is very different from the typical savanna safari experience. It is much more about remarkable desert scenery and vast empty landscapes, where wildlife interactions are much more infrequent and highly prized.
Namibia is one of the world’s most lightly populated countries. It is a truly special place, one which we absolutely adore and return to as often as we can. We are always amazed at few people choose to travel on safari here, especially given how safe, healthy and cost effective it can be.
The main upsides are the remarkable and diverse desert scenery and the wonderful desert-adapted wildlife, as well as the diverse culture including some very remote and authentic tribespeople.
Additionally Namibia can be accessed by self-drive safari, which means that it can be very economical by comparison with travel in most African countries. It is also virtually malaria free and has a very healthy climate, which makes it particularly suitable for adventurous families with younger children.
Read more about the upsides for travel in Namibia.
The main potential downside is that the wildlife is naturally sparse in these desert environments, mean that this is really not well suited to a first safari.
The driving distances are very substantial, you really do need to be keen on doing a road trip. Also, despite the very low visitor numbers, there can be considerable clustering of vehicles and visitors in core locations such as Etosha and Sossusvlei.
Read more about the downsides for travel in Namibia.
When to visit.
The classic period to visit Namibia is the Jun/Dec dry season, when safari conditions tend to be at their best. However the coastal desert areas, which are generally of most interest, have a completely different climate and are good year round.
Your choice of month will very much depend on the areas that you choose and the specific activities in which you are interested, please refer to the seasonality sections on the individual lodge pages for detailed information.
Read more about when to visit this area.
We subdivide the Namibia into eight regions, each of which has its own very distinctive character and set of attractions. The majority of visitors combine three or more of these regions in their trip.
Namibia Northwest. is by far our favourite part of the country, containing the fabulously wild and remote Skeleton Coast North. the wonderful wildlife of Damaraland North and the remote Himba tribes of Kaokaland West .
Namibia Southwest. is perhaps the best known area, containing the iconic dune landscapes of Sossusvlei and Namibrand .
Namibia Northcentral. is the area which contains the highest concentrations of wildlife in Etosha and the famous cheetah conservation projects at Otjiwarongo .
Namibia South. is an area of very low population density which contains the vast scenery of the Fish River Canyon and the remote port of Luderitz on the infamous Diamond Coast.
Namibia West. is a diverse area which includes the coastal ports of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. the public access section of the Skeleton Coast. Inland lies Twyfelfontein. famous for its rock-art and desert elephants.
Namibia Southeast. is a region of generally less interest, but does include the capital and main port of entry at Windhoek .
Namibia Northeast. is an area which is generally transited through on the way to the Caprivi Strip, but which does offer some superb Bushman interaction in the remote Tsumkwe area.
Namibia Caprivi Strip. is primarily a transport route through to the Zambezi, but does contain some modest safari options at Mudumu and Mamili and Caprivi Eastern Tip .
How we like to include this country in trips.
Although it seems to be surprisingly difficult getting people to safari in Namibia for the first time, the proportion who come back for more is extraordinary.
The most popular way to get around is by road, with an inner network of decent graded roads being safe to self-drive and easily connecting the popular attractions such as Sossusvlei and Etosha .
It is worth noting that the distances in Namibia are very large and self-driving inherently involves covering a lot of road miles, so it is important to deploy enough nights, otherwise you simply spend the whole trip driving. Between 12 and 21 nights is usual.
The main disadvantage of self-drive is that you are fundamentally unable to access most of the more remote and entrancing areas, either because it is logistically too dangerous or because the areas are closed to public access, or both.
Top-end guests tend to fly by light aircraft between a select group of very remote and fabulous camps, typically spending 3 to 4 nights in each. But this tends to work out about three times the price of self-drive.
Typically this might include a lodge in Namibrand. plus two or three of the top camps in the remote Namibia Northwest. as well as the prime safari camps of Okavango Delta in Botswana .
Without doubt the most exciting way to visit Namibia is by means of a private-guided overland expedition, most likely into the fabulously remote Skeleton Coast North. relatively arduous trips which typically last for 5 to 10 nights.
We love to combine elements of self-drive, flying and guided overland safari to create fabulous and very varied trips of 10 to 28 nights. That way you really can get to see the country properly and, inevitably, fall in love with it as much as we have!
Namibia is usually best visited as a stand-alone destination, since it inherently needs a lot of time to explore properly. Only trips of three weeks or longer tend to also include other countries.
The most common exceptions are high-end trips with the safari camps of Botswana to provide a superb ‘delta and desert’ experience.
Visa, health, money.
Here are a few tips on travel issues in Namibia.