Namibia is a land of striking contrasts. The desolate Namib Desert hosts the highest sand dunes in the world and an awe-inspiring sense of space. On the coast, the flora survives only on the water it receives from the thick fog that shrouds the beaches every day.
From desolate beauty to dazzling artisanship
Bush people still live here in the same manner they have lived in for thousands of years. The centuries-old artwork of their ancient ancestors adorn rock faces and caves. The landscape itself is stunning and other-worldly, carved by time and inhabited by the most resourceful of species.
In the major centers, such as Windhoek and Swakopmund, you'll find many shops specializing in attractive and highly prized local products: diamonds; semi-precious stones; curios of all types, including dolls dressed in traditional Herero style (hand-crafted by Herero women) and hand-carved wooden objects; beautifully fashioned jewelry; shoes made of kudu hide; karosses (rugs made from the pelts of wild animals); Windhoek-manufactured liqueur chocolates and popular Swakara garments.
Only in Namibia
Covering over 49,768 square kilometers, Namib-Naukluft is the largest nature conservation area in Namibia, fourth largest in the world, and possibly the most unusual. Landscapes range from an impressive mountain massif to desert plains and high dunes; from deep gorges to an estuarine lagoon. The park is divided into five regions: the Namib Naukluft, Sesriem, Sossusvlei and Sandwich area, each with its unique characteristics.
Skeleton Coast Park
This park that covers more than a million and a half hectares, is a curious melange of a fog-bound coast, gravel plains and mirages. Its singular, eerie atmosphere is compounded by shipwrecks (which gave the coast its name) and abandoned mines. Its vast area extends from the Ugab River in the south to the Kunene River on the Angolan border. Its relentlessly stark beauty is highlighted by unexpected waterholes where a surprising number and variety of hardy desert animals gather. The southern section of the park is most accessible to visitors. Fly-in safaris are the only means of visiting the northern section of the park.
Etosha National Park
This is one of Africa's major sanctuaries for wildlife. The heart of the park is the Etosha pan, meaning "a place of dry water," an extensive, flat depression of about 5,000 square kilometers. This great, white expanse is a place of shimmering mirages. Seeing large herds of game in this setting is not a mirage, however, it's a uniquely African experience.
This is an arid, mountainous wilderness of rugged beauty, with spectacular gorges and rock formations. Rock engravings can be viewed at Twyfelfontein, Brandberg ("The White Lady"), the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain. The miraculous plants of Damaraland have evolved to survive in an almost waterless environment.
|Summer: Nov - Mar||
Hot, thunderstorms possible.
Average Temperatures: 59/88
|Fall: Apr - May||
Dry, with cold nights, thunderstorms possible.
Average Temperatures: 48/77
|Winter: Jun - Jul||
Dry, with cold nights.
Average Temperatures: 45/68
|Spring: Aug - Sep||
Average Temperatures: 46/79