Few world countries can rival Namibia for natural splendor. From the world's second largest canyon to its highest sand dunes and Africa's largest national park, Namibia is all about monumental scale, space, and surreal landscapes.
While the safari is good in select destinations, Namibia can't quite rival its neighbors for widespread wildlife encounters. However, you don't always need big game when the landscapes are so spellbinding. Namibia is a unique experience, absolutely disparate from traveling in other African countries and a place that's impossible to forget. Tourist services and facilities are generally good, just remember that you're heading into wilderness that will never be tamed.
Namibia makes you feel small. Sand dunes tower 400 meters high, forming an unbroken spine that traverses over 1000 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Wildlife crosses the great dusty savannah to crowd around a final shriveling waterhole. Stand in places like Damaraland or Etosha and there's a real sense of being just a tiny dot in an untouched and unending natural world. Like Botswana, this is a land of sublime wilderness. While its neighbors offers exceptional safari, Namibia provides jaw-dropping natural wonders unrivaled anywhere else on the planet, with a couple of prime safari highlights. Distances are long, the journey can be challenging, but what an adventure!
Namibia is almost exclusively desert, incorporating everything from imposing sand dines to scorched savannah and permanently dry riverbeds. These conditions make survival a constant battle and it's rare to come across large herds of anything. Animals in Namibia are mostly nomadic wanderers, from melancholy elephant bulls to giraffe and wild rhino. However, parched landscapes inevitably push the wildlife towards congregating around the few sources of water, most notably the vast Etosha pan in Etosha National Park, truly one of Africa’s best safari destinations.
Smaller parks and reserves are still on a large scale and they center around other permanent water sources. So while Namibia doesn't have the wildlife abundance of other countries, seeking it out rarely poses a problem. Predators are also well aware that wildlife must stay close to water, although the landscape isn't able to support an abundance of big cats.
Namibia also excels in unique safari activities. These include glorious aerial trips that drop you in the middle of usually inaccessible landscapes, walking safaris with indigenous San bushmen, and multi-day game drives where you're unlikely to encounter any people. Outside the reserves there's still a chance of the odd wild encounter and these surprising moments add another layer to the natural wonder.
Namibia's accommodation and tourist services offer some of the best value in Africa. Even at the lowest end you'll be fully immersed in the country's natural spell. Mid-range and high-end accommodation is cheaper than elsewhere and there's little loss of quality. It can be quite baffling to travel 500miles through the desert to suddenly find a luxury camp tucked inside sand dunes. Namibia's great appeal is its landscapes and the accommodation always blends in rather than stands out. Wild camping is often a big part of the experience and local travel designers excel in making this very comfortable.
Namibia has not been tamed. But many have tried. And indigenous tribes have found a way to live in harmony with nature. So while this is a country of silence, you can find some remarkable cultural moments as well.
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