This week’s blog is a guide to the 7 things that you must not miss when you are next taking a safari holiday to Namibia, whether you currently have a holiday booked to Namibia or if you are looking for reasons to book then this is perfect reading for you. Namibia is a country situated on the south-west corner of Africa and is somewhere that you can find wide open planes and seek solitude in a calm and tranquil area. It has been said that a trip to Namibia is unlike any other trip to any other African country.
Namibia boasts large parts of desert and the Kalahari Desert crosses Namibia’s borders with Botswana and South Africa. In the north of Namibia, you can find stunning and remote valleys as well as the huge saltpans of the Etosha National Park which is the main wildlife reserve of Namibia.
The first thing you must not miss out on is the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River Canyon is located in the far south of the country and is the second largest canyon in the world at 100 miles long, 17 miles wide and more than 1,600 feet deep. To reach the canyon, you can fly from Windhoek to Luderitz or you can visit it as part of a wider self-drive itinerary but it is a 500 mile drive from Windhoek! However, it is worth the journey as the immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breathtaking with its towering rock faces and deep ravines that have been formed by water erosion. Dependent on the time of year that you visit the canyon, you could be looking out to a dry river bed or a rainy-season raging torrent. As the environment here is so diverse, there are a number of habitats for a number of different species. Mammals, reptiles, insects and fish can all be found here. There are also some really rare species that can be found here which makes your trip more than worthwhile! You can stay here at Canyon Lodge on the rim if you don’t fancy the journey!
If you head north from the small town of Aus, you will be taken into the Namib Naukluft Desert towards the towering sand-dune landscape of Sossusvlei which is home to these magnificent dunes which are up to 1,000 feet tall. This is arguably Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction and it is a large, white, salt and clay pan which is an excellent destination for travellers all year round and despite the harsh desert conditions in the area, you can find a wide variety of different plants and animals who have adapted in order to survive in these conditions. This is a brilliant place to visit and if you are looking for the ultimate experience, make sure that you take an early morning balloon flight over the ever-changing landscape (and pack many extra memory cards for your cameras!). If you are looking to stay nearby, we recommend Little Kulala as our favourite lodge but for position and better value, Kualala Desert Lodge is for you.
Another place that you can’t not visit is Swakopmund. This is an Atlantic coastal town which is sandwiched between Atlantic rollers and the Namib Desert. This city is full of personality and boasts half-timbered German architecture, seaside promenades and some great homely guest houses. Although the water is very chilly which means that the town can hardly be described as a beach resort, there are many different activities to do here including quad-biking, parachuting, horse-riding and kayaking.
Next up on our list of the 7 things that you can’t miss when on your next safari holiday to Namibia is The Skeleton Coast. This is arguably the most iconic location in Namibia and although the landscape is stark, it is truly stunning. With rock formations such as the Ugab Formations which defy belief and the clay castles at the Hoarusib Canyon as well as the drive river valleys which are home to many elephants, giraffes, brown hyenas and other animals that have adapted to live in these harsh conditions. This is such an impressive piec of landscape that cannot be missed out on and if you are looking to stay here in comfort, there are many lodges which offer the ultimate luxury but the best is Wilderness’s Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
Up next, is the Etosha National Park which is unique in Africa. This is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa and is home to an abundance of different species due to its diverse habitats that can be found. Dependent on the season that you choose to visit the park in will dictate the animals and birds that you will find during your trip so make sure that you check that out before you make your plans as during the winter, the Etosha Pan is bone dry but in the summer, the dry and dust park becomes a lush green oasis. There are many places to stay around the park and even if you don’t choose to stay at the locally run rest camps such as Halali, Namutomi or Okakeujo, you can self-drive to the National Park easily.
The Caprivi Strip is a narrow, arrow straight strip of land that spearates Botswana from Angola. From the Strip, you can have access to the Zambezi River which runs to the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. The Caprivi Strip is unlike the rest of the country and receives large rainfall so has lush vegetation as well as diverse wildlife. There are many things to do and visit whilst at The Caprivi Strip and there are some brilliant places to stay but we recommend the Hakusembe River Lodge as it is the perfect place to relax and break up the journey!
Last, but certainly not least, is The Hartmann Valley. If you are looking for silence and solitude for your next safari holiday then make sure that you travel to the far north-west to the region of Kunene which is on the border of Angola. Here, you can find the Hartmann Valley which is a landscape of such beauty that you must stop here to admire it. It is a desolate yet entrancing moonscape of sand and rock which offers a profound sense of wilderness and there is a variety of different landscape here including the Kunene River which boasts a band of lush vegetation as well as one of the driest deserts on earth. This means that there is an abundance on beautiful wildlife. If you are looking to explore the area, make sure to go out on quad bikes up and down the river to explore properly and for somewhere brilliant to stay, we recommend Serra Cafema but there are some more rustic bush camps in the region which are equally beautiful.
We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that it has inspired you to think about your next safari holiday…