When people consider trekking to Africa or going on a safari, rarely does the Southern African country of Namibia make the list. In a country so vast, with so much to see (there are more than just dunes) here’s my Namibia bucket list which will ensure you see everything worth seeing.
Expect to find well maintained, open roads across the country… It is the best way see all the sights whilst appreciating just how sparsely populated and diverse the land is.
2. Cycle through Katutura
The township settlement of Katutura on the outskirts of Windhoek is a lively location. Book yourself on a bicycle tour through this area, it is a great way to not just see but feel apart of the vibrancy of it all.
3. Eat at Corner of 62nd in Windhoek
Hands down the best restaurant in the capital city. With only a handful of restaurants around they stand head and shoulders above the rest. Dear husband highly recommends the Lamb Shank
4. Day trip to N/a ‘an ku se Lodge
A 45 minute drive out of Windhoek takes you to N/a’an ku se, a sanctuary of amazing cuisine and tranquil surroundings. They also have multiple wildlife conservation projects, that offer you the opportunity to get up close with the wildlife on carnivore feeding tours, horse-riding through the bush, and Caracal or cheetah walks.
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, but their Sunday buffet lunch is truly special
5. Climb to the top of Heroes Acre
On the southern outskirts of Windhoek lies Heroes Acre, a war memorial, that showcases the history and struggle for Namibia’s independence and it also offers the best viewpoint of the entire capital city.
6. Watch an African sunset
Because nothing beats the golden hues of an African sunset.
7. Visit Spitskoppe
If you have the time it is a great place to go camping for a night or two, hike or watch the sunset but if not it is worth the short detour when you are heading between Usakos and Swakopmund (in the middle of nowhere). Walking among the giant granite peaks will make you feel like you are exploring another planet.
8. Quad bike through the dunes
When in Swakopmund go quad biking through the desert dunes… because it’s just pure fun.
9. Go sandboarding
Not nearly as advanced as snowboarding, sandboarding in Swakopmund is as simple as lying on a thin wooden plank and slipping down the monstrous dunes. You may be shaking sand out your shoes and ears for weeks to come – but it’s so worth it!
10. Eat at Anchors @ the Jetty
Walvis Bay home to thousands of flamingos and Anchors, situated on the waterfront this restaurant serves the best seafood dishes and they are not shy with their portions – go hungry.
11. Paddle with the seals
Go kayaking among the seals at Pelican Point and if you are lucky, the dolphins may come out to play.
12. See where the ocean and desert collide
Sandwich Harbour is a short drive out of Walvis Bay and it is surreal. You stand between the wild ocean and serene desert.
13. Walk among the Quiver Trees
Pit stop outside of Keetmanshop to visit Quiver Tree forest, because it’s a forest like no other. And whilst there drive a few metres down the sand road to Giants Playground which is a fascinating place that looks like someone played rock Tetris.
14. Trudge through Ghost Town
A mere 62 years ago this German diamond mining town was abandoned and now slowly the desert is reclaiming it. The eerie town consists of uninhibited houses and once lavish institutions like a ballroom, casino, theatre, hospital, even an ice factory, that now lie knee-deep in sand.
15. Seek out the wild horses
Down south in Aus, roams the desert horses, completely free, without fences, these feral horses have adapted to the harsh conditions of the environment.
Whether you purposefully go to stargaze or just happen to look up one night whilst sitting around the camp fire you will be treated to a twinkling night sky like you have never seen before.
17. See the second largest canyon in the world
After North Americas’ Grand Canyon, Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon and it lies in the far south of Namibia.
One of Namibia’s UNESCO World Heritage site’s is an art gallery for rock carvings where at least 2,500 San Bushmen engravings are carved, making it one of the biggest collection in Africa.
19. Go in search of the Big 5
A visit to the countries largest national park, Etosha is where you can see the Big 4 (lion, leopard, elephant and rhino) and you will have to go up north to the Capri Strip in search of buffalo.
20. See the magical Epupa Falls
In the Northern Kunene Region lies the Epupa Falls. What makes them so unforgettable is the contrast of the misty white falls against the arid desert landscape.
21. Go on a water safari
The Caprivi Strip, an oasis in the northeast tip, is a stark contrast to the rest of the country and the best place to see the wide variety of water-loving game (hippos, crocodiles, sable, waterbuck and buffalo) that is largely absent from the rest of Namibia.
22. Go on a Hot Air Balloon safari
Imagine watching the sun rise over the Sossusvlei Dunes – all from your Hot Air Balloon, and landing in the middle of nowhere and enjoying a champagne breakfast.
23. See the wild Skeleton Coast
The hauntingly beautiful but infamously treacherous coastline of Northern Namibia is a graveyard for unwary ships whilst the land is one of the world’s most inhospitable and waterless areas, a place where white gravel plains and colorless dunes meet the cold, misty waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
24. Eat apple pie
When on route to Sossusvlei, make a stop for some apple pie at Moose McGregors Bakery. Situated in the middle of nowhere is the town of Solitaire, that comprises of a gas station, a post office and this world-famous bakery.
25. Walk through the oldest desert in the world
And finally, what trip to Namibia would be complete without walking through the iconic Sossusvlei Dunes.