Namibia

6 Feb

Namibia is a photographer’s dreamland, a land of contrasts and clear colours and one of the most scarcely populated countries on earth. The Namib Desert gives the traveler an experience of solitude and grandeur like few other places in the world.

Namibia – in the south-west of Africa between the Orange river in the south and the Kunene river in the north – is an arid, rough land, a different world, but if you love nature, stillness, grandiose landscapes, desert and expanse, you will become attached to Namibia for life.

Due to it’s good tourist infrastructure, excellent prices, economical and political stability, Namibia is one of the most sought after tourist destinations on the African Continent

The climate is one of the best in the world – 300 days of sunshine a year  Safaris, seaside and adventure vacations to suit everyone’s pocket and taste.  Lots of space – low population density < 2 million in 824,269 square kms.  Safe country to tour – low crime rate, friendly people, tranquillity and solitude.

Central region Highlights

  • Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, perfect for relaxing and game viewing.
  • Gross Barmen Hot springs Resort, baths of steaming spring water.
  • A must for avid rock climbers is Spitzkoppe
  • Travelling southwest from Windhoek, several dramatic and scenic drives link the central region to the coast. The longest, highest and most popular route is the Gamsberg pass, running down the escarpment and through the Namib Desert, taking the traveller past the Kuiseb River and Kuiseb Canyon

Namib Desert or Coastal region of Namibia: includes the Skeleton Coast Swakopmund and Luderitz

  • The Namib is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and extends from the Kunene River in the north for some 1600kms to the Orange River.
  • The cold Benguela Current, sweeping northwards along the south-western coast of Africa, transports cold Antarctic waters into the warmer subtropical regions.
  • This nutrient-rich current sustains a wealth of marine life and generates a life-giving fog, ensuring the survival of an intriguing variety of desert-adapted animals and plants.
  • Namib Desert is the oldest known and the most extreme on earth. It is a vast open space and for the connoisseur of scenery, atmosphere and the unusual, there is nothing quite like the Namib. There are three major towns on the coast where the desert meets the sea: Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz
  • Cape Cross is more commonly known as a Cape Fur Seal breeding colony. It is well worth a visit to see thousands of seals sprawled on the beach
  • Kolmanskop – a ghost town, near Lüderitz, when the diamonds ran out in the area, people saw no reason to remain. Nevertheless it is said that Kolmanskop had electricity before London
  • Luderitz- lodged in one of the best harbours on the least hospitable coast in Africa. Its appeal as a town lies in the fact that little has changed since the early 20th century
  • The Skeleton Coast Park stretches from the Kunene River in the north for approximately 500km to the Ugab River in the south. The landscape includes sand dunes, canyons and mountain ranges. This is one of the least accessible regions of Namibia
  • Swakopmund is the premier holiday resort in Namibia. It has a real holiday feel and everyone wants to be there, and during the December holidays the cool Namibian coast offers relief from the intense heat of the interior
  • Walvis Bay is the main harbour town in Namibia. Attractions of Walvis Bay are the lagoon with its prolific bird life and variety of recreational possibilities, a desert golf course, a choice of restaurants and adventure activities such as sea kayaking and dolphin cruises.

Northern Namibia: includes Etosha Park, Kaokoland, Damaraland and the Waterberg Plateau

  • Northern Namibia is a region of stark and splendid scenery, often breathtaking in proportions, colour, lighting and variety of habitats and animals
  • Brandberg – Namibia’s tallest mountain is famous for its spectacular natural beauty, as well as for the numerous rock engravings and paintings left by prehistoric folk, including the famous White Lady
  • Damaraland is one of Namibia’s most scenic areas, and you’ll see plenty of wildlife as well. Mountains galore: the Brandberg, the Messum crater and the Spitzkoppe. Also of interest is Twyfelfontein which is home to thousands of San (Bushman) rock engravings, the petrified forest and organ pipes.
  • Epupa Falls –  Namibia’s largest system of waterfalls and cataracts, and it lies on the Kunene River in northern Kaokoland. Aside from splendour of the falls themselves, is some marvelous scenery on the way there.
  • Etosha National Park – The gem in Namibia’s crown. Etosha park is over 22,000 square kilometres in area, and protects over 100 mammal species and over 300 bird species.
  • Fischers Pan Nature Reserve -private Game Reserve on the western side of Etosha National park
  • Huab Private Nature Reserve – Desert dwelling elephants continue to roam the spectacular area of the Namib and Damaraland and the bordering commercial farms in the remote north west of Namibia
  • Kaokoland  – one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa. It is a world of incredible mountain scenery, a refuge for the rare desert dwelling elephant, black rhino and giraffe and the home of the Himba tribes people.
  • Twyfelfontein/Burnt Mountain/Organ Pipes – has a profusion of prehistoric rock engravings – over 2500 of them – dating back at least 6000 years. Burnt Mountain is a charred mound of volcanic debris and the volcanic rock formation known as the Organ Pipes is aptly named
  • Waterberg Plateau near Otjiwarongo on the B1, some 250 km north of Windhoek
    Emerging suddenly is a 200m gigantic orange rock with sheer sides and a flat top. Glowing gold in late afternoon sun, the Waterberg Plateau is sometimes referred to as the ‘Lost Eden’ because once up there, the animals of this lush tableland have no way down. It is as though time has stood still

Zambezi Region

  • Katima Mulilo – The capital of the Caprivi, is one of Namibia’s most remote towns. Katima is a good springboard to explore the diverse and beautiful area. The massive Zambezi flows silently past, and Zambia is just across the river.
  • Kavango – dominated by the Kavango River and its broad flood plains, which makes the area considerably greener than the rest of Namibia. The river forms a natural border between Namibia and Angola for more than 400km and is the lifeline to the Kavango people
  • Mahango Park – a smallish park is situated south of Divundu / Bagani near the western end of the Caprivi Strip, and can be thought of as a gateway to the Okavango Delta, which lies to the south.
  • Mamili – situated towards the east of the Caprivi Strip, this is another one of Namibia’s 4×4-only parks. This one is dominated by flood plains and marshy ground however, and offers a chance to see wildlife not seen anywhere else in Namibia, including water buffalo and hippopotamus. A mini-Okavango delta without the price tag
  • Poppa Falls & Poppa Game Park – a small game park with limited game viewing opportunities. The Poppa Falls are really only a series of rapids. It is a gateway to the Okavango Delta and the Caprivi Strip, game fishing (Tiger fishing) is very good
  • Khaudom – modest-sized park is situated in the Kalahari Desert at the bottom of the Caprivi Strip in the northeast of Namibia. It is accessible only with a convoy of 2 reliable 4WD vehicles, and you must be self-sufficient for 3 days. Due to Khaudom’s remoteness and inaccessibility, some of the best wildlife encounters can be experienced

Southern Namibia: Includes the Namib Desert, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Luderitz

Namibia is an ideal destination for a photographic safari or vacation. The Namib Desert gives the traveler an experience of solitude and grandeur like few other places in the world

  • Ai-Ais / Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – bisected by the Orange River, which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia, it comprises the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Game Park in Namibia and the Richtersveld National Park in South Africa.
  • Aus – a small town between Keetmanshoop and Luderitz. It is a good place to see the Namib Desert Feral Horses
  • Fish River Canyon – one of the largest canyons in the world is situated on the lower parts of the Fish River near the southern border of Namibia
  • The Kalahari Desert – much of eastern Namibia is covered by the Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari is not a true desert, but a semi arid zone, extending from the Orange River in South Africa, to the southern reaches of the Congo
  • Keetmanshoop – the main town in southern Namibia. It is home to the Keetmanshoop museum and serves as an economic and transportation hub for the entire south of the country.
  • Kolmanskop – the ghost town of Kolmanskop, near Lüderitz, When hundreds of diamonds were discovered littering the ground nearby, Kolmanskop became a thriving and prosperous town. When the diamonds ran out in the area, the last families departed in the ‘fifties.
  • Sossusvlei: in the Namib-NaukluftPark – a clay pan surrounded by some of the highest sand dunes in the world (about 400 metres from base to tip) The last 5 kilometres are accessed either on foot or with a 4×4
  • Sesreim canyon close to Sossusvlei: in the Namib-Naukluft Park   It is a small canyon, which is invisible from even a short distance away. There is an easily accessible path which takes you down into its depths. You can even have a dip in it’s pools of water
  • Namib-Naukluft Park – One of the largest and most varied national parks in Africa, covering much of the central Namib Desert and the Naukluft Mountains. It is home to some of the rarest and weirdest plant and animal species in the world, including the Welwitschia Mirabilis, large lichen fields and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. The park’s main attractions are Sossusvlei and the Naukluft Mountains.
  • NamibRand Nature Reserve – a number of sheep farms integrated into one game sanctuary which is free of fences and allows the wildlife to roam in their natural habitat.
  • Mariental – the small Namibian town of Mariental once thrived of the Karakul sheep market, farmers now earn a living from ostrich and other indigenous game species.
  • Naukluft-Mountains – a section of the Namib-Naukluft, the mountainous area is extremely beautiful and very popular for hiking and four wheel drive trails