Before visiting the country of Namibia, I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew was that most of Namibia is covered in desert. I had travelled through deserts before and they always intrigued me. What I discovered in Namibia however was truly breathtaking and definitely unexpected. Without a doubt, Namibia can be described with such superlatives as ‘surreal’, ‘awe-inspiring’, ‘stunning’ and ‘out of this world.’
Photos can often say more than words and this is certainly true for Namibia. It is hard to make a selection of the most special photos, especially if you have travelled to a destination very often. I have so many photos of Namibia, but I managed to make a selection of photos that will for sure inspire you to book your flights and discover the pristine beauty of the Namibian desert. Any trip to Namibia should come with a bit of advance planning. Read these 13 great things to know before visiting Namibia.
35 Photos that will inspire you to travel to Namibia
The vast open and colourful landscapes of Namibia
It is difficult to make a bad photo while travelling in Namibia. The desert unravels its colours during the golden hour of sunrise and sunset when the whole area gets a deep orange glow. For miles around there is open space, there is silence, there is a lot of sand and in the distance you might hear the call of a jackal.
Did you know that Namibia is the 2nd least densely populated country in the world?
The Fish River Canyon is the worlds 2nd largest canyon and is located in the southern part of Namibia. It’s a stunning place to visit, without large crowds and definitely a hidden gem in the Namibian desert that is well worth making a detour for.
Inspiration: 25 unique things to do in Namibia
Inspiration: Top 10 Highlights of Southern Namibia
Wildlife of Namibia
Namibia is renowned for its diverse wildlife. Etosha National Park in northern Namibia is one of Africa’s premier safari parks. A visit to Etosha National Park is highly recommended for any safari lover. I could spend hours by the various waterholes in the park to watch and observe wildlife in its natural surroundings. What makes Namibia so unique is that you can also see lots of wildlife while driving through the country. This does not mean that there will be lions, elephants and leopards lurking behind every bush. There are some desert elephants in the northern regions of Namibia, lots of antelopes and ostriches in the southern parts and what most people do not know a lot about is all the smaller wildlife living in the desert. The Namib desert is a living desert, with lots of geckos, snakes, spiders, little rodents, smaller predators like jackals and so much more.
The People of Namibia
Namibia has a very small population but nonetheless has in total 13 different ethnic groups. The most well known tribe are the Himba, famous for the women who cover their body in red ochre. They have a very interesting culture and if you would love to know more, you can find more information in this post about the Himba people of Namibia.
The closest relatives of the Himba are the Herero. They are very recognisable by the large victorian dresses worn by the women. You can often find both the Himba and the Herero together at the side of the road selling their home made crafts.
What many people do not know is that the first inhabitants of Namibia were the Bushman or the San people. They have roamed the area of Southern Africa for tens of thousands of years as hunter gatherers. Nowadays, there are still the descendants of the San people, but they have more or less integrated into the modern African and Western worlds. It is worthwhile taking a tour where Bushman explain all about their culture.
The Nama is another tribe that is closely related to the Bushmen, they share the same linguistic family and have very similar features. Especially in the Southern part of Namibia, in most of the villages and towns you can meet people from the Nama tribe.
The Nature of Namibia
What makes Namibia so surreal is not only the bizarre and special landscapes, but also the diverse nature. Most of the plants and trees are entirely adjusted to the harsh and barren climate of the Namibian desert. Did you know that the Namib desert is the oldest desert in the world?
The things you see in the desert
Not all the things you see in Namibia are what you would expect to see in a desert. You have the vast open spaces and the contrasting nature, with some wildlife. But here are some things we discovered while road tripping through Namibia:
Read here for more information about the vintage cars in the desert and why they are there.
Namibia is not only inland desert. Namibia also has around 1500 kilometres of coast line. Now don’t expect tropical beaches with palm trees, as a large part of the coastline is named the Skeleton Coast for a reason. Basically the Namibian desert and the Atlantic ocean meets on the beach.
It’s not all about the desert
There are some green areas in Namibia, like the north western region around Epupa falls as well as the south along the Orange or Gariep river.
The Sunset and Sunrise of Namibia
And last but not least, to see the sunset and the sunrise in Namibia is a unique experience. In this case, a photo will speak a thousand words but nothing beats sitting in the Namibian desert and experiencing this event first hand.
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