Namibia is no less than an art gallery that mother nature has crafted for us. It is a mystical world of unusual landscapes and unique experiences. Revel into the giant red sand dunes, silvery-white salt pans, flamingo-fringed lagoons by planning an ultimate Namibia Safari.
Namibia is a lost world where you will find the endless expanse of phantasmagorical landscapes that have never lost their primitive majesty. Imperious orange sand dunes dominating most of the landscape, dusty plains, and parched riverbeds are surely a picturesque thing on a safari. Troops of elephants, zebras, and wildebeests roaming freely on the Namibian land make this place a photographer’s dream. However, you will struggle to capture either their elemental power or their delicate nuances.
Every curve of sand in Namibia is subtly changing giving it a paradoxical look. This is a place where you will feel like you have disconnected yourself from humans and connected to the mother nature. Arriving Namibia is like a dream, visual array of colliding colors and contradictory superlatives, perhaps best epitomized by the unearthly landscapes of Damaraland: desolate yet exquisite, confusing but profoundly simple, impossible yet electrifyingly real. Watch the hungry lioness stalking the huge herd of wildebeest, gaze upon the world’s second largest canyon, explore the untamed roads and lands, follow the footprints of the giants and get face to face to the antelopes. See the giraffes and rhinos wandering across the plains, gaze the lions and leopards resting beside the shallow pan, and get reveled by spotting a huge array of antelope and zebra tentatively sipping from the waterholes lining its southern edges. You can explore all this at a leisurely pace by spending a few days at Namibia. Experience the breathtaking scale and authenticity of this vast wilderness, where the big game are always etched against wonderfully vivid backdrops.
Namibia is known for the largest sand dunes but it does mean that it lacks water resources. In fact, in Namibia, water is the king. It is the only thing for which wildlife perennially roam across it’s land. Etosha National Park is one of southern Africa’s greatest game reserves: a vast, dusty land centered around the 4800km² Etosha salt pan, which holds seasonal rains and permanent waterholes that draw a steady stream of wildlife. The Namibia safari is nothing without the visit to the dunes of Sossusvlei. Rocky mountains in varied colors, incredible watercourses, ancient valleys, the sinuous, and the rolling shapes of the dunes of the Sossusvlei is sure to take your sigh away. For the ultimate bird’s-eye view of this stunning landscape, there is no better way to experience it than by hot air balloon. So, hire a hot balloon service to fly up and observe countless birds around you while silently drifting over the rocky outcrops, plains and dunes. Spend your last day at Namibia in exploring the mesmerizing landscape and eternal beauty of this place.
One thing you will notice while roaming across the country is the road. Namibia has one of the untamed roads in the world. In fact, you will find very few roads and almost nothing here and this protects the migratory routes of its giant nomads. Elephants and rhinos leave great footprints as they wander through sand and scorched salt pans. And you can track them by following the same.
Few countries on Earth are as raw and elemental as Namibia. Almost nowhere can compete with the visual euphoria that accompanies every angle and vista in this huge country. Simply driving between destinations can fill hundreds of spaces on the camera memory card. But some places are exceptionally unique:
Take an enthralling journey up the Skeleton Coast, passing ancient shipwrecks and deserted mining towns submerged in sand and fog. More than 1000 ships have been wrecked on this unforgiving shore, where they stand abandoned and isolated, their wood and steel hulls being gradually eroded by nature. Elephant and giraffe skeletons further reveal the inhospitably of this coast, yet coming across a hartebeest herd or a hungry leopard isn’t uncommon. At Cape Cross, the life is intensified by the world’s largest breeding colony of Cape fur seals: up to 250,000 of them swamping the sand with their comical antics and cacophonous calls.
Everybody knows that the Grand Canyon is the largest in the world. But does anybody know the second largest? Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia is over 100 miles long, 20 miles wide, and in places almost 550 meters deep. And you’ll have it all to yourself. Like its American rival, it’s a geological feature that defies superlatives, the scale, and intensity of the experience often difficult to comprehend. There’s something spooky about standing above it, gazing down into the abyss and silently grappling with its sheer scale.
Namibia is unique in Africa for its lack of fences and manmade barriers. All of Africa’s great mammals roam free, meandering a path across the epic landscapes. The country is filled with private game reserves, each combining luxurious comfort with effortless game viewing. Track rhinos on foot, spot lions from your secluded veranda and watch wild dogs from the sanctuary of hidden hides. In particular, Ongava and Okajima have a stunning array of game, and their central location makes them easy to incorporate into any Namibian itinerary.
Ancient San artists have turned a little corner of Damaraland into the world’s most famous outdoor art gallery, with some 2,500 engravings of animals, people and mythical creatures immortalized on giant slabs of oxidized sandstone. The ancient carvings, dating back between 2,000 and 6,000 years, have made Twyfelfontein the most important site of Stone Age rock art in Africa – and in 2007, they were declared Namibia’s first World Heritage Site.
The country’s Atlantic Ocean coastline is littered with diamonds, but Nature’s irrefutable power has scared away the bounty hunters. Kolmanskop is half hidden by sand, the abandoned 19th-century wooden houses now with dunes for carpets. This mystical ghost town is a testimony to Namibia’s untamed land; sand whips through doors and piles against old oak walls, bathtubs stand lonely as buildings disintegrate around them, and the town feels like a setting for a post-apocalyptic Hollywood movie. Nearby Luderitz provides the accommodation, delivering you to 19th century Bavaria through a delightfully atmospheric time warp.
The Caprivi Strip forms Namibia’s panhandle, a sliver of verdant land that separates Botswana from Angola and Zambia in the northeast of the country. Elephants literally wander alongside the main road here, mud hut villages stand on vivid floodplains, and isolated tourist camps are set up beside meandering rivers filled with hippos and crocodiles. It’s serenely beautiful, the fresh shocks of blue and green a stark contrast to the rest of the country – and three lush national parks providing a host of unexpected surprises.
Although Namibia’s attractions are centered around the desert and its arid national parks, the country’s climate is certainly not uncomfortably harsh. In reality, this is a year-round destination and, while it’s definitely warm, it’s rarely suffocatingly hot. The relentless sun can be intense and mid-afternoon are usually quiet resting time wherever you are, whatever time of year. Morning and late afternoon onwards is generally pleasant all year round; just remember that isolated places like Fish River Canyon are uninhabited for a reason, and going for a three-hour hike at midday is never a wise idea.
The weather follows two distinct seasons, with crystal blue skies marking almost every day of the dry season from May to October. Maximum daily temperatures hover around 70 degrees between May and August, and warm clothing is essential at night. Wildlife viewing is at its best as animals congregate around the diminishing water and there is almost no vegetation to hide behind. While this is officially the high season, this is Namibia – so don’t expect to see too many other tourists
The wet season runs from October to April but doesn’t expect to see that much rain. Deserts are defined by their lack of rainfall, and witnessing how a short shower can transform the landscape is a spectacular experience; green plains vividly contrast red dunes and wildlife floods to the new oases. Other parts of the country, particularly parks like Etosha, will see short afternoon showers and blossoming grasslands. The rains won’t negatively impact your visit, although it’s more difficult to see animals at this time of year. Temperatures soar and peak in the 80s, although it will feel hotter than this beneath the sun. Like most of the year, activities are usually planned for the early morning and late afternoon.
Namibia is an adventure through a desolate world. Receiving a liberal coating of dust and sand is part of the experience, as is driving along lonely roads and wondering if you’ll ever see another vehicle. Providing the perfect antidote is the country’s wonderfully appointed accommodation. After a day exploring there’s nothing better than a hot shower in the desert and lounging on a private veranda as the sun flickers across the horizon. Or lying on a four-poster bed and watching a magical collection of hooves approach a nearby waterhole.
Most accommodation is in luxury lodges, which are almost always unassuming – absorbed into the landscape rather than dominating it. Natural wooden features are the norm, as are incredibly spacious rooms and never-ending views. Most cater for just a handful of discerning guests and every room is well separated from the rest. Many have air-conditioning and plunge pools. ‘Boutique’ is an accommodation buzzword these days, but it’s always been the way in Namibia; it’s rare to find a lodge without an individual style or cozy intimacy. Expect to be charmed. While Namibia doesn’t have the big hotel names, it certainly knows how to deliver five-star luxury. And it knows just how to optimize the beauty of the surrounding environment.
In addition, Namibia offers the opportunity to sleep in luxury tented camps. These are serenely erected in pristine wilderness locations, maximizing the immersion in Namibia’s surreal world. Yet they come with often startling levels of comfort. This isn’t glamping: it’s a mobile five-star hotel in the bush. While the opulent canvas tents provide everything required, it’s hard not to spend at least one night sleeping on the veranda, gazing up at the impossibly starry sky.
If you are a citizen of the US, Canada, and EU countries, you can enter Namibia visa-free for up to 90 days. On your arrival to Namibia, you can get your passport stamped. It’s worth having your travel itinerary and confirmations printed out just in case.
The only threat you will encounter with at Namibia is the raw African sun. So, if you are from some of the coolest countries in the world, be ready to face the real sun. Get the sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sturdy wide-brimmed hat packed to avoid hot sunny rays. Apart from this, Namibia is a very safe and peaceful country. Crime against tourists is extremely rare, especially given that the popular areas to visit are those where virtually nobody else lives.
Pay attention to local warnings as they are made to protect you from the wild. While enjoying the African safari, do not become prey to animals by ignoring the critical warning signs. Signs like free roaming of lions, crocodiles, and giant hippos can be dangerous for you. Though, the places you will visit would be free from such things, but when at a safari to the wild, nothing can be 100% sure. So, stay alert to avoid any mishappening.
The southern and western parts of Namibia are malaria-free all year round. The risk in areas north of the capital city, Windhoek, including Etosha National Park and the Caprivi Strip, depends upon the season. Mosquitoes need water and between July and October, there isn’t any. It’s another reason why the dry season is a better time to go on safari in Namibia. Antimalarial medication is usually recommended from November to June. Wherever you go in Namibia, it’s important to follow standard rules to prevent mosquito bites – namely covering your arms and legs after dusk and applying a healthy dose of repellent.
Namibia is a land where time moves slowly and so as the people and customs associated. Spending time in Namibia is more like enjoying and experiencing everything at a leisurely pace. You can't rush things to explore. Places like Sossusvlei or Etosha can’t be rushed, but need to be savored and admired – particularly given that the desert isn’t the easiest place to reach in the first place. Everything at Namibia - be it the wildlife or the landscape - happen at its own time, and that’s part of the country’s beauty.
Most of the areas in Namibia are desserts with no Wifi and other technological things, which no doubt makes this place a tranquil one but may disconnect you from your loved ones for a while. However, this remoteness of this place makes it more beautiful. The lesser the disturbance is, the better the world will be. Talking about the Namibian people, they are no doubt friendly but do they are not many in the count. They’re proud of how developed their country is and rarely get offended by anything. Greet them humbly and they will greet you back with a pleasant smile.