Feeling adventurous? On a tour of Namibia that uncovers spiritual heartlands, rural retreats, and vibrant cities, begin in Windhoek, a capital with a European influence seen in neo-gothic stylings. Among the towering dunes of the Namib Desert, enjoy a kayak, quad bike, or sandboard in some of the country’s remotest lands. Prepare to be bedazzled by the NamibRand Nature Reserve as vultures swoop above and the elusive cheetah hunts. Then pause to admire one of the world’s darkest skylines as it fills with stars that shine so brightly, you can see the Milky Way.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Fish River Canyon
NamibRand Nature Reserve
Etosha Wildlife Park South
Etosha Wildlife Park East
Waterberg Plateau National Park
Your holiday begins in the nation’s capital of Windhoek. Cruise by bike through the vibrant Katutura Township, hopping off to chat with the local population as you enjoy markets selling handicrafts and spiced lamb cooked on a barbecue. Move on towards Heroes’ Acre, a monument to soldiers from German colonial rule, which also hosts amphitheatre events year-round. End your day exploring the Old Fortress, heading on to Joe’s Beerhouse for sauerkraut, potato, and good meat, served with a cold beer.
2. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Cruise south to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with the windows down, and approach a wildlife preserve that’s perfect for safari game drives. Set in the immense Kalahari Desert on the borders of Botswana and South Africa. Spot a blue wildebeest, springbok, or lion in the desert as you drive beyond towering red dunes. Look up in awe at the sight of an African fish eagle as it spreads its wings. Relax at a lodge that’s complete with swimming pool after a day of wildlife sightings.
3. Fish River Canyon
Cruise west to Fish River Canyon, the world’s second-largest canyon, it provides excellent hiking trails across ravines that deliver views from pleasurable locations such as Hell’s Bend. With a depth of 550 metres, venture down to Fish River to watch wildlife feed from the water. Look out for baboons, wild horses, the klipspringer and more in a land of jagged cliffs, rock formations, and adrenaline led adventure.
Next up, head north to a settlement in the Karas Region named Aus. The town is located on the edge of the Namib Desert, and with riverbeds, mountains, and grass plains of the Garub, it’s a place of contrasts. In town, enjoy African cuisine such as potjiekos cooked over a fire. End the day with a sundowner in hand, recapping on biking and hiking adventures as the sun sets to bleed the sky orange.
5. NamibRand Nature Reserve
It’s time for the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Enter the Namib Desert and head out on a safari that’ll include vultures, spotted hyenas, and mountain zebra, seen among sand dunes. The fairy circles that encase arid grasslands add a touch of mystic. Cap off an unforgettable time with a hot air balloon over this vast land. Look up at some of the starriest skylines in one of the darkest places on planet earth.
6. Naukluft Mountains
Road trip to the Naukluft Mountains and discover serenity among fresh spring waters that invite a dip. To many, this region is considered a hiker’s heaven. Move across short grass plains by truck, hopping off to join a trail and see zebras as they move in dazzles among the backdrop of limestone and dolomite rock around Sesriem Canyon.
Cruise to Swakopmund, situated by the Atlantic Ocean, and walk the coast towards a lighthouse. Watch over boats that roll and bob against a lively tide. Take a stroll through the windswept streets of the city and see the influence of German colonial history first-hand. An aquarium with an underwater tunnel and a ton of marine life is a delight. Why not sandboard down a sand dune?
Namibia’s highest peak, the Brandberg Mountain, is located in Damaraland and maxes out at a dizzying 2,573 metres. Hike a trail that leads you to the “The White Lady,” a rock painting that dates back thousands of years is among some 50,000 in the region. In Twyfelfontein, learn about the Damara people, their customs and traditions that include canoeing, hunting, and cooking kraii in a Living Museum.
9. Etosha Wildlife Park South
Move on towards Etosha National Park and explore an 8,600 square mile park full of wildlife. Seeing this crater like soil of the clay salt pans is a must while on a safari drive. If in season, watch as the pink feathers of thousands of flamingos descend to feed from the salt pans. Not to worry if not in season, black rhinoceroses, 400 bird species, and lions are here to gaze upon.
10. Etosha Wildlife Park East
Awake to the calling cries of troops of baboons and the sight of lions as they move in prides across the savannah. It’s time for you to move east in Etosha, and enjoy more of Namibia’s wildlife. If lucky, spot a leopard across the plains, or watch as elephants guide calfs to watering holes and giraffes feed from mopane trees. A hot air balloon ride, followed by sumptuous bush tucker at sunset, are exceptional choices that’ll cap off a wonderful day.
11. Waterberg Plateau National Park
Your penultimate stop is Waterberg Plateau National Park. Hike through a park full of natural wonders such as plunge pools and fresh springs. Head up a table shaped mountain that acts as a centrepiece. Wake early to go on a final safari game drive, watchful for sable, buffalo, and the black rhino. Immerse yourself in nature as you hike with a guide to the 220-metre peak of a mountain that delivers with sweeping farewell views.
Return to Windheok before your departure, and indulge in a little more of what has caught your eye on an immersive Namibian holiday. Check out Christ Church and explore a Lutheran church with neo-gothic and art nouveau stylings. A craft centre is an opportunity to pick up several handmade souvenirs at one of 40 independent stores before heading home and drifting away in delight at all you’ve seen.
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