The Namib Desert – One of the oldest deserts in the world stretches from the Orange River in the south to just north of the Kunene River. The desert features some truly bizarre life forms (notably the Welwitschia Mirabilis and the desert elephant), as well as the tallest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei. Three major towns are situated on the coast where the desert meets the sea: Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. Much of the Namib Desert is situated within the Namib-Naukluft Park.
The Namib Naukluft Park – Namibia’s most versatile conservation area and includes Sossusvlei – a dune wonderland surrounding a huge dried-up pan set amid towering red dunes. Said to be the highest in the world, the dunes are part of the 32000 sq km sand sea covering much of western Namibia and belong to one of the oldest and driest ecosystems on earth.
Sossusvlei – Excellent for hiking, it is situated in the vast Namib-Naukluft Parkand and accessible with a 2WD car and the last 5 km either on foot or with a 4×4. The Park is home to the unique Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra found only in Namibia and Southern Angola.
Fish River Canyon Park – A spectacular piece of history, the Fish River Canyon was formed +-500 million years ago. The 2nd largest in the world after the Grand Canyon, the observation point at Hobas provides a breathtaking view.
The Quiver Tree Forest or “Giant’s Playground” – is an impressive jumble of massive dolerite boulders. The quiver tree or “Kokerboom” is indigenous to the hot and dry southern part of Namibia. These succulent plants and can reach a height of up to 9 metres and have adapted to the extreme environmental conditions by storing water in their trunks. The tree blossoms for the first time after 20 to 30 years and can reach 300 years in age.
Kalahari Desert – Much of eastern and southern Namibia is covered by the Kalahari Desert. Dunes of red sand extend through this area. It spans dense bush covered plains north east of the Etosha Pan including the high rainfall areas of Kavango and Caprivi, tropical forest, perennial rivers and woodland savannah. The region is full of wildlife-rich game parks, bird-watching and sightseeing.
Swakopmund – A premier holiday resort where the cool Namibian coast offers relief from the intense heat of the interior, with a diverse mixture of modern and classic architecture.
Walvis Bay – Namibia’s main harbour town has a variety of recreational possibilities, a desert golf course, a choice of restaurants and adventure activities such as sea kayaking and dolphin cruises.
The Etosha National Park – One of Africa’s most important wildlife sanctuaries and a wonderful wildlife-viewing venue encompassing a vast salt pan 80 miles long. Famed for its diversity of wildlife and when the Pan is filled during the rainy seasons, it can be seen from space! Meaning’ place of dry water’ appropriately describes the vast salt pan which is cracked for much of the year. Believed to have originated over 12 million years ago as a shallow lake, Etosha is said to have the tallest Elephants in Africa, and is acknowledged as being one of the last wild safe haven’s for the endangered Black Rhino.
Windhoek – The capital city of Namibia, it features an unusual blend of European colonial and modern African architecture and is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with good hotels, sophisticated shops and friendly bistros.
Okahandja – Situated north of Windhoek, is well known for wood carving markets and is an important historical town for the Herero people of Namibia.
The Caprivi Strip – Unlike most of the rest of Namibia, the Zambezi Region is a wooded and fertile region, and it is crossed by a number of rivers including the Zambezi and the Okavango, ranking among the great rivers of Africa. It is also the site of several game parks, which provide spectacular scenery and relative solitude.
The Himba Tribe – Descendants of a group of Herero herders, the Himba are rustic people and primarily herd and breed cattle and goats and lead a nomadic lifestyle, having resisted change, they hold on to their rich and unique traditions and cultural heritage.
Kaokoland – Probably one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa, it is a world of incredible mountain scenery, a refuge for the rare desert dwelling elephant, black rhino and giraffe and the home of the Himba tribes people. Although it is harsh and offers little respite at midday, the rugged landscape is especially attractive during the early morning and late afternoon when it is transformed into softly glowing pastel shades.
Damaraland – South of Kaokoland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, it is situated inland from the Skeleton Coast. Highlights of the area include:
The Brandberg: Namibia’s highest mountain and home to the famous “White Lady” Bushman Painting.
Twyfelfontein: A wonderful rocky outcrop with thousands of Bushman engravings. A small spring at Twyfelfontein has provided animals with water for thousands of years. The dubious nature of the spring gave the place its name (meaning “doubtful fountain”).
Spitzkoppe: A typical pointed inselberg, and a place of great mystery to the ancient San people
The Petrified Forest: which is millions of years old.
The Vingerklip (finger rock) – A towering finger of limestone that rises 35m above its base. It is a remnant of a plateau formed over 15 million years ago.
Feral Horses at Aus – These horses have been isolated for a number of generations. Their hardiness in the face of extremely harsh climatic conditions is extraordinary, as is their ability to circumvent the vital problem of food and water availability by adapting their behavior and their allocation of time.