Known for having the world’s oldest desert, Namibia offers visitors some of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife viewing available on the African continent. Once your flight lands in the capital city of Windhoek, enjoy the German-influenced area until you head off to your Namibia safari. You’ll enjoy the massive, awe-inspiring geography, as well as go on a safari in Namibia to see wild animals such as elephants, antelopes, even lions, up-close.
Namibia, which obtained its independence in 1990, was also influenced by the British and South Africans, one-time colonizers of the country. While you have your choice of regions to take a Namibia safari, which one should you choose? A lot depends on your interests in geography and wildlife, as each area provides a variety of opportunities. Let’s take a look at each of the major regions.
Okonjima Natural Reserve
Created as a “guest farm” in the mid-1980s, the Hanssen family realized it needed to address an issue when it came to losing its livestock to wild animals in the area. They eventually create AfriCat, which works for the preservation and protection of wild animals, from cheetahs and leopards to primates and other animals.
Today, the nature reserve, which is located about midway between Windhoek and Etosha National Park, welcomes visitors to stay and take in guided and self-guided tours allowing them up-close views of the animals living on the reserve, which includes animals that cannot be returned to the wild.
Okonjima Nature Reserve also offers a variety of accommodations, from a private suite to villas, which provide untethered access to animals roaming the reserve. Additionally, thatch-covered lodges provide comfortable stays. A picture perfect safari in Namibia awaits!
Etosha National Park
Home to Namibia’s largest collection of the endangered black rhino, Etosha National Park lies along grassy plains, offering animals a safe environment to freely roam. While the salt pan may be the best-known waterhole (during rainy season), the park is home to several water areas. It’s near these waterholes you’re likely to view animals grazing, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, cheetahs, and rhinos, as well as hyenas and leopards.
When visiting Etosha, you can stay inside or outside the park. Inside, the popular Okaukuejo Camp’s chalets provide guests with close views of elephants and rhinos congregating near the waterhole. Among the six park camps, Namotoni Camp calls a former German fort home. Outside the park, visitors have a choice of up to nine camps at which to stay. Emanya Lodge provides 20 chalets, with views of animals roaming nearby. On the south side of the park, Etosha Village has 45 lodges located about four miles from the gate. You can’t go wrong with either of these options on your Namibia safari.
Namibia Desert Safaris
If your adventure includes taking a safari in Namibia into the desert regions, then you’ll want to visit one of the three regions of Damaraland, Skeleton Coast, and Sossusvlei. With guided tours, including accommodations, a visit to one of the desert locations offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, from coming face-to-face with black rhinos to standing among thousands of Cape fur seals.
Located in west-central Namibia, the Damaraland region encompasses landscapes, such as mountains, plains, and dried river beds. Wildlife inhabitants range from elephants and giraffes to the endangered black rhino. Damaraland provides opportunities to take in different scenery on your Namibia safari, as well as wildlife. With mountains, valleys and old river beds welcoming you, your Damaraland safari offers you an opportunity to visit Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site, and home to petroglyphs (rock carvings) dating back about 2,000 years. Designated a national monument in 1948, the government passed national protection in 2004.
Damaraland Camp is one of several accommodation opportunities -provides an opportunity to visit Namibia while protecting the environment. Located in the Torra Conservancy, Damaraland Camp visitors enjoy a comfortable stay among rocky vistas in the desert. The camp’s rooms provide the comforts of home, including a bedroom and bathroom. Staff deliver your meal to your room and will share its description in English and their native language. With 15 rooms available, Brandberg White Lady Lodge offers a view of Brandberg Mountain, a popular hiking area to enjoy during your safari in Namibia.
There may be no spot in the world more beautiful than the Skeleton Coast, where the beauty of undisturbed pristine the Namib Desert dunes intimately hugs the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Located in the northern region, the Skeleton Coast’s beauty rides against the names given for the troubled coast – “The Land God Made in Anger” by local bushmen and “Gates of Hell” by the Portuguese, who lost ships here. Despite its reputation as a harsh environment, the area actually provides an impressive view of Namibia’s landscape and wildlife. Among the rugged peaks, endless vistas and valleys, traveling into Kaokoveld provides breathtaking views.
From walking amongst the Cape fur seals on a rocky coastline to lions and elephants farther inland, Skeleton Coast and Kaokoveld provide a beautiful backdrop for a variety of wildlife sighting on a Namibia safari. At least a dozen camps or lodges offer accommodations, ranging from Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in the southern area of Kaokoveld to Epupa Camp near the Epupa Falls on the Kunene River in northwestern Namibia.
Namibia’s third region open for visits, Sossusvlei, calls the dunes of Namib desert home. The red sand abounds as you take in the natural beauty of the desert, which runs about 250 miles long. With an opportunity to see gemsbok (antelope) and hyaena, the region also provides an opportunity to walk among ancient water carvings on the Tschauchab Trail, which was once part of a flowing river. A perfect safari in Namibia awaits here!
When visiting Sossusvlei, consider staying at one of several lodges or camps. The Kulala Desert Lodge is located near the base of the Sossusvlei Dunes, providing a magnificent backdrop of the red sand to the camp’s valley. With 23 thatch-covered sleeping rooms, the lodge provides glass-enclosed sleeping areas, along with a veranda, where you can enjoy nature’s view while enjoying a drink or just relaxing. &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge offers 10 enclosed and climate-controlled lodges. With walls that open to allow a view of the Namib Desert, the lodge provides a luxurious and comfortable stay for guests.
Whether you choose to take a self-guided safari in Namibia or a guided one, choosing a national park or desert region, a trip to Namibia provides a special once-in-a-lifetime experience. While some people may recommend other countries to visit during a visit to Africa, Namibia provides an opportunity to be among nature while enjoying the comforts of a resort. From endangered black rhinos to Cape fur seals, a trip to the home of the world’s first desert will definitely provide lasting memories on your Namibia safari.