What to See in Namibia

In the central part of the country at an altitude of 1650 m is the capital of Namibia – the city of Windhoek . Windhoek was founded in 1840 and is now a modern city, where numerous colonial-era buildings and modern buildings coexist. The architectural monuments of the colonial era include three castles that were built at the beginning of the 20th century: Heinzburg, Sanderburg and Schwerinsburg; the white-stone Old Fort “Alte Feste” (1890), “Tintenpalas”, where the Parliament of Namibia and the neo-Gothic Christukirche church sits. In addition, in Windhoek it is worth walking along the pedestrian Post Street Mall, where there are many shops and souvenir shops, visit the Namibia Crafts Center in Katatura and Zoo.

According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, the capital is surrounded by bushy savannas, which are called the bushveld, and a variety of parks and private farms, where safaris are offered to tourists. West of Windhoek, on the slopes of the Homas Hochland mountains, is Dan Vilhun Park.an area of ​​about 4000 hectares. Despite its small territory, the park is very popular among tourists. Firstly, it is located not far from the capital, and, secondly, a wide variety of animals live here. The park has hiking trails (tourists can travel on them safely, as there are no predators) and a 6.4 km safari road. There is also an artificial lake in the park, around which there are bungalows and picnic areas. The lake is home to dozens of bird species. In the park, you can see animals such as kudu, wildebeest, eland, gemsbok and impala, the rare Hartman mountain zebra and giraffes. Also, tourists are attracted to these places by the clearest sky, which is considered the third cleanest in the world. Many hotels This region has telescopes with which you can see all the variety of the starry sky. For stargazing, Hacoms Farm is the most popular with a variety of telescopes from truly huge professional ones to small amateur ones. Rehoboth thermal resort with a spa center is located 90 km south of Windhoek. The city of Rehoboth was founded in 1844. Since then, and to this day, “Basters” (descendants of the representatives of the Nama people and the first colonists) live here. In the city, the Rehoboth Museum is interesting, which tells about the history of the settlement of this region. 120 km southeast of Windhoek, it is worth visiting the longest cave in Namibia – Arnhem Cave. Its length is 4.5 km. It is dry inside the cave, so there are no stalactites and stalagmites here, but there are small lakes and deposits of bat droppings, which is widely used in local agriculture. This is the only cave in Namibia equipped for organized tourism. It is also possible to travel southwest from Windhoek on the Gamsberg Highway, which links the central region with the Namib Desert.

About 70 km north of Windhoek is the city of Okahandya., where the grave of Samuel Maharero, the leader of the Herero people, the first rebel in the early 20th century against the colonists, is located. The city is also known for its souvenir markets. 3.5 km south of Okahandya, near the dam built in 1970 on the Swakop River, there is a small Won Bach park. The reservoir, formed after the construction of the dam, is a great place for fishing (carp, perch and barbel are found here) and water sports: water skiing, windsurfing, yachting and boating. A small reserve has also been created here, where various species of antelopes, Hartman’s mountain zebra, monkeys and ostriches live. Gross-Barmen thermal resort is worth visiting 10 km southwest of Okahandya., functioning on the basis of local hot springs with water temperature up to +65 degrees. The waters of these springs help in the treatment of rheumatism. The resort features outdoor and indoor pools, as well as campsites and bungalows.

If you follow the highway further north from Okahandya, you can get to the city of Otchiwarongo , which is the starting point for traveling through the northern part of Namibia. Otjiwarongo was founded in 1892. When visiting Otjiwarongo, it is worth visiting the Cheetah Conservation Center and the Crocodile Farm, as well as relaxing at the many guest farms and rest houses located in the middle of the bushy savannahs.

Waterberg Plateau Park is located 60 km east of Otchiwarongo. It was founded in 1970 on the territory of the rocky massif of the same name on an area of 40 thousand hectares. The vegetation within the park ranges from acacia savannas at the foot of the plateau to dry deciduous forests and meadows at its summit. It is home to 25 species of mammals, including white and black rhinoceros, sand antelope, buffalo, desert gazelle, wild boar, baboon, giraffe, leopard and hyena, and more than 200 species of birds, including a rare species of bearded eagle. There are many hiking trails throughout the park. If you go from Otchiwarongo further north along the highway, then you will get to the city of Tsumeb . The Tsumeb Museum, which tells about the history of the region, and the Center for Applied Arts, which exhibits products of local craftsmen, are of interest here. Southeast of Tsumeb near the town of Grootfontein is one of the largest meteorite craters in the world with the largest known meteorite. The Hoba meteorite fell to Earth about 80,000 years ago. Its dimensions are 3 X 2.5 m, and the weight reaches 55 tons. Northwest of Tsumeb is the eastern entrance to perhaps the most famous attraction in Namibiawhere all tourists go first – Etosha National Park. The park was created in 1907 and now covers an area of 22 thousand square meters. km. The natural complexes of saltwort semi-deserts, thorny thickets of acacia, forests of the mopan tree, swamps, grassy plains and the water area of the largest salt marsh in Africa, Etosha, are protected here. The salt marsh is located in the eastern part of the park in an endorheic tectonic basin with an area of 5,000 sq. km. During a drought, its bottom is covered with a lime-clay crust, and mirages appear in the hot air. During the rainy season, the hollow is filled with water, forming dozens of small lakes. In the Etosha National Park you can see the entire diversity of the animal world of Namibia: 114 species of mammals (oryx, wildebeest, springbok, dikdik, impala, black rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, cheetah, leopard), 340 species of birds (ostrich, pink flamingo, pelican, marabou) and 50 species of snakes. Moreover, the best places for observing animals are the banks of small reservoirs, where thirsty animals come to drink. Some reservoirs are illuminated at night for the convenience of photography. The administrative center of the park is the village of Okaukuejo, where campsites are equipped. You can also stay in the villages of Namutoni and Halali located on the territory of the park and in the guest farms and hotels surrounding the park.

North of the Etosha National Park, the Ovamboland region stretches to the border with Angola. where the Ovambo people live. The administrative center of Ovamboland is the city of Oshakati . Tourists come here to get acquainted with the culture of the locals and their main crafts. The most popular excursions are trips to the Nakambale Museum, located 10 km south of the city of Ondangwa in the building of the first Finnish Christian mission in Ovamboland, which tells about the culture of the northern part of Namibia, to the Ndilimani Pottery Center, 20 km northwest of Oshakati, visiting located to the west Oshakati villages, where representatives of the still existing tribal union of Uukvaluudhi, ruled by the king, live, and of course visits to traditional markets.

In the northern part of Ovamboland, on the border with Angola, on the Kunene River, there are picturesque Rukan waterfalls. The waterfalls are most beautiful during the rainy season, when a powerful stream of water 700 m wide falls from a height of 120 m.

The Kunene River from the Rukan Falls to the Atlantic coast forms part of the northern border of Namibia. This is one of the few rivers in Namibia, the course of which is filled with water throughout the year. Unlike the southern Orange River, crocodiles live in Kunene, so you can’t swim in its waters. From the banks of Kunene southward to the Damara Plateau extends the Kaokoveld region, where the Himba people live. Kaokoveld, one of the last regions of Namibia left untouched by human activity. As well as in Ovamboland, traditional villages of indigenous people are interesting in Kaokoveld. You can also learn about the culture of this area in the administrative center – the city of Opuwo, where the Kunene Craft Center is located. Be sure to go to the Epupa waterfalls, which are considered one of the most beautiful in Namibia. A cascade of waterfalls formed on the Kunene River. The total height of the cascade is 60 m, length – 1.5 km. The Epupa Falls are surrounded by majestic baobab trees and rock formations that originated over 2 million years ago.

In the east of the northern part of Namibia, the areas of Kavango, Bushmanland and the Caprivi Strip stretch.

The Kavango region is bounded from the north by the fourth largest river in Africa, the Okavango. From the administrative center – the city of Rundu – excursions along the river by boats and canoes, fishing tours and hiking along the river valley are arranged. Crocodiles live in the Okavango River, so swimming is prohibited here. In the eastern part of Kavango, on the border with Botswana, is Kaudom Park, which is occupied by the sands of the Kalahari desert and dry deciduous forests. The park is inhabited by a rare African wild dog, elephants, giraffes, wildebeest and saber-horned antelope, hyenas, leopards, lions and about 300 species of birds, including birds of prey. Bushmanland stretches from the southern border of the park.inhabited by Bushmen. The infrastructure here is poorly developed, only from the capital of the region – the city of Tsumkwe – safari tours are organized to the traditional villages of the Bushmen, where you can watch how they hunt.

In the extreme northeast of Namibia, a narrow strip about 450 km long and 100 km wide between the borders with Angola and Botswana stretches the Caprivi Strip region. The nature of the Caprivi Strip is very different from the nature of other parts of Namibia. There is a significant amount of precipitation here, and there are many rivers here. The natural boundaries of the Caprivi Strip are four rivers: Okavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi. During the rainy season, most of the area is flooded. The Caprivi Strip is a land of swamps, lakes and dense forests. This is one of the best places in the country for bird watching, fishing and canoeing and rafting. The administrative center of the Caprivi Strip is the city of Katima Mulilo . In the city and its environs, tourists are offered many places to stay: tourist camps, guest houses and holiday homes. Tours depart from here not only along the Caprivi Strip, but also to the majestic Victoria Fallslocated on the border of Zimbabweand Zambia. Of the protected areas of this part of Namibia, one can single out the Mahango and Caprivi reserves stretching along the Okavango River and two national parks – Mudumu and Mamili. Along the Atlantic coast of the country from the Kunene River in the north to the Orange River in the south, the Namib Desert

stretches in a narrow strip up to 140 km wide.. It is the oldest and coldest desert in the world. Its age is about 60-80 million years. The Namib Desert “owes” its existence to the cold current of Benguela. Precipitation here falls no more than 25 mm per year, and most of it falls in the form of thick fogs that envelop the coast. It would seem that life is impossible in such conditions, but the flora and fauna of the desert is quite diverse. Numerous insects and reptiles, spiders and rodents live here, antelopes, zebras, desert elephants, giraffes, rhinos, jackals, hyenas and lions gather near temporary reservoirs during a drought, and on the coast there are rookeries of Cape seals, as well as many birds: pelicans, flamingos, cormorants, gulls and spectacled penguins. The symbol of the Namib Desert is the Welwitschia dwarf tree. Its trunk is half hidden in the sand and rises 20-30 cm above it. The main root goes up to 3 m deep, extracting moisture there, and side roots absorb moisture from the surface of the earth. Velvichia leaves can reach a length of 8 m and a width of 2 m. In the Namib desert, you can see bizarre rocks formed as a result of weathering, canyons of drying rivers, sand dunes up to 300 m high, which are the highest in the world, and oases.

In the northern part of the Namib Desert, from the Kunene River, the Skeleton Coast extends 700 km south. The name speaks for itself: this part of the coast is known for numerous shipwrecks. The frequent fogs of this region from ancient times led astray sailors whose ships settled on reefs. The lack of drinking water and harsh climatic conditions did not leave people a chance to survive. The remains of the lost ships can be seen to this day.

The northern part of the Skeleton Coast from Torra Bay to the very border with Angola is covered by the National Park “Skeleton Coast” area of 16000 sq. km. The territory of the park is divided by Move Bay into two zones: southern and northern. You can enter the northern part of the park only with special permission and only as part of groups of tourists organized by licensed travel agencies. The Skeleton Coast Camp base camp was built here to accommodate tourists. While traveling you will see oryxes, springboks, gemsboks, kudu, jackals, hyenas, desert elephants, black rhinos, giraffes, lions and ostriches. Access to the southern part of the park is free, mostly people come here to go fishing. The main fishing spots are Torra Bay and Terrace Bay. There are many campsites in Tora Bay, where fishermen from all over the Earth stop in December. In addition, Terrace Bay is known for its “Roaring Dunes” suitable for sandboarding. When descending on the board from these dunes, a sound similar to the roar of an airplane taking off appears.

From the south, the Skeleton Coast National Park is adjacent to the West Coast Recreational Zone, stretching for 200 km between the Ugab and Swakop rivers. Cape Cross is located in the northern part of this zone.. One of the largest Cape seal colonies in Africa lives here. During the breeding period in November-December, about 150,000 individuals of this species accumulate on the cape. Cape Cross is also a historic site. The Portuguese navigator Diogo Can landed here in 1468. The traveler’s team erected a 2-meter stone cross here, which has survived to this day.

To the east of Cape Cross rises the Damara Plateau with the highest point in the country – Mount Brandberg (2606 m). Brandberg is not included in the West Coast Recreational Zone, but still, tourists traveling along the Skeleton Beach are offered excursions to the main attractions of this mountainous country. Over 40,000 prehistoric inscriptions and drawings have been discovered in the local gorges. The most famous group of petroglyphs is located in a place called Twyfelfontein, the age of rock inscriptions and drawings is about 6000 years. Also in the vicinity of Mount Brandberg it is worth visiting the Stone Forest reserve, which protects fifty petrified tree trunks up to 30 m long and 200 million years old, and rock formations “Organ Pipes”, which arose about 120 million years ago as a result of volcanic activity.

60 km south of Cape Cross is a great place for fishing – Henties Bay, which has been known among fishing enthusiasts since 1929. Now Henties Bay is a modern resort with hotels and bungalows, shops, restaurants and bars.

On the outskirts of the West Coast Recreational Zone, about 70 km from Henties Bay and 360 km west of Windhoek, Namibia ‘s most famous coastal resort, Swakopmund , is located. It was founded in 1892 by German colonists and for many years was the largest port of the colony. The small buildings of the colonial era, with which the resort is built up, make Swakopmund look like a small Bavarian village. In the center Swakopmund is home to numerous shops, restaurants, bars and casinos. You can visit Swakopmund all year round. Coastal waters in this part of the coast are the warmest: in summer they warm up to +20 degrees. However, not only beach holidays attract tourists here, vacationers are offered the most incredible entertainment: sandboarding on the sand dunes, ballooning and paragliding over the hot desert, jeep and ATV safaris, sea cruises, yacht trips and fishing.

30 km south of Swakopmund is the main port of the country – Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay is also very popular with tourists: here, as in Swakopmund offers a lot of entertainment. In addition, herds of whales are often observed in Walvis Bay, and many birds live on the coast, including pelicans and flamingos. You can also watch birds in Sandwich Bay, located 40 km to the south.

In the southern part of the Namib Desert, on an area of ​​50 thousand square meters. km, stretches Namib-Naukluft National Park. It is the largest national park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. The park was opened in 1979. The local landscapes, which are commonly called “lunar”, vary from majestic mountain ranges to desert plains and sand dunes, from canyons to lagoons. Here, oddly enough for such a harsh climate, you can see antelopes, zebras, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hyenas, jackals and lions, as well as the national symbol Namibia – Welwitsch. The Naukluft limestone mountains rise in the center of the park. Their height reaches 2 km. Hiking trails with a length of 55, 61 and 120 km have been laid along the Naukluft mountains. Hiking takes 4 to 8 days and is considered one of the most exciting in Namibia. Traveling along the longest trail (120 km) is suitable only for trained tourists. In the mountains, you can see Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, springbok, oryx, clipspringer pygmy antelope, stingbok, leopard and many birds.

At the eastern entrance to the Namib-Naukluft National Park near the town of Sesriem there is a canyon of the same name with a length of about 1 km and a depth of up to 30 m. The canyon was formed by the seasonal river Tsaushab, which during the rainy season fills the basin located in the national park in the town of Sossusvlei with water. At this time, many flamingos settle on the banks of the reservoir. But still, the main attraction of Sossusvlei is the chain of the highest sand dunes in the world. Their heights reach 300 m. The dunes are most beautiful in the morning and late in the evening.

What to See in Namibia