Garth Owen-Smith as soon as stated of the Kaokoveld, one of many wildest locations in Namibia: ‘The area is stark and hostile, however within the early morning and late afternoon gentle, when the basalt rocks flip to the colour of rust, and the distant mountains to smooth shades of purple and blue, it will also be breathtakingly lovely.’
It’s locations and descriptions like that which have lengthy lured South Africans to our northern neighbour. We go for the surreal landscapes, roadside cafes, uncommon wildlife, and the sense of exploration that comes with a highway journey into that huge and dazzling wilderness of Namibia. In case you really feel its pull, take into account all of those stops effectively price your time.
1. Discover the abandoned city of Kolmanskop
This ghost city simply exterior of Luderitz is as eerie because it will get. The city sprung up within the desert when diamonds have been discovered littering the dunes, however when larger diamonds have been found elsewhere in Namibia, the city’s inhabitants moved on. The final individuals left round 60 years in the past and since then, the desert has taken over the buildings. You possibly can go on a tour of the bowling alley, dairy, butchery, city corridor, and a few of the homes, studying about how the 300 Germans lived within the inhospitable atmosphere.
2. Hike the Fish River Canyon
As one of many largest canyons on this planet, the Fish River Canyon makes for one of the crucial distinctive mountain climbing trails in Africa. Its surreal panorama will make even essentially the most blasé of travellers fall in love with this place. The canyon is a whopping 160km lengthy and virtually 30km vast, supplying you with a few of the most dramatic surroundings on this planet to get pleasure from. There are a number of trails to hike and range relying on how powerful you’d like your hike to be.
3. Spend a morning or three at an Etosha pan
Etosha Nationwide Park covers greater than 20, 000 sq-km and is without doubt one of the most original reserves in Africa. The whole lot revolves across the watering holes bringing all animals shut collectively to drink. At nightfall, you’ll discover every kind of species of animals making their option to the waterhole for a drink. The wildlife exercise goes on all night time with elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and even lions in case you are fortunate.
4. Simply drive
The D826 and C27 are thought-about essentially the most scenic roads in the entire nation. Assume lengthy, straight, purple, dusty roads surrounded by mountains, silvery swathes of grassy plains punctuated with terracotta dunes. And silence. You’ll solely go a automobile sometimes.
5. Hike the Tok Tokkie path
This three-day desert expertise will see you stroll for the day over sand dunes and within the huge panorama of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Camps embody a semi-permanent kitchen arrange on a hill with ‘bedrooms’ unfold out from it, which include two stretchers with bedrolls and a paraffin lamp. Assume three-course meals, unbelievable guides, scorching water bottles, stargazing and waking as much as a dawn from mattress.
6. Sizzling air balloon over the Namib desert
Taking off at daybreak, you’ll watch the dawn over the Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park, fly over dunes that look otherworldly, gaze down on gemsbok and drift over the infinite spans of orange dunes contrasting with a big white salt pan island. A fowl’s eye view of the huge desert and each its rocky and sandy character places Sossusvlei into perspective.
7. Climb a dune at Sossusvlei
Dune 45 is 148 metres of burning orange sand dune in Sossusvlei. Mountaineering to the highest gained’t be the best morning you could have in Namibia however the dawn from the highest is price it. That is what many guests to Namibia come to see – the long-lasting purple dunes of the Namib. The close by Deadvlei – an enormous cracked mud plain dotted with lifeless bushes – is simply as fascinating. The bushes are regarded as round 1,000 years outdated. They’re not petrified, however moderately haven’t decomposed as a result of the air is so dry right here.
8. Try Swakopmund
Namibia is without doubt one of the most sparsely populated nations on this planet, however this seaside metropolis of 44,000 individuals is a must-visit whereas within the nation. The city has a relaxed ambiance with plenty of native eateries and specialty retailers. It’s a superb place to base your self for a number of days with plenty of prime sights close by.
9. Marvel on the rock artwork at Twyfelfontein
ǀUi-ǁAis is the official title for the UNESCO World Heritage Website of Twyfelfontein and is the most important focus of rock carvings (2,500) in all of Africa – and completely price a go to once you’re in Namibia. With prehistoric hunter-gatherer rock engravings that date again greater than 6000 years and petrified forests at its doorstep, Twyfelfontein makes an apparent selection for travellers eager to discover one in all Namibia’s most enigmatic areas. Simply ensure to pack plenty of water and an umbrella and hats. There’s little to no shade round there and it may get very popular round noon.
10. Marvel on the Cape Cross seals
It’s not simply lions and elephants that you would be able to see in Namibia – the coast is legendary for the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, a spot the place you possibly can come and see 100s of Cape Fur Seals. The Benguela present is residence to an enormous inhabitants of fish so you possibly can relaxation assured that the seals aren’t going anyplace anytime quickly.
11. Ogle at Spitzkoppe
Identified domestically because the Matterhorn of the south, Spitzkoppe is a 120 million-year-old chunk of granite that springs out of the desert flooring. It’s a 1,784-metre tall rock formation surrounded by nothing however miles and miles of flat desert. In case you make a go to, staying the night time is a should and select between a chalet at Spitzkoppen Lodge or the campsite.
12. Stargaze within the desert
The dry cool desert air at night time is ideal for gazing up into the night time sky. With out moisture within the air, the night time sky is crystal clear and stars are very seen. If you wish to stargaze, strive plan your time throughout a brand new moon because the much less gentle within the sky will make the celebs shine even brighter.
A Zimbabwean houseboat journey on Lake Kariba