Climb the highest sand dunes in the world. Descend to the floor of the deepest canyon in Africa. Immerse yourself in the past at one of Africa's richest rock art sites, and watch wildlife shimmer against one of the most spectacular pans on earth. Explore the oldest, driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul.
Namibia is home to vibrant cities where people are excited about the future, while remaining deeply connected to their rich, cultural past. A stable, democratic government, infrastructure that allows guests to move confidently off the beaten path and endless horizons that beckon you to explore, define this country and its people.
This is Namibia, where you are sure to find adventure, and you may just find yourself.
USEFUL TRAVEL INFO
Best time to visit
Namibia's climate is generally hot and dry. Rainfall occurs exclusively in the summer months, between November and February, when some humidity and heavy thunderstorms can be expected. The best time to visit is during the winter months from March to October: April and May are green and fresh months in Namibia; June and August are the best for game viewing as animals tend to congregate around waterholes, making them easy to spot; September and October are also fantastic for game viewing, but it can be very dry and dusty.
Time: GMT +1
Electricity: Current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are standard.
Language: English is the official language, but many people also speak Afrikaans and German. There are also several indigenous languages spoken, mainly in the rural areas.
Money: The official currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), equal in its value to the South African Rand, which is also accepted as legal currency. Major credit cards are accepted. Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or bureau de change. ATMs are available in larger towns only.
Communications: Most towns are covered by a GSM 900/1800 mobile network. Internet access is available from some hotels and Internet cafes are available in Windhoek and Walvis Bay.
Health & Safety
Typhoid, hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations are recommended for travel to Namibia. Safety regulations in Namibia require all visitors to have a yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. There is a malaria risk in the northern region of Namibia during the rainy season (January to April). HIV/AIDS is prevalent, and precautions are essential, although travellers are seldom at risk unless engaging in unprotected sex with locals. Cholera outbreaks occur, and visitors should drink only boiled or bottled water, and avoid ice in drinks.
Most visits to Namibia are safe and trouble-free, but beware of increasing street crime and pick-pockets in Windhoek and other town centres.
Care should be taken when travelling in the Caprivi Strip; travel in daylight hours only (livestock wandering onto roads at night cause many accidents), and stay on the main tarred highway as there is a risk of landmines remaining from the Angolan civil war. Namibia is considered at very low risk of terrorism, and no major incidents of violence against foreigners have been reported. Travellers should always carry identification.
Visa & Passports
No visas are required, for touristic or business-related stays of up to three months for USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South African Nationals.
All foreign passengers to Namibia must have confirmed return/onward tickets, and the necessary travel documentation for their next destination. Additionally, visitors should ensure that they have at least two blank pages remaining in their passports, for entry and departure endorsements from the Namibian Immigration Service. Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Namibia, if arriving within six days of leaving or transiting through an infected area. All travellers must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the period of intended stay in Namibia.
Airports in Namibia
Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH)
The airport is situated 28 miles (45km) east of Windhoek.
Eros Airport (ERS)
Located 5km from Windhoek’s city centre. Commercial, private, and scheduled traffic ranging from high performance jet aircraft to Cessna 201 aircraft which is the most commonly used aircraft for charter and fly-in safaris in Namibia. Airport shuttles connect Eros to HKIA and to downtown Windhoek.
Walvis Bay Airport (WVB)
The airport is located nine miles (15km) east of Walvis Bay.
Serving Ondangwa, a town in the Oshana Region of Namibia and situated about 5 km northwest of the centre of Ondangwa.
Serviced by Air Namibia, the airport is 10 min. drive from the centre of town.
Situated among the dunes and close to the ghost town of Kolmanskop, a prominent tourist destination.
Serving the capital of the Kavango Region in Namibia. The airport is 6km southwest of the center of Rundu.
Serving Keetmanshoop, a city in the Karas Region of Namibia. The airport is located about 5 km northwest of the town.
A non-towered airport serving Swakopmund, a city in the Erongo Region of Namibia. There are no runway lights.
TOP REASONS TO VISIT
Adventure & Activities
Land, air and water-based adventures include quad biking, 4x4 trails, hiking, birding, skydiving, kayaking, windsurfing and kite boarding along the coast.
Getting introduced to indigenous people whose cultures are unrecognizable to most of the world, eating mushrooms as they emerge from termite mounds, being mesmerized by ancient rock art work at Twyfelfontein, Namibia's only World Heritage Site, and taking time to listen to the silence are amongst the adventures of the mind, body and soul awaiting you in Namibia.
Namibians like to display their craftsmanship in the form of baskets, wood carvings, embroidered materials, sculptures and paintings. You will find many along your way of travels to take home as
a reminder of a holiday of a lifetime.
Wildlife & Safaris
Whether you set out on your own self-drive safari or join a group of like-minded travellers, Namibia is Africa's best-kept safari destination secret. Take in the beautiful wildlife and unique landscapes at your own pace. Like nowhere else in Africa, Namibia provides the visitor the opportunity to escape stress, experience peace and freedom, sit and admire the breath-taking landscapes and reflect. From game-packed parks to the silence and spectacle of the desert, this incredible country, its landscapes, people and wildlife are waiting.
Namibia offers an endless variety of safari options. Experience the haunting silence of the Kalahari Desert and spot one of 430 bird species in the Caprivi region, search for desert elephants in Damaraland and have a chance to see Africa’s Big-5 and numerous endemic species against the backdrop of the country's unique landscape. Namibia is the last place on earth where black rhino roam free across communal land, and is one of two countries in the world that are home to the desert-dwelling elephant. The country holds the largest free-roaming population of cheetahs in the world as well as animals such as gemsbok (Oryx), springbok, bat eared fox, ostrich and black backed jackal can all be seen on a regular basis making a Namibia safari different than any other wildlife country in Africa.
A wide variety of safaris can be organised, ranging from self-drives, fly-ins, guided overland tours, camel safaris, horseback riding safaris, walking safaris, and privately guided safaris, just to name a few.
The silence of the desert, the stars at night and the emptiness that stretches to the horizon provides a ready-made antidote to the stress of life. For those needing further rest and relaxation, many accommodation establishments provide a range of offerings to rejuvenate both body and soul. Massage and mud therapy and exfoliating treatments added into any itinerary is always a good decision.
Community Based Tourism
Namibia is the first country in the world to incorporate environmental protection into its Constitution. From this commitment many Community Based Tourism options have sprung forth, each providing real monetary and social benefits to the local communities who provide them, and ultimately a more authentic Namibian experience to the visitor. Discover local habitats and wildlife or celebrate traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. Your tourism contribution will have a real, sustainable impact on environmental and wildlife conservation.
A photographer’s Paradise
Namibia holds many visual treasures for the landscape photographer, with spellbinding photographic locations. A destination not to be missed!
The best Beer!
Of course, the most important reason to visit any country is the quality of its beer! Namibian beer is brewed to the highest German standards and Namibians are passionate about their beer.
Business, Incentives & Events
Whether it is corporate functions, meetings, incentives or conferences, look no further than Namibia. Setting up in luxurious mobile camps in the desert, under glittering African skies, to professionally organised adventures, to wellness experiences in the bush or international endurance sporting events, guests will have unparalleled experiences.
Namibia has some of the world’s most spectacular desert ecosystems and contains a
wide range of landscapes, wildlife and people. Its magical beauty and virgin landscapes make it one arid, expansive paradise. Between the hospitable Namib Desert lining the Atlantic coast and the escarpment of the interior plateau hides a panorama of richly coloured sand dunes, vast plains,
savannahs teeming with African game and rugged brown mountains.
Namibia is home to 11 ethnic groups of evident diversity. These are namely: Herero, Damara,
Nama, Coloured, Baster, Owambo, Ovahimba, Kavango, Caprivian, San and White people. Each of the varied cultural groups have their unique traditional traits that contribute to the richness of the Namibia’s cultural heritage and unity. People like the San (or Bushmen) in the east and the Himba in the north, keep to their age-old nomadic lifestyles. Among the San, men still hunt with bows and poison arrows, while women forage for edible plants, roots, wild fruits and berries across the Kalahari. Himba men herd cattle and goats across the dry Kaokoveld region. In clothing and decoration, the Himba are very distinctive, where they often wear animal-skins and the women adorn their hair and bodies with an ochre powder.
Khoekhoe is one of the Khoisan languages, characterised by their clicking sounds, spoken by around a quarter of a million Namibians.
A Year-round Destination
Namibia boasts an impressive 300 days of sunshine each year. This makes it a great destination at any time of year with reliable game viewing regardless of the season.
Whether you’re doing a self-drive holiday or a pre-packaged tour, Namibia is a fun destination for families thanks to the wealth of experiences and outdoor activities available. Here you can go in search of elephants in the national parks, somersault down the side of sand dunes, gaze at the constellation-strewn night sky and kayak beside pelicans, seals and dolphins. There’s something for everyone and of all ages, especially active teenagers. What makes it even more appealing for families is the choice of malaria-free safari destinations.
Top Adventure Activities
Sandboarding, Dune 7
Climbing the famous Dune 45
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
Dolphin & Seal Excursions
Scuba & Cave diving
The small, Germanic capital of the country, is an attractive city situated in the Central Highlands and surrounded by hills and mountains, occupying the geographical and economic heart of Namibia. Windhoek makes a great place to begin a journey through Namibia or rest at journey's end. The accommodation choices, food variety, cultural sights, shopping and African urban buzz give it an edge not found anywhere else in Namibia.
Where to Stay
Accommodation on request
Most of eastern and southern Namibia is covered by the Kalahari Desert, which stretches over 7 different countries in southern Africa. The Kgalagadi, as it is known in Botswana - covers the western part of Namibia, a large part of Botswana, and north-western South Africa north of the Orange River.
It cannot be classified as a true desert due to the amount of rain it receives. It has also been called a fossil desert and truly one of the world's most fascinating landscapes.
The Kalahari Desert has been home to the San people known as the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert for over hundreds of years. They live in and around the desert and are still traditional in their lifestyle.
The Namib Desert is the oldest and most arid desert region in the world, having been around for more than 80 million years and one of the top travel destinations in Namibia.
The desert boasts the dauntingly desolate landscapes of the Skeleton Coast, some of the biggest sand dunes in the world, some unique wildlife, and various natural attractions.
Fish River Canyon
Africa's largest canyon, and one of the largest in the world, the Fish River Canyon is in southern Namibia in the eastern Namib Desert.
The main attraction is the 85km, 5-day hiking trail and can only be undertaken during the winter months, and requires a high level of fitness and good health. There are no facilities, so hikers must carry all they need. The canyon comes to an end at Ais-Ais where one of the most famous hot spring resorts in the country is located, and hikers can look forward to a relaxing soak in the therapeutic hot water after completing the trail.
A coastal town known for its German colonial buildings, including the art nouveau Goerke Haus, built into the rock face on Diamond Hill. Apart from its architecture the town also boasts various other must-see attractions and activities, from the ghost town of Kohlmanskop and dolphin cruises, to the growing waterfront next to the port. The Lüderitz Museum has displays about the town’s diamond-mining past as well as local and natural history. A number of restaurants and cafes provide hearty meals of local and German cuisine and is especially known for its rock lobster and oysters.
The rocky coastline of the Lüderitz peninsula harbours flamingo flocks and penguin colonies, while the adjacent Sperrgebiet National Park is arguably the country’s wildest and most pristine landscape. A photographer’s dream!
Kolmanskop – A Ghost Town
It was in 1908 when the first diamond was found here. This caused a diamond rush and sparked life in the little town. Today it lies at the mercy of the Namib Desert, threatening to engulf the grand old buildings. Town tours can be pre-booked to visit.
An intensely mysterious, inhospitable area with treacherous rocks and sand banks, dry gravel plains and isolated, flat-topped mountains. The entire coastline of the Namib Desert is often referred to as the Skeleton Coast, named for the hulls of wrecked ships found washed up along the shore. Many wrecks have been destroyed by the sun, sea, and wind but a few are still visible which makes for good photographic opportunities.
The National Park has some interesting attractions, including the Agate Mountain salt pans, the clay castles of the Hoarasib, and the large Cape Fur Seal colony at Cape Fria. Skeleton Bay is known to be a great surfing destination and the inland riverbeds are home to a variety of wildlife, including giraffe, lion, baboon, rhinoceros, springbok and elephant.
Possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction, characterised by the large red dunes that surround it and its large, white, salt and clay pan. Several attractions can be found around Sossusvlei including Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei. The interesting landscape makes this area one of the most photographed in the world. For those travelling to Sesriem by road, the little settlement of Solitaire is not to be missed as Big-Moose, the local baker, makes delicious world-famous apple strudel!
Accommodation around Sossusvlei ranges from camping through self-catering and mid-range lodges to luxury lodges.
Where to Stay
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Enjoy total tranquillity and romantic luxury in the heart of the Namib Desert. From stargazing to intimate picnics in the desert, this is an extraordinary desert wilderness, with its own private airstrip. 10 Air-conditioned suites offer in-room fireplaces, outdoor showers and star-viewing skylights. There is also a swimming pool, Safari Shop and an Observatory with professional astronomer.
This pleasant port city offers tourists a variety of urban entertainment options that complement its many natural attractions such as a natural harbour and a flamingo-filled lagoon. Walvis Bay appeals to sports enthusiasts interested in kayaking, fishing, and kitesurfing as well as dune boarding and golfing in the desert.
Nestled on Namibia's Atlantic coast and surrounded by sand dunes, this resort town enchants visitors with its distinct German colonial architecture and pleasant climate. Known as Namibia's adventure sports capital, everything from sandboarding and quad biking on the desert dunes, to surfing, golfing, and helicopter rides, camel safaris and nature walks are available. You'll find plenty of lodgings, restaurants, and lively entertainment spots in the town.
Where to Stay
Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre
Designed to complement the architecture of the historic, 1902 station building, the exclusive hotel offers the perfect balance between charming, old world tradition and the thrill and excitement of modern day entertainment. The hotel features 2 cinemas, a casino and a squash court as well as an outdoor pool and health club. Rooms are air-conditioned, with free Wi-Fi, TV and minibar. Some rooms have a private terrace overlooking the gardens.
It is a group of bald granite peaks or bornhardts, millions of years old, located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert. If you are a climber, a geologist, a rock hound, or a star gazer, Spitzkoppe is Eden. Many examples of Bushmen artwork can be seen painted on the rocks in the Spitzkoppe area. The Spitzkoppe Mountains were also the filming location for 2001, A Space Odyssey in the "Dawn of Man" sequences.
Located in the far northwest, is one of the most pristine regions in Namibia. Also known as Damaraland and Kaokoveld, the almost inaccessible terrain, south of the Kunene river and north of Sesfontein, can only be travelled in fully equipped expedition vehicles and, if possible, in the company of an experienced guide. There are hardly any sign-posts on the rough tracks which are often rocky or deep, soft sand. Accommodation is not available en route, but only a few campsites. Many travellers just sleep out in the wilderness.
The Kaokoveld is home to about 15000 semi-nomadic Himba people, who have largely kept their ethnic individuality and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoland. The friendly people breed cattle and goats and their clothes, hair style and ornaments have a special meaning and are part of their tradition and culture.
Twyfelfontein, which translates to uncertain springs, is a place where you will find ancient rock engravings in abundance. The place has been a home to stone-age hunters and gatherers for over 6000 years.
Where to Stay
Aabadi Mountain Camp
An intimate camp with 10 safari tents, two of which are guide tents and one luxury tent for honeymooners or those just looking for a more unique experience. With a choice of single, twin, double or triple accommodation, it includes a mouth-watering breakfast. Other meals can be added to the stay. The tents are equipped with a private outside shower and toilet for a more natural bush experience. The restaurant provides a unique cultural experience and guaranteed to impress.
Huddled in the rocks, with sweeping views across the Aba Huab valley, Camp Kipwe is full of surprises. An inviting lounge area, where birds fly in to enjoy the water seeping from the rocks, a refreshing swimming pool nestled in the rocks and a scattering of 9 bungalows and 1 sprawling thatched suite offer lots of unexpected luxuries.
&Beyond Mowani Mountain Camp
This delightful Camp lies hidden amongst towering boulders where guests can unwind in the luxurious suites, which come complete with a butler service, al fresco bathroom, sitting room, and dining and bar area. Mouth-watering meals await after a rewarding day of game viewing, and a sparkling swimming pool is tucked between the boulders. A trip to the ancient San (Bushmen) rock engravings is one of the highlights of the area.
The White Lady
One of the famous pre-historic paintings found in abundance in Damaraland. If you want to relive thousands of years old version of Earth, Damaraland will not disappoint you.
An astonishing finger like structure made of limestone and stands a staggering 35m from its base.
Is one of the most mesmerizing places of Damaraland. Its name comes from the effect of a setting sun, which endows the dying rays of sunlight upon granite massif causing it to seem alight with a captivating red glow. Anyone who wishes to visit Damaraland, cannot miss this beautiful sight since it is one that leaves you to spell bound.
As the name suggests, is an enthralling dive down the historic times. The forest is basically a collection of many tree trunks which are over 200 million years old. They are large and well preserved and are said to have been washed off down a river during ancient times, somewhere around the time the Ice Age ended.
Etosha National Park
A vast area of shimmering mirages and saline desert, savannah and scrubby woodlands, situated 270 miles (435km) north of Windhoek. Its unique landscape is characterised by an immense, flat white saltpan, a shallow depression that is dry for the greater part of the year, but fed by moisture from perennial springs on the fringes. The pan covers about 25 percent of the park.
The temporary water supply attracts thousands of water birds, including flocks of pink flamingos, during the rainy season, but the best time for viewing animals in Etosha is the cool dry season, between May and September.
Etosha has a network of roads linking its three rest camps. Visitors can expect to see many species of antelope, wildebeest, zebra, lion, giraffe, and Africa's tallest elephants. Several of the animal species are endangered, including the black rhino. There are also opportunities to see lion, leopard and cheetah around the many waterholes scattered throughout the park.
Etosha has three main camps offering accommodation in chalets or double rooms and the campsites provide an ‘out in nature’ experience. Swimming pools, restaurants and floodlit waterholes tempt you to linger a bit longer. Shops and petrol stations are standard facilities and cater to the independent travellers.
Two new lodges, Onkoshi and Dolomite, have opened remote and restricted areas of the park to the luxury market. The setting of these lodges creates some of the best views in the park along with exclusive game viewing. Attentive staff, personal service and luxurious fittings make these camps the safari experience of your dreams.
Bordering Angola, Botswana and Zambia, the Caprivi region is a mosaic of woodlands, forests, swamps and rivers and home to an abundance of game and birds. It consists of a 450km strip of land from Rundu to Katima Mulilo in Zambia and Chobe on the Botswana border. The wildlife is protected by several reserves: Mamili, Bwabwata, Lizauli and Mudumu. There are no fences, therefore the animals roam freely across the borders of Namibia's neighbouring countries, Botswana and Zambia.
Travelling through the Caprivi, you will come across many villages and their inhabitants, where children herd goats, women sell fruits, carvings, pots and pans from makeshift stalls, and everywhere you will be warmly welcomed.