Country 38/196: Namibia
Destinations: Windhoek, Solitaire, Sesriem, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Henties Bay, Spitzkoppe
There are no words to describe how much we loved Namibia. ♥ This stunning country offers everything: laid-back coastal towns, lovely beaches, immense biodiversity, super friendly people, the mind-blowing Namibian desert, tons of adventure, and countless romantic sights. ♥
To experience the country in the best possible way, we suggest that you book a tour with the amazing Namibia Adventure travel agency. With them you will get to create your own tour, to visit the places you want to visit and to do it in your own way. 😉
Things to see and things to do
The capital city is actually a beautiful small town surrounded by mountains. It only has less than 400.000 inhabitants. Life in Windhoek is very peaceful and the people sure know how to enjoy life. They work until 5 pm and then they meet up with friends and family and spend their afternoons barbecuing and drinking a cold beer.
Windhoek is a laid-back, yet vibrant, multicultural city with a rich history and charming German-influenced architecture.
While in Windhoek, we also visited the former township of Katutura, one of the poorest parts of the city. We learned about their sad history and visited a kindergarten/service center for children, which makes sure that even the poorest of children get some food, clothes, health care, and education. We got to play with the sweet children, we talked about peace and planted a tree together. In the end, we brought them some Christmas presents – nothing major, just some sweets and toys to spread the Christmas joy. 😉 It was a real honor to meet them and an amazing experience! ♥
After visiting Windhoek, we took a 4-day tour of the country. Our first stop was Solitaire, a small village, founded by a Scottish tourist, traveling through the area, who opened a bakery, which became famous for the best apple pie. The town in the middle of the desert also offers some scenic sights.
Sesriem is a small settlement in the Namib desert and the main access point to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. We spent the night in one of the campsites in the area, but before that, we visited a pretty spectacular canyon, where we actually bumped into a huge Hollywood big-budget movie set, and afterward, we enjoyed a colorful sunset on the surrounding sand dunes.
Big Daddy, Deadvlei, Sossusvlei
At 5 am we woke up, drove past the countless sand dunes, and finally reached the biggest sand dune in the world – Big Daddy. What a spectacular sight! We decided to conquer the enormous dune. The hike usually takes around two hours, but we managed to reach the top in one hour. However, it was no easy task. We came to realize that climbing a sand dune is a lot harder than climbing a mountain with hard ground. But the fact that we were the first ones there that day, and that there were no footprints in front of us motivated us. And the view from the top was definitely worth the effort. 😉
The way down obviously didn’t take very long. After a few exciting moments of drifting in the sand, we came down to the famous white clay pan, the site of the amazing dead trees, also known as Deadvlei. Now, that is something you don’t see every day! Around 700 years ago the climate changed. Drought hit the area and sand dunes surrounded the pan, which blocked the river from the area. Since there was no more water left to survive, the trees died, but due to the fact that they are so dry, they never decomposed. How awesome is that?! 🙂
Afterward, we had a nice picnic breakfast on the famous salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, called Sossusvlei. 🙂
Swakopmund is a beautiful laid-back coastal city. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert and it offers lovely German-influenced architecture, charming beaches, and countless adventures. We ate some of the best oysters in the world and experienced the thrill of riding a quad bike through the desert. 🙂
Walvis Bay is a picturesque coastal town, only 33 km away from Swakopmund. It is known for its abundance of wildlife. The lagoon is home to many different bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and Damara terns and the ocean is full of dolphins, whales, and Cape fur seals.
We had breakfast in another charming coastal town, which is a popular holiday destination for many Namibians. On our way there, we stopped somewhere along Namibia’s famous Skeleton Coast (around 15 kilometers south of Henties Bay), where we saw the well-known Zeila shipwreck.
The Spitzkoppe is a group of spectacular granite peaks, which stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding desert plains. The area is known for its many amazing rock formations, like the famous rock bridge, and for some examples of Bushmen artwork painted on the rocks.
Namibia has much more to offer, including the amazing Etosha national park, therefore we will definitely have to return to this incredible country and explore it some more. 😉
Sweet Namibia, thank you for your hospitality, friendship, support, beauty, and tons of fun! We had the time of our lives! Wishing you LOVE and PEACE! 😉
Where to stay
Namibia is a very tourist-friendly country, therefore there are all kinds of accommodation options to be found all over the country. You can live it up in a fancy resort, blend in at an Airbnb, or go camping somewhere in the middle of the desert. Are you planning a trip to Namibia? Here you can get a room in this beautiful country with a 10% discount! 🙂
Namibia is not a very cheap destination, but it is sure worth the expense. Tourism is very developed in Namibia, therefore there are luxurious, mid-range, and budget accommodation options, restaurants, and travel agencies to be found. We booked a tour with Namibia Adventure travel agency and we loved how comfortable, flexible, and truly life-changing the tour was.
Best time to visit
Namibia is a big country and climate may vary between regions. However, generally, the best time to visit the country is from July to October. The temperatures are pleasant this time of year and the weather tends to be dry, besides, it is also the best time for safaris and spotting wildlife. As this is the peak season, make sure to plan your trip ahead.
The top environmental concern in Namibia is probably water scarcity. The lack of freshwater is affecting humans, livestock, wildlife, agriculture, and industry. Both quantity and quality are a major concern. Climate change is largely contributing to the prolonged droughts in the country, as Namibia is extremely sensitive to the effects of global warming. The continuous water shortage is causing desertification and severe land degradation. The country’s rich biodiversity is also in danger. Wildlife poaching continues to be a big problem. In fact, since 2015, Namibia has lost 50 rhinos annually to poaching. Help them stop the brutal rhino poaching before the species goes extinct by signing the petition.
Our tour guide, Wiets, told us an extremely inspirational peace story which we have decided to share with you.
He was fighting in the South African Border War (also known as the Namibian War of Independence or the Angolan Bush War), which was fought from 1966 to 1990 and is considered one of the largest battles on the African continent since World War II. It was closely intertwined with the Angolan Civil War. The war was fought in many different locations, however, Wiets troops were located on the border with Angola.
As is the case in any war, the soldiers came home traumatized. They saw so much pain, blood, and death, that it haunted them for years. They tried everything – talking to their friends, families, professionals, but nothing worked. That is until the soldiers from South Africa formed a Facebook group, where they reconnected. First, there were just a few of them, but the number of members started growing. Some Namibians joined the group and after a while, one of the members decided to visit Angola, where he met some veterans from the opposing army. They came up with the idea to organize a big event, a peace parade if you will, and to invite as many veterans as possible. It took them quite a while to organize everything, but eventually, they did it. In May of 2018 the veterans met – South Africans, Namibians, Angolans, even some Cubans, and Russians. They revisited the sites of the war, this time in peace. They shook hands, shared their stories, cried together, and finally found the understanding they were all looking for during all those years. They finally made peace. Wiets said it was cathartic. We bet it was.
We believe that this story should serve as an example of handling post-war trauma and creating peace on the inside and in the world. ♥
Romance and adventure
If you are looking for romance or adventure, you have come to the right place! Namibia is a truly breathtaking country with lots of spectacular deserts, sand dunes, amazing national parks, great biodiversity, and romantic laid-back beach towns. You will love it! ♥
Found lots of LOVE in Namibia. 😉 ♥
Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♡
Namibia might not have gorgeous tropical beaches, but it offers tons of other romantic sights and adventures. If you are looking for an adventurous honeymoon destination, look no more! 😉
* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.
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