This landscape is the setting for truly incredible natural events that have become must-sees on buckets lists for the adventurous traveller. The most visited places include the capital city of Windhoek, Caprivi Strip, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, the Skeleton Coast Park, Sesriem, Etosha Pan and the coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz to name a few.
Sossusvlei and Sesriem are home to the world’s tallest dunes, while Caprivi strip is a lush wildlife-rich area, and Etosha was once proclaimed as the largest game reserve in the world. Swakopmund is the adventure capital and offers extreme sports such as sandboarding, skydiving, hot-air ballooning, and quad bike trails into the surrounding dunes. Visitors will also have a chance to explore the oceans during their stay. Seal and dolphin spotting trips are a must, while the south boasts the beautiful and rugged Fish River Canyon, as well as the staunchly German town of Lüderitz, home to a legendary “ghost town” claimed by the sand, nearby.
Among the unique wildlife to see are the populations of desert elephant—which are incredibly rare and only found in Namibia and Mali, and desert-adapted Black Rhino and lions. Namibia’s most rewarding wildlife experiences include tracking these giants. Those looking for rare antelope species can expect to find picturesque sights of the Oryx or Roan antelope galloping across the dunes. But the desert areas are not the only offering. Stretching along the Skeleton Coast is one of the world’s biggest Cape Fur seal colonies. Additionally, an unusual wildlife highlight of southern Namibia is the herd of over 150 wild horses that roam freely.
As Namibia is still growing as a tourist destination, the accommodation options, particularly outside of the towns, are not as varied as in neighbouring countries. On one side, there are incredibly luxurious, high-end camps with some even rated the best in Africa. The rest of the lodging options are generally mid to lower range, catering to the rough-and-ready self-driving market, adventurous campers, or overlands. In the towns, travellers will find a more even spread of hotels and B&B’s.
For shopping and curios, the main markets are in Windhoek and in the town of Okahandja in the north. However, there are many informal road-side markets too. In the major centres, such as Windhoek and Swakopmund, visitors will find more comprehensive shopping.
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The best time to visit is from July to October, the dry Winter season when the temperatures are just above 20°C and the chance of rain is nil. This weather also makes for the best time for wildlife viewing. Travellers shouldn’t be fooled by the desert, however; as winter nights can get below freezing.
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