Natural grandeur, sheer emptiness and dauntingly wild, Namibia is the Perfect Introduction to Africa Travel

With hospitable lodges and exceptionally good roads, Namibia becomes perfect for individual exploration – by light aircraft, guided expedition or self-drive on your next adventure. 

From the soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei, the rich culture of the coastal towns, and the wildlife of Etosha National Park: mountains, sea and safari in one iconic trip. Etosha National Park belongs in the elite wildlife-watching destinations – big cats, elephants, black rhinos and plains game in abundance.

Damaraland is a wonderful place to see desert-adapted elephants and lions, and also happens to host Africa’s largest population of free-ranging rhinos – rhino tracking is a real highlight here. Over in the Caprivi Strip, the wildlife is returning, with Bwabwata and Nkasa Rupara becoming wonderfully rich parks to explore. 

Experience the chilling wonders of the Skeleton Coast, battered by the cold waters of the Atlantic from Walvis Bay to Lüderitz. Along the Skeleton Coast to the Angolan border, shipwrecks along the shore only heighten the sensation that humankind is here very much at the mercy of the elements. 

Namibia’s human story is every bit as interesting as that written in the rocks, soil and sand of the country. Among the rolling hills of Damaraland, troves of rock art tell of the San people whose lives are inextricably linked with this land. The pastoral Himba, too, are rooted in Namibian soil, their fragile culture clinging on in the face of 21st-century challenges. 

Perennial rivers – confined to the country’s northern and southern boundaries – bring added riches. Head north to the Kunene River for an exclusive holiday hideaway, or relax on a leisurely safari on the erstwhile Caprivi Strip. The birdlife – including some real rarities – is prolific, the scenery lush, and the presence of hippos remind you that Namibia may be unusual but it is, very firmly, in Africa. 

(Featured in ExpertAfrica)