Namibia > Activities & Special Interest

Namibia

  • Hi Rob, we are home from the trip of a life time. It was wonderful, beautiful, thrilling, adventurous and beyond our expectations! Many, many thank you’s.

    Roger and Gillian from Devon travelled to Namibia and Botswana
Aerial view of Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Namibia

Activities & Special Interest

Special interest & Safari activities in Namibia

Big-game viewing

Game drive in Damaraland, Namibia

Most big-game viewing in Namibia occurs on game drives in open 4×4 vehicles, though mobile operators use closed vehicles with roof hatches. It is possible to view big game by self-driving too. The premier regions for seeing big game are Etosha National Park and the Caprivi Strip reserves, whilst other areas such as the northern Damaraland, the Kalahari Desert and certain individual game farms and private conservancies support enough big game to offer dedicated game drives.

General desert species can be seen throughout the country, though in many of the more remote regions, such as the Namib Desert and Kaokoland, the emphasis on drives is usually more about the spectacular scenery than the game itself, with sightings being a welcome bonus. The restcamps within Etosha National Park have floodlit waterholes which afford excellent opportunities to see a wide range of species, and especially rhino.
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Night drives

Night drive Ghecko web foot MB, Namibia

Night drives are available on privately operated reserves, concessions and guest farms and in Etosha National Park through Namibia Wildlife Resorts. Night drives can be productive for seeing more unusual nocturnal species such as Cape fox, aardvark, aardwolf and caracal but are not usually a major focus of a trip.
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Walking Safaris

Walking in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

Walking is widely available in Namibia, but often the emphasis is as much about scenic exploration and learning about the desert environment as it is viewing or stalking big game. Of course, good guides will always interpret the bush for you and in some places more dedicated big game tracking and specific wildlife viewing is possible (i.e desert rhino tracking in Damaraland). In the private reserves bordering Etosha and in the Caprivi Strip, and in the Waterberg region, where conditions are less harsh, more traditional walking safaris are offered. For serious walkers, strenuous walking is possible and the desert conditions can provide a tough challenge. Namibia offers a limited choice of more dedicated walking trails where you can walk over several days and stay in mobile tented camps in the wilderness.
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Horse-riding (or Riding) Safaris

Horse-riding in the Namib Naukluft, Namibia

Horse-riding is available in a limited number of places in Namibia. One of the best spots is the Kulala Reserve bordering the Namib Naukluft National Park, where short afternoon rides or longer multi-day riding trails are available. The lack of dangerous game in the region allows less experienced riders to be catered for, but the terrain can be challenging. Further afield, and for the serious riders only, Reit Safaris offer a series of very wild and challenging riding trails across the country.  These rides are a fantastic way to appreciate the scenery but you encounter very little wildlife.
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Birding

Birding, black-shouldered kite, Etosha, Namibia

With around 700 species recorded, Namibia offers some very interesting birding. The desert habitats that make up much of the west of the country limit the variety of species to an extent, but there are plenty of endemics to seek out. Where the habitat changes and becomes more heavily vegetated, the variety of species increases and different species can be found. Birding along the Skeleton Coast offers a different perspective, and Sandwich Harbour to the south of Walvis Bay is a superb birding spot, where a great number of waterbirds congregate. The Caprivi Region (in the north-east) offers a habitat much more similar to that found in northern Botswana and a greater range of birdlife can be experienced, including woodland species and wonderful water birds. For an overall birding experience around Namibia, the key regions to consider would be the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, the coastal region around Walvis Bay (including a trip to Sandwich Harbour), Damaraland, the Erongo Mountains, Waterberg region, Etosha National Park and Caprivi Strip.
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Species specific interests

Specific species, black rhino in Palmwag concession, Namibia

Namibia is predominantly a desert country and the range of wildlife that can be seen reflects this. Namibia would definitely be one of the best countries to view and photograph species such as oryx, springbok, Hartmanns mountain zebra, bat-eared fox and ostrich.

Specific species that can be focused on include desert elephant, desert rhino, the big cats (either in the wild or at Okonjima’s Africat foundation), meerkats in the Kalahari, bat-eared fox, and Cape fur seals along the Skeleton Coast. There are also some 14 endemic or near-endemic bird species to seek out.
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Cultural Experiences

Cultural activities with Himba people, Namibia

Namibia is a country all about space, scenery and wildlife, and with less than 2.5 million inhabitants in a country roughly the size of France and Spain put together, there are relatively few genuine cultural experiences available. Most documented are the Herero/Himba peoples of north-west Namibia who provide a fascinating insight into nomadic life in the harsh desert environment. In other corners of Namibia, genuine rural villages can be visited and local people go about their everyday lives. But for the most part, Namibia is an ‘empty’ wilderness and authentic cultural experiences are limited.
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Photographic Safaris

Photography, Namib Desert, Namibia Elaine Robertson

Namibia is a photographers dream. The dramatic scenery alone is enough to keep a keen photographer busy for weeks, but the country also offers varied wildlife, interesting local peoples (mainly Himba) and incredible night skies.

We are probably best equipped to arrange individually tailored photographic holidays around Namibia, although if you’re interested in travelling in a small group, please see the ‘Groups’ section for links to specialist photographic tours. The flexibility and service we offer allows you to carefully plan your trip to meet your exact requirements, whilst our specialist knowledge is crucial, not just in terms of knowing where to photograph particular landscapes and species, but also in terms of being able to provide suitable vehicles, guides and access points. At some of the most impressive destinations in Namibia it is crucial you know where to stay to make best use of the early morning light. In other areas, having a particular guide might make all the difference. Your itinerary in Namibia will depend on your interests and priorities, however some of the possible highlights include the sand dunes of the Kalahari and Namib deserts, the hostile environment of the Skeleton Coast, the rugged scenery of Damaraland, the nomadic Himba people in Kaokoland and the big game and birds of Etosha and the eastern Caprivi.
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Scenic flights and air safaris

Scenic flying along the Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Whilst Namibia is a great self-drive destination, the scenery is also amazing when seen from the air. Air transfers between destinations will offer splendid views from a reasonable height, but for the best aerial experiences you need to book specific scenic flights or dedicated air safaris. The best scenic flights can be booked over the sand dunes of the Namib Desert or south along the Skeleton Coast from Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. For more in depth aerial safaris, private air safaris can be arranged, or consider joining the incredible Skeleton Coast Safaris journeys run by the Schoeman family.
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Water-based Safaris

Water-based game viewing on the Kwando River, Namibia

Namibia is fundamentally an arid country, so water-based safaris are very limited. Along the coast, specifically at Walvis Bay, boat cruises and kayaking can take you close to the seal colony at Pelican Point. In the far north, the remote Kunene River offers boat cruises in places. However, by far the most productive region for water-based safaris is the Caprivi region, where excellent boat cruises are possible in a number of places on the Okavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi rivers.
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Quad-biking

Quadbiking in the Namib Desert, Namibia

Namibia offers some of the best quad-biking in Africa, through stunning sand dunes and rugged hills. Some of the best quad-biking operations exist in the Namib Desert, on the Skeleton Coast between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, and from Serra Cafema Camp on the Kunene River in northern Kaokoland.
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Other Activities

Other activities, ballooning in the Namib Desert, Namibia

Sea fishing is popular with the locals along the coast, and trips can easily be arranged from Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Usually of more interest to visitors though, is the fishing for tiger fish on the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers in the far north-eastern Caprivi region, one of the best spots in Africa.

Other activities available on a limited basis include hot-air ballooning, mountain biking, dune boarding, sky-diving and kayaking. We can also cater for very specific interests such as geology, dendrology, Lepidoptera, archaeology etc.
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