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.’

oryx in the sossusvlei red desert text overlay 35 photos to inspire you to visit namibia

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Post last updated on December 2020

Have you ever asked yourself ‘Is Namibia worth visiting?’, I would say have a look at photos of Namibia. 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 pictures of Namibia, especially if you have travelled to a destination very often. I have so many images of Namibia, but I managed to make a selection of my favourite Namibia pictures 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. Make sure to also read these 13 great things to know before visiting Namibia as well as our Namibia travel guide. Here are my favourite 35 Photos that will inspire you to travel to Namibia

The vast open and colourful landscapes of Namibia

It is very 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 the fact that Namibia is the 2nd least densely populated country in the world?

The eerie trees of Deadvlei with red dunes around and blue sky
The eerie trees of Deadvlei
Dunes of Sossusvlei at sunrise with 2 toned dunes black and red
Dunes of Sossusvlei at sunrise
Vast open gravel road to the Spitzkoppe mountains
Vast open road to the Spitzkoppe
Red granite outcrops of Skitzkoppe with blue sky in namibia
Red granite outcrops of Skitzkoppe

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.

Fish River Canyon panoramic view
Fish River Canyon
Camping in the vast open desert with a couple of tents and rocky outcrops in the distance
Camping in the vast open desert
Long open roads in the south of Namibia man sitting in the middle of the gravel road on a chair
Long open roads in the south of 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.

Zebra hug in Etosha National Park in black and white
Zebra hug in Etosha National Park
Male lion taking a break in Etosha National Park looking at the camera
Male lion taking a break in Etosha National Park
Gecko living in the dunes of Namibia with colourful eyes
Gecko living in the dunes of Namibia
Yellow Billed Hornbill birds are very common in Namibia
Yellow Billed Hornbill birds are very common in Namibia
Breeding herd of elephants in Etosha National Park standing at a waterhole
Breeding herd of elephants in Etosha National Park
3 Elephants by the waterhole in Etosha National Park with some springbok around
Elephants by the waterhole in Etosha National Park
2 Cheetahs standing next to each other sideways
Cheetahs
Oryx climbing up the red dunes of Sossusvlei
Oryx climbing up the dunes of Sossusvlei

The People of Namibia

Namibia has a very small population but nonetheless has in total 13 different ethnic groups. The most well known of the Namibian tribes are the Himba, famous for the women who cover their body in red ochre. The Himba tribe 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. One cannot deny that the women of the Himba tribe are very photogenic and should be part of any Namibia photography post.

Himba familiy mothers with childs
Himba familiy

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.

Himba and Herero Women standing in line next to the road
Himba and Herero Women

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.

Bushman tribe 4 men standing in line next to high yellow grass and a tree
Bushman tribe
3 Women from the Nama tribe in Stampriet smiling
namibia stampriet

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?

Kokerboom or Quiver Tree view above to top
Kokerboom or Quiver Tree
Sociable weaver birds nest with holes below
Sociable weaver birds nest
Lonely Quiver Tree with an amazing view in namibia
Lonely Quiver Tree with an amazing view
Moon landscape between Walvisbay and Solitaire
Moon landscape between Walvisbay and Solitaire
Quiver Tree Forest with numerous quiver trees namibia
Quiver Tree Forest

The things you see in the Namibian 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.

Vintage cars in the desert by Solitaire blue truck wreck
Vintage cars in the desert by Solitaire
Vintage cars in the desert by Solitaire blue tractor and yellow red car wreck
Vintage cars in the desert by Solitaire
Solitaire International Airport small red airplane with a white sign in the desert
Solitaire International Airport

Namibia is not only inland desert, but 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 Gariep river marks the border between South Africa and Namibia. The landscape is just stunning, with the desert mountains on the South African side and the lush green vegetation along the river banks. Canoeing on the river is one of the more popular activities and one of the things to do in Namibia that should be on your bucket list.

Fish River Canyon by Ai-Ais woman sitting by water
Fish River Canyon by Ai-Ais
View over the Orange River in Namibia with green grass and trees at the other side
View over the Orange River in Namibia
Canoeing on the Orange River โ€“ Border between South Africa and Namibia
Canoeing on the Orange River โ€“ Border between South Africa and Namibia
Rural settlement on the Orange River reed houses
Rural settlement on the Orange River
Shipwreck on the Skeleton Coast man looking at it by the ocean
Shipwreck on the Skeleton Coast
numerous Flamingoes in Walvisbay standing in the water and some flying
Flamingoes in Walvisbay

The Namibian Sunset and Sunrise

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.

Sunset in Spitzkoppe with an aura circle around the sun
Sunset in Spitzkoppe

You may also be interested in following related posts:

Namibia travel guide: Prepare your trip with this information about Namibia, tips & tricks and places to go.

Best time to visit Namibia: Find out the best season to visit Namibia + tips per season

All you need to know before visiting Namibia: All information you need to know before starting your trip to Namibia

40 Camping quotes to inspire your wanderlust

Best road trip quotes to hit the road

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