Few countries on earth own landscapes, wildlife, history, and cultures so utterly compelling as those of Namibia. A country full of diversity, from its people and cultures to the vast landscapes that change as you explore the wide-open spaces.

*Our Top Picks:

Sossusvlei · Kolmanskop · Sandwich Harbour · Swakopmund · Skeleton Coast · Etosha



Sossusvlei is regarded by many as an example of Namibia’s otherworldly and unique desert beauty. It’s a salt and clay pan situated in the largest conservation area in Africa, the stark and striking Namib-Naukluft National Park. Nowhere else will a traveller find the signature camel-thorn acacia trees sheltered by such iconic and towering red sand dunes, amongst the tallest dunes in the world, that are whispering out to be climbed. The word Sossusvlei originates from two languages, Nama and Afrikaans. It literally translates to ‘dead-end’ (from the Nama word ‘Sossus’) ‘marsh’ (from the Afrikaans word “Vlei”). The legendary Dune 45, as with Deadvlei and Hiddenvlei, are part of the Sossusvlei system.


Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib desert, southern Namibia, ten kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. World famous amongst photographers, storytellers, diamond-hunters, and enthusiasts of desert landscapes, it was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement during a sandstorm. Once a small but extraordinarily rich mining village, it is now a tourist destination run by diamond company Namibia-De Beers.

Sandwich Harbour

Calling all photographers and birders. Regarded as an ecological, ornithological, and scenic phenomenon, Sandwich harbour is one of the most difficult to reach places in the country, regarded by enthusiasts as one of the most memorable. 50 km south of Walvis (‘whale’ in Afrikaans, which is widely spoken in Namibia) Bay, and part of Dorob National Park, the harbour served from the mid-18th century as a commercial fishing and trading port, focused on fish processing, shark-oil extraction and sealing and guano collection. All that remains of these efforts is an early-to mid-1900s hut used for guano collection, a rusting barge, a graveyard, and some wooden beams from the abattoir. There are no facilities for visitors.


Swakopmund is fabulous, the unexpected and proverbial oasis-in-a-desert where real German-brewed beer is available. A celebration of German colonial architecture, Swakopmund was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, today including a beach resort, and a sizable German-speaking population still today. This town is the hub for the numerous adventure sports offered in the area, and where travellers headed for Sossusvlei and Kolmanskop base themselves. Cultural tip: ask about the ‘Oorlams’, the descendants of Malay slaves, Khoi-San, Dutch and English settlers who had moved from the Cape across the Orange River into Namibia.

Skeleton Coast

The Skeleton Coast is where the traveller’s soul takes a step back and visual memories are harvested. The atmosphere of this at-first-glance hostile, 40 km wide and 500 km long coastal stretch in Namibia, populated by seals, jackals, giraffe, shipwrecks and desert-habituated elephant and lions, is unforgettable. Here, with the expert oversight of the excellent guides available, the traveller learns of the remarkable adaptability of desert life, how tiny beetles, geckos, and lizards, like the oryx and the elephant, have adapted to life in one of the world’s driest deserts.


This national park's main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. At over 22 000 square kilometres this is one of southern Africa’s iconic safari destinations, up there with Botswana’s Okavango Delta, South Africa’s Kruger, and Zimbabwe’s Hwange national parks. It is home to nearly 115 species of mammals, including four of the Big Five (no buffalo). Game-viewing anywhere in Africa is best during winter or dry seasons when the vegetation is at its thickest and water restricted to waterholes where animals gather. August and September, when the animals are forced to move to natural and artificial water holes, is regarded as the best game-viewing time in this park.