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.
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Best places to stay in Namibia
Botswana & Namibia travel guide
Botswana and Namibia: Fused together by epic landscapes, including Fish River Canyon, the Kalahari and the Okavango Delta, and some of the continent’s greatest concentration and diversity of wildlife, this is truly Africa.
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...
Southern Africa - Namibia (Chapter)
The combination of space and landscapes ensures that a trip through Namibia is one of the world's great road adventures. Natural wonders such as Fish River Canyon and Etosha National Park enthrall, but it's the lonely desert roads cutting...
Namibia's amazing landscapes
Botswana & Namibia - Namibia (Chapter)
Namibia posesses some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa where sand dunes in the world’s oldest desert meet the crashing rollers along the wild Atlantic coast and the enthralling wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park.
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 travel guide
Southern Africa rings with legend: the Okavango Delta, the Kalahari, Fish River Canyon, Kruger, Victoria Falls, Cape Town - these are just a few of the iconic destinations that unfurl African dreams.
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park ranks as one of the world’s great wildlife-viewing venues. Its unique nature is encapsulated by the vast Etosha pan – an immense, flat, saline desert that, for a few days each year, is converted by the rains into a shallow lagoon teeming with flamingos and pelicans.
Safaris, wildlife & the outdoors in Namibia
Tribes of Eastern Kalahari
Discover the lifestyles and traditions of some of Namibia's oldest cultural groups
Hiking Namibia’s Fish River Canyon
Fish River Canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River in southern Namibia, is one of Africa’s most impressive natural wonders. At 550m deep, 27km wide and 160km long it is Africa’s longest canyon and the second largest in the world, after the Grand Canyon in Arizona...
This treacherous coast – a foggy region with rocky and sandy coastal shallows – has long been a graveyard for unwary ships and their crews, hence its forbidding name. Early Portuguese sailors called it As Areias do Inferno (The Sands of Hell), as once a ship washed ashore, the fate of the crew was sealed.
A snapshot of the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the giant sand dunes at Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei, a large ephemeral pan, is set amid red sand dunes that tower up to 200m above the valley floor and more than 300m over the underlying strata. It rarely contains any water, but when the Tsauchab River has gathered enough volume and momentum to push beyond the thirsty plains to the sand sea, it’s completely transformed.
African Wilderness in Comfort
A diverse accommodated overland traverse through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls)
Central Windhoek is a surprisingly modern, well-groomed city where office workers lounge around Zoo Park at lunchtime, tourists funnel through Post St Mall admiring African curios and taxis whizz around honking at potential customers. In fact, first impressions confirm that the city wouldn’t look out of place in the West.
Southern Africa Explorer
A classic overland journey through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe
Before travelling to Lüderitz, pause for a moment to study the country map, and you’ll realise the fact that the town is sandwiched between the barren Namib Desert and the windswept South Atlantic coast. As if Lüderitz’s wholly unique geographical setting wasn’t impressive enough, its surreal German art nouveau architecture will seal the deal.
It can be an eerie feeling entering Swakop, especially out of tourist season when the city, sandwiched between Atlantic rollers and the Namib Desert, feels like a surreal colonial remnant. Some find it soothing, others weird – personally we have a leg in either camp.