Best Namibia Destination for Your Luxury Safari
Namibia is an entirely different kind of luxury Africa safari destination, characterized by vast open spaces, breathtaking scenery, and significant contrasts. Here you will find majestic oceans, dunes, mountains, and deserts. This desert country of rolling dunes and swirling mists stirs the spirit and moves the heart. Around every corner lies something else to discover and to gaze at in awe.
Read on to discover our top Namibia attractions that must be included in your luxury safari itinerary. We also share some insider tips on where to go and what to do for an exceptional luxury Namibia safari experience.
Sossusvlei: Marvel at the Breath-taking Scenery
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is your luxury safari gateway to the world’s oldest living desert, the Namib Desert, and the world’s highest dunes. The iconic Sossusvlei is situated in the National Park within the central Namib dunes. Rise early for your morning excursion into the Park, where countless dunes of differing heights will surround you, but most people flock to the world-famous Big Daddy and Dune 45. Here you can climb the highest peak to watch the sunrise, hike partway and slide down, or wander around the vlei below, admiring the cascading dunes in all their glory. At the foot of Big Daddy is the hauntingly beautiful Dead Vlei or ‘dead marsh.’ It is a picture-perfect, haunting graveyard of spooky tree skeletons that pokes out from the most picturesque, cracked white clay. Besides going on a dune and vlei adventure, you can also search for and discover life in the desert during guided nature walks and drives, quad-biking, and birding, for a more varied desert luxury safari experience.
Insider’s Tip: Get an eagle-eye view of the desert and dunes from above as you take to the skies in a hot-air balloon. An early-morning luxury hot-air balloon flight offers the perfect vantage point over the red dunes at sunrise as you slowly soar over them. Other recommended activities include nature walks, nature drives, helicopter flights, quad biking, stargazing, and more.
Swakopmund: Namibia’s (German) Adventure Safari Capital
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert on the western coast, Swakopmund is a one-of-a-kind town along your luxury African safari journey. This is Namibia’s adventure safari capital and a surreal colonial remnant. It is also the ideal place to start or end your exploration of the Skeleton Coast and the Namib Desert. This town has lots of character and incredible ocean views as it retains a strong German flavor – from its cobbled streets and picturesque buildings to typical German restaurants and pubs serving German cuisine. Swakopmund is perfect for relaxing after a few days in the desert to wash off the Namib sand and sample renowned Swakopmund fare, including German specialties. Adventure safari activities will allow adventure-seekers to explore the coast and desert during their stay, including the nearby town of Walvis Bay.
Insider’s Tip: Book an exciting and immersive eco-conscious Living Desert Tour and discover the tiny creatures of the Namib during a memorable 4×4 trip into the dune belt just south of Swakopmund. Join us as we track chameleons, snakes, skinks, scorpions, lizards, geckos, and other small creatures, and learn more about the area’s fantastic desert ecology.
Skeleton Coast: Wildly Remote Shipwrecks and Seals
Few luxury safari attractions are as evocative and atmospheric as the haunting Skeleton Coast. It is named after the skeletons of stranded whales that can be seen here and the many ships that sank here over the past few centuries. The rusted remains of wrecked ships are often surrounded by swirling mists and make for moody and dramatic visuals. The Skeleton Coast, a protected nature area, is also home to the flourishing Cape Cross seal colony, one of the largest breeding colonies of Cape fur seals. Sandwich Harbour, 56km south of Walvis Bay, is one of the most dramatic sights in Namibia – dunes up to 100m-high plunge into the Atlantic, which washes into the picturesque lagoon. The harbor is now deserted and devoid of any human settlement. Birdwatchers will have a field day here with half and full-day trips that can be booked here. Despite its hostile character, if you are lucky, you can see several wild animals in the Skeleton Coast dunes, including desert-adapted lions, elephants, brown hyenas, black-backed jackals, giraffes, and oryx.
Insider’s Tip: A luxury safari stay within the Skeleton Coast is easily accessible by charter flight from Swakopmund. You can also book a guided scenic flight over the entire Skeleton Coast – you will pass over the shifting dunes, the Cape fur seals, and a couple of century-old shipwrecks up to Sandwich Harbour, a Ramsar wetland of international importance. Time is also spent flying over Walvis Bay and its salt mines which attract thousands of birds.
Spitzkoppe: Magical Mountain Hideaway with Boulders & Caves
Spitzkoppe (“Matterhorn of Namibia”), one of the most photographed mountains in Namibia, is a group of bald granite peaks located northeast of Swakopmund in the Namib Desert. These prominent peaks, more than 120 million years old, stand out dramatically from the flat plains surrounding them. This is one of the most beautiful and striking places to visit in Namibia during your luxury safari. This is a true paradise for any hiker, climber, geologist, or stargazer, and a visit here will be truly worth your while. Your luxury stay at Spitzkoppe is about the prospect of viewing, photographing, and possibly climbing all the different peaks, boulders, and outcrops. The Rock Arch is an exceptionally famous rock formation and one of the most striking to be found here. The views from the top are breathtaking, and enjoying the sunrise or sunset here, high above the Earth, is an absolute must. Other activities include guided or self-guided cycling tours, mountain hiking, and stargazing safaris.
Insider’s Tip: All around the Spitzkoppe, hundreds of rock paintings can be found; the same goes for the Pontok Mountains. There are almost 40 sites, and some date back 4,000 years. Here the so-called Bushmen’s Paradise, a National Monument, is the most prominent place of discovery, with rhino paintings also featured.
Etosha: Namibia’s Prime Wildlife Sanctuary
Etosha National Park is not only one of the premier luxury safari destinations in Namibia but also its prime wilderness conservation area. A luxury Etosha Park half-day or full-day safari offers you the opportunity to see up to 115 mammal species and some unusual endemics like the endangered, black-faced impala, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, and the world’s tiniest antelope, the Damara dik-dik. It is also home to one of the world’s largest and most stable populations of black rhinos.
The Park’s open plains and many accessible waterholes provide the ideal game viewing experience while on safari. Morning and evening game drives through the park are a veritable feast for the senses, led by expert guides, offering unbelievable scenery. In the arid desert conditions of northern Namibia, animals congregate around the park’s multitude of small, life-giving waterholes, making it one of the easiest places to spot a plethora of African wildlife, including giant bull elephants, prides of lions, elusive leopards, and giraffe reaching down awkwardly for a drink. In the rainy season, the white, flooded pans draw in vast numbers of water birds, including the greater and lesser flamingo and the eastern white pelicans.
Insider’s Tip: The one draw card for photographers is the large number of waterholes dotted around the landscape, which is the ideal place to sit and wait for the animals to come to you, especially at sunrise and sunset. Have patience, and Etosha’s fauna will come to you. Each camp inside the park also offers unique floodlit waterholes open 24/7, presenting incredible night-time wildlife photography opportunities.
Twyfelfontein: Namibia’s Proud World Heritage Site
Twyfelfontein, which means “Fountain of Doubt,” is the name of a valley in the Damaraland highlands, historically inhabited by the Damara. The rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an ‘open-air gallery’ with the largest single concentration of rock art engravings in southern Africa. There are over 2000 rock engravings and a few rock paintings at Twyfelfontein. More than 200 giraffes and 100 rhinos are shown as well as ostrich, impala, elephant, and zebra. Also remarkable is that the engravings were made without metal tools. A luxury Twyfelfontein guided safari also includes other natural wonders such as the Burnt Mountain, Organ Pipes, and Petrified Forest. You may also see the fascinating desert plant Welwitschia Mirabilis.
Insider’s Tip: During a luxury Damaraland safari, you can spend time with experienced rangers to try and track the unique desert-adapted elephants and black rhinos in this area. Equally nomadic but less common are giraffes, cheetah, and lion.
Kunene River: Palm Lined Rivers, Waterfalls & Himba Tribes
The Kaokoland area is situated in the extreme northwest of Namibia. It is the country’s most remote wilderness area for luxury safaris, offering dramatic scenery, the tranquil Kunene River, and Epupa Falls in the north. The Kunene is a true oasis with thundering waterfalls, furious white-water rapids, serene rock pools, and tranquil streams as the river meander along the surrounding landscape, attracting a range of wildlife to its banks. Your luxury safari lodge provides direct access to the Kunene River, offering adrenaline and adventure-seekers the unique opportunity to explore the river by boat or canoe. Fishing, hiking, swimming, and birdwatching are also offered. The regional Marienfluss Conservancy and Hartmann’s Valley can be explored during guided nature walks, drives, and eco-sensitive quad bike excursions in the dunes.
Insider’s Tip: During a luxury Kaokoland safari, specially guided cultural excursions can be arranged for you to meet a Himba tribe at their settlement and learn more about their unique way of living.
Book your luxury Namibia safari for 2023
Experience the beauty of endless deserts, climb some of the world’s highest dunes and witness the most adaptable wildlife on Earth surviving in one of the harshest climates in Africa. Jewel of Africa Safaris’ expert team will assist you in experiencing a luxury Namibia safari at its finest – contact us now to book for 2023.