Tips from the experts: Namibia
Planning your dream holiday to Namibia? The team at Discover the World share their favourite memories to inspire your wanderlust for this fascinating country.
The living desert tour from Swakopmund is a wildlife lover’s idyll! I was in my element, on my knees in the warm desert sands just a few kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. We were searching for shovel snouted lizards, spiders, sidewinder snakes, chameleons and geckos. The guide was brilliant – engaging, humorous and vastly knowledgeable. The trip culminated with a rollercoaster ride in our Land Rover Defender up and down massive dunes with views of the sea – a must-do for an aspiring Attenborough!
Rhys, Southern Africa Travel Specialist
So there we were, just sitting by the watering hole in the dark, I was trying not to get too excited so the disappointment of not seeing any wildlife wouldn’t be so great. But then I heard a rustling amongst the trees to the right of the waterhole. We kept so quiet that I could hear my heart pumping in my ears, and from the trees – the biggest elephant I’ve ever seen appeared! He stopped, had a sniff around, (I guessed he could smell us and decided we weren’t a danger) and then strolled up to the edge of the watering hole. I was in awe, the sight was beyond my wildest dreams and if that wasn’t enough, a rhino and her calf joined the elephant and actually went into the watering hole for a paddle. This was just one of many amazing images I came home with from Namibia, a destination that I definitely will return to.
Lynne, Operations Manager
Watching the sunrise from the top of Dune 45 in Sossusvlei. Climbing 170m of sand was pretty hard going on the legs but totally worth it to see the sun emerge from the horizon, across the vast orange landscape.
Louise, Operations Travel Specialist
My boat trip from Walvis Bay was one of the most surreal, unforgettable and special moments of my life. Before we had even climbed aboard, we had seen hundreds of pink flamingos fishing in the shallows – their reflections glistening off the surface, creating the illusion of an even bigger crowd. Then immediately after setting sail, I heard a blood curdling scream, turned to my left and realised that two cape fur seals had launched themselves from the waters below onto the stern of the boat and were now breathing down the necks of a couple of nervous looking passengers!
They knew the routine of the boat and where we were heading and had simply decided to hitch a ride back to their colony on the sand spit a few miles away. We were then joined by a giant pelican which after hovering above us for a few minutes, also decided it was easier to land on deck and let the boat do the work. Just as we were getting used to him being on board, a huge humpback announced himself by plunging in and out of the water yards from a startled onlooker who was sat, legs dangling off the side, watching over the waves. As we restarted our engines having taking time out to view the whales, some bottlenose dolphins decided to lead the way, leaping and bounding just feet from the bow.
Eventually we reached the sand spit where our seal stowaways disembarked and joined their hoards of friends hauled out and relaxing on the beach. At this point, as we came to terms with the fact that the journey could not possibly provide any more surprises, we looked down and spotted a group of playful African penguins splashing in the surf below. I was to have numerous wonderful wildlife encounters on my Namibian adventure, but none quite matched this three hour bonanza for sheer bizarreness and abundance.
Gary, Product Manager
I’ll never forget the journey to Sossusvlei, driving along the ephemeral riverbed of the Corridor, hemmed in by 300m-tall dunes sculpted by desert winds into graceful S-curves and delicate meringue-whips.
Will, Senior Content Editor
Seeing desert elephants was one of my favourite experiences in Namibia. I have been lucky enough to have seen lots of elephants in the past, but there is something really special about searching for desert adapted elephants as they are harder to find. It feels so rewarding when you do encounter them! We were able to get pretty close to them and they seemed completely unbothered by our presence.
Linda, Southern Africa Product Manager
Ambling across the track was an adult leopard, an amazingly beautiful animal and it was slowly heading towards our stationary vehicle. I sat there transfixed as it came closer and closer, but my friend Ragnar was busily capturing the animal on his camera. Suddenly I realised the leopard was only a matter of feet from the open window and taking an unhealthy interest in my friend. I ignored his protests and wound the window up – maybe just in time!
Clive, Managing Director & Co-Founder