The best way to see Namibia is on your own, on a self-drive holiday. Travelling around Namibia is the epitome of freedom and finding meaning in the changing landscapes. There is so much space in this vast West African country, once called South West Africa, that even a 3-week self-drive holiday will not do it justice. Come with us to explore the many places you can see, the many activities you can get involved in and the surreal beauty that continually surrounds you as you drive and drive and drive.
- Go and see the Big Cats at Okonjima Bush Camp
If you want to get really close the big cat predators of Africa, turn to the Waterberg National Park and a place called Otjiwarongo. Here you will find the AfriCat Foundation which “provides an environment for previously non-releasable large carnivores to hone their hunting skills in a 20 000-hectare (50 000 acres) (200km²) nature reserve, on Okonjima.” Carnivores learn to survive on their own so that they can eventually go back to the wilds where they come from. You will learn that “habitat loss is one of the largest threats to the cheetah, wild dog, lion and leopard populations in Namibia” and that “’ livestock and game farms in Namibia number over 7000 and spread over most of the country – the same areas where the majority of these animals exist.”
So book a bed at Okonjima Bush Camp where exclusive chalets feature earthy, ochre walls and khaki-green canvas under thatched roofs. Take time to go tracking leopards from a game-view vehicle, tracking rehabilitated cheetah, spotted hyena and African wild dog on foot or explore the Bushman
- Swakopmund’s Pelican Point
You will be in awe of the nearly 50 000 Cape Fur seals at Swakopmund’s famous Pelican Point. Look out too for plenty of Heaviside’s and Bottlenose dolphins, black-backed jackals, flamingos, pelicans and even the brown hyena. At night, watch the bright light as it shines intermittently on the water from the majestic Pelican Point lighthouse nearly 100 years old.
Fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the Swakopmund beachfront when you stay at the Beach Lodge. A stone’s throw away from the sea, this Namibian Bed and Breakfast is an ideal base from which to explore the fascinating region. Swakopmund is a cool respite from the desert heat and guests appreciate the beach angling and deep-sea fishing. Experience the German flavour of the town, a few minutes’ walk from this Namibian hotel – go shopping, eat traditional food or just take a stroll along the windswept beaches. Enjoy delicious meals at the Wreck restaurant while soaking up uninterrupted views of the sea.
- Red Dunes of Sossusvlei
Imagine yourself on guided trips to the huge red dunes of Namibia’s famous Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon. Or on guided nature drives into Namib Naukluft Park at sunset. At this amazing natural phenomenon, you can enjoy nature walks, star gazing, bird watching and game viewing. All if you stay at the one and only Sossus Dune Lodge which specialises in tours of the main dunes and Sesriem Canyon.
Originally the first exclusive lodge to be built by the Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Sossus Dune Lodge is also the only hotel found inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Guests, therefore, have first access to the dunes at Sossusvlei before the gates open in the mornings and after they have closed in the evenings! Travel just four kilometres from the Sesriem gate to accommodation in 25 chalets looking out over the dunes, mountains or canyons.
- Meet the Himba People of Kaokoland
Many travellers choose the rugged purple mountain ranges of the Kaokoland for their Namibian holidays. Because from here they can see the rare desert-dwelling elephant and the black rhino. And they can experience the home of the nomadic Himba people who continue their nomadic, traditional way of life no matter what. You will get the opportunity to meet them and learn about their lifestyle and traditions in this harsh bit of Namibian desert with its huge boulders on the Kunene River.
You can go boating (water levels permitting), walking and revel in carefully guided quad-bike excursions that tread lightly on the dunes. You will be staying at paradise in northern Namibia that is so remote that only a light aircraft or a hardy 4×4 vehicle can get to it – Serra Cafema Camp. Travel to this chic camp where 8 thatched villas feature a blend of rustic and luxury elements. Its Portuguese name originates from the mountains that dominate the northern skyline. Guests fall asleep to the sound of rushing water, while by day they explore one of the driest deserts in the world.
- Go Bird Watching in Mahango National Park
Settle into the glorious Mahangu Safari Lodge on the western bank of the Okavango River, next to the Mahango Game Park and Bwabwata National Park. What a great place to stop over if you are coming from the Okavango Delta or Victoria Falls. Choose from 10 bungalows or a campsite with 6 safari tents. Meaning ‘Food of the People’, this lodge and river are set amongst shady Jackalberry trees and wild date palms.
Fish roam the waters of the picturesque river and a lodge is a meeting place for people passing through. Sit under the thatch in the lounge-bar-dining area and soak up the views of the Okavango River and Caprivi National Park. The fireplace provides warmth in winter and the swimming pool coolness in summer! Animal heads look down from the walls next to pictures of successful fishing trips. Meals are served on two sunset decks on the river where birders and photographers will be in their element. Enjoy the lush garden with lovely green lawns under mature indigenous trees.
- Klein Aus-Vista – Wild Horses of Namibia
Seeing the wild horses of the Namib is a memory made forever. See them gallop across the Namib Desert in small groups, grazing and talking their own language. This desert has become their home over many decades and they regularly come to drink at the trough at Garub, about 20km from Klein Aus-Vista. Take pictures and watch the horses from a hide nearby.
Find the Klein Aus-Vista near Namibia’s Diamond Restricted Area (Sperrgebiet) off the beaten track where huge spaces, endless starry skies and a silence so thick it becomes loud reign. Stay in Eagle’s Nest Chalets, a 15 minutes’ drive from the reception at the Desert Horse Inn. The 8 natural rock chalets are tucked in against a mountain slope between massive granite boulders with infinite views of the desert.