Copper coloured sands set the scene, where mountains are sand dunes, river canyons run deep and the landscapes look like the setting for a science fiction novel set on Mars. These ‘Mars-like’ landscapes are one of the defining features of the vast country that is Namibia. Substantial in its size, but home to a small population (just over 2,000,000 and the second least densely populated country in the world), Namibia holds a lot of interesting destinations and adventures to appease the curiosity of visitors.
Etosha National Park
Getting its name from the Etosha pan (covering 23% of the park), Etosha National Park is a prime wildlife location in Namibia. The contrast of landscapes from grassland to desert offers visitors a variety of wildlife with breath-taking horizons to take in. Game viewing is best during the cooler months (May – September), where visitors will be treated to views of giraffe, rhino, lion, elephant and if they are lucky, leopard and cheetah. Three of the five camps in Etosha have floodlit watering holes, allowing visitors to be treated to some night time game viewing.
South of the Kunene River in the far north (next to Angola) stretching towards the Swakop River in the south is the Skeleton Coast. This inhospitable coast line got its name from the remnants of whale skeletons that use to litter the shores. Now days the remnants of ship wrecks and animal skeletons are scattered along the shore. What will surprise travellers the most is the presence of wildlife along this desolate coast line. From Cape fur seals to lion and zebra, some animals have managed to adapt to this harsh environment. See for yourself why the Khoi-san refer to the Skelton Coast as the ‘Land God Made in Anger’.
A landscape that’s constantly changing (due to its beautiful sand dunes), the Namib Desert has endured its arid to semi-arid conditions for 55 – 80 million years. Like the Skeleton Coast, the Namib Desert will surprise travelers with the wildlife that has made this unforgiving landscape their home. From the Cape fur seal, to oryx, ostrich and the Namib Desert beetle (that remarkably survives by condensing morning fog that rolls down its back into its mouth), creatures big and small have adapted to survive in one of the world’s driest deserts.
Fish River Canyon
The second largest canyon in the world (160 km long, up to 27 km wide in some places, and 550 metres deep at its lowest point) and one of the most visited destinations in Namibia, the Fish River Canyon has become an alluring destination for hikers, trail runners and interested travellers. Local legend says that a dragon whipped its tail leaving behind the canyon we know today. Unfortunately the canyon was formed by the ancient Fish River eroding into the rock bed over millions of years – not as awesome as the local legend, but it’s a remarkable formation nonetheless.
With its shifting sand dunes, prehistoric landscapes and harsh environments, there is something foreboding about the land of Namibia. Mingle this with natural beauty and now you have stunning contrasts. Come and see for yourself how man and beast have made a home in one of Africa’s toughest landscapes. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you on your way to exploring the sights of Namibia, or click here to see more on our Namibia offers.