Although it was tight at the top in the 2014 Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards, it was Namibia that clinched the Top Country gong. And, having visited myself in 2013, that came as no surprise.
It serves up a heady mix of African game, timeless landscapes, wilderness and adventure in a package that is exciting yet easily accessible. You can self-drive between national parks, gallop a horse across apricot dunes, or go tracking with desert Bushmen.
But, perhaps what stood out for me most of all, was what a conservation success story Namibia is. This is a country where the wildlife is easily found outside the national parks. Where the numbers of rhino, lion and elephants are increasing. Where the local people are benefiting from the wildlife. See the WWF video below or read my article.
Sossusvlei: Cracked pans surrounded by huge, iconic apricot-coloured sand dunes
Skeleton Coast: Drive along the coastal road for pounding waves, atmospheric fogs, fur seals and desert wildlife.
Desert and ocean adventures: Base yourself at Swakopmund, Namibia's adventure capital, for sand-boarding, paragliding, sky-diving and much more
Cheetahs: For guaranteed sightings of the world's largest cheetah population visit the AfriCat Foundation at Okinjima
Rock Art: Marvel at ancient Bushman paintings and engravings at Brandberg Mountain or Twylefontein.
Fish River Canyon: Africa's largest canyon (and believed to be the second-largest in the world) is the site of one of the world's greatest treks.
Etosha National Park: Watch elephant, black rhino and more at the flood-lit waterholes
Himba & Herero people: The distinctive clay-coated Himba are found in the north west. Herero Women can be seen wearing voluminous Victorian-style clothing and distinctive head-dresses.
For a Guide to help you plan your Namibian trip, buy the April 2014 issue of Wanderlust magazine.
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