A traveller's guide to Namibia
Namibia is an incredible country, boasting seas of rippling sand dunes, starkly beautiful desert landscapes, and a windswept, mist-shrouded coastline. And while there might not be many people (only Mongolia has fewer people per square kilometre), there’s plenty of wildlife to seek out – black rhinos and lions in Etosha National Park, dolphins and seals in Walvis Bay and birdlife and baboons in the Kalahari Basin.
Our travellers’ guide to Namibia has been put together by Phil, our product manager for Africa. Read on for his hints and tips for Namibia holidays…
Why do you love Namibia?
With a population of just 2.4 million, Namibia is one of the world's most sparsely populated countries and you can travel hundreds of miles without seeing another soul. Travelling through Namibia's ever-changing landscapes is still a true adventure, forming memories of a lifetime. Namibia never disappoints.
Where’s best to visit in Namibia?
There’s so much to see here, from the colossal sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the desert-adapted wildlife of Damaraland and Etosha. Our Namibia tours include nature and game drives in the Kalahari and Etosha National Park, a 4WD adventure in Sossusvlei, a cruise of Walvis Bay (with champagne and oysters!) and plenty more besides. I'm always fascinated to see and get close to African rock art, and Namibia boasts a lion's share of these rock paintings. For me, standing right next to depictions of animals, family, and starry skies - drawings that were made by some of Earth's early inhabitants, as they documented life over 70,000 years ago - is astonishing and hard to comprehend. We see some great paintings around Twyfelfontein on our Namibia tour.
What wildlife could I see?
You wouldn’t necessarily think of Namibia for an African safari. At first sight you'd be forgiven for thinking that there can't be any wildlife in this seemingly dry desert land, devoid of any water source, but this is far from the truth. Look hard enough and you'll see astonishing wildlife that has evolved and adapted over time to these harsh desert conditions. My personal favourite is the extremely rare desert elephant which can only be found in two countries, Namibia and Mali. It's certainly magical to see these giants set against the dunes of a desert.
This comment from Michael, a customer on our Namibia tour, shows just how incredible the wildlife-watching is here:
“Six lions held power all day at a waterhole. Then a herd of elephants came charging in. The whole balance of power changed and the lions ambled away. Just after this we stopped to take a photo of sunset and in the grass was a stealthy leopard.”
When is best to visit Namibia?
If you want to explore the natural wonders of Namibia, but are concerned about the notoriously warm climate, June is the month for you. June tends to be cooler with daytime temperatures not pushing much past 20 degrees C and the evenings are often fresh. An added bonus of travelling in June is that, due to the lack of rain in former months, vegetation is thinner and animals are easier to see in national parks such as Etosha.
What food or drink should I try?
Namibia has a strong history for crafting some delicious local beers. There are many different varieties to suit all palates and they are the perfect evening accompaniment, following a day's touring. Windhoek Lager is probably the best known and is now exported around the world.
Quick facts for Namibia travel
Capital city: Windhoek
Language: English is the official language. Afrikaans and German are also spoken, as well as a number of indigenous languages and dialects.
Currency: Namibian dollar. The South African rand can also be used.
Time zone: GMT+1 (no need to worry about jetlag!)
Find out more about our holidays in Namibia or other holidays in Africa, or call our travel advisors for more information.
Although she loves a lie-in at home, Laura is often up and about before dawn on holiday. She’s watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon, Uluru and Angkor Wat, but her favourite was seeing the first light of the New Year sweeping across the yacht-dotted waters of Sydney Harbour.
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