Epic Experiences to Enjoy in Your Trip To Namibia
In this guest post discover remarkable and fascinating things to see and do in Nambia.
Namibia is one of the most underrated places on the planet. However, if you love nature, culture and adventure, Namibia is the right place for you. It’s a vast country packed with an untamed beauty, spectacular sand dunes and diverse attractions, everything without the crowds of tourists.
It’s a great destination for those travelling to Africa for the first time. Namibia is one of the safest countries in the continent and it’s easy to travel through. Tourists, however, are advised to take all the regular precautions they’d take in any other foreign country. English is its official language, which is a win-win for those travelling independently; even in more remote rural areas, you won’t find it hard to find at least one person who at least understands English. It’s one of the most beautiful and nature-filled countries in the world. It will marvel you with its vastness and wilderness. You’ll have plenty of delightful memories to share on your way back home!
Namibia: Perfect For Road Trip Fans
Namibia is a vast country with almost uninhabited roads that extend for kilometres on end and, yes, it’s perfect for an epic road trip. The road network is extensive and generally well signposted. Most of the roads are gravel. For safety reasons, you’re advised to drive at a strict 80 km/h speed limit as the majority of the car accidents are caused by speeding or loss of control on the gravel surface. The only tarred roads you’ll find are the ones extending to and from Windhoek, the city capital.
Namibia is not a cheap country and, opting for exploring it in a road trip can help you reduce costs, keep your budget under control and, of course, explore this interesting country at your own pace.
Challenging road conditions and a pricey destination mean that you need to do your best to find the best rates to keep your travel budget as low as possible. Investing in a thorough but affordable car rental insurance policy is always a good idea. You can learn about your different options in this blog article.
Don’t Miss Windhoek!
Windhoek, the capital city is not to be missed. We know that as soon as you arrive there you’ll be looking forward to exploring the stunning natural scenery, but anyhow the city is a great place to relax and stock up before hitting the Namibian highways.
The Independence Memorial Museum hosts a collection of paintings, informative displays and artifacts related to the resistance to the colonial regime and the struggle for racial freedom. It’s a win-win if you can combine it with a visit to the National Museum of Namibia, which includes fascinating displays about the San rock paintings.
Namibia has a rich colonial past that can be appreciated in the many colonial style buildings present in the city such as the Lutheran Christus Church, the Parliament Gardens or the house of government. The National Art Gallery is a good way to discover important local artists. And don’t forget to mingle with locals at any of the many local markets and try delicious local dishes!.
Join A Safari in Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premiere game park and it is the #1 thing to do in Namibia as it is one of the most incredible safari destinations. Inside the park you can see each and every of the African animals you’ve read about in nature books: elephants, lions, giraffes, white and black rhinos, leopards or antelopes! Everything in the park revolves around the watering holes where animals come to drink.
What makes Etosha extra special is that it is one of the few places in Africa where safaris can continue after dark: a watering hole with night vision lighting and a viewing deck offers a glimpse into the real wilderness of Africa.
Visitors can self-drive through the park as the roads are in quite good shape and signage is good. And to make it even more attractive is that it is really affordable, especially compared against most of the other game parks in Africa!
Admire Deadvlei & Sossusvlei
Probably one of the most iconic sights in Namibia are the unique dead trees surrounded by red sand dunes. Deadvlei, the dried up bed of a river that once carved its way through the dunes, is a stark white pan basin littered with what’s left of fossilised trees that have stood over the desert for almost a thousand years. Sossusvlei, nearby, invites you to admire the stunning red dunes of the Namib desert, inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
Needless to say, sunrise is the best time to see the dunes, as the sunlight coming from the east paints them in vivid orange and black contrasts.
Climbing the dunes is quite an effort but the reward is definitely worth it! Namibia’s most famous dune is Dune 45. It’s not the highest but it’s the most popular because you’re allowed to climb this sweeping dune and it’s the perfect desert experience!
Be Mesmerized By The Most Beautiful Starry Sky
The dry cool desert air at night is perfect for gazing up into the night sky. If you are in Namibia during a new moon, don’t miss the chance to look up and admire one of the most wonderful skies you’ll see!
Meet The Locals!
One of the highlights of any trip is to interact with the locals, get to know their way of thinking, their culture, their customs and, why not, see with our own eyes the wonders of cultural diversity.
For those coming from America or Europe, Namibia is a fascinating country and the locals and their way of life is an open door to a very interesting country. When spending some time here, one of the best experiences you can have is to meet some of these groups.
The Himba people are one of them. They are well known for covering their faces and hair with clay. They live in the Damaraland region and they have managed to preserve much of their culture and customs over the years and those who visit them can appreciate how their ancestors used to live as it hasn’t changed much over the years. They are understanding, patient and friendly with foreigners as long as they feel respected and they are specially kind to children visiting them.
Admire the Preservation Work Done At Nature Reserves and Animal Sanctuaries
Between Etosha National Park and Windhoek you’ll find the Okonjima Nature Reserve and the Africat Foundation. They are non profit organizations dedicated to the rehabilitation or preservation of big cats that have been orphaned, caught in traps or hurt in some way. Visitors have the chance to see them up close and support the important work of the foundation at the same time. Okonjima was created in 1991 and since then they’ve rescued more than a thousand predators, many of them being released back into the wild. It’s one of the best places to see leopards roaming freely in their large rehabilitation area!
If you have a soft spot for cheetahs, you can pet one at Otjitolongwe Cheetah Park! There are 17 wild cheetahs and three habituated animals. It’s a really nice place to visit and learn more about these wonderful animals.
Visit The Caprivi Strip
Located in the northeast of Namibia, close to Zambia, Angola, Botswana and Zimbabwe, is the Caprivi Strip _ Namibia’s panhandle. It’s an increasingly attractive destination for those interested in wildlife. It’s a narrow strip of land and the wettest region in Namibia as you can also find the major rivers in the area such as the Kwando, the Okavango and the Zambezi.
There’s a large population of elephants and all wildlife is protected in four natural reserves. Since there aren’t any fences, animals can roam freely across the borders of the neighboring countries.
There’s a more relaxed vibe in the area and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy and discover the rural areas of the country.
See Ancient Cave Paintings at Twyfelfontein
Twyfelfontein is a 6000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site where visitors can appreciate more than 2500 rock carvings and historical rock art. It’s a stunning place to explore and it’s definitely worth a visit as it’s so enigmatic! Petroglyphs or rock engravings were made by ancient Bushmen who lived in the area thousands of years ago.
Rock Climbing at the Spitzkoppe Rocks
The Spitzkoppe Rocks are one of the most famous landmarks in Namibia and a must-go location for fans of rock climbing. The natural rock formations are amazing, especially as they are surrounded by a desert landscape. Rock caves, archways and otherwordly rock formations await you in this place. Admire them in awe as they are a sight of a lifetime! Don’t forget to buy some handcrafts and local gemstones at the entrance from the Damara women. They are really beautiful!
Go For A Safari In Bwabwata National Park
What makes Bwabwata National Park so special is that it’s a verdant area where elephants and villagers live together. Unlike other desert areas in Namibia, Bwabwata National Park is green and fertile thanks to the Cunbango river nearby and rainfall. It’s quite a small park and it’s located within the Caprivi Strip. It’s known as a key migration route for African elephants travelling from southern Angola to Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Thanks to the enormous conservation efforts, the park’s animal population has increased steadily over the years. It has a strong focus on ecotourism, which also benefits the villagers living in the area.