Namibia’s Top Attractions For 2019
It is a beautiful description of a land that is both serenely unspoiled and wild but vibrant, sparse and dry, but tempered with greenbelts that play host to a myriad of wildlife. Affectionately known as “The Jewel of the Desert,’ Namibia is a hauntingly beautiful country. Its German influence is evident throughout and this truly is one of the world’s natural treasures.
There is such a vast range of things to do there that we felt we should try to nail it down to just the premier points of interest for our clients – and so here, we believe are Namibia’s Top Attractions for 2019.
The Main Cities and Towns
There are three primary urban/resort areas that one must visit. Those of the famous German influenced Swakopmund, Windhoek and Walvis Bay.
Swakopmund is a coastal city west of the capital, Windhoek. Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert on the western coast, Swakopmund is one of those great traveller stops along the African road. This is Namibia’s adventure capital and a surreal colonial remnant and is also the ideal place to start your exploration of the Skeleton Coast and Namib Desert. This is a city with as much personality as it has sea frontage and it retains a strong German flavour – from its cobbled streets and picturesque buildings to typical German restaurants and pubs serving German cuisine. This is also one of the much cooler destinations in Namibia, with its moist sea air, mist and rain sometimes surprising you in the Desert.
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, in the country’s central highlands. In the centre of the city are the 1890s Alte Feste, a former military headquarters with historical exhibits and the Independence Memorial Museum. To the South the vast ‘Heroes Acre’ war memorial commemorates Namibia’s 1990 independence. This place has a city buzz and teams with nightlife and fun things to do.
Walvis Bay is a port town on the coast of Namibia and a beautiful resort for those who prefer action and relaxation at the seaside. Its tidal lagoon plays host to abundant birdlife including flamingos, pelicans and Damara terns and sea creatures include Dolphins, Whales and Cape fur seals which inhabit the Atlantic waters around the Pelican Point Lighthouse. Here you can enjoy a catamaran cruise with oysters and champagne. The harbour is teaming with fishing boats and ships. Great for sea food and fun in the sun!
The Main Wildlife Areas
Etosha National Park is undoubtedly one of the star attractions in Namibia. The Park is largely flat with vast grasslands surrounding its famous Etosha Pan, an extensive salt pan of 5,000km², the breeding ground of over one million flamingos in the rainy season. Etosha is home to a surprising variety of animals – four of the Big Five 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 largest populations of black rhino. Okaukuejo camp is the main camp inside Etosha Park. It is known for its look-out tower and a very famous floodlit water hole and is a haven for wildlife photographers.
If you are keen on seeing desert-adapted wildlife, then it’s best to head to Damaraland and southern Kaokoland for elephants, the Kunene region for black rhino and the Skeleton Coast for Brown Hyaena. Between Damaraland and Skeleton Coast, you may also be so lucky to see the unique and rare desert-adapted lions of Namibia, which roam across this vast country in search of prey. There is also one specific camp, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, that offers you the best chance to see these amazing animals, as its resident researcher tracks these cats on a daily basis to ensure their survival and safety from human-wildlife conflict. One of the most iconic animals of Namibia, the Oryx, can also be seen across the country.
The Erongo Mountains, Spitkoppe and Brandberg are amongst the most remarkable mountains in the world and the Namib Naukluft feature on the list of absolute ‘must see,’ mountains and yet are comparatively unknown.
Twyfelfontein is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain that receives very little rainfall and has a wide range of diurnal temperatures.
Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei
The deserts to the South of the country are in many ways the highlights of the stunning nation. The Skeleton Coast, where glorious dunes plunge into stunning Atlantic waters with almost no inhabitants, is justifiably world famous.
Even more so is the area of Sossusvlei, also in the enormous Namib Naukluft. It is usually seen as the single most beautiful desert scape on Earth. On a Jewel of Africa tour, at Dune 45, we make a stop to view the world’s most photographed dune. Further along, a gradual 1.6 kilometre round-trip guided walk up to Dead Vlei is a must for the healthy visitors.
The more energetic have the opportunity to climb to the upper ridge of Big Daddy Dune, one of the highest dunes in this area. Dead Vlei is astounding, featuring trees petrified by centuries with little rain that reduces first time visitors to speechless wonder. The Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world!
And So Much More
We have really just touched on the best of what this amazing land has to offer international tourists. Why not contact us or visit our website if you would like to learn more or book one of our popular packages. We can also tailor make a tour specific to your availability, pocket and preferences.
We look forward to introducing you to this incredible land and guiding you through Namibia’s Top Attractions for 2019.