It’s not possible to see everything that Namibia has to offer in one trip – and we don’t suggest you try. What follows is a selective and subjective taste of the country’s highlights, including cultural encounters, spectacular wildlife, unforgettable activities and extraordinary desert landscapes.

1 Sossusvlei

The Namib Desert at its most spectacular: the vibrantly coloured, giant sand dunes, alongside eerie mineral-encrusted vleis, are an awe-inspiring sight.

Things not to miss in Namibia: Deadvlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia.© evenfh/Shutterstock

2 Fish River Canyon

Marvel at this breathtaking serpentine chasm – one of the world’s largest canyons – as it carves its way through the desert.

Fish River Canyon in Namibia© Tilo G/Shutterstock

3 Walvis Bay Lagoon

A chance to gaze across a pink carpet of flamingos, and kayak among playful seal pups.

4 Stargazing

Namibia’s unpolluted atmosphere makes for a truly glittering night sky and a chance to explore the Milky Way through a telescope.

 5 Rafting the Zambezi

Get the adrenaline pumping, rafting or bodyboarding down the world’s most famous white-water river.

Etosha National Park

The country’s premier national park is chock-full of large mammals and colourful birds, and has a vast, shimmering saline pan at its centre.

Things not to miss: Zebras fighting in Etosha National Park, Namibia.© Christin Winter/Shutterstock 

7 Craft shopping

Windhoek and Swakopmund offer plenty of choice when it comes to souvenirs, from soapstone and wood carvings to textiles and basketry.

Things not to miss: Hand made souvenirs on the craft market in Swakopmund, Namibia.© Oleg Znamenskiy/Shutterstock

San rock art

Namibia boasts an abundance of ancient rock art tucked away in caves and among boulders, or spread across bare rock faces.

Swakopmund

Not your average seaside resort, with palm-lined boulevards fronting freezing seas, and some excellent food accompanied by German-style beer.

Things not to miss: Colonial building (Hohenzollernhaus) in Swakopmund, Namibia.© Fotografie-Kuhlmann/Shutterstock 

10 Desert-adapted wildlife

Namibia’s least hospitable landscape is home to desert-adapted lion, black rhino and elephant.

Things not to miss: Desert elephant walking in the dried up Hoanib river in Namibia.© Francesco Dazzi/Shutterstock

11 Ancient lifestyles

Learn about the ancient traditions, and modern-day challenges, of the San or the Himba, by spending time in a rural settlement.

Things not to miss: Himba ethnic group Namibia.© francesco de marco/Shutterstock

 

12 Hot-air ballooning

An unforgettable way to appreciate the vastness and beauty of the desert: catch sunrise as you float above the dunes.

Things not to miss: ballon flying, Namibia.© Liz Glasco/Shutterstock 

 

13 Wilderness lodges

An array of desert lodges, like Little Kulala near Sesriem, affords you the chance to get close to nature without sacrificing home comforts.

14 A sunset cruise

There’s no better way to end the day than with a magical sunset cruise along the Zambezi.

Things not to miss: Trees and wooden boat reflected in water at sunset, Zambezi river, Namibia.© EcoPrint/Shutterstock 

 

15 Quiver trees

Southern Namibia’s most emblematic and distinctive plant makes a splendid photo – whatever the angle.

16 Windhoek

Namibia’s scenically situated capital offers a chance to unwind in one its many homely guesthouses, restaurants and vibrant bars.

17 Waterberg

Towering above the surrounding plains, this impressive sandstone plateau offers varied, lush vegetation, great birdwatching and superlative views from the top.

Things not to miss: Panoramic View from the Waterberg Plateau in Namibia.© Prisma Nova Photography/Shutterstock 

 

18 Lüderitz and Kolmanskop

Thanks to its isolated coastal location, Namibia’s best preserved colonial town is relatively tourist free. Don’t miss the abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop, partly submerged in sand.

 

Things not to miss: Kolmanskop ghost town, Namib Desert, Namibia.© Kanuman/Shutterstock

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