Spotting elephants and cheetahs as you cruise across sparse African terrain is the adventure of a lifetime and an experience that many people include on their bucket list. And while the country of Namibia certainly gives its tourist the opportunity to see Africa’s lush wildlife, the attractions in Namibia consist of so much more than just safaris. Whether you are part of a large group or are adventuring solo, visiting Namibia will give you the opportunity to absorb its rich history and bask in its beautiful landscapes.
Take in Namibian history in Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia, and home to more than 325,000 people. While walking around city streets may not be most people’s idea of an African vacation, tourist to the country should spend time checking out some of the most historic attractions in Namibia. An absolute must-see includes Alte Feste, a fortress built during Germany’s colonization of the area during the late 19th century. The building, the oldest standing in the area, has been converted into the National Museum.
Of course, if the city gets to be too much, you can always reconvene with nature with a visit to Parliament Gardens. The park, an old olive grove, is home to many monuments honoring the history of the country, along with plenty of beautiful flora. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch the local College of the Arts hosting “Theatre in the Park,” which they perform twice a month. While it may not be what comes to mind when most hear the words “Namibian vacation,” visiting the country’s capital city is a must for any traveler.
Experience the stark beauty of Fish River Canyon
If you dream of the opportunity to truly ‘rough it,’ then the Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail may be the perfect attraction in Namibia for you. The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa, and hiking is permitted from 1 May to 15 September. The full trail is 88 kilometres and takes roughly 5 days to complete. Not only is the terrain rugged, but hikers must carry their own supplies as there are no amenities provided on the trail; all sleeping is done out of doors.
Of course, the full trail may be slightly too intense for some holiday travelers. With the help of a number of shortcuts on the trail, hikers can decide exactly how far and how long they want to travel on foot while taking in the scenery.
Visit Sossusvlei, home of the most iconic attractions in Namibia
Sossusvlei is a white, salt and clay pan and the home to Namibia’s red dunes. Part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, it is essential for any tour of the attractions in Namibia. Photography professionals and amateurs alike will be amazed by the beautiful shots taken in the morning and evening light.
If you’d rather not drive to the different scenic locations, it’s possible to fly over the dunes. You can choose to travel in a small plane or in a hot air balloon to get a breathtaking overhead view of the dunes.
Explore the wilderness of Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is much closer to what many will think of when they hear that you’re taking in the attractions in Namibia. The park is home to more than 100 different species of mammals including the African Bush elephant, Angolan giraffe, Southwest African lion, spotted hyena, meerkat, and South African cheetah, not to mention more than 300 species of birds.
No matter what time of the year you plan on visiting the Etosha National Park, you will have unique access to a range of wildlife. The winter dry season means more concentrated animals congregating at the water holes, while the summer rainy season can mean newborn animals and many migratory species of birds.
Relax and unwind in Walvis Bay
After spending so much time in the natural world, a traveler may want to experience some of the more civilized attractions in Namibia. Walvis Bay is a small city of roughly 100,000 people. The area is perfect for experiencing many outdoor sports including surfing, swimming, angling, sailing, sandboarding, and golf. View days in the small city would be the perfect resting stop before continuing on to experience more of Namibia’s wildlife.
Brave the legendary Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast gained world renown and its name in John Henry Marsh’s book about the shipwreck of the Dunedin Star. Today, the coast is still peppered with the remains of old shipwrecks. The old ships make a perfect habitat for the Cape fur seals that live along the Namibian coastline. While recently more surfers crash against the waves than boats, the landscape is among the most beautiful of the attractions in Namibia. No visit to the country would be complete without a visit to the dangerously breathtaking national park.
Whether you’ve already started planning a holiday to Namibia or have just always dreamed of taking an African safari, the attractions in Namibia are the perfect destination no matter what you’re looking to experience. You can take in the culture and history of the city in Windhoek, view diverse ranges of wildlife in the multitude of national parks, or spend a relaxing day in one of the smaller coastal cities. If you’ve always dreamed of spending your holiday in Africa, Namibia is the next destination for you.
This article was written by Abigail Hemmen, savvy travel blogger at asabbatical.com