Namibia is a vast country of spectacular scenic beauty and takes its name from the ancient Namib Desert which runs the length of the country’s 975 mile coastline and is believed to be the oldest desert on the planet.
From the air, Namibia appears to be nothing more than a barren desert of wind-carved sand dunes, rocky hills and dry valleys but it is a country that holds much more on closer inspection. In the south, The Great Fish River Canyon, second only in size to the Grand Canyon, snakes some 100 miles down towards the South African border. It is possible to charter a light aircraft and take a breath-taking flight over the canyon or for the more adventurous, join the five day hiking trail which covers around the half the canyon.
Further north are the seemingly mile high red sand dunes of the Namib Desert which stretch for hundreds of miles along the coastline. This is a popular destination for visitors and the opportunity to scale one of the tallest sand dunes in the world to catch sight of an African sunrise is an unforgettable experience.
Continuing north bound, the harsh desert environment comes alive with fascinating wildlife which has adapted to the extreme conditions. Daytime temperatures can rise to 45° during the summer months and water is almost non-existent but still the region supports elephant, rhino, antelope, giraffe and the almost mythical orxy. Birdlife is remarkable and vegetation clings to life amongst the unforgiving sand and rock.
Often described as “one of the planet’s most inhospitable places”, the stark environment of the Skeleton Coast seems hardly inviting but it should be a must on any visit to Namibia. Once again there is a surprising amount of fauna and flora found in this hidden corner of Africa. Supported by fresh water springs and incoming fog banks rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean, gazelle, elephant and smaller animals thrive. Miles of uninhabited coastline are peppered with whale bones and thousands upon thousands of Cape Fur seals lazing on the beaches, something which has to be seen to be believed!
For those needing a more traditional safari “fix” the Etosha National Park in the north supports perhaps the largest numbers of large animals with elephant, rhino, lion and cheetah usually seen. Etosha is often best visited from one of the bordering private reserves where guests can relax in comfort, overlooking a waterhole and watch the wildlife amble down to drink. Day and night game drives and rhino tracking on foot give wildlife activities a very different flavour.
No… we haven’t forgotten.
In the extreme north of the country on the border with Angola is perhaps one of Namibia’s true hidden gems. A striking emerald ribbon flanks the sparkling Kunene River as it meanders through the mountains bringing life to a plethora of wildlife. Where else would it be possible to see monstrous Nile crocodiles in the middle of a desert?! One of our clients’ most unexpected pleasures is Serra Cafema Camp which is set overlooking the Kunene River. Seasonal boating, walking, quad biking and scenic drives make the most of this stunning location and the opportunity to interact with the nomadic Himba people is not to be missed.