Complete guide to safaris in Namibia, 30 things to do while on your trip to this African safari country, best time to go, what to park, safari companies to use, hotels and travel tips.
This destination offers some of the best African safari holiday experiences especially for people interested in adventure, culture and nature. The country has a very large number of things to do and it is home to the world’s oldest as well as some of the highest sand dunes. Its National Parks are swarmed with a very large number of wild animals plus a variety of odd creatures to explore.
Explore the old dead trees found on the floor of a dry white pan which is surrounded by massive red colored sand dunes; this is among the most fascinating things you will encounter in Namibia. Over the years the winds have moved the sand dunes and they have totally cut off water supply to most of the areas in did place which today is also known as the dead marsh. The marshland today has totally dried up to form a hard salty clay area with the only standing things being skeletons of dried up acacia trees. It is alleged that many of these trees are about 1,000 years old and haven’t decayed for such a long time because the air in this area is totally dry; they are quite fascinating things to see. Sossusvlei is one of the most visited safari destinations in Namibia.
It’s no doubt that viewing the sun set over Namibia is a very breathtaking sight. During your visit in Damaraland, you will hike up one of the rock formations and there you can enjoy the breathtaking views as you sip a drink. The air is silent, the breeze is cool and the setting is extremely lovable. The Daramaland Sunsets should not be missed on your visit in Namibia
Dune 45 is the most renowned sand dune in the whole of Namibia despite the fact that it is not the tallest dune across Namibia. what makes Namibia sand dunes popular is the fact that tourists are allowed to hike to the top of the dune and enjoy the beautiful views across the neighboring area. The hiking adventures begin early morning during which a number of tourists led by the local guides make their way up the 80 meter high dune. The dune offers quite a challenging hiking trail and its one of the most adventurous activities do here.
Standing at a height of 2573 meters, Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain in Namibia. There are several trails that take you to the peak and led by the local guides you will enjoy a very adventurous hiking experience here. Even for those who may not manage to hike up the mountain, you can enjoy beautiful views as you drive through Damaraland.
It is in southern Namibia that you will find the largest Canyon on the African continent as well as one of the biggest in the whole world. Fish River Canyon in Namibia has carved out a deep gorge (canyon) which offers holiday makers an amazing place to enjoy hiking and see the beautiful sunset views while sitting on the rim of the canyon.
Lovers of the big cat family animals should visit the Africat foundation found in Okonjima. Initially, this center was a cattle far which was faced by visiting leopards that used to prey on the calves, however, in 1991 this place was converted into a rescue center to salvage the big cats that had been captured by the local farmers in the area. by 1993, the rescue work had started more than 1080 predators have been salvaged, and eighty five percent (85%) of them have been released back into their natural wild.
When we talk about unique culture in Africa, Namibia is best known for its unique himba people. These people are also known as the red people because of the unique red clay that they use to cover their faces and hair; a tradition that goes back for hundreds of years and it is still being practiced to date.
This clay is placed on their bodies to protect them from the scorching sun and each application of clay and last to a couple of weeks. in addition the women of the himba tribe do not put on any clothing on their upper bodies but rather smear themselves with red clay
Close to Aus city in southern Namibia is a herd of several wild horses locally referred to as the Namib Desert Horse. It is alleged that these are among the last surviving wild horses in the whole of Africa. The Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Campsite is the best recommended place to stay for those not only interested in seeing the horses but also wish to send a night.
Locally referred to as the matterhorn-of-the-south, the spitzkoppe is a granite outcrop that stands above the desert floor believed to be about 120 million years old. This rock formation stands at a height of 1784 meters and it is neighbored by several miles of flat desert land. During your visit here you can spend a night in this place as you enjoy the beautiful night sky lit with several stars shining above the desert. Spitzkoppe offers very beautiful chalets in which you can spend the night.
For the adventurous holidaymakers, taking a leap in the sky as you sky dive over the sand dunes in the Namib Desert at a speed of 100 meters per hour is a very thrilling activity that will fill your face with the dry air of the desert. The adventure included participants jumping from a plane ad soaring up in the sky. You will enjoy beautiful views of the sand dunes and the unique terrain below.
Namibia’s Moon landscape is found a short drive from swakopmund and it offers you an experience as though you are in another world. The area is characterized by barren hills that are dusty and packed with rooky holes plus stones that offer an environment that is very similar to a Lunar Lander. This unique landscape covers a couple of miles in the central part of Namibia
When we talk about Human Population, Namibia is among the least populated countries on the African continent; however Swakopmund city alone has a population of about 44,000 people making it a destination worth visiting. This sea side city has several specialty shops plus numerous interesting places to eat. This city s surrounded by several tourist attraction sites so it can be a great place to base for your safari in Namibia.
Across the world the Namibia is known to have the largest number of cheetahs today. Over 20% all of the remaining population of cheetahs on the planet is found in this country. Unfortunately, these animals from time to time have preyed on the domestic animals reared by the local people such as cattle and each time this happens, the local people either trap them or shoot them. On the brighter side efforts to save these animals have begun across the country and these are focused mainly on relocating the Cheetahs rather than killing them. During your holiday in Namibia you can visit one of the rescue centers and get an up-close view of the cheetahs and learn about how this rescue works are being done
The huge white signage which is located at the 23°26′13.0″ southern Latitude line is one of the places where the largest number of photographs is taken by tourists. Perfect for the African photo safari. This iconic sign is found approximately one hour drive from Solitaire settlement in Central Namibia along the C14 route
On the northern side of Namibia is the rough Atlantic coast which because of its nature has been named as the skeleton coast. The coastline that traces to a towering sand wall of several meters high is littered with a number of shipwrecks. One of the best ways to explore this part of the country is by having an aerial view in either a small plane or a helicopter.
Different parts of Namibia have put a standstill to the happenings of the ancient times due to the nature of the climate in the country. At different sites you will be able to see the number of animal footprints including those of the dinosaurs which are estimated to be several millions of years old. During a quad bike tour you can visit the different sites in swakopmund. During your visit you will see evidence of the existence of rhinos and other species which for several years have remained ‘Frozen’ in the mud and clay and over time have turned to Stone.
Combine Namibia’s beauty with its adrenaline-filled adventure as you set out on quad bikes to explore this beautiful country. You will be able to ride over and down the towering dunes and it’s one of the best and exciting things to do during a safari in Namibia. Many holidaymakers who have visited this country will surely admit that this is one of the best ways to explore the country.
Still within Etosha National Park you can drive to the different watering holes especially the one located close to the fence next to the camping area. At sunset different types of wild animals visit this water hole to quench their thirst. Game viewing here is very rewarding and it is done nearly all night with views of different species including rhinos, elephants, giraffes and if fortunate enough a lion.
This ghost Town found in the southern part of Namibia has over the years become a very famous site due to the numerous works of photographers that visit this place. Previously this was a small wealthy mining village but today in most of the town has been covered with sand. This is the place to visit for Namibia cultural tours or village experience.
Within Etosha National Park is a huge salt flat area that extends for several miles. The pan offers great opportunities for photography and experts on the camera can have fun by adjusting the perspective making their subjects smaller or bigger through positioning them on the endless horizon of the pan.
This is the leading Namibia Safari game Park in the country and it is found in the northern part of Namibia. Etosha National Park prides in very large numbers of different wild animals including elephants, rhinos, lions and giraffes. Special about the wildlife here is that it has adapted to the dry desert- like nature of the park. There are various accommodation options around the park including hotels, lodges and a camping ground.
On your Safari itinerary in Namibia include a visit to Joe’s Beer house found in Windhoek the capital city of Namibia. This spot specializes in a variety of exotic game meat such as zebra, kudu, ostrich, oryx and crocodile. They offer a sample platter offering guests an opportunity to try nearly everything
For the more adventurous tourist sand boarding is one of the amazing activities you can enjoy in Namibia. The challenge about this activity is that here are no lifts to move the tourists around so it is quite an exercising sport that requires physical fitness to be able to walk to the top again
There are several languages spoken within Namibia many of which are fascinating to learn. Some of the few surviving click languages in the world are spoken here and the speakers use a popping or clicking sound that is generated by the tongue while emphasizing their words. During such cultural tours you get an opportunity to meet the local people, learn about their culture and get a chance to learn a few words. Majority of such tours are conducted in Swakopmund
Close to Spitzkoppe, is the amazing site of a massive Stone arch. To any photographer this is a must visit site comprised of massive rocks on top of an arch. This site offers fine photography opportunities so don’t forget your camera while visiting it
Spending a night in the faraway lands within the Namibian desert is quite an exciting an amazing experience. The air at night is dry without any droplets of moisture while the sky is very clear with views of the beautiful stars twinkling up above. For holidaymakers interested in star gazing, we recommend that you visit the country during the new moon time for the best views.
Because Namibia is home to a number of very many old cultures you will discover that they are numerous sites having a number of ancient cave paintings. For tourists visiting spitzkoppe, don’t miss out a site known as bushman’s Paradise for an opportunity to see different wild animal drawings that’s dates back to several thousands of years. The Twyfelfontein a world heritage site within Namibia is home to some of the finest cave paintings in the country. The site is said to be over 6000 years old and has historical art plus over 2500 rock carvings.
Among the fascinating things to do in Namibia is visiting the seal colony found on Cape Cross. The large colony has approximately 100,000 seals living her. During your visit you will get a chance to observe them play in and out of the water as well as see them battle for territories. Because the animals are generally coal, expect to hear several sounds on your visit. Guests are normally advised to take along something to cover their noses since the smell emitted from here is massive.
Enjoy a game drive at sunset in the Kalahari during which you will get an opportunity to see different animals and birds such as ostriches, kudus, jackals, impalas and oryxes. The sight of the sun setting beyond the sand dunes is very breathtaking as you sip your favorite drink.
The Mesosaurus Fossil Site found close to Keetsmanshoop is another interesting place to visit on your visit in Namibia. The guide will detail you about each of the fossils found in this place, the excavation works in this area as well as the research conducted here.
Sample of cost per person with different safari packages
|Safari Package||Accommodation||Places to visit||Number of Travellers||Cost Per person (USD)|
|14 Days Namibia Safari,
Wildlife & Culture
|Mid-range accommodation||Windhoek, Etosha National Park, Damaraland, Sossusvlei, Erindi and more.||2||$5,670|
|12 Days Namibia Adventure Safari||Mid range accommodation||Windhoek, Etosha, Swakopmund, Erindi,Palmwag in Damaraland||2||$3,200|
|9 Days Safari in Namibia||Mid range hotel accommodation||Visit Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Etosha NP. Damaraland||2||$2600|
|5 Days Namibia Desert Safari||Mid range accommodation||Namib Desert, Nnaankuse wildlife sanctuary, Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft NP.||2||$1600|
|3 Days Etosha National Park Safari||Mid-range hotels||From Windhoek you will visit Etosha National Park on this private safari.||2||$990|
|3 Days Sossusvlei Safari Namibia||Mid Range accommodation||Sossusvlei (Namib-Naukluft NP)||2||$920|
Namibia is among the fast growing destinations that can be visited by tourists going to the African continent. it offers spectacular views of different wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, wild desserts, isolated villages which have been covered by the desert sand dunes and the deserted weird Costa line also known as the skeleton cost, in addition to very many tourist attractions. So just as any other tourist destination, there are number of commonly asked questions that holiday makers usually have. We have compiled a number of them and professionally answered them.
In no particular order
Yes. Namibia is generally a peaceful country but I cannot fail to mention that the large towns have some petty crimes. For that reason holidaymakers are advised to take precaution while moving in the large towns.
It is not good to wear expensive accessories such as necklaces, watches and any other expensive jewelry
Do not carry large amounts of cash on you
You should take good care of your documents including your passport
At all times pay good attention to all the safety advice offered to you by your Safari guide or the hotel concierge team
Ensure that your personal belongings such as laptops, cameras and phones are not exposed
While moving within the large cities ensure that you do not move alone especially at night.
Yes, Namibia is a perfect destination for travelers hopping to visit with their entire family on a family Safari. it offers a number o exciting activities which the entire family can engage in thus being named as one of those destinations that offer value for money. in addition, there is a variety of accommodations that are favorable for families many of them accepting children of twelve (12) years and above, however, there are a number of them that can be visited by children who are much younger.
Foreigners coming into Namibia are required to have passports which should be valid for a minimum of six months after the duration of their intended visit. Then visitors who are planning to visit Namibia as well as South Africa are highly recommended to have a minimum of two blank visa pages that are consecutive to each other. This does not include the inducement as well as amendment pages and in fact even if one has a valid visa for South Africa they may be denied entry into South Africa, given a fine and even returned to their place of origin at their own cost. In Namibia for one to be given a visa or not will depend on the nationality of their passport. For that reason we recommend that you check with the respective embassy of the country before departing from home. In the event that you are travelling with a minor of 18 years or below as a parent or guardian you have to present a certified letter of consent coming from the non-accompanying guardian or parent.
In Namibia the local currency that they use is the Namibian dollar (NAD) which has the same value as the South African Rand (ZAR)
Yes the MasterCard and visa are extensively used across the country. on the other hand Diners club and American Express are not common it is important to not that fuel filling stations do not accept credit cards.
On The brighter side majority of the accommodations including safari lodges accept foreign currency like the British pound, US Dollar and Euros to pay for the accommodation fare and other bills like at the restaurant.
Yes it is very possible because all dietary needs such as the vegetarian Hindu or kosher can all be catered for given that you inform the hotel management in advance. in fact the most appropriate way to do this is to inform your local tour operator so that everything is well planned for you by the time you arrive. Since majority of that safari lodges are located within isolated areas, prior information to them is very key as you cannot easily pop on them your special dietary need and expect them to have a meal prepared for you instantly.
Is English spoken in Namibia?
Yes, English is widely spoken considering that it’s the official language of the country however Germany and Afrikaans is also so widely spoken
Electrical appliances in Namibia run on a 220/ 240 volt using a 3-pin outlet having a 15 amp plug. Holidaymakers are highly advised to carry their personal adaptors despite the fact that many of the accommodation facilities provide them. Personal electrical appliances such as hair styling tools like irons, flat irons, hair dryers ensure that they are of dual voltage and on arrival in Namibia make sure that you adjust the voltage. Some safari camps actually used generators to run their facilities and these are switched on approximately 6 to 7 hours each day for lighting and powering the funs. So in case you need to have some of your gadgets charged talk to the staff there because most of the charging facilities are within the main areas.
What is the time zone in Namibia?
The local time is GMT + 2
Well when it comes to tipping, you can follow some of the guideline offered below however tips are generally considered as gratitude so you remain at liberty to tip or not to
Safari guide $10 per day per guest
Trackers at the lodges or park $5 per day per person
Porters $1 per person per movement
Staff at the restaurant a 10% of your bill is deducted as a customary tip for them
What vaccines are needed for Namibia?
When entering Namibia there is no formal vaccine needed however all visitors are advised to take special precautions against malaria especially during the summer months. Please visit your physician back at home to get a proper prescription for prophylaxis for malaria.
How to avoid getting malaria on a Safari in Namibia?
Take all your anti- malarial prescription drugs
Sleep under a mosquito net
Use insect repellents
Wear long-sleeve shirts and trousers or pants to avoid mosquito bites
Is it safe to drink tap water in Namibia?
It is not safe to drink tap water so it is mainly used for bathing. All visitors in Namibia are recommended to drink bottled water and where possible use it even when brushing your teeth
Majority of the Safari lodges and camps provide laundry services so in case you have enough time on your Safari to allow your clothing to dry then go ahead and talk to the staff and they will offer you that service. Many of the properties however offer this service at an additional small charge; so it is always important that you inquire about the rates. In case your clothes are small and you can easily hand-wash them, then go ahead and wash them and hung them to dry in the bathroom while on your Safari
There are different cell phone providers so as you travel, you can always inquire with your service provider. Remember, every company is very different so by inquiring they will give you the most update information regarding their services in the whole world.
What is the mode of transport used within Namibia?
On your Safari you will be provided with a four-wheel drive comfortable Land cruiser by your tour operator. Normally the cars are in good working condition with perfect air conditioning, pop up roofs, large windows and bottled drinking water
What is the accommodation like in Namibia?
Namibia offers a variety of accommodation facilities that ranges from standard African dome tent with bucket showers as well as traditional long drop toilets to the comfortable luxury Safari lodges. So depending on your budget your tour operator will be able to get you the appropriate accommodation option.
Travelers have the liberty to book their safari in Namibia at any time of the year, however, the earlier you make your reservation the better. it is highly advisable to book your safari a couple of month earlier at least 4 to 6 months before your desired departure date. This will enable your tour operator to guarantee availability of your accommodation and any other necessary permit on the dates of your travel. We also highly advise that you do not book your international flight not until your tour operator has confirmed your safari.
For any holiday makeup visiting any country on the African continent its very important to make a comprehensive research on the weight restriction offered by the airline you will use especially if you’re going to use domestic flights.
This will enable you to easily travel within the country without any discomfort and be sure that you have your entire luggage safely with you. The maximum luggage allowance when you are using the light aircraft within Namibia is twenty kilograms (20kg) including your hand luggage. it is also preferable that you carry your luggage in soft bags better still if they do not have wheels or hard aspects. Please keep in mind that majority of the light aircraft do not allow hard suitcases since they cannot physically fit in the aircrafts. So better you bring one soft bag that is non-rigid and without wheels.
This is among the most frequently asked questions among travelers visiting this country. In case you are going on a safari it is better if you carry fewer items. the most important tip is to always park light; remember majority of the accommodations provide you with the necessary toiletries so you can always leave such item behind.
When it comes to the choice of clothing it is best advised to carry neutral colors such as brown and khakis for your Safari adventure.
Do not forget a sweater for layering especially for the early morning game drive as well as for the evenings since it is normally very cold
Lightweight blouses or shirts preferably with long sleeves to protect against insect bites on the safari
2 to 3 t-shirt
Two pairs of shorts
Jeans or neutral colored Safari trousers
Three pairs of stockings
Comfortable hiking shoes or sneakers
Flip-flops or sandals for the warm days
Hat having a wide brim to protect your face from the burning sun
a polo shirt especially if you’re traveling during the cold winter months funny
Warm scarf when traveling during the winter months
A pair of cotton gloves and a jacket to warm you up when you travel during the cold wet months
Necessary equipment include: sunglasses, a camera cereal with necessary accessories including lenses, batteries and enough memory cards; a flashlight with extra batteries a travel alarm; a small umbrella; several Ziploc bags to help you carry items such as cameras to protect them against rain or dust, and even to carry your wet bathing suit; charges for all your electrical gadgets including laptops, cell phone, iPod plus USB ports
What to include in your personal first aid box: Band-Aids, pain tablets, eye drops, sunscreen with a high SPF factor; heartburn relief; hand sanitizer; chapstick; itching spray to cater for bug bites and an antiseptic cream.
The climate in Namibia is generally semi- desert with cool nights and hot days. The cold Benguela recurrence are said to keep the coastal areas cool and without any rain for most of the year. Actually it is believed that out of the total number of days in a year, throughout the 300 days, the country is experiencing sunshine. The rainy season in Namibia begins in October to April and then for the rest of the year the skies are cloudless and it is very dry
Seasons by month
January to March: this is also known as the peak summer season as well as the rainy season. the days are generally hot and in the afternoon the skies are crowded with numerous clouds and rains presenting as very short showers during this time of the year. The wildlife is scattered across the different national parks as they search for fresh grazing pastures. The northern part of Namibia as well as Caprivi Strip is known to receive the highest amount of rainfall during this time of the year.
April to May: during this time of the year, the morning temperatures begin to reduce and most of the evenings are cold. The amount of rainfall becomes very minimal and the wild animals begin to congregate around the different permanent water sources in the national parks and nature reserves.
June to August: at the start of June the early mornings are very cold just as the evening’s and the temperatures may drop as low as below zero as the year progresses towards the end of the season. in the month of August the winter season comes to an end. The days are generally sunny and very pleasant however travelers are recommended to carry warm clothing for the cold evenings and the mornings especially if you are going to engage in the early morning game drives. At this time of the year game viewing is very good in most areas across the country.
September to December: in Namibia spring begins in September with the days being much warmer and the evenings as well as the early mornings are occasionally cool. From this time the country experiences Sunny warm days that are very pleasant. Travelers visiting during this time of the year are advised to pack breathable clothing for the day time. The longer rains come around the month of December and game viewing at this time majorly depends on when the rains begin.
In Namibia the hottest month is December in the whole year registering an average temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. During winter you should remember that the evenings as well as the early mornings are extremely cold so in case you’re traveling during this time please remember to pack enough warm clothing for the game drives early morning.