THE EPIC PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA
Welcome to the Best Places to visit in Namibia! The epic beauty of Namibia is something that has to be seen with your own eyes and it is almost impossible to describe some of the incredible things to do in Namibia or to take a photo that represents what is in front of us. You must visit Namibia to experience the magic!
You are about to find out the best places to visit in Namibia that you should add to your bucket list. Namibia is one of those places that will leave you in AWE doesn’t matter if you are traveling around the desert, or doing a safari, and you cannot go wrong whichever you choose to visit.
Here you can find the opportunity for you to virtually visit and to explore the top places to visit in Namibia through these amazing Namibia photography journeys, that I took during my 11-days road trip in Namibia.
Namibia is a destination with epic beauty and has some of the planet’s most astonishing landscapes, making the photos you see in books or on the internet inspire you to want to jump on the first plane and travel to see and explore Namibia for yourself!
Namibia is not a trip, it is an experience!
Because of the vast landscape and habitats, the animals of Namibia are able to roam freely without too much human interference Namibia has very diverse wildlife, including the big five and a very rich marine life.
Namibia is certainly one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen – from driving the Namibian desert without seeing another car for hours, to being surrounded by fossilized trees at Deadsvlei. Driving on the coastline on Skeleton Coast where the desert meets the ocean, to the incredible Namibia safari and plains of Etosha National Park inspires awe at the majesty of nature.
Enjoy the best places to visit in Namibia, and safe travels!
- THE EPIC PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA
3-MINUTES AROUND COUNTRY
TOP 15 PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA
A NAMIBIA PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNEY
- SOSSUSVLEI | Climb some of the tallest dunes in the Planet
- DEADSVLEI | Explore the petrified trees
- NAMIB DESERT | Drive on the vast of the desert
- ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK | A bucket list safari in Africa
- KOLMANSKOP | Explore the ghost town
- LUDERITZ | Stop along the road to see the wild horses
- QUiVER TREE FOREST | Rare forest with gigant Aloe Trees
- SANDWICH HARBOR | Where the desert meets the ocean
- SKELETON COAST | The incredible shipwrecks
- SWAKOPMUND | The adventure destination in Namibia
- CAPE CROSS SEAL RESERVE | The largest cape seal colony on the Planet
- FLAMINGO COLONY | The incredible flamingos in Walvis Bay
- DAMARALAND | Explore ancient rock engravings of 6000 years old
- HIMBA VILLAGE | Immerse with the Himba Tribe
- BUSHMEN VILLAGE| Live in the bush with the bushmen
BEST WAY TO VISIT NAMIBIA
RENTING A CAR IN NAMIBIA
In order to visit all these amazing places in Namibia, you will have to ren a car, as public transportation in Namibia is not an option as you can only have access to public transportation in the city (Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis bay, etc) –
You will need to have a 4×4 vehicle to go on your Namibia road trip. It can be confusing renting a car in Namibia since there are different provides, offering different rental car options.
I recommend booking your car way in advance, and you can quote below, to have access to cars from many major companies which are compared and displays the different car sizes and best prices.
NAMIBIA RENTAL CAR DISCOUNT ALLERT!!!
My preferred partner, and who I used for my Namibia road trip itinerary was Zambezi Car Rental. They are a local company that offers 4×4 trucks or 4X4 with tents on top if you are planning to comp around Namibia.
Readers of this blog can get an AWESOME DISCOUNT – just sign in below to receive a discount code directly to your email.
TRAVELING IN NAMIBIA WITH A TOUR
A popular alternative to visit Namibia is to hire an expert local company. They can incorporate any destination into your travels or even any animal species that you hope to see.
You can create a bespoke itinerary, and design your ultimate safari to match your interest, budget, and travel dates. I highly recommend Wild Wonderful World, as they put together incredible itineraries, and part of the profits are used on amazing conservation efforts in Africa.
I have great news for my readers – I have partnered with them to offer a special discount to you! Just sign in below to receive a discount code directly in your email.
CLIMB SOME OF THE TALLEST DUNES ON THE PLANET
One of the most stunning places to visit in the Namibia desert. Sossuvlei is located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
It is almost impossible to describe the epic Namibian desert landscapes, even illustrated through photos. The diversity of the landscapes, makes you wonder if the next stop will be as beautiful as the last, but it just continues to get more and more beautiful as you drive and explore different parts of the country.
There are no words to describe the feeling of standing in front of one of the highest orange dunes on the planet such as the Big Daddy, the tallest one in the Park, and climbing the spectacular Dune 45.
The best time to visit Sossusvlei is early in the morning, when the temperatures are still cooler, and the shadows on the dunes look pretty amazing too.
TIPS TO VISIT: The best way to visit the Sossusvlei and Deadsvlie is on self-drive with a 4×4 rental car or you can go on a private tour. I recommend spending at least 2-days visiting this incredible national park, there is plenty to see and to do, and staying overnight gives your the chance to sleep under the stars in the middle of the desert. A great lodge to stay in the Desert Quiver Camp.
EXPLORE THE PETRIFIED TREES
Deadsvlei is also situated in the Namib-Naukluft National Park and you can visit it on the same day you visit Sossusvlei.
Walk in the vast clay pan of Deadvlei, and wonder how the petrified Acacia trees survived to 900-year-old of transformation, or just watch the wind shifting and shaping the oldest desert in the world.
The Namib Naukluft National park is one of the best places to visit in Namibia. It is just stunning, surreal, and absolutely inspiring.
TIPS TO VISIT: I recommend watching a sunset and a sunrise at Deadsvlei, as the sun uncovers outstanding shadows of the trees on the claypan ground. You can also climb one of the dunes around to get a different view of this surreal landscape. If you want to watch the sunset and sunrise, you will need to have accommodation inside the park since the gates open at 6:30 am until sunset. The Sossus Oasis Campsite is located inside the park and it gives you the freedom to drive around and watch the sunset and sunrise.
DRIVE ON THE VAST OF THE DESERT
The name of the country derives from Namib, which translates as “ vast place”. Namibia is one of the least populated countries in the world with just over 2 million citizens – that is equivalent to 3 inhabitants per square kilometer, with hundreds of kilometers devoid of humans.
Imagine losing yourself in the vast and remote terrain, enjoying the beauty of the landscapes and nature, and find in each stop a perfect opportunity for an amazing photo. You can drive for hours on the long and straight roads without seeing another car along the gravel roads that criss-cross the country.
The Namib Desert extends from 1,200 miles (1,900 km) along the Atlantic Coast of Africa from Angola all the way to outward across Namibia, all the way to South Africa. The southern portion merges with the Kalahari on the plateau atop the escarpment.
The landscape of the Namib desert will surprise you, and you can constantly see the scenery changing, you will see animals crossing the road, and once in a while, you can see people walking their sheep on the side of the road.
TIPS TO VISIT: During a Namibia Road Trip, you will probably be driving on the Namib Desert. You may drive for long distances without seeing another person, or another town so loads on gas, snacks, and plenty of water. Halfway through Sossusvlei and Swakopmund, you will pass by the famous “Tropic of Capricorn” sign, so make sure you don’t miss this photo!
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
A BUCKET LIST SAFARI IN AFRICA
A road trip in Namibia is not complete without including Etosha National Park – one of the must place to visit in Namibia!
Because of the vast landscape and habitats, the animals of Namibia are able to roam freely without too much human interference Namibia has very diverse wildlife, including the big five and a very rich marine life.
Etosha National Park is one of the top tourist destinations in Namibia and also one of the most significant safari destinations in Africa, with more than 100 mammals and 340 different species of birds.
The wildlife here is simply fabulous and spotting animals is as easy as parking your car at one of the waterholes and waiting for large numbers of zebras, elephants, springbok, oryx, giraffes, and many other animals to arrive to drink water. Namibia safari is another must-do when you visit Namibia.
TIPS TO VISIT: Driving on a self-drive safari in Etosha National Park is relatively easy, the gravel roads have good conditions and there are have secured pick nic and toilets areas you can visit Etosha National Park by driving your 4×4 Rental Car. Another option is to join a Guided 4×4 Game Drive – I recommend to spend at least 2 days doing a safari at Etosha, and stay at one of the lodges inside or close to the gate – One of the best accommodations options in Etosha is Toshari Lodge, and they also offer guided game drives.
QUIVER TREE FOREST
RARE FOREST WITH GIGANT ALOE TREES
This is another fascinating place to visit in Namibia – the Quiver Tree Forest. Even if we call it “trees” they are actually species of Aloe capable of growing over 30 feet tall and the oldest trees in the forest are estimated to be between 200 to 300 years old.
The quiver trees are regarded as a national symbol of Namibia and are featured on the currency and in popular imagery.
The Quiver Tree Forest is located only 10 km from Keetmanshoop, and a large number of them grow in uncharacteristically close proximity, creating a forest-like landscape. It’s one of the only known naturally occurring such sites in the world.
There are about 250 quiver trees in the forest, and the tallest trees in the forest are about 8 feet (2,50 meters). To visit the forest you pay a small admission fee.
TIPS TO VISIT: The best time to visit is between June and July when the trees are flowering – and the best time of the day to visit is during sunset when you can take stunning photos. Be aware of the intense daytime heat and sun exposure. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and bring a water bottle to stave off heatstroke and sunburn. If you are looking to explore this region, the best option for accommodation is the Keetmanshoop Self-Catering.
EXPLORE THE GHOST TOWN
Kolmanskop is located only 8 miles (13 km) outside Luderitz, near the Forbidden Zone, an area controlled by the Namdeb Diamond Corporation, a joint venture owned by De Beers and the Namibian Government.
What was once a very rich mining town, was abandoned in 1936 and today sand dunes fill the town and the houses. A town filled with fortune and dreams turned into an intriguing place to visit and also, a paradise for photographers.
100 years ago Kolmanskop was home to a very busy diamond mine, but because diamonds are not forever, the resources got to an end, and the people abandoned the city, which today is covered by the desert.
Kolmanskop is definitely one of the places to visit in Namibia that will just fascinate you with its history and landscape.
TIPS TO VISIT: If you are visiting Kolmanskop, the gate closes at 1:00 pm every day. You will need to reserve at least 2 hours to explore the whole town. Kolsmanskop is on the way to Luderitz, so plan to visit it if you are driving in the area. A good hotel to stay in is the Alte Villa Gasthaus, in the town of Luderitz.
STOP ALONG THE ROAD TO SEE THE WILD HORSES
Luderitz is a coastal town in the Southwestern of Namibia, known for its German colonial buildings. The bay also hosts a bounty of wildlife including seals, flamingoes, and wales.
This cool and often foggy coastal town by the Atlantic coastline where the ocean meets the Namib Desert is a great stop for a fresh seafood lunch, and to visit the colorful German architecture buildings.
Here you can have not only the stunning views of the coast but also, try some of the best seafood in Namibia, as Luderitz is the center of rock lobster, as well as oysters.
On the way to the coastal town of Luderitz, you can see some of the only Wild Horses in Africa. These horses were brought by European colonials and found a new home in the Namib desert in an area known as the Garub.
TIPS TO VISIT: The best accommodation option is the Alte Villa Gastehaus, with an excellent location and an amazing on-site restaurant serving fresh local food. Plan to have lunch here, and get delighted with their cuisine.
WHERE THE DESERT MEETS THE OCEAN
Sandwich Harbor is “Where the desert meets the ocean” and it is just an unreal experience to be able to drive over golden dunes nestled beside the Atlantic Ocean, and the highlight of the Skeleton Bay Namibia.
It is one of the best places to visit in Namibia, and my favorite place, hands down!
While driving over golden dunes nestled beside the Atlantic Ocean, I passed some seals, jackals, and jackals eating seals. From Walvis Bay to Swakopmund is less than 30 minutes drive.
TIPS TO VISIT: If you decide to self-drive to Sandwich-Harbor, note that a minimum of preparation is required. Have a proper 4×4, have great driving skills off-road, buy your permit to enter, know the tide table before you go. I recommend booking the tour with a professional local tour company. A great place to stay if you are in the area is Walvis Bay, and the Iris Boutique Hotel is a great option, with an excellent location and a wonderful breakfast included.
THE INCREDIBLE SHIPWRECKS
The Skeleton Coast should also be on your bucket list of the best places to visit in Namibia – Located in the Northern part of the Namib Desert and starts in the city of Swakopmund.
It is littered with the wrecks of many ships, and the shipwreck The Zelia is the easiest one to see near Swakopmund.
The Skeleton Coast earned its marine reputation as “The Gates of Hell.” The Skeleton Bay in Namibia is prone to dense fogs with heavy surf, which helped to cause so many ships to sink in this area.
The best activity while here is to drive this very wild and desolate area and to admire the sandy beaches along the highway on one side, and the desert on the other side making this place extremely unique.
TIPS TO VISIT: If you desire to visit the shipwrecks, I recommend having the areas marked in advance as while you are driving on the road, the mist makes it hard to see anything from the road. A great accommodation option is you are going to explore the Skeleton Coast is the First Group Desert Rose in Henties Bay.
THE ADVENTURE DESTINATION IN NAMIBIA
One of the top places to visit in Namibia is the city of Swakopmund. The largest coastal town in the country and the perfect stopover between the desert and the Skeleton Coast.
The city is located in such a unique location – with a long coastline and also, some incredible miles of sand dunes. It was established by the Germans in the 18th century, which you can see on the architecture of the buildings, and it is located nearby the harbor of Walvis Bay
Swakopmund is an adventure hotspot and offers many activities, such as driving on the dunes, the very popular quad biking, sandboarding, go on an amazing Scenic desert bike tour, for the adventure lover you can go skydiving, and also Kayaking for a great wildlife experience.
Swakopmund is also a very popular destination to fish in the ocean or to go on a catamaran around the coast to watch the sunset!
TIPS TO VISIT: I recommend spending at least 2-days here. There is a lot to do in the area, from outdoor adventure sports, to dive into the Sandwich Harbour, and is a great stopover to explore some really good restaurants. Eat some good German food at Swakopmund Brauhaus and have some beer in a boot! A phenomenal accommodation option is the Desert Breeze Lodge, with a private sun deck and views of the dune.
CAPE CROSS SEAL RESERVE
THE LARGEST CAPE SEAL COLONY ON THE PLANET
Another beautiful place to visit in Namibia, while you are on Skeleton Coast is Cape Cross, as it is home to thousands of Cape fur seals and is considered the largest aggregation in the world – Just North of Hentisbaai or about 80 miles (130 km) north of Swakopmund.
In the peninsula you can spot more than 20,000 seals – the view of thousands of seals, the loud noise, and the smell makes it an amazing experience. If you are sensitive to the smell, I recommend bringing a mask, and you will be just fine!
If you get to visit the colony during the breeding time (Dec-Feb) is even more fascinating, to be able to observe the curious cubs with their protected mothers, and learning how to walk and swim – it is truly magical.
During your visit, you pay a small fee at the entrance and walk on the wood platform and do not touch or get too close to the animals. You will be really close to the colony and be able to observe and take amazing pictures from your designated area.
TIPS TO VISIT: You can see the seal colony all year round, but the best time to visit to see the breeding time is between December and February. A great accommodation option is you are going to explore the Skeleton Coast is the First Group Desert Rose in Henties Bay. Another option to observe the incredible seal colony from a different angle is to go on a half-day eco-friendly kayak tour
THE FLAMINGO COLONY
THE INCREDIBLE FLAMINGOES IN WALVIS BAY
The flamingos’ colony is one of the best things to see in Namibia – They are concentrated in the lagoon by the Pelican Point, in Walvis Bay. This shallow and sheltered 45,000-hectare lagoon, southwest of Walvis Bay and west of the Kuiseb River mouth, attracts a range of coastal waterbirds in addition to enormous flocks of lesser and greater flamingos.
Not only the flamingo colony is stunning to see and photograph, but it is also very easy to visit and see them. The flamingos congregate by the lagoon and you can just park your car and easily find them. The flamingos are excellent fliers, and watching them flying in big groups is just incredible!
They have been known to migrate up to 500km overnight in search of the proliferation of algae and crustaceans.
While visiting Walvis Bay you can also go on Humpback whale watching, especially between July and September is very easy to spot the gentle giants in the area. Another great thing to do is to go on a half-day eco-friendly kayak tour to see some wildlife like dolphins and also, the seal colony peninsula.
TIPS TO VISIT: The best time of the year to see the flamingos is between December and March – it is when the migration season starts. A great place to stay and also, try some of the amazing seafood dishes is at the Pelican Point Lodge, located on an extraordinary spot on the peninsula.
EXPLORE ANCIENT ROCK ENGRAVINGS OF 6000 YEARS OLD
Another amazing place to visit in Namibia is the rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein, featuring exceptional Bushmen engravings that are considered to be some of the best-preserved etchings on the Africa continent.
This is a UNESCO World, Heritage Site, located in the Kunene region, in the western region of Namibia. The site is considered to be home to the most intense collection of rock art on the continent, with some 2,500 distinctive rock carving and painting on 212 slabs of rock, some estimated to be around 6000 years old!!!
It is easy to visit and to see the engravings, from raised platforms that lead you out to the stones pathways. The engravings from the Stone Age illustrate pieces that depict symbolic terraces, untamed wildlife, and mythical beasts.
In Damaraland, you can also visit the Organ Pipes, a fascinating geological formation over 150 million years old, with rich rust-colored columns that tower over 5 meters above the ground, and resemble a church organ. Also, in this region, you can visit The Brandberg Mountain, Namibia’s highest mountain, and houses the famous ‘White Lady’ Bushmen painting.
TIPS TO VISIT: Visits to the art sites are best viewed in the late afternoons on guided walks with a stop at the visitors center, and you can arrange a visit upon your arrival. If you are planning to explore this rich area of Damaraland, the best place to stay in the Etendeka Mountain Camp, this rustic and eco-friendly camp, one of the best places for stars’ gazings. They also offer guided walks and game drives in the desert of Damaraland.
IMMERSE WITH THE HIMBA TRIBE
Namibia is home to 13 indigenous tribes and you can (and should) experience the diversity of these people and cultures. The Namibia people I encountered were very friendly and open.
They encourage you to engage with them and share a moment of learning about each other. I got the chance to spend some time at a Himba Village and get to learn more so much more about Namibia people and their beautiful culture.
They are semi-nomadic people recognized for their bare chest, red ochre-paste-covered skin and hair, and clothes made from cow skin.
If you are interested in visiting a Himba Village I truly recommend contacting my friend Rimunikavi and he can arrange your visit – he is a Himba and speaks fluent English, and he does an amazing job hosting visitors
TIPS TO VISIT: If you want to have an authentic experience with the Himba Villages, you can drive to Khorixas and you will start to see villages along eh road where the women and children selling some handmade souvenirs. If you are visiting the area, a great accommodation option is at the Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp
LIVE IN THE BUSH WITH THE BUSHMEN AT GRASHOEK REGION
Last, but not least, one of the most amazing places to visit in Namibia is one of the Bushmen Villages.
They are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, having lived there for at least 20,000 years. One of the most amazing things is their ability to survive in nature and in the harshest climates, and they are renowned for their hunting and tracking skills.
The Living Museum is an ethical and cultural highlight in Namibia as well as a good example of sustainable development, as the visitors give back to the local community and support the preservation of their culture. The San people provide an opportunity to learn about their culture and traditional way of life. You can participate in many activities in a visit as short as a half-day or as long as 3 days.
Activities range from a visit to their village, participation in a bushwalk, and learn how they gather and hunt, make your own bow and jewelry and watch their traditional dancing and songs.
TIPS TO VISIT: I truly recommend this activity and I booked in advance with the Ju/’Hoansi-San Living Museum and they also offer the opportunity to camp at the village with the San People. After I visit the Bushmen, I continued my journey in Africa on my Botswana Self-Drive Itinerary and I went on the Best Safaris in Botswana.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BES PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA
Namibia has certainly many more amazing places to visit than this list. it is hard to choose only 15 Top Places to Visit Namibia. But this is a great start for your first visit, that I recommend in order to have the best experience.
From driving in the vast desert, climb some of the tallest dunes on the planet, go on an amazing safari in Etosha and immerse with some of the fascinating tribes – I hope that these top 15 places to visit in Namibia will just make it to the bucket list.
If you are convinced to travel to Namibia, I recommend visiting my 11-Day Road Trip in Namibia for more information and detail, on how you can plan easily a road trip to one of the best destinations in the world: Namibia!
I hope you enjoyed this guide and if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below.
MY PHOTO GEAR
There are so many amazing opportunities for photos and videos, so it is impossible not to capture the amazing moments while traveling around. Therefore, do not forget to bring your camera equipment with you:
- This is the camera I use and love – Sony Mirrorless a7III
- Bring a couple of good lenses for different pictures – I always carry this lens with me
- Extra memory cards
- I recommend bringing some filters
- Tripod to photograph the waterfalls and depending on the time of the year, the Aurora Borealis.
- If you want to capture amazing videos, I use and recommend a Gimble Smartphone Stabilizer
- I also recommend a GoPro HERO9 for some action images videos and pictures.
- You can also capture incredible Drone images in Jalapao I use DJI Mavic Air 2
- If you are looking to take photos under water this Underwater camera (with accessories) is a great option
PLACES TO VISIT IN NAMIBIA | TRIP PLANNING
If you are going to travel to Namibia, pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for in a destination will help make your travels far more successful and safe. Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your trip to Namibia.
For planning my trip to Namibia I used the Lonely Planet guidebook, which contains a lot of helpful information.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE
I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance.
World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.
Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!
WHAT IS NEXT
Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your trip:
- Check my complete 11-day Namibia Road Trip Itinerary + Map
- Start planning your trip to Namibia with these 10 Easy Steps to Plan your Trip
- Make sure you are prepared before you travel to Namibia with this Namibia Travel Guide
- Check this Ultimate Guide for Botswana Safari
- On this guide for Everything you neeed to know about Camping in Botswana, this is a must-read guide
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