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Namibia

TRAVEL GUIDE 2019-2020

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Epupa Falls

Map it out!

198 km 3.5 hrs

175 km 3 hrs

619 km 9 hrs

Popa Falls Etosha National Park

Opuwo 328 km 5 hrs

Namibia’s attractions are many but far flung so use this graphic to plot the perfect holiday

255 km 4 hrs

Skeleton Coast

Damaraland

364 km 6 hrs

Okonjima Nature Reserve 358 km 4 hrs

Cape Cross

Windhoek 409 km 5 hrs

Hiking Stunning views

Driving itineraries

Seal watching

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Sossusvlei

Areas of interest

Ethnic peoples

Driving distance (km/hrs)

National museums

International airport

Beaches

Major wildlife areas

Map

Namibia/Botswana border (to Mauri)

413 km 6 hrs

Map key

Safari

322 km 3.5 hrs

219 km 2.5 hrs

132 km 2 hrs

Walvis Bay

Border crossings

654 km 7.5 hrs

231 km 3 hrs

Swakopmund

National capital

Namibia/Botswana border (to Chobe)

Fishing Desert activities

632 km 8.5 hrs

726 km 8 hrs

Kolmanskop Lüderitz 573 km 6.5 hrs

762 km 8.5 hrs

Fish River Canyon

Namibia/South Africa border (to Cape Town)

Published by BMI Publishing Ltd 2019, Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233 | E: enquiries@bmipublishing.co.uk | W: bmipublishing.co.uk; sellingtravel.co.uk. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Writer: Stuart Forster | Advertising Manager: Lisa Merrigan | Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge | Editor: Andy Hoskins | Senior Designer: Louisa Horton | Designer: Caitlan Francis | Production Manager: Clare Hunter | Managing Director: Matt Bonner | CEO: Martin Steady

4/24/19 02:43 PM


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Welcome to Namibia

Namibia’s diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes and vistas make the country an outstanding choice for a self-drive holiday

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Fast facts Community tourism provides travellers with insights into the lifestyles, cultures and traditions of Namibia’s peoples. Visits to craft centres can be integrated into travel itineraries

amibia, in southwest Africa, has good tourism infrastructure and is regarded as a safe travel destination. A constitutional commitment to conservation fosters local communities and wildlife populations – all factors that attract travellers to this unique country.

And the word is getting out: UK arrivals are growing at a rate of over 10% a year, while the average length of stay by these travellers is over 17 nights, with the majority choosing to see the country via a self-drive holiday. Taking to the country’s empty roads offers flexibility, exploring a highly scenic land that holds the world’s biggest sand dunes (in the dramatic setting of Sossusvlei), the vast expanse of Fish River Canyon – Africa’s largest chasm – plus areas abundant in wildlife such as Etosha National Park. Twin-centre holidays featuring African destinations

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such as South Africa are also popular. Namibia is a year-round destination, but October to December is the most popular time to visit and accounts for over 40.2% of arrivals. Otherwise arrival numbers are fairly evenly split throughout the rest of the year. Inland, rain falls from November to April. January and February, the southern hemisphere’s summer, are the hottest months. Temperatures in the interior can go off the scale, though the nights can be cool. Winter days tend to be pleasantly warm. For more information about the country and its many attractions view the Namibia Tourism Board website (namibiatourism.com.na). The following bodies also provide useful tourism information: • Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations

(fenata.org)

• Car Rental Association of Namibia (caran.org) • Tour Guides Association of Namibia (tan-namibia.org) • Tour and Safari Association of Namibia (tasa.na).

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Contents 4 Ten Fascinating Facts

How much do you know about Namibia?

6 Country Overview

Find out all about Namibia’s abundance of diverse assets

9 Culture

Cultural diversity is one of Namibia’s biggest draw cards

10 Wildlife, Nature and Conservation

Namibia is a wildlife haven and leader in conservation

12 Driving Holidays

Hit the open roads to discover Namibia at your own pace

13 Accommodation

Safari lodges, community campsites and plenty more

14 Itineraries

How to build the perfect Namibia itinerary

16 Activities

From sky diving to quad biking, a world of adventure awaits

18 Tour Operators

A selection of UK tour operators that sell Namibia holidays

19 Essential Information

Key details for visiting Namibia

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The one and only...

How much do you know about Namibia, a young and vibrant African nation with a firm commitment to protecting the environment?

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Ten facts about Namibia

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amibia draws travellers for a multitude of reasons – its amazing wildlife, rugged landscapes and fascinating history. With so many unique experiences on offer across the country, selling this captivating destination should be easy! Namibia takes its name from the Namib Desert, which runs along the country’s coast. At its southern end lies Sossusvlei, with its famous sand dunes. Arrive here before sunrise, hike to the top of the striking ‘Big Daddy’ and watch the dawn give way to a deep orange desert punctuated by bright-white mineral pans.

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The Republic of Namibia has been independent since just March 1990, but the nation has been shaped by tough periods of German and South African rule. Its German heritage is evident everywhere – from the colonial architecture of Swakopmund and Lüderitz to the yummy German cream cakes and cured meats that are a favourite with locals.

Fish River Canyon, in the country’s south, is Africa’s largest chasm – 160km (99 miles) long and up to 27km (16 miles) wide. Visitors can head down to depths of 550 metres to explore the strange landscape below on a five-day hike.

Namibia is famous for its incredible Skeleton Coast, a stunning stretch of rusting shipwrecks on beaches bordered by giant sand dunes. Its raw beauty is best experienced by taking a scenic flight from Swakopmund.

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National Park are a great place to start any wildlifespotting odyssey. Night-time game drives offer a different take on those wild inhabitants.

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Namibia Wildlife Resorts’ Dolomite Camp in Etosha offers the chance to sleep in luxury, while leopards slink between the cabins. Alternatively, get up close to these elusive beasts at the AfriCat Foundation in the Okonjima Nature Reserve in central Namibia. The specialist rehab centre works to educate farmers about leopards and supports the long-term conservation of Namibia’s predators.

Visitors in search of wildlife need look no further than Namibia. The country presents travellers the opportunity to see the ‘Big 9’ – black rhinos, buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, cheetahs, Namibia was the world’s first nation giraffes, zebras and to write environmental protection hippos. The watering measures into its constitution. This has holes in Etosha

Fast facts

helped foster community-based tourism projects that provide travellers with authentic insights into the country, while bringing benefits to local communities

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There are plenty of edible delights in Namibia. Enjoy the fruits of the Atlantic, from fresh oysters to grilled fish at The Tug seafront restaurant in Swakopmund, or experience the

country’s ‘big game’ tradition of farmed oryx, kudu and impala steaks.

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NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the darkest places on Earth. Situated 60 miles from the nearest village, there is absolutely no light pollution. Combine this solitude with the arid desert air and you have the ultimate spot for star-gazing – with or without a telescope.

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In the north of the country you are likely to encounter people from the Himba tribe – whether that’s at a roadside stall or in the supermarket. Himba women are famed for their ornately plaited hair and rich orange body paint made from butterfat and ochre.

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Scattered along the Namibian coast are hundreds of seal colonies. Thousands of seals lollop on the sand and bob in the water – a sight and smell to behold. In the breeding season (November/December), huge groups gather as the males battle for dominance.

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Land of plenty

Allow as much time as you can to explore the diversity of inland and coastal sites scattered around a country that richly rewards inquisitive travellers

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Martin Harvey

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amibia, largely a rugged, arid land, is also home to the lush Zambezi panhandle. Elsewhere, coastal wilderness and the red sands of the Kalahari count among the country’s scenic attention grabbers. A sense of space and remoteness is one of Namibia’s chief draws. Here are some of its many highlights: the coast Walvis Bay and history-rich Swakopmund provide urban bases for exploring the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast, with highlights including Messum Crater, Skeleton Coast Park and Walvis Bay Lagoon. Travellers should stay overnight in Swakopmund and take a beach walk, before having dinner in a local restaurant – the seafood is exquisite! If time allows: Take a morning dolphin cruise from Walvis Bay, with oysters and sparkling wine. Etosha In the northern region Etosha, inhabited by the Owambo people, was declared a game reserve in 1907. It is home to Africa’s largest saltpan and

provides a habitat to a prodigious array of animals ‘Big 5’. Highlights include Bwabwata National Park, and birdlife, making it the country’s top tourist Mahangu Game Park, Mangetti National Park, attraction. Don’t miss Etosha National Mudumu National Park and Popa Falls. Park, best viewed on a safari selfSuggest a sunset Zambezi cruise or drive or guided tour, to see the guided canoeing trip. animals, and the Nakambale If time allows: See the Living Museum and Tsumeb Arts Museum of the Mafwe. Performance Centre. If time allows: Outjo Kaokoland Inland Impalila Island is bordered Museum is in a late-19th Known for its desert by the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers century building and elephants, this northern and is regarded as one of the world’s hosts exhibits relating to region features best birding locations — sightings wildlife and gemstones. mountains named after of 425 species, including Pel’s giraffes and zebras. fishing owl and the African Kavango and Epupa Falls, Kunene marsh harrier, have been Zambezi River, Otjijandjasemo recorded This panhandle juts west Hot Spring are highlights. and is bordered by Angola, Ruacana Falls, at 700 metres Zambia and Botswana. It is wide and 120 metres high, is accessed by the TransCaprivi among the biggest in Africa. Highway. This lush, watery region is an If time allows: Visit Puros Traditional excellent spot for fishing and bird-watching and is Village to meet the native Himba and buy where buffalo can be spotted, completing Namibia’s carved palm-kernel handicrafts.

Fast facts

“The country’s north encompasses mountains named after both giraffes and zebras and is home to the Himba people”

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Fast facts

Sossusvlei Near the coast, this central region hosts the giant sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the popular Namib-Naukluft Park. Namib Sand Sea, within the park, was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 for its outstanding universal value. Namib-Naukluft Park, Sandwich Harbour, and Spreetshoogte Pass are must-sees, and travellers should stop by Sandwich Harbour, a picturesque fresh water lagoon that’s rich in birdlife and has an intriguing legend about a buried treasure ship. If time allows: Visit Duwisib Castle, a medievalstyled structure complete with a battlement-topped tower. Duwisib is a national monument Southern Namibia The Deep South is the home of the Nama people. Lüderitz is the chief base for exploring ghost towns, such as Kolmanskop, in the Sperrgebiet National Park – the location of the impressive Bogenfels rock arch. Natural wonders abound here – don’t miss Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa, Fish River Canyon, Kolmanskop, and Quiver Tree Forest.

The rock engravings of Twyfelfontein are some of the world’s most important early art. Over 5,000 images have been recorded, with the site showing how hunter-gatherers built their communities

For a visual treat, travellers should head to Fish River Canyon and check out the amazing environmentally friendly viewing point designed by acclaimed Namibian architect Nina Maritz. If time allows: Enjoy out time at Aus, which has remnants of a prisoner of war camp and is often visited by the wild horses of Garub.

Twyfelfontein This region, also known as Ui or Aes, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site (with 6,000-year-old rock engravings showing rhinos and rock shelters plus depictions of hunter-gatherers and their prey) and jaw-dropping geological foundations. Among the many highlights are Brandberg, Living Museum of the Damara, Spitzkoppe and Twyfelfontein. Climbers can conquer ‘Namibia’s Matterhorn’, the 1,728m Spitzkoppe, while more sedate guided horseback tours are a way of exploring the landscape.

If time allows: Visit Henckert Tourist Centre, on the route between Swakopmund and Windhoek.

Waterberg and Khaudam The bush and savannah around the Waterberg, north of Windhoek, teems with birdlife and game. Tracks by a far older creature, a three-toed dinosaur, can be viewed at Otjihaenamaparero, a farm north of Kalkveld. Bushwalks with the native San people provide insights into traditional ways of living. Visitors should seek out the Khaudam National Park, Okaepe Living Museum and School Project and Waterberg Plateau. Popular attractions include the Hoba Meteorite, which weighs more than 60 tons and is made mainly of iron, and the AfriCat Foundation at Okonjima which explains the work being done towards big cat conservation. If time allows: Expert cavers and divers can visit Dragon’s Breath, the world’s biggest underground lake. It is 46km (28 miles) north of Grootfontein.

“Expert cavers and divers can visit Dragon’s Breath, the world’s biggest underground lake”

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Past and present Community tourism makes the country’s cultural diversity accessible to visitors and supports its survival and development

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amibia is home to many different peoples, including 12 indigenous ethnic groups. In part, that is reflected by the many different languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. Cultural activities reflect the nation’s diversity and community tourism gives holidaymakers the chance to gain insights into life and traditions.

Works by craftspeople and artists are sold in galleries and at markets throughout the capital. The Namibia Craft Centre holds eggshell jewellery made by Bushmen, woven baskets shaped by Himba, Caprivian, Owambo and Kavango people, plus carved wooden items, woollen wall hangings and embroidery featuring traditional designs. The National Theatre of Namibia runs a diverse performing arts programme, hosting dance, contemporary music and comedy in addition to opera and ballet.

MUSEUMS AND CULTURE IN WINDHOEK For a one-stop overview of Namibian culture and history it’s worth visiting the National Museum of Namibia in Windhoek. LIVING MUSEUM OF THE DAMARA While the Independence Museum tells The Living Museum of the Damara, the story of the movement away established in 2010 close to from German colonial rule, Twyfelfontein, conveys the the National Art Gallery of heritage of the region’s Namibia, also in Windhoek, Bushmen. The project showcases artwork from portrays the traditions around the country of a people who were The Museums Association of through a permanent hunter-gatherers and Namibia has information about collection and hosts livestock herders. sites of cultural interest across the temporary exhibitions. Visitors can observe

Fast facts

country while the Ai Gams Arts and Cultural Festival, held during early September, conveys Namibia’s broad cultural diversity at multiple venues

traditional dances and purchase artwork from the museum’s craft shops. Bushwalks provide insights into hunting, setting traps, making fire and collecting plants for use in medicines and food. CRAFT CENTRES Community tourism draws in investment and ensures local people can share knowledge and perform rituals, in turn ensuring their survival. In the Zambezi region the Ngoma Craft Centre sits close to the border with Botswana. It sells products such as reed mats, pottery and wood carvings. The centre also holds information about the crafts and the people behind the products and enables visitors to pre-book creative sessions with local craftspeople, learning how to make products. Sheshe, another of the country’s leading craft workshops, stands close to the entrance of Nkasa Lupala National Park. Craftspeople from the Wuparo and Dzoti conservancies sell their wares in the modern centre inspired by a traditional design and within a short drive of the Wuparo environmental centre and community-run campsite.

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Nature in the raw

Namibia is home to an impressive array of wildlife, providing opportunities to view Africa’s ‘Big Five’ and ‘Big Nine’

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ravellers to Namibia have the chance to spot Africa’s ‘Big Five’ – black rhinos, buffalo, elephants, leopards and lions. And the presence of cheetahs, giraffes, hippos and zebra means it’s possible to expand that to the ‘Big Nine’.

cheetah and lions. Ostriches and hooded vultures count among the 340 bird species recorded in Etosha.

Namibia’s conservation efforts saw the number of its elephants increase from 7,500 in 1995, to over 22,000 to date. Namibia also has the largest population of free roaming cheetahs in the world.

CAPE CROSS SEAL RESERVE This reserve was established in 1968 to protect the largest of the 23 colonies of South African (or Cape) fur seals breeding along the continent’s western coastline. Around 130km (80 miles) north of Swakopmund, the area encompasses rocky outcrops and gravel flats. Visit during the breeding season (November and December) to see over 200,000 seals and testosterone-fuelled challenges between males.

WATERBERG PLATEAU PARK This lush park with flowering plants and red sandstone formations rises over surrounding savannah. Both black and white rhinos, tsessebe and sable antelope count among the 25 mammalian species that roam here. Namibia’s only breeding Cape vultures, Bradfield’s hornbill and black eagles also count among the 200 bird species. The area can be explored by foot and options include a four-day self-guided wilderness trail or guide-led walk.

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK This popular sanctuary in the north-central region is one of the continent’s largest game reserves and is open year round. At its heart is the Etosha Pan, a prehistoric evaporated lake with 30 waterholes that draw gemsbok, springbok, zebras, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and others. In turn, they attract

CONSERVATION SUCCESS Remarkably, 43% of Namibia falls under some form of conservation – and projects are reaping rewards. In Etosha National Park the number of black rhinos is growing and the country has the world’s largest free-roaming population. Similarly, Namibia has more free-roaming cheetahs than anywhere

else. Mainly found in the north-western and central regions, they adapt to conditions from desert to woodland. The Kunene region is home to one of just two populations of desertdwelling elephants in the world (the other is in Mali). Elephants also roam the lush Zambezi Region and between the trees sprouting from the sandveld of the Khaudum National Park. Wildlife rehabilitation centres offer opportunities to see leopards. The big cats are abundant, particularly in the north-west and in the Zambezi and eastern Otjozondjupa regions. The country’s three major waterways – the Kunene, Okavango and Orange river – are home to hippos. They also find habitat in the wetlands of the Zambezi Region, where giant herds of buffalo roam. Zebras can be spotted in the arid Naukluft Mountains and in the grassland of the NamibNaukluft National Park. Burchell’s zebra and giraffes wander the edges of the pan in Etosha National Park.

“Namibia is home to 217 mammal species, including desert elephants. Twenty-six of these can be found only in Namibia”

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Driven to distraction

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Self-drive holidays are ideal for magical impressions of this vast nation’s countryside and wildlife

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amibia’s road network extends more Namibia’s countryside, it’s best to plan than 44,000km (27,340 miles) from urban conservatively and build contingency for photo hubs into national parks and remote stops, comfort breaks and relaxing along the way. areas. The majority of those roads are As in the UK, vehicles in Namibia drive unsealed, making four-wheel-drive on the left side of the road and all (4WD) vehicles the most flexible passengers must wear seatbelts. option for exploring a scenic, multifaceted country that is The Arid Eden Route one of the safest anywhere Plan at least seven days to for independent travel. travel north-east on the Experienced motorists 525km (326 mile) route from can enjoy driving on sand in In a nation rich with wildlife, Windhoek to Palmwag. Namibia. One of the tricks travelling by road provides Highlights on the way to maintaining control is opportunities to spot include the Spitzkoppe dropping tyre pressure and animals that elsewhere are granite peaks, the White avoiding harsh braking often only seen during game Lady rock painting at the manoeuvres drives. As wild animals are Brandberg Mountain and rock prone to crossing roads, it’s best to engravings at Twyfelfontein. The avoid travelling at night. Petrified Forest National Heritage Of course, drivers need to be alert at all Site, featuring fossilised tree trunks, and times, especially during the early hours of the day rock formations of the Etendeka Mountains can and around dusk, when wildlife is most active. also be seen en route. With so much to see while travelling through Traditional Himba communities dot the landscape

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around Palmwag, which is a gateway to exploring the Kunene Region or driving north-east into Etosha National Park. Exploring Southern Namibia If time allows, visitors should set aside at least a week to drive south from Windhoek, via Keetmanshoop, through the sparsely settled but biodiverse Succulent Karoo biome then onwards to Lüderitz. For travellers interested in geology the route encompasses the Brukkaros Crater and Mesosaurus Fossil Site. Hikers who plan extra days exploring the vast Fish River Canyon will be richly rewarded. Unwinding in the Ai-Ais Hot Springs is extremely welcome. The Garub viewing point provides vistas over the Namib Desert. Remnants of First World War defences and prisoner of war camps make this a captivating stretch for history buffs. So, too, do the abandoned settlements of Bogenfels and Pomona, plus the well-preserved and hauntingly-eerie diamond mining town of Kolmanskop, which is an easy 10km (6 mile) drive from Lüderitz.

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Fast facts Travellers can book a DuneHopper air taxi to traverse the country quickly. Starting from Swakopmund and Windhoek, enjoy outstanding views while flying to luxury lodges and camps at places like the famous Sossusvlei dunes

Room to breathe From boutique bush camps and eco-luxe lodges to allsuite hotels and safari resorts, Namibia has a bounty of new accommodation options

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vernighting at these unique boutiques, wilderness camps and luxury lodges is guaranteed to provide lasting memories.

SEASIDE SECLUSION The newly-opened Shipwreck Lodge (shipwrecklodge.com.na) on Namibia’s dramatic Skeleton Coast offers ship-shaped sea-view suites in the otherworldly seclusion of Shipwreck Coast National Park. Activities available locally include dune-trekking, tracking the elusive desert lion and visits to a nearby Cape fur seal colony. BOUTIQUE HOTELS Windhoek has a fine collection of boutique and luxury hotels that continues to expand as word gets out that the city is worth a stopover of at least a night or two. Hotel Heinitzburg (heinitzburg.com) offers elegant rooms in a converted castle that dates to the early 1900s. In the city centre, Olive Grove Guesthouse (olivegrove-namibia.com) offers highly personalised service and a pool; next door The Olive Exclusive (theolive-namibia.com) is an all-suite boutique property.

GLAMPING SITES Opening in the Namib desert in summer 2019, Sonop (zannierhotels.com) is a plush colonial-style camp with 10 tents plotted on a rocky outcrop overlooking the region’s glittering sandsea. This is glamping at its most glamorous, with silver service dining, a cigar lounge, cocktails, spa rooms and an infinity pool. The more rustic Hoanib Valley Camp (naturalselection.travel/camp/hoanib-valley-camp) is an eco-luxe bastion of sustainability that opened last year nestled among the desert region’s nomadic Himba settlements. The remote six-tent solarpowered camp is a joint venture with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and prides itself on having virtually no carbon footprint. HOT SPRINGS AND SPA RESORTS Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Spa (nwr.com.na) provides a range of treatments based around natural hot springs and overlooks the Fish River Canyon and mountain landscapes. The relaxing Gross Barmen Hot Springs Resort, 100km (62 miles) north of Windhoek, looks out on the Swakop River.

NATIONAL PARK ACCOMMODATION Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) operates rest camps in Namibia’s National Parks. Most have a restaurant, pool, fuel station and shop. Lodges outside the parks are good alternatives if NWR is fully booked. BUSH CAMPS AND SAFARI LODGES Epic wildlife watching and astonishing landscapes are hallmarks of travel in Namibia and these recently-opened luxury lodges and camps place you right in the heart of the panoramic action. Omaanda (zannierhotels.com/omaanda) has luxury thatched huts in a private wildlife reserve and runs twice-daily tailored safaris. Sossus Under Canvas offers a seasonal campsite of eight tents in a natural amphitheatre a short ride from Sossusvlei dunes and the Great Namib Sand Sea. It can only be booked as part of Ultimate Safaris’ private guided fly-in safaris (ultimatesafaris.na). Also new is the rustic Bush Camp by Camp Kwando (campkwando.cc.na/camp-site), on an island in the middle of the Kwando River floodplain. Perfect for more independent travellers, four clusters of thatched huts overlook the water.

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Double delights

ISTOCK: JURGAR

A convenient destination for a dualcentre holiday, Namibia combines well with South Africa to provide insights into Africa’s wildlife, peoples and landscapes

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amibia’s unique landscapes provide plenty of touring possibilities – and lots of ground to cover. A holiday of two to three weeks offers travellers a host of opportunities to immerse themselves in all the country has to offer. Namibia for first-time visitors Most first-timers enjoy the combination of wildlife, coastal and desert scenery offered by the popular circular tour from Windhoek. Two weeks is long enough to head north into Etosha National Park, pausing to view the felines of the AfriCat Foundation at Okonjima. The rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, the Living Museum of the Damara, plus the petrified forest and basalt rocks of the Organ Pipes are popular stops along the scenic drive westwards to the coast. The Skeleton Coast and Dorob National Park are reasons to linger en route to Swakopmund. Adventure enthusiasts should build in a couple of extra days in Swakopmund before heading south to Walvis Bay. The dunes of Sossusvlei and stark landscape of Namib-Naukluft Park also lies along the route taken by many visitors.

Dual-centre holidays Combining a holiday in Namibia with a week in Cape Town and beyond in South Africa is a popular and easy-to-do option for clients. One option is to hire a car in Cape Town and drive north. Richtersveld World Heritage Site, in South Africa, lies along the way and crossing the border means being able to view the scenery of Fish River Canyon. Spend a couple of days in Naute National Park to view wildlife by the dam. Driving towards the coast and staying in Lüderitz allows for a visit to the abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop. Alternatively, flying in from South Africa to Lüderitz or Windhoek is an option for those hiring a car to explore the regions outside the capital. Omulunga Palm Route Return visitors are likely to enjoy heading northwest out of Etosha National Park.

At Ongula Cultural Village travellers can gain insights into the Owambo people’s heritage before driving on to the Uukwaluudhi Royal Household near Tasandi.

City living Windhoek has much to offer visitors. The National Museum of Namibia conveys the land’s natural history, while The Geological Survey Museum reveals the wealth of minerals, fossils and meteorites that have been found across the country. Also drop by the TransNamib Railway Museum and Windhoek City Museum. The Windhoek Carnival (April) and Oktoberfest are among events that celebrate the city’s German Colonial heritage. Several building names hint at this history – for example, the Alte Namibia offers numerous Feste (‘old fort’) was opportunities for excursions. From built more than a Lüderitz take a tour to view the century ago, while The

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penguin colony that inhabits Halifax Island. One of the most popular trips, especially among photographers, is to the ghost town at Kolmanskop

Tintenpalast (‘ink palace’) is the home to Namibia’s parliament. Heritage buildings dot the area around Robert Mugabe and Independence Avenues, which is also the home to the Outstryders Memorial, commemorating the hardy Boers who trekked away from British rule in southern Africa. The National Botanical Garden of Namibia is a tranquil place to gain an overview of the country’s flora. The Desert House is home to around 200 species that live in the Sperrgebiet and Namib Desert. Foodies will love a tour of the Namibia Breweries premises, where Windhoek Lager is brewed, or a visit to the famous Hartlief delicatessen. Nearby attractions Daan Viljoen Game Park, in the hills of the Khomas Hochland, are around 30km (18 miles) from the city and can be explored on foot. It is home to 200 bird species including the Monteiro’s hornbill. The dam at the centre of Von Bach Recreation Resort, north of Windhoek, is great for water skiing, angling and boating. Golfers can book a tee time for a round of golf at Windhoek Golf and Country Club.

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Ready for action

From tandem skydives through to game fishing and ‘astrophotography’, this is a destination with lots on offer

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hrill-seekers and sportspeople alike can participate in activities across Namibia throughout the year – and not everything on offer requires honed athletes! YEAR-ROUND ADVENTURE From the Swakopmund Skydiving Club Desert Boogie in January to the desert run and triathlon held in December, events take place with backdrops such as the Waterberg Plateau Park and NamibNaukluft Park. Runners can enter half or full marathons in places such as Windhoek (May) and Walvis Bay (October), or take the 250km (155 mile) challenge posed by the Desert Ultra at Brandberg. Other varied options include endurance horse riding, quad biking tours and beach volleyball. SNAP HAPPY Photographers are spoilt for choice. The stunning landscapes of the Sossusvlei dunes and

waterways of the Kavango prove popular subjects. In addition to the proximity of game animals and colourful birdlife, Namibia provides opportunities for outstanding ‘people photos’. The Herero and Himba people are regularly seen in traditional dress. Thanks to the dark skies above Namibia’s sparsely populated landscapes, the country is one of the world’s leading ‘astrophotography’ destinations. The Spitzkoppe’s jagged peak and rock arch make popular foregrounds for ethereal images depicting the Milky Way. The Windhoek Light Namib Quest, during May, is an event likely to appeal to keen night photographers.

THE VIEW FROM ABOVE Drifting in a hot air balloon provides spectacular panoramas of the Namib Desert’s arid beauty. For a special start to the day, morning flights can be combined with a Sandboarding – imagine surfing or Champagne breakfast. snowboarding on sand – Light aircraft flights from

Fast facts

is a way of swooshing down the giant desert dunes near Swakopmund while kicking up a golden spray of sand

Walvis Bay are an exciting way of seeing the wrecks, waves and seals along the Skeleton Coast or the barren but beautiful Sperrgebiet south of Lüderitz. They also expose visitors to the full beauty of the Fish River Canyon’s expansive curves. Paragliding above the dunes around Swakopmund and tandem sky dives are also spectacular ways of appreciating the diverse landscapes from on high. ON THE WATER The Chobe, Kwando, Linyanti, Okavango and Zambezi rivers flow through the Zambezi Region (often still called the Caprivi Region), which is home to 84 species of fish. For freshwater anglers the pools, rivers and sandbanks offer a variety of challenges, including fishing for powerful tigerfish, which can weigh up to 10kg. Campsites and lodges usually have information about the best locations and bait. Game fishing is also an option, from boats, off Swakopmund. Snoek, Cape yellowtail and mackerel count among the fish to target between October and January, while boat fishing is possible year round.

“The Spitzkoppe’s jagged peak and rock arch make popular foregrounds for ethereal images depicting the Milky Way”

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 There are no direct flights between the UK Getting There

Ready to go? Get set to travel with this useful information for planning a Namibia holiday

to Namibia, however there are plenty of airlines which now fly to Windhoek, the capital city, offering convenient night flights. A typical journey time can take 15 hours, including a few hours stopover. Consider the following airlines: • Air Namibia (020 7644 8842, airnamibia.com) flies daily via Frankfurt from UK airports. • South African Airways (020 8576 5500, flysaatrade. com) flies twice daily via Johannesburg from London Heathrow. • Qatar Airways (0333 320 2454, qatarairways.com) flies four-times-weekly via Doha from Heathrow. • Ethiopian Airlines (0800 016 3449, ethiopianairlines. com) flies once a week via Addis Abbaba from London Heathrow. • KLM (0871 231 0000, klm.com) flies from 17 UK airports three times weekly, via Amsterdam.

Currency The Namibian dollar (N$) is fixed at parity with the South African Rand, which is legal tender throughout Namibia. £1 = N$19 (April 2019).

Visitors are advised to take South African Rand to Namibia as it’s easier to convert back into GBPs than the Namibian dollar.

Fast facts

Tourism to the country, one of the most unique in Africa, is on the up – between 2012 and 2016 visitor numbers increased by more than 36%.

Visas UK travellers heading to Namibia for 90 days or less do not require a visa but must be travelling on a passport valid for at least six months after the date of entry. All children under 18 travelling to Namibia need to have a full birth certificate with them at all times.

 220 volts; sockets with three round plugs Electricity

Health The warm, dry climate means travellers should drink bottled water to stay hydrated. The risk of contracting malaria is ‘low to minimal’ in most parts of the country, or limited to a specific time of the year. However, there is a malaria risk in the northern region during the rainy season, from November to March, particularly in the Kunene, Okavango and Kwando river systems. If your clients are travelling to these areas, advise them to speak with their doctor to take precautions at any time of the year.

(types D and M) are common, so UK travellers require an all-purpose adaptor.

 English is Namibia’s only official language but

Afrikaans and German is widely spoken. Tswana, Caprivian, Herero, Kavango, Nama, Owambo and San count among the many languages.

Time During summertime, from the first Sunday in September until the first Sunday in April, Namibia uses Daylight Saving Time, which is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In wintertime, from April to September, Namibia is one hour ahead of GMT.

Language

 The prefix 00 264 must be used if calling Telephone

Namibia from the UK.

What to pack:

Essential info Essential info.indd 19

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4/24/19 02:56 PM


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Namibia Travel Guide 2019-2020  

Namibia, in southwest Africa, has good tourism infrastructure and is regarded as a safe travel destination. A constitutional commitment to c...

Namibia Travel Guide 2019-2020  

Namibia, in southwest Africa, has good tourism infrastructure and is regarded as a safe travel destination. A constitutional commitment to c...