Top 10 Experiences
Namibia is home to spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Here are our top 10 recommended experiences to do while you’re there.
1. Kayak with seals
Kayaking is a fantastic way to experience Namibia’s marine wildlife up close and personal; in a kayak, you become part of the ocean without disturbing the wildlife so you are able to view the wildlife in its natural state. As you paddle along, playful seals will frolic close to the kayak and you may also spot bottlenose and Heaviside dolphins as well as a variety of birdlife.
2. Marvel at Fish River Canyon
The impressive Fish River Canyon is the biggest attraction in southern Namibia and arguably the country’s most spectacular geological phenomenon. At 27km wide, 550m deep in places and 160km long, it is reputed to be the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the USA. For a truly special experience, stay in Fish River Lodge, located just metres away from the canyon edge boasting stunning vistas.
3. Watch wildlife from one of Etosha’s waterholes
The highlight of Etosha National Park is the waterholes; there are dozens of them, some natural while others are artificially fed from boreholes. During the dry season, staking out a position at a waterhole viewpoint is a rewarding way to watch game without moving from one spot. The most famous waterhole in Etosha is Okaukuejo. It is floodlit at night, allowing guests at the adjacent lodge, Okaukuejo Resort to watch a procession of animals arrive after dark to drink.
4. Watch the sun rise over Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei is Namibia’s most popular tourist attraction, boasting some of the highest sand dunes in the world reaching almost 400 metres. The best time to visit is close to sunrise or sunset avoiding the midday sun and taking advantage of when the colours are strong and constantly changing (warm tints of apricot, orange, red and maroon) allowing for wonderful photographic opportunities.
5. Track cheetahs and other carnivores
The AfriCat Foundation is a highlight of any visit to Namibia. It is a non profit organisation and their mission is the long term survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. You can track cheetah, leopard, wild dog and hyena on the 200 square kilometre Okonjima Nature Reserve. As the wildlife here is collared, a game drive with a tracker usually offers a strong chance of encountering big cats at close range, although sightings can never be guaranteed. We at Discover the World are big advocates of the AfriCat Foundation and are proud to sponsor a cheetah there, called Dune.
6. Discover the remote Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast got its name because of the swirling fogs and treacherous currents that claimed many ships in the past and the coast is littered with shipwrecks. The area is largely inaccessible unless by flight to one of the few lodges. Scenic flights over the area are also possible and a highlight of a trip to Namibia. The landscape includes vast dunes fields, wind-swept beaches, remote desert oases and the remnants of shipwrecks.
7. Search for desert adapted wildlife
Namibia is one of only two countries in the world where you can find desert adapted elephants (the other is Mali). Elephants are probably the most well known of the desert adapted wildlife but it is also possible to see desert adapted rhino, giraffe and lion in Namibia too. Damaraland and the Skeleton Coast are the best places in Namibia to see these fascinating creatures.
8. Hit the open road
It's easy to appreciate why Namibia is a popular fly drive destination. The roads are in good condition, you drive on the left-hand side, you will encounter few other cars and the sights are extraordinary. Self driving around Namibia is a fantastic way to see the country independently, allowing the freedom to explore at your own pace, stopping when you want, to enjoy the scenery and wildlife that you encounter along the way.
9. Star gaze in an International Dark Sky Reserve
NamibRand Nature Reserve is an International Dark Sky Reserve which means it has one of the darkest skies measured on Earth and it is the first place in Africa to be given the title. The NamibRand Nature Reserve also boasts incredible scenery including red-sand dune fields, purple granite mountains and grassy valleys. The best way to explore the reserve is by staying at one of the few luxury lodges located here or on a multi-day walking trip (Tok Tokkie Trails).
10. Journey through the Zambezi Region
The Zambezi Region is the narrow strip of land at the north-eastern corner of Namibia, formerly known as the Caprivi Strip. The Zambezi Region is a wetlands area so feels very different to the rest of Namibia and much more similar to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, just across the border, but at a fraction of the price. This is the only region in Namibia that you can see hippos and buffalo and is a must for those interested in birds, boasting over 400 species.
Itinerary idea: Windhoek to Victoria Falls