Namibia is a beautiful country full of unbelievable scenery and friendly people. It is a great place for outdoor and extreme sports with the fantastic weather it enjoys. It is also a harsh desert environment that only sees rainfall about 60 days a year. A licensed tour operator can show you a great time filled with as much excitement and adrenalin as you and your finances can take. An unlicensed operator could get you killed. Please only use businesses that are registered. Namibia is a pretty orderly place and the business listing includes accommodations as well.
All businesses and establishments are required under the Namibia Tourism Board Act, 2000, to register with the Namibia Tourist Board (NTB). The link below takes you to their website and approved list.
If they are not on here – don’t book with them for outdoor activities!
THE OFFICIAL LIST
You can also request a free information pack on their website.
This is a bustling town (population approx 30,000) that has a lot of adventure activities, fine architecture and lots of nice bars and cafes set on the mid western coast of Namibia by the Atlantic Ocean.
Backpackers stream into this town for a few days of R&R. Windsurfing, sandboarding, quad biking, parachuting and much more are on offer.
You can get away from it all however and trips to Walvis Bay and even further south to Sandwich bay are well worth doing. Walvis Bay or just outside it (30kms from Swakop) has the Dune 7 complex where you will see the young crowd screaming down the dunes by board, bike or any other means possible. Walvis Bay also has flamingos and pelicans in its wetlands lagoon which is just south of the main esplanade area.
There are lots of accommodation options in Swakopmund and the town is easy to walk around with the pier, harbour area, lighthouse and central town all tightly bunched together.
Sossusvlei is part of the vast Namib-Naukluft National Park and is a huge pan set set amidst towering red sand dunes.
The gateway to this area is at Sesreim which has various accommodation options as does the surrounding area. There are many fine desert lodges with a large choice of activities, fine dining and luxurious sleeping. Of course, you can also save money and camp.
The drive in from Sesriem to Sossusvlei is around 60kms and is spectacular. You can stop and climb a variety of dunes, a famous one being Dune 45 which is signposted from the road. Sesreim is where you wil need to pay your park fee and once you reach Sossusvlei, its the end of the 2WD road, there are 4WD vehicles waiting to take you in the last 5kms or so to the pans, such as Deadvlei and Sossusvlei itself.
The wind is constantly changing the shape of the dunes and the colours are really set alight at sunrise and sunset.
This is an area to explore, take photographs and leave nothing but footprints.
This is a stunning canyon that is 160kms in length and at points is 27kms wide. It goes down around half a kilometre from the surface and has a walking trail that goes for 85kms, This is controlled however, so there is no casual day walks available which is a shame. This canyon is suppossedly the second largest canyon in the world, behind the Grand Canyon of course.
The canyon rim affords spectacular views with the main viewing points at hell's corner where my photo was taken from. There are nearby camp sites which are in the Fish River National Park (entrance fee of 170 rand/namib dollar) but also a number of splendid desert lodges to base yourself and explore the grand vistas, animals and bird life.
A trip to the canyon rim at either sunrise or sunset is recommended.
This has got to be one of best game viewing places around!!
Etosha is a vast (23,000 sq kms) pan area with grass lands and bushes that surround the barren pan area. Full of waterholes, spread out in what seems like strategic locations, the park is host to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 16 reptiles and countless insects.
It has a network of roads that you can self drive, even in a 2WD, to view the animals roaming around and the waterholes draw in the animals in their hundreds. So sit back by a waterhole and wait, you won't wait long and many waterholes have a constant stream of animals coming and going. Of course, you must stay in your vehicle. If you don't wish to self drive, the rest camps organise 4WD game drives throughout the day.
There are 3 main rest camp areas, Okaukeujo is arguably the best, with its fine accommodation choices and busy waterhole right in the campsite. We also stayed at Halali rest camp which also has a very active waterhole. Both have restaurant and bar.
To do the park justice, I would recommend a minimum of 3 nights. It can be luck of the draw as to which animals you see and where, but with the waterhole systems, you will end up in animal overload.
For me Damaraland was one of the greatest places in Namibia. You could also visit the Living museum of the Damara.
We liked it, nice people, great landscape.
Namibia's first (and only) UNESCO World Heritage Site covers the rock carvings and paintings at a number of centres. The ones at Twyfelfontein are the largest single place to see them.
You have to take a guided tour through the area, and this will take you the better part of an hour.
On the road between Khorixas and Twyfelfontein is a protected area of the so named "petrified forest". This is a bit misleading, as there is no forest, but rather a collection of petrified trees that are lying down, in various stages. Largely broken up, coniferous trees were washed down from Angola and were covered up where the wood was slowely replaced by minerals.
If you haven't had a chance to see the Welwitschia plant, there are a number of them growing here as well
If you are in the area of Walvis Bay something you just HAVE to do is to go on a boattrip with Dolphin Tours Namibia. (Visit there lovely webpage). We spent a morning with them on board there very luxurious catamaran. And what a day it was!! We saw dolphins, a humpback whale, seals (even one that came onboard to say hallo), and numerous birds. After all the exitement we endulged in a delicious snack platter, with oysters and sparkling wine!!! Make sure not to miss this trip, it is worth every cent!!
This is a very fascinating and free museum. Unfortunately the staff will ask you for a ‘donations' but just ignore them. The Museum is part of an old army garrison that contains lot of interesting Political exhibits from the last century. It shows the struggles of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) to gain independence from Germany. Among the exhibits it shows imprisonment of SWAPO members in South Africa, Independence, and the first elections. It also has exhibits on colonial times and displays of the Constitution, Flag, National Anthem and Coat of Arms.
Please note: Their website is not currently working.
THE ULTIMATE THRILL! Besides giving you the ride of your life, these guys are first rate! Wow, what a rush! You can jump with or without the cameras. I paid for the whole package and ended up with 3 photographers, a DVD movie and loads of pictures. First you have to sign a form stating that your are at least slightly insane, then they give you a helpful briefing. Next comes the tight fitting ‘Flying Elvis’ suit and then you get onboard a very small plane. The plane goes to 25,000 feet, then descends to 15,000 where you jump out. Don’t worry! You get 2 parachutes and it’s a tandem jump. Also they say they have a 100% success rate of getting people back on the ground. I think they mean alive!
Welcome to 35 seconds of freefall. You travel downwards at 200 kilometres per hour (125 mph) in what is known as TERMINAL VELOCITY. It means you cannot physically travel any faster and if your don’t stop you are about to become terminal.
They have a nice bar with ice cold beers in the hangar when you reach the ground. Boy did mine taste good!
Etosha National Park in the northern part of Namibia is the best place in the country to see game animals, although it doesn’t compare to the game parks in some other African countries. You can stay in the park at one of several government-run rest camps (with fairly basic chalet style accommodation) or outside in more up-market lodges – we chose the former.
If you’re staying at a private lodge there’s likely to be the possibility of guided game drives but we drove ourselves. That’s got a few advantages – you’re in control of where you go and how long you stay. On the other hand if you go with a guide they’ll probably be in touch with other guides and know where to go for the best recent sightings.
Anyway, we did pretty well on our own. We saw lots of zebra, ostrich and giraffe, and were also really pleased to spot a rhino. My favourites are the elephants, and towards the end of the afternoon we found a large herd at a water-hole – definitely the highlight of our self-made game drive!
Etosha Game Park was declared a National Park in 1907. It covers an area of 22 270 square km, and while it isn’t as abundant with game as some of the more famous parks on the continent, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and one species of fish.
Etosha means "Great White Place", and the name suits the landscape, which is dominated by a massive mineral pan. This covers around 25% of the National Park, and was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the lake dried up when the course of the river changed thousands of years ago. The pan is now a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. But the springs and water-holes which remain along the edges of the pan attract large concentrations of wildlife and birds, and are the prime spots for viewing game.
The game viewing in Etosha National Park is excellent, the best time being from May to September - the cooler months in Namibia (we were there in July). Visitors can usually expect to see antelope, elephant, giraffe, rhino and lions, all of which we saw (though the lions only at night). Apparently some lucky visitors also see leopard and cheetah, but we didn’t here, although we did see the latter elsewhere in the country at Okonjima. There is a good network of roads linking the rest camps and various waterholes and other game viewing spots, all of which are navigable with a regular saloon car.
The AfriCat foundation is a charitable organisation based near Otjiwarongo. They rescue Cheetahs that have been found on farmland and are a threat to wildlife. Farmers have killed the cheetahs as they are regarded as a menace thus endangering the species.
AfriCat works with local farming communities to educate farmers to contact them to relocate the cheetahs out of harms way. The foundation houses the cheetahs until a suitable home can be found.
Don't expect this to be a cuddle a cheetah type experience. They try to keep them as wild as possible so they can acclimatise easily into the wild.
There is an exhibition about cheetahs here and daily cheetah feeding.
This is brilliant fun! Basically you climb to the top of a dune, sit or lie on a board, and slide down. The higher the dune, the more fun it is. The only drawbacks are that if you want to do it again you have to climb up the dune again, which takes considerably longer and is a lot more difficult, and also sand gets absolutely everywhere. I still found sand in my clothes several washes later!
You can get hold of your own board, or even just slide down on a plastic rubbish bag, or you can go with an organised tour. The advantage of the tour is that they provide the equipment, including goggles (believe me, you'll want them!), and they can also offer stand up boarding, where you stand on the board to slide down.
We only stayed for one night sadly, as on our return to Windhoek we travelled on to a game farm. But...more
If you want a good campsite at Sossusvlei (Sesriem campsite) you need to book in Windhoek and/or...more
the hotel was well located and the rooms that I had to pass by on the way to mine looked good. Mine...more
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