The Namib-Naukluft National park is located in the western part of Namibia within the Namib Desert and one of the few National Parks in the country that experiences the Desert like conditions. The Namib-Naukluft Park can be visited at any time of the year as it rarely receives rainfall but you need to be careful as you drive through due to the constant heat in the area and the sandy roads. It was made a national Park in the year 1979 and is neighboring the Dorob National park and the Atlantic Ocean. The Namib-Naukluft National Park has a lot of tourist attractions within it and these are what make it a top destination for many tourists. There are several activities that one can carry out when they visit the Park and some of these are
- Animal viewing, there might not be a lot of wild life in the National Park but you will still get to enjoy watching some of the animals that habitate within the Park as they are used to the heat and high temperatures.
- Quad biking, this is majorly done when one goes to the sand dunes that are located within the park and the sand dune exercise always takes place very early in the morning because in the afternoons, the heat is too much it is always difficult when one to go for the quad bikes.
- Hiking, this is done within the National park and up the dunes and you also get to see the different animals that always habitate within it including meeting with the locals who are the San who have gotten used to living in these harsh conditions.
- A balloon ride, this is also done in the morning because during the morning hour, it is very easy for the balloon to go up as the air is still at that time and who wouldn’t want to explore the Namib Desert from above.
- Photo safaris, the Namib-Naukluft National Park is filled with tourist attractions that need to be captured by a camera and it is a perfect opportunity for all those that love photography.
Some of the tourist attractions that are found in the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the tourist activities that you can carry out form these places include the following:
Game drives through the Park
The Namib-Naukluft National Park’s location within the Namib Desert makes it a bit hard for most of the animals to actually live here but during a game drive through the Park, you will be able to see some animals like Ostriches, zebras, the brown hyena, aardwolf, Oryx, antelopes, Kudus, the African wild cats, steenboks, the black jacked jackals, black rhinos, aardvarks, a few giraffes but note that most of these are seen in the areas that are adjacent to the National park. A drive through here will be worth your time but remember to carry a head scarf, lots of water, sun glasses because there will be a lot of sand as you drive through and you do not want it to get in your way of viewing these animals.
Exploring the Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is known to be the oldest in the whole world and the best highlight for anyone who visits the Namib-Naukluft National Park. If you ever want to experience the Desert and also carry out all the Desert activities while on as a safari to Namibia, then this is the right place to be as a visit to the National park will gain you access to the Desert and all the activities it offers.
The Sesriem Canyon
The Sesriem canyon is located deep within the Naukluft Mountain in the National park and a highlight for any tourist who visits Namibia. The Sesriem canyon is believed to be more than 100 years old and although it is not as a big as the Fish River canyon as it only measures up to only one kilometer wide and thirty meters deep but it is a good place to relax from especially if you have just had a long trek up the Naukluft Mountain. It was carved by the River Tsauchab River and even though it sometimes becomes dry due to the harsh weather conditions that are experienced in the area, it is always filled with the occasional rains that are experienced in the area due to the presence of the Naukluft Mountain.
There are several guided treks around the canyon that are organized for all those that are interested and all you need is to be ready for the hike by putting on proper hiking shoes and carrying lots of water due to the heat that is always experienced in the area.
Sossusvlei is a home to almost all the sand dunes in Namibia and with it being located within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, one has easy access to it when they go there for a safari. Getting to Sossusvlei is not easy as the roads are always filled with sand but if you use a 4×4 car, you will be able to get through the roads and get to see and enjoy some of the best activities that can be carried out when you get to Sossusvlei and some of these include:
- A visit to the big daddy sand dune, this is located within Sossusvlei and one of the biggest sand dunes in Namibia. It rises up to a height of about 325 meters and some of the activities that you can carry out when you visit the Big daddy sand dune include quad biking which is normally organized in the morning hours and you can also hike up the sand dune but only if you have an experienced tour guide and do not forget to carry lots of water so as to stay hydrated while hiking.
- Hike up the Elim sand dune, the Elim sand dune although not as big as the rest of the sand dunes that are located within Sossusvlei, it is also a one stop Centre for all those that visit the Namib-Naukluft National Park. This is like the only place in the Sossusvlei where there is a green vegetation and even though it is scanty, tourists can get to enjoy one of the best sunsets in the whole area.
- Explore the Hiddenvlei sand dune, this is not normally visited by tourists but it is still a good place for one to go for a ride and a hike. A hike up the Hiddenvlei will leave you with a knowledge of how you can track down animals in the Desert and before you head out there note that the roads are terrible and that you will need a 4×4 car to get you around and when you get there you will be able to enjoy a quad bike with the help of a tour guide and just like any other trek around the sand dunes, make sure that you take a lot of water so that you keep hydrated.
Enjoy a hike up the Naukluft Mountain
Located within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the Mountain is one of the top tourist attractions within the National Park. It is a home to the Sesriem canyon and many tourists can be seen trekking up the Mountain and around the canyon. When you get to the peak of the Mountain, you will be able to get a clear view of the whole Namib Desert and the Park and although it is not an easy exercise, it is an exciting and wonderful experience that everyone should experience while on a safari in Namibia.
Explore the dune 45
The dune 45 is another sand dune that is located at about 45 kilometers away from the gate of the Sesriem canyon and that is how it got its name. It rises up to about 560 feet high and one of the toughest to climb due to its high nature. It is however sometimes referred to as moonscape and this is because the sand that is located within here and the mini rocks make it look like someone is walking on the moon as it sometimes looks like there are moon hole within the sand. Getting up the dune will be a bit hard but if you follow through with what the tour guide says, then you will be manage to complete the climb with a few difficulties however the descent is much easier and note that the easiest way to go up is by removing your shoes and remaining in your socks.
Enjoy a trip to the sandwich harbor
The sandwich harbor is a lagoon that is located in the Northern part of the National park and the one place where tourists get to enjoy birding at the fullest. It is also not easy for one to get to the sandwich harbor but if you are coming from the Walvis Bay, then it will be easy for you to enjoy the peace and quiet at the sandwich bay. Some of the bird species that you will see while here include the lesser flamingo, pelicans and many more others.