The Etosha National Park is one of Africa's finest game parks, having a diversity of animal life similar to the finest East African parks but only a fraction of the number of tourists. The park covers over 22 000 square kilometers, and is home to 114 mammal species as well as more than 340 bird types. One is likely to encounter Elephant, Black Rhino, Lion, Giraffe and Zebra as well a large variety of buck. The park is also home to Cheetah and Leopard which are frequently sighted.
The three rest camps in the park all have facilities including swimming pools, restaurants and shops. Each camp also has a floodlit waterhole which offers superb night game viewing with elephant and rhino being frequent visitors to these waterholes. Alternatively one can stay at the excellent private game lodges that surround the park. Many of these lodges offer night game drives in their private parks.
For information on facilities & accommodation, see Etosha National Park
Naukluft Park - Sossusvlei
The Naukluft is situated on the eastern side of the Namib desert. Its name comes from a narrow kloof on the eastern side of the mountains. The area is ideal hiking country and the rugged mountains, deep ravines and clear pools surprise many a visitor.
Two daywalks are marked in the Naukluft, the Waterkloof trail (± 17 km long) and the Olive trail (± 10 km). Another challenge is the 4 or 8-day hiking trail, but make sure you are fit !
The massif of the Naukluft is the home of many animals typical of the highlands, such as the mountain zebra and klipspringer. Other animals that can be seen are kudu, springbok, oryx and small antelope like duiker and steenbok. Predators are seldom seen but are present; leopard, African wild cat, caracal, etc.
During the early 1890's the Naukluft was the scene of a conflict between the Germans and the Witbooi Namas. Hendrik Witbooi refused to submit to the supreme authority of the German emperor. A campaign, lead by major Curt von François, was launched against Witbooi. Witbooi was forced to retreat from his settlement at Hoornkranz, but the Germans did not manage to defeat him. He retreated into the Naukluft mountains. Between April 1893 and September 1894 several fights took place between the German troupes and the Witbooi Namas. After heavy losses on both sides, Witbooi offered to negociate. He accepted the paramouncy of the German emperor, allowed a garrison to be stationed at Gibeon but he and his followers were to retain their weapons and Witbooi retained his territory and control over his subjects and their land.
In the northern section of the Namib-Naukluft park, between the Kuiseb river in the south and the Swakop river in the north, lies the seemingly barren and lifeless desert of the Namib. On closer inspection however visitors will discover a variety of life forms, each uniquely adapted to life in the desert. The area is characterised by flat gravel plains, occasionally broken by granite outcrops.
The Welwitschia drive is accessible in a normal sedan car and allows the visitor to discover this beautiful area. A permit is required.
The Namib section is home to zebra, springbok, oryx, hyena, jackal, Cape fox, bat-eared fox, barking gecko, Namaqua chameleon and many others. Amongst the many birds you will find lappetfaced vulture, Gray's lark and ostrich.
For information on facilities & accommodation, see Namib Naukluft Park
|Fish River Canyon
This canyon is the second largest in the world (after the Grand Canyon) and was
started about 350 million years ago by erosion and glacial activity. The San peoples
explanation for the formation of the canyon is more mythical. The legend is that the
snake, Kouteign Kooru, was perused by hunters and in a desperate bid to escape
fled into the desert, where he burrowed into the earth and formed a huge chasm, which is
now called The Fish River Canyon.
For information on facilities & accommodation, see Fish River Canyon
plateau park is a wildlife sanctuary for several endangered species. White and Black
Rhino, Cape Vulture as well as Roan and Sable antelope roam the area. Historically
the plateau is the place were the Herero people were finally defeated by the German
colonisers. From here many Herero's fled to Botswana to seek protection from the
For information on facilities & accommodation, see Waterberg Plateau Park
The Skeleton Coast stretches from south of the Orange River, Namibia's border with South Africa, into Angola in the North. The area commonly referred to as the Skeleton Coast Park is the northern part of the park between the Ugab and Kunene Rivers. It is an isolated and desolate region of gravel plains, the coastline is dotted with numerous shipwrecks, even in this harsh environment an occasional lion or elephant will venture down a riverbed to the coast. Due to the extremely fragile nature of the environment in this area the public is restricted to only a very small part of the Park. To optimally visit the most spectacular areas one needs to join a fly-in safari, which offers unique views of the various shipwrecks and fauna and flora of the area. These trips can range from a couple of hour's flight to a 5 day trip.
For information on facilities & accommodation, see Skeleton Coast Park
The north-western part
of Namibia is one of the world's last remaining wilderness areas. Here one finds the
Himba people dressed only in a loin cloth continuing their lives in a manner little
changed for thousands of years. The area has unique flora and fauna, but much of it
is inaccessible to the average tourist due to the lack of any infrastructure. Only
the experienced off-road expert would dare to visit this area without a guide as local
knowledge is essential for finding a road into this wilderness.
This area is characterised by a rugged landscape, a wealth of pre-historic rock art and its populations of desert elephant and rhino. The Spitzkoppe in the South are granite inselbergs. The granite takes on beautiful colours during the early morning and late afternoon, and the area is ideal for short walks.
Further north are the imposing Brandberg Mountains, best known for the famous White Lady Bushman Painting. The mountains also contain Namibia's highest peak and large amounts of Bushman art. The name Brandberg means "burning mountain". The name is apt as during sunrise and sunset the granite mountains turn red as if on fire.
Still further north Twyfelfontein
is one of the world's richest sites of rock engravings, some of the engravings date back to
earlier than 3000 BC.
About 45 kilometres from Twyfelfontein is the Petrified Forest. These huge trees were thought to have been deposited in the area about 300 million years ago. Some of the trees have been so well preserved that they are easily mistaken for real logs.
One last structure that catches the eye is the Finger Rock (Vingerklip). This 35m high rock has been eroded into its distinctive shape.
Britain gave this pan handle, in
the north-east of Namibia, to Germany in exchange for Zanzibar as part of the German
attempt to link Africa from east to west. The story goes that the German
administrator of the area was having tea with his British counterpart in Zambia when the
commencement of the First World War was announced. The German was immediately
captured and declared a prisoner of war and the Caprivi Strip became the first allied
occupied territory of the war.
This area on Namibia's eastern border with Botswana is the last refuge of the San people. The proud San once roamed freely through the entire Southern African region but commercial farming has deprived them of much of their hunter gatherer lifestyle. Small populations of San people still manage to eke out an existence in this barren area. Fortunately the road system is such that only 4x4 vehicles can enter most of Bushmanland, and thus the San have been spared from large groups of tourists, and have managed to retain some of their traditional lifestyle. It is however necessary to remember that this is a very fragile community and many of their dances and customs are sacred and can not be performed in front of the eyes of outsiders. A visit to the region is very rewarding, and we recommend joining one of the cultural safaris which have established links with the local communities. In this way you can spend a few days in a San village and may even be offered the opportunity to join a hunting party.
The Khaudum national park is ± 4000 square kilometers. The park is accessible to 4x4 vehicles only, a minimum of 2 vehicles per group. The tracks are very sandy, especially in wintertime. This park protects the habitat of the Kalahari sandveld. The sand sea is cut by several omiramba, fossil drainage lines. The omuramba Omatako and several small channels drain towards the Kavango river. All other omiramba generally run parralel to the dunes to the Okavango delta. The three major drainage lines, omiramba Nhoma, Kaudum and Cwiba, are very important ecologically. During the wet season the peat beds retain water like sponges and gradually release water during the dry season. These days the omiramba are rarely flooded.
The park is home to many animals like elephant, giraffe, kudu, steenbok, roan, tsessebe, eland, reedbuck, hyena, jackal, leopard, wild dog, etc. In summertime many animals tend to leave the boundaries of the, unfenced, park. Bird-watchers can look out for Bradfield's hornbill, copperytailed coucal, Senegal coucal, bateleur, vultures and many more.
For information on facilities & accommodation, see Khaudum Game Reserve
Namibia's capital city has a mixture of Old-German and modern architecture, with an African heart. It is the ideal place to spend a day on arrival and before your departure. While in the city try some of the restaurants and bistros that the city has to offer. Windhoek, like the rest of Namibia, is a very relaxed city and no-one is ever in a rush. For the traveller there are banks, museums, post offices, African curio shops, casino's and a diverse night-life. Accomodation in the city includes five star hotels, private pensions, bed and breakfasts and backpackers hostels.
Swakopmund is Namibia's premier
holiday resort, during the summer months thousands of Namibians flock to the coast to
spend their summer holidays away from the heat of the interior. This is a
German-style coastal village and it is famous for its bakeries and brewery, but it has a lot
more than just good food and beer to entice the visitor.
About 117km north of Swakopmund is a breeding colony of about 180 000 Cape Fur Seals. The colony is of historic interest as the first European ever to set foot on Namibian soil, the Portuguese navigator Diego Cao, landed here and erected a stone cross. Two replicas of the cross still stand on a hillside overlooking the bay. For a short time at the beginning of the century Cape Cross was a busy trading post, and remnants of the buildings from this time can still be seen.
The town of Walvis Bay is located in the central Namib desert, at the delta of the ephemeral Kuiseb delta. Walvis Bay (walvis = Dutch word for whale) and its adjacent lagoon are flanked by high coastal sand dunes in the east, and by the Atlantic ocean in the west.
The Walvis Bay lagoon is the oldest lagoon on the Namibian coast (some 5000 years old). It is the most important coastal wetland (Ramsar site) in southern Africa for palaearctic shorebirds. It is a haven for up to 160 000 birds, as well as a feeding station for 200 000 shore birds and terns on their bi-annual migration routes to and from the arctic region.
70% of the world's Chestnut banded plovers rely on the lagoon for survival. 80% of all Flamingo in southern Africa feed on the wetland.
Sandwich is one of the most scenic sites along the Namibian coast. The lagoon is sheltered by high dunes on landward side and sandbanks on the side of the Atlantic ocean. The nutritient-rich water is a habitat of a wide variety of marine life. It is the most important coastal wetland for waders.
The early pastoralists, the Topnaars, named the freshwater spring at Sandwich Anichab, Nama for springwater. The Portuguese explorers named the place Port d'Ilheo (point of the island). The actual name Sandwich Harbour comes from a British whaling ship, the Sandwich, that hunted along the Namibian coast between 1785 and 1786.
The lagoon once served as an anchorage for sailing vessels and whalers. Towards the end of the 19th century a base was established at Sandwich Harbour. Canned fish and shark liver oil where processed at Sandwich, as well as sealskin and guano. A meat canning factory was established in 1890. The cattle was sold to the South West Africa Company by the Topnaar people.
The mouth of the lagoon became sanded in in 1895 and the settlement was abandoned.
We can recommend an organised excursion to Sandwich Harbour. The area requires a 4x4 vehicle and there is drift sand !
Luderitz is a surreal German colonial town that huddles on a rocky outcrop between the Namib Desert and the cold Atlantic Ocean. Luderitz has everything you might find in a small German town such as coffee shops, a craft centre and a delicatessen. The surrounding area is however home to seals, penguins and flamingo's. The town itself is named after Adolf Luderitz, a German trader, who started business in the early 1800's. The once busy harbour is now reliant on the fishing industry as the town's main source of income - crayfish or lobster as well as other seafood specialities can be enjoyed in the town's restaurants.
One of the main reasons for visiting Luderitz is the Kolmanskop Ghost Town. Kolmanskop was once the centre of the Namibian diamond industry but this town is now deserted. Even at its peak the town fought a constant battle against the desert sand and now many houses are almost entirely covered.
Other drives around the
town lead you to Diaz Point, Grosse Bucht and the Agate Beach as well as numerous rocky bays. There is a
schooner trip that leaves early each morning for Diaz Cross and Halifax
It is highly recommended as it offers the opportunity to view Namibia's penguin colony as
well as seals and the dolphins that swim alongside the boat.