Namibia is a startling country – a celebration of the weird and wonderful. It contains the world's second largest canyon, the highest sand dunes, the oldest desert, the largest existing meteorite, the smallest antelope, some of the most bizarre plants and many other truly unusual attractions. Everywhere you look, there is something astonishing.

It's mostly desert, with big rivers on its borders – the Orange on its southern border with South Africa,  the Kunene on its north-western border with Angola and the Okavango on the north-eastern border of the Caprivi Strip, which was tacked on to Namibia in order to give the German colonialists access to the Zambezi.

To the west, the icy Atlantic Ocean pounds the desert shore with relentless fury, throwing up all manner of flotsam, including numerous wrecks. It's called the Skeleton Coast and the name says it all, really. But don't, for a moment, think that desert means boring, dull or monotonous. Oh no. The Namib Desert presents a whole host of spectacular landscapes – from gravel pavements, huge red dunes and contorted geological formations which have been dubbed 'the moon landscape' to vast underground forests of welwitschias. These massive, ancient desert trees literally grow underground with only the top of the trunk, two enormous leaves and flowers showing. Many of the welwitschia trees are thousands of years old.

Vast areas of the country are true wilderness and there are a number of game reserves, most notable of which is the Etosha National Park. Centred on a huge saltpan, Etosha is home to an enormous array of animals. All the usual big guys like rhinos, elephants, lions, giraffes etc, abound but there are some interesting endemics. The black faced impala is much like the usual impala, except it looks like someone ran a sooty finger down its nose. It's hard to imagine anything prettier than an impala, anyway, but the black-faced ones looked like Max Factor got hold of them to great advantage. The smallest antelope in the world is the cute little Damara dikdik, which is endemic to the park.

One of Etosha's main attractions is the floodlit waterholes on the edge of the camps – you can stay up all night with a blanket and a flask of coffee watching an ever-changing parade of animals. The high-lying Waterberg Plateau Park is a bit anomalous, in that it's quite well watered – as the name suggests – and mountainous. Kaokoland, in the northern part of the country is a wild, desert area just to the south of the Kunene River, where the fascinating and friendly Himba people herd their goats and cattle and live as they have done for centuries.

There are desert elephants and desert rhinos, huge ephemeral lakes that support enormous flocks of flamingos that arrive mere days after the rains have filled the pans. Nobody knows how they know it has rained thousands of miles away. They just do.

There is so much to see and do in this awesome country. You could do a rafting or canoeing trip on either the Kunene or the Orange. The game viewing and bird watching is excellent in Etosha, the Waterberg or any of the many other game reserves. There is awesome rock climbing at the spectacular Spitzkoppe, a huge granite inselberg rising up from the plain with dramatic sheerness. Dragon's Breath Cave holds the largest underground lake in the world. There are interesting sinkholes, which local divers have been exploring for decades. Bitterwasser is a glider's paradise where international pilots spend the summer months doing immensely long cross country flights and setting all manner of records.

Only for the bold, a horseback trail across the Namib Desert is a real challenge and a wonderful experience. Camel expeditions are also on offer. There is wonderful sea kayaking near Swakopmund, where you may see seals and dolphins. There is good rock art scattered all over Namibia but the most unusual is the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. There are some very tough hikes, including one in the Fish River Canyon and one in the Namib Naukluft Park. You could do a balloon flight over the desert at sunrise.

And the capital city, Windhoek, is a clean, modern city rising up from the desert. It has all the usual facilities – golf courses, restaurants, shopping and good hotels. Namibia was a German colony, and many of the smaller towns still retain a Teutonic flavour, particularly Swakopmund and Lüderitz on the Atlantic coast. As well as the European-style buildings, you'll find lots of German restaurants and pubs. And, of course, Namibia makes the best beer in Africa, which is most definitely as a result of its German heritage. All Namibian beer conforms to the German Reinheidsgebod (purity law) of 1516. Germans don't muck about when it comes to making (or drinking) beer.

Namibia Border Posts Information

South Africa – Namibia Road Entry Points

Velverdiend / Mata Mata: 08:00 – 16:30
Klein Menasse / Rietfontein: 08:00 – 16:30
Ariamsvlei / Nakop: 24 hours
Vellorsdrift / Onseepkans: 08:00 – 17:00
Noordoewer / Vioolsdrift: 24 hours
Sendelingsdrift: 8:00 – 17:00
Oranjemund / Alexander Bay: 06:00 – 22:00

Botswana – Namibia Road Entry Points

Impalila Island: 07:00 – 18:00
Ngoma Bridge: 07:00 – 18:00
Muhembo / Shakawe: 06:00 – 18:00
Buitepos / Mamuno: 07:00 – 18:00

Zambia – Namibia Road Entry Points

Wanela (Katima Mulilo) / Sesheke: 6:00 – 17:00

Angola – Namibia Road Entry Points

Ruacana: 7:00 – 18:00
Omahenene: 8:00 – 18:00
Oshikango / St. Clara: 8:00 – 18:00
Rundu: 8:00 – 18:00

Easter Weekend, Public & School Holidays in Namibia

Book your holiday long before Namibia’s peak season begins. During the year-end holiday season and over Easter, most top destinations in Namibia are booked a year in advance. And if you’re living outside Namibia, it’s worth noting that banks are closed on public holidays and shops close for Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Public Holidays and Easter Holidays 2015

1 January – New Year's Day

21 March – Independence Day

3 April – Good Friday

5 April – Easter Sunday

6 April – Easter Monday

1 May – Workers' Day

4 May – Cassinga Day

14 May – Ascension Day

25 May – Africa Day

26 August – Heroes' Day

10 December – Human Rights Day

25 December – Christmas Day

26 December – Family Day

2015 School Holidays

December 2014 – 13 January 2015

18 April – 18 May

14 August – 31 August

5 December – mid January 2016 (tbc)

Namibia Fun Rating

from 379 customer reviews
4 out of 5 stars!

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Beautiful place
A must while in Namibia!
Craig Rae
South Africa

Swakopmund Swakopmund
Town of Swakopmund Coast

What a place!
After driving a thousand miles through the deserts from Cape Town via Luderitz, this was a welcome relief. Its temperature and humidity were perfect. A former German colony, we were particulary keen to find out what this place would be like in reality. What we found was a clean, well ordered, popular place in a very unusual setting. Today, the Germans seem to love it and the more you learn of its history, the more interesting it becomes. Be sure to visit the museum as there is lots about not just the fascinating history of Swakopmund, but Namibia in general. The town centre is alive with with...
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John Gibson
United Kingdom

Great Park, not so great staff
Etosha is a great park, unique landscape and lots of animals. We stayed outside the park; the staff at the gate (Anderson) were very slow. At the office where we needed to pay, the officer was rude, insisted that she didn't have change. There were 16 people waiting to pay, she treated everybody with the same rudeness. We ended up leaving, paying a huge entrance fee for seven people. Throughout Namibia we experienced the greatest service by the most friendly people. Please train your staff or appoint people that want to be there!
South Africa

Town of South Namibia

Beautiful and serene
Beautiful and one of the few mountainous areas in Namibia.
Lianca van der Merwe

Solitaire Solitaire
Town of Namib Desert

What a stunning place and interesting. General dealer to bakery to dining area. A must stop. Unfortunately we did not camp here but it looks lovely. On our next trip to Namibia this will be a stopover for us.
Theo Reyneke
South Africa

Sossusvlei Sossusvlei
Tourism Region of Namib Desert

Beautiful Scenery
Sossusvlei is a stunning place and a must see in Namibia, especially for photographers.
bernyce hollingworth
South Africa

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

Ghost town on saturday afternoon!
Nice city on the coast; a good stop after dryness and heat of the others parts of Namibia.Nice boat trips to do on "Zeepard" and its captain.Diaz point, Agata beach...But town was absolutely empty on Saturday afternoon and evening ! (the same on Sunday!); even lots of restaurants were closed.Good oysters, lobsters and fish
christine Martin

Noordoewer Noordoewer
Town of South Namibia

Noordoewer Area Information
Noordoewer is positioned on the North bank of the Orange River, which is where its name comes from. It is an important border post on a crucial transport route between South Africa and Namibia. Besides canoeing, Noordoewer is also known for their grape production and wine making. Places of interest near Noordoewer are Oranjemund, the Fish River Canyon, Ai-Ais, Richtersveld, Aussenkehr and Rosh Pinah.
Caitlin Hanley
South Africa

Sossusvlei Sossusvlei
Tourism Region of Namib Desert

Awesome experience
Amazing dunes and a photographer's dream. A must do on your list when visiting Namibia.
Eben and Tina Gouws
South Africa

Noordoewer Noordoewer
Town of South Namibia

Great destination
On way back from 4 week Namibia trip stayed at Felix Unite's Campsite and it was great!
Christine Fritz
South Africa

Very beautiful landscape, red roads, different from the rest of Namibia. Highly recommendable to visit. Loved all of it.
philip nijs

Namibia's Garden Route
South Namibia can be considered the "Garden Route" of Namibia, especially the D707.
Wynand Smit
South Africa

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

Not to be overlooked
On your visit to Namibia, do not overlook this quirky little town; there is much to see and it so unique that it deserves a day of exploring. Somehow you feel like you are 50 years back in history in the restaurants and stores.
Helge Lau
South Africa

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

Luderitz on the Rocks
Great Geology. We thoroughly enjoyed or short stay. Wonderful people in Namibia. Wish we could duplicate the attitudes of the Namibians here in South Africa.
South Africa

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

Such a quaint little town and friendly faces everywhere. You surely MUST visit Shearwater Oyster Bar and go for the tour. You will appreciate oysters much more in future. The nicest little restaurant to stuff yourself with the best raw and grilled oysters! Definitely one of my favourite spots in Namibia!
Leoni van Nieuwenhuizen
South Africa

Suburb of Windhoek

Suiderhof, conveniently situated!
Suiderhof is situated in the southern part of Windhoek and first to find when you enter the city coming from Rehoboth. That means we are close to the two famous hotels in Namibia: if you must attend a conference, or just for a night of fun and gambling, or to relax on the golf course, head to the Country Club Hotel and Resort and the Safari Motel. Suiderhof is a few minutes drive from the city center and within reach of the biggest mall in Windhoek namely Marua Mall. The neighborhood is safe and easy accessible.

Windhoek Area
We visited during March, the hot period in Namibia. Extreme temperatures were experienced!
Peet Venter
South Africa

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

It's got it all!
This is arguably the most fantastic town in Namibia. It most certainly is not Walvis Bay nor Swakopmund as regards the normal coastal weather in Namibia, not to mention EVERYTHING BUT EVERYTHING is built on raw mountainous rock faces (unbelievable to see erven for sale which are just rock face, for want of a better description) . Amazingly, no matter the house you live in, anywhere in Luderitz, you always have a fantastic view. The views, the photographic opportunities, the history, the architecture, almost everything within walking distance, Kolmanskuppe and of course Diaz Point - without...
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Robin Raines

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

Luderitz is a very friendly unspoiled town. The beautiful buildings and lots to see like Kolmanskop and other historic landmarks makes it very interesting. Just a pitty that no one can visit Elizabeth town and Bogenveldt without being guided and without a permit. There is so much to see in Namibia for the rest of the world but it is to restricted. Namibia sure is a very beautiful country.
Ann Ferreira
South Africa

Luderitz Luderitz
Town of Diamond Coast

Wake up Lüderitz!
Lüderitz is a sleeping town with its best time in the past. Though a lot of historical subsrtancy is still existing, the decay is visible at all areas. Lüderitz is the dirtiest town we met in whole Namibia with littering all over the place, specifically broken beer bottles. The nice view from the restaurant at the "Waterfront" is destroyed by the miserable service and quality therein. Though Lüderitz may be visited for maximum one day it almost does not value the deviation of 250 km from Aus.Beyond Felsenkirche, Woermannhaus and Goerkehaus only the Hotel restaurant in the Nest is a positive...
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Alfred Tegethoff