If we do say so ourselves; Namibia has to be one of the most underrated places in all of Africa! Not many people are aware of the incredible experiences hidden in this majestic corner of the continent. Namibia isn’t all sand dunes and sunshine, it’s a place immersed in culture, wildlife and history. It’s a world of its own – a mesmerising, enchanting destination that’s sure to surprise you.
…a little history lesson of Namibia
Namibia is a unique country which differs quite substantially from its neighbouring African countries. Dating back to 1884, Namibia was a German colony, then known as German South West Africa. After the First World War South Africa was given the right to administer the territory, however, most of the country was, of course, still inhabited by Namibians of German descent.
Because Namibia was first a German colony, one is still – to this day, able to easily notice the strong German influence. The German names given to places such as Sossusvlei, Swakopmund and Windhoek, is a tell-tale sign of its history. Today, English is the official language of Namibia, however, it’s estimated that around 3% of the countries population still speak German.
Now, let’s get into the fascinating experiences one is able to find Namibia. Most of these experiences one cannot find in any other corner of the globe, so best believe this place is utterly unique!
Hike Dune 45 | Sossusvlei
Dune 45 is absolutely beautiful! The deep orange sands of this overwhelming sized dune literally glow in the sunrise and sunset. Not only is it a beautiful work of nature, but Dune 45 is also a favourite to hike – for two reasons. Firstly, it’s not overly difficult to hike, and the sights from above are incredible. Secondly, Dune 45 is situated in the perfect place – right next to the most photographed place in Sossusvlei, known as Deadvlei. Deadvlei is a dry marsh area, nestled between the dunes. The dead tree trunks and unusual ground make it a fascinating sight.
Visit the sand covered houses of Kolmanskop
The sand covered houses of Kolmanskop have long since been a photographers’ dream locale, as the sights are unusual and extraordinary. These houses were once built for the miners who worked in the Kolmanskop region, but after the mining industry relocated from the area, the houses were left abandoned. The powerful desert sands have since reclaimed their land, and the houses are now drowning in sand. One is able to take a walk through the eery village, and even walk through the houses – or should we say climb their way through!
Visit the breathtaking Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is one of the most picturesque, and unique places in the world. This is because one doesn’t often find a desert right next to an ocean! Other than the fascinating landscape, the history of Skeleton Coast is also quite the fascinating story. Because of the intense fog that settles in the area during certain months of the year, as well as the storm-winds that occur, many ships would run aground or be driven into the rocks. The area became, quite literally, a graveyard; as the sailors would, of course, die due to lack of water and the harsh temperatures. Because of this, the area was coined ‘The Skeleton Coast’.
Walk through Deadvlei | Sossusvlei
As mentioned, Deadvlei is one of Namibia’s most photographed areas – and most visited landmarks. There is no strange stories attached to this area; the reason it became known as Deadvlei is due to the water that accumulated in this ‘valley’, which later turned to mud/marsh, and killed the vegetation. The remains of the dead trees and the unusual dry marsh give Deadvlei it’s character. You’ll need to visit to see what we mean!
Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund | Otjiwarongo
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a research and rehabilitation centre for local cheetahs in Namibia. While you may be lucky enough to spot a cheetah in the wild (although the odds are against you, as cheetahs are rather shy, and extremely fast), the Cheetah Conservation Centre is the best way to see the cheetahs up close – and of course guarantee you a sighting!
Go on safari in Etosha National Park
You cannot go to Africa without going on a safari! Although Namibia is not necessarily known to be densely populated in wildlife, Etosha National Park is! It’s pretty much the only area in Namibia that one can go on a true African safari that doesn’t disappoint. Etosha National Park is home to the big five, as well as various other coveted wildlife species – and there are cheetahs!
See ancient bushman rock art | Damaraland, Twyfelfontein and Erongo Mountains
There are a number of rock art sites scattered throughout Namibia. This excursion is always a favourite with tourists and locals alike, and there’s no wonder why. It’s absolutely amazing to catch a glimpse of the talent of the Bushmen people; perfectly illustrated through their artistic drawings. It’s also fascinating trying to interpret their drawings, and find the hidden meanings to their art, and it’s even more extraordinary to learn that some of these paintings are thousands of years old.
Experience the salt pan of Etosha
Etosha National Park is not only home to various wildlife species, but there is also a salt pan in the area, with a small region covered in water – which attracts some of the wildlife. The landscape is unique, and beautiful indeed – and we must say, the area makes for some great photography opportunities!
Stand on the Tropic of | Between Sossusvlei and Walvis Bay
That’s right, you can stand on the exact line of latitude: the Tropic of Capricorn, in Namibia. You may need to take a little road trip to get there, as it’s situated between Sossusvlei and Walvis Bay – but that’s half the fun! This excursion will certainly make for some great photos, as you stand under the sign that proves you were there!
Meet the fascinating Himba people | Damaraland region
It’s an honorary experience getting the opportunity to meet the indigenous people of Africa. While there are many different tribes and cultures to be found in Namibia, the predominant tribe is that of the Himba. It’s an interesting learning experience, especially because they live such different lives to that of the western world. Their resources are basic, and their possessions minimal – yet they are able to get by, and work with what they have. It really is fascinating to see. They are also so warm, welcoming and happy – teaching us that very little is needed to live a happy life.
Be fascinated by this breathtaking country – plan your Namibian adventure with us!