosha national park, Namib-Naukluft national park, Tsau national park, Skeleton Coast national park, Mudumu, Nkasa Rupara, Bwabata, Dorob, Khaudum, Mangetti, Buffalo, Kwando, Core Area, Mahango,Mudumu, Daan Viljoen national parks. It’s amazing how numerous animals live in most of these open landscapes of the game parks.
Central Namibia has less wildlife and interesting landscape and would therefore not be rewarding for those with highly interested in wildlife. It and the northern section however have impressive activities available for visitors, including visiting Nakambale museum at the former Finnish missionary station.
Other activities to do on a Namibia Safari are boat tours on rivers Okavango, Zambezi, Oranje, Kwando river where hippos, elephants, birds are spotted or at Walvis bay and Swakopmund at the ocean. Namibia has a number of trails for hiking; the Fish river hiking trail leads to the Fish River and also provides a chance to spot more animals and birds along the way, the Tok Tokkie trail takes 3 days and takes a maximum number of only 8 people. There are chances of spotting backing gecko, ostriches, oryx, golden mole and more that may avail themselves for view. Not to forget a visit to one or more of the villages with indigenous people like Himba village, a night visit to the Okaukejo Floodlit waterhole which attracts many animals, hiking to Damaraland mountains, visiting the ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontain. Souvenirs for remembrance of the safari tour in Namibia can be purchased at Okahandja market.
Some of the animals in the national parks of Namibia are the elephants which are easily viewed in the deserts, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, cats like lions, brown hyenas and leopards, white and black rhinos, wild dogs, cheetahs and spectacular marine animals like the southern white whale and heaviside’s dolphin at the ocean. There are more than 200 species of reptiles including snakes, lizards, turtles and more than 640 bird species.
Namibia Safaris , Safari in Namibia, Namibia Safari
The best destinations in Namibia, attractions there, things to do and where to stay
Located in the southern part of Africa, Namibia is bordered by Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east, South Africa to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is one of the best African safari countries to visit for game viewing, scenic views and drives in the desert and meeting the people of Namibia to have a direct encounter with their culture. The Kalahari desert that extents to the eastern parts of the country from South Africa and Botswana is a good site for viewing the vast topography and offers good background for photography.
There are 11 national parks with a variety of wildlife including elephant, lion, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest, and black and white rhino among others. Other tourist destinations are the Fish River Canyon, the Kalahari Desert, Damaraland, Sossusvlei and many more. A safari to these destinations in Namibia takes you to the most remote parts of the country which are accessed by road. The safari offers more than expected on the road.
Destinations, Attractions and Things to do in Namibia
Namibia has several paces to visit on your safari. Below are the main and most exciting that you must not miss out on your safari.
Etosha national park is Namibia’s most famous and visited national park. The highlight of travel to Namibia is Etosha due to its variety of vegetation; savannah plains, woodlands, swamps which are homes to different animals including lions, elephants, cheetah, black and white rhino, wildebeest, zebra, and hyena among others. Among the 340 species of birds in the park, birders have a great number of birds to spot on their birding tours. Besides the wildlife, the park is also popular because of the large salt pan at the park.
The park is located in the northern part of the country and is one of the most accessible destinations in Namibia. During the dry season, a lot of animals congregate on water holes and roam around the park in search of grass and this makes it the perfect time to go for game viewing. The dry season starts from June to September. Because most of the park area is an open and relatively flat, the sunset and sunrise is clearly viewed. Other activities of the park are bird watching, nature walks and a visit to the salt pan.
While at Etosha national park, there are several accommodation options to choose to stay at. Some of them are Halali camp, Okaukuejo lodge, Little Ongava lodge among others.
The word Sossusvlei locally means ‘dead end marsh’. The word is a mixture of words to describe the salt pan. “sossus” is a Nama word meaning “dead end” or “no return” while “vlei” is an Afrikaans word meaning “marsh”. Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan located in southern part of the Namib Desert in the Namib-Naukluft National park. The salt pan has tall red dunes on its shores. They are stable dunes and give great backgrounds for photography. Climbing the dunes; the Deadvlei, Dune 45 and Big Daddy is an exciting experience. The salt pan is one of the major destinations for tourists to Namibia. From here you can proceed to the Namib sand sea, a beautiful place that has been protected in its nature.
The best time to visit Sossusvlei during the spring season which starts in august up to October and from March to May in autumn. At this destination, there are some wild animals that may be spotted. For example gemsbok, springbok among others. Accommodations at this place are Sesriem, Kulala Desert lodge, Namib Desert lodge and many more.
This is among the biggest towns in Namibia. It is located in the western part of the country on the coastal areas. The city is situated west of Windhoek and is famous because of the history that it displays to tourists. It was established by the German colonialists in 1892 during their stay in Namibia. At Swakopmund, you’ll visit the Swakopmund museum to see the displays of flora and fauna, mining, archeology, history and ethnology. The Marine Museums also displays inshore reed marine life.
Other activities in Namibia are sky diving, mountain climbing, dolphin cruise4s, dune boarding, swimming, quad biking, sand boarding, offshore fishing, golf course. Bird watching at Walvis Bay is so rewarding. Visiting the strong buildings that were constructed in the colonial times by the Germans for example the Kaserne, Damara tower, the Neo-baroque Lutheran Church among others enables you to see some of the strongest old buildings in the country.
Accommodations at Swakopmund include Villa Magherita, Meerkat Guesthouse, the Secret Garden Guesthouse, the Lagoon lodge, Namib guest house among others. These lodges and guest houses provide all the facilities required to travelers on safari.
Damaralnd is located in the northwestern part of Namibia. It is situated at the centre of many destinations and it can easily be entailed on the safari to those places. It is bordered by Ovamboland to the north, Kalahari Desert to the east, the capital-Windhoek t the south and Namib Desert to the west. Because of the exception al beauty of Damaraland, It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is characterized with rocky highlands, rock engravings, khaki plains and wondrous wildlife among others.
There are two regions in Damaraland, Northern Damaraland and Southern Damaraland. The northern region has a lot of animals and therefore is a good place for game viewing and scenic viewing of the rolling hills. Southern Damaraland has several historical sites and the topography is attractive.
Accommodation at Damaraland includes Buruxa Camp, Ugab Terrace lodge, Mowani Mountain Camp, Desert Rhino Camp, Hoada campsite and Vinngerklip lodge to mention but a few.
Caprivi Strip is located in the north east direction of Namibia. It is a narrow extension of Namibia from the Kavango region. This strip is about 450km long and is bordered Angola and Zambia to the north and Botswana to the south. Caprivi is divided into the western Kavango east region and the eastern Zambezi region. This is a well drained region bordered with incredible rivers; Chobe, Zambezi, Okavango and Kwando.
Caprivi Strip has varying vegetations which are habitats for a variety of wild animals and are the reasons for game viewing tour in the area. There are over 400 bird species in this area, interesting cultures, and friendly weather for great African safaris. National parks in Capri Strip are Mahango national game reserve and Mamili National park which are good sites for game viewing.
Fish River Canyon is believed to have been formed millions of years ago. It is an attractive canyon located in the southern part of Namibia and is the second largest Canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the USA. It is one of the top visited destinations in the country because of its exceptional beauty. Hiking on the Canyon through the Fish River trail takes about 4-5 days and it is very adventurous. As you hike around the rim, the landscape gives spectacular views of the surrounding and wild animals that are spotted are klipspringers, hyraxes and baboons. Hiking takes paler during the cooler months and during the summer months the canyon is closed because of too much heat. The cooler months are May – September.
The lodges at this destination are Canyon Roadhouse, Hobas Campsite, Fish River lodge, Canyon Hotel and the hikers can use tents.
A trip to Kaokaland takes you to the wilderness in the northern part of Namibia. This place is situated in rugged valleys and highlands with a small population of people. It is bordered by the Hoanib River on the south and Kunene River on the south. Kaokaland is one of the few remaining typical wilderness areas in southern Africa. The scenery of the areas is breathtaking. This area is also inhabited by the Himba people. They are nomadic pastoralists with exclusive lifestyle, cultures and they live in simple cone shaped structures plastered with dung and mud.
Water bodies like river Kunene are habitats for crocodiles, lots of birds and many animals are seen there especially in the dry season. Other wondrous areas to visit in this area are the Ruacana falls and Epupa falls. There are lodges and camps of all kinds and you’ll choose the most comfortable for you. They include Sera Cafema, Okahirongo Elephant lodge, Mopane Camp, Ohakane Logde, Epupa falls lodge, Opuwa country Hotel and Kunene River lodge among others.
The famous Kalahari Desert is a vast semi-arid desert in Southern Africa covering a total area of 900,000 sq km in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The biggest part of the desert is in Botswana. In Namibia, it covers the eastern side and it is characterized by undulating red sand dunes, sandy savannah and scattered brown grass. This place is inhabited by Bushmen and a number of wild animals. Activities to do in Kalahari in Namibia include walking through the desert, walking through the Quiver tree forest, cycling tours, scenic drives, game viewing and enjoying photography due to the beautiful background. There are about 50 mammal species including the black-manned Kalahari Lion, Meerkat, warthog, Oryx, giraffe and more. It is also a good place for bird watching.
There are some areas in the region that are not deserts. For example Succulent Karoo where you find numerous plant species. There are enough lodges to accommodate all visitors that visit the place. Some of these are Kalahari Anib lodge, Zebra Kalahari lodge, Auob Country lodge and Bagatelle Kalahari lodge among others.
Brandberg is Namibia’s highest located in the Erongo region in western Namibia. It is formerly known as Damaraland. Brandberg means ‘Fire/burning mountain’. It was named so because of the glowing colors reflected on the mountain when the sun is setting. The highes peak of the mountain stands at a height of 2,573m above the sea level.
This mountain is popular for the numerous rock paintings, over 43,000 images that are believed to have been drawn by the Bushmen about 16,000 years ago. There are images of hunters and many different animals and this indicates that the area had a lot of animals during the time.
There are a variety of places for travelers to stay while at this place; Buruxa Camp, Ugab Terrace Lodge, Damara Mopane Lodge, Brandberg Rest Camp and many others.
This place was named Skeleton coast after author John Henry Marsh wrote a book about the shipwreck of Dunedin star. The book made this coast popular and was named the Skeleton coast. The Skeleton coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia but it is also used to describe the entire Namib Desert. At the coast you find lots of whale bones and shipwrecks at the shores. The northern side is dominated by high sand dunes while southern side has gravel plains. The place is good for climbing the dunes and at Skeleton Bay, you go for surfing.
The coast is a beautiful area for scenic views and relaxation. It is also a good for game viewing and animals that live at this coast especially in the eastern areas include kudus, springbok, rhino, gemsbok, the rare brown hyena and elephants among others.
Where to stay while at the Skeleton coast should not be a worry at all. There are many good hotels; Terrace Bay Resort, Skeleton Coast Camp, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and Cape Cross lodge.
Windhoek is the capital and larges town of Namiabia. It is located in the centre of the country on the plateau of the Khomas highlands at a height of about 1,700m above sea level. It covers an area of about 1,982 sq km. touring around the city enables you to watch how people in the town carry on their daily activities. Places not to miss visiting are the museums. The museums in Windhoek are Owela Museum, the Transport Museum, the Geology museum and Alte Museum. Other interesting places to visit are the Meteorite Fountain, the National Botanical Gardens, the National Theatre and the historical buildings such as the Ink palace, the Elephant column as well as the Art Galleries. Those interested in game viewing will visit the Zoo Park and Daan Viljoen game park. Other activities to do in Windhoek are birding and hiking.
Just like any other city, there are a lot of accommodations all around the city. There are hotels, safari lodges, and guest houses of all kinds to cater for all travelers.
The Bushmanland is found in the north of the Kalahari. The place is inhabited by the Bushmen also known as the San. These hunters and gatherers are scattered around this area in small villages. The Bushmanland offers great vast sceneries and moving around the sand dunes is so amazing. Animals are easily spotted in this are in the dry season when they congregate around waterholes.