Neo-baroque cathedral spires, as well as, oddly, a few German castles and some lovely 20th-century colonial shells, ensure Windhoek is worth a wander. Try walking Independence Ave and Fidel Castro St up to Christuskirche, the capital’s best-known landmark.
Crafts & Curios
A stroll through Post St Mall reveals lots of wooden carvings, but the place to immerse yourself in weaving, crafts, antiques and all manner of artistic ventures is the Old Breweries Craft Market.
Whether you need a pasta hit or prefer your seafood cooked Angolan style, Windhoek surprises with its international cuisine offerings. German and Namibian fare is, of course, available, but there is much more on offer in the capital.
Etosha & the Waterberg
Wildlife watching reaches its pinnacle in Etosha National Park, where verdant bushland contains an extraordinary density and variety of wildlife. There are useful viewing hides to spot rare gems such as roan and sable antelope in the Waterberg.
The rawness of Africa can be experienced in the huge northern swathe of Namibia with a sturdy 4WD, navigation equipment, supplies and a sense of adventure. Places such as Damaraland, the Kaokoveld, the Skeleton Coast and the Caprivi Strip remove all obstacles between you and nature.
The Himba & The San
The Kaokoveld is the ancestral home of the Himba people, a culturally rich tribal group. The San are more difficult to encounter, but look out for their incredible rock art, especially around Damaraland, and duck into Otjozondjupa, where visits to San villages are possible.
Namibia is Southern Africa’s headquarters for adrenaline-pumping fun. Shoot down a dune on a sandboard, fling yourself out of an aircraft and float back to earth, or go camel riding into a desert sunset. The stunning landscape is just the icing on the cake.
Swakopmund is something of an enigma – a German colonial relic that may be crumbling into the desert except for the influx of tourists who pour in to enjoy its raft of activities, German-style ambience, cuisine and hospitality. Walvis Bay, just a short ride away, has a developing waterfront and some great restaurants.
Namib-Naukluft Park is one of the world’s largest national parks – this is desert country and the swirling sand dunes here are mesmerising. The dunes – silent, constantly shifting, gently hued in colour and ageless – are a highlight of Namibia.
Canyons & Desert Roads
From the moment you enter southern Namibia from South Africa, the landscapes are stunning – granite monoliths rise from the plains through mists of windblown sand and dust. The enormous gash hacked out of the planet at Fish River Canyon should not be missed – this naked symphony in stone is truly awesome.
Lüderitz & Castles
Stuck between the Namib Desert and the wind-savaged Atlantic coast, defying both the elements and logic, the time-warp town of Lüderitz makes for surreal colonial exploration. Charming hints of yesteryear, such as neo-baroque Duwisib Castle, poke their architecturally intriguing heads out of the surrounding desert.
Noordoewer sits astride the Orange River, in the deep south of Namibia, and two outfits offer canoe and rafting trips that access wonderfully wild canyon country.