At approximately 824,000 square kilometres, Namibia is immense even by African standards. But it’s what occupies this seemingly endless amount of space that makes it special. From the rich colours of the Namib dunes to the white dust of the Etosha Pan, this is a land of rugged, beautiful landscapes and wide open spaces. The sheer abundance and variety of wildlife is staggering – from big game such as elephant, lion, giraffe, cheetah and rhino to a wealth of small game and many endemic species like the black-faced impala.
Part of the allure of Namibia is its distinctly contrasting landscapes. The Namib, a long coastal desert that runs the length of the country is highlighted by migrating dune belts, dry riverbeds and canyons. The vast Kalahari Desert with its ancient red sand and sparse vegetation, seems worlds apart from Kavango and Caprivi, blessed with generous amounts of rain and typified by tropical forests, perennial rivers and woodland savannahs.
The Skeleton Coast, named after the many shipwrecks and whale bones that lie scattered along this raw and unforgiving landscape, lies wedged between endless sand dunes and the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Whether exploring the ghost town of Kolmanskop, soaking up the beaches of Swakopmund, climbing the highest sand dune in the world or game viewing in the tranquil Caprivi strip, Namibia offers treat after treat.
It is as perfect a destination for the active – from hiking the vast Fish River Canyon, to dune boarding or hot air ballooning – as it is for those who seek peaceful refuge under remote desert stars. Whether explored on a self drive adventure (it’s safe and easy to get around) or as a fly-in safari for those wanting to cover its vast distances in a short time, Namibia promises to delight everyone blessed enough to visit this fascinating country.