An insider’s overview from the experts at Steppes Travel.
Namibia is an exciting place to visit: it is wild and inaccessible and, despite being the size of Spain and Germany combined, it has a population of just two million. Eighty per cent of Namibia is desert, and it is amazing to see how the wildlife (and people) have adapted to this harsh environment.
As clichéd as it may sound, Namibia is vastly different to any other country in Africa. It will give you a feeling of pioneering adventure as each camp takes you further away from civilisation.
- Situated near the rugged Skeleton Coast, Damaraland is a magnificent collection of desert, granite kopjes, deep gorges and open plains.
- See desert-adapted elephants and black rhinos.
- Visit the ancient petroglyphs of Twfelfontein, made by hunter-gatherers up to 10,000 years ago, and the nearby petrified forests.
Etosha National Park
- Etosha is one of Southern Africa’s best game reserves, dominated by a massive, shimmering mineral pan.
- With 100 mammal species and 300 bird species, together with the remarkable flat landscape, this is an unforgettable place to visit.
- There is a good selection of safari camps to stay at.
Khaudum National Park
- Khaudum is one of Namibia’s wildest corners, in south-eastern Kavango region, home to the Gciriku tribe and the San people.
- The wildlife here is genuinely wild and far less habituated. Don’t expect to see the Big Five, but you will find plenty of rare birds, as well as roan, tsesebee, giraffe, eland, red hartebeest, bat-eared fox, lion and leopard, among others.
- Spend time with the San bushmen.
Okonjima Nature Reserve
- Located midway between Windhoek and Etosha, Okonjima was established as a protected area in which orphaned carnivores can be rehabilitated.
- The reserve is entirely fenced in in order to protect the leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and wild dogs that live here. An exceptional opportunity to learn more about these threatened species.
Skeleton Coast and Kunene
- Considered one of the world’s most beautiful and dramatical places, with its wide belt of coastal sand dunes to the beautiful waters of the Kunene River.
- This region offers a true sense of adventure, best experienced on a flying safari.
- A sea of ever-changing dunes, at the heart of the Namib-Naukluft Park – a place of awe-inspiring beauty.
- Burnt orange dunes tower in the vast blue sky, some 300 metres above the desert floor.
- Take scenic air and hot air balloon flights, sunset game drives, hiking trips, horseback trails and more.
- Trek to the fantastic Fish River Canyon – the largest in Africa.
- Explore abandoned mining towns, littered with German colonial architecture.
- Spot seals, flamingos and penguins along Luderitz’s harsh coastline.
- Visit the untouched Sperrgebiet National Park.
- The main holiday resort in Namibia, located in the Western coastal area.
- A charming resort town rich in German colonial architecture, and has a real sense of timelessness.
“Swakopmund is a must for families. Although the town is small, the surrounding area is packed with activities – great for children who are active and enjoy exploring. Ideally, try and spend at least a couple of days here.”
Jackie Devereux, Steppes Travel Namibia Expert.
- Namibia’s capital, situated in an airy basin and flanked by the Auas and Eros Mountains and the Khomas Hochland.
- It is a city of many contrasts: modern skyscrapers blend with historic buildings, while local shops vie with upmarket Swakara garment and gemstone sellers.
- A good selection of restaurants throughout the city.
- Namibia is hugely popular for self-drive holidays, especially with families.
Voice of Experience
“The orange glow from the flames of the fire bathe the old man in a benevolent light and reveal a wise and purposeful face. He is the healer; the pivotal figure of the healing dance to which I have been invited.
“I sit on the ground close to the fire at the end of a row of young men all dressed in shonas, the traditional bushman loincloth. Opposite stand the ladies of the village with an assortment of children – some on the breast, others glued to their mothers’ sides. The women clap and sing in high pitched tones, and a couple of the young men sitting near to me jump to their feet and urge the women to clap and sing with more gusto.
“The old man lifts his head to the stars. As his rheumy eyes lock onto a distant constellation he raises the palms of his hands and whispers an invocation. The stars have been the custodians of this ritual since time began, and he greets them with a reverence reserved for ancestors long passed on. They twinkle like brilliant halogens in the blanket-black sky, and as the clapping intensifies the old man’s body begins to shudder.”
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