Of all the ways to comprehend the vastness of the desert and marvel at the play of light on the dunes, it’s hard to beat the truly magical experience of witnessing sunrise over the Namib from a hot-air balloon. True, it doesn’t come cheap, but if you only splurge on one activity during your trip, this should be it. Though you’ll only spend around an hour in the air, the whole event lasts several hours, starting with a pick-up around an hour before dawn, followed by a safety briefing, then the balloon envelope is inflated, you clamber aboard and lift off. To the west the dune sea ripples away towards the coast while the Naukluft Mountains stand guard to the east. As you float upwards, you can clearly make out the shapes of the various inselbergs below and track herds of springbok or solitary gemsbok as they trek across the desert. On landing, you can enjoy a sumptuous champagne breakfast before being driven back to your lodgings.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

05 Jul 2017 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook