At Parkers African Travel we love to share all the many reasons or excuses you should visit the magical locations we have on offer. And Namibia is certainly NO exception. Having gained its independence from South Africa in 1990, it has since become a much sought after travel destination with great diversity on offer. But don’t just take our word for it. See what travel writer Lizzy Williams has to say
Here are just 5 of the tops reasons we like:
1.Admire the German architecture in the quirky coastal town of Lüderitz
Perched on a rocky headland between the inhospitable dunes of the Namib and the iciness of the Atlantic, Lüderitz enjoyed prosperity in the early 1900s, first as a base for the Shutztruppe and then as a port for diamond prospectors arriving from Germany. A walk up Bismarck Street takes you past some fine examples of German colonial architecture, but the loveliest house in Lüderitz is Goerke House, which is now a museum. It is art nouveau, with local touches like the stained-glass window depicting a flock of flamingos on a Lüderitz beach.
2. Search for desert-adapted elephants in Damaraland
Namibia’s famous desert-adapted elephants are often spotted ambling along the boulder-strewn Aba-Huab, Hoarusib and Hoanib river valleys. The rivers themselves are almost always dry, but the elephants use their trunks and tusks to dig holes to reach water lying beneath the sand. They have especially large feet and long legs, and can travel up to 70km a night in their quest to find water. They have have adapted their behaviour to the scarcity of food in this parched region, and hardly ever fell trees, break branches or strip bark.
• If you see elephants while driving, STAY at least 100m away. They are also in the Kunene Region.
3. Take a cruise on the Walvis Bay Lagoon
One of the most important wetlands in southern African, there can be more than 250,000 birds on the Walvis Bay Lagoon in the height of summer. Along with thousands of pelicans, cormorants, flamingos, white-fronted and chestnut plovers and Hartlaub’s gulls, it also attracts migrants from as far away as the Arctic Circle. Pelican Point is home to a colony of Cape fur seals, and bottle-nose and heavy-side dolphins often come in from the ocean to swim in the quieter waters. With all this marine activity going on it’s perfect for boat cruises or kayaking. The operators provide oysters and drinks and throw fishy snacks to attract pelicans and seals.
4. Meet the Himba
Numbering about 50,000, the Himba people (or OvaHimba) live in scattered settlements around Kaokoland and on the other side of the Kunene River in Angola. Pastoralists who drive their cattle and goats in search of grazing across the hot, gravel plains, with their red-hued painted skin, intricately weaved hair, and elaborate heavy, metal-studded jewellery, they make for a strikingly beautiful and evocative image of Namibia. They are of course hugely photogenic, but sensitivity and politeness are important when meeting them. If you always engage a local guide and never take photographs without permission, exchanges can be good fun and the Himba themselves enjoy the interaction with their curious visitors.
• Most lodges in Kaokoland organise excursions to meet the Himba. For those self-driving, guided walks to Himba settlements are offered from many campsites.
Get up close to cheetah
Namibia is ‘cheetah country’ and home to one third of the world’s entire population. Almost all live outside conservation areas and come under threat when they prey on livestock. A visit to the Cheetah Conservation Fund or the Africat Foundation’s guest farm, Okonjima, is a great opportunity to get close to cheetah. Both provide a sanctuary for cats that become pests and advise farmers how to avoid conflict in the first place. The Cheetah Conservation Fund has a guesthouse. Okonjima has a range of accomodation from camp sites to luxury private villas.
Go read up the rest of her 20 other reasons here: