13 Fascinating Places You Don’t Want to Miss in Namibia

In Africa, Inspiration, Namibia by Jurga21 Comments

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!

Best places to see in Namibia

 

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.

Canyon Roadhouse Namibia

Canyon Roadhouse

 

#12. Solitaire

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.

Solitaire is one of those places that you cannot miss in Namibia

Solitaire

 

#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.

 

Tropic of Capricorn sign Namibia

Obligatory photo stop

 

#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.

Quiver Tree Forest in Namibia

Quiver Tree Forest

 

#9. Swakopmund

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.

Swakopmund is the touristic centre of Namibia

Swakopmund

 

#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.

 

Kolmanskop Ghost Town NamibiaKolmanskop Ghost Town Namibia

Inside one of the houses at Kolmanskop

 

#7. Twyfelfontein

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.

Ancient Bushmen rock art at the Twyfelfontein UNSECO World Heritage Site in Namibia

Ancient rock engravings -Lion Man Route

 

#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.

Walvis Bay flamingos Namibia

Walvis Bay flamingos

 

#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.

Cape Cross Seal colony in Namibia

Cape Cross Seals

 

#4. Spitzkoppe

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).

Spitzkoppe is one of the hidden gems of Namibia

Spitzkoppe

 

#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!

Fish River Canyon is one of the top tourist attractions in Namibia

Fish River Canyon

 

#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.

Etosha National Park is a must see in Namibia

Giraffes at Okaukuejo Waterhole

 

#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.

Sossusvlei is the most popular tourist destination in Namibia

Deadvlei

 

Are you looking for more practical information about Namibia? Make sure to check these posts as well:

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

13 fascinating destinations not to miss in Namibia


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

You May Also Like
13 Fascinating Places You Don’t Want to Miss in Namibia was last modified: March 28th, 2017 by Jurga

Like what you've read? There is more...

Comments

  1. I am so jelly you went to Namibia! This place is like top bucket list for me. I very much enjoyed reading this and every detail. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Oh wow, Namibia looks like a beautiful place to visit. I love the Kolmanskop ghost town and fish canyon. Great read and I will definitely be coming to you when I go there.

  3. I have lived in SA and Botswana and travelled around Zimbabwe and other southern African countries yet have never been to Namibia! I will definitely change that in the future – my friend has recently driven from Gaborone all over Namibia (though her 4×4 didn’t make it back!!!!) and she was telling me how amazing it was – your photographs certainly confirm that!

    1. Author

      That 4×4 story doesn’t sound good, Tracy… You have to be careful when driving on gravel roads in Namibia, but we never had any problems.

  4. Honestly, I had never even considered Namibia as a family destination before but now you’ve got me thinking! As usual a great concise post and so useful to folk. I am going to start researching flight prices too. So, you’d consider it safe for travelling with kids then?

    1. Author

      Alex, yes, definitely, I consider Namibia a very safe place. The biggest danger is driving on gravel roads, but as long as you are keeping to the speed limits and not doing any crazy things, it’s really fine. You can find all kinds of practical information and tips for Namibia travel in my other posts.
      As for flights, we flew with Air Namibia directly from Frankfurt. KLM has a new route to Namibia now as well. Most other options include a stopover in Johannesburg. If you really consider a family trip, book about a year in advance – as soon as you can book the flights. There aren’t many family rooms available, and accommodation options are really limited in some places. Booking in advance allows you to make the trip you really want.

    2. Alex, My wife and I made our first trip to Namibia last April. We are in our 70s and rented a 4×4 in Windhoek. Had an incredible time. We have visited many other African countries and this is the safest you will find. Good (gravel) road network, friendly people, quality accommodations, incredible wildlife everywhere – not only in National Parks. Etosha offers the finest game-viewing of anywhere I have ever been. We will return this coming June to spend eight days in Etosha and then drive east through the Caprivi Strip to complete out tour at Victoria Falls. I highly recommend Namibia as a family destination – kids will love it. You might find our YouTube video helpful Namibia_McD or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWmkIWTVVM&t=99s. Good luck!

  5. Except for Twyfelfontein and Etosha I have been to all these places in Namibia. Even lived in Swakopmund for 4 years. Amazing wild and wonderful country. Love it!

    1. Author

      I cannot believe you didn’t visit Etosha if you lived there for 4 years, Deone! But I guess that’s how it often goes – when you travel somewhere for a short period of time, you try to see everything you can. But once you live somewhere for a longer time, the sense of urgency is gone… Here is a reason to go back, then. Etosha is worth a trip in itself!

  6. Namibia is a dream destination for me. All those places are definitely amazing and I would love to visit every single one of them. I love that you’ve put some tips for every one of the places. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Author

      Thanks a lot for your comment, Bilyana. Hope you can make that trip happen, and – when you go – come back to re-read those tips again 😉

  7. ? WOW! It’s like you were in our car, traveling all those places and we never saw you!!! Exactly what we did!!!
    LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT!!!!

    1. Author

      Ha ha, and thank you Mandy. I guess that most tourists try to cover the highlights. On the other hand, I also hear from people who only see Etosha and Sossusvlei, so I wanted to share all these places to show that Namibia is so much more than that!

  8. Namibia is stunning…I think it’s the first place I’ll visit when I finally make it to Africa!

  9. You took so many great photos in Nambia (no surprise since we’re familiar with your Instagram account). I especially loved the giraffes. We really want our daughter to see that kind of stuff in the wild since zoos make us a little sad sometimes. What age do you think would be appropriate for a trip to Nambia?

    1. Author

      Hi Dannie, our youngest twins were 3, almost 4 when we visited. I think that’s about the minimum age, as much younger they will really not be able to appreciate what they are seeing. Also, there’s lots of driving involved. For organised safari even this is often too young. Many companies will not take kids under 6, or even 8 on safari drives. We did do a lot with our own car and also several guided drives and it worked out really well for us though. So maybe do some research on where you want to go and what is the minimum age for the guided drives at that place. Or just do your own safari drives. Etosha is great for that. Or Kruger in South Africa.

Leave a Comment