Best places in Namibia - highlights not to be missed!

It's easy to see why Namibia is a top African Safari destination with its strange and dramatic landscapes, game-rich wilderness areas and colourful cultures.

A land of stark contrasts and striking scenery, Namibia is a very family-friendly and safe travel destination. From the ancient Namib Desert and rugged Skeleton Coast to stark Damaraland and famous Etosha Park - Namibia is a mesmerizing and unique African travel destination with something to offer everyone. Here we explore a few of the best Namibia attractions for your travels.

Best Namibia Highlights & Destinations:

1. Etosha National Park

Namibia’s premier game park, Etosha National Park is the best place in Namibia for wildlife safaris. The endless flat plains of the arid salt pan, which dominates the park, provide the setting for a spectacular scenic journey and optimal visibility for spotting wildlife.

Etosha's wild animals can be sighted congregating at the waterholes scattered across this vast 22 270 km² wilderness area in northern Namibia. Etosha Park is home to around 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, even a species of fish.

An accessible game viewing destination set in unusual landscapes, this is a popular Namibia destination for photographers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Etosha Park in Namibia

Affordable Etosha Camping & Lodge Safaris:

Also, browse our African Budget Safaris departing from Windhoek for more options.

2. The Namib Desert

Arguably the most famous Namibia destination the Namib Desert is the most iconic attraction in the country.

The Namib Desert is one of the most ancient and expansive deserts in the world. An alluring travel destination, home to shifting ochre dunes, barren pans and strange inhabitants. This inhospitable terrain captures one's imagination with its silent dune fields and haunting solitude, remaining almost completely uninhabited by humans to this day.

Namib Desert Highlights include the Sossusvlei Dunes, the highest sand dunes in the world, reaching up to 300m high. The orange-red iconic Namibian desert dunes of Sossusvlei are the top attraction in the Namib.

The Sesriem Canyon is the next most popular travel destination in the Namib Desert. Sesriem is a natural canyon created by the erosive action of the Tsauchab River flowing through the sedimentary rock over millions of years. Visitors can walk along the floor of this narrow canyon, taking a dip in the strings of cool pools when water levels are high enough. The dramatic Sesriem Canyon is only 2 meters wide in places, about 1 kilometre long and up to 30 meters deep.

Dead Vlei, located near Sossusvlei, is another well-known safari stop in the Namib Desert. Dead Vlei is a dried-up marsh, where the cracked earth of arid pans contrasts sharply with the skeletons of camel thorn trees reaching up into the open desert skies. The remains of scorched trees in the white clay pan at Dead Vlei are said to be around 900 years old.

Dune 45, said to be one of the most photographed sand dunes in the world, lies between Sesriem and Sossusvlei in the Namib. This well-known dune towers about 100 meters high and is a very popular climb offering spectacular desert views.

The Namib stretches along the Atlantic Coast of Namibia from the northern Cape Province of South Africa through to southern Angola in the north. The central Namib Desert is protected by the Namib Naukluft Park, one of Africa's largest national parks.

Namib Desert Namibia

Namib Desert Camping & Lodge Safaris:

3. Damaraland & Kaokoveld – Kunene Region

Kunene sits firmly on the list of top Namibia highlights, precisely because it is so remote and different. This spell-binding region of north-central Namibia offers rugged and surreal landscapes dotted with fascinating geological and archaeological sites.

Large granite boulders and rocky hills rise sharply out of the arid plains in this wide-open landscape. The best-known features being towering Spitzkoppe and the Brandberg Massif, the highest peak in Namibia. The wild Damaraland region is known for its ancient rock paintings and engravings, including the White Lady of Brandberg and the rock art at Twyfelfontein. 

Damaraland and Koakoveld are home to the famous nomadic desert elephants, as well as black rhino and a rich variety of other wild animals.

The Kunene Region offers a unique cultural experience as the territory of the traditional, nomadic Himba Tribes of Namibia. Other highlights in the Kunene Region include the Vingerklip limestone rock stack, the Organ Pipes stone pillars and the Petrified Forest of huge fossilized trees around 200 million years old.

Kunene Region Camping & Lodge Safaris:

4. Swakopmund & the Skeleton Coast

The coastal town of Swakopmund is the most popular seaside holiday destination in Namibia, renowned for its wide variety of adventure activities.

Known as the Adventure Capital of Namibia, Swakopmund is a charming travel destination with a quaint colonial German atmosphere. There is plenty to do and see in this lively seaside town, from sightseeing and eating out to outdoor adventure activities, such as sandboarding, bungee jumping and scenic flights over the Skeleton Coast.

The Skeleton Coast, stretching north from Swakopmund along the rugged Atlantic shoreline, is named after skeletons of shipwrecks and bleached animal bones found along this dangerous coast.

The icy and treacherous waters pound the rugged coastline making for breathtaking scenery here. The Skeleton Coast is known for its shore-based fishing and the Cape Cross Seal Colony, one of the largest in the world.

Swakopmund & Skeleton Coast Safaris:

Alternatively, browse our upcoming tours departing from Swakopmund.

More Top Namibia Destinations to visit:

  • Quiver Tree Forest - An ancient forest of Aloe 'trees' around 200-300 years old. This Complete Namibia Camping Safari includes a visit to the Quiver Tree Forest in southern Namibia.

  • Ai-Ais Hot Springs - Ai-Ais Hotsprings is the site of a major sulphurous hot spring situated in beautiful mountain scenery at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon. Ai-Ais has thermal baths, a heated swimming pool and a cool outdoor pool. Visit Ai-Ais on this Southern Namibia Camping Safari.

  • Waterberg Plateau & Hoba Meteorite - The Waterberg Plateau is a national park that rises high above the surrounding plains of the Kalahari in Eastern Namibia. The park provides sanctuary for rare and endangered Namibian species, as well as being of geological and historical interest. The Hoba Meteorite is the world's largest meteorite, estimated to have fallen to earth about eighty thousand years ago. The 10-day Explore Namibia Lodge Safari includes the Waterberg Plateau.

How to get to the Best Places in Namibia

The capital, Windhoek is the primary starting and ending point for travelling Namibia. Most of our Namibia Tours start and end in Windhoek (see Windhoek tour departures) or Swakopmund (upcoming Swakopmund departures). These Namibia Safaris often visit both Etosha Park and the Namib Desert. 

Check out all of our budget-friendly Namibia Tours here.

Several of our longer budget safaris and overland tours visit numerous Namibia highlights, including attractions such as the Fish River Canyon in the south, and the Waterberg Plateau and Etosha parks in the north. For longer trip options, including Namibia, see our upcoming tours departing from Cape Town and Victoria Falls tour departures.

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