Along the coastal region, the world’s oldest desert, the Namib (which gave this country its name) dominates with all its otherworldly beauty. Intriguing plants, like the Welwitchia mirabilis have evolved here and animals such as the striking oryx antelope and the desert lion have adapted to their moonlike environment.
In the southern part of the Namib is Sossusvlei, where some of the world’s highest dunes bloom rose red in the morning light. To the north is the Skeleton Coast, another evocative name that tells of the fate of the sailors who were shipwrecked there – though wild and desolate, it is home to thousands of Cape Fur Seals. In the central part of the coastal region is the town of Swakopmund, its quaint old-world German influence and greenery a surprise in the desert. Swakopmund is the heart of adventure sport in Namibia.
Inland, rugged mountain ranges like the Naukluft, the Brandberg and the Erongos shimmer indigo blue across the wide open plains and are host to many animals including mountain zebra, leopard and cheetah, providing excellent opportunities for wilderness hiking and birdwatching. And like an inverse image of the mountains, the breathtaking Fish River Canyon, second-largest canyon in the world, adds another dimension to the diversity of the Namibian experience.
The rare solitude and dramatic landscapes that are synonymous with Namibia – a country twice the size of Germany, with a population of just 2,5 million people – are not the only attributes that draw the discerning traveller to this country. Some of the best game viewing in Africa can be found here. Nowhere is more prolific and easy to access then the bone-white salt pan and waterholes of Etosha National Park. During the dry winter months the Big Five can be observed in abundance from close vantage points around Etosha’s famous waterholes, Okaukuejo, Okondeka and Halali. At night some of these areas are floodlit to reveal the secret nocturnal life of many different species. Sitting metres away, you can watch great dramas unfold under the moonlight as big cats come to drink with antelope or a pair of rhinos dance out their stirring courtship ritual.
To the west of Etosha lies Damaraland, where you can experience the unforgettable activity of tracking desert elephants and black rhino through ancient dry riverbeds and hauntingly beautiful moonscapes. You can take walks around rock-art sites and petrified forests here, too: this is a chance to truly absorb the sense of timelessness that these landscapes exude.
This is a place where in a seemingly barren landscape you can suddenly be in the midst of migrating monarch butterflies. Untrammelled and empty yet constantly surprising, Namibia is renowned for its striking luxury lodges and tented camps in the most remote and seemingly inaccessible environments. Namibia brings together in perfect harmony an African safari experience that combines the raw wildness of nature with true comfort and sophistication.