15 May 5 Reasons Namibia Should Be Your Next Travel Destination
Quiver trees in the Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanshoop, Namibia.
We road tripped through Namibia for the month of March and can say, without question, that Namibia is one of the best countries we’ve been to. It’s unbelievably big, it’s unbelievably beautiful, and it’s unbelievably empty. (How is this place real!?).
1. The Nature There is LIT!
This picture was taken in Sosussvlei National Park.
To try to put to words what is really Nature with a capital ‘N’ is hard, but here are a few keywords that come to mind: pristine, striking, magnificent, and desolate. The landscapes can be straight out of a Star Trek episode and vary so much. Sossusvlei is one of the most fascinating locations on the planet with magnificent sand dunes you can climb at sunrise. Etosha National Park offers a safari experience that will give you moments of pure wonder as you stare at elephants, giraffes, zebras and so many more animals just, well, being animals.
Don’t forget Kolmanskop: a friggin’ ghost town in the middle of the desert being reclaimed by sand and you get to climb into the abandoned buildings and poke around! Or maybe you get a chance to check out the Skeleton Coast where you can get up close and personal with some serious shipwrecks and major colonies of seals. And, if rivers are your bag, you can make your way into Caprivi to tour the Cubango and Zambezi Rivers and spot hippos and crocs. Oh, and let’s not forget to take a detour and see the largest canyon in Africa at Fish River Canyon (2nd largest in the world!).
Wandering around Kolmanskop’s abandoned buildings.
2. Namibia is Not Trending (yet).
Most people don’t even know Namibia exists, therefore there are very few tourists. You are one in a million (seriously: about 1.5 million tourists go a year). The population density of Namibia makes it one of the top 10 emptiest countries in the world, so even locals are hard to find. It’s seriously, mind-numbingly empty. If you want a chance to get off the beaten path and be alone to, I dunno, watch incredible stars: this is the place for you. Driving here can mean you won’t see another car, house or gas station for hours. It’s you, landscape, and maybe a zebra.
3. There are so Many Activities You Can Do!
Like quad biking? Namibia’s got you. Want to float in a hot air balloon over colorful sand dunes at sunset? Look no further. Oh! How about swim in a crocodile cage and sunbathe while watching hippos live their family dramas? Hell yes, you can do that in Namibia.
Out hippo watching on the Zambezi River!
There are so many things you can do and at so many price points that there will be an activity for everyone. I’m not even scratching the surface with stuff you can participate in.
4. It’s Safe.
Namibia is not creepy or dangerous. The locals are friendly and helpful (they speak English, German and Afrikaans among other languages). The roads are, for the most part, pretty well maintained. Your biggest worry wouldn’t come from petty theft or robbery but flat tires, cracked windshields and/or running out of gas.
5. The Wildlife and the Plants.
Although this country is largely desert, there is a shocking number of animal and bird species you can enjoy while here. Etosha is packed with game and it’s quite common to see herds of animals moving across the plains.
Giraffes in Etosha.
In Caprivi, you can go birding, although don’t limit yourself there: over 700 bird species occur in Namibia. Wildlife is packed around the Cubango and Zambezi as elephants, giraffes and cheetahs will migrate south toward the Okavango Delta in the rainy season. Oh, and if you are into really amazing can’t-find-this-anywhere-else plants: Namibia could tickle your fancy with quiver tree forests and 700-year-old dead trees that contrast mightily with their towering sand dune neighbors (honestly, a perfect place to snap some of the best photos in your life).
Me at Fish River Canyon
Have I convinced you? I sure hope so. Have I mentioned this place is beautiful? Get yourself down there and see for yourself. You won’t be sorry.
Bio: I’m Natalie, a New York City native who has travelled the world with her husband, Jackson, a kiwi and musician. I am an exploration-loving writer for apairoftravelpants.com which is where I write about tips and adventures. Check us out at: http://www.apairoftravelpants.com/ and on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/apairoftravelpants/