These are some prime examples why you should visit Namibia
10 very good reasons for a safari vacation in Namibia
Namibia has become a top travel destination in Southern Africa since the 1990s. And it’s no wonder. After all, the country in Africa has a lot to offer: endless expanses and more animals than you can count, great hospitality and one or two natural wonders. And that’s not all. Ten good reasons to travel to Namibia.
The most beautiful and oldest deserts in the world
With the Namib in the west and the Kalahari in the east, Namibia has two of the most interesting deserts in the world. The Namib is considered the oldest desert on earth and is dominated by mighty dunes and dense morning mist. The Kalahari has a dry savannah character. Sparse vegetation fixes the dunes, which shimmer red in the sunlight. If you are particularly lucky or flexible in your travel time, adjust the rainfall between November and April when the Kalahari is green and blooming. The most beautiful overview of the dune landscape can be seen from the air: Various companies offer sightseeing flights in Swakopmund. In Sossusvlei you can also fly over the dunes with the hot air balloon.
A unique landscape like from a picture book
The Namib Naukluft Park is one of the most scenic regions in Namibia. It also includes parts of the Namib, including the Sossusvlei – a clay pan that is only fed with water every few years by the Tsauchab. The river ends blindly between the dunes, but when the lake forms, the environment turns green. Only about a kilometer walk through the hot sand you can reach the Dead Vlei with its world-famous dead acacia trees, which stand magically in the evening sun like skeletons in the dry clay pan. Big Daddy, the largest hiking dune in the world at over 380 meters, borders directly on the Dead Vlei. If you have good stamina and a lot to drink, you can climb it on foot and enjoy an amazing view. Alternatively, you can climb the lower dune 45. Further west, the Naukluft Park features savannah structures and when the sun sets behind the stony hills, you can relax in the Namib Naukluft Lodge, for example, with pleasant temperatures and a cool Windhoek camp. And maybe one or the other black-backed jackal also stops by.
The second largest canyon in the world
In the southern part of Namibia, a place seems almost magical: The Fish River has eaten through the rocky underground for millions of years and created the Fish River Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in the world with a length of 160 kilometers and a width of 27 kilometers. From the Fish River Canyon Viewpoint you have a perfect view over the river at a depth of 550 meters, which only carries water when it rains heavily, but never dries out completely. With a little luck, you might spot antelopes or even leopards drinking. Hiking tours are also offered in the Namibian winter (May to August), but they require a lot of fitness.
First class safaris and tours
Many tourists rave about the Kruger National Park in South Africa, but there are always unlucky people who hardly see any animals for days. This cannot happen to you in Etosha in northern Namibia. Due to the extensive fencing and high animal density, every safari becomes a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In addition to countless antelopes, zebras and giraffes, elephants, jackals and rhinos cross the path again and again. You will also see lions comparatively often. You need a bit more luck with the shy cheetahs and leopards. And the gigantic salt pan in the north of the park gives you the feeling of looking into an empty infinity.
Admire extraordinary and rare animal species
In Namibia there are the extremely rare desert elephants, which have been specially adapted to the desert habitat – normally elephants are not to be found in these territories. The authorities keep the exact number of animals secret in order to protect them, but estimates suggest that there are around 50 to 150 elephants. Their special feature: the long front legs have widened sole pads on which the pachyderms can creep practically silently.
Get in touch with Namibia’s wild cats
If you love the big cats, you should visit the farms that house these animals. Many of the cats were found as orphaned kittens and raised by hand so that they could later be reintroduced into the wild. One of these farms is N / a’an ku sê. Head Marlice van Vuuren and her team have already appeared on German TV in the “Wilde Orphans” series and offer tours: So if you always wanted to go for a walk in the wild with a cheetah, you have the chance here. The Okonjima Nature Reserve near Otjiwarongo would also be of particular importance here.
Ancient cultures and encrypted stone messages in Damaraland
The country of the Damara, one of the indigenous peoples that straddled the region before the Europeans arrived in the region, extends to the north-west of Namibia. Today the Damara mainly live from cattle breeding, horticulture and mining. In some villages you can get a little closer to them and learn interesting things about their traditions. The so-called Vingerklip, a 35-meter-high limestone monolith on a hill, offers a wonderful sight. The solitary peak created by erosion processes rises above the flat land surrounded by table mountains. A hiking trail leads to its base, which you can circle and enjoy the view. You must also visit the Twyfelfontein rock engravings, some of which are said to be up to 24,000 years old.
The second best starry sky in the world
It has been proven that the best way to watch the stars is in Venezuela, but Namibia follows closely behind. If you look into the starry sky over Namibia at night, you will hardly believe your eyes. You have never seen so many stars. Since no cities flood the sky with light, nothing stands in the way of extensive observation. However, you have to stay away from any light influences in the area. And before the red sand dust of the day settles, the full moon turns blood- red on the horizon.
On the trail of the “Southwesters”
Namibia was once a German colony and you can still find traces of history everywhere today: The “Hohenzollern Haus” in Swakopmund looks more like it belongs to the Baltic island of Usedom. And in the capital, Windhoek, the traffic signs indicate “equestrian monument”, “old festivals” and the “Christ Church”. Place names like “Lüderitz”, “Seeheim” or “Helmeringhausen” are witnesses of the times and even many of the locals understand the German language better than we would expect. Despite the occupation by the German Empire, the Namibians are open to German tourists and hospitable.
Hearty meals and drinks at very reasonable prices
The Namibian cuisine was influenced and shaped by the different ethnic groups in the country. The basis is often a polenta based on corn flour, which is called “Pap” in Namibia. Spicy, almost exotic dishes are prepared with fruits such as “Butternut” and “Gem Squash”, which are among the pumpkin plants, and the game meat typical of the region. Meat fans in particular get their money’s worth: with Springbok, Eland, Kudu and Oryx, extremely tasty and low-fat delicacies are on the menu – the order is preferably “medium-rare”, because then the aroma gets through best. Restaurant tip: Joe’s Beerhouse in the Eros district.