One of the more intriguing Southern African places you can visit, Namibia is characterised by its dramatic landscapes and great wildlife experiences. The sparsely populated country features a body of granite rocks, tangerine sands and dust-laden savannahs which are home to a diverse flora and fauna population.
So, why visit Namibia for your next holiday?
From learning of the fascinating conservation efforts with big cats at Okonjima to watching the living desert dunes at Sossusvlei, holidays to Namibia are always incredibly rewarding. Not only do you get to explore the rugged Skeleton Coast, but you also have the chance to learn something new along the way.
So, to help plan your next trip, here's our comprehensive guide to visiting Namibia.
How to Get to Namibia
Travel to the capital, Windhoek, via a flight from Johannesburg or Frankfurt.
The start of your holiday is an important aspect of the overall experience, ensuring your Namibian adventure gets off on the right foot.
Flights from London are daily, and you can extend your holiday to other Southern African countries using good-value add-on fares. With South Africa bordering Namibia to the south, you can explore the wonders of Cape Town or visit the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, either flying or driving across the Caprivi Strip. Additionally, you can follow this up with a thorough journey throughout the expansive dunes and game reserves.
Where to Stay in Namibia
Immerse yourself in Namibia with accommodation options, ranging from luxurious lodges and mountain camps to eco-lodges and campsites.
After navigating the Namib and witnessing the wildlife thriving in their natural habitat, you'll briefly stop over to recharge those batteries. Driving up along the eerie Skeleton Coast, you might even be lucky enough to see the remains of shipwrecks still visible to this day.
In Damaraland, nestled in and camouflaged by surrounding boulders, Camp Kipwe features 360° views of rugged lands and towering mountains - as well as nature drives in search of the elusive desert-adapted elephants. Whereas in Sossusvlei, Sossusvlei Lodge provides easy access to Namib-Naukluft Park at sunrise, where you can see the colour changing dunes.
From Etosha National Park to Swakopmund, our team will locate the right accommodation for you to discover those wildlife activities you dream of experiencing. The endless number of options for your next tailor-made adventure, whether a small group tour or self-drive journey, will leave you in awe every single day.
How to Get Around Namibia
Transport options include car hire, light aircraft or rooftop camping style vehicles.
By far the most convenient way of getting around Namibia, however, is a hired vehicle. This way, you can explore this beautiful African nation at your own pace and freedom. A standard four-door saloon car is a good choice, but we recommend a Nissan X-Trail style car which has higher road clearance in Namibia.
What to Consider When Self-Driving in Namibia
Drive on the left-hand side of the road and regularly fill up at gas stations to avoid any hiccups.
At night, it's best to not drive as animals are attracted by the warmth of the tarmac, where they often sleep. In addition to this, you should keep well hydrated over long distances and bring entertainment. Journeys can be long and often quite taxing, so it's best to break it up with some music or games.
Best Time to Visit Namibia
Although the rainy season runs from November to April, temperatures can reach over 35°C in the south. Evenings are also warmer during this wet season and thunderstorms sometimes occur in the afternoon.
So, the best time to go to Namibia is around the May to October dry season. During this winter period, game viewing is better as animals such as oryx and kudu search for new water sources at regions including Etosha National Park. Not only that, but weather conditions are much more pleasant.
Though sparsely populated, this awe-inspiring country has a well-maintained infrastructure, which provides the basis for a number of diverse wildlife experiences and adventures throughout the year.
Experiences in Namibia
Namibia is a go-to Southern African country for its array of adventure activities and unique attractions. Between spending time at the iconic Fish River Canyon and Victoria Falls, you'll discover eye-opening big cat conservation projects, thrilling black rhino excursions and scenic boat trips among the following...
Stargaze under pristine night skies on the Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is a treasure trove of experiences, from boat trips where you’ll observe sea life to 4x4 excursions in the dunes. But one of the most memorable experiences is simply staring up at the magical night sky. Due to the lack of light pollution, you're able to spot millions of ultra bright stars.
One of the most interesting facts about Namibia is that it has some of the darkest skies on our planet. The combination of the dry climate and landscape works to form a cloudless sky, ensuring some of the clearest conditions for stargazing. Whether you're a romantic, looking to impress that special someone, or just enjoy astronomy, the Skeleton Coast is the perfect venue for observing our vast solar system.
Search for big cats and learn about conservation in Okonjima
During your visit to Namibia, you can go out pangolin tracking on foot with a researcher. These very vulnerable, endangered creatures are incredibly rare to find, and sightings are not always guaranteed. Or you can go on an Okonjima Carnivore Search, where you’ll be able to spot big cats in their natural habitat and learn about the AfriCat Foundation - a conservation project focusing on cheetah rehabilitation. Their work helps return orphaned and previously captive cats to their environment, where you can go searching for them on foot.
With the help of an experienced guide, you'll observe the actions of these carnivorous creatures and discover core conservations efforts. Along the journey, take a moment to focus on the sights and sounds of this famed nature reserve and discover what makes the experience so intriguing and unique.
Spot desert-adapted elephants and trek rhino on foot in Damaraland
The natural beauty of Damaraland shines through in many ways. But some of the more memorable activities you must experience are at Damaraland Camp or Palmwag Desert Lodge. The former is home to the rare desert-adapted elephant while the latter supports Africa's largest population of free roaming black rhino.
Black rhino are rare and incredibly shy, so you’d be lucky if you ever see one as they’re mainly active at night when they forage for food and drink. Throughout these areas, you can go on thrilling nature drives and reflective walks while observing the actions of these magnificent beasts - all within their natural habitat where they're at their happiest.
Marvel at resident dolphins and seals on the waters of Walvis Bay
Located south of the colonial town Swakopmund and west of the capital, Windhoek, the city of Walvis Bay invites you to discover its unique experiences. On top of the historic museum tours and sightseeing opportunities via 4WD, you can enjoy a scenic Walvis Bay boat trip. While on the water, spot various birds among many other animal sightings that include dolphins and a seal colony who you can watch play.
This bucket list activity also allows you to kayak with the seals themselves. After watching them feed on fish, you'll learn about the area's history before being offered Namibian Oysters and sparkling wine - then disembarking. Over the course of three hours, you'll come away wanting to do it all over again.
Climb to the top of Sossusvlei’s famous Dune 45
The desert scenery across Southern Africa is expansive. Whether you're looking to travel over vast landscapes, spot local wildlife or take picture-perfect photographs, Dune 45 has it all. Part of the Sossusvlei area of the Namib, this 170m star dune is a striking sight to behold.
Climbing to the top is no easy feat, however. The hike takes around 40 minutes to complete, and we recommend doing it at sunrise, so be sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the walk. When you reach the top, you'll have a magnificent view of the vibrant red sands which stretch for miles and can even spot oryx and ostriches roaming the landscapes. So, take a moment to recognise the epic beauty of this massive country.
Types of Holidays to Namibia
In the diverse country of Namibia, there are many ways to encounter the resident flora and fauna. From adventurous road trip itineraries to immersive camping experiences and intimate small group tours, what types of holidays are available for you to discover throughout this Southern African wonderland?
With towering sand dunes, quirky coastal towns and desert-adapted wildlife, family holidays to Namibia are sensational. The whole family can join in on a safari adventure or game reserve search while certain family members might like to branch off somewhere else.
During a Namibia adventure, there's something for the entire family to enjoy. Journeying through the sprawling landscapes and spotting local springbok and meerkat populations is that extra bit special with loved ones. If it's a ghost town trip or adrenaline activities you're after, you'll find it here in Namibia.
Is it safe to self-drive in Namibia?
For those looking at self-drive holidays in Namibia, the extensive road network and reliable road conditions make it one of the safest countries for driving. You can marvel at colonial German architecture in Windhoek before travelling to Etosha National Park and spotting the zebra and elephant.
A road trip itinerary can take you anywhere from important national parks like Namib-Naukluft National Park to some of the country's largest canyons such as Fish River Canyon. Namibia is great for independent travel due to the long stretches of gravel roads and well-maintained surfaces. Also, between each leg of your journey, you can stop over in a range of eco-lodges and guesthouses before continuing.
Gather your camping gear and pack plenty of essentials for a memorable independent travel experience. This Self-Drive Roof-Top Camping Holiday features unforgettable highlights, from climbing Big Daddy at Sossusvlei to helping with research and conservation of the big-cats at Okonjima. During your adventures, you'll not only become fully immersed in your surroundings, but you'll also have the opportunity to go quad-biking or deep-sea fishing.
With a packing list of camping equipment consisting of sleeping bags, first-aid kits, tents, bottled water and other essentials, you'll be more than ready to explore Namibia. Not only that, but your fully equipped camping vehicle provides everything else you need for a comprehensive camping trip of a lifetime.
Fly-in Safari Holidays
The rugged landscapes of red dunes, salt-white plains and yellow savannahs are home to a diverse wild animal population which you can encounter on tailor-made Namibia safari holidays. Etosha National Park is one such area, inhabited by tens of thousands of animals that include lions, gemsbok and even giraffe.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a fly around safari covering the 400-metre dunes of Sossusvlei and coastal stretch of the Skeleton Coast. With extensions to the town of Swakopmund or lush banks of Kunene River, you can even add on some adventurous activities for an even more memorable experience.
Small Group Tours
For something a little different, small group tours in Namibia are an ideal way of experiencing everything from word-class game viewing to climbing the dunes at Sossusvlei. The Southern Africa country has countless highlights - Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei - and you'll have the chance to see them all. With the help of a professional and knowledgeable guide, you'll learn almost everything there is to know.
Small group tours operate with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight people. Whether you're looking to explore alone or spend time with those you know, these experiences are breathtaking, nonetheless. Across a number of exhilarating days in Namibia, you'll fall in love with this incredible part of the world.
Encounter the diverse wildlife of Namibia
Namibia is a country that features some of the world's most expansive landscapes and immersive wildlife experiences. Embark on one of our incredible holiday tours with the help of our Travel Specialists. They have the expert knowledge and insider tips to help you find the best Namibian adventures for you.