How much do you really know about Namibia? It’s a beautiful African country that has so much to offer, yet very few people even consider a trip to Namibia. Today I am sharing 13 incredible destinations you should see in Namibia. From the most beautiful places, most famous tourist attractions in Namibia to the less known fascinating stops that should be on your Namibian road trip itinerary. Check it out and discover this hidden gem of Africa!
Our 13 favourite places to see in Namibia
This list of our favourite places in Namibia will not only introduce you to all of the must-see places of Namibia, it will show you a couple of hidden gems as well. I want to show you that Namibia is so much more diverse than you ever imagined; it’s very different from the rest of Africa too.
I also included some practical tips for each of Namibia’s must see destinations, so that you can make the most of your trip.
#13. Canyon Roadhouse
Located just a few miles from the Fish River Canyon, the Canyon Roadhouse is an attraction in itself. The place has the most incredible collection of old cars. A definite must for any family visiting Namibia with kids.
Tip: Plan to visit at lunch as they have a great little restaurant with…. you guessed it.. even more cars inside.
Solitaire is a small settlement with a permanent population of less than 100 people. It’s not really a town, but it has all kinds of facilities and since it’s in the middle of nowhere everyone passing by stops here for gas. Solitaire became famous because of the book by Dutch author Ton van der Lee dealing with his stay in this place. To me, it’s a place that has a true Namibian feel. One of those places that would be difficult to imagine anywhere else.
Tip: Try a piece of the world-famous apple pie at the Moose McGregor bakery.
#11. Tropic of Capricorn
There is not much to see at the Tropic of Capricorn, except for the sign. But it’ not every day you cross the southernmost latitude where the sun can be directly overhead.
Tip: You can find the Tropic of Capricorn sign on road C14 between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund.
#10. Quiver Tree Forest
Quiver Tree forest is a nice place to break the long drive when driving through Southern Namibia. Bushmen traditionally used the branches of these aloe trees to make quivers, thus the name – quiver tree.
Tip: Visit the nearby Giant’s Playground as well, just make sure you don’t get lost in this maze of large dolerite rocks.
If you visit just one town in Namibia, Swakopmund is the place to be. It’s by far the most lively and touristy town in Namibia, but in a good way. Beautiful coastal location, charming colonial architecture, lots of hotels, shops, restaurants… Swakopmund is a real oasis in the Namibian desert.
Tip: Plan to spend at least 2-3 days in Swakopmund as there are so many activities and day trips you can do in the area.
#8. Kolmanskop Ghost Town
Once a prosperous German diamond mining town, Kolmanskop is now an abandoned ghost town, slowly sinking in the sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Located just outside the colonial town of Lüderitz, Kolmanskop is one of the few places where you can learn more about Namibia’s history. It’s also a real photographers’ paradise.
Tip: Early morning offers the best light for photography. You can also obtain a photo permit and get access from sunrise to sunset (non-commercial photography only). Check the official website of Kolmanskop for more information.
Twyfelfontein is the largest site of ancient Bushman rock engravings in Africa. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and another must-see place in Namibia.
Tip: Go early in the morning for less crowds and better light for the pictures. Choose The Lion Man route – it’s said to be the best option.
#6. Walvis Bay flamingos
Walvis Bay waterfront is home to a big colony of wild flamingos. Expect to see thousands of pink flamingos, as well as pelicans and other birds. Don’t miss Walvis Bay flamingos – it’s definitely one of the places you have to see in Namibia.
Tip: Book a boat trip to see dolphins and other sea life.
#5. Cape Cross Seals
I cannot even try to describe this place, Cape Cross Seal Reserve is another absolute favourite from our Namibia trip. Hundreds of thousands of seals, as far as the eye can see. It’s one of those places that you have to see to believe it, and an experience you’ll never forget.
Tip: Go early in the morning (access from 8AM), and ideally on a windy day to avoid the smell.
Very little known and somehow left out of the main tourist routes, Spitzkoppe was one of the most breathtaking places we visited in Namibia. Most spectacular landscapes and practically no people at all – don’t miss.
Tip: If you can, stay for the sunset (there is a campground).
#3. Fish River Canyon
Second largest canyon in the world, Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. It’s a long drive to get there, but definitely worth it.
Tip: Visit Fish River Canyon at sunrise for the best views. Also, stay at Gondwana Canyon Lodge and take a free sundowner tour to the top of the hill adjacent to the lodge – it offers some of the most spectacular scenery you can imagine!
#2. Etosha National Park
Etosha is a large salt pan in Northern Namibia. It’s also the biggest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia, with guaranteed animal sightings. Furthermore, Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible wildlife reserves in Africa and can easily be visited individually. Plan at least 2 days/ 3 nights for Etosha National Park.
Tip: Don’t miss Okaukuejo waterhole! Read why Okaukuejo is the best place to stay in Etosha.
#1. Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
My number one on the list of must see places in Namibia would be Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei is home to the world’s largest sand dunes. Don’t miss Deadvlei too – the white salt pan with ancient acacia trees that you see in all Namibia travel guides, and make sure you climb at least one of the higher sand dunes. I recommend Big Daddy, Big Mama, or Dune 45.
Tip: Stay at the accommodation inside the park and try to catch the sunrise from the top of Big Daddy Dune.
Are you looking for more practical information about Namibia? Make sure to check these posts as well:
- Complete Namibia road trip itinerary
- Everything I wish I had known before our trip to Namibia
- What to pack for Namibia
- Namibia with kids
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