Features of vacations in Namibia
Namibia is considered almost the most exotic and picturesque country of the African continent, situated in its southern part and washed on the west of the Atlantic Ocean, which is also the state border. It’s a meeting place of two elements – the ocean and the desert – the very same wild Africa, though… with first-class hotels.
The tribes of hunters and herders inhabiting the present territory of Namibia in ancient times can be judged from numerous rock carvings preserved here from the 4th millennium BC. The descendants of Bushmen, Herero and Himba can still be found in remote villages, where special tourist excursions are organized. Their life is extremely simple and to this day many of them rub their skin with a mixture of oil and ochre, which makes it red.
The Himba tribe makes a lasting impression on travelers, according to their own accounts. Its representatives have no idea of their age, they have no passports, but they get married several times. The ruler of the tribe has a dozen wives and almost five dozen children. For example, on one of the tours the tourists were allowed only when allowed by the eldest wife. And then the locals even took the aliens with them on a hunt.
Since the 18th century the tribes have been subjected to European expansion. Germany was especially active in this plan, proclaiming a protectorate over the local lands in 1884. Many Namibian towns today resemble German settlements of the early last century. For example the small port of Luderitz built during the rapid development of the German diamond mines. The city is now a major center for fishing for sea creatures, primarily oysters and lobsters.
After the defeat of Germany in World War I, Namibia was ceded to the British-controlled South African Union. And from 1945 it was under the aegis of the United Nations, despite the discontent of South Africa, which sought to rule the country.
In 1990. Namibia became an independent republic. Military and political passions subsided. Now it is a quiet, stable country, actively developing tourism, so many travelers come here with pleasure.
Namibia on the map
The infamous Skeleton Coast was one of the results of European exploration of the African continent. Namibia’s desolate ocean coast is almost always shrouded in fog, causing great problems with navigation. In ancient times, many European ships were wrecked here, and their wrecks can still be found today.
Nowadays the area is a reserve, and visits are organized. But most of it can be seen only from the height of the sightseeing plane.
The desert stretches along the coast and is a kind of calling card of Namibia. Scientists believe that its age is estimated at 60-80 million years. The scenery is stunning – red sand dunes shifting with the wind, brown rocks hardened by time, drying river beds and life-giving oases where all the local wildlife is drawn to.
Etosha National Park
It is located around the salt lake of the same name. It is very large, with many reservoirs on its territory – Klein Namutoni, Chudob, Okaukuejo and others. Giraffes and rhinos, lions, elephants and antelopes come to drink there.
City tourist sites
There are quite a few of them as well.
The capital Windhoek (“windy corner”) is not only the largest city in the country, but also the greenest, located between the two mountains – Eros and Aouas and receives the greatest amount of rainfall.
Windhoek has many worthy places to visit: National Museum of Namibia, Crafts Center and Art Gallery, Penduka Folklore Center. Attract attention and colorful “German” mansions – Heinzburg, Tintenpalas Palace, as well as Lutheran and Neo-Gothic churches.
Interesting tour to the town of Hrutföinen, on the territory of which more than 80 thousand years ago a huge meteorite fell, called Hob. Thousands of travelers rush here to see this stone space wonder weighing five dozen tons.
It is also worth visiting Ochiwarongo (translated as “beautiful”), a town in northern Namibia. Tourists usually visit it on their way to the country’s only crocodile farm with Nile alligators or to the Cheetah Conservation Center, a shepherd dog kennel – to the national parks. The locals always welcome guests, serving them national dishes and introducing them to traditional culture.
Ondangwa and Oshakati are not only major shopping centers but also a center of the Ovambo people’s culture.
Swakopmund is just what beach lovers need. Resort with a proper infrastructure – a variety of hotels and nightclubs, cafes and restaurants for every taste and income. The city will appeal to lovers of the exotic, because the neighborhood buildings in the colonial style and the desert make it just so. The beach is suitable for recreation with children.
Beach holidays in Namibia are possible all year round. Yet more often tourists come here in November and April, when it is summer. Many of them in pursuit of extreme sports embark on multi-day trips to remote places where it is possible to hunt antelope and even elephants, to take part in shark fishing.
In Namibia you can also try other “non-traditional” kinds of traveling – hot air balloon flight over the desert (five hours for two people will cost $414), snowboarding from steep sand dunes or riding on camels (fifteen minutes for two people will cost $19), dolphin watching trip (three hours for two people – $96)…
It, as well as almost everything in Namibia, is original. Given the fact that there has been a severe shortage of water and food for centuries. Variety in the local menu brought the colonizers.
The basis of the local cuisine is meat dishes, the range of which is truly great.
Lately along with the European dishes Namibian restaurants started offering their guests national dishes made of zebra, ostrich or antelope meat. Of course, young crocodile shish kebab and all kinds of seafood are also served here.
As for drinks, local beer of ginger, often home-made of high quality, is especially in demand. The wines of local vineyards – “Cabernet” and “Columbre”, as well as mataka – the original watermelon wine. There is also its own strong grappa – “Crystal-Kelleray”.
The liquor is sold exclusively in specialized markets, and to persons at least 18 years old.
Prices of holidays in Namibia
It all depends on the requests. Individual tours are much more expensive than group tours. On average, a tour to this country from Moscow without a flight will cost $5-6 thousand.
For example, a group tour (approximately six people) for five days “Safari to the Skeleton Coast” will cost about 232 thousand rubles, camping tour across Namibia (26 days) – 113 thousand rubles, and an eleven days auto tour “Visit the Bushmen” – almost 209 thousand rubles.
For dinner in the middle of the desert for four people you will have to pay about $65.
How to get there
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Russia to Namibia. The preferred option is to fly via Germany. If you buy a ticket to Windhoek with transit through Frankfurt am Main from Moscow or St. Petersburg you won’t need a visa. The ticket price will be about 43 thousand rubles. You can also take a flight from Moscow to Johannesburg through South Africa for 17,6 thousand rubles.
Namibia is considered the safest of all African countries. And those who prefer an unusual holiday with a lot of vivid impressions, of course, should visit this wonderful country.
Safari in Namibia
Tours to Namibia are not limited to safari, such as in Kenya or Tanzania. The country is very beautiful and photogenic. Namibian landscapes inspire many photographers, especially the valley of dead trees Dead Vlei.
Despite the variety of opportunities Namibia has to offer the discerning traveler, it is very difficult to imagine a trip to this country without a safari.
Etosha National Park
The main point of attraction for safari lovers in Namibia is Etosha National Park. The park is located north of the capital Windhoek and is one of the oldest national parks in Africa. It was founded in 1907.
Most of the park is occupied by the Etosha salt plateau, so vegetation in the park is minimal, which makes it easy to see (but not always). The climate is mostly dry and hot.
Etosha National Park
A distinctive feature of Etosha is that during the dry season (which is most of the year) most of the animals hang out around the watering holes. Very often during a safari in Etosha, it is enough to simply drive up to one of these watering holes and watch.
Watering hole in Etosha
Namib Naukluft National Park.
The main purpose of visiting Namib Naukluft National Park is not to go on a pure safari. The park is home to the world-famous Sossusflei and Dead Vlei with the highest dunes and surreal landscapes. Nevertheless, there are many wild animals and a visit to the desert can suddenly turn into a safari with picturesque dunes or desert scenery as a backdrop.
A lone chamois under a lone tree in the Namib Desert
Etosha and Namib Naukluft are two of Namibia’s most visited national parks. The other parks are not as spoiled by travelers due to their remoteness and inaccessibility. The most famous and mystical of these is the Skeleton Coast National Park.
Broadly speaking, the Skeleton Coast is a narrow strip of Namib Desert stretching along the Atlantic Coast where shipwrecks can be found. The northernmost part is set aside as a national park. You can get here only by light aircraft (fly-in safari). The main purpose of visiting the Coast of Skeletons is to see the very remains of the ships.
Safari in Namibia is somehow associated with the desert, as there are two deserts on the territory of the country: the Namib Desert and the Kalahari Desert. However, in the north of the country between Angola and Botswana Namibia has a narrow strip of land – the Caprivi Strip. This region differs dramatically from the rest of Namibia in climate, as it is part of the Zambezi River basin region. The humid climate is conducive to lush vegetation and a variety of wildlife. There are several small national parks here: Khaudum, Mudumu, Nkasa Rupara and Bwabwata. Of course, they are comparable to the Etosha National Park and their main drawback is the remoteness from the main routes.
In addition to national parks in Namibia, there are several private reserves. The most popular among them is Erindi.
Erindi Private Reserve
Erindi is relatively close to Windhoek. It is home to all of Africa’s big five.
The entries we received for the recent Erindi Photo Competition were truly amazing! Take a look at the TOP 70 entr… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…- Erindi Game Reserve (@ErindiNamibia) June 14, 2019
Organizing safaris in Namibia
The logistics of safaris in Namibia are similar to those in East Africa. For the most part, it is a fully guided safari, which makes for a comfortable trip. Many companies offer regular group tours with English- or German-speaking guides. In particular, our partners, Wild Africa Travel have a large selection of group runs that you can join. If you’re looking for a budget option, perhaps a camping safari in Namibia from our other partner Drifters Adventures will suit you .
Camping Safaris in Namibia.
You can book and pay for our partners’ tours with us at the prices posted on their websites.
Unlike its East African safari competitors, Namibia has one significant advantage. The country is ideal for self-drive safaris. Most of the roads in the country are gravel, but of good quality, and since the country is sparsely populated, you can drive a hundred kilometers and not meet anyone on your way.
Visa for Namibia
Entry to Namibia is visa-free for citizens of most countries. Your passport will be stamped at the border crossing to allow your stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Namibia is one of the few countries in Africa where you don’t have to worry about your health. There is no malaria or yellow fever. Therefore, Namibia is often chosen for traveling with children.
Seasons and Weather in Namibia
Namibia has dry weather for most of the year. However, during the winter months (June to August) it can be cool, and night temperatures can drop to negative values. The wet period is in February (give or take).
Rainbow in the Namib Desert
The tourist seasons are distributed as follows
- High season from June to October. The best time to go on safari in Namibia.
- Regular season: November to December and April to May.
- Low season from January to March. You can get good discounts on Namibia safaris during this time.
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Now you know almost everything about safaris in Namibia )))) All that’s left is to book your trip and see it in practice. If you have individual wishes, we are happy to discuss, advise, help.