A Mini-Guide to travelling in Namibia

having traveled with 7 different countries in Africa I can state without a doubt that travelling in Namibia is like no other. Driving with the country is like a feast for the eyes. The topography constantly modifications and if you happen to nod off for a nap you will definitely miss out on the bizarre, but stunning landscape that makes Namibia so brilliant.

The Himba people of Namibia:

This desolate country is the second least populated country in the entire world, but has a long lineage of different native groups which include the famous Himba Tribe. The Himba women stand apart in a crowd because they still dress traditionally.

The topless women paint themselves with red clay mixed with butter to help safeguard them against the severe sun and natural elements. They wear skirts made from goat skin and typically have long braids that are also covered in clay.

It is not an uncommon sight to be walking side-by-side with a grocery store with the Himba people; the contrast of their conventional dress in a western store is something that will forever be locked in my memory!

Where to stay in Namibia:

There are a few hotels/resorts that stand out from my time in Namibia. They are the locations that are fairly remote and don’t have an abundance of other competitors near them.

Norotshama River Resort

This stunning resort is located on the banks of the Orange/Gariep River and in the heart of the Assenkehr Grape Valley, which is the largest export table grape farmland in the southern hemisphere.

The resort itself is stunning with a pool overlooking the river and spaces that make you feel like you are in the lap of luxury. Take a canoe out for a spin, take part in some red wine tasting or unwind by the pool while viewing the sun set over the river. You will leave Norotshama feeling like you just left the spa.

The Seeheim Hotel

The second hotel is rather different from the first; a bit more quirky but unforgettable all the same. The Seeheim hotel was developed from a rock in 1896 into a house, and then converted into a hotel in the twenties.

Because of the diamond rush, Seeheim was a flourishing town in the forties and fifties. It had a railway station, a number of churches, shops, a school, hotels and a dynamic residential area. eventually it ended up being a ghost town, and in 1974 the Seeheim hotel closed its doors.

After standing empty for nearly 30 years the now owner, Zirkie Kloppers renovated the entire place and brought it back to life. With his marvelous woodworking skills, Zirke has handcrafted each piece of furniture (right down to the toilet seats).

Zirkie’s other half is also a taxidermist and touches of her work can be found throughout this distinct and interesting castle-like hotel. There are only 23 residents in the town of Seeheim, and all 23 work here. You will be treated like family in this oddity of a hotel, and will feel best at home.

Okaukuejo rest Camp

At the Etosha national Park, there are a number of different campsites to stay at but the one that I would highly suggest is the Okaukuejo rest Camp. They offer a broad variety of lodging choices from camping to high-end suites, in addition to two enormous pools and a restaurant.

But the highlight of the Okaukuejo rest Camp has to be that it has its extremely own floodlit water hole. With benches and many different seeing areas you will have the ability to view the wildlife come to you.

You never know what splendid creature will come and give you your own personal show. It really is the perfect method to unwind and view the sun set at the end of the day.

Foods to eat in Namibia:

Depending where you are in the country will determine what type of food is served. The German influence is seen in a lot of cake shops and bakeries which serve tasty apple strudel or kirschtorte (black forest cake).

South African dishes like bobotie (a meat pie with a savory egg custard crust) or koeksesters (mini donuts that drip in honey) are also common at many stops.

Braais (barbecues) are prominent among the Afrikaaner and German groups and no matter where you turn you will be able to find biltong (an air dried meat that is utilized as a bar snack essential – typically beef or kudu).

But what you will find with an overwhelming abundance throughout Namibia is game meat – kudu, oryx and zebra to name a few.

And finally, a dish that is served in many African tribes is mealie pap (a doughy maize paste); this is typically served with meat or vegetable stews.

Must-See sites of Namibia:

There are unlimited amounts of both adventurous, and unwinding things to perform in Namibia. This list only scratches the surface of what this incredible country has to offer.

Quiver Tree Forest

Seeheim is a terrific base to explore the Quiver Tree Forest. The Quiver Tree forest was declared a national Monument in 1995 and is comprised of about 250 specimens of aloe.

Namibian history states quiver trees are good luck and a few of the tallest trees in the forest are at least 300 years old.

The Fish River Canyon

Another site that is easily reached from Seeheim.The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in all of Africa. It features a enormous ravine, about 160 km long and 27 km broad and in locations 550 meters deep.

You can hike along the edge and feel like you really are at the end of the world because there are so few tourists in the area.

The Namib Desert

One of the most renowned attractions of Namibia is the Namib Desert. famous for its bright red dunes towering against the indigo sky, this is a place that cannot be missed.

Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan that is surrounded by the oldest and tallest dunes in the world.

The sand is stated to be over 5 million years old and because of the shifting winds, many dunes form a star shape with multiple arms. Dune 45 is the most photographed dune and is approximately 85 meters in height!

Climbing to the top and viewing the sun increase over the valley is just breathtaking, but I definitely suggest getting an early begin so you can beat the intense Namibian heat.

Deadvlei

Deadvlei is another part of Sossusvlei that every traveler must see. It was developed when the Tsauchab River flooded and the abundance of water enabled camel thorn trees to grow.

Now approximately 900 years later, these trees still exist because of the dry climate and offer an abundance of amazing photographic opportunities.

It is about a 1 km walk to the white salt pan so make sure to bring lots of water and a hat.

Sesriem Canyon

Another place that you must see when you are in Sossusvlei is the Sesriem Canyon. Climb down into the canyon and discover all the spectacular rock formations.

The Tsauchab River flows with the canyon every five to ten years and even though it may be extremely sparse, this is the one place that you can find water all year round.

Walvis Bay

En path to coastal town of Swakopmund, make sure to make a stop at Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay is located near a broad lagoon and is home to numerous flamingos. The unlimited sea of pink is incredible and one that any wildlife lover would enjoy.

Swakopmund

30 km up the road from Walvis Bay is the unforgettable picturesque town of Swakopmund. This is Namibia’s top holiday destination. With its well-preserved colonial German architecture, quaint cafes, distinct shops and a seaside promenade, this is definitely a place that you will not run out of things to do.

There are numerous adventure activities available, such as dune boarding, skydiving or deep-sea fishing, to name a few. but what makes this such a terrific base to stay is that there are a number of day trips that you can take that are worthwhile and so distinct to Namibia.

Swakop River Canyon

Take a trip inland to the Swakop River Canyon where the land makes you feel like you are on the moon. A botanist’s playground, you will see vibrantly coloured lichen fields, many different floras and in addition to the famous Welwitschia Mirabilis plant.

Skeleton Coast

Driving north of Swakopmund will take you to the Skeleton Coast. This stretch of land extends all the method as much as the Angolan border and it doesn’t have a name such as this for just any reason.

Namibia’s Bushmen phone call this region The Land God Made in anger because of its dense fog and inhospitable living conditions. The skeletons of rusting shipwrecks are typically found along the entire coast line and although this barren stretch of shore may seem a bit eerie, the scenery is really like nowhere else.

Cape cross seal Reserve

Approximately an hour and a half north of Swakopmund is the amazing Cape cross seal Reserve. here you will encounter the largest breeding colony of the Capefur seal in the world.

As you drive toward Cape cross it appears likeyou are coming upon black rocky cliffs. When you near closer however you will soon notice that these rocks are in fact moving.

With over 200,000 seals in this single colony, catching the perfect photo of these amazing creatures is fairly easy. I was lucky enough to see in February and I got to see countless baby pups barking back and forth with their mothers.

Etosha national Park

Etosha national Park is the next place that ought to be on your Namibian container list. This game park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large that it can be seen from space! In the language of the native Ovambo Tribe, Etosha is equated into terrific White Place.

The national Park spans 22,270 square km and is home to numerous types of mammals, birds and reptiles including the endangered black rhino.

Namibia has it All!

Having only gained independence in 1990, this young country has an abundance to offer its visitors. It is distinct in that the land modifications from rich green vegetation, to fields of yellow flowers, to white salt flats that technique you to believing you are taking a look at snow, to the oldest desert in the world.

Namibia is so diverse that at every turn you will encounter something completely different from the day before. Come and experience this stunning country for yourself and I guarantee you that it will not disappoint!

Have you travelled to Namibia before? What were your impressions of the country? tell us in the comments below ?

Author’s Bio:

My name is Heather Halpern and I am from Edmonton, Canada. I caught the ‘travel bug’ many years ago when I was a competitive rhythmic gymnast and because then I haven’t been able to quench the thirst for seeing more of the world. even though I live a quite routine life with a full time job, I try to go on at least one overseas adventure a year. This means, I skimp, save and try to live the happiest life possible throughout the year to ensure that I can experience my one true love…travel! My hope is that with my blog I can help bring a bit piece of the world to you with my art, my adventures and my blunders!

Follow my journey on my website, The metropolitan Gypsy and on my social network channels – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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