Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Southern Namibia

With large areas of the Sperrgebiet off-limits and sights scattered across the region, this area is often overlooked by first-time visitors to Namibia.

Southern Namibia boasts just as much spectacular landscape as the northern parts of the country, culminating with the vast Fish River Canyon. This canyon, found close to the South African border, can be explored both on foot or by 4×4, as it cuts its way through 160km of rock and sand.

Quiver Tree, Namibia
Quiver Tree, Namibia

Discovering southern Namibia

Further north, the landscape flattens and the sands of the Namib begin. On their southern edge, the ghost town of Kolmanskop lies abandoned – its mining riches now exhausted. The houses, built by German colonists, are still standing, but the sands of the desert have begun to fill them, making for an eerie atmosphere.

To the west, the winds and waves of the Atlantic batter the remote coastline, which is dotted with settlements that feel trapped in the past. The largest of these is Lüderitz, with its colourful Art Nouveau architecture. This coastline also attracts wildlife, in spite of the harsh climate, including seals, penguins and flamingos. Penguin Island, in Luderitz Bay, is named after its unusual visitors.

Sonop, Namib Desert, Namibia
Namib Desert, Namibia

Dine Another Day

“It is only the smiles and the warmth of the welcome that shatter the Bond-villain’s-lair feel. And the crystal glass of iced tea that is pressed into my hand says relaxation, rather than world domination.

Floyd, guide-turned-henchman, ushers me towards a golf buggy. It sits at the start of a wooden ramp that spirals upwards, squeezing between boulders and disappearing ominously out of sight.”

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Experiences

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View of Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Fish River Canyon

Explore the awe-inspiring and largest canyon on the continent.

Nachtigal Strasse, Luderitz, near Aus, Namibia

Mining Towns

Stumble across abandoned mining towns, littered with colonial German architecture.

Lesser Flamingo, Walvis Bay, Namibia

Luderitz’s Wildlife

Spot seals, flamingos and penguins along Luderitz’s harsh coastline.

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

Sperrgebiet National Park

Explore the untouched Sperrgebiet National Park – much of which is inaccessible due to diamond mining.

Sonop, Namibia
Sonop, Namibia

Sonop

Spread across a huge pile of boulders like an overgrown treehouse, Sonop is constructed from an elaborate maze of raised wooden walkways that link spacious canvas tents. The surrounding landscape is stunningly harsh: the rippling sands of the Namib Desert meet the dark rock of the Naukluft Mountains, as rugged wilderness encircles this rocky pinnacle.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

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