Sometimes there are spaces where the silence is so vast and so ancient, you feel as though time as you know it, has ceased to exist – or never existed at all. While not everyone may want to visit the desert, the Namib boasts the kind of vast dry vistas that move the soul and touch the heart in a way that brings about great awe and a sense of reverence.
Namibia has a unique mix of wildlife, spectacular scenery, and diverse cultures. Apart from being the oldest desert in the world, the Namib also hosts: the Fish River Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon; the world-famous sand dunes at Sossusvlei; the Skeleton Coast with its extraordinary desert coastal landscapes; and Etosha National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa. You have a choice of wonders at your fingertips.
Excluding neighbouring African countries, the United States represents Namibia’s third-largest tourist market (after Germany and the United Kingdom). The Etosha National Park and other parks offer world-class safaris with upscale lodging both inside and near the parks.
Despite being a desert environment, Namibia offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. But if you’re after bigger sightings, the plains and dry watercourses of the Namib Desert are home to oryx, springbok, zebra, kudu, ostrich and giraffe. Predators include leopard, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, Cape and bat-eared foxes, termite-eating aardwolf and the African wildcat. The Namib presents birdwatchers with great viewing – more than 114 bird species can be seen in the desert skies.
Meet the people
But apart from the animal viewing, there are a number of activities that will stir the blood and spur excitement and challenge in an environment geared to do just that. Intense new experiences await you when you are provided with opportunities to meet the local people. Namibia is home to several differing cultures, including the San, Herero, Himba, Oshiwambo, Nama, Damara, and other Namibian ethnic groups. When you visit Namibia you are introducing yourself to fascinating new educational experiences.
Many travellers enjoy the unique adventure opportunities which Namibia offers: sand boarding, kite surfing, sky diving, quad biking, mountain biking, hiking, camping, etc. There are a number of endurance race events hosted in Namibia, such as running, biking, and mixed sports.
Ecotourism – combining the exotic with convenience
Increasingly, tourists want to stay at destinations that have minimum impact on (or blend with) the environment. Operators such as tour/transport companies, hotels, and restaurants, are increasingly engaging with information technology solutions that will provide more cost-effective booking and pricing options to meet the growing demands of the tourist industry.
While the bigger animals are always a great drawcard, the Namib sands are home to a host of unusual and interesting ‘creepy-crawlies’. Known as “The Living Desert”, the dunes of the Namib abound with desert-adapted beetles, spiders, lizards, gerbils, golden moles and other creatures, all leaving their tell-tale tracks in the fine sand.
Namibia’s “Biggest” claim to fame
• Africa’s biggest private nature reserve, extending over 180,000 hectares/acres
• Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, offering spectacular southern hemisphere night skies
• The biggest dune field south of the Sahara
Going anywhere in Namibia – whether you choose driving or hiking trails, you can be sure of an astonishing experience in a unique country. And you have the option to tailor your itinerary to suit your circumstances – either individual or group. All fully catered and either self-drive or with a guide in the vehicle. Whatever your passion – specialised photography, stargazing, birdwatching safaris, or simply the opportunity to soak up breath-taking scenery, Namibia promises the experience of a lifetime.
Heuningland: African & Karoo tours to stir the heart and lift the soul
We are proudly South African and have a fervent love of the Great Karoo, its people and its unique vegetation and animals. We are passionate conservationists of nature and would like to share our knowledge acquired through years of travel and touring experience. We are therefore able to offer custom-designed and distinctively different tour options:
• Hiking/camping trails or guided self-driving tours through the ancient landscape of the Karoo.
• Tailormade safaris to any destination in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Botswana.