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With an average of just five people for every square mile, Namibia is the second-least-densely populated country in the world. And one can easily see why: the bulk of the country is taken up by desert and so outside of Namibia’s short rainy season, it’s a very arid place.
One could drive for hours straight and not see a single human, car, or building over that time. If you’re an introvert with a love of wide, open spaces, you won’t get enough of the isolation.
Known as the land of endless horizons, Travel in Namibia is unlike travelling anywhere else on earth. The epic landscapes and great big distances of this country will leave you feeling both insignificant, small, in absolute awe and carefree and at every turn. A visit to Namibia is well worth it; It's epic in every single way.
Vast and breathtakingly beautiful, wild and dramatic; from the depths of Africa’s largest canyon to the soaring dunes, Namibia is a must-see. And what's more, Namibia was rated the #2 best value destination in Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel 2017' which means it is very affordable right now.
Here are some breathtaking places to visit in Namibia:
Make time to visit the red desert dunes of Sossusvlei, If you only have time to see one thing in Namibia.
Considering the country in its entirety is remarkably beautiful, it’s a big call. But not many places on earth can boast a landscape quite as special as the one inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
How it feels when you stand before a towering orange sand dune stretching some 300m towards the bright blue sky or touch the shifting sands of the world’s oldest desert, the Namib, or walk amongst 900-year-old fossilised Acacia trees in the vast white clay pan of Deadvlei – can’t be described in words.
During sunrise is the best time to see the dunes in all their glory; when the light coming from the east paints the dunes in vivid orange and black contrasts. You can get in a little workout by climbing Dune 45 at sunrise, the most accessible. Explore Big Daddy or Deadvlei late in the afternoon, when the golden light again illuminates the area in all its magnificence.
2. FISH RIVER CANYON
Legend has it that this dramatic void that snakes through the dusty Namibian landscape was whiplashed into existence by the tail of an angry dragon. And it won’t be hard to see why - when you’re standing at the lip of Fish River Canyon.
After the Grand Canyon, the jagged canyon is the second largest in the world and will surely make you feel small in the best possible way. It also counts its birthdays in the league of ‘almost as old as time itself’ at 500 million years old.
Heavy wet season rainfall transforms the Fish River from a series of narrow interconnecting pools on the canyon floor into a raging flash flood and you might also be lucky enough to catch sight of it if you’re there towards the end of summer.
You can take on the challenge of the four-day day Fish River hike that winds along the canyon floor if you’re feeling particularly brave. It will be tough but absolutely unforgettable.
3. SKELETON COAST
An intoxicating mix of bleak desolation, treacherous history and harsh terrain, make the dangerous-sounding ‘Skeleton Coast’ the tourist attraction it is. Here, the wild desert meets the sea - the hot, dry air of the Namib desert colliding with the Atlantic’s cold Benguela current to create a fog that rolls thickly over the sea.
Coupled with strong water currents and a howling wind, it’s little wonder that hundreds of unlucky ships (and their seafarers) have met their demise along this coast over the centuries. While the skeletons of whales and seals litter the shoreline - the last vestiges of the old whaling industry, Some of the shipwrecks are still clearly visible today. To top it off, elephants and desert lions still stalk these dunes as well.
The Skeleton Coast remains some of the most pristine coastal wilderness in Africa- and potentially the whole world, despite its lack of hospitality and eeriness. It is bleak but stunningly beautiful.
4. THE SPECTACULAR SPITZKOPPE
Damaraland, a towering 1987m high granite mountain rises straight out of the desert, is situated In the heart of one of Namibia’s most wild and beautiful landscapes.
Nicknamed the ‘Matterhorn of Africa’ due to its dramatic shape, Namibia’s Spitzkoppe is all that remains of a 700 million-year-old ancient volcano. There’s just as much adventure to be had in the surrounds, though you can climb to the top (with technical know-how and some ropes).
Explore the unique landscape and head out on one of the many hikes; rich vegetation, ancient caves, imposing boulders, and desert plains, or hang out at the Rock Archway taking some epic photos. You can go in search of ancient bush paintings estimated to be up to 6,000 years old if you’re after something a little more cultural.
Then watch the sunset light up the granite boulders with streaks of orange and red before retiring to your campsite under the endlessly starry Namibian sky. The things desert dreams are made of.
5. THE CAPITAL, WINDHOEK
Like most African cities, Windhoek is a mix of colonial history and African urban buzz. Here, you can learn about the country’s rich history, shop till you drop in the many markets, or simply enjoy great food and beer under the ever-present African sun.
Although we don't recommend spending too much time in Windhoek, be sure to check out Christuskirche, the ginger-bread style church in the centre of town, visit the local craft markets in town, have a local ale (or 10) at Joe's beer house, or relax in the African sun at the Parliament gardens.
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