Must see attractions in Namibia

  • Sights in Namibia

    Etosha National Park

    Etosha National Park, covering more than 20,000 sq km, is one of the world’s great wildlife-viewing venues. Unlike other parks in Africa, where you can spend days looking for animals, Etosha’s charms lie in its ability to bring the animals to you. Just park your car next to one of the many waterholes, then wait and watch while a host of animals – lions, elephants, springboks, gemsboks etc – come by not two by two but by the hundreds.

  • Sights in Namibia

    Fish River Canyon

    Nowhere else in Africa will you find anything quite like Fish River Canyon. Whether you're getting a taste of the sheer scale and beauty of the place from one of the lookouts, or hiking for five days to really immerse yourself in its multi-faceted charm, Fish River Canyon is a special place.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sesriem & Sossusvlei

    Sossusvlei

    Sossusvlei, a large ephemeral pan, is set amid red sand dunes that tower up to 325m above the valley floor. 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. The normally cracked dry mud gives way to an ethereal blue-green lake, surrounded by greenery and attended by aquatic birdlife, as well as the usual sand-loving gemsboks, and ostriches.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Dorob National Park

    Cape Cross Seal Reserve

    The best-known breeding colony of Cape fur seals along the Namib coast is in this reserve, where the population has grown large and fat by taking advantage of the rich concentrations of fish in the cold Benguela Current. The sight of more than 100,000 seals basking on the beach and frolicking in the surf is impressive to behold, though you’re going to have to deal with overwhelming piles of stinky seal poo. Bring a handkerchief or bandana to cover your nose – seriously, you’ll thank us for the recommendation.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sesriem & Sossusvlei

    Deadvlei

    Although it's much less famous than its neighbour Sossusvlei, Deadvlei is actually the most alluring pan in the Namib-Naukluft National Park – it's arguably one of Southern Africa's greatest sights. Sprouting from the pan are seemingly petrified trees, with their parched limbs casting stark shadows across the baked, bleached-white canvas. The juxtaposition of this scene with the cobalt-blue skies and the towering orange sands of Big Daddy, the area's tallest dune (325m), is simply spellbinding.

  • Sights in Twyfelfontein Area

    Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings

    Twyfelfontein (Doubtful Spring), at the head of the grassy Aba Huab Valley, is one of the most extensive rock-art galleries on the continent. In the ancient past, this perennial spring most likely attracted wildlife, creating a paradise for the hunters who eventually left their marks on the surrounding rocks. Animals, animal tracks and geometric designs are well represented here, though there are surprisingly few human figures.

  • Sights in Damaraland

    Spitzkoppe

    One of Namibia’s most recognisable landmarks, the 1728m-high Spitzkoppe rises mirage-like above the dusty plains of southern Damaraland. Its dramatic shape has inspired its nickname, the Matterhorn of Africa, but similarities between this ancient volcanic remnant and the glaciated Swiss alp begin and end with its sharp peak. First summited in 1946, the Spitzkoppe continues to attract hard-core rock climbers bent on tackling Namibia’s most challenging peak.

  • Sights in Kavango

    Khaudum National Park

    Exploring the largely undeveloped 384,000-hectare Khaudum National Park is an intense wilderness challenge. Meandering sand tracks lure you through pristine bush and dry acacia forest and across omiramba (fossil river valleys), which run parallel to the east–west-oriented Kalahari dunes. With virtually no signage, navigation is largely based on GPS coordinates and topographic maps, so visitors are few, which is precisely why Khaudum is worth exploring – Khaudum is home to one of Namibia's most important populations of lions and African wild dogs, although both can be difficult to see.

  • Sights in Caprivi Strip

    Bwabwata National Park

    Only recently recognised as a national park, Bwabwata was established to rehabilitate local wildlife populations. Prior to the 2002 Angolan ceasefire, this area saw almost no visitors, and wildlife populations had been virtually wiped out by rampant poaching instigated by ongoing conflict. But the wildlife is making a slow but spectacular comeback. If you come here expecting Etosha, you’ll be disappointed. But you might very well see lions, elephants, African wild dogs, perhaps even the sable antelope and some fabulous birdlife.

  • Sights in The Brandberg

    Tsisab Ravine

    Tsisab Ravine is the epicentre of the Brandberg's rock-art magic. The most famous figure in the ravine is the White Lady of the Brandberg, in Maack’s Shelter. The figure, which isn’t necessarily a lady (it’s still open to interpretation), stands about 40cm high and is part of a larger painting that depicts a bizarre hunting procession. In one hand the figure is carrying what appears to be a flower or possibly a feather. In the other, the figure is carrying a bow and arrows.

  • Sights in Tsau Khaeb National Park

    Kolmanskop

    Named after early Afrikaner trekker Jani Kolman, whose ox wagon became bogged in the sand here, Kolmanskop was originally constructed as the Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM) headquarters. Although Kolmanskop once boasted a casino, bowling alley and a theatre with fine acoustics, the slump in diamond sales after WWI and the discovery of richer pickings at Oranjemund ended its heyday. By 1956, the town was totally deserted, and left to the mercy of the shifting desert sands.

  • Sights in Caprivi Strip

    Nkasa Rupara National Park

    Watch this space – this is one of Namibia's, perhaps southern Africa's most exciting national parks. In years of good rains, this wild and seldom-visited national park (formerly called Mamili National Park) becomes Namibia’s equivalent of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Forested islands fringed by reed and papyrus marshes foster some of the country’s richest birdwatching, with more than 430 recorded species to count.

  • Sights in Lüderitz

    Felsenkirche

    The prominent Evangelical Lutheran church dominates Lüderitz from high on Diamond Hill. It was designed by Albert Bause, who implemented the Victorian influences he’d seen in the Cape. With assistance from private donors in Germany, construction of the church began in late 1911 and was completed the following year. The brilliant stained-glass panel situated over the altar was donated by Kaiser Wilhelm II, while the Bible was a gift from his wife. Come for the views over the water and the town.

  • Sights in Otjozondjupa

    Okonjima Nature Reserve

    The 200-sq-km Okonjima Nature Reserve is the epicentre of one of Namibia's most impressive conservation programs. Home of the AfriCat Foundation (www.africat.com), it protects cheetahs and other carnivores rescued from human-wildlife conflict situations across the country, and gives them room to move. Aside from excellent accommodation and fascinating education programs, Okonjima offers the chance to track wild leopards, as well as cheetahs, African wild dogs and (coming soon) lions within the reserve. Day visitors are welcome, but we recommend staying here for a minimum of two nights.

  • Sights in Ruacana

    Ruacana Falls

    At one time, Ruacana Falls was a guaranteed wonder, though all that changed thanks to Angola’s Calueque Dam, 20km upstream, and NamPower’s Ruacana power plant. On the rare occasion when there’s a surfeit of water, Ruacana returns to its former glory. In wetter years, it’s no exaggeration to say it rivals Victoria Falls – if you hear that it’s flowing, you certainly won’t regret a trip to see it (and it may be the closest you ever get to Angola).

  • Sights in Namibia

    Namib-Naukluft National Park

    Welcome to the Namib, the oldest desert on earth and certainly one of the most beautiful and accessible desert regions on the planet. This is sand-dune country par excellence, silent, constantly shifting and ageless, and an undoubted highlight of any visit to Namibia. The epicentre of its appeal is at Sossusvlei, Namibia’s most famous strip of sand, where gargantuan dunes tower more than 300m above the underlying strata.

  • Sights in Otjozondjupa

    Erindi Private Game Reserve

    It may lack the scale of Etosha National Park, but many travellers rank Erinidi as their most memorable wildlife-watching experience in Namibia. With over 70,000 hectares of savannah grasslands and rocky mountains Erindi lacks the zoo-like feel of many smaller private reserves in the country and lacks for nothing when it comes to wildlife – you can reliably expect to see elephants and giraffes, with lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs and black rhino all reasonable possibilities.

  • Sights in Skeleton Coast

    Skeleton Coast Park

    Rolling fogs and dusty sandstorms encapsulate the Skeleton Coast's eerie, remote and wild feel. Despite the enduring fame of this coastline, surprisingly few travellers ever reach the park itself, most of them driving no further north than Cape Cross, which sits 110km south of the park's entry gate at Ugabmund. In order to preserve this incredibly fragile environment, Namibian Wildlife Resorts (NWR) imposes strict regulations on individuals seeking to do more than transit through the park on the salt road.

  • Sights in Erongo Mountains

    Phillips Cave

    This cave, 3km off the road, contains the famous humpbacked white elephant painting. Superimposed on the elephant is a large humpbacked antelope (perhaps an eland), and around it frolic ostriches and giraffes. The Ameib paintings were brought to attention in the book Phillips Cave by prehistorian Abbè Breuil, but his speculations about their Mediterranean origins have now been discounted. The site is open to day hikers via Ameib Gästehaus.

  • Sights in Damaraland

    Messum Crater

    One of Damaraland’s most remote natural attractions is the highly mysterious-looking Messum Crater, which comprises two concentric circles of hills created by a collapsed volcano in the Goboboseb Mountains. The crater measures more than 20km in diameter, creating a vast lost world that you may have all to yourself.