User Reviews – Namibia
Email John Carthy | 20-35 years of age
All the convenience of South Africa without the crowds
Namibia is a great destination for either an organised safari or a self-drive holiday. The roads and infrastructure are nearly as good as in South Africa, and everything is just as reasonably priced. Wildlife is just as good as South Africa, with all the big five represented.
Etosha is probably the most famous park in Namibia, and is where most visitors head. However, there are other good parks for wildlife viewing. I like Waterberg Plateau. It is ideally located between Windhoek and Etosha and has a resort feel with a nice pool and good self-catering rooms. Great for unwinding if you don't fancy a trip to the nice seaside town of Swakopmund. The seal colony at Cape Cross north of Luderitz is a nice little side trip.
Overall, Namibia is well worth a visit if you're into your wildlife. I like the fact that you can drive the main roads and spot unfenced wildlife all over the place. You don't have to visit the parks to see beasts.
Email Mike Wanliss | 20-35 years of age
Namibia is an easy and friendly country to travel in with vast distances to cover and tons to see and experience.
A destination with many different landscapes
For a country that is predominantly desert Namibia is surprisingly well covered with good bush. It is also one of the cleanest countries in Africa with excellent roads. We started our trip in the capital,Windhoek, and first went north to Okonjima near Otjiwarongo. Run by the Hanssen family, this private reserve is home to the Africat Foundation, who specialise in cheetah and leopard conservation. The accommodation is excellent, as is the wildlife viewing albeit in a slightly artificial situation. All the cats are radio collared which makes finding them easier, and it is one of the few places where you can walk close to cheetah.
We then spent a week in Etosha, staying in all three camps inside the park all of which had both good and bad points, but overall were of reasonable standard if quite expensive. But what an experience! Etosha is everything you have ever heard about this world famous park and more. Huge herds of plains animals, and of course their predators, excellent bird life especially raptors, and some special sightings of the beautiful, elusive African wildcat. Each camp has a floodlit waterhole with good viewing offering a very different view of animal behaviour.
From there we moved to Walvis Bay, an unlovely town, for a disappointing sea safari. But the landscape along the coast is breathtaking.
20-35 years of age
if you go to Namibiaq, see the dunes - they are magnificent and breathtaking.
My first night in Namibia I spent at The Cardboard Box Backpackers in Windhoek. It was cheap, clean, nice, had a kitchen, and a friendly staff – I highly recommend it. I can’t talk much about Windhoek because I didn’t spend much time there. It doesn’t seem like there is too much to do. Also, it is a very modern city – reminded me of home (USA). My first destination was Etosha National Park. We got there by rental car – I don’t think there are buses that go up there, just tours which are really expensive. The drive was beautiful and what is nice about Etosha is that you can use your own vehicle to do a game drive instead of paying for an expensive safari. The problem with Etosha is how expensive it was. The park entrance fee and camping prices are OUTRAGEOUS. More than staying at a hostel – it was really ridiculous, but we had no alternative. The only food options are overpriced snacks like chips or breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets all very expensive. There are not any grocery stores or other restaurants nearby so either bring your own food and cooking equipment or prepare to be spending a lot of money on food.
Etosha is very big. We spent one night at a campsite on the eastern end of it and the next night at the western end of it. We did our own game drives and saw loads of animals. Apparently, Etosha is a great place to see the Big 5, but unfortunately, we didn’t see any of them in the 2 days we were there. The problem with Ethosha is that although you may not spend a lot of money on paying for a safari (although you certainly can – we didn’t) you spend a lot on gas because the park is so massive. By the time we left Etosha I was very tierd of sitting in the car.
Overall, Etosha was great. Just know that it has pricey food and accommodation and the majority of the trip will be spent sitting in a vehicle – a safari vehicle or your own. Also, it should be noted that the campsites all had very nice, clean facilities and pools.
Namibia is one of my all time favorite countries. The wildlife is spectacular, and the views and nature are simply breathtaking. During December it´s dry and hot, but you´ll feel alone as the tourists are a lot fewer than during the months of May to August. Food wise we loved it as we travelled with a guide and he cooked really good food. We travelled in a small group of five in a huge truck with the South-African company Drifters. Highlights were the desert, Swakopmund, Caprivi and Etosha National Park.
Email gsskimsing | 50-65 years of age
Memories of Namibia: Stunning sunsets, alien landscapes, friendly locals, a wonderful holiday.
Namibia was the first third of a 2 week safari I did in 2009, which also included Botswana (Zambezi Region, Okavango Swamps, Chobe) and Zambia (Victoria Falls).
I began the safari in Swakopmund, spending three days there before meeting up with my minibus and travelling companions who were on their way up from Cape Town. I spent the time doing a morning desert safari, horseriding on a wide plain of sandstone hills that stretched for miles. The food at Swakopmund's abundant restaurants are of international standard, and are as varied as game pot roast to crayfish thermidor. The town itself is quaint and interesting, a remnant of its German ex-colonial history as a beach resort.
Having hooked up with my ride, we headed 120 km noth along the coast to Cape Cross, one of the largest colonies of Fur Seals in the world. The smell of 500 seals and their pups packed along a beach is something to be experienced. We then headed inland further north, to look at Bushman paintings and visit the village of one of the indigenous tribes, the Himba. We continued north and came into contact with another of the native Namibian peoples, the Ovambo with their brightly coloured European-style farm dresses and scarf hats folded in the shape of a buffalo's horns. Finally, we entered the gates of the Etosha Game Reserve, and were immediately greeted by the sight of a herd of zebra drinking from a waterhole. I have travelled the Kruger National Park several times, but game watch in Etosha is a totally different experience. Because the land is semi-arid or scrubland, animals cannot hide behing tall grass and so are much more visible. Etosha also boasts the springbok and gemsbok, majestic animals not common to the wilderness in South Africa. In the rivers, frequent sightings of crocodile and hippos can be made. And the birdlife is astounding too. Accomodation at the different campsites are well maintained and managed. There are options to stay at the comfortable bush cabins, or to pitch tent at the multiple campsites available, with easy access to hot water and other facilities.
Our guide was wonderful and highly knowledgable, as were the local guides throughout the tour who showed me the desert, the bushman paintings and the landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed this safari and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in going.
Email bianca | 35-50 years of age
Ancient Deserts and Burning Mountains
I've heard it told that in Namibia, the skeleton of the Earth has been laid bare. And certainly I've never been anywhere the underlying geology is so vividly displayed as here. From the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei, to the great white salt pan of Etosha, and from the desolate, windswept diamond fields of Tsau //Khaeb, to the granite outcrop of the Spitzkoppe, this is truly a land of striking contrasts!
The wildlife is fascinating too. Beetles that do a headstand to catch droplets of water condensing on their backs, snakes that dance across the sand dunes, mysterious elephants that wander through the desert, stately giraffes doing yoga in order to get a drink of water and elegant oryx, marching across the plains are just some of the animals that Namibia has to offer. The birdlife, particularly in the north, is gorgeous too.
Long dusty roads and a blazing sun burning out of the clearest blue sky imaginable give your soul space to roam. And it's all kept together by the smiling faces of friendly Namibians.
Namibia is a unique destination that has so much to offer!
20-35 years of age
German beer, sandy scenes, blue skies
Our first night in Namibia was spent in the coolest campsite in Ngepi. OK, it had a swimming cage, so you didn’t get eaten by Hippos or crocs but the bathrooms were something else. All individually designed and to a theme – such as a throne that overlooks the river – very bizarre. From there,we headed straight to Etosha National Park. We spent three nights here in a couple of different (very comfortable) campsites – actually they were really resorts with campsites tagged onto them. Etosha is a lovely place, with loads of different wildlife. We were there though just after some heavy rain so the animals didn’t need to venture to the waterholes as they could get water elsewhere – The National Park had made a number of waterholes, with each resort having its own next to a viewing platform. On the last day in the park we decided to get up early and sit at the waterhole for a couple of hours. There wasn’t loads of activity compared to what we had been used to but it was really interesting to spend a decent amount of time watching the animals interacting – their social characteristics etc. I also managed to get a really good photo of a pair of young kudu interlocking horns, but unfortunately we have since lost the camera and Gem had gone back to bed so cannot verify that!!
The next morning we got up early (again) to make our way to Swakopmund, stopping off at cape cross to see a seal colony – thousands upon thousands of very smelly seals on a rock. Increasingly the terrain looked more desert-like as we approached Swakopmund. Now this town is very odd. It is a kind of german-themed seaside resort, at the end of the desert. Namibia is a former German colony (or at least West Africa was) so it is still populated by German holiday makers, german speaking black-africans, beer-halls and bakeries.
We left Swokopmund (reluctantly got on the truck as it was nice to have a few days ‘off’) early and had a long days driving through the Namib desert – we stopped for lunch at a funny little place called Solitaire. It was in the middle of absolutely nowhere and it looked like a town from the wild west – we had lovely apple pie there though!
Later in the afternoon we met a guide who took us (in the back of the smallest pick up in the world) to the dunes. We walked to Deadvlei which was the ‘dead’ part of the dunes that the river no longer flowed to. It was amazing and quite eerie (especially with the rain coming in). The guide was hilarious and kept on giving us lectures on how to be good wives! He was a good dancer though!
Email AlmostPerfect | 35-50 years of age
Diverse, absolutely incredible, and a very differnet safari destination
Having already enjoyed safaris in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa, we were looking forward to a different experience in Namibia, and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
Just like South Africa, it’s easy to do a self-drive trip in Namibia. The roads are good, there isn’t a lot of traffic, and the parks are relatively quiet in comparison to some of the other countries we had visited. We travelled in January, the ‘rainy season’, which meant even fewer visitors, quiet campsites, and some fantastic experiences. In hindsight, perhaps a bushcamper would have provided a little more comfort during some of the storms, rather than our Toyota Hi-Lux with rooftop tent, but did we regret it ? Not one bit !
We had some incredible experiences in Etosha National Park, coming close to cheetah, lion, and the most spectacular sight, a Leopard stalking a Kudu within a few feet of us. It was just us, there was no one else around, and there she was right at the side of the road, we sat with her for over half an hour, but in the end, she knew that the terrain wasn’t right and walked right past us.
But it wasn’t just big game, out on the Skeleton Coast at Cape Cross we saw thousands upon thousands of eared seals, some just born, huddled at the waters edge, and basking in the sunshine. The smell was overpowering, but after a while, we didn’t seem to notice. We left the seals and drove along the coast passing shipwrecks along the way to the famous dunes of Swakopmund.
From here it was another journey further south to the even bigger dunes of Sosssusvlei. Our trusty 4x4 was a significant advantage here, there was no need to take a shuttle to the furthest dunes, we could drive ourselves and enjoy a picnic under the ancient trees.
Namibia is a diverse and beautiful country, the oldest sand dunes in the world, the Atlantic Ocean, national parks, and the Big 5 game, all combine to make this a great place to do a self-drive safari.
It is an amazing place, so varied in it's landscape.