Top 3 Places to Visit in Namibia
For many of our travelers, stunning Namibia tops the list of places they want to visit on their second trip to Africa. Alternatively – particularly for photographers — a Namibia safari pairs beautifully with a Botswana program in the Okavango Delta, offering an unparalleled range of scenery and subject matter. When starting your planning, you’ll want to include these three destinations: all are proven favorites, offering landscapes, culture, and wildlife that can be experienced nowhere else on earth.
Namib Desert: One of the World’s Largest and Oldest Deserts
Marvel at the majestic dunes of the Namib Desert, one of the world’s largest and oldest deserts, as you explore on foot, or soar above them in a hot-air balloon. The undulating, orange dunes – captured in popular memory by the aerial scenes of the film The English Patient – are among the tallest in the world, with the tallest reaching 325 meters, or 1,066 feet, about the same height as New York City’s Chrysler Building. As if the stunning landscape and clear, starry skies weren’t reason enough to enjoy Sossusvlei, the area is home to desert-adapted flora and fauna such as ostriches, springbok, gemsbok, bat-eared foxes and aardwolves, all of which can be encountered on safaris in vehicles or on foot. One of our favorite desert retreats is Little Kulala, on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, with 11-thatched kulalas (or cottages) each with rooftop skybeds for stargazing and a private plunge pool.
Himbas at Serra Cafema: One of Africa’s Last Nomadic Tribes
Meet the nomadic Himba people, one of Africa’s last semi-nomadic tribes, living in relative isolation in the unforgiving landscape of northwest Namibia much as they have for generations. Of their traditions, the use of otjize, a thick reddish paste of butter, fat and red ochre, on women’s faces and hair has become an iconic image of Africa. The Kunene region and the Kunene River are home to the Himba, and offer you a study in contrasting landscapes staying at either the Okahirongo River Camp, which offers stunning river views and numerous ways to enjoy the riverine setting. Or, for a slightly more indulgent stay, Serra Cafema is an 18-bed luxury-tented, riverside camp inviting exploration of the contrasting sands and river oases on foot and quad bikes.
Etosha National Park: Wildy Diverse African Wildlife
See an array of wildlife at Namibia’s Watering Hole – Etosha National Park. Located in northwestern Namibia, the park’s defining characteristic is a salt pan so big it can be seen from space, and measuring 1,840 square miles. One of the most productive game-viewing parks in Africa, Etosha draws large numbers of animals to waterholes fed by subterranean springs – often offering a diversity of species drinking at the same time. You’ll have chances to encounter kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, zebra impala, elephant, lions, and both rare black and white rhino. On the eastern side of the park, stay at elegant Mushara Outpost, on the park’s doorstep. For a different perspective, stay at Ongava Lodge in the private Ongava Game Reserve on the park’s southern boundary, offering guided walks, photographic hides, and impressive views of the waterhole and surrounding plains.
The first version of this article was posted on 2 July 2014 at 4:01 PM.