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Overview

Southern Namibia is the less peopled half of the second least densely populated country on earth – making it one of the most pristine wilderness landscapes in the world. Its scenic centerpiece is the vast Namib-Naukluft National Park, one of the largest protected areas anywhere in Africa, and renowned for the rippled apricot sands and desiccated salt pans of Sossusvlei, home to some of the world’s tallest dunes. Desert wildlife such as the handsome gemsbok and dapper springbok can be seen in the region, along with many rare birds, but the real attraction is the scenery, which is breathtaking in its rugged aura of emptiness. South of the ...

Southern Namibia is the less peopled half of the second least densely populated country on earth – making it one of the most pristine wilderness landscapes in the world. Its scenic centerpiece is the vast Namib-Naukluft National Park, one of the largest protected areas anywhere in Africa, and renowned for the rippled apricot sands and desiccated salt pans of Sossusvlei, home to some of the world’s tallest dunes. Desert wildlife such as the handsome gemsbok and dapper springbok can be seen in the region, along with many rare birds, but the real attraction is the scenery, which is breathtaking in its rugged aura of emptiness. South of the Namib, the Fish River Canyon, also protected in a national park, is one of the world's largest ravines, wonderfully scenic and seasonally popular with hikers. And while the capital city Windhoek is more of a staging post than an attraction in its own right, the bizarrely isolated resort towns of Swakopmund and Lüderitz are positively bristling with character, thanks to their beachfront location and fascinating hodgepodge of German colonial architectural styles. Also of interest are the lagoons at Walvis Bay and Sandwich Bay, which host some of the region’s densest concentrations of marine birds, including flamingos and pelicans.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Southwest Africa
  • Language: English, Afrikaans, German, Oshiwambo
  • Currency: Namibian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Temperatures soar to uncomfortable levels in summer (November-April). Most people prefer the drier winter months, which are best for hiking in Fish River.