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Experience the highlights of Namibia’s wildlife, culture and history up close
Wildlife of Namibia and Etosha
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Explore the vibrant, multicultural streets of Windhoek which offers an enchanting blend of African and German culture. You’ll then visit the living Namib desert and its desert-adapted wildlife, visit the San people who have lived in the area since prehistoric times and see ancient cave paintings and rock art. Finally, move on to world famous wildlife parks to view some of Africa’s most exciting animals.
NamibRand Nature Reserve
Etosha National Park
Okonjima Nature Reserve
Wildlife of Namibia and Etosha
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The journey begins at the capital of Namibia, Windhoek. A vibrant, multicultural city, Windhoek manages to merge African and European cultures rather well. The country’s cultural hub, Windhoek offers wonderful opportunities to learn more about the country’s unique history of German colonization, segregation and the creation of townships as well as the country’s prehistoric roots. Visit Katutura, originally a segregated township, now bustling with life and offering an insight into African culture. Educate yourself in one of the many museums in the city, such as the Railway or Natural Earth Science Museum. Take yourself to the city outskirts to see Heroes’ Acre, a giant monument dedicated to those who fought for an independent Namibia.
NamibRand is a private nature reserve created to protect the unique ecology and wildlife of southern Namibia and the Namib Desert. The reserve features unique landscapes such as sand dunes, gravel plains and the distinct and wonderous fairy circles,and exciting wildlife such as springbok, leopards, foxes and much more. Accompanied by trained rangers, you can explore the reserve’s landscapes on foot, game vehicle or even soar above the land in a hot-air balloon safari. The NamibRand Nature Reserve offers unique, sustainable tours and accommodation throughout the park, all focused on making as little environmental impact as possible on both the land and the animals. Strict rules are set for the limited number of guests, tourism operators and size of accommodation options that are permitted to operate here - a great way to find yourself away from the crowds. Due to limited human impact in the area, the reserve is also a top Dark Sky destination.
Swakopmund is a coastal town, nestled between the rushing Atlantic Ocean and the ancient Namib Desert. Swakopmund enchants visitors with its colonial history and diverse scenery. The town is also known as "Germany’s southernmost city" and also Namibia’s adventure capital - when you arrive in Swakopmund you will see why. First, you’ll see the magnificent German architecture on display, like the Hohenzollernhaus and the German Evangelical Lutheran Church. As for adventure, Kayak tours at Walvis Bay as well as a visit to the Namib desert for quad-bike excursions, sandboarding and parasailing will keep your adrenaline pumping. Trips to the nearby Namib desert are sure to enthral you. Learn about theNamib desert, Moon Land Valley and Welwitschia Plains on a tour to see the unique flora and fauna that call this seemingly inhospitable landscape home.
Travellers are always in awe after visiting the now extinct, volcanic, Erongo mountain range. An extremely rugged region, the mountains rise up suddenly out of the surrounding countryside, creating a rare confluence of ecosystems sure to amaze and enchant you. This mountainous region is home to over 200 species of birds and reptiles as well as numerous mammals such as the Impala, Springbok, cheetah, warthog and much more. Perhaps more amazing than the varied wildlife and geology here is the fascinating rock paintings from Neolithic times that can be visited on a hiking safari. A true highlight also awaits you with a visit to the San, a people who’ve lived in the region for nearly 100,000 years, giving you a vivid insight into their history and traditions in a "living museum".
The region of Damaraland features epic landscapes and many historical and cultural highlights of Namibia. A highlight is Twyfelfontein, which is a World Heritage Site due to its unique and ancient rock paintings and engravings, made by stone-age hunters and gatherers. Hiking in the Brandberg mountains is very popular and a great way to see some of these impressive rock paintings, which date back thousands of years. Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain and the famous “White Lady” Bushman painting is found here. Also in the area is the Damara Living Museum that allows you to experience first-hand the reconstructed Damara culture. Enrich yourself by taking a traditional Bushwalk and see how this group collected plants and hunted animals and visit the living museum for more insight into their way of life. You may also make a vist to the Petrified Forest, a Namibian National monument and a unique collection of fossilized trees, millions of years old.
Covering nearly 8,000 square miles, Etosha National Park is one of the best areas in the world for wildlife viewing. Over 100 different species of animals, including the rare Black rhinoceros and 4 of the ‘Big 5’ can be found here. Perhaps even more amazingly, over 400 kinds of birds call Etosha home, sure to delight amateur and professional ornithologists alike. While the park is vast, the climate and geography here work to your advantage to see the wildlife, especially in the dry winter months. This is due to the salt pan geography of Etosha combined with the area’s numerous waterholes, allowing you to settle down close to a waterhole and wait for the animals to come to you. You can take a guided tour or travel around the park in your own vehicle. Due to the large size of the park, staying overnight in one of the onsite accommodation options is recommended.
Spread over nearly 80 square miles, the Okonjima Nature Reserve is a safari lodge and also home to the Africat foundation - dedicated to the preservation of Africa’s large cats. The reserve is the perfect location for those looking to get up close with Africa’s big cats, such as lions, leopards and cheetahs as well as other elusive wildlife such as the rare pangolin. Due to the research nature of the reserve, many cats are collared and tracked, making them easier to find than at other reserves. Many options exist here to see the various wildlife, from guided game drives during the day or even at night. Self-guided hikes are also available, popular for getting up close to smaller wildlife in the park as well as the many bird species. Another highlight is a visit to the Africat Carnivore Care Centre to see the research and care of the animals first-hand.
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