Namibia is an exquisite and unique part of Africa situated on the continent’s South Western region. Though you may think there is little to see and do in a place so remote, unsurprisingly every adventure travelers’ dream destination.
Thanks to the country’s diverse topography, some of the world’s most unique outdoor adventure activities can be enjoyed here. On the far Western coastline you’ll find the dunes of the Namib Desert. In addition well known attractions such as Sossusvlei and the Skeleton Coast. Central Namibia is a little more developed, with bigger towns such as Windhoek and Swakopmund. In the North of the country you’ll find grasslands and untouched landscapes where wildlife roam free. The famous Fish River Canyon is in the South, while the East consists of parts of the Kalahari Desert.
Namibia will give you that feeling of complete freedom – and not just because you’re able to enjoy almost any adrenaline activity on the planet. The region is vast and beautiful; with landscapes stretching far and wide. Mostly uninhabited, which means you’re able to get in touch with nature on a much deeper level. An astonishing 64% of the country consists of desert, with 16% attributed to vegetation, and 20% made up of dry woodlands.
Take a look at the various adrenaline activities available throughout Namibia:
Land Based Activities in Namibia
Sand Boarding in Sossusvlei
Sandboarding has to be one of the most popular activities in Namibia, especially since most of the country is desert landscape with lost of dunes! It’s one of the most exhilarating sports and suitable even to ‘amateurs’. While you’re able to take part in sandboarding activities in Swakopmund; Sossusvlei is definitely the favourite. The location is beautiful and unique with dunes aplenty!
Quad Biking in Swakopmund
Quad biking through the desert expanse of one of the greatest wildernesses in Africa is a profound experience. This activity is perfect for young and old and will take you through the rolling dunes of Swakopmund. The stark contrast of the dunes against the vivid blue sky are a perfect backdrop as you traverse unusual terrain.
Wildlife Safaris in Etosha National Park
Every person who visits Africa, is eager to see and experience the wildlife that call it home. Africa is the place to go for authentic wildlife safaris, but few people would consider Namibia to be an option for wildlife safaris. Though the rest of the country may be dry, the North is ideal terrain for wildlife to thrive. Etosha National Park is home to wildlife in abundance. The park boasts species such as lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe and even rare species such as the cheetah.
Namibia Tours by Game Reserves
Hiking the dunes of Sossusvlei
Hiking the dunes of Sossusvlei is a must – and it’s perfect for those who are looking for thrill and adventure. This is an absolute must do while visiting Namibia, and you’ll be more than pleased with the views from the summit. The favourite dunes to hike are those of Sossusvlei, with dune 45 being the most popular. This is the second highest dune in the Namib, and is perfectly situated next to Deadvlei. The hike is by no means strenuous and can take less than an hour. The only way down is to run down the face of the dunes which is reminiscent of the freedom of childhood days running down hills!
Water based Activities
River Rafting down the Orange River
The Orange River rafting tour is one of the most popular adventure tours on the continent. Many people from all over the world visit Namibia for this extraordinary trip which takes you down the rapids of the Orange River. This trip usually takes a few days to experience the length and breadth of the Orange River. Days are action-packed with lots of rowing and negotiating rapids big and small. While in the evenings you will be socialising on the river bank, before getting a good night’s sleep at your campsite.
Atlantic Ocean Boat Cruises
Since the Atlantic Ocean wraps the Western region of Namibia, it’s a prime opportunity for you to take advantage of all the ocean has to offer. In Namibia, boat cruises are unlike any other on the continent, as you can see the dunes from the water. In addition the waters surrounding Namibia are filled with sea-life with the allure of a chance to spot dolphins and whales during your tour.
Hot Air Ballooning in Sossusvlei
Hot air ballooning is an adventure that most people hope to experience at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, hot air ballooning is not offered in many parts of the world. Luckily you’re able to enjoy this spectacular activity in Sossusvlei. The hot air ballooning tours usually take off at around 6am, giving you the chance to witness the magnificent sunrise. The rolling dunes light up at sunrise, turning into a mirage of red and orange. It’s an experience you should certainly consider doing!
Namibia has one of the most interesting landscapes in all of Africa. Which is why scenic flights are a very popular activity. See parts of the country from above which are usually a little more difficult to access by land. For example, the Skeleton Coast is a landmark tourists are eager to experience, however it can only be reached by taking a long drive (around 5-7 hours). It is not always recommended as it entails travelling through dangerous terrain and harsh environments. Alternatively, a scenic flight offers the opportunity to see this extraordinary region with sights of desert sands meeting the great Atlantic Ocean.
Skydiving in Swakopmund
Skydiving is on offer in Swakopmund which is a seaside village in Western Namibia. Most believe Swakopmund to be one of the best places to skydive. You’re treated to views of the vast desert, Swakopmund town and the Atlantic Ocean on your descent. Don’t forget your GoPro and record this epic adventure in these majestic surroundings.
Kolmanskop ‘Ghost Town’
Kolmanskop is famously known as the ‘ghost town’ of Namibia. The small town, which was once a miners village, has been completely abandoned. The desert sands have now reclaimed their territory resulting in the desert swallowing each abandoned home by sand. It’s a rather eery encounter, but a fascinating one too – and you’re sure to get more than a few unique pictures!
Visit the Rock Art Sites
The rock art of the indigenous African people or Bushmen offer a cultural treat that will leave you in awe. Each painting tells a story and has a deeper meaning, giving you a window into their historic way of life. It is also interesting to know these paintings are centuries old, yet have still stood the test of time. Twyfelfontein is the most well known rock art site, although a few sites are in other areas such as Damaraland.
The Best Time to Visit Namibia
The best time to visit depends on what you are wanting to see and do while there, although Namibia is a great place to visit all year round. Game viewing and wildlife safaris are best during the dry season (June to October), as the wildlife stay near to the few water sources, making them easier to track. The dry months of Namibia’s winter are known to be a lot more comfortable, as temperatures don’t often exceed 20 degrees. While Summer brings harsh temperatures at times, as well as summer rainfall and afternoon thunderstorms. Outdoor activities are therefore best during the cooler months of Spring, Autumn and Winter.