Travel Namibia ITB Edition 2024

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namibia travel

ITB Edition 2024 | Vol 32 No 2


100 THINGS to do, see, know & experience

Conservation | Discover the Zambezi | The Vast South | Epic Adventures along the coast | Hike the Naukluft

LIVE THE WILD LIFE AT ONGAVA. By putting nature first at Ongava, we set the scene for a renewed understanding and appreciation of the importance of wildlife conservation.


Beyond the ordinary

namibia travel

is published by Venture Media in Windhoek, Namibia

ITB Edition 2024 | Vol 32 No 2

Tel: +264 61 383 450, 5 Conradie Street, Windhoek PO Box 21593, Windhoek, Namibia EDITOR Elzanne McCulloch

Conscious Travel

Let FlyNamibia help you discover the wonders of Namibia. Where to next? Beyond the ordinary.



CONTENT MANAGER Le Roux van Schalkwyk

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LAYOUT & DESIGN Liza Lottering

19/01/2024 10:20 AM


100 THINGS to do, see, know & experience

Conservation | Discover the Zambezi | The Vast South | Epic Adventures along the coast | Hike the Naukluft

Winter 2023

CUSTOMER SERVICE Bonn Nortjé TEXT CONTRIBUTORS Le Roux van Schalkwyk, Charene Labuschagne, Elzanne McCulloch, Kirsty Watermeyer, Iga Motylska PHOTOGRAPHERS Le Roux van Schalkwyk - LvS Elzanne McCulloch - EM Pompie Burger - PB Gerhard Thirion - GT Paul van Schalkwyk - PvS Charene Labuschagne - CL Eric van Zyl - EvZ

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Nina van Zyl - NvZ Willie Olivier - WO Louis Wessels - LW Liza Lottering - LL Jo Tagg - JT Ricardo Richter - RR Rièth van Schalkwyk - RvS


If uncredited, images are stock or supplied.

Travel Namibia is published quarterly, distributed worldwide via Zinio digital newsstand and in physical format in southern Africa. The editorial content of TN is contributed by the Venture Media team, freelance writers and journalists. It is the sole property of the publisher and no part of the magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

Industry partners:

All information and travel details are correct at the time of going to press. Due to uncertain circumstances, this may have changed after the date of publication. Please check businesses' individual websites for up-to-date details.


Beyond the ordinary


ITB Edition 2024 | Vol 32 No 2

Conscious Travel

Let FlyNamibia help you discover the wonders of Namibia. Where to next? Beyond the ordinary.


FlyNamibia ITB designs .indd 12


19/01/2024 10:20 AM


100 THINGS to do, see, know & experience

Conservation | Discover the Zambezi | The Vast South | Epic Adventures along the coast | Hike the Naukluft

ADVERTISE WITH US To advertise in Travel Namibia or any of our other publications, contact Elzanne:

824,268 km²

CAPITAL: Windhoek

INDEPENDENCE: 21 March 1990


Secular state

Multiparty parliament Democratic Division of power between constitution executive, freedom of religion legislature and




Freedom of the press/media



20% of surface area

HIGHEST MOUNTAIN: Brandberg OTHER PROMINENT MOUNTAINS: Spitzkoppe, Moltkeblick, Gamsberg PERENNIAL RIVERS: Orange, Kunene, Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe


Numerous, including Fish, Kuiseb, Swakop and Ugab


14 zones 680 ENDEMIC plant species 400 120+ species of trees

FASTEST-GROWING Information SECTOR: Communication Industry


The Namibia Dollar (N$) is fixed to and on par with the SA Rand. The South African Rand is also legal tender. Foreign currency, international Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted.


All goods and services are priced to include value-added 15% tax of 15%. Visitors may reclaim VAT.

ENQUIRIES: Ministry of Finance

Tel (+264 61) 23 0773 in Windhoek


Public transport is NOT available to all tourist destinations in Namibia. There are bus services from Windhoek to Swakopmund as well as Cape Town/Johannesburg/Vic Falls. Namibia’s main railway line runs from the South African border, connecting Windhoek to Swakopmund in the west and Tsumeb in the north. There is an extensive network of international and regional flights from Windhoek and domestic charters to all destinations.


Elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, giraffe

20 250 256 50 699

Total road network length of 48 537.7 km 8400km bitumen standard | 330km salt roads | 26024km gravel | 13774km earth


Walvis Bay, Lüderitz


airstrips Kutako International Airport,

Eros Airport

RAIL NETWORK: 2,382 km

narrow gauge

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Direct-dialling facilities to

100 inhabitants


221 countries

150 countries / 80 networks

species of lichen


Welwitschia mirabilis




Diamonds, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, magnesium, cadmium, arsenic, pyrites, silver, gold, lithium minerals, dimension stones (granite, marble, blue sodalite) and many semiprecious stones


lines per




6.2 telephone


ECONOMY MAIN PRIVATE SECTORS: Mining, Manufacturing, Fishing and Agriculture


antelope species mammal species (14 endemic)

reptile species frog species bird species

ENDEMIC BIRDS including Herero Chat, Rockrunner, Damara Tern, Monteiro’s Hornbill and Dune Lark

DRINKING WATER Most tap water is purified and safe to drink. Visitors should exercise caution in rural areas.








0.4182 medical doctor per

1,000 people


privately run hospitals in Windhoek with intensive-care units

Medical practitioners (world standard) 24-hour medical emergency services


2.6 million

DENSITY: 3 per km²


461 000 LANGUAGE: inhabitants in Windhoek (15% of total)




14 regions 13 ethnic cultures 16 languages and dialects POPULATION GROWTH RATE:



over 1,900 schools, various vocational and tertiary institutions

TIME ZONES GMT + 2 hours

ELECTRICITY 220 volts AC, 50hz, with outlets for round three-pin type plugs

FOREIGN REPRESENTATION More than 50 countries have Namibian consular or embassy representation in Windhoek.


PRESERVING THE JEWEL Navigating Conscious Travel in Namibia’s Diverse Landscape Amid Global Challenges


amibia, a jewel in the crown of Africa, prides herself on her environmental and cultural diversity—a diversity that is as rich and contrasting as the landscapes. From Zambezi and Kunene in the north, and all the way south to Karas and the Orange River, and with all the starkly different cultures and sceneries in between. These differences are harmoniously echoed in our national anthem, encapsulating the contrasting beauty that is Namibia. The unprecedented global pandemic during 20202022 was a stark reminder that the ability to explore and travel is not just an activity but a privilege that we had perhaps taken for granted. This period of global distress was a wake-up call, compelling us to halt our strides and reflect profoundly on our actions and lifestyle choices. COVID-19 not only challenged our health systems but also implored us to scrutinise our lifestyles and actions. It became evident that a collective behavioural metamorphosis was imperative. The world is at a crossroads, grappling with human-induced climate change due to reliance on fossil fuels, escalating conflicts, pervasive poaching, and the spectre of poverty.

This juncture demands of us, as global travellers, a heightened consciousness. The call for a shift in our travel patterns is not just a whim but a necessity, especially for Namibia, a nation characterised by its arid nature. This consciousness in travel is not merely about individual choices but about ensuring a sustainable future for our planet. Hence, before you pack your suitcase for your next journey, take a moment to unpack what it truly means to travel consciously. Reflect on how your footprints align not just with your personal itinerary but with the global imperative to tread lightly and thoughtfully, ensuring that the beauty of Namibia, and indeed the world, is preserved for generations to come. Heartfelt greetings, Bornventure Mbidzo Acting Chief Executive Officer Namibia Tourism Board

At the pivotal UN Climate Change Conference COP28 conference in Dubai 2023, world leaders took a resolute stand by committing to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption.





22 Heinitzburg Street, Windhoek | +264 61 249 597

| |





Conscious Travel

Beyond the ordinary

It is sweeping across the world, and now also across the breathtaking landscapes of Namibia like a refreshing breeze, wiping slates clean and bringing hope for a bright future for travel. More than just a buzzword or trend, a unique and transformative form of tourism is taking root – conscious travel.

Let FlyNamibia help you discover the wonders of Namibia. Where to next? Beyond the ordinary.


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The notion of conscious travel in Namibia is driven by an awareness of one’s impact on the environment and the communities visited. It is about more than just eco-friendly practices; it is a deeper understanding and commitment to positive change. Conscious tourists are those who are aware of their carbon footprint and seek to offset the environmental impact of their travels. They favour experiences and accommodations that not only respect the environment but also contribute positively to local communities and conservation efforts.

ITB Edition 2024 | Vol 32 No 2

Conscious Travel

Our unique destination could not be better suited to welcome the conscious traveller. This approach to tourism, grounded in sustainability and ecological mindfulness, aligns seamlessly with Namibia’s preferred approach of “high yield, low impact” tourism, as well as our core brand values: rugged, natural, soulful and liberating. Namibia, more than being just a destination, is an experience that touches the heart and soul of every visitor. Our nation’s dedication to conservation is evident, with a staggering 46% of land under some form of conservation management. This includes national parks, communal conservancies, nature reserves and private lands. Namibia’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage while fostering tourism is an inspiring example of balancing environmental stewardship with economic development.

namibia travel

19/01/2024 10:20 AM


100 THINGS to do, see, know & experience

Conservation | Discover the Zambezi | The Vast South | Epic Adventures along the coast | Hike the Naukluft

They say once you have felt the sands of the Namib in your shoes, it is hard to leave. Nowhere is this truer than after a visit to Shipwreck Lodge on Namibia’s iconic Skeleton Coast. Cover image: Le Roux van Schalkwyk


INSTAGRAM @thisis_namibia

Namibia’s approach to tourism reflects a deep understanding of the need for sustainability in a world where the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly felt. Our nation’s tourism sector has evolved to meet the demands of a new generation of travellers who seek meaningful, responsible and sustainable travel experiences. This aligns with the global shift towards more environmentally friendly lifestyles and travel choices. The conscious travel movement in Namibia is about a holistic approach to sustainability. This includes the preservation of wildlife and natural habitats, supporting local communities and ensuring that tourism benefits are shared equitably. Namibia’s responsible lodges and tourism operators are setting the standard in sustainable tourism. Namibia’s blend of natural beauty and commitment to conscious travel makes us a leading destination for those seeking an authentic, sustainable and soulful travel experience. Our collective dedication to preserving its rugged, natural landscapes – while liberating its people through sustainable tourism practices – sets an example for the rest of the world. Namibia is not just a place to visit; it is a place to experience, learn and be transformed by the power of conscious travel. With love from Namibia,






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100 things to do, see, know and experience 1. NAMIBIA IS SOULFUL - P8

2. Christuskirche 3. Try Kapana in Katutura 4. Art in the city 5. Shop at the Namibian Craft Centre 6. The Village Sunday Market 7. Stroll through Swakopmund 8. Climb a dune in the Namib 9. Sandwich Harbour 10. Eat, sleep, experience Lüderitz 11. The Ultimate Namibia Roadtrip Playlist 12. Watch the sunset over the Fish River Canyon 13. Support local crafters in Zambezi 14. Visit the ghost town of Kolmanskop 15. The Red Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei 16. Making Mindful Moves along Coastal Shores 17. Made in Namibia


19. Windhoek on every budget 20. The Gibeon Meteorites 21. Ombonde’s Peoples Park 22. Find a Shipwreck 23. Ride for Rhinos 24. Enjoy a boot beer at Brauhaus 25. Visit the Kristall Galerie 26. Camping in the moon landscape 27. Skeleton Coast 28. Visit a Living Museum 29. Camp in Ovambo 30. Find a Lone Man 31. Burnt Mountain 32. Roadside Shopping tips

33. Brandberg’s famous White Lady 34. Rock art at Twyfelfontein 35. Community camping in Nyae Nyae 36. Epupa Falls 37. Hoba Meteorite 38. Bogenfels 39. Hike the Fish River Canyon 40. Sesriem Canyon 41. Petrified Forest Coffee Shop 42. Spreetshoogte 43. Giant’s Playground


45. Namibia’s national parks 46. World’s only quadripoint 47. The Big 5 48. Endemic and Near-endemic birds of Namibia 49. Dune Lark 50. The Little 5 51. Dune Adventures 52. Fat bike in the desert 53. Living Desert Tours 54. Try the Omajova 55. Surf and Turf at the Walvis Bay Waterfront 56. Boat Cruise on the Atlantic 57. Kayak at Pelican Point 58. Flamingos at the Walvis Bay Lagoon 59. Cape Cross Seal Reserve 60. Oranjemund’s RAMSAR site 61. Fishing off the Atlantic Coast 62. The Welwitschia 63. Diving in Namibia 64. Namibia’s most endangered species 65. Rhino recoveries 66. Trail running in Namibia

67. Hike Etendeka 68. Kalahari Truffles 69. Slackpacking the Khomas Hochland 70. Deadvlei’s famous trees 71. Sandhof Lilies 72. Namibian Prickely Pear Juice 73. The Quiver tree forest 74. Tigerfishing 75. Help Conserve the Big Cats 76. Game drive atop Waterberg Plateau Park 77. Five special species to spot on safari 78. Khaudum National Park 79. Hiking the Naukluft Mountains 80. Walking wildlife Safari


82. Drinks and dancing at Goodfellas 83. The Namibian Independence Museum 84. National Heritage Sites 85. Skydiving 86. Swakopmund Museum 87. Gin at Bar Zonder Naam 88. Take a photo at the Tropic of Capricorn 89. The Namib Sand Sea 90. Walk along the Swakopmund Jetty 91. Namibia’s Dark Sky Reserve 92. Experience Namibia from Above 93. Balloon safaris of the desert 94. Fairy Circles 95. Surfing along the Atlantic 96. Visit the Nakambale Museum in Owambo 97. Thrifting at the open market in Ondangwa 98. A desert music festival at Spitzkoppe 99. Unique Stays across Namibia 100. Indulge in a Slofari





With its almost limitless gravel plains, rolling dunes, ancient rivers and extremely low population, travelling across Namibia’s vast landscapes transports you to a magical place where existence is unhurried and time is relative. Our mind is able to be idle and free itself from its daily burden of over-stimulation - stay conscious, live in the moment. We can reconnect with what makes us human: our soul.

Christuskirche Christuskirche, the attractive sandstone church rising from an elevation in the centre of Windhoek, has been a prominent landmark ever since it was dedicated in October 1910.


Namibia’s art scene is quickly gaining momentum, championing multi-media local talent and budding artists from our neighbours. Here are four galleries to visit in Windhoek: • • • •


at the Namibian Craft Centre

Bellhaus Atelier & Galerie The Project Room StArt Art Gallery Namibian Arts Association


ART in the city

It is no secret that our high-quality organic meat ranks among Namibians’ favourite in the kitchen... or rather on the grill. Namibia, and more specifically Katutura, is well-known for its kapana, which is slithers of grilled beef prepared on an open fire. Spiced up with a cultural buzz, ethnic diversity, intricate history and social aspects, Katutura is a mustdo on your list when visiting Windhoek. Katutura actually means the place where the people originally did not want to live, but coming here you will soon realise that today it beats with a pulse unlike anywhere else in the world.

On the premises of an old brewery, this popular craft market boasts three floors of baskets, leather bags, beaded and wooden figurines, clothing, jewellery and much more. The Namibia Craft Centre is located on Tal Street, Windhoek, and offers a wide range of Namibian and African souvenirs.





Stroll through Swakopmund

The Village Sunday Market is a sanctuary of shared talents and passions. Located at 18 Liliencron Street, Windhoek, this captivating destination invites you to join every Sunday from 09:00 to 15:00. Let the live music and artisanal goodies envelop you in an unforgettable experience that celebrates the beauty of community and the remarkable treasures that Namibia has to offer.

Climb a dune in the Namib

The stretch of road connecting Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, between desert and ocean, beckons to be taken in for a moment. Pull off the road at demarcated turns, park your vehicle and climb a Namibian sand dune. It is a workout with an instant reward – the view from the top – and a perfect place to experience one of our iconic sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean.


The Village Sunday Market

There are not many towns that offer quite as much to the traveller on foot as Swakopmund. The historic town is located where the desert hugs the Atlantic Ocean, north of Walvis Bay, and was the preferred settlement of early German colonists, perhaps due to its temperate climate and use as a harbour. Swakopmund has a distinct, quirky style that has managed to survive despite lots of development in town. A walk along its roads reveals little treasures that would easily be overlooked otherwise. Keep your eyes open for the details, the history, the strange and the heartwarming. Swakop is always best on foot.


This is where the Namib’s giant dunes run into one of the country’s most important coastal wetlands. The Sandwich Harbour Lagoon is one of Namibia’s Ramsar sites and supports thousands of wading birds, with eight of these species being endangered. Apart from being of ecological importance, the sheer scope of the natural lagoon and massive dunes that run into it makes it one of the country’s must-visit places. As getting here is not for the faint-hearted, various companies offer day excursions to Sandwich Harbour.






Lüderitz is the designated destination for travellers wishing to visit the famed Kolmanskop ghost town. And while the sandfilled historic homes of Namibia’s first diamond tycoons remain the main attraction, this small town has a whole lot more up its sleeve.

Where to stay

Lüderitz boasts several accommodation options, the most prominent being the Lüderitz Nest Hotel. The classic, comfortable rooms are all en suite, with the option to book adjoining rooms if you are travelling with kids. Krabbenhöft & Lampe makes for a unique self-catering stay in the centre of town. The building, now a national monument, was one of Lüderitz’s first trading houses. Kratzplatz, a centrally located bed & breakfast, is also in a historic building. Quaint and quirky, the accommodation offers everything a guest might need – from WiFi to secure parking – and a no-frills kind of vibe.

Where to eat, drink and be merry

Essenzeit is located at the Lüderitz Waterfront with ample indoor and outdoor seating. Enjoy an ice-cold local beer and dive into the sensational seafood platter while admiring the monohulls and catamarans that bob calmly in the bay.

The ultimate Namibia roadtrip


Diaz Coffee Shop is a great lunch spot which serves wholesome and affordable dishes, from toasted sandwiches to full-fledged fresh fish meals. Try their fresh oysters with Tabasco sauce and a lemon wedge. Portuguese Fisherman is one of the newer eateries in town, with sheltered outdoor seating and ample more inside – perfectly suited to the windy yet sunny location. Tuck into their calamari and crayfish, best paired with white wine, and enjoy the adorable marine-inspired decor. Barrels is the local hang-out spot favoured for its no-nonsense menu of pizza and the chef’s special, which is a three-course dinner and always something different. The place oozes atmosphere.



This bloated playlist features some headbobbing indie, cheesy 80s synth, sing-alongs and all-time classics – the perfect soundtrack for Namibia’s scenic roads.

WATCH THE SUNSET OVER THE FISH RIVER CANYON Standing at the viewpoint above the Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, one cannot help but think how we are only tiny, insignificant specks on the most brilliant orange horizon. How nature has really outdone itself by simply following its course over hundreds of millions of years… Will you brave Namibia’s most famous hiking trail in the Fish River Canyon?

Support local crafts by purchasing clay, wood and woven creations from the roadside in the Zambezi Region.

Visit the ghost town of


The appeal of Lüderitz’s rich history is tethered to the rise and fall of this settlement, which sprung up after the first diamond was discovered in the vicinity in 1908 by railway worker Zacharias Lewala. Within a few years, Kolmanskop was created out of the dust. Wealthy residents enjoyed amenities like a ballroom, power station, an ice factory and a hospital which boasted the first X-ray equipment in the southern hemisphere. The now eerily empty and dune-filled buildings can be explored at your leisure, or with a guide.



It is the most magical place on earth. Soaring mountains of sand surround you as you traverse the soft desert in this otherworldly valley. While passing Dune 45 on your drive in, you see tiny dots along the edge of the dune – those are people climbing to the top. When you’ve roughed it along the 5-kilometre 4x4 trail to reach Deadvlei you will see a giant before you: Big Daddy, one of the tallest dunes in the Namib Sand Sea. Get there super early if you want to attempt a climb to the summit. It gets hot sooner than you’d think. The view from the top astounds like no other. Deadvlei (or Dead Pan) lies below you, dotted with 500-year-old camelthorn skeletons and visitors to this ghostly expanse hidden among a sea of red sand.



Making Mindful Moves along coastal shores Text and Photographs Kirsty Watermeyer


he benefits of travelling have been proven many times. It improves brain function, boosts mental health and it has been linked to stress reduction. However, when travelling, we often adopt unhealthy habits. Our diets change, as do our sleeping habits. This can have an effect on our health and wellbeing.

want to get an Eland steak for their trip, they come here. You find things here that you won’t get in Germany, like prickly pear jam or hibiscus jam. We also have a growing demand for local honey. The beekeepers around Namibia are a small group, and I source from them. They have hives in places like Otjiwarongo, Otavi or Omaruru.”

Conscious travel extends past our impact on the environment and includes the impact travel has on our bodies. Making mindful travel choices helps us to slow down and appreciate the finer details of what is going on around us. This can have a positive effect on our carbon footprint and the environment, whilst supporting local markets and people.

Anja explains that understanding this seasonal way of life is essential to become a more conscious traveller. “We need to get back to basics and live closer to the Earth’s natural cycles. For example, at Easter time free-range chickens don’t lay eggs. That’s their time for moulting. They lose their feathers and don’t have enough hormones to produce feathers and eggs. We need to be understanding of nature’s cycles. In the past you would only find oranges during their season. We’ve forgotten that and this is how we can live closer to the Earth. We need to eat seasonally and live seasonally. We do that with the way we clothe ourselves based on the season. Why not also do that in the way we eat and live? It’s better for the environment.”

We have created a list of a few of the mindful, conscious or environmentally friendly places you can visit on your trip to the coastal town of Swakopmund.


Eating organic increases the amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and micronutrients in your diet. There are no artificial flavours or preservatives, and cleaner food means cleaner diets, which leads to a cleaner bill of health. What is more, organic farming creates healthy soil. Healthy soil creates healthy food and a healthy environment. In Swakopmund there are more than one option to source your organic produce. One of these outlets, Farmganic, sources organic and local items from all over the country for you to enjoy a taste of fresh Namibian produce. They believe in the benefits of supporting locally grown produce and eating seasonally. According to the owner, Anja Hofmeister, there are no imports in her shop. “Our products are locally grown or made all over Namibia.” Anja sources seasonal and fresh items according to farmers’ specialities and the harvest times of their produce. “For example, around May and June we get the sweetest giant mangos grown in the Uis area, ready to eat. I stock a range called ProBio from a farmer in Otavi who grows everything organically and manufactures everything on the farm. She has fields of hibiscus and she’ll make hibiscus tea or jam. Whatever she has on her farm, she utilises.” “I also stock game. If people are going on a camping trip and

Find Farmganic and their variety of organic and local farm produce, jams, bakery products and snacks at 15 Swakop Street, Swakopmund.

HEALTHIER TREATS WITH THE 1877 DOUGHNUT BAR Doughnuts date back to Germany in 1485. It is here that the recipe for stuffed fried dough cakes without sugar was found in a German cookbook published in Nuremberg. It was a revolutionary recipe – jam placed inside deep-fried yeast bread dough. It is unclear whether the anonymous author actually invented the idea, but the concept of filling a doughnut with jam quickly spread across the globe. A sourdough doughnut is one made from sourdough yeast. It makes for a more flavourful doughnut that is soft and springy. What’s more, because it has been fermented, it facilitates the absorption of iron and magnesium in the body, and is high in minerals such as zinc and calcium. With its home on the historic jetty in Swakopmund, the 1877 Doughnut Bar opened in 2021. “The 1877 comes from the sourdough that we use. The original plant came from Germany in 1877 and has been kept alive since then,” explains manager Terence (Terry) West.



Terence invents the interesting and ever-changing flavours at the 1877 Doughnut Bar. “It is a small family business. I make it all myself and we use the best quality products. For example, we don’t use margarine, only butter.” “We use sourdough because it makes a great tasting doughnut, but also it’s fermented, so it’s easier on the digestive system.” Terry is happy to add that you’d need to eat three of his doughnuts to consume as much sugar as you’ll find in popular fizzy drinks. When asked why he and his family decided to open a doughnut bar, Terry animatedly tells the following story: “I had been studying in Germany and I used to buy my jam Berliners every day at a place next to where I was studying. It was my little treat, but the place closed down. I came back to Namibia and researched what goes into a great Berliner. My mom was talking about what we should all do, and I made a joke about starting a doughnut shop. That’s how it all came about.” Find the 1877 Doughnut Bar on the Swakopmund Jetty.

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH HEAL HEALTH WAREHOUSE Heal Health Warehouse has established itself as a Namibian hub for natural and eco-friendly products, including ranges that focus on health, beauty, food, home and baby products. Based in Swakopmund, this local business has grown a strong online shopping presence that allows you to shop their range from anywhere in the country through their countrywide shipping.

Shereez Martin, manager at Heal Health Warehouse, explains that they are “a onestop health shop” that was established five years ago. “Our goal is to be the one place where you can get everything and where you can ask questions. We do a lot of research, so when people ask questions, we can give the best advice.” She goes on to explain that they have put great attention towards creating an easy online shopping experience so that customers can conveniently order from anywhere in Namibia. In fact, she is generally the person packing the orders and is more than happy to answer questions or assist in any way. Her personal experience with the natural route has made her a passionate advocate for natural solutions. “Personally I have seen the power of the natural path. My body does better when I look after it in this way.” Shereez recommends taking mindful journeys, explaining that this can mean taking and using biodegradable or earth-friendly products on a camping trip without harming the environment or leaving anything behind. That is the real beauty of the 100% natural products which you can find at Heal Health Warehouse. Shereez also recommends parking your car and walking as a way to travel more consciously. “In Swakopmund, we have the perfect environment for walking. Do more things that are healthy when you’re travelling and take the road less travelled.” Heal Health Warehouse stocks all kinds of health products, from healthy car snacks to organic and natural supplements and more. “We can always help or give tips on whatever you need for the journey,” says Shereez. She concludes by sharing a personal story of being more mindful: “I was recently camping at Brandberg and along the way I would fill up my empty water bottles



and give water to people along the road who don’t have access to water. I reused the bottles that I took and passed along some water. It’s a little thing, but little things do count. To me that is being mindful.” Find Heal Health Warehouse at 14 Hendrik Witbooi Street, Swakopmund or at

TASTE LOCAL FARM PRODUCTS AT THE SWAKOP RIVER MARKET The Swakop River starts its journey to the Atlantic Ocean in the Khomas Hochland. Flowing westwards, it crosses the Namib Desert before reaching the ocean at Swakopmund. Despite its irregular flow, delicious fresh produce such as tomatoes, asparagus and olives are grown alongside the riverbank just before it meets the town of Swakopmund. Growing in what is a desert environment, these vegetables are organic and very popular across Namibia.

As a way for local and international tourists to experience the bounty of the Swakop River, a well-known resident of the Swakop River Plots, Wolfgang Gellert, has started a market hosted every weekend at his new restaurant, Gellert’s Stube. Wolfgang is a master butcher who studied his trade in the late 1970s in Germany. He has lived and worked in Swakopmund for many years, and his most recent endeavour is the retirement project that he runs alongside his butchery at the plots, 14 km outside of Swakopmund. “I grew up on the farm, around nature and working with meat. I have owned butcheries in Swakopmund and worked for other companies in the food trade. I have retired since and the work I do now is a passion. My products are organic. I mix all the spices myself and dry my own herbs.” Wolfgang, together with his partner Stephanie Gellert, launched the weekly Swakop River Market as a platform for local producers from the Swakop River to sell their goods. “We invite vendors who grow and make things at the plots. Whatever they produce, we sell at the market. It’s things like eggs, olive oil, tomatoes, plants and farm-fresh veggies. It’s foodstuff all locally grown and made,” says Wolfgang. “We started small, and it’s not commercial. It is fun and family focused. When you come to us you get to enjoy a taste of Namibian food. Good food. Back to nature and the earth. People who grow things at the Swakop River don’t do it for money because you don’t make much money. They do it out of passion. I hope that this market will help support people making local products. The money we make is ploughed back into the market to grow the market and make sure it is well attended,” explains Wolfgang. Find out more about the Swakop River Market through the Gellerts Delikatessen & Catering Facebook page or at the Farmganic shop. TNN

Your charming, family friendly accommodation in the historic building, characteristic of the pioneering years of Swakopmund. In the heart of town, but near enough to the sea to listen to its murmuring at night and offering an ideal retreat for anyone enjoying an oasis of silence and relaxation. If you are visiting Namibia on a DIGITAL NOMAD VISA, we are the right place to stay.

Secure parking +264 (0)64 412 540 |


Our world of joy.

Our world of wonder. Our world of adventure.


Let us share it with you.



Made in Namibia:

Text and Photographs Kirsty Watermeyer

W h e re A r t a n d



e r t Com

To g e t h er

n innovative hub for Namibian crafters, artists and innovators – a platform for their work to reach potential buyers – can be found in the coastal town of Swakopmund. The Made in Namibia Collection hosts a variety of locally made products from all over the country. As a collective, it provides a home for small-scale artists and entrepreneurs to sell their work. The range includes established and well-known Namibian brands as well as products by individuals from different ethnic backgrounds simply looking to feed their family with their craft. The Made in Namibia Collection story, as well as the stories of the various artists being uplifted through this collective, is inspirational. A visit to their concept store in Swakopmund is a feast for the eyes, and listening to the inspirational stories of artists supporting themselves and their communities through their unique talents is a heart-warming experience.

NAMIBIA IS SOULFUL The concept was born when a husband-and-wife duo, Raymond and Marilyn Spall, decided to focus on supplying a small range of Namibian-manufactured gifts eight years ago. They did not know that one day their idea would become a platform making a difference in the lives of many artists and artisans. Raymond says, “Our goal has always been to increase the exposure and nationwide platform for all our local suppliers to benefit from and, as a preferred supplier to Namibia Wildlife Resorts, this foundation has major advantages for all our suppliers, especially once their products become popular.” “We are a truly Support Namibian concept and it’s when you talk to our subsistence suppliers directly that you fully comprehend how this platform has made significant changes to their livelihood. We opened our first retail shop in March 2018 and we were able to gauge which products were popular. From here we have been slowly introducing these items to our wholesale customer base and as a result we are finally experiencing exponential growth,” explains Raymond. Jacky Haslund is the manager at The Made in Namibia Collection store found at Ankerplatz in Swakopmund. She says, “If you look around our shop you will see photos all over the walls. These are the different crafters we work with. We have people supplying us from the Zambezi in the north to Keetmanshoop in the south. It is a place where we try to create a platform for local crafters to showcase their products.” Jacky goes on to explain, “For some crafters it would be hard to be on their own but here it is a whole collection of locally made products and this makes it easier for the local crafters to get their products out there.” An example of this is seen in the story of Caroline Tjambiru, who has been supplying her Himba leather jewellery products to The Made in Namibia Collection for approximately five years. With little to no cellular phone reception where she lives, she makes regular trips to Swakopmund to bring newly made items for selling. She says, “I am self-employed, and all my products are handmade. When you buy my products you are supporting me and my children.” Jacky goes on to explain, “We have traditional crafters, but we also have a lot of people recycling and upcycling products. For example, earrings that are made from used coffee pods and animals made from cooldrink cans. Of course we also support conventional artists who make beautiful paintings, like Ronald.” Ronald Kharuxab has been part of The Made in Namibia Collection for more than five years. He explains that he is a “self-taught visual artist,” adding, “I do a variety of products, from fridge magnets to hand-painted T-shirts and paintings. My products are based on Namibian landscapes, the culture and the people of Namibia. I depend on The Made in Namibia

Collection because through supplying them I am able to provide for my family.” Jacky, evidently passionate about the artists and crafters supported by the collection, explains, “If we support local, local can grow. In the shop we have a large variety of amazing Namibian products – so many things that are made locally. We have spices, sauces, coffee, olives, olive oil and more. We even have a lady making body products from seaweed.” That lady is Karina Pell from Essence Organic Seaweed Skincare, who explains that seaweed absorbs a dense concentration of minerals directly from the seawater along with proteins, vitamins, amino acids and lipids which are all extremely good for the skin. “Essence’s seaweed is sustainably harvested by hand, so it can grow back and no plants are harmed or damaged. This ‘clean beauty from the sea’ is produced using natural ingredients such as organic Namibian seaweed, active botanicals and essential oils.” Karina makes special mention of the founding member of the collection: “Raymond has many years of experience in the industry, bridging the gap between Namibian artisans and retailers, specifically in the tourism industry. Namibia has many talented artisans who make beautiful products but cannot afford shop rentals. The Made in Namibia Collection makes this possible for us.” Within the collection you will also find more established products such as the Desert Secrets body care range, which was one of the first Namibian products to join the collective eight years ago. Desert Secrets’ Sophia Snyman explains, “Our body care products are handmade with heart and soul in Namibia, using natural ingredients discovered and carefully selected over time. Timeless, with an ancient wisdom that has taken aeons to form under the vast blue and starlit sky, they hold a magic that you find only in the rare and special places of the Earth.” Sophia goes on to reiterate the sentiments of the other artisans in their appreciation of the value offered to them by The Made in Namibia Collection. “Especially during Covid, we realised the importance of supporting each other locally. Raymond made a huge effort to promote Made in Namibia products. He created valuable awareness which not only contributed to the survival of my business during this difficult time but also created opportunities to grow when the situation normalised,” says Sophia. The Made in Namibia Collective highlights the effectiveness of the value of unity in the lives of these artists and artisans. Karina from Essence sums it up beautifully with a quote by Ryunosuke Satoro: “Individually we are a drop. Together we are an ocean.” TNN





Namibia’s seemingling inhospital hinterlands and wild terrains have been described in countless ways. Most lean toward the extremes. A harsh land. A visit to another world. Not of this earth. Uninhabitable. Unimaginable. The word, however, that will forever best describe it – the landscape, the fauna, the flora, the people – is rugged.



Windhoek on every budget

The capital of Namibia is a concentration of our eleven ethnic groups, of arts and crafts from our fourteen regions and a healthy mix of culture, creativity and cuisine. Because Windhoek is the playground of people from all walks of life, there are plenty of options for every kind of pocket. Text Charene Labuschagne



Visit Town Square Mall in Windhoek’s city centre to view 31 of the original 77 meteorites from Gibeon in southern Namibia, where the remains of the largest known meteor shower in the world were discovered during the 19th century.

EAT: GOODFELLAS From their carpaccio to the generous salads, burgers and popular pizzas, the grub is delicious and the atmosphere always pleasant, especially on weekends with live music. EXPERIENCE: CITY AND TOWNSHIP TOUR Chameleon Safaris operates a tour of landmarks in central Windhoek, kapana in Katutura and a visit to the Penduka women’s project. Anchor Adventures is a small-scale tour operator that offers the Katutura Classic Township Experience, guided by Lubowski, a passionate local resident.

FOR THE SWANKY THE BUDGET TRAVELLER EAT: KAPANA – NAMIBIAN-STYLE STREET FOOD Slivers of flame-grilled beef, topped with or dipped into a blend of sweet, spicy and umami flavours. The best kapana market in town is Single Quarters in Windhoek’s Katutura suburb. EXPERIENCE: SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOUR Observe the architecture and culture of Windhoek with a walk down Independence Avenue. Curio shops, the Namibia Craft Centre and informal sellers are great places to get a sense of the abundant art and craft practices the country has to offer.

EAT: STELLENBOSCH WINE BAR Inspired by the wine and food culture of Stellenbosch, this restaurant serves up a feast for the refined palate. Aged to their prime and flame-grilled to perfection, the steaks are exportquality, locally sourced cuts of sirloin, rib-eye, fillet and rump. EXPERIENCE: NAMIBIAN GEMSTONES Namibian tourmaline, topaz, aquamarine, garnet, jasper, pietersite, quartz crystal and amethyst make for the most beautiful jewellery pieces. Goldsmiths and jewellers specialising in championing Namibian gemstones are dotted across town.






onscious travel, in its simplest form and most convenient definition, is ploughing something back in return for what you are taking, with intention and purpose. In the northwest, oftentimes an afterthought on itineraries, conscious travel is not a hype word, it is the only option. Truly the most sustainable approach, I believe, is engaging the people who call this place home, who understand it best, and whose heritage and pride are intertwined with their land. And one of Namibia’s greatest successes, which does precisely this, is the Community-based Natural Resource Management programme. Among the communal conservancies of the northwest are Ehi-Rovipuka and Omatendeka, whose respective Otjiherero communities have joined forces and resources to establish Ombonde People’s Park (OPP). While at present it is a park in the making – pending the green-light gazetting of the Namibian government – OPP will soon be ready to welcome the adventurous, off-the-beaten-path traveller. The area of Ombonde, which is Otjiherero for camelthorn tree, covers 3,599 km² of semi-arid and arid landscapes. Varying in typography and geology, the park boasts some of the most scenic savannah woodlands, river valleys, hills and plains you could imagine. Ombonde is just one such example in the Northwest of Namibia. Nearby lies Hobatere, a lodge managed by the ≠Khoadi-//Hôas community, which boasts all the amenities of a comfortable stay. Their outpost at Hobatere Treehouse is a secluded sojourn tucked into a leadwood tree, where guests can spend the night with the soundtrack of the wilderness. North of Palmwag lies the Anabeb Conservancy, in it, undoubtedly one of my favourite camping spots at Ongongo, also known as Warmquelle. Ongongo, which means “magical” in Herero, is set in a small canyon amongst chalk white rocks, in a rugged landscape dotted with a few villages, a permanent flowing spring forms rock pools and a waterfall. What feels like two parallel universes, the landscape surrounding Ongongo gives no hint to the oasis that lies in the canyon. Hoada Campsite is another Damaraland gem, 75km west of Kamanjab, soft lavender skies are juxtaposed by large red granite boulders. This camp overlooks plains dotted with heaps of rocks, forming peaks between the treetops. Its pool is nestled between even more boulders, emulating a rock-pool feeling. Exploring the rugged, rocky and river-laced landscape of Damaraland and Kunene is a conscious traveller’s delight. The communities that call these places home seek to create experiences where visitors can witness the harmonious coexistence of humans, wildlife and nature. One where present and future generations of the Herero and Himba people can honour tradition and share their unique homeland with visitors. TNN



Zeila Wreck

Find a Shipwreck A

n enigmatic and desolate stretch of land wedged between the vast Namib Desert and the icy Atlantic Ocean in the southwestern parts of Africa, is known as the Skeleton Coast. More often than not, this inhospitable coastal region in Namibia presents a haunting and eerie facade. But beyond lies a gripping history that speaks of tragedy and adventure, which gave the Skeleton Coast its name. Countless shipwrecks have met their demise along its treacherous shores. About 300 ships are recorded to have sunk in these unforgiving waters, while evidence suggests that another 200 vessels may have had the same fate. Today, the map of the Skeleton Coast shows the locations of some wrecks. Here are the best-known shipwrecks that you can tick off during your visit to Namibia. Dunedin Star: Probably the most famous of all the shipwrecks along the coast. The British passenger-cargo ship, en route to South Africa in 1942, struck rocks and began to sink. Its crew and passengers faced a perilous struggle for survival in the harsh desert environment. After weeks of hardship, they were miraculously rescued, thanks to several brave rescue missions. Eduard Bohlen: This German cargo ship ran aground in thick fog in 1909 at Conception Bay. Its deteriorating remains now lie stranded some 400 metres inland from the sea, half-buried in the shifting sands of the Namib Desert. It is a surreal sight. Otavi: The Otavi was a cargo ship that sank in 1945 due to a navigational error. Its wreckage in Spencer Bay remains visible. Shawnee: The Shawnee was a fishing trawler that sank in 1976 where the shifting sands of the dunes meet the sea. Sometimes it is covered with sand while at other times it lies in the water. It is much photographed because of this. Zeila: In August 2008, the Zeila, a fishing trawler, got stranded near Die Walle, a fishing spot south of Henties Bay. It had been sold as scrap metal to an Indian company by Hangana Fishing of Walvis Bay. Destined for Bombay, India, it came loose from its towing line after departing Walvis Bay and drifted north on the Benguela Current. TNN




The Ride for Rhinos is an inspiring and impactful annual mountain biking event dedicated to the conservation of rhinos, supported by RMB Namibia, Wilderness, Venture Media and CYMOT. Cyclists from diverse backgrounds embark on a scenic and challenging journey to raise awareness and funds for rhino protection. This unique initiative combines the thrill of cycling in one of Namibia’s most remote areas with a noble cause: bringing together communities and wildlife enthusiasts. The ride not only highlights the plight of rhinos but also fosters a deeper connection between people and nature.


Ride for Rhinos


Visit the

I promised myself I’d only

The world’s largest quartz crystal cluster on display takes pride of place at the Kristall Galerie. Observe and marvel at Namibia’s gemstones and its long-standing mining history for a small entrance fee, and shop for jewellery at their on-site store.

at Brauhuas have one beer today...

Discover the famous glass shoe, or Das Boot, at

Brauhaus in Swakopmund.

This is no Cinderella story, but one of a boot filled with beer. Prost!

Kristall Galerie

CAMP ON THE MOON 40KM FROM SWAKOPMUND The earthworks for the construction of the campsites at the famous Moon Landscape in the Namib Desert started about two million years ago. The Swakop River, in its youth a mere few millennia ago, was a vigorous, raging torrent that carved out a huge valley through soil and hard layers of granite. As you drive along the edge of this valley, its sheer size and the brutal, arid, moonlike topography will overwhelm you. The best approach to this impressive area is along the C28 from Swakopmund. But first you need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s offices in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay or Windhoek. To reach the Moon Landscape from Swakopmund, you take the turn-off from the C28 onto the Welwitschia Drive just after entering NamibNaukluft National Park. The contrasts of light and shadow early in the morning and late afternoon provide excellent photographic opportunities. Pitch your tent at Goanikontes Oasis for an exceptional camping experience on the moon – a mere 40 km from Swakopmund. It is out of this world!



Skeleton Coast Secrets unveiled along untamed shores Text Charene Labuschagne | Photographs Le Roux van Schalkwyk


here comes a moment of tense anticipation when you finally venture to a new destination, an uncharted adventure precluded with so much hype. Will this place that you have seen endlessly on social media, heard about from many travellers, envied and vowed to discover for yourself, really live up to all the expectations? I have two items on my medium-term bucket list, one of them being a hot-air-balloon safari over the Namib Desert. The second, delightfully ticked off the growing list on a recent visit, was experiencing Shipwreck Lodge in the Skeleton Coast National Park. It must be emphasised that this corner of our coastline remains one of the few truly untouched landscapes in the country. While wide open spaces are our forte, the favoured and easily accessible attractions have harboured clusters of lodges and activities, dotted around the noteworthy sights within Namibia. The Skeleton Coast National Park is well and truly the most forlorn place the country over, and Journeys Namibia managed to punctuate the deserted isolation with a few cabins on a dune, surrounded by sheer nothingness. Getting there is half the journey. First, two large gates decorated with a skull and crossbones mark your entry to the fragile, protected area of the park from the southern gate. Then follows a long winding road between sea and sand to Möwe Bay, the small home settlement of ministry rangers and a handful of scientists. Another ride, this time with a seasoned guide, takes us over biscuit-coloured dunes and passes a few famed shipwrecks before trekking thick sand to the front deck of Shipwreck Lodge. Here, the misty Atlantic winds whisper legends of pioneers and sailors who met an unfaithful end on this coastline. The sands of time venture into every crevice of a wretched shipwreck, left to wither away until the end of time. Remnants of the nomadic Strandloper people, their clay pots and ostrich eggshell beads shattered and scattered, tell ever more fables of life in this deserted place. Our guide shares the legend of inland settlers, whose donkeys ventured through the Hoarusib River to the sea to graze by the consistent spring within eyesight of the lodge.

The donkeys have since returned home, but the story sparks intrigue into the secrets of this special place. Ten cabins are immaculately constructed with slanted and curved walls. Organic timber is employed in various angles and directions, constantly leading the eye to the next interior marvel. Portholes frame the desert and distant sea views in a nostalgically nautical style. And plush blankets and cushions beckon to be cuddled up in once the southwesterly wind begins to howl. Good weather is not to be taken for granted on this coastline that is notoriously misty. We were lucky enough to have two splendid days of sunshine while at Shipwreck, calling for every outdoor activity on their roster. On our journey to Möwe Bay, rumours began circulating that a few cheetahs were spotted near the lodge. I cannot begin to stress how utterly rare this is – the big cats roam freely inland, but very seldom do they venture this far west. We kept our fingers crossed, but simultaneously dismissed the likelihood of such a sighting. No point in getting our hopes up! The sheltering game viewer sluggishly departed from the reception as we set our sights on the dry riverbed. This river runs through a most juxtaposed landscape. On our right, a 40-km-wide dune belt descended ceremoniously onto the flat surface of the Hoarusib. Peeking through the velvet-textured sand were contrasting black granite boulders, larger than life itself. Our guide nonchalantly mentioned that the monolithic rocks are the base of the dune belt. Under all that sand lies unfathomable masses of boulder. To our left, the river’s rim was lined by soft grey granite structures, eroded endlessly to create hollows, holes, round peaks and surreal shapes. I have only just begun gawking at the landscape, unlike anything I had ever witnessed, when we spotted a small figure in the distance of the jeep track. A black-backed jackal, surely? Two… no three of them. Only, that instantly recognisable trot of a scavenger seemed more gracious, and the tail appeared a bit too long for a jackal.



Nothing small about YOUR




Ondudu Safari Lodge| Fish River Lodge | Grootberg Lodge | Hoada Campsite | Hobatere Lodge | Shipwreck Lodge + 264 61 228 104 | | www.

You would not believe me if I were not accompanied by a photographer, but less than a kilometre into our nature drive, the rumoured cheetahs dashed across our path. The stealthy big cats came trotting over the dry riverbed from the dunes to the boulders on the other side, except, the previous sighting recorded four, and we had only seen three. With eager eyes, a long camera lens and a single pair of binoculars, we peered attentively at the dunes, surveying for the fourth cheetah. And sure as the sun rises in the east, tucked between the crescent of a skyscraper-high dune, hid a pair of perfectly rounded fluffy ears.

Her siblings had long disappeared between the rocks on the other side, so we spent a good hour moving at 400-metre increments, following the last cheetah as she climbed and hid, then appeared again. Slowly she moved up the slip face of a dune, leaving a jagged trail of footprints as she periodically stopped to peek over her shoulder. Eventually we peeled ourselves away from the once-in-alifetime sighting, leaving the cheetahs to reunite on a single side of the river, and drove deeper into the Hoarusib and out of the canyon to a viewpoint. Life exists in this desolate place, from the desert-adapted elephant and lion (a potential sighting which we sacrificed for the cheetahs) down to the lichens that grow on the desert floor. From a distance they radiate green and orange hues easily mistaken for the colour of the soil, but these minute organisms flourish on top of rocks, forming lines of textured tangerine and frilly lettuce. Once damaged by the wheels of a tyre, or the curious fingers of a human, it could take another decade for the lichen to grow again. So we tread lightly and in consideration of this sacred place that is every bit as fragile as it appears to be rugged. On our route back to the lodge, we passed through a massive gorge lined with jaw-dropping rock walls. Marbled swirls of black and burnt orange stand sentinel over a six-metrewide stretch of the riverbed, where springbok and oryx graze unbothered. The natural wonder of this place continues to leave me speechless. Bright-eyed and wonderstruck by the beguiling drive, our return to Shipwreck Lodge meant red wine by the woodburning stove and longing looks over the landscape. On the menu as we settled in for dinner was seared tuna steak, accompanied by an umami-loaded tahini and soya sauce drizzle. Silence fell across the entire dining room as our fellow guests were equally as enamoured by the taste sensation, perfectly prepared and paired with the misty and moody immediate surroundings. Halfway through our three-course meal, a staff member did the rounds asking whether guests would like a fire started in

the cabin stove. A resounding yes from everyone! When we returned to our sojourn after dinner, the room was engulfed in a warm glow from the fireplace, creating an uncanny cosy atmosphere. Curled up under the blankets, you drift into a calm slumber as the crackle of wood lulls you to sleep. Awakened with the soft, filtered sunlight of dawn, the floor-toceiling windows in the bedroom look out onto the mouth of the Huarusib and distant ocean. Shipwreck Lodge is one of those rare finds where staying inside the belly of a ship with a coffee and a book, while watching the landscape change with the coming and going of the sun, seems like the logical thing to do. The outdoor activities are endless and exhilarating, yet we find ourselves longing to return, because this cabin feels like home. Spoiled with more splendid weather, after a wholesome breakfast and one of the best omelettes I have ever had, we embarked on a quad bike excursion onto the dunes. With ease and a crisp breeze, our guide took us up and over unfathomable stretches of beige hills, periodically stopping to take in the views that redefine the term “sand sea”. Injected with the adrenaline that comes from cruising down the steep slip face of a dune, your greatest challenge is focussing on driving as the landscape insists on being a show-off. If ever you crave an ego death, I urge you to stand on top of a dune in the Skeleton Coast National Park. The term “speck of dust” takes on new meaning when surrounded by 360 degrees of endless sand. Many more memorable meals were dished up, as the kitchen at Shipwreck set out to serve sensational seafood seeped in flavour. Even more glasses of red wine were savoured by the fireside, after sundowners on the beach and informative nature walks. Without a glimmer of doubt, Shipwreck Lodge lived up to every expectation, in fact, exceeding them. We stepped into a storybook, stayed in a metaphorical shipwreck, stimulated every one of our senses with food, fun and fireplaces, and departed feeling like family. TNN





VISIT A LIVING MUSEUM A living museum is an authentic open-air museum where you can learn about the original way of living of the traditional cultures of Namibia. Through the recreation of life in days gone by, you get an experiential interpretation of history. This is a look into the past to see how ancient cultures survived using treasured knowledge of the land and the wonders of the natural environment. Perhaps you are curious about how the Damara people lived in the desert, what plants they used as toothbrushes, or how they cured a stomachache in years before modern medicine. A visit to the Damara Living Museum, close to Twyfelfontein, will show you a glimpse into a culture that, together with the San, belong to the oldest nations in Namibia.

Lone Man Find a

Or journey to find out about one of the most endangered cultures in Namibia, that of the Khwe people who live in the stretch of land between the Kavango and Kwando Rivers. Here your interactive experience could mean trying your hand at forging, or perhaps attempting to make an arrow or a bracket using the tools of yesteryear. Whichever living museum you visit, you are participating in keeping the traditional wisdoms of ancient cultures alive, while assisting communities to generate income from their heritage.

Spending the night at community campsites is a chance to support enterprise value in Namibia, a concept known as community-based tourism. The rich cultural heritage is a major draw card for visitors from far and near. The same goes for the customs, traditions, history, beliefs and languages of the Ovambo people north of Etosha. By choosing to stay at a community campsite, visitors are directly benefiting the local community by adding to an alternative means of income. The community campsites of Ovambo offer visitors the opportunity to experience the environment, food, music and everyday activities at grassroots level and thus gain insight into the local mindset. Here are a few community-based campsites to visit during your travels in Ovambo: 1. Nakambale Museum and Rest Camp 2. Ombalantu Baobab Tree Campsite 3. Hippo Pools Campsite





The Kaokoland has long been described as a forlorn and mysterious place, but a new enigma has emerged, one that adds to the atmosphere of this fascinating wilderness – the Lone Men of Kaokoland. Near life-size sculptures of men have appeared across the area. Made from thick metal wire and rock prevailing in the region, the figures strike different poses and each is perched in a different desolate spot on this landscape. No one knows who makes them, but their unpredictability surely keeps adventurers entertained and intrigued. Keep alert, they may surprise you around any bend!



The Burnt Mountain, just south of Twyfelfontein in Damaraland, is part of a 12-kilometre-long volcanic rim. The sediments of ancient lava flows make for a visually interesting and unexpected geological spectacle.

As you traverse the northwest’s gravel roads en route to far-flung destinations, you will note small and unassuming stalls along the side of the road. These setups, often built from rugged wooden poles, are in fact small curio shops that locals of the region have built near their homes. Many have made creative signs or statues to advertise their small enterprise and you might see them waving, dressed in colourful cultural garb, as you drive by. If you choose to stop at one of these shops, you won’t be disappointed. Beaded necklaces, carved bracelets (or some made from recycled plastic), wooden animal statues, baskets, material dolls or semi-precious stones and gems are all on offer here. Friendly locals will explain how each craft is made when asked and are all too happy for your business. If the shop or stall appears unattended, do not fret! Soon after pulling over, you will likely see a child or young adult come running along from their nearby settlement to welcome their newest, or perhaps only, patron for the day. Many stalls also run on an honesty system. The general prices of items are scratched into the wood or marked with pencil. Just leave the money in the jar provided or under a rock and be on your merry way, locally sourced and handmade crafts in hand to take home with you as a pleasant reminder of your rural shopping experience.

BRANDBERG’S FAMOUS LADY The famous White Lady of the Brandberg is the most noteworthy and legendary rock painting of the mountain and the surrounding areas. The Brandberg, Namibia’s tallest mountain, is host to numerous rock art sites, dated between 2000 and 4000 years old. The White Lady is located in what is known as Maack’s Shelter, named after the surveyor who discovered it in January 1918. Reinhard Maack came upon the site by chance when he stopped to rest in the shade of a rocky overhang while he and his companions were descending the mountain. Just two days earlier they had stood on its highest peak, Königstein. Their expedition is the first recorded climb to the very top. French pre-historian Henri Breuil, a foremost authority on cave art at the time, determined that the painting was that of a white female of Mediterranean descent, despite Maack’s own conclusion that the figure was male. Much debate has ensued on the true origins and the depiction of the Brandberg’s White Lady, with archaeologists discussing whether the painting is male or female, Mediterranean or Khoisan. But how are we to ever really know the truths of ancient times? Today Maack’s Shelter is a national heritage site, open to visitors daily. Be sure to start the hour-long walk early in the day to avoid the heat.



In 2007 the site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The more than 2,000 rock engravings at Twyfelfontein in the Kunene Region represent one of Africa’s largest and most important concentrations of rock art. They are estimated to be 6,000 years and the newer paintings approximately 2,000 years old.


Rock Art at Twyfelfontein



Under the Baobabs


A Journey into the Heart of Nyae Nyae Conservancy

iscover the rugged bushveld, baobabs the size of cathedrals, powdery dust, deep jeep tracks and San Bushmen communities living so simplistically, it is almost poetic. There are a handful of stunning baobab community campsites in Nyae Nyae Conservancy. To locate them, look out for inconspicuous little signs along the M113 gravel road. The ground around these massive trees is cleared for tents and cars, a long-drop loo and bucket shower within sight, while a built fireplace and braai grid beckons for the company of camping chairs and the smoke signal of a dinner in the making. Overnighting at one of the community campsites, you are guaranteed to cross paths with some of the locals. Often, a “manager”, appointed by the village for speaking decent

English, arrives with an invoice booklet in one hand and an activity brochure in the other. The ladies of the village offer guided food foraging excursions, interactive homemaking presentations and the opportunity to buy their meticulously created jewellery and crafts, while the entire group chimes in for dance performances, welcomes and goodbyes. Even if the trail to the demarcated campsite does not pass the village, through the thicket one can always tell roughly where it is, be it from the sound of children laughing or drums echoing at sunset. I urge you to take a moment out of your day to spend with the village headman or embark on one of their activities – not for charity or sympathy, but because there is so much simplistic wisdom and wholehearted respect to be gained from and for the San Bushmen.

Experience the spray of the

Sit on a rock on the side of the main falls with the water gushing below and the baobabs rising from the edges of the cliff. You will want to return for a second helping of this baobab-and-water treat.




Epupa Falls



Fallen Stars

in the Namibian bush: the Hoba meteorite

Sesriem Canyon

A 50-tonne mass of iron and nickel crashed to earth many moons ago. Estimated to be between 100 and 300 million years old, this “fallen star” is the largest known meteorite of its kind globally. Hoba lies on the farm Hoba West, 20 km from the town of Grootfontein. Discovered by Jacobus Brits in the 1920s, the meteorite is estimated to have crashed to Earth some 30,000 to 80,000 years ago. Now a protected natural heritage site under the National Heritage Council, the meteorite can be visited at its stone amphitheatre open-air exhibit.

Claiming its name from the six leather strands it took for early explorers to reach the base of the canyon, Sesriem is a predominantly dry gorge. With winding stretches of soft river sand, banked by high canyon walls, it makes for at least half a day of exploring every bend and geological feature.


At 55 metres high, Bogenfels rises from the coastline, creating a massive arch anchored solidly in the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most impressive geological features of Tsau ǁKhaeb National Park (previously known as the Sperrgebiet). The only way to experience this impressive structure is by going on the Bogenfels & Diamonds guided day tour offered by concession holders The Adventure Travel Company.

Hike the Fish River Canyon



Hiking the Fish River Canyon in the south of Namibia offers an unforgettable adventure through one of the world’s largest canyons. This challenging trek, usually spanning five days, covers roughly 90 km of rugged terrain, with hikers traversing steep descents, vast rocky landscapes and sandy riverbanks. The journey not only tests physical endurance but also rewards with breathtaking views of towering cliffs and diverse wildlife, including klipspringers and Mountain Chats. The isolation and the raw, untouched beauty of the canyon create a deeply immersive and euphoric experience, making it a must-do for avid hikers seeking an extraordinary encounter with nature.



Ondili awaits you

Ondili provides premium lodges and tented camps in Namibia’s stunning regions, along with boutique guesthouses in Windhoek and Swakopmund. Explore our private nature reserves and adjacent national parks for awe-inspiring vistas and remarkable wildlife encounters.

Reservations Ondili c/o Namibia Travel Consultants Tel: +264 61 240 020 Mail: P.O. Box 23106, Windhoek, Namibia


Head Office | Sales Office Africa Ondili Lodge Management (Pty) Ltd Tel: +264 61 447 300 Mail: P.O. Box 90819, Windhoek, Namibia


Sales Office Europe Ondili GmbH Tel: +49 6103 44041 00 Mail: Otto-Hahn-Str. 31-33, 63303 Dreieich, Germany

Meet Eddy and Letty at Petrified Forest Coffee Shop


long the C39 in Damaraland, en route to Twyfelfontein, Palmwag or the Skeleton Coast National Park, lies a special stopover. The Petrified Forest Coffee Shop is situated just 22 kilometres west of Khorixas. Owned and run by local couple Eddy Tsibeb and Letty Taibeb, they serve coffee, soft drinks and beer. And on special request, a loose cigarette.


This quaint little coffee shop is adjacent to the family’s home on the property, where kids and quintessential Damaraland dogs make for a welcome sight. The colourful cabana-style shop is adorned with handpainted flags and is shaded with a roof while allowing a breeze to pass through and offering views of the surrounding area. The couple also sells gemstones and fabric dolls, and they have recently invested in a small swimming pool, which is set to be inaugurated and ready for a dip very soon. Did you plan your itinerary to pass by the Petrified Forest Coffee Shop? Eddy and Letty serve lunches on pre-order, so give them a call to reserve a meal before you are headed this way. Individuals or groups who are interested in collaborating with Eddy and Letty to join them in their passion and vision for their property are invited to contact them. Eddy Tsibeb: +264 81 6923018 | Letty Taibeb: +264 81 4964507

Don’t miss the views from



Behold the breathtaking panorama from atop Spreetshoogte Pass, where the vast Namibian landscape unfolds in a spectacular display of natural grandeur.

Giant’s P layground Reminiscent of cairns you find along the beach made by bored beachgoers, the difference is that at Giant’s Playground, these rock stacks are made of massive dolerite boulders that are millions of years old. These natural formations can be found 15 km northeast of Keetmanshoop.




Beyond the harsh terrains, forlorn desertscapes and awe-inspiring vistas, life blooms in often unlikely places. Undisturbed and unimpeded, nature has a strong foothold in the nooks and crannies, across the savannahs and among the acacia bushlands. Endemic, migratory, small numbers or large herds. This is where wild things roam. Game, plants and birds thrive in Namibia’s wilderness. A story of life flourishing at its most natural.

NAMIBIA’S NATIONAL PARKS Namibia’s national parks are crucial for wildlife conservation and eco-tourism, offering unique landscapes and rich biodiversity. They play a vital role in preserving rare species and natural habitats while fostering sustainable community development. These parks attract visitors worldwide with their stunning scenery and opportunities for wildlife encounters, blending adventure with nature’s raw beauty.

Skeleton Coast National Park

Cape Cross Seal Reserve

Bwabwata National Park Mangetti National Park

Etosha National Park

Khaudum National Park

Mudumu National Park

Nkasa Rupara National Park

Waterberg Plateau National Park

Dorob National Park

Von Bach Recreation Area Daan Viljoen National Park

NamibNaukluft Park

Hardap Game Park

Tsau //Khaeb National Park

Naute Recreation Area

Ai-Ais/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Park


World’s Only Quadripoint

A quadripoint designates the exact location where the borders of four distinct political territories intersect. The world’s sole quadripoint is situated at Namibia’s farthest northeastern point – Impalila Island. Along the island’s eastern fringe, where the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers converge, the borders of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge as well. Stand at this unique juncture, and enjoy a panoramic view of the extraordinary meeting point of four diverse countries.




Authentic wilderness... where conservation and tourism go hand in hand to provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience.

Onguma Nature Reserve | Tel. +264 61 237055 | Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

TICK OFF ALL THE BIRDS Endemic & Near-endemic Birds of Namibia Dune Lark

Rüppell’s Parrot


Short-toed Rock Thrush

Herero Chat

Cinderella Waxbill

Hartlaub’s Francolin

White-tailed Shrike

Monteiro’s Hornbill

Carp’s Tit

Dune Lark PB

Interestingly, there is only one truly endemic bird species in Namibia: the Dune Lark (Calendulauda erythrochlamys). This diminutive bird occurs in western Namibia on the fringes of the Namib Desert, between the Koichab River in the south and the Kuiseb River in the north. Spot it on your visit to the NamibRand Nature Reserve or in the Namib Sand Sea and surrounding habitats.






The Big 5

One of Namibia’s biggest draws for travellers is the abundant wildlife that can be seen in its various national parks. While it is not possible to spot the big five in one park, it should not be seen as a negative, but rather a way to explore more of the wonderful diverse natural scenery the country has to offer. A visit to Etosha is a great way to tick off elephant, rhino, lion and leopard from your list. Damaraland allows visitors to see its free-roaming desert-adapted elephants, black rhinos and lions. Luck plays a big role in seeing these beasts in this area, but the reward is significantly bigger. Because the African buffalo is a carrier of foot-andmouth disease, their presence in livestock areas poses a high risk of transmitting the virus. Buffalo can however be spotted in the Waterberg Plateau Park or in the Zambezi Region where lions, elephants and leopards also roam.

The Little 5

These animals may not be as famous as the Big 5, but they are unique and interesting in their own right. Delve deeper into the natural wonders of Namibia’s biodiversity and take the time to try and find the Little 5: Elephant Shrew Rhinoceros Beetle Buffalo Weaver Ant Lion Leopard Tortoise


• • • • •



Dune adventures


A part of the dune belt between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay is a proclaimed recreational area with many companies offering adventurous activities to be enjoyed in Namibia’s eponymous desert. From sandboarding, quad bike tours and camel rides, the Namib Desert’s adventures await!

Fat bike in the desert


Companies such as Tommy’s or Charly’s desert tours will take you on an excursion from Swakopmund into the Namib Desert. Your guide will show you the desert’s hidden microverse of plants and animals that survive in the harsh environment. These tours are an opportunity to watch a range of interesting desert creatures, including side-winding adders, palmato geckos, sand-diving lizards, the famous fog-basking toktokkie beetles, spiders, scorpions and chameleons.







Try Omajova when it’s in season


Fat bikes are an alternative way to explore the dune ridges of the Namib. The bigger-than-usual tyres mean you won’t be sinking into the sand. Join a fat bike tour of the desert or a historic tour of Swakopmund. Or if you prefer solo exploration, simply rent a bike and go for a ride. Try Swakopmund Fat Bike Tours’ Scenic Desert Tour or “Old City” Swakopmund Tour.

Namibian delicacies such as omajova are seasonally available. Omajova is the Otjiherero name for a large edible mushroom which grows at the base of termite hills in the central parts of the country shortly after the first summer rains. Sautéed in butter, it is an excellent accompaniment to steaks.

Surf and turf at Walvis Bay Waterfront

Kayak at Pelican Point

Boat cruise on the Atlantic

In Walvis Bay, the early bird gets the better weather. Since a strong south-westerly wind tends to pick up in the afternoon, most guided activities take place in the early morning, like the catamaran charters favoured by visitors. On misty mornings at the Walvis Bay Waterfront, Catamaran Dolphin Cruises conducts three-hour guided tours to the Pelican Point Peninsula. Step onto the sleek white twinhull and a group of pelicans may already be on board, joining the voyage out to sea. With plenty of delicious snacks and Namibian oysters, sherry or bubbly and a few overzealous marine animals, the cruise is every bit as relaxing as it is informative.


Lined with restaurants and curio shops, the Walvis Bay Waterfront is quaint yet lively. Anchors serves scrumptious cocochas and calamari, Rojo at the Yacht Club has fantastic burgers, and Dockside Seafood and Grill offers yummy seafood and an upper-deck view of the marina. The kayak tours offered at Pelican Point just outside Walvis Bay are certainly among the most fun excursions for the whole family to enjoy. Various operators, including Namibia Kayak Tours, pick you up at a designated spot in Walvis Bay and take you to Pelican Point where you are equipped with waterproof gear, a life vest and a kayak. After a short intro to the art of kayaking, you set off to explore the waters of the bay. Cape fur seals from the Pelican Point colony frolic in the waters around your kayak, curious and excited. It is hard to figure out who enjoys the excursion more, as they gambol in the cold Atlantic and sometimes jump over the nose of your kayak with what seems to be a cheeky grin on their faces. Did you know that seals have various collective nouns? A colony, a rookery, a herd, a harem... but our favourite by far is a bob of seals.



No visit to Walvis is complete without a walk along the lagoon. When it is low tide you can go down to the beach and scout for seashells and starfish by the water’s edge. Locals love coming here to look out over the water while having lunch, walking or running with their dogs. Here you can also get a bit closer to the flamingos, the stately pink-stockinged birds that get their colour from feeding off plankton.



VISIT THE CAPE FUR SEAL COLONY AT CAPE CROSS The Cape Cross Reserve’s Cape fur seal colony can be an overwhelming sight. Spread along the beach and over black rocks are thousands of mammalian bodies. It is loud, and it is smelly.

importance of the cross and had it shipped to Berlin. In 1895 a granite replica was erected in its place. About a century later a second cross, made from Namib dolerite, joined the older one as a tribute to history’s many explorers.

There are 21 colonies along the Namibian coast. The Cape Cross colony is one of the two largest colonies, which together make up 75% of Namibia’s seal pup population. The Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) can be found all along the south-western coast of Africa from the Cape Peninsula in South Africa to Cape Fria in northern Namibia.

At the end of the 19th century, the main attraction of Cape Cross was its large deposits of guano, then known as “white gold” and used as fertiliser. The Damaraland Guano Company was established there for the purpose of exporting the bird droppings to Europe. Harvesting guano was so lucrative that the settlement at Cape Cross had a police station, post office and even the first railway in the country.

How is it possible that these mammals can survive diving and swimming in the icy cold water of the Benguela? Cape fur seals sport a vitally important dense fur, with a thick layer of blubber that insulates their bodies. On hot days, though, these adaptations can be fatal, especially for young pups that cannot reach the ocean in time to cool down. In fact, a large proportion of pups do not survive the start of summer. The limestone cross that was erected in 1486 at Cape Cross by Diogo Cão is one of four that the Portuguese explorer erected on the western coast of Africa. Called padrão, the stone crosses were meant to signify claims made by Portugal. The padrão at Cape Cross stood virtually undisturbed for 400 years until a German corvette paused in the bay. The captain realised the



The breeding season for Cape fur seals begins in midOctober when bulls come ashore and establish territories, which they defend for about six weeks. Male territories contain between seven and 66 cows, or 28 on average. Pups are born after an eight-month gestation period, coinciding with the hottest time of the year, in November and December. New-born pups weigh 4.5 to 6.4 kilograms and aren’t much longer than 65 centimetres. The Cape Cross Seal Reserve is situated 130 km north of Swakopmund. Between December and June the reserve is open on weekdays from 08:00 to 17:00, and between July and November from 10:00 to 17:00.

Catch a fish off the Atlantic Coast

When a long weekend rolls around, the entire Namibian population seems to flock to the coast, tackle in tow and sunscreen sorted. For visitors looking to try their luck at angling on the Atlantic coast, plenty companies provide the gear and guidance needed to dabble in the sport Skeleton Coast-style. A simple online search for angling safaris in Namibia will reveal options for fishing from a boat or the shore. As the locals prefer fishing from the seashore, it is quite the cultural experience. We recommend you pack your patience, as angling’s key feature is to wait patiently for long periods. The reward, however, is reeling in a catch and basking in the glory. Prepare your spoils on a traditional fire right there on the beach! Angling permits can be obtained from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund or at the police station in Henties Bay.

Oranjemund’s RAMSAR site Namibia, with its pristine wilderness and wetland areas, is bird country. The Orange River Mouth at the town of Oranjemund is a birding paradise of international importance. One of five Ramsar sites in the country, its sheltered marshes and lagoons – formed by the river as it flows into the ocean – promise beautiful bird sightings and breathtaking vistas.

The Welwitschia

The Welwitschia mirabilis, Namibia’s national plant, is an extraordinary species found in the Namib Desert, renowned for its longevity and unique growth pattern. Fascinatingly, it only produces two leaves in its entire lifetime, which can grow continuously for over a thousand years, making it one of the most resilient and enduring plants on Earth.

Diving in Namibia

Diving in Namibia offers a unique and thrilling experience, particularly at Lake Guinas and Lake Otjikoto, two of the country’s most intriguing natural sinkholes. These lakes, steeped in history and mystery, provide divers with a chance to explore crystal-clear waters in a serene and somewhat eerie environment. Lake Guinas, with a known water depth of about 135 metres, unveils a mesmerising underwater world and is home to a variety of fish species. A unique feature of the lake is that the water temperature remains at about 25 degrees Celsius all year round irrespective of its depth. Lake Otjikoto, with a known water depth of about 100 metres, is not only a natural wonder but also a historical site, known for the artifacts and ammunition dumped into its depths during World War I. Otjikoto is a national heritage site and diving here is controlled through a permit system. Divers are treated to a rare blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue, making it an unforgettable experience for those looking for something truly off the beaten path.





NAMIBIA’S MOST ENDANGERED Namibia, renowned for its wildlife diversity, hosts numerous national parks and private reserves, with Etosha National Park being the most famous. The country is home to 220 mammal species, including three truly endemic species: the Namib round-eared sengi, the Etendeka round-eared sengi and the dune hairy-footed gerbil. The Namib Desert features unique dune-dwelling creatures, including 43 endemic reptile species, while the avian population boasts 647 species, with the Dune Lark being truly endemic. Namibia has the largest population of cheetahs in Southern Africa outside of national parks. The government, NGOs and conservancies collaborate to preserve Namibia’s wildlife, by contributing to ecological balance and sustainable ecotourism. Namibia faces challenges in conserving endangered mammals that are severely threatened by poaching. The black rhino is critically endangered. The African wild dog, African elephant, European rabbit, sei whale and blue whale are listed as endangered. Vulnerable species include the cheetah, leopard, fin whale, lion, giraffe, black-footed cat, hippopotamus, sperm whale, Temminck’s pangolin and mountain zebra. Protecting these species is crucial for maintaining Namibia’s rich biodiversity and ecological harmony.

Namibia is a destination for the adventurer. While many visitors to this wild and wonderful country will explore it from the comfort of their air-conditioned vehicle, Namibia is an incredible country to see on foot. There is so much more to see when you lace up your shoes and venture into the pristine wilderness. The crunch of the ground underfoot, the sounds of wildlife or the feeling of desert winds on your face… this is a sensory experience. Spoilt for choice, trail runners can opt for paths around dolomite outcrops or up desert dunes – here adventure is everywhere to be found. Must-run spots include the beautiful Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve, just outside Windhoek, offering scenic trails through rugged mountains and rolling savannah. Or an array of exciting trail runs along the Waterberg Plateau National Park, listed by trail running associations among the best trail runs in Namibia. Or enjoy a run along the scenic promenade overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the coastal town of Swakopmund. Ever wanted to run in otherworldly landscapes? Then the Gondwana Moon Valley Marathon, which takes place in the Moon Valley and Namib Desert, is for you. Seasoned ultramarathon runners might want to join the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series, which besides being widely recognised as the most prestigious race on foot in the world, has chosen the Namib Desert as one of its four deserts to traverse.


In the words of ultra trail ace Ryan Sandes: “It’s pretty surreal running in the desert – you’re basically out there on your own and as far as you can see there is just a horizon of sand.”

Incredible Recovery Story Namibia’s black rhino population has recovered from the brink of extinction since the 1980s, thanks in large part to communityled interventions and concerted conservation efforts. Between 2012 and 2017, the population of the southwestern black rhino increased by over 11%, leading to its reclassification from “vulnerable” to “near-threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.





Hike Etendeka

A hike through the 400 km2 Etendeka Concession in the Omatendeka and Anabeb Conservancies will take you through the untouched landscape at the foothills of the Grootberg Mountain massif. This new hiking adventure is facilitated by Etendeka Mountain Camp.


The desert truffle, much like its northern hemisphere relative, is almost worth its weight in gold. Called !nabas by the Namas, this delicacy grows in the Kalahari in symbiosis with the wild melon, but only after good rains. According to the Bedouins, they are kissed by lightning, swollen by rain showers and undone from the desert sand by thunderstorms. The aromatic desert truffle from the arid African soil can be enjoyed either raw or cooked in various ways, provided you have removed all the soil from its exterior. Local chefs get creative with delectable recipes once word of a desert truffle harvest is out. Anything can be expected when the !nabas is in season, from a fancy truffle ragout to a simple sauté with butter, a splash of white wine and dash of pepper. Not only does it make for a delicious meal, but the desert truffle has also been used as an alternative remedy and cure for anything from stomach complaints to eye infections. A !nabas is the pint-sized embodiment of everything Namibian – relentless, delicious, loving rainstorms and defying all odds.

Choosing the slackpacking option, hikers only carry a day pack with water and snacks. Mattresses, bedding and personal luggage are transported to the next overnight shelter every morning. The host farm provides fresh farm produce ordered in advance by hikers who choose the slackpacking option. If you don’t want to sleep under the stars, the host can provide tents and stretchers, while a hot shower and toilet facilities are provided at the end of each day. Firewood for a campfire, as well as braai and cooking facilities and appliances, are provided at each overnight stop.


The six-day Khomas Hochland Hiking Trail starts and ends at Düsternbrook Guestfarm, one of the first guest farms in Namibia just north-west of the capital. The 91-kilometre circular route crosses four more farms: Otjiseva, Onduno, Godeis and Monte Christo. It takes you along riverbeds, across open plains, through thorn-tree woodland, into deep gorges and down steep granite rock formations. One has to be fit and not suffer vertigo, because on day 5 you have to brave ladders to get down a dry waterfall. Warthog, gemsbok, kudu, mountain zebra, baboons and klipspringer occur in abundance and if you are lucky, you may even encounter a leopard. Depending on the season, hikers will most likely be able to tick off many of the more than 300 recorded bird species at the riverbeds, farm dams and rock pools.



Take a photo of a tree in Deadvlei


Sandhof’s Lilies A phenomenon of epically pink proportions occurs when the right conditions converge on the farm Sandhof, 35 km north of Maltahöhe. An enormous salt pan that is usually dry, plus good seasonal rains which allow water to build up to a depth of 15 cm in the pan, result in a burst of bloom. Amaryllis lilies appear seemingly overnight. For hundreds of hectares, all you can see is pink and purple and white. Namibians flock from far and wide for the single weekend of splendour. “The lilies are here,” you’ll hear in either January or February. Wading through shin-high water, cameras clicking away, a gathering of nature lovers document the annual event. All too soon, though, the lilies start to wither and are set upon by enormous swarms of elephant beetles. And so the beautiful sight fades away in the blink of an eye. A flash of excitement come and gone... hopefully to return next year if the rain gods allow.



Approximately 900 years old, the iconic trees of Deadvlei present a mandatory photo opportunity when in Namibia. Try a standing, notouch pose – the trees may not be sat or climbed on.



Namibia’s own Prickely Pear Juice


t an unassuming turnoff just north of Helmeringhausen, there is a sign for Dabis Guest Farm. Little do travellers know that beyond the farm gate, the Gaugler family are not only pioneers of regenerative farming in Namibia but also cultivate different prickly pear species that are used to create a range of delicious products. Jörg, is the third generation of Gauglers farming on Dabis. His grandfather was the first to start farming this land in the early 1900s. Together with his wife Michelle, Jörg has over the years diversified from sheep farming to include cultivation of prickly pear cactuses. Not native to Namibia, prickly pears have been widely grown in Namibia and South Africa as feed for livestock during droughts. The cactus also produces a fruit that is very sweet and refreshing to eat once properly cleaned. Prickly pears are rich in potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and fibre as well as having anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, to name a few. Realising the fruit’s health benefits, the Gauglers started making a variety of products from it, including tea, a health powder, snack bars, jam and sweets which they call Ruby Chews. Their bestknown product, however, is the delicious juice that they produce with its tell-tale dark red colour and pleasingly sweet taste with an earthy, slightly tart twist.

Visit the quiver tree forest One of the very few valid reasons to get up before sunrise is to see the sky greet the morning light with silhouettes of quiver trees lining the horizon.

Every part of the plant is used, as Jörg and Michelle are very conscious of not creating waste products from their organic process. Even the seeds are collected – partly not to cause uncontrolled germination of the plant and partly to produce the highly sought-after seed oil. The oil is one of the most expensive in the world because the seeds are tiny, and it takes a large quantity of them to produce a small amount of oil, making the process very labour-intensive. The oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids and is used in facial oils, serums and moisturisers, amongst other products. Even the packaging for their products is made from reused or upcycled containers and bottles. Look out for the Dabis product range at farm stalls and shops in the south. It can also be found at the Super Spar at Maerua Lifestyle Centre in Windhoek.


Spice up your sundowners with a prickly pear margarita while in Namibia. 50 ml Blanco Tequila 25 ml Triple Sec 50 ml Prickly pear juice 50 ml Lemon or lime juice Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and give it a good shake until cold. Serve on ice in salt-rimmed glasses.



The ultimate angling adventure - Tigerfishing The Zambezi Region’s rivers are home to more than 84 species of freshwater fish, culminating in what can be described as a fisherman’s paradise and making it the perfect location for a Namibian angling adventure. Fishing in the region is done on a catch-and-release basis. The coveted trophy at the top of most anglers’ to-catch list is the feisty tigerfish. The thrill of hunting the notoriously hard-to-capture “tiger of the Zambezi” is what draws fishermen back time and again. If you have an adventurous spirit, be sure to take on this epic quest on your visit to the north-east.

HELP CONSERVE THE BIG CATS Namibia is home to the largest population of free-roaming cheetahs in the world, as well as a healthy and thriving leopard population, yet these big cats, along with their lion cousins, are continuously at threat. The need for conserving these animals is evident in the negative narrative surrounding big cats in the agriculture sector, which identifies them as vermin.


AfriCat Namibia, housed at Okonjima Nature Reserve, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and protection of Namibia’s large carnivores, particularly cheetahs and leopards, through research, education and rehabilitation efforts. They are a good example of how tourism and conservation can work hand in hand and support one another as industries, and how travellers can help bring about positive change by making conscious choices when selecting which establishments to patron.



A GAME DRIVE ON TOP OF WATERBERG PLATEAU PARK It is hard to imagine Namibia submerged in water or smothered in ice but both have happened and Waterberg Mountain is the result. Made of harder material than its surroundings, the plateau has weathered the crushing forces of climate change and erosion. Today, thanks to its daunting cliffs, Waterberg Plateau National Park remains a highly biodiverse environment that is a world unto itself. Waterberg is not only an island of vibrant colour and biodiversity, but it also presents a natural opportunity for conservation. Guided game drives on the plateau plus time spent in a hide, waiting for rare species to approach a waterhole, give you the chance to learn more about this sanctuary for wildlife. It is recognised as a suitable breeding centre for rare and endangered species. This is one of only two areas in Namibia where you can spot the African buffalo – one of Africa’s Big Five. Several species – black and white rhinoceros, tsessebe, roan and sable antelope – have all been reintroduced here. This mountainous area is also a birding delight, with over 200 species having been recorded in the park. In addition to hosting 33 species of birds of prey, including Black Eagle, the Waterberg has the highest density of Peregrine Falcon in Africa.

Shy, nocturnal, agile and downright sneaky, here is a list of five mammals you are not too likely to see when visiting Namibia. They are here though, hidden among the natural beauty of the wilderness, and a sighting is a true wonder to behold, so be on the lookout!



Aardvark – A nocturnal mammal, aardvarks spend their days in cool underground burrows dug with their powerful feet and claws. They use their strong claws to dig into termite mounds to get to their meal of choice – termites. Bat-eared fox – This small mammal is known for its enormous ears (which can be over 13 cm tall). They are insectivores, with termites making up 80% of their diet. It is not unusual to find groups of bat-eared foxes occupying the same area, something uncommon among other wild dog species. Honey badger – Pound for pound, this small yet tenacious carnivore has a reputation for being the most fearless animal in Africa. They scavenge for carrion but also actively hunt a large variety of prey, including birds, reptiles and other mammals.



Brown hyena – One of Africa’s rarest large carnivores occurs throughout Namibia, but are most commonly found along the Namib Desert coastline. They are mainly scavengers but eat nearly everything they can find, including fruit, insects and other small mammals. It is not uncommon for them to travel as far as 40 km in a single night in search of a meal.


Pangolin – The only mammals wholly covered in scales, which they use for protection against predators. When threatened, pangolins will curl up into a tight ball and will use their sharp-scaled tails to defend themselves. They are currently the world’s most trafficked mammal.

Honey Badger

Tel: + 264 61 309 141 Email:

N/a’an ku sê Ecotourism Collection Our Conservation Dream, Your Conservation Adventure Step into a realm where conservation and tourism converge seamlessly - the N/a’an ku sê Ecotourism Collection. Immerse in a world of luxurious lodges and untamed marvels. Visit any of our establishments around the country and experience Namibia's wildlife, landscapes, and culture while safeguarding its beauty.

N/a’an ku sê Lodge

N/a’an ku sê Bush Camp

N/a’an ku sê @ Utopia Hotel

Tranquil accommodation supporting charitable projects in a nature reserve near Windhoek.

A modest and intimate venue in the N/a’an ku sê Nature Reserve, offering relaxation and diverse activities.

A peaceful boutique hotel in Klein Windhoek, ideal for transit, couples, and business travellers.

Rooster & Co. Restaurant

Harnas Guest Farm

Kanaan Desert Retreat

Indulge in delectable treats, barista coffee, and a leafy playground for little ones.

Enjoy a luxury stay while supporting the care of San people and wild animals.

A paradise in the Namib Desert, offering stunning landscapes, starry nights, and delicious cuisine.

Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate

TimBila Camp Namibia

Experience the romance of oasis with a winery nestled in the Namib Desert's edge.

A riverside retreat for relaxed family safaris and camping.

TimBila Safari Lodge An unparalleled tented luxury in the middle of the Namibian wilderness.


TimBila Private Villa Experience an exquisite luxury hideaway with captivating waterhole vistas, perfect for the entire family

TimBila Farmstead An authentic farm experience, complete with a playground and activities suitable for the entire family


Elephant Whispers and Wild Encounters

A Journey Through Khaudum Text Charene Labuschagne | Photographs Le Roux van Schalkwyk




f you are ever concerned about the elephant population of Southern Africa, a visit to Khaudum will assure you of their bounty. If not through observing large herds at water holes, then the sight of disturbed vegetation lining a beautifully bumpy track with a near-metre-high middleman should convince you. Our group spent the first night camping at Sikereti, where lanky trees and the auburn hue of leaves from winter passed clear to grey sand and concrete slabs where tents can be pitched. Ideally, we would use this as a base from which daily excursions to the nearby water holes could be made, before trekking all the way to the only other camp in the park at Khaudum. But we were a bit pressed for time. If you, dear adventurer, have made it this far, try spending a few days in the park, and a few hours at each water hole. The rewards of driving a little slower are spotting roan antelope, giraffes and avians through the shrubbery, and not having to grip the handles inside your vehicle as you bounce along the jeep track bumps. Although the latter is pretty exhilarating, try it with caution. Khaudum’s waterholes all feature a raised viewing deck. In its shade, seated on a bench, perhaps with a prepared sandwich or leftovers, one could easily spend endless hours watching the commotion of elephants, kudu and birds. Being the only people at a water hole, with the absence of humming game viewer engines and nowhere else to be, is unlike other safari experiences in the country. It is untamed and all yours. Journeying to Khaudum Camp, our last water hole stop before retreating to ice-cold beers and dinner, was an intimate elephant experience. As I had come to realise in this wild

place, you are always in the company of these large mammals, whether you know it or not. From the left and the right, in front of us and behind our cars, they approached the water with urgency. Three large bulls on an awkward speed walk – trunks flopping around like pool noodles – came to a grinding halt as they met the master of the elephants already at the water. After a few brief displays of resentment, establishing the pecking order, followed the passive aggressive approval of the new group to the water. I’m no elephant whisperer, yet quite certain that the acceptance of bombastic newcomers is only on the condition of charity. In the dry season, water is rather scarce, and I like to think the elephants condone more mayhem because they know their “frenemies” are thirsty. (The stories we concoct to make sense of the animal world!) Perched on the side of a hill overlooking an expansive omuramba (ancient river), Khaudum Camp is the kind of place where I could easily spend a couple of days. The view from there is reminiscent of cheesy movies about Africa. A flat plain dotted with wildlife, a mountain on the one side and dense treeline on the other, not to mention the watercolour painting of a fiery pink and canary yellow sunrise awaiting the next morning. I left Khaudum feeling completely rebooted. A couple of days took me right back to the basics of shelter, sustenance and bare feet on soft sand. What more do we need? Perhaps a 4x4 vehicle, a decent camera to capture it all and the occasional shower to wash off the dust. This place surely offers wildlife viewing deluxe, cultural connections and a peek into simplistic living, beautiful baobabs and deep jeep tracks. But what is more important in any adventure is how it makes you feel. Venture to Khaudum and uncover this secret for yourself. TNN



Hiking the


The Naukluft Mountains seem like an inhospitable area on the doorstep of the great Namib Sand Sea but, thanks to numerous natural springs, it has surprisingly abundant plant-, bird- and wildlife. Yet, the casual visitor will only be able to see glimpses of the Naukluft, as the only access road for tourists leads directly to the NWR Naukluft Camp. This is by no means an attempt to restrict vehicle traffic, as anyone who has flown over or driven on any of the roads (C19, C14 and D854) that form a circular route around the mountains can attest to. The extremely rugged terrain quite simply makes it a really unfriendly place for vehicles. Text and Photographs Le Roux van Schalkwyk



Therefore, the only real way to explore the park is on foot. There are two short one-day hikes, the Olive and Waterkloof trails. Then there is the eight-day trail that covers 120 kilometres on a circular route – with the option to do only the first four days of the hike. The first day follows the Naukluft River south towards the border of the park and is fairly easy going. Once the trail leaves the river, it climbs up a rather steep gradient which leads to a well-worn mountain zebra path that runs along the contour of the southernmost part of the Naukluft Mountains. Following the twists and turns of the zebra path for the remainder of the day, hikers are rewarded with spectacular vistas of the Tsaris Mountains to the south. The first night is spent at the Putte shelter. The name of the shelter originates from the nearby well that is equipped with a large round hand pump for obtaining water. The first section of day two is a comfortable walk across an undulating plateau. A pleasant start after the tough day before. After a couple of hours, the impressive Ubusis Kloof is reached. Massive rock faces on both sides and polished rock plates give evidence of the masses of water that once flooded down the river. A spectacular sight to behold, except that if this river does flood and you are caught in it, there is no escape.

negotiating the kloof, the trail follows an easy route across the plateau to the Adlerhorst shelter. Starting on fairly level terrain, the first section of day four is reasonably easy going. As the trail turns along the Tsams River, the sand and loose rocks can slow the pace. After a couple of kilometres, the trail veers off to the right as a massive tufa waterfall blocks the way down. To bypass this section, you have to climb a very steep hill. Once on top, a stunning view across the valley below awaits. The Tsams Ost shelter is where hikers can be resupplied with fresh clothes and food. Day five starts with a steep climb called Broekskeur. The next part of the trail traverses undulating terrain and passes beautiful quiver trees and euphorbias dotting the hillsides. A brief climb takes hikers to the incredible 200-metre-high Die Valle waterfall at the start of day six. The trail goes up a steep climb and then follows a contour path that leads to the top of the waterfall. Beautiful crystal-clear pools of water await as well as views for days. From here the trail follows the narrow gorge carved by the river and it continues to gain altitude, eventually leading to its catchment area. Once here, the rest of the trail winds its way down the Arbeit Adelt Valley towards the Tufa shelter.

The massive overhang of the cave at Cathedral Spring signals the start of the descent. Several chains have been anchored at points that would otherwise be extremely difficult to navigate with a large backpack. Certain sections are quite steep and should be carefully approached when descending.

Day seven starts with a steep climb up a tufa waterfall. Chains are placed at some of the steepest sections. The last chain takes you up a tricky bit where you have to scramble up the vertical wall of a dry waterfall. Once on top, it is a fairly easy walk on the plateau to reach the shelter at Kapokvlakte.

The night is spent at the Ubisis hut which used to be a holiday cottage before the land was acquired for the park and is now the overnight stop.

The 16 kilometres of the final day go by relatively quickly. The trail is fairly easy and makes a large bend on the eastern edge of the Naukluft massif, offering stunning views toward Rietoog. It eventually descends into the Naukluft River by way of a tributary. From the Naukluft River you join up with the Waterkloof Day Trail. This takes you all the way back to the resort and the end of the trail. TNN

The third day starts with a slog back up the Ubusis River and then up the same chains to get to the top of the kloof. The ascent is easier as you can see where you are climbing. After



A D V E N T U R E AWA I T S Tel: +264 61 232871 24hr emergency no: 081 129 3355 Email: Website:


n a single-file line, you tread lightly, one foot at a time, so as to not disturb the life that surrounds you, or the black rhino spotted at the lodge’s subtly lit waterhole just the previous night. A walking safari through the bushveld at Ongava, a 30,000-hectare private game reserve bordering Etosha, is a thrilling adventure.


There is so much magic when you look closer, longer and more intentionally. It is in these moments that you spot an exceptionally camouflaged chameleon perched dead still on a tree trunk, or learn that rhinos use scratching posts conveniently located on the highway of animal crossings. When you stay a little longer and begin to decipher the tracks and markings, an elephant bath is revealed, and their sheer size and strength become overwhelmingly obvious at the sight of trees shredded to shards of bark. If you look a little more closely at the prevalent mopane leaves, you begin to notice the crystal-like dots formed by tiny insects. The Oshiwambo people discovered it as a sweet treat. Once you are made aware of their existence, these crystals appear everywhere like dew drops on the vegetation.

on Ongava’s Walking Safari Text Charene Labuschagne

Text Charene Labuschagne


Without the hum of a car engine and the clicking of camera shutters, you truly get to listen to nature. Ongava’s walking safari is a quintessential bushveld experience, bringing you closer to the intricate details so often overlooked, immersing you deeper into the conservation efforts of the reserve and allowing you to trek this vast terrain in much the same way as the original, rugged explorers did. Safety is essential when traversing the territory of big cats and even larger mammals. Ongava’s roster of dedicated and enthusiastic guides are trained in emergency procedures, should a wild animal become distressed or uncomfortable with visitors. For this reason, the walking safari is better suited to smaller groups. This in turn allows you to let your curiosity blossom and ask your guide any and all questions about the area, its fauna and flora. TNN





There is magic in every sunrise, in every setting sun and in every full moon rising. The moon, the stars, the sun, the wind, the sand, the heat, the dust. Our living desert bestows upon a visitor all of these as moments to feel the solitude. To experience an exhilarating sense of total freedom. To be the first human making a footprint in the sand. Liberating.

Drinks and dancing at Goodfellas

What do you get when you mix live music, pub grub, abundant outdoor seating and atmosphere? Goodfellas needs no introduction to fans of food and good vibes. They are the backbone of the capital’s social scene, and unsurprisingly doubles well as a family lunch spot. On weekends you can expect a consistent rotation of live music acts. Names like Vaughn Ahrens, Riaan Smit as well as The Ell’s have played gigs here, contributing in no small way to the atmosphere around those wooden tables. Beers are served in chilled mugs, as they should, the cocktail menu features all the greats, and the food is generous and delicious. All of it very conducive to spending the entire Saturday with a drink in hand, and bumping into someone you know. Heck, you will even meet new people.

The Namibian Independence Legacy

The Independence Memorial Museum, fondly referred to as the “Coffee Machine” by locals, stands as a golden sentinel on a small hill next to the Christuskirche in Robert Mugabe Avenue in Windhoek.


Namibia has a diverse and rich cultural heritage. What better way to enrich your travels by exploring the land of the brave’s history than visiting some of its national monuments? Add these stops to your itinerary when visiting: • • •


• •

Petrified Forest, 42 km west of Khorixhas: Fossilised trees from 200 million years ago. Hoba Meteorite, Farm Hoba West, Grootfontein: The largest known meteorite in the world. Josef Fredricks’ House, Bethanie: Built in 1883, the house where Captain Josef Fredrick, leader of the Nama of Bethanie, lived and one of the oldest buildings in the country. Khorab Memorial, Otavi: The site where the Germans formally capitulated to the South African Union during WW1. Herero Grave Complex, Okahandja: The last resting place of Herero leaders such as Tjamuaha Maharero, Samuel Maharero and Friedrich Maharero.

Skydive - if you dare

If you are an adrenaline junkie, what could possibly sound more thrilling than a tandem plummet down to earth from the heavens? Join one of the bespoke skydiving operations in Swakopmund for a rip-roaring view of the desert from above!

Walk through history at Swakop Museum Take a walk through Namibia’s past and present. The Swakopmund Museum is the largest privately run museum in Namibia with displays ranging from zoology, geology, archaeology and technology as well as present and historical exhibits of Namibian culture and its people.





Nkasa JB Rupara N.P.











Bagatelle Kalahari Boutique Farmhouse


Gecko Ridge BK

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch


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Cornerstone Guest House


Huab Lodge

Corona Guest Farm


Divava Okavango Resort & Spa


Jackalberry Tented Camp


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Etusis Lodge


Fort Sesfontein


Le Mirage Resort and Spa NV

Frans Indongo Lodge

Ohange Lodge OL

Otjiwa Safari Lodge OL

Otjiwa Mountain Lodge SL

Serondela Lodge

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Nkasa Lupala Tented Camp CG



Ndhovu Safari Lodge

Reservations: Tel: +264 61 224 712 | Tel: +264 61 250 725 | E-mail: Marketing: Tel: +264 81 223 1837 | E-mail:

Gin at Bar Zonder Naam

Having sundowners tops the list of Namibians’ favourite things to do, so, naturally, a kiosk-style spot serving craft gins, beers and South African wines opened along a quaint walkway in Swakop. Undoubtedly the best thing on Bar Zonder Naam’s menu is a G&T made with Namibian gin. We recommend Stillhouse or Desolate!

Take a photo at the TROPIC OF CAPRICORN Signboards were built for stickers and selfies. The two Tropic of Capricorn signs in the south of Namibia are no different. Take a picture here to record your global latitude-traversing adventure!

THE NAMIB SAND SEA The Namib Sand Sea lies within Namib-Naukluft National Park, south of the Kuiseb River in central Namibia. In 2012 it was designated a UNESCO natural World Heritage Site. The area has been protected for more than 50 years, remaining relatively unscathed from human attention. Home to more than 300 species of life forms, of which more than 50% are estimated to be endemic to the area, it is not hard to understand why the Namib, and this area in particular, is known fondly as a “living desert”. The daily intake of fog from the cold Benguela Current of the Atlantic Ocean has caused these life forms to take on rare behaviour in order to survive on minimal water in this hot and cold sandy landscape. The Namib Sand Sea covers around 35,000 km2 and is deemed the oldest desert in the world.

WALK ALONG THE JETTY The Swakopmund Jetty was originally built to offload supplies and troops for the young German colony of South West Africa. After being built in 1904, it was extended and widened in 1905, and today it is a popular tourist destination. Apart from offering stunning views of Swakopmund it also boasts a doughnut bar and a restaurant.




NAMIBIA’S DARK SKY RESERVE In Namibia you can witness exceptionally dark nighttime skies, providing a theatre from which to witness the magic of its starry sky parks. For most of the world the performance of the stars goes unnoticed due to light pollution. However, this is not the case in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, which has been designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark Sky Association. Imagine gazing over a perfect 360-degree panorama, sparkling with millions of bright stars found in galaxies thousands of light-years away. Vast stretches of land with absolutely no light pollution await you in the world’s most ancient desert. The NamibRand International Dark Sky Reserve was only the second place on Earth that was designated with Gold Tier status and was also the first International Dark Sky Reserve in the developing world and in Africa. Gold Tier is the term used to describe reserves with nighttime environments that have little to no impact from light pollution and artificial light. More than just the twinkle of stars, here is where you will see the Milky Way in all its glory – a huge collection of stars, dust and gas consisting of several hundred billion stars. In the NamibRand Nature Reserve, you might just see them all.

EXPERIENCE NAMIBIA FROM ABOVE Scenic flights and fly-in safaris in Namibia offer the discerning traveller the chance to explore parts of Namibia that are almost exclusively off-limits from the ground. As you traverse the sky, the landscape unfurls before you and the breathtaking views make for once-in-a-lifetime photographs. Flying gets you to your destinations in a short period of time, as opposed to driving vast distances on dusty roads. A plane trip to Namibia’s northwest passes over its dramatic desert landscapes, along the coast and over the famous fishing waters of Swakopmund, Wlotzkasbaken and Henties Bay. See abandoned shipwrecks along the lonesome beaches and the bright orange lichen fields all the way up to the Kunene River. Admire the coastline, where Namibia’s sand dunes and the dark blue waters of the Atlantic coast meet. From above, the Skeleton Coast becomes more accessible to visitors. This area is unlike anywhere else in the country, and the tangible isolation and desolation give new meaning to its dramatic name. This is a part of Namibia that up until recently very few people had the opportunity to see, and it continues to be one of the least-visited places in the country. Further east, moving inland towards Kaokoland and the Kunene River, visitors have the opportunity to land in the heart of the Himba community and pay a visit to one of the last semi-nomadic cultures in the world. The landscape might even offer a rare sighting of an endangered desert-adapted rhino. Many Namibian aviation companies offer day trips along Namibia’s coast, setting off from Swakopmund and looping around the area. Other flights are available to lodges from Eros Airport in Windhoek, and between lodges around the country.





Launching at sunrise, soaring with the winds, overlooking the horizon. It is an exquisitely serene experience to float over the sands of the Namib Desert, so soft they look satin from the sky. A trip to the Namib Desert is not complete without a hot-air balloon ride over this magical tapestry. Witness this land from above, taking in the ethereal ancient desert terra firma rocks and sand dunes that look like creamy mounds of softness. It is soothing – a sanctuary of renewal and marvel.

SEE (OR BUY) A FAIRY CIRCLE Fairy circles are one of nature’s best-kept secrets. Those mysterious bare patches dotting desert grasslands have probably elicited wider speculation than any other natural phenomenon in Namibia. Bizarre and attractive, they have been the cause of many an argument over their origins. Ranging from the deeply scientific to the purely fanciful, there are theories and assumptions abound. Most recently, it has been hypothesised that they exist as a result of self-organisation, in other words plants competing for water in an arid environment create patches of bare soil between them. Whatever their origin, these fairy circles nevertheless serve a huge purpose in the conservation framework of NamibRand Nature Reserve. Here nature lovers can adopt one of their own fairy circles. A numbered clay disk will be placed in your specially chosen circle, and you will receive a certificate acknowledging your donation and recording the exact GPS coordinates of your fairy circle. All funds raised through this programme go directly to the NamibRand Conservation Foundation.

Whether you float over Sossusvlei with Namib Sky Balloon Safaris or Tsondab Valley with Samawati Hot Air Ballooning, the Namib Desert from a hot-air balloon is spectacular.


Book your hot-air balloon experience with one of these expert teams: Namib Sky Balloon Safaris: Samawati Hot Air Ballooning:

The stretch of coast from Walvis Bay to Cape Cross has a couple of surf spots. Especially around Swakopmund you will see lots of avid local surfers bobbing up and down, waiting to catch the next wave. The waves that put surfing in Namibia on the map, however, can be found just south of Walvis Bay. Donkey Bay, as it is locally known, is world-famous for having the longest barrel (when conditions are right), drawing pro surfers such as Kelly Slater.







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Popa Falls Resort Onkoshi Resort Namutoni Resort Halali Resort Okaukuejo Resort Olifantsrus Camp Dolomite Resort Terrace Bay Torra Bay Khorixas Camp Waterberg Resort Gross-Barmen Resort Mile 4 Campsite

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14. Sun Karros Daan Viljoen 15. Sossus Dune Lodge 16. Sesriem Campsite 17. Naukluft Camp 18. Hardap Resort 19. Duwisib Castle 20. Shark Island Resort 21. Fish River Canyon & Hobas Camp 22. /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings Spa 23. Mile 72 24. Mile 108 25. Jakkalsputz




Located in the village of Olukonda, 14 km from Ondangwa, Nakambale holds more than a century of character. Surrounded by mahangu fields and housed in the old mission house, the thick walls of the museum could tell a thousand stories. The name Nakambale was given to one of the first Finnish missionaries, Martti Rautanen, who lived in the mission house with his family. He was known for wearing a hat that if turned upside-down, resembled a type of Ovambo basket, called okambale in the Ngandjera language. Rautanen erected the first church building in northern Namibia at Olukonda and completed the translation of the Bible, initiated by various missionaries, into Oshindonga. In addition to the museum, Nakambale has a campsite (and a replica of a traditional Ndonga homestead), making it a destination to add to your itinerary as a good overnight stop to absorb a serving of history, culture and charm. To complete the visit, pre-book an Ovambo meal and partake in a walk through the village.

OPEN MARKET THRIFTING IN ONDANGWA The Ondangwa Open Market (like so many markets in these parts of the country) is the heartbeat of the town. Locals shop, socialise and eat here. It is also the best place in the country for thrifting. Knee-high piles of sweaters, jeans, blouses and jackets line the floor. Rails of clothing display the shop owners’ pick of the day, often inspired by the season. The only way to approach it is to roll your sleeves up and start digging. You might just find an authentic leather jacket and buy it without thinking twice, because who would hesitate at only N$150? These were once unwanted items from the global west, packaged into bales divided into gender, age and season, sold

by weight and shipped to Africa. This is how many women across the continent earn an income: reselling donated clothing at informal markets, every day of the week from 9 to 5. The second-hand clothing department of the Ondangwa Open Market directly benefits at least 30 shop owners, women and members of the community, who are often the breadwinners in their families. While the massive, franchise-filled mall just down the road signifies a sense of development, it is the open market that truly benefits the local economy. It allows 30-odd women in Ondangwa to earn an income. And simultaneously throws a fat middle finger in revolt of the fast fashion industry.



Discover Namibia’s beating heart.

Discover Earth’s Ultimate Untamed Places

We’ve been creating unrivalled journeys through Africa’s most iconic wild destinations since 1983, and today we operate seven camps in Namibia’s most sought-after wild places. Marvel at desert-adapted elephant and lion, the last freeroaming black rhino, the rare brown hyena, huge colonies of Cape fur seals, and miles and miles of unexplored and majestic, untouched land. And with our complete tailor-made DMC services, powerful booking tools, a vast library of associated product, our own airstrips and airline, and a private 24-hour emergency service, we create safe and seamless journeys across, and between, each of these destinations. Go beyond even the wildest desert dreams.


4X4 CAR RENTAL NAMIBIA website: | Tel: +264 61 229 272 | Thrift Street, Windhoek, Namibia.





The Enchanting Rhythm of a music festival at Spitzkoppe Text Charene Labuschagne


ur beloved visitors come to Namibia for many great reasons: safari, landscapes, culture, road trips and the inevitable adventure that comes from all the aforementioned. Few come for an electronic music festival because few know it is even an option. Well, do I have good news for you… Between a Rock and a Hard Place, affectionately known as BARHP, is gaining momentum as a bucket-list experience for music enthusiasts seeking not just beats, but an immersive experience under the vast expanse of the Namibian night sky – in the shadow of the iconic Spitzkoppe. The first public instalment of BARHP in 2022 set the stage for what would become an annual pilgrimage for many. Behind the decks, DJs from Cape Town, Johannesburg and even Germany took command of the heartbeats of duststomping attendees against a granite backdrop. The festival organisers, drawing inspiration from international events, curated not just a lineup but an environment where music, community and nature converged.

Fast forward to 2023, and the magic of BARHP intensified, introducing a second stage, Paradise, where local talents like Sxdated and YD Fresh proved that Namibia’s DJs could hold their own against international stalwarts. The festival’s growth was not just about the music; it was a testament to the organisers’ commitment to offer a holistic experience brimming with self-expression and acceptance in this beautiful landscape. For those yet to experience the magic, BARHP is a promise of more than just music; it is a journey into a realm where the desert becomes a dance floor, granite mountains become a backdrop, and each beat resonates with the collective heartbeat of a vibrant community. May 2024 holds the promise of a new chapter in this desert chronicle, where the Spitzkoppe once again becomes the epicentre of enchantment, and BARHP continues to redefine the essence of a music festival in the heart of Namibia. Follow @spitzkoppebarhp on Instagram for updates on the 2024 event. TNN



Hobatere Treehouse


Ngepi Jackalberry


Unique Stays across Namibia Text Charene Labuschagne

The Nest




ome call this the land of milk and honey, others name it the land of endless horizons. Namibia is also fondly known as the land of the brave, or the smile on the face of Africa. Many titles have been attributed to this country by locals and visitors alike, and as a local myself, I’ll biasedly say they’re all true. But if only one word were available to do justice to this beautiful place, it would have to be “unique”. Even though our safaris are indeed unique, Namibia is more than just a safari destination. It is the friendly wave from strangers as you drive through a small town. The secret corners where few have pitched a tent and slept under the stars. Namibia is both dry and lush. Both rugged and fragile. And while our tourism sector boasts a host of lodges that are on par with the best on the continent, we also have a few oddballs in our midst, making for unique stays in a truly unique country.



As the name suggests, this lodge emulates the vessels that have met their end on our infamously treacherous coast. Ten wood cabins overlook the mouth of the Hoarusib River flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, their backdrop a vast stretch of bisque-coloured dunes. Wood is employed to protrude like rib cages above the cabins and main area and nautical elements like round windows, slanted walls and thoughtful touches of blue bring the theme home. Even more than the aesthetics and luxury amenities, its isolated setting is what really sets Shipwreck apart.


Sossusvlei and surrounds is Namibia’s most-frequented tourist destination, and subsequently the lodges in this area offer more or less the same style of amenities and design, save for The Nest. This uber-luxurious private villa features architecturally curved thatch roofs designed to look like the iconic sociable weaver nests that populate the area. The nest style is mirrored on the interior of each of the villa’s three en-suite rooms and expansive lounge area, fitted with rich accents of leather, wood and ambient light. The Nest is fully inclusive and groups have exclusive use of the villa, its guide, butler and chef.



Overlooking the Linyanti lagoons in Nkasa Rupara National Park, Jackalberry Camp is a unique tented stay in Namibia’s unsung and adventurous panhandle. The lodge’s main area is fashioned around a large namesake tree, its circular shape providing unparalleled 360-degree views of the lush surroundings. Indoor-outdoor living is redefined in two storeys with wide open side panels which can be closed with canvas when necessary. The camp offers four exclusive tented chalets where local materials like reeds and wood have been employed to create an elevated and simplistic

space. The view, free-roaming wildlife and the main area are the stars of the show.


Few experiences in Namibia offer this level of isolation and intimacy with the wild. Hobatere Lodge is situated on the western border of Etosha National Park and a passage to Damaraland’s landscape of boulders, beige and red hues, as well as free-roaming lions. The treehouse takes you a considerable distance from the main lodge, where guests are dropped off with dinner, drinks and a spotlight to survey the nearby waterhole after dark. The ground level houses the bathroom with a gas-heated shower and flush toilet, while the upper deck includes a fairytale canopy bed and viewing veranda perched on a large acacia tree. What makes the Hobatere Treehouse truly remarkable is its intense isolation, proximity to the untamed wilderness, and a delicious selfserving dinner setup.



Step into a rustic, thatched wonderland reminiscent of the Nim’s Island movie. Ngepi is known and loved for unmatched chill vibes and their great location on the Okavango Delta, where campsites, treehouses and bush huts overlook either the river or a lush garden forest. While the whole Ngepi comes highly recommended, The Swirl makes our list of unique stays for its storybook ambience, skylight shower and design to see the sun rise between your toes while lying in a king-sized bed. It is built around a tree, yet not harming the tree, and features furniture pieces made from local materials. The Swirl also has basic self-catering equipment for two guests, adding another golden star in our books.


Originally constructed for a movie set, Onjowewe’s House in the Rocks is a marvel to look at and surprisingly affordable to stay in on a self-catering basis. Built between the boulders synonymous with the Damaraland area, this three-bedroom house offers a pool, fully equipped kitchen and ample lounging space. Guests truly feel like they are stepping into a dystopian film set. With whimsically constructed wood, angled roofs and a flush toilet literally wedged between rocks, the House in the Rocks is an adventure above and beyond the off-the-beaten path it takes to get there. Many of our visitors come for the wildlife, landscapes and authentic cultural experiences. While these are truly our greatest assets, where you rest your head and experience these memorable vistas, fauna and flora simply adds to an unforgettable holiday in Namibia. We hope our list of unique stays in the land of endless horizons inspires you to venture beyond the ordinary, emerging from the pages of folklore and fairy tales to become a tangible experience. TNN




Namibia allows you the time to s-l-o-w down Text and Photographs Iga Motylska

Not only is slow travel witnessing a global resurgence, but it is also encouraging more meaning ful exploration that promotes ecotourism and conservation projects, writes Iga Motylska after visiting seven of Namibia’s conservancies.


hile you won’t find the word “slofari” in the Oxford Dictionary just yet – give it a few years – the colloquial portmanteau between the words “slow” and “safari” speaks to the growing trend of taking one’s time to travel more meaningfully and with purpose, in stark contrast to the travel-till-you-drop mentality of mass tourism. Slow travel is a mindful approach of taking the time to see less, but experience more. It is about exploring one or two regions rather than sprinting through an entire country merely to tick the boxes. Slow travel is about immersing yourself within a culture to better understand its people and their way of life. It is about partaking in authentic, community-led experiences with those who have the best interests of the environment at heart. Since the world re-opened, slow travel is witnessing a resurgence, even more so among visitors returning to a country or destination for a second or third time. While in the past, slow travel was most popular among more mature travellers, who often have more time and money at their disposal, these days it is becoming increasingly popular among younger, environmentally conscious generations, and even those who lead digital nomad lifestyles. In some ways, technology has helped to slow down the manner in which we travel. Many professionals no longer need to be in the office to work, giving them more time at their destination. And while the irony of sporadically logging in to work from their holiday destination is not lost on remote workers, not having to return in a hurry to their workplace after a two-week vacation actually affords them more time to truly immerse themselves.


Namibia is a slow destination by design. Its raw landscape lends itself to turning down the dial on our internal speedometers and turning up the radio. This is mostly due to Namibia’s far-stretching distances, where the average speed limit is restricted by dirt roads and free-roaming wildlife – much to travellers’ delight. Be sure to add more time to your travel plans when packing for this land of endless horizons. Because while private charters and fly-in safari circuits are becoming increasingly popular for those who can afford it, a large part of the average traveller’s experience is about how far the road stretches until it disappears. Part of the adventure is road tripping to the country’s most remote areas and savouring it for as long as possible.




Go with the mindset that less is more.


Save enough leave days so that you don’t feel rushed.


Do your research or speak to an expert to plan your time and itinerary wisely.


Choose responsible tourism providers, such as conservancies, tourism concessions, communityowned tourism projects, conservation-led projects, joint ventures and sustainable establishments with Eco Awards Desert Flower Certificates. Find out more: https://www.nacso. and


Give yourself enough time. Spend a week or two exploring one region and its surroundings.


Do a road trip for more flexibility and the chance to experience the landscape from up close. Remember that distances as shown on GPSs are not an accurate indication of travel time.


Namibia has long been a global pioneer of responsible travel which champions slow travel. It was the first country in the world to design its post-liberation constitution around conservation, the protection of its land and the responsible management of natural resources. 1996 saw the introduction of communal conservancies – self-governing entities that are managed and operated by members of their communities. Their emphasis is on socio-economic development and long-term sustainability in the form of partnerships between communities and the government, as well as the private sector.

Today, more than a fifth of the country, or 824,093 km², is made up of communal conservancies that comprise 86 partner communities with 244,587 members and 42 lodges as a joint venture between private lodge operators and communities. About one in ten Namibians, particularly those living in remote areas, is involved in the ecotourism sector. These communal conservancies inspire Namibians to be stewards of the land and custodians of their future, while creating socio-economic value, promoting employment opportunities and offering skills training. Many joint-venture eco-lodges are in hard-to-reach locations, beyond the usual jaunts of the in-and-out traveller. They are constructed in a low-impact manner using natural materials and are built off-the-grid – partially due to the lack of electricity infrastructure. Their remoteness lends itself to a digital detox (some deliberately do not have WiFi) and curated wellness packages such as breath work, yoga, meditation and spa treatments. Slow-paced activities may include San walking safaris for a better understanding of their innate connection with Mother Nature, stargazing, or visits to partner communities, nonprofit projects and conservation programmes. Namibia allows you the time to slow down, if only you’ll let it, while nurturing community-driven conservation projects for longterm sustainability.



CONSERVANCY CASE STUDY: BLACK RHINOS AT PALMWAG CONCESSION The 580,000-hectare Palmwag Concession in a remote part of north-west Namibia protects one of the world’s largest freeroaming populations of the critically endangered black rhino. This is made possible through the partnership between the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Save the Rhino Trust Namibia (SRT), Wilderness and the Gondwana Collection, alongside three community conservancies, namely Sesfontein, Anabeb and Torra. The SRT-Wilderness partnership within the Palmwag Concession sees Desert Rhino Camp act as a monitoring outpost for one of their tracking teams, while covering the operational costs. This has enabled SRT to increase its monitoring range by 20%. Visitors to the camp can accompany SRT rangers, in convoy with their Wilderness guide, as they monitor these desertadapted rhinos. They submit data – on population numbers, geographic distribution, human-wildlife conflict and humaninduced disturbances – to the largest, longest-running black rhino database in the world. Findings from a six-year study published in Frontiers in January 2023, titled From seeing to saving: How rhinoceros-based tourism in north-west Namibia strengthens local stewardship to help combat illegal hunting, outlines how this partnership has bolstered local-level stewardship and improved conservation outcomes for the population.

RECOMMENDED CONSERVANCIES: • Twyfelfontein (Camp Kipwe) • Skeleton Coast Park (Shipwreck Lodge) • Torra (Damaraland Camp) • Wuparo (Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge) • Kabulabula (Serondela Lodge) • Kasika and Kabulabula (Zambezi Queen)

In this way, rhinos are actively protected by the communities living in the protected areas bordering the Palmwag Concession. T ​ he case study states that between 2012 and 2018, there has been a 200% increase in tourists – the majority of whom embrace a slow-travel and eco-conscious ethos. This has generated US$1 million for the three conservancies during this time and has seen a 340% increase in the employment of rhino rangers, alongside a reduction in poaching and illegal hunting. According to the study, “[A] strong positive relationship between community institutions that directly provide support to and benefit financially from tourism with the level of their reinvestment in rhinoceros conservation suggests that communities that benefited more from rhinoceros-based tourism demonstrated higher levels of stewardship.” “[This] offers evidence and lessons that illustrate how carefully curated wildlife tourism that is designed specifically with community engagement and empowerment in mind may serve as a strong basis for enhanced local stewardship that helps improve wildlife and local human communities,” the study concludes. It is an on-the-ground example of the immense socio-economic and conservation value that conservancy partnerships, joint-venture ecotourism and mindful slow travellers contribute. TNN



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We have since 1993 been designing and undertaking diverse, exciting, exclusive and always tailor-made SelfDrive Safaris, guided PhotoSafaris and Fly-Ins to wild and remote, beautiful and tranquil locations throughout Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, eSwatini, Zimbabwe and Zambia, providing accommodation in a great variety of excellent tented camps, lodges and hotels in the furthest corners and most stunning settings of southern Africa.


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