Namibia is known for its amazing natural attractions but it is the colorful landscapes and rich wildlife that attract visitors to the country. The land that was once under German and South African control is now a thriving independent nation with a rich tribal culture that manages to stay discreet yet is visible in day-to-day living. If you are planning to visit this charming African country, you’re in for a treat for it is replete with dramatic sceneries that you’ll not likely forget soon.
The vibrant rock paintings of Tywelfontein
Located in the Kunene region of north-western Namibia, the rock paintings of Tywelfontein do not fail to impress. Climb to the viewing points and enjoy the scenery around you. There are roughly 2,500 ancient rock paintings in the area which together form part of Namibia’s first World Heritage Site. From the capital, Windhoek, it is a +/-5.5 drive covering 430.5 km.
The stunning Sossusvlei Dunes
The drive from the rock paintings to Sesriem is long around 8 hours or more with a rough distance of 675 km. Remember, Namibia which is the 34th largest country in the world is also sparsely populated due to harsh conditions so the distance between areas should never be underestimated. It is highly recommended to have a 4×4 vehicle or one with a high clearance to be able to drive off-road so shop around for a car that suits your needs. This is very critical when you drive on gravel and sand conditions to see the famous Sossusvlei, a large pan surrounded by red sand dunes soaring up to 325 meters above the bottom of the valley. If you’re lucky enough to see the pan gather water, be prepared for a magnificent scenery for it is transformed it into a blue-green lake with birds, gemsbok, and ostriches passing by for a drink.
Visit the alluring Deadvlei with its almost surreal appearance in the form of parched limbs of trees emerging from the red sand. Against the backdrop of bright blue skies, you will see the orange sands of Big Daddy, the area’s tallest dune.
The Fish River Canyon
From the dunes, continue your journey to Ais-Ais Resort where you can stay for a few days and relax in the soothing sulphuric thermal waters. The Canyon which is part of the Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is easily accessible from there. Hike, walk, camp or just enjoy the landscape on a sunrise or sunset drive. The second largest canyon in the world is spectacular without hordes of crowds allowing you to absorb the beauty and grandeur of the area. If you’re camping for a few days, the Sulphur Springs, Thilo von Throta’s grave and Rock Pinnacle await.
It is often said that Namibia is ‘Africa for beginners’ but even seasoned travelers will find the country exciting and challenging. From pristine natural parks to abundant wildlife, Namibia has everything to offer – sand, sea, and mountains. But it is the gorgeous colors that will probably haunt you for the rest of your life prompting you to linger just a bit longer or revisit this lovely place.