An extraordinary place – magnificent, magical and mysterious, Namibia is a land of two deserts, the Namib and the Kalahari, acres of nothingness and a coastline where the icy waters of the Atlantic meet the searing heat of the African desert. Here are our top 5 things to do in this extraordinary country.
1. Explore the shipwrecks of Skeleton Coast
The haunting beauty of the northern shoreline of Namibia is not to be missed. Perhaps the most surreally beautiful landscape in the continent, the Skeleton Coast runs from northern Namibia into Angola and is littered with shipwrecks due to the tempestuous seas. Although seemingly endless and hostile, the park hosts incredibly adapted fauna and flora who flourish here. With inland fresh water springs and a rich geology, the Skeleton Coast hides an unbelievable collection of natural wealth. For the ultimate Skeleton Coast experience, we recommend getting airborne and taking a light aircraft safari to get a birdseye view of this incredibly dramatic and haunting landscape.
2. Hot air ballooning over the Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei, famous for its huge red sand dunes, is one of Namibia’s iconic destinations. The vlei, or pan, is found in the heart of the Namib-Naukluft National Park and is one of Africa’s largest parks and incorporates the dunes, river courses and mountains of the Namib desert, said to be the world's oldest. Despite the scarcity of water, the desert supports a surprising amount of life from grasses and trees to lizards and birds and larger animals such as ostrich, oryx, springbok and zebra. One of the best ways to see the incredibly harsh, but beautiful landscape of the Sossusvlei is by a taking an early morning hot air balloon over the red sand dunes. It's a truly magical and spiritual experience that will live in your memories forever.
3. Visit a Himba Tribe
Namibia’s Himba have long fascinated visitors with their tribal appearance and customs. Living as their descendants did, there are few modern influences on their lives and they choose to remain living in small hamlets in the isolated areas of northern Namibia and southern Angola. They practice a semi-nomadic pastoral way of life and build their village with huts made from a framework of sapling branches and walls plastered with mud and dung. They can be recognised at best as the ‘red’ people – with their naked upper bodies tinted with a mix of animal fat and ochre powder. Life may seem difficult for the Himba, but they are content in their way of life and continue to prosper in their unique way. While some youngsters are educated and choose to move to the more western lifestyle, this is rare and most will remain in their traditional roles.
4. Hike the Fish River Canyon
Stretching all the way across the border into South Africa, Fish River Canyon lies in the far south of Namibia. It is the second largest canyon, after North Americas’ Grand Canyon and should be right at the top of any list of things to do in Namibia. One of the best things to do here is to traverse the canyon's cliffs on a five-day hike, which many travellers cite as one of Africa's more challenging. Whilst out hiking keep your eyes peeled for the extensive species of flora and fauna resident here, including baboons, kudu, mountain zebra, and ever elusive leopard.
5. Go on safari in Etosha National Park
Located in northern Namibia, Etosha National Park is dominated by a huge, dried out salt pan surrounded by grassland and woodland and has Namibia’s best game viewing. The popular park is well set up for tourists and has a number of rest camps with floodlit waterholes, accommodation, shops and swimming pools and is a great park for self drivers to explore, moving between the numerous waterholes on the edges of the pan that attract all manner of game including elephants and giraffe as well as zebra, oryx and wildebeest and large herds of springbok. Black rhino may also be found and lion, cheetah and leopard are also present, although the latter are very elusive.
If our blog has got you interested in booking a holiday to Namibia then get in touch with us on 020 7843 3500 and we can start planning your dream Namibia adventure today.
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