Namibia, a timeless Adventure
“A land of contrast & dramatic beauty - exuding a timeless appeal. From awe-inspiring landscapes combined with untamed wildlife, it’s a boutique bucket list destination.”
In south western Africa lies a land of compelling fascination. A land for those who worship at the shrine of Africa at its most resplendent, but also at its most unconventional. This is Namibia.
Described by the bushman as the “Soul of the World”, Namibia is rugged, natural, soulful and liberating. While the forces of nature have been fierce and unforgiving, they have also been bountiful. In this cauldron of heat and relentless force, God has created landscapes that are paralleled in their beauty only by the most exquisite diamonds found here. Imagine huge canvasses, uninhibited by man’s limitations, splashing swathes of colour of the monumental, star shaped dunes of the Namib Desert and the surreal Salvador Dali’esque Deadvlei, with its white clay pans, red dunes and blue skies. The awe-inspiring mountain ranges of some of the last true wilderness areas in Damaraland and the forlorn, windswept skeleton coastline. As all Africa, Namibia has abundant wildlife in our National Parks as well as the large tracts of land which lie unfenced and unfettered for wildlife to traverse. Much of this land has been made available to the local communities, and both these, as well as private land of many farmers who have banded together, have been declared as local conservancies. Namibia also has the richest succulent flora in the world, harbouring about one-third of the world’s approximately 10,000 succulent species. Namibia is a melting pot of sights, sounds, aromas, tastes and emotions in abundance, just waiting to be experienced.
Namibia is home to the infamous Skeleton Coast, that forlorn and rugged coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is here where we find the Namib Desert, the World’s oldest desert and a World Heritage site, from which the country gets its name. The eastern expanses are dominated by the Kalahari Desert; the central highlands are renowned for its free-roaming wildlife and the Etosha National Park. Kaokoland and Damaraland are where we find some of the most dramatic landscapes, the uniquely adapted desert animals and the proud Ovahimba people. And to top it off – the contrast of the lush forest vegetation of the Zambezi region, part of the KAZA Transfrontier National Park. Like the diamonds mined here, Namibia is a true gemstone waiting to be discovered.
Namibia’s appeal lies in its dramatic mix of spectacular landscapes, iconic cultures and African wildlife. The Namib Desert is home to the world’s highest dunes and oldest desert plant known to man. The Fish River Canyon is surpassed in size only by the Grand Canyon, while the 60 ton Hoba Meteorite is globally the largest of its kind. Namibia’s wildlife is exemplary and home to the Big 5, albeit, unlike a zoo, not found in one area. A great portion of Namibia falls under communal land, where the tourist can interact with age-old cultures such as the Himba, Damara and the Bushmen. Swakopmund, wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and the desert dunes and fondly known as Namibia’s playground, is a must for adventure and leisure tourists.
Namibia is an all-year destination with over 300 days of sunshine. The dry winter months are generally better for game viewing and with clear cold skies, one of the world’s most sought after stargazing destinations. In wetter months, our green season, calving season commences and birding as well as botanical safaris are spectacular. The wide range of national parks ensure an unforgettable wildlife experience throughout the year.
Join expert rangers in Damaraland tracking desert elephant or black rhino, or experience the allure of the Namib Desert from a hot-air balloon. Hike the second largest canyon on earth, or learn first-hand survival practices from real Bushman while following them into the Kalahari. Watch dolphins and other aquatic animals on a catamaran cruise on the Atlantic Ocean or enjoy a roller coaster quad bike experience in the Namib Desert dunes.Enjoy your own self-drive adventure in national parks and untouched wilderness areas, meeting the cultures and relishing the freedom of endless space.
All larger cities and towns offer high quality shopping and culinary experiences equal to European standards. While Windhoek’s high-end shopping malls are ideally suited to cater to all shopping needs, the centre of the city still offers streets where some smaller boutique style or owner managed outlets exist. Swakopmund has not yet acceded to the commercialism of malls and the town is still built around a small centre of busy shops. These more laid-back small arcades and cafeterias, all reachable on foot, promote a relaxed holiday atmosphere. Throughout Namibia guests can stop at informal markets en-route to their next destination to shop for wooden souvenirs, minerals, clothing or even traditional food.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Namibia has the highest concentration of Cheetahs on earth
- Namibia is the second least populated country
- 46% of Namibia’s surface area is under conservation management
- The entire coastline of Namibia is protected by national parks
- Etosha national park boasts 114 different animal species
Days 1 - 2
The Kalahari is an exceptionally beautiful living desert a large semi-arid sandy savannah draped over a gently rolling inland sea of sand covering most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. It is also the last bastion of the San people with the modern world having enveloped all the other areas they once roamed. Here in Namibia it is typically red sands covered in thin, wispy, mostly golden grass and dotted with acacia trees and wide ranging wildlife including gemsbok, impala, jackals and cheetah.
Fish River Canyon
Days 2 - 4
The FishRiverCanyon is located in the northern part of the Nama Karoo. It is the second largest canyon on earth, featuring a gigantic ravine that measures in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep. The FishRiver is the longest interior river found in Namibia, but its flow at present is a trickle compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length in ages past. It cuts deep into the plateau that is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought resistant plants such as succulents, euphorbia’s and lonely quiver trees. The river flows intermittently, usually coming down in flood in late summer, and when it ceases to flow it becomes a chain of long narrow pools on the sandy rock-strewn floor of the chasm. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais provides an oasis in the desolate rocky wastes. Guided and unguided walks into the canyon are possible during April to September, it is however strictly forbidden to climb into the canyon as a day visitor. In the canyon you may encounter several species of mammals, such as wild horses, Mountain Zebra (Hartman Zebra), Kudu, Klipspringer, Leopard, Steenbok, Baboon and Springbok. The most common rodents include mice, rats, dassies, and dassie-rats. Bird life includes surprises like Pelicans, Black Eagles, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, Lovebirds, Wild Ostrich and various species of waterfowl and wading birds, like Herons. In the natural pools of the Fish River are found an abundance of fish, such as barbled catfish and yellow fish.
Days 4 - 5
This seaside town is something of an anomaly – a piece of 19th century Bavaria bordering the pinkish sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Lutheran churches, German bakeries and colonial buildings are dotted about the settlement, while its windswept beaches are home to flamingos, ostriches, seals and penguins. The nearby ghost town of Kolmanskop is one of the most fascinating area attractions, located approximately 10 kilometres from Luderitz central.
Days 5 - 7
The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, and although it stretches along the entire length of Namibia’s coastline, the Namib commonly refers to the vast sea of sand from Luderitz to Swakopmund. For a big sandy desert the scenery is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part. Because of how old it is the Namib is home to numerous species that don’t occur elsewhere and although no humans live in the desert an amazing array of flora and fauna manages to survive here. Famous species include the Welwitschia – a living fossil plant, endemic chameleons, fur seals along the coast, brown hyenas, jackals and remarkably one of Africa’s largest antelope the Gemsbok. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means "vast place" and vast it certainly is.
Days 7 - 9
With palm-lined streets, seaside promenades and fine accommodation for all budgets, Swakopmund is Namibia’s most popular holiday destination, and its pleasant summer climate and decent beaches attract surfers, anglers and beach lovers from all over Southern Africa. Thanks to its mild temperatures and negligible rainfall, Swakopmund generally enjoys grit in the oyster. When an easterly wind blows, the town gets a good sand-blasting, and almost perpetual drizzle. The fog rolls up to 30km inland and provides moisture for desert-dwelling plants and animals, including 80 species of lichen. For better or worse, Swakopmund feels overwhelmingly Teutonic – indeed, it has Germany – but for visitors, it’s a Namibia’s adrenalin capital, and offers a wide range of gut-curdling activities from sand boarding and quad-biking to skydiving and camel riding. Note, however, that it gets especially busy around Namibian school holidays in December and January, when temperatures average around 25ºC.