The world's biggest sand dunes, unusual desert wildlife and epic self-drive & flying safaris
Namibia is a land of endless horizons, from blazing desert dunes to glittering celestial vistas across some of the darkest and clearest skies on Earth.
As one of the world’s least densely populated countries and with more wild animals than people, Namibia’s otherworldly landscapes will make you feel like you’re the only person on the planet.
A trip to Namibia contains such variety; from navigating the sand seas of the world’s oldest desert, with its burning orange dunes and iconic clay pans of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei to the haunting shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast, as well as such oddities like the abandoned diamond mining town of Kolmanskop, now half-submerged in sand.
Namibia is home to some of the harshest environments in the world, yet you'll still find an abundance of desert-adapted life. It is home to the famed "Big Five" (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard), and the country is an emerging leader in conservation, having become the first African country to include the protection of the environment into its constitution.
The country boasts some of Africa's best game viewing in protected areas such as Etosha National Park. The famous waterholes within the park can be dense with wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, oryx, wildebeest and zebras, while lions, leopards and cheetah roam nearby looking for an easy meal. Critically endangered black and white rhinos are also well-represented within the park and you have a great chance of an encounter during your stay.
Namibia is home to diverse native cultures, including the San of the Kalahari (the world's most ancient tribe), the Herero (known for their distinctive colonial-influenced dress), and the Himba of Kaokoland (recognised for the red ochre cream used on their skin and hair). There are a number of cultural encounters which we can recommend in Namibia including interactions with the San (formerly Bushmen) of the Kalahari, who are believed to be the ancestors of all humans, due to their high genetic diversity or visiting traditional Himba communities in the extreme north west of the country. Wayfairer only recommends authentic visits with indigenous groups, which benefit the tribes or communities.
With well-maintained roads, clearly mapped routes and so much to explore, Namibia is perfect for a self-drive safari, even for those who have never visited the continent before. Take a look at our Classic Namibia Holiday as a starting point. We also offer privately guided trips with expert local guides, for those who prefer not to drive, yet still want to experience Namibia up close.
A flying safari is a fantastic option for those short on time, as it cuts out long drives and offers a unique bird’s-eye view of this awe-inspiring country.
With unique cultural encounters, phenomenal wildlife viewing, and unparalleled landscapes, Namibia is a place that must be seen to be believed.