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Put Namibia on your bucket list


The world's highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei

This is a country like no other African country – in fact, like no other country on earth. It’s a vast Big Sky country with the world’s oldest living desert,

desolate Atlantic seashores,

The Skeleton Coast

attractive little seaside resorts,


ghost towns where sand swirls through deserted buildings, the world’s biggest outdoor art gallery of San rock art,

Climbing to a rock art site in the Namib desert

and iconic game parks,

and all this combined with first world infrastructure, international accommodation standards and an outstanding reputation for hospitality.
And there’s more.
The road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay is one of the most unusual and beautiful in the world – the blue sea on one side and towering sand dunes on the other. You may well have heard of Namibia’s famous Etosha National Park, with its fabulous game viewing, but there’s also the Namib-Naukluft Park, one of Africa’s largest (bigger than Switzerland) with the oldest plants in the world,

A welwitschia plant, the world's oldest living plant. They can live for over 1 000 years

the amazing desert elephants, sand dunes that roar, move and grumble, and some of the planet’s strangest living things. On the Skeleton Coast, that stretches one-third of the west coast, expect crashing seas and surreal shorescapes littered with old shipwrecks where brown hyenas (strandlopers) prey on huge seal colonies. A cross marks the spot where the Portuguese navigator Captain Diego Cão and his exhausted crew first set foot in Africa in 1485.
Much further north, is one of Namibia’s best-kept secrets – the Caprivi Strip –a mini Okavango Delta, full of meandering waterways, rivers, forests and marshes where elephant, buffalo and sable antelope roam.

Trying to disguise himself?

Game-viewing from the river

Namibia covers well over 800 000sq km, and with a population of only two and a half million sometimes it seems that you have this amazing country all to yourself.

I’ve just spent an amazing few days in Namibia with a small group of fellow travel specialists hosted by Abenteuer Afrika Safari and O&L Leisure Hotels & Lodges.
From Etosha National Park in the north where we stayed at the lovely Mokuti Etosha Lodge,

Emma, our guide at Mokuti Etosha Lodge

to the Strand Hotel in Swakopmund in the south west,

The iconic Strand Hotel, Swakopmund

and then on to Chobe Water Villas in the water wonderland of the Caprivi Strip bordering Botswana.

We watched wildlife, strolled along the Swakopmund promenade, saw dolphins, seals and whales on our boat excursion from Walvis Bay, and then got close up and personal with hundreds of birds, elephant and buffalo herds, pods of hippos and a solitary lion as we cruised in style along the scenic Chobe river.

Namibia demands superlatives – the oldest desert, the highest sand dunes, the most fabulous almost surreal seaside towns, unbelievably beautiful rivers, superb food and stunning accommodations.

Oryx in the Namib desert in very uncommon rain 

But you’ll have to go and see for yourself…

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Kate Turkington is one of South Africa’s best-known broadcasters, travellers and travel writers. From Tibet to Thailand, Patagonia to Peru, Kashmir to Kathmandu, St Helena to St Albans, the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, like Shakespeare’s Puck she has girdled the world. She continues to travel when and where she can but Johannesburg is home where she writes and blogs in print and on social media.

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