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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

8 Fascinating Places to Visit in Namibia

Updated: May 16, 2023

For anyone who's stepping foot on the continent of Africa for the very first time, Namibia provides a truly spectacular and awe-inspiring introduction.


From the wind-whipped peaks of the world's oldest and tallest dunes to the wild shores of the Skeleton Coast, through craggy canyons so vast you feel insignificant, to national parks so abundant with wildlife you'll feel as though you've stepped into the pages of a National Geographic cover.

Namibia is the ultimate destination for adventure, culture, and wildlife viewing. Here are eight destinations to include on your itinerary:


Etosha National Park

Start your African adventure off right with a visit to Etosha National Park, hailed as one of the best wildlife reserves on the continent. Between July and September, the waterholes are a gathering place for four of Africa's 'Big 5' (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant) plus giraffe, cheetah, and various antelope species.


With plenty of full-day and half-day game drive options available from nearby luxury safari camps, there's never a dull day in Etosha.


Cape Cross Seal Reserve


The Cape Cross Seal Reserve is home to over 200,000 Cape fur seals, one of the largest colonies in the world.


Near the end of October is when the drama begins with bull seals staking out their territory for the breeding season. By November and December, the colony sees the arrival of tens of thousands of pups.


This reserve is also where the Portuguese first stepped foot on the Namibian coast in 1486 and was once home to a monument to Diogo Cao, one of the most prominent explorers during the Age of Discovery.


Kaokoveld


Where the rhythmic sounds of an ancient language collide with dramatic escarpments, meandering rivers, and an extraordinary elephant species, the remote region of Kaokoveld is home to the indigenous Himba peoples.


Though this area is home to one of the planet's harshest climates, the Himba have thrived here for several millennia. Their symbiotic relationship between rare flora and fauna and inviting culture make for a fantastic side trip off the beaten tourist path and a truly culturally immersive experience.


The Himba Women of Namibia are renowned for their intricately sculptured hair. These women first braid their hair, then apply a mixture called ‘otjize’, a blend of butter, fats, goat hair, and red ochre. This not only allows them to create elaborate hairstyles but also protects them from the harsh climate. The Himba are incredibly protective of their cultural practices and way of being, and while they welcome visitors, it is important to respect them, never take photos without asking permission, and dress modestly.


Skeleton Coast National Park


Bring your camera and sense of adventure because the Skeleton Coast is haunting, beautiful, and a landscape photographer's dream. Stretching 310 miles from the Angolan border to the north and the colonial town of Swakopmund to the south, Namibia’s coastline is a graveyard for over 1000 shipwrecks, hence the name the Skeleton Coast. This fabled coastline is riddled with shipwrecks, with the raging Atlantic Ocean on one side and the world's oldest desert spilling onto sandy beaches on the other.


It's no wonder why Namibia's San Bushmen say their homeland is 'the Land God Made in Anger.'


This region is also home to one of Africa's most exclusive luxury lodges and the only accommodation located within the national park.


Fish River Canyon


For the ultimate sunrise experience, time your visit to Fish River Canyon for breathtaking views, eerie silence, and soaring birds. This 120 million-year-old canyon is the second largest globally and offers world-class hiking, game and bird viewing, and endless viewpoints to snap those perfect landscape shots.


Damaraland


If you've ever wondered what the landscape would have looked like during the time of dinosaurs, Damaraland is the perfect example. The geographic diversity in this region makes for exciting safari opportunities with species that have adapted to this dry climate. Here you will find giraffe, graceful oryx, rare black rhino, and desert-adapted elephants wandering the landscape.


Namib-Naukluft National Park


No visit to Namibia is complete with a wander through Namib-Naukluft National Park, specifically a climb up Dune 45, the world's most photographed dune. This national park is home to Dead Vlei, a cracked, white clay pan dotted with stark, petrified trees that have been there for nearly 1000 years.


So, if you're looking to tick off an epic bucket list experience, soaring over these sky-high dunes in a hot air balloon is a memory you won't soon forget.





Swakopmund


Located in central Namibia, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib desert, this charming German colonial town is a jumping-off point for every type of adventure from sandboarding, desert quad biking, and skydiving to scuba diving.


After a day of adrenaline-thumping fun, wander through town and enjoy an authentic German bakery, Afro-European cafe culture, and colorful architecture. It doesn’t matter where you are in town, Swakopmund embodies the concept of Gemütlichkeit (the German concept of warmth and hospitality).



With no shortage of epic experiences and postcard-perfect landscapes, these are just a few of the most fascinating places to visit in Namibia. If you’ve been craving an adventurous, nature-rich, breathtaking African experience that doesn’t involve crowded safari trucks and bustling African city capitals, Namibia is the perfect destination for you.



Ready to explore Namibia? Contact me for a complimentary travel consultation.


Let's get started planning your safari vacation! Reserve your complimentary consultation call with me to begin!


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