Witness the artistry of nature in the world’s oldest desert. Namibia, with its stunning coastline and imposing central plateau, is one of Africa’s premier and truly wild destinations for those in search of a different kind of beauty.
Venture into the ancient red desert of Namibia
Namibia will take you further off the grid than you ever thought possible. We’ll be the first to say it: there aren’t many countries in Africa that manage to match the sheer natural beauty of this unique safari destination.
The ancient red desert of Namibia is one of the oldest and driest ecosystems in the world. The red earth forming the dunes, having developed over millions of years, derives from the Kalahari Desert. These dunes are home to a variety of wildlife species who have adapted to the harsh, arid conditions.
Sossusvlei, the number-one attraction for visitors, is a salt and clay pan set amid rust-coloured dunes towering up to 330m in height. This part of Namibia is the epitome of change – the wind continually alters the shape of the dunes, and near sunrise, the shifting colours of the terracotta sand make for an other-worldly experience.
Set out on an open-vehicle wildlife drive in search of elephants, giraffes, and lions in Etosha National Park, explore Swakopmund’s unique blend of German and African culture and – for those after the thrill of adventure – go sandboarding, quad biking or skydiving. For those looking to raise their game, in more ways than one, we organise a private flying safari along the desolate Skeleton Coast, making use of simple campsites along the way. To explore this area in such a way, is among the most premium experiences available today.
Namibia will make you feel as if you’ve reached the edge of the world. Desolate, dry and unforgiving, the Namib desert is brimming with surprises – just when you think not much could exist in this barren landscape, you spot desert-adapted elephant and mountain zebra, hear the roar of a lion and discover critters like the Namaqua chameleon.
With the Himba in the northwest, and the San in the east, some of the most memorable moments of your safari will be the interactions you have with the native people. Our guides act as a vital link between yourself and this fascinating population, giving you an in-depth look into traditional Himba lifestyles. As nomadic pastoralists who call this place home, an opportunity to walk with them and share their knowledge is a privileged one indeed.
Where to explore
A journey to the dunes of the Sossusvlei (the “dead-end marsh”) is extraordinary not only for the contrasting landscape, where the cobalt-blue sky meets a terracotta land, but also for the fact you will experience an environment so far removed from your everyday life. Your time can be spent picnicking atop the towering red dunes, visiting Sesreim Canyon (the only place in the area which holds water), dune surfing, and despite the harsh desert conditions, spotting desert-adapted wildlife like zebra and elephant.
Where the desert meets the sea, Skeleton Coast – famed for its thousands of shipwrecks stranded along the vast coastline – instantly reminds those who are visiting that this is a land ruled by the elements. Despite its eeriness and being considered “the Sands of Hell” by Portuguese explorers, the Skeleton Coast is one of the most pristine coastal wildernesses in Africa. Explore it by air with a scenic safari flight and be in awe of this spectacular landscape scattered with skeletons of whales and the highest colony of Cape fur seals.
Etosha National Park
With its open grasslands, tall camel thorn trees and Mopane trees, Etosha National Park is among the elite wildlife-watching destinations, offering you a contrast to the vast desert of Namib. Expect to see lion, giraffe, ostrich, antelope and, if you’re in luck, the critically endangered black rhino and the elusive leopard. During the rainy season, the salt pans transform into a lake, attracting flamingos in their thousands for the breeding season.
Famed for its frequent cheetah and leopard sightings, Okonjima is the epicentre of Namibia’s most impressive conservation programmes: The AfriCat Foundation. Founded in 1991, AfriCat’s mission is focused on ensuring the survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat and educating farmers in the surrounding area on how to make a living without endangering the big cat population. Okonjima offers self-guided walks and first-rate guides with a fascinating educational spin on things – offering you a chance to be a part of tourism that makes a genuine difference.
The Wild West of Namibia, Kaokoland attracts the experienced safari traveller and those who are curious to venture further into a desert landscape teeming with mysteries and marvels. Some of these wonders will include the traditional people of the Himba tribe, desert-adapted elephant and the hunt to find the Lone Men of Kaokoland (life-size rock sculptures scattered around the landscape by a mysterious artist).
The best time to visit Namibia
The best time to visit Namibia is during the cooler winter months from April to October – the dry climate makes it easier to view wildlife around the water holes, especially in Etosha National Park (however, this is the busiest season for tourists).
December through to March is the rainy season (although Namibia has little rainfall) and makes wildlife-watching more difficult as animals scatter around the park. Rates are lower as a result, but this is the best time to see newborn animals and migratory birds.