Namibia’s rugged beauty is captured in her contrasts: her barren sand dunes, large open spaces, terminating at the shores of the great Atlantic Ocean. For those who want to experience classic African safaris, Namibia’s vastness coupled with her very sparse population guarantee you just this. Rarely will you meet with droves of tourists as you explore the wild side of this African gem.
For most safari goers, Namibia conjures images of rolling sand dunes of the Namib Desert. This harsh space is deceptively barren, playing host to a surprising array of hardy desert wildlife, especially along its more forgiving river valleys. Explore this unspoilt space in the Namib Naukluft National Park, a vast 50,000 km2 of conservations space. Enjoy the imposing sand dunes of the Sossusvlei, as well as the seasonal river beds, salt pans, and other desert features. The park extends all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, offering a lively contrast of empty beaches and lush lagoons.
When the heat of the desert has worn you down, head to Caprivi, this regions answer to the Okavango Delta. This wetland area offers forests and river vegetation that support an exciting ecosystem. Staying at a water lodge will allow you to enjoy water sports as well as opportunities to view hippos, buffalos and other water drawn game.
For those drawn to the violent action of Africa’s savanna, the Etosha National Park bears the answers you seek. This park bears an excellent mix of predators and game, unveiling Mother Nature’s harsh realities right before your eyes. The park is characterized by savanna vegetation and open spaces. You can choose to enjoy a tour of the Etosha Pan, a seasonal flooded depression that hosts a lot of the wildlife. However, the real action is in May to October during the drier months as the precious waterholes offer front row seats to all the action. Here, expect to meet with rare animals such as the cheetah, black rhino, shy dik diks, roan antelopes, and the black faced impala. For bird watchers, there are over 340 species to count down.
For a real off-the beaten track experience, then try out Damaraland, Kaokoland, and Bushmanland. These parks are significantly more remote, but offer stunning views, more intimate wildlife interaction, as well as unexplored treasures. Ensure that you get a chance to interact with the owners of the desert spaces, the Damara people, as well as other local tribes and cultures. The ways of the desert will intrigue you, learning how such rich cultures survive in such mean climates.
Namibia offers you a wide variety of choices in your safari. You can decide on an intrepid self-drive experience, exploring the country on a rented 4wd. Alternatively, if you are pressed for time, take in the sights quickly by plane, hopping from one tourist gem to another. However, for a truly memorable experience, get a guided tour to bring to life the intricacies of this deeply moving country. The experience of tracking a rhino on foot will live with you long after the day. Tailor your choices depending on your time constraints and budgets.
Though remote, Namibia’s accommodation options are opulent and memorable, offering you exclusive luxury right in the wilderness. This makes it perfect for a romantic getaway: the excitement of the safari and the privacy of this vast country.