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Arch at Spitzkoppe, Damaraland, Namibia

Namibia Holidays

Home to some of Africa’s most dramatic desert scenery, Namibia is a collage of harsh reds, browns and yellows. Watch rhinos and elephants roam huge deserts and fly over the desolate dune-filled landscape of the Skeleton Coast.

We like Namibia because it is wild and inaccessible and because, despite being the size of Spain and Germany combined, it has a population of just two million.

As cliched as it may sound, Namibia is vastly different to any other country in Africa, not least because of its 300-mile northern coastline, the aptly named the Skeleton Coast, which is littered with the rusting hulks of ships that floundered in the notoriously rough seas.

Journey of giraffes, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Etosha National Park, Namibia
little Sossus aircraft,skeleton coast,namibia
Skeleton Coast, Namibia

What to expect on your Namibia holiday

A safari in Namibia will give you a feeling of pioneering adventure as each camp takes you further and further away from civilisation. Due to the remote location of many lodges, the accommodation tends to be more basic than in Botswana and other classic safari destinations, but the rewards are worth it tenfold.

Elephants approaching over the dusty plains of Etosha, Namibia
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Elephant drunk, Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namibia
Desert adapted elephant, Damaraland, Namibia
Desert-adapted elephant, Damaraland, Namibia
Himba Woman, Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namibia
Himba Woman, Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namibia

A little more about Namibia

Eighty per cent of Namibia is desert and it is amazing to see how the wildlife has adapted to this harsh environment. On your safari, you’ll find elephants, oryx, lions, kudu and even rhinos making the long trek in search of water.

Hopefully, you will also spend time with two of the indigenous tribes, the Herero and the closely related Himba, both pastoralists but with differing cultures.

Damaraland, Village, Firelighting, Namibia, Illona FAM 2018
Namibia
Sandwhich Harbour, Namibia, Illona, FAM 2018
Namibia
Driving to Swakop, Chad, Illona FAM 2018
Chad

The perfect family destination

Explore this desert-dominated country as a family, discovering the hardy wildlife that thrives here and sampling the array of unusual activities – from sand boarding down dunes to kayaking with seals.

Namibia is alive with possibilities – a brilliant (and safe) wilderness to explore. Swakopmund is activity packed, Etosha hides a wealth of big game and the south is home to vast dunes and deep canyons.

Read About Illona’s Family Holiday

Rhino, Huab Under Canvas, Damaraland
Damaraland, Namibia
Taking a break on game drive, Palmwag Reserve, Namibia
Palmwag Reserve, Namibia
Father and child running down dune, Namibia
Namibia
Giraffe walking in the bush on the desert pan at sunset, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Seal Kayaking, Swakopmund, Namibia
Swakopmund, Namibia
Quad biking on dunes, Namibia
Namibia

Ideas for a family holiday to Namibia

  • Try sand boarding – descend huge dunes on Namibia’s version of a snowboard
  • Explore the boulder-strewn landscape of Damaraland on foot, horseback or by mountain bike
  • Kayak with playful Cape fur seals off Swakopmund’s Atlantic coast
  • Climb giant sand dunes, including the 325-metre-high Big Daddy, leaving a trail of footprints behind
  • Cross the desert on specially designed fat bikes or quad bikes, spotting ancient Welwitschia plants
  • Track big cats with experts, watch rhinos and cruise beside bottlenose dolphins on our Family self-drive safari adventure
North of Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Resting cheetahs, Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia
Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia
Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Highlights of your Nambia holiday

  • A flying safari on the Skeleton Coast with the Schoemans family is a must – you cannot go with anyone else.
  • Search out the desert-adapted wildlife in Etosha National Park.
  • Go quad biking along the coast of Swakopmund.
  • Climb the beautiful sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the highest dunes in the world.
  • Visit the Africat sanctuary where cheetahs are the centre of attention.
  • For the independent traveller explore this area on a self-drive
  • In the north of Namibia, there is a pride of lions that hunts seals. How patient are you and how much time do you have?

Explore Namibia

  • Damaraland
  • Skeleton Coast
  • Sossusvlei
  • Swakopmund
  • Southern Namibia

Experiences

Exploring Namibia is simple with Steppes Travel. Choose your experiences and we’ll curate them into a tailor-made journey that’s perfect for you.

Desert Adventure

Cross the desert on specially designed fat bikes or quad bikes, spotting ancient Welwitschia plants.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Sand Boarding

Descend huge dunes on Namibia’s version of a snowboard.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Flying Safari

Join one of the highly-regarded Schoeman brothers on a flying safari along the Skeleton Coast. Fly low over the landscape, spotting shipwrecks, meeting Himba communities and staying at remote camps.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Desert Lions

Set out in search of the region’s famed desert lions, whose numbers are shrinking fast. Track these predators across an inhospitable landscape.

Suggested camp

Explore Damaraland

Explore the boulder-strewn landscape of Damaraland on foot, horseback or by mountain bike.

Suggested camp

Meet the Himba

Visit the local Himba people, who call this arid landscape home. Learn about how their way of life and how they survive in such harsh conditions.

Suggested read: blog

Explore the Salt Pans

Head out across the vast Etosha National Park, spotting the wildlife that roams these salt pans.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Giraffe Conservation

Meet researchers from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Learn about the work they are doing to protect the population of Angolan giraffes that survives in this remote corner of north-western Namibia.

Suggested camp

Time at a Waterhole

Visit one of Etosha’s prolific waterholes and wait for the wildlife to come to you.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Big Cat Conservation

Stay in the Hobatere Concession, on Etosha’s western edge. Learn about the work that AfriCat are doing here to monitor and protect the resident lion population.

Suggested Lodge

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 855 2037885

Frequently asked questions about Namibia

How does the standard of accommodation in Namibia compare to other countries in Southern Africa?

Namibia has seen rapid growth in its tourism industry in a relatively short space of time, meaning that accommodation generally lags behind that of its neighbours. For many years, most foreign visitors were holidaying South Africans and, due to this, you will still find that older lodges were set up to cater to this market.

However, in recent years a lot of new properties have opened and many of these are clearly aimed at European visitors. There are also some excellent high-end options, with service and comfort levels to rival similar-priced lodges in neighbouring South Africa. The main challenges that remain are a lack of accommodation in certain areas and a lack of availability in peak season. To tackle the latter, we recommend booking at least a year in advance, when you’re likely to have far more choice.

Is a flying safari a better option than driving?

Flying in Namibia will offer you more scope and take you further afield to remoter places in less time. Flying is a good option if you want to cherry-pick areas of the country to visit or if you don’t enjoy driving long distances. The views from above are spellbinding and the remote locations you find yourself find often feel just as adventurous as if you were driving yourself. However, flying is significantly more expensive, partly due to the size of the country and partly due to the limited number of scheduled light-aircraft flights.

Is Namibia a good place for bird watching?

Yes, the northern reaches of the country border the Cubango River and, to the west, there is the Atlantic Ocean feeding incredible lagoon systems. The east almost borders the Okavango Delta and the south of the country is engulfed by the very arid Namib Desert. Hence, the diversity of bird species found throughout Namibia is impressive.

Of the 10 families of birds that are endemic to Africa, seven are found in Namibia. The seasoned birder will enjoy looking for the dune lark, whilst the less avid spotter may delight in the rosy-faced lovebird and the Ruppell’s parrot.

Is Namibia a good safari destination?

Namibia offers a great range of activities and safari is one of them. Although a desert country, it is not unheard of to see rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, oryx and giraffes in one view. Etosha National Park is the obvious destination. Here, game drives in the park in your own vehicle can be very rewarding, but the concession areas around the park are particularly good for Big Five viewing. The environment is arid and often supplemented by waterholes, meaning it is quite different to elsewhere in Africa but equally rewarding.

Of course, Namibia can also be easily combined with Botswana or South Africa for additional time on safari.

Is Namibia a good place for self-drive holidays?

Namibia is the perfect country for a self-drive holiday. The roads are generally well maintained and devoid of traffic, so driving is relatively hassle-free. For UK residents, the experience is made even easier because you drive on the left-hand side of the road in Namibia.

Steppes has access to a large range of rental vehicles all with air-conditioning and cooler boxes to keep drinks nicely iced for stops en route. Your pre-trip briefing will cover the best routes to travel and you will be given a mobile phone with all the numbers of the lodges you are staying at programmed into the phone.

What is the climate like in Namibia?

Namibia has a subtropical climate, characterized by hot and dry weather with a little rain along the coast. The dry winter season is between May and October and the coolest months, June and July, bring chilly nights and early mornings. November to March are the wettest months, with the north of the country seeing the most rain.

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Jackie knew about the skeleton coast trip and was able to advise us on the suitability for a 10-year-old.

Namibia

Illona put together a really good itinerary less than 6 weeks before departure. She was very efficient, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Illona has arranged African trips for us before and she was as committed and helpful as ever.

Namibia

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

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