Namibia is far less visited than some of the most popular African countries giving it a more authentic feel, though tourism is still prevalent. Your first stop will undoubtedly be Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city and home to its only major airport. From here you can easily charter to a multitude of locations, but we’re going to head north to Otjiwarongo and Okonjima.
A midway point between Windhoek and Etosha National Park, Otjiwarongo is a must on any big cat lovers’ journey. Here you’ll find the Cheetah Conservation Fund, which takes in orphaned and injured cheetahs, for rehabilitation, rerelease and rehoming. There’s also an educational centre where you can learn all about them as well as the habitat restoration and human-wildlife conflict management programs. Further north you’ll find Okonjima, home to the AfriCat Foundation where you can learn about conservation for a variety of species, including cheetah, lion, wild dog and hyena.
Next we would recommend heading up to Etosha National Park, home to a vast array of wildlife species as well as the salt pans the area is famed for. The main one covers approximately 5000 km² and whilst usually dry, fills with water during the summer months when it attracts pelicans and flamingos. Should you wish, you can hop north-east for a visit to Victoria Falls, also known as Musi-oa-tunya or, ‘the smoke that thunders’. Equally head a short hop south west and visit Twyfelfontein where you can see an amazing collection of rock painting and carvings.
From here, heading south, charter over the Skeleton Coast to spot the myriad of shipwrecks scattered along the shore, many lost beneath the undulating dunes that lead right up to the water. This is also a great opportunity to see the vast expanse of desert that leads up to it. A bit further along you’ll find the holiday resort of Swakopmund, a bustling city on the coast catering for those looking for somewhere to chill out and relax for a few days. Here you’ll final coffee shops, bars, nightclubs and plenty of hotels to choose from. For the more adventurous there are also hot air balloon rides, quad biking and skydiving available.
Last but not least, head to Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Here you’ll find sand dunes as far as the eye can see. There great hulking giants of red sand are simply awe-inspiring, and there are none larger than Big Daddy, Dune 45. We recommend heading out before the sunrise to climb Dune 45, ready for the sun to come up and show off the dunes at their best, in a multitude of fiery oranges. Here you can also take out a quad bike to really experience the vastness of this beautiful, but desolate area, spotting the occasional gemsbok or ostrich. Here is also where you’ll find the Dead Vlei, an area uncovered by the dusky orange sand, when the baked floor is dotted with petrified trees that died due to lack of water and have been preserved by the intense heat.