An abundance of wildlife, scenic beauty and unpopulated open spaces unlike anywhere else in Africa make Namibia a destination that attracts visitors again and again. White sandy beaches blend into the seemingly endless sands of the Namib Desert, before dropping down into the attractive capital of Windhoek. Namibia’s history spans thousands of years and this is reflected in its colourful cultural makeup, ranging from the Ovambo tribesmen of the north to the Bushmen, whose rock paintings are to be found throughout the country.
Etosha National Park
The definitive feature of Namibia’s flagship park is undoubtedly the Etosha Pan. A number of small seasonal rivers feed sporadically into this huge shallow depression, but even in years of plentiful rain their flow is still insufficient to result in more than partial flooding. Etosha can be reached by road from Windhoek in about six hours, driving through a landscape of thorn trees and rocky hills, invariably under a cloudless sky. The road, as elsewhere in Namibia, is good and straight - in a country of so few cars, driving here must rate very highly as among the most stress-free anywhere. Best time to visit is between April and September, when the profusion of game concentrates around the waterholes. View Namibia in a larger map
The Skeleton Coast
So named due to the fact that this treacherous coastline has over the years claimed the lives of so many seafarers. All that is left are the remains of shipwrecks scattered along a coastline bearing witness to the many ships that have come to grief along these desolate shores. The sheer remoteness of the Skeleton Coast gives it a unique aura of mystery that is matched by the freakish weather system influenced by the Benguela Current, and resulting in dense coastal fogs and cool sea breezes. From a visitor’s perspective, it is divided into two zones: the northern sector restricted to fly-in safaris, the more southerly part to 4 x 4 vehicles.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Swakopmund was founded during the period of German colonial rule just before the turn of the last century and served as the country’s main harbour for many years. Today, this uniquely isolated town - sand on one side, sea on the other - provides welcome respite from the intense heat of the interior. Almost perfectly located, equidistant between the attractions of the north and those of the south, tourism is now an integral part of the local economy.