Namibia located in southwestern Africa is a vast country, covering an area approximately twice the size of California and four times the size of the United Kingdom, but with a population of only a mere 2 million. Namibia is an ageless land which is visible through its heritage of rock art created by stone-age artists and geological attractions such as the Petrified Forest where fossilized tree trunks have lain for over 280 million years. Namibia boasts a well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders. Namibia has remarkable natural landscapes to offer, these include The beautiful Kalahari Desert; Fish River Canyon; the vast Etosha National Park with abundant wildlife which include lions, elephants, rhino’s and kudu’s; the Namib Desert which stretches over 2000 km along the magnificent Atlantic Coast. If you are looking for an unforgettable African experience with unique beauty and untamed wilderness, then Namibia is the place to visit.
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park Namibia’s top wildlife destination and a wildlife paradise, is situated in northern Namibia. It is home to many animal species including mammals, birds and reptiles. The large animals include the elephants, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lions.
Vegetation in the park varies but consist mostly of mopane woodland and grassy plains. Animals are dependent on the many waterholes found in the park, especially in the dry season. The park covers an area of 22,720 square kilometers and is dominated by a the Etosha Pan, which used to be a lake which dried up and is now a dusty, clay and salt pan.
A variety of accommodations can be found inside and outside of the park. These accommodations offer lodging and campsites and they offer a variety of activities which included game drives in the park.
Located in the scenic Namib-Naukluft Park, Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The giant red dunes and clear blue skies makes this a photographers heaven and one of Africa’s most scenic natural wonders. These unique dunes rising to almost 400 meters are some of the highest dunes in the world. Sossusvlei is home to a variety of desert wildlife like the oryx, springbok, ostrich and a variety of reptiles. Visitors can climb the ‘Big Daddy’, one of Sossusvlei’s tallest dunes, explore Dead Vlei which is a white, salt clay pan dotted with ancient trees. These beautiful scenes can also be viewed with a Hot Air Balloon, or Scenic Flights.
Set along Namibia’s spectacular scenic coast, is the seaside town of Swakopmund well known for its open avenues, colonial architecture and its otherworldly desert terrain. Now a seaside resort town, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The laid back atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it a very popular Namibian destination. Swakopmund offers a number of exciting and adventurous activities for both the adventurer and someone who came to relax and experience the rich culture of the town. Activities include: quad biking, sky-diving, paragliding, fishing, sightseeing, desert tours and much more.
Namibia’s first World Heritage Site, is an open air art gallery, which represents Africa’s largest concentrations of rock art. The 2000 plus rock engravings, are estimated to be 6000 years old. There are 17 different rock engraving sites and a further 13 rock painting sites as well as stone art effects.
The area offers various other attractions such as the Petrified Forest which consists of giant tree trunks that have turned to stone. South of Twyfelfontein is the Burnt Mountain which is a 12km long volcanic ridge which features a beautiful display of colours in the early morning and dusk. The Damara Living Museum is a project and traditional school with the aim of reconstructing the lost culture of the Damara people.
Fish River Canyon
The Fish River, carving out an epic rocky wonderland in the south of Namibian, created Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest canyon. The Fish River Canyon, hot, dry and stony measures a whopping 160 kilometers in length, at times 27 kilometers in width and 550 meters in depth. For those looking for an adventure, there is an 85 kilometer hiking trail which will take you through 1.5 billion years of geological history. For the visitor looking to relax, you can head over to the canyon’s southern end to Ai-Ais where you can soak in the mineral waters of the renowned hot springs.
The Giant’s playground gets its name from the way in which the massive dolerite boulders appear to have been purposefully placed on top of one another by a gigantic hand. The manner in which the boulders are stacked creates fascinating rock formations and a series or mazes where one can easily lose one’s bearings if one is not careful. Hiking between these rock formations will entertain visitors for a couple of hours and is guaranteed to present great photo opportunities. This fascinating rock formation is located on the farm Gariganus and visitors need to buy their tickets at the farm office before setting out.
Quiver Tree Forest
Some 14 kilometers from Keetmanshoop is a striking natural phenomenon is a natural forest of roughly 200 quiver trees, set on a large outcrop of blackish dolerite rocks that is well worth the visit. Named for the pliable bark that was once used by bushmen to craft quivers for their arrows, quiver trees are in fact not trees at all, but unusually large succulents with scaly bark and twisted branches topped with spiky, fleshy leaves. The oldest specimens here are between 200 and 300 years old, and some measure as high as nine meters. The forest, which was declared a national monument in 1955, is best viewed at sunrise or sunset, when the soft, warm light further enhances this already captivating sight.