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Introduction

Namibia's excellent game parks, rugged coastline and diverse wildlife mingle with the most amazing barren landscapes of rock, sand and stone. The past German, South African and British influences still dominate an originally Namibian territory lead by Hereros, Owambo, bushmen and other African cultures prevalent in Namibia. The country is rich in natural resources, amazing scenery and the infrastructure developed make it comfortably possible for those willing to explore it's beauty. Map of NamibiaMap of Namibia
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What to See


Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and biggest city of Namibia. Find out more on this city by visiting our guide to Windhoek

Etosha National Park
Lions in Etosha
Etosha means "great white place of dry water" derived from the vast Etosha saltpan that you will not want to miss on your trip to Namibia. The wildlife is diverse and the park is firmly entrenched in the world map of parks. The game is abundant and the landscapes are truly unique.

For more information, visit our page on Etosha National Park

Solitaire
Solitaire
Solitaire is a small outpost, run by one man and his labourers, on the way to Sesriem and Sossusvlei. It is the best place to stock up before Sesriem if you are running low on fuel, food and other necessities. There is a petrol station, restaurant, shop with food, beverages and curios, campsite and other lodges for those wishing to stick around.

SesriemSesriem Campsite
Sesriem is the place where you will want to stay if you are camping and plan on going to see Sossusvlei.

Sesriem campsite has approximately 20 camping pitches, each characterised by a large acacia tree providing much needed shade from the scorching desert heat. The campsite has an information office, a gazebo with a swimming pool and bar and additional amenities on the pitches include a barbeque (braai) and running water. There is also a store open from sunrise to sunset for supplies including food, drinks and wood. The petrol station has both petrol and diesel fuel.

Sesriem CanyonSesriem Canyon
Just a few minutes drive from the Sesriem Campsite is the impressive Sesriem Canyon. The canyon exists as a result of the flow of the Tsauchab river and is over 30 metres deep in places. It is worth a quick visit and walk around.

Elim Dune
Elim Dune
Elim dune is approximately 5km from Sesriem campsite and is accessible both by car or on foot. A walk to the top of the dune will ensure beautiful views of the surrounding desert and mountains in the distance. Many visitors choose to walk up the dune for brilliant colours at sunset.

Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei - 4X4s only!
Sossusvlei is a huge clay pan surrounded by massive dunes in the heart of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. This clay pan very occasionally fills with water after severe rains. Some dunes surrounding the vlei reach heights of more than 250 metres. Walking up the dunes to catch the sun rise over this impressive expanse of paprika coloured sand is an absolute must!

The most popular dunes are Dune 45 for 2WD vehicles and for 4X4s, Big Mama at the Sossusvlei and Big Daddy or Crazy Dune, the highest in the area. Climb each one along it's crest. Once up top, enjoy the view. When you are done, you can run down the side of the dune for a rush of adrenaline and great fun!

Dead Vlei
The awesome Dead Vlei
Dead Vlei is about a 1.1 km walk from the main road on the way to sossusvlei. The trees in the dry pan of Dead Vlei are known to be older than 5000 years. The stark branches, white pan and red dunes set an amazing scene for the eye and provide fantastic photographic opportunities. Approximately every 10 years big rain falls occur filling up Dead Vlei and giving it a momentary breath of life.

Swakopmund
Swakopmund is Namibia's favourite holiday destination along the Atlantic coastline. It is named Swakopmund because the mouth of the Swakop River feeds into the sea along the border of the town. The town is home to numerous restaurants, bars and markets as well as the Kristall museum and an aquarium.

It is fast becoming known as the town for adventure and extreme sports some of which include sand and dune boarding, quad biking, parasailing, horse riding and hot air balloon rides.

Try sand boarding or dune boarding on Dune 7 near Swakopmund for the ultimate adrenalin rush. If you plan to lie down prepare yourself for speeds of up to 80 km! Go with an adventure group who will provide you with gloves and a helmet.

Walvis Bay
This important deep water port town serves as a major trading point along the Western African coastline. It is also home to pink flamingos and Namibia's largest salt refinery.

Cape Cross Seal Colony
The Cape Cross Seal Colony is a short drive north of Swakopmund along the coastal road headed into the Skeleton Coast National Park. The colony is huge with large males fighting each other off, females taking care of the pups and others swimming along the shore. The smell is also quite noticeable...

The stone crosses visible are replicas of the one erected by Diego Cao, the first Portuguese explorer to land there. The original cross is now in Germany and the first replica to be placed there was put in the wrong spot, that is why the second one was put there to correct the error.

Spitzkoppe
Spitkoppe and the Quiver Tree
Spitzkoppe is a huge mountain on the desert plain providing fantastic scenery. There are no facilities here so come prepared if you intent to bush camp. It is here that Bushman's Paradise, the collection of cave paintings, can be found. The paintings are approximately a 30 minute walk up the mountain with the assistance of chains. There are numerous bushman paintings on the cave walls depicting scenes from a hunt or everyday bushman life. The ink the bushmen used has faded over time because of disrespectful and inappropriate actions by visitors. Please respect the paintings and leave with only a photograph.

Brandberg
Brandberg mountain is the highest mountain in Namibia. A town on the way to Brandberg called Uis with an excellent visitor centre that makes it a good place to stop for coffee and purchase some unusual curios at very reasonable prices. There is also a store and petrol station in town.

Waterberg Plateau
The view from the Waterberg Plateau
Waterberg Plateau is a 48 km long mountain top providing panoramic views of the surroundings. A walk up, guided by one of the local guides, is a pleasant 45 minute moderate climb. The Plateau and the surrounding flora, serve as a Protected Game Reserve for threatened species and various buck, rhino and members of the Cat family such as Caracal and Leopard. You will need to join up with an organised game drive if you wish to find all these animals since you cannot self-drive.

TwyfelfonteinBushman Paintings
Twyfelfontein is home to some of the continents best Bushman paintings and engravings. It is also unusual in that it is one of the only places where engravings, rather than paintings, have been found in Namibia. Guided walks to see the paintings and engravings of the Bushmen are possible for a small fee per person.

Burnt Mountain
Burnt mountain is made of dark granite and is best viewed at sunset when the granite may reflect brilliant colours.

Organ Pipes
The organ pipes are rock formations made of dolorite. The organ pipes stretch along a dry riverbed for a few hundred metres with the tallest one reaching a height of about 5 metres.

Petrified Forest
The Petrified Forest is approximately 50km from the Aba-Huab campsite. The petrified tree trunks in the forest are believed to be more than 260 million years old. The forest is said to have formed after immense trees were felled by the splitting of the continents during the Ice Age. It is here too that you can see the Welwitschia plant, capable of living up to 2000 years.

Lake Guinas and Otjikoto
Lake Guinas and Otjikoto are small but deep lakes with crystal clear waters and steep rock faces. They are known to be over 100 metres in depth and home to some special colourful fish found only here. They are called Tilapia guinasana and Pseudocrenilabrus philander.

Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast of Namibia is renowned for being one of the most arid, treacherous and unforgiving stretches of land in the world. It inherited the name Skeleton Coast because of the number of shipwrecks its white beaches have played host to over the centuries. Many of the degrading ships can still be seen along the beaches and form an intriguing part of the scenery.

This may paint a grim picture but the coast can also be one of extreme beauty. The white sand beaches and dunes of the coast are also home to elephants who over the course of history have adapted to these harsh surroundings.

Should you wish to visit the Skeleton Coast, we strongly recommend you do so on a guided tour or if you are experienced, in a well maintained 4X4 with plenty of water and sun screen. The last thing you want to do is get lost in the Skeleton Coast on your own!!

Luderitz
Luderitz is a quaint seaside harbour town located on the Atlantic coast in southern Namibia. The town has an extensive past including Portuguese settlers and sailors. It can also claim to be the first German settlement in Namibia and to this day, still retains much of its colonial past.

Explore the town's museum, pay attention to the architecture and visit Diaz Point for the Cape Seal Colony.

Kolmanskop
Now a ghost town, Kolmanskop was once a thriving diamond mining town located just south of Luderitz.

Kolmanskop was officially abandoned in 1956 and is now a popular stop along the tour routes. The forlorn buildings have captured the imaginations of many creative photographers. The sand and arid vegetation taking over the once inhabited buildings, provide excellent scenes for amateur and professional photographers alike.

Fish River Canyon
Africa's "Grand Canyon" spreads over 160 km is breathtaking and is a favourite amongst hikers and nature lovers alike. It is here that you will find the renowned Augrabies falls - where the Orange River drops into a ravine of solid graphite!

Visitors should be aware that the Fish River Canyon area does experience flash floods and intense heat from November to March. Some parts of the park are closed and visitors should inquire with Namibia tourism for more information.

Richtersveld National Park
For more information on the Orange River and the Richtersveld National Park, visit our page on the Richtersveld National Park.

Gamsberg Pass
Gamsberg Pass features rugged and dramatic mountain scenery. The rolling hills provide opportunities to take a break from driving and stretch the legs.


What to Do


Go on game drives
With its array of world's famous game parks need we say more? The roads are good and are predominantly accessible by 2wd vehicles. The best time for good game viewing is first thing in the morning and later around sunset. You could venture into the parks on your own once you have purchased the entrance disc otherwise you could join up with organized groups.

Go for a hike
There are many hikes in the Fish River Canyon that you may want to attempt. They vary in length from 1 day to about four or five days. Be sure to take some good hiking boots, plenty of water, sunscreen and a good hat!

Go 4X4
Tackle those dunes and trails and put your machine to the test! There is a 73km 4x4 trail in the Naaukluft mountains. Book your spot through a tour guide.

Sand boarding
Dune seven near Swakopmund is a must!

Fine tune dune expertise
The dunes in the Namib are always changing shape as the wind carves and sculpts them. Early in the morning you can see what went on during the night and will become expert at distinguishing trails left behind, from lizards and geckos to side winding adders.


What to Eat


Traditional foods
Natural foods form a major part of traditional Namibian diets. Enjoy wild berries, nuts and fresh fruit and vegetables. Mielie pap is also a staple. This is a type of porridge made from maize.

European meals
Other than a large number of German-style dishes the foods enjoyed here are similar to those in South Africa. Enjoy potjiekos (slow cooked stew) meats and boerewors (farm style sausage) and for desert or tea have a koeksister (twisted sweet pastry) and milk tart (milky textured tart with cinnamon in pastry). See "What to eat" on our South Africa page.

Beer
Namibia Breweries produces some excellent beers. Try Windhoek and Windhoek Light or Tafel. They are all particularly good on a hot day!


Where to Sleep


Hotels
You can find a wide range of excellent hotels in Namibia. Many of the main hotel sites will have listings for you in Namibia. Find Hotels.

Hostels
There are plenty of hostels in Namibia. Prices vary from hostel to hostel but are generally affordable. Search for and book a hostel in Namibia.

Camping
Camping in Namibia is very popular and there are campsites around the country. If you are going to camp in Namibia and do not have much experience with the harsh conditions you may experience, we suggest you get as much information as possible or alternatively book a camping holiday through a recognised tour operator or Namibia Wildlife Resorts. You can find out more about camping in Namibia by visiting www.nacobta.com.na

Camping
Find out about camping in Namibia on our page about Camping in Namibia.


How to Move


Airport
There are major airports in Windhoek, Luderitz, Swakopmund and many other places around the country.

Namibian Airlines is the national carrier of Namibia and can be reached at www.airnamibia.com.na.

Car rental
Namibia drives on the left side of the road. The main highways in Namibia are in good condition, secondary roads are generally well maintained and made of gravel. Drive carefully on gravel and avoid driving at night. Most roads and tourist destinations are navigable by standard vehicles but a 4X4 truck or bakkie is recommended for more comfortable conditions and more remote destinations.

Hike
Plenty of trails are available for you experienced hikers and walkers. Just don't forget the map, your hat, lots of water and sunscreen.


Locals


People
You will find a mix of cultures in Namibia including San, Owambo, Herero, German, Asian, Afrikaner and English. They will help to make your experience in their beautiful country a memorable one.

Language
English is the official language. German and Afrikaans are also widely spoken and understood. African languages include Herero, Himba, Owambo, Nama, Damara, Caprivian, Kavango and coloureds.

Currency
The Namibian Dollar which can be split into 100 cents and is linked to the South African Rand. The South African Rand is widely accepted throughout Namibia.

Time Zone
GMT +2 during the northern hemisphere fall and winter months and GMT +1 during the spring and summer.

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