The 10 best places to visit in Namibia
After living two years in Namibia, I've drawn up a list of the main sites and attractions that in my opinion, cannot be missed when visiting this country.
Far from being just a desert, Namibia is a vast and wild country that offers exceptional landscapes. This southern African country has everything you need for an exciting holiday.
From safari tours in Etosha National Park to flying over the desert in a hot air balloon or by « air taxi », travelers from around the world are charmed by the rich wildlife and stunning scenery.
Namibia is also home to a number of ethnic groups, such as the Bushmen and the Himbas, that you will surely encounter during your trip.
Mountains, rivers, canyons, fields and sand dunes will all be part of this unforgettable adventure holiday in Namibia.
Our selection of must-see places
The Caprivi Strip
The Caprivi Strip lies north-east of the country, in a narrow region bordering Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A region unlike any other in Namibia, with jungles, rivers and lush-green fields. Visit the incredible national parks of Bwabwata, Mudumu, Nkasa Rupara and Mahango. Each park is home to an extremely rich wildlife with many moving herds of elephants and other predators such as lions, crocodiles and hippos.
Nature | Safari | Wildlife observation
Kaokoland is located in northwestern Namibia and is a beautiful region of unspoiled landscapes. The area is home to the city of Opuwo and the people of Himba, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic herdsmen.
Explore the region and admire the grand Epupa falls located north of Opuwo on the Angolan border. Hike past these stunning waterfalls that can reach up to 120 feet or rent a canoe for the day to enjoy a ride down the Kunene river.
Art & Culture | Nature | River | Natural wonders | Waterfalls
The Great South
In southern Namibia, the red dunes give way to wild desert landscapes, home to the Fish River Canyon, the world's second largest canyon. This gigantic river channel meanders over 100 miles through a plateau and attracts hiking enthusiasts from around the world. Enter this natural site from either up north via Hobas (don't miss the spectacular views) or down south by the river, through Ai-Ais.
Further down south you can discover a number of charming villages and fishing ports includging Lüderitz, Aus and the ghost town of Kolmanskop.
Nature | Hiking | Nature wonders | Viewpoint
The term Kalahari (or Kgalagadi), meaning "place of thirst" in the Tswana language, is the name of this arid region with reddish dunes and surprising colours.
The Mariental area offers accomodation plus a number of different tours allowing you to come close to wild animals such as girrafes, zebras, antelopes and even certain predators like jackals or meerkats.
Nearer to Tsumkwe you can meet the hunter people known as the Bushmen (or the Sans) and their famous click language (they talk by clicking their tongue).
Nature | Natural wonders | Animals | Hiking
One of Nature's greatest shows in Namibia is undoubtedly the Namib Desert and its great sand dunes with shades of orange, yellow and ochre. This desert known as the oldest in the world, stretches along the Namibian coast for almost 100 miles.
This fascinating region offers a unique flora diversity and is home to the peculiar Welwitschia mirabilis plant. You will also be able to spot wild animals such as ostritches and meerkats that have learned to adapt to the region's hostile conditions.
Don't miss out on Sossusvlei, among some of the highest sand dunes in the world that can reach up to 1000 feet. From here you can observe incredible views of Deadvlei, an arid area of dry lands and dead trees that give off an eerie vibe.
Nature | Natural wonders | Animals | Hiking
To the west of Namibia lies the port city of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, a historical city between sea and sand.
. Swakopmund is a great place to learn abouth the country's history, you can also visit a number of museums and art galleries or enjoy dinner in one of the chic restaurants.
. Walvis Bay is the spot for water activities and animal wildlife. Take a cruise and watch out for dolphins, sea lions, pelicans and different species of birds, then venture into Sandwich Harbour and admire the surrounding dunes.
. Head north of Swakpomund and spend hours visiting Cape Cross Reserve, home to over a hundred thousand sea lions! Carry on further north to explore « Skeleton Coast »: a strange but fascinating place where it's possible to stumble across shipwrecks, cursed by the stormy Atlantic sea.
Nature | Shopping | Sea | Entertainment
To the west of Namibia, across from Skeleton Coast, embark on an adventure in the heart of Namibia's desert region. With enchanting landscapes and wildlife, Damaraland is a region of beautiful stillness where you go on for miles without meeting anybody else.
Nature has reclaimed its rights in this hostile territory, offering spectacular scenery in an unspoiled environment. It's also possible to organise a tour with rangers to visit the desert elephants.
Admire the 3500-year-old Brandberg Mountain which remains to this day one of the most important vestiges of prehistoric art in Africa. UNESCO's World Heritage Site in Twyfelfontein, is definitely worth a visit to observe the rock carvings that date back to two thousand years ago.
South of the region, visit Spitzkoppe and its unusual shaped set of mountains. Spend a few hours or stay the night surrounded by granite blocks with the local Damaras.
Animals | Viewpoint | Nature wonders | Wildlife observation | UNESCO World Heritage
Northern Namibia is home to one of the most beautiful natural reserves in Africa. In fact Etosha National Park is the third largest reserve on the African continent, stretching over 8600 square miles. A natural habitat to 115 different mammals and over 340 bird species, the Etosha Pan is also home a vast lake that dries up during the summer (the word « etosha » litterally means « place of dry water »).
During the rainy season the lake fills up, attracting a number of wild animals. It's possible to spot large predators and rare animals such as lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, antilopes and even rhinos.
Le parc compte de nombreux points d’eau où il est facile d’y observer les animaux comme lions, éléphants, girafes, rhinocéros, de nombreux zèbres et antilopes tels que les koudous, oryx et springboks.
Access the park through one of the four entrances : Central entrance in Okaukuejo,Namutoni to the east, ot two entrances to the west: the Von Lindequist Gate and King Nehale Lya MpinganaGate.
The best safaris
Nature | Animals | Wildlife observation | Safari
The country's small capital, Windhoek, is perched at 1650m and is usually the starting point of many adventures. Take a couple of hours, or even a day to explore the city centre and the colonial mansions that date back to the 20th century. Hit the shops on Independence Avenue and purchase souvenirs to take back home or head out a few miles to wander around the small town of Katutura.
There are also plenty of hiking trails to explore in the Windhoek area. Admire the beauty of the surrounding mountains, the tips of Auas and Eros and the Khomas Hochland hills.
Art & Culture | Craftsmanship | Hiking | Shopping
Living in Namibia for a certain amount of time has made me realise just how much this country has left me with everlasting memories. With its unusual landscapes and hostile character, the country is home to many of Nature's wonders. Discover the dunes of Namib that reflect the colours of the sun or explore Fish River Canyon, home to rare wildlife. The beautiful stillness of such a country is bound to trigger strong emotions. Travelling in Namibia is a great experience for all adventurers and nature-lovers.