Wedged between the Kalahari and the South Atlantic, Namibia enjoys vast potential as one of the youngest countries in Africa. In addition to having a striking diversity of cultures and national origins, Namibia is a photographer’s dream – it boasts wild seascapes, rugged mountains, lonely deserts, stunning wildlife, colonial cities and nearly unlimited elbow room.
A predominantly arid country, Namibia can be divided into four main topographical regions: the Namib Desert and coastal plains in the west, the eastward-sloping Central Plateau, the Kalahari along the borders with South Africa and Botswana and the densely wooded bushveld of the Kavango and Caprivi regions. Despite its harsh climate, Namibia has some of the world’s grandest national parks, ranging from the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park in Northwestern Namibia, to the dune fields and desert plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park in Western Namibia. Windhoek, in the Central Highlands, is the country's geographical heart and commercial nerve centre, with an ethnic mix of people, while surfers and beach-lovers won't want to miss Swakopmund.
Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that make you question whether something so visually orgasmic could actually exist. Time and space are less defined here. Landscapes collide. Experiences pile up. Watch a lion stalking its prey on a never-ending plain in Etosha. Fly down a giant dune on a sandboard. Spend a night alone in the desert under a sky so thick with stars you can’t differentiate between constellations.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
Best places to stay in Namibia
The world's ultimate desert dares
Grit your teeth, shield your eyes and get stuck into this decathlon of desert challenges. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Blokart in the Mojave Desert, USA Death Valley in the Mojave Desert. Image by Kyle Monk / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images.
Namibia's amazing landscapes
Safaris, wildlife & the outdoors in Namibia
Namibia destination guides
The botanist's guide to the sexiest plants of the world
Plants can be sexy. Raise your eyebrows if you will, but to a plant lover, certain plants possess an undeniable allure.
Southern Africa Explorer
A classic overland journey through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe
African Wilderness in Comfort
A diverse accommodated overland traverse through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls)
Ten unusual honeymoon hotspots
It’s your honeymoon, so it has to be special and unique. From the windswept beaches of a car-free island in the Baltic to tasting wine rarely sipped outside Argentina, these hideaways rarely appear on the usual post-wedding itinerary: 1. Snuggle in a beach basket built for two on Hiddensee Island, Germany.