Some people have asked me, “Where the heck is Namibia!?”
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know where it was. Namibia unfortunately isn’t as well known as the countries that border it. With South Africa having stand-out cities like Cape Town and Joburg, and Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe having striking destinations like Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta, Namibia tends to be forgotten about when planning that “Ultimate African Adventure” vacation.
I discovered I wanted to go to Namibia about four years ago. I was inspired by the picture to the right, which is a photo, NOT a painting, by Frans Lanting and knew I just had to see the Deadvlei. And this past November I finally had the chance to go. I see now that more people are realizing it’s full potential. The country is finally on the rise, especially thanks to photographers, bloggers, and social media influencers shining a bright light on its beautiful landscapes and rich culture.
With that said, here’s my rundown of why Namibia is the place be and see.
The Etosha National Park Safari – This is the safari you imagined in your head, but even better. From watering holes filled with a myriad of animals, to the expansive Etosha salt pan, you’ll have trouble putting your camera down. There is so much to see, wildlife alone, so it’s at least a two-day endeavor, with a highly suggested stay at one of the camps within the park. You can sneak out at night to one of the watering holes nearby where nocturnal animals are sure to be taking a sip or dip.
The Adventurous Seaside – Swakopmund is a cozy, coastal city where in one direction things are moving slowly and in the other they are moving very fast. Swakopmund offers relaxing walks on the beach, high-end shopping, and quaint little coffee shops to relax at. But, Swakopmund also has incredible dunes for adrenaline seekers to go high speed with sand boarding or quad biking. Riding sand dunes on a quad is like riding a roller coaster – thrilling and screaming “woooohooooooo!” worthy.
The Unearthly Namib Desert – Here, you leave earth and enter another planet via the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It’s the key destination for those who travel to Namibia. It’s an otherworldly experience. With camel thorn trees spread across a blinding white clay pan at the Deadvlei (dead pan) and high-rising sand dunes, including the very instagramable Dune 45, the climbable Big Daddy dune, and Dune 7, the highest Dune in the world, you won’t feel like you’re on Earth anymore. No wonder movies like “Mad Max: Fury Road” were filmed here. This place is unlike any other with its perfect juxtaposition of rugged and smooth elements.
The Hospitality of Namibia – “Hey, come visit us!” is a direct quote from all Namibians. The people of Namibia want travelers to come visit their country. It’s an incredibly safe and gorgeous place to have a holiday and Namibians welcome you to come. Tourism is on the rise there and it’s been creating so many jobs for these people. The more we travel there, the more jobs and opportunity they have. Their hospitality was warm and inviting and that alone has me wanting to go back.
Namibia won’t be the underdog of Southern African tourism for much longer. Please get yourself there and soak up all this place has to offer.
Here are some resources to get you started: