Among the most underrated places on the earth is the southern African country of Namibia. Below are some of the best places to visit in Namibia. If you love adventure, nature, and culture then Namibia is the country you should visit if you have crave an African adventure – There are plenty of things to do and places to visit in Namibia that will blow your mind! For tips on planning a trip to Africa make sure to check out my post with tips and a checklist.
Namibia is home to the oldest desert in the world, the tallest sand dunes, the game filled National Parks and games reserves. I have shared some of my adventures sandboarding in Namibia, road-tripping and exploring through Skeleton Coast, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, and Windhoek. There Below is not only a comprehensive list of funfilled and memorable places to visit in Namibia but also pictures of tourist attractions in Namibia.
- 1 ADVENTURE AND ACTIVITIES IN NAMIBIA AWAITING YOUR VISIT
- 2 EXPLORE THE CAPITAL OF NAMIBIA – VISITING WINDHOEK
- 3 31 BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA & THINGS TO DO IN NAMIBIA
- 3.1 DEADVLEI & SOSSUSVLEI
- 3.2 DUNE 45
- 3.3 FISH RIVER CANYON
- 3.4 THE HIMBA PEOPLE
- 3.5 SPITZKOPPE
- 3.6 MOON LANDSCAPES
- 3.7 CHEETAH RESCUE
- 3.8 SKELETON COAST
- 3.9 ATV OVER THE SAND DUNES
- 3.10 KOLMANSKOP SAND COVERED HOUSES
- 3.11 ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
- 3.12 SANDBOARDING DOWN THE WORLD’S LARGEST SAND DUNES
- 3.13 STONE ARCH AT SPITZKOPPE
- 3.14 SEE ANCIENT CAVE PAINTINGS
- 3.15 STARGAZE IN THE DESERT
- 3.16 LEARN A FEW WORDS OF A CLICK LANGUAGE
- 3.17 CHECK OUT THE CLASSIC CARS LEFT IN THE DESERT
- 3.18 JOE’S PLACE IN WINDHOEK SERVE DELICIOUS ZEBRA AND OTHER GAME MEATS
- 3.19 GET LOST ON THE PAN
- 3.20 DAMARALAND
- 3.21 HANGOUT AT THE ETOSHA WATERING HOLE AT SUNSET
- 3.22 SEE PREHISTORIC PETRIFIED FOOTPRINTS
- 3.23 THE TROPIC OF CAPRICORN CROSSING
- 3.24 ENJOY THE SEASIDE CITY OF SWAKOPMUND
- 3.25 DIVE OVER THE NAMIB DESERT
- 3.26 SEE THE WILD HORSES OF AUS, NAMIBIA
- 3.27 CAPRIVI REGION
- 3.28 DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING
- 3.29 WALK THROUGH THE QUIVER TREE FOREST
- 3.30 CHECK OUT KUNENE REGION
- 3.31 BWABWATA NATIONAL PARK
- 4 Planning Your Trip To Namibia
ADVENTURE AND ACTIVITIES IN NAMIBIA AWAITING YOUR VISIT
There are plenty of tours in Namibia, from day tours to multi-day tours. These include safari tours, adventure tours where you can sandboard the dunes, kayaking as well as cultural tours exploring Namibia and its people. To name a few adventure and tours you can experience.
- Dune bashing
- Fat bikes
- Camel riding
- Climbing desert dunes skeleton coast
- Forest walk
- Sky dive over the desert
- Capricon crossing
- Boat ride in crocodile filed river
- Dolphin spotting and flamingoes
- Kayaking to pelican point and visiting seal colonies
EXPLORE THE CAPITAL OF NAMIBIA – VISITING WINDHOEK
There are plenty of cultural attractions in Windhoek to name a few interesting things to do in the capital;
- Visit Nambian natives Kunene region
- Visit Himba tribes (here you must show respect to the tribes and ask before taking pictures of and with tribe people)
- Okakarara settlements
- Visit the Herero people, the Kung San people near Tsumkwe
- Fish river canyon
31 BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA & THINGS TO DO IN NAMIBIA
Namibian tourism and Namibia as a tourist destination, in general, has been growing in popularity over the recent yes with so many beautiful photography locations in Namibia and amazing adventures its no surprise. Below you not only get the best places to visit in Windhoek but places to visit in Swakopmund, amazing places to visit in southern Namibia as well as the northern side of the country. My husband and I had an amazing time exploring with all of our exploring done by road tripping around the country. So if you are worried about safety in Namibia, you need not be!
DEADVLEI & SOSSUSVLEI
This is among the 10 best places to visit in Namibia. One of Namibia’s most iconic sights is the unique dead trees surrounded by red sand dunes. The shifting of these massive sand dunes turned what was once a fertile marsh into a dry barren pan. Over time the winds move the massive dunes and have cut off water to a series of “dead vlei which translated means dead marsh. The ground dried into a cracked and crusty salty-clay and the only thing left is the skeletons of twisted Acacia trees. The trees are thought to be around 1000 years old, they are not petrified, but they have not decomposed because the air is so dry here. A visit to one of the few Deadveli’s is a must-see attraction in Namibia.
Namibia’s most famous dune is none other than Dune 45. One of the best places to go in Namibia and among the popular and beautiful places to visit in Namibia. While Dune 45 is not the tallest in the Namibian desert, it is the most popular because you are allowed to climb this perfectly shaped sweeping sand dune. Every morning a handful of adventure ready visitors make the trek up to the top of this 80 meter (i.e 262 feet) tall dune. While it may look like an easy trek while looking up from the base, climbing Dune 45 at sunrise is no easy task, but worth every step.
FISH RIVER CANYON
One of the largest canyons in the world and the biggest in Africa, located in the very south of Namibia and is a sight to behold. The Fish River has carved out a massive canyon that winds its way through southern Namibia. Fish River Canyon is a great place to hike or just take in a sunset at the rim.
THE HIMBA PEOPLE
One of the most fascinating and rare groups of people that call Namibia home is the red-clay covered tribes of Himba people. They are most well known for their unusually red pigment that comes from spreading red clay on to their face and hair. This tradition dates back hundreds of years and is still practiced today. The clay is used as protection from the sun and pests and each application can stay on for weeks. The women of the Himba people also do not wear any clothing on the top of their bodies only the red clay.
Kaokoland is where the Himba people live. Yes, the real Himba, not the ones available to tourists for photos at the popular hotspots. The Himba are considered to be one of the last tribes of Africa living as they have for centuries with little use of modern technology.
They are frequently the subject of photographers who come from all over the world to capture their images. As a tribe that places importance on tradition of mutual and individual respect, it is expected of tourist and photographers to show high level of respect and cordiality when meeting the Himba People. Also tourist are mostly required to be respectful and seek their consent before taking pictures of and with the Himba tribe people.
Known locally as the Matterhorn of the south, Spitzkoppe is a 120 million year old chunk of granite that sprang up out of the desert floor. Spitzkoppe is a 1784 meter tall rock formation is surrounded by nothing but miles and miles of flat desert. Although it comes up a little short compared to the real Matterhorn, Spitzkoppe is a sight to see in Namibia. If you make a visit staying the night is a must, the stars in the dry desert air will amaze you. You can stay in one of the chalets at Spitzkoppen Lodge.
A short drive outside of Swakopmund will take you to what looks like another world. Among the most interesting places to visit in Namibia. The Moon Landscapes of Namibia look as their name suggests like the surface of the moon. The dusty barren hills full of craggy holes and stones looks like something a lunar lander would encounter.
If you are looking for fun places to visit in Namibia then this has to be up there on the list. Namibia is home to the largest population of wild cheetahs in the world. More than 20% of what’s left of the world’s wild cheetahs can be found here. Unfortunately, cheetahs can sometimes prey on domestic animals like cattle and when that happens they are usually shot or trapped. An effort to save the cheetahs a few groups have started rescue efforts to relocate and rescue cheetahs instead of killing them. While in Namibia you can visit one of these rescues to see the cheetahs and here you can even interact with them.
This has to be in the top 5 places to visit in Namibia and among Namibia’s tourist attractions. The harsh Atlantic Coast of northern Namibia has been dubbed the skeleton coast that is littered with shipwrecks. One of the best tourist attractions and places to visit in Namibia. The coastline quickly rises to a wall of sand hundreds of feet high. The Skeleton Coast is a sight you have to see for yourself. An epic way to experience this piece of Nambia is by helicopter or small plane to get a one of a kind ariel view.
ATV OVER THE SAND DUNES
Need more fun things to do in Namibia, how about riding through dunes? Hop on an ATV to combine the natural beauty of Namibia with adrenaline. Cruise on the expansive dune field up and down the tall dunes. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Namibia. If you ask me it’s one of the best ways to explore the dunes.
KOLMANSKOP SAND COVERED HOUSES
Made famous over the past few years by photographers this small once prosperous mining village is now overtaken by sand. This sand were known to be aided by the numerous sand-storm prevalent in this area.
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Among unmissable the best places to visit in Namibia. This is Namibia’s premier game park is located in the northern part of the country and is full of wildlife and adventure. Inside the park, you can see everything from elephants to lions, even giraffes, and rhino. Due to the arid climate, the animals you’ll find here will be uniquely adapted to life in the desert. The best part of this park is how everything revolves around the watering holes bringing all animals close together to drink. For additional tips on Etosha National Park, check out this guide by The Unending Journey.
SANDBOARDING DOWN THE WORLD’S LARGEST SAND DUNES
If it’s adventure you are after then strap on a Namibian style snowboard and hit the sandy slopes. The only downside is there is no lift between runs making this sport quite the workout, so get ready to shed some calories.
STONE ARCH AT SPITZKOPPE
If you are looking for best photo spots in Namibia and cool places of interest in Namibia then another amazing sight near Spitzkoppe is the giant stone arch. An impossible-looking arch topped with large rocks is a photographers dream. The picture opportunities with the stone arch are endless and amazing, it’s definitely a must-visit in Namibia.
SEE ANCIENT CAVE PAINTINGS
Namibia was home to ancient cultures and there are many sites where cave paintings can be found. If you are visiting Spitzkoppe there is a site called Bushman’s Paradise where you can find drawings of animals dating back thousands of years drawn by man’s first ancestor (early men). Some of the best cave paintings can be found in Namibia’s UNESCO World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein. Here you will find more than 2500 rock carvings and historical rock art in this 6000 year-old site.
STARGAZE IN THE DESERT
The dry cool desert air at night is perfect for gazing up into the night sky. Without moisture in the air, the night sky is crystal clear and stars are very visible. If you want to stargaze in Namibia plan your time during a new moon and the less light in the sky will make the stars shine even brighter.
LEARN A FEW WORDS OF A CLICK LANGUAGE
Another unique thing about Namibia is the many languages spoken in the country. None of which are more fascinating to visitors than a few remaining click languages. Speakers use a clicking or popping sound generated by the cheeks and tongue to accentuate their language. Sit down with a local and learn a few of their sounds and get a deeper look into the culture.
CHECK OUT THE CLASSIC CARS LEFT IN THE DESERT
Another trippy thing to do in Namibia is going on a classic car tour. Scattered all around the country are old cars left in the desert. The dry air keeps them in good shape and they are quite a sight to see among the dry barren landscapes of Namibia. A few places like the Canyon Roadhouse have a small collection of classic and antique cars parked forever in the desert.
JOE’S PLACE IN WINDHOEK SERVE DELICIOUS ZEBRA AND OTHER GAME MEATS
A must stop on any Namibia itinerary is Joe’s Beer House in the capital city of Windhoek. On the menu, you find a very exotic set of animals. Joe is a specialist in Namibian game meats including oryx, Crocodile, ostrich, and even zebra.
GET LOST ON THE PAN
Inside of Etosha National Park, there is a giant salt flat that stretches lot of miles. Here at the Salt flats you can put your photograph skills into use by taking those lovely shot with friends. There are diverse perspective here to toy with, while making your subjects bigger or small by positioning them on the endless horizon of the salt flat of the pan.
One of the most scenic areas of Namibia. A huge, uncharted, rugged and beautiful region that offers travelers an intriguing experience. The region is mostly inhabitted by the tribe called “Damara people” hence the name Damaraland. Here there are twyfelfontein rock engravings made by the infamous Bushmen dating back to thousands of years before civilization. Damaraland also host Namibia’s highest mountain and home to the famous white lady Bushman painting. More captivating is the over a million year old petrified forest.
HANGOUT AT THE ETOSHA WATERING HOLE AT SUNSET
Another top thing to do in Etosha National Park is to hang out by the watering hole located just on the other side of the fences to the park’s campground. At dusk, you’ll find all kinds of species of animals making their way to the waterhole for a drink. The wildlife activity goes on all night with elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and even lions if you are lucky.
SEE PREHISTORIC PETRIFIED FOOTPRINTS
This is no doubt one of the most famous site in Namibia. The unique climate of Namibia has frozen time in a few places around the country. A unique process and petrified footprints of animals and even dinosaurs for millions of years. One of the easiest places to see one of these sites is on a day trip from Swakopmund on ATV. Here you’ll also see footprints of people as well, more on the tour here. If you want to see dinosaur footprints you’ll need to make the trip up to Otjihaenamaparero Farm in northern Namibia. Here there are several examples of dinosaur prints (a ceratosaurus to be specific) frozen forever in 200 million year old sandstone.
THE TROPIC OF CAPRICORN CROSSING
One of the most photographed spots in all of Namibia is the big white sign precisely placed at the 23°26’13.0” South Latitude line along the dirt highway in Namibia. The sign is located along route C14 about an hour outside of Solitaire, Namibia.
ENJOY THE SEASIDE CITY OF SWAKOPMUND
Namibia is the 2nd least populated country in the world, but this seaside city of 44,000 people is a must-visit while in the country. The town has a low key atmosphere with lots of local eateries and specialty shops. Swakopmund is one of the top places to visit in Namibia, it is a great place to get gear and take a break during an adventurous trip to Namibia. Swakopmund is also a great place to base yourself in Namibia with lots of top attractions nearby.
DIVE OVER THE NAMIB DESERT
Get a face full of dry desert air while falling at over 100mph toward the Namib desert when you take the leap while skydiving in Namibia. Probably the most adventurous thing you can do in Namibia is jumping out of a plane. Skydiving here will give you some epic views of the desert and sand dunes along with an adrenaline rush.
SEE THE WILD HORSES OF AUS, NAMIBIA
Near the southern city of Aus, there is a herd of wild horses known as the Namib Desert Horse. They are thought to be some of the last remaining herd of wild horses left in Africa. If you want to see the wild horses a great place to spend the night and get more info on the horses is at Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Campsite.
Going on a boat ride in the crocodile-filled rivers of the Zambezi in the caprivi region. Don’t worry about the crocs, they love to mind their business.
DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING
Take a sea cruise with dolphin & whale; While Namibia is often thought of a desert country, its coastline stands in quite a stark contrast. Another spot on the top ten places to visit in Namibia. Travellers who chose to visit the Skeleton Coast can see the largest fur seal colony in the world, or take a whale and dolphine cruise. You could also be lucky enough to see one of the strangest looking fish known to man. The “mola” fish, also known as Moonfish or sunfish, are common in these waters where they feed of jellyfish.
WALK THROUGH THE QUIVER TREE FOREST
14 km north-east of the town of Keetmanshoop is the Quiver Tree Forest. Namibia is blessed with unique trees and plantation, some are the quiver tree can be found throughout Namibia, but the Quiver Tree Forest boasts 300 of these iconic Namibian trees in a very small area making it the perfect and guaranteed spot to see the trees.
Be sure to watch out for the quivers as they have poison-tipped arrows. Although the poison part makes us quiver at the thought, the trees are considered good luck for those who worship and nurture them.
CHECK OUT KUNENE REGION
Formerly known as Kaokoland, the few visitors that make it to this region of Namibia are rewarded by proximity to desert elephant, giraffe, lions, and the Himba people. Kaokoland also known as Kunene region is one of the last wilderness areas in Southern Africa, but visiting here doesn’t come easy, takes a lot of commitment and courage
You’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle and have to be self-sufficient on your journey north. Roads here are a limited patchwork of dry riverbeds and rough paths that are more often trails or dry riverbeds.
BWABWATA NATIONAL PARK
Unlike most of Namibia, The Bwabwata National Park, which is located in the Caprivi Strip, is fertile and green thanks to the rainfall and the Cunbango River, a river that forms the famed Okavango Delta in Botswana.
Bwabwata is known as the “people’s park” because it is home both to wildlife and several villages in Namibia. Thanks to a progressive restock and relocation program of rare species such as the red lechwe and sitatunga, the park’s non-human population has increased in recent years. This focus on becoming an ecotourism destination has benefitted humans as well by increasing business and creating new jobs for the local population.
The park is a route for migrating elephants traveling from Southern Angola to Chobe National Park in Botswana. Popularly called “the KAZA region”, five countries collaborate to protect the majestic pachyderms’ seasonal path: Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Planning Your Trip To Namibia
So, is Namibia a good place to visit? Yes, it is! I certainly hope the above list Namibia’ must-see places and places of interest have managed to convince you just how amazingly beautiful this country is. Make sure you check out my other tips on how to plan a trip to Africa if you want to feast your eyes on more of the beautiful and famous places in Africa. Also, join my Facebook group on Africa Travel Planning where you can as many questions as you like and get tips on itinerary planning for your trip.
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