7 mins

The Wanderlust guide to the best of Namibia

Huge and wonderfully empty, Namibia took out Top Destination in the latest Wanderlust Travel Awards. Here’s everything you need to know about this winning destination.

Namibian dunes

Namibia. Where to start? The mighty dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert? The twists and turns of Fish River Canyon, the world’s second-biggest gorge?

And what about the astonishing array of wildlife? Namibia is home to the world's largest population of both cheetahs and black rhinos and also offers whale-watching opportunities off Swakopmund and the desert elephants and lions of Damaraland. It is a huge conservation success story.

For those looking for a bit of history, the German colonial town of Lüderitz and nearby Kolmanskop, an eerily deserted diamond-mining ghost town, offer an insight into the country's past.

And that’s not to mention the people. There are at least 11 different ethnic groups, including the Bushmen San), the Himba, and the Hereros. 

Fish River Canyon (Nick Boulos)

Looking for Inspiration?

Swoop into the vast Namib desert with Will Gray as he explores the extraordinary dunes of Sossusvlei. Along the way he marvels at the awesome grandeur of the dunes, shatters a few myths, and explores the various methods of viewing the dunes, including from a hot air balloon.

Nick Boulos, on the other hand, walked the Fish River Canyon. The 85km hike from Hobas to Ai-Ais is not for the faint-hearted, but thankfully Nick discovered a 'softies' route that doesn't skimp on the views. He took some amazing photos as well. 

Wildlife lover Lyn Hughes headed for the wilds of Kunene in search of desert rhinos, lions and elephants. What she did find was a heartening success story, with local communities living alongside the growing numbers of wildlife. But would she find the elusive rhino...?

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Travel Iconn: Namib Desert, Namibia –Will Gray

Walking Fish River Canyon – Nick Boulos


Namibia’s secrets revealed

It comes as no surprise that a land as vast and empty as Namibia has more than it’s fair share of hidden secrets. Underwater diver and TV personality, Monty Halls, went diving in a sink hole in the middle of the desert in search of the Kaiser’s gold and lived to tell the tale. Read about his adventure here.

Legendary travel author, Paul Theroux, also travelled through Namibia while researching his lastest book, Last Train to Zona Verde. His take on the issues facing modern-day Namibia, makes compelling reading.

Guy Grieve, on the other hand, went hunting with the San people of the Kalahari and the lessons learned and applied to his own business.

Emma Thomson stayed with the mud-caked Himba people, stripping down to her underwear and getting covered in red clay herself. Her stay gave her a real insight into the increasing fraught lives of these marginalised people. You may be surprised by her conclusions.

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Monty Halls' Mysteries of the Deep – Monty Halls

Paul Theroux on his last African journey – Paul Theroux

Extreme hunting, Kalahari style – Guy Grieve

At home with the Himba of Namibia – Emma Thomson

Capturing it all on film

Namibia is a photographer’s dream destination. Whether it’s a vast landscape, a close-up of some of the planet’s rarest creatures, or an intimate portrait of it’s ancient tribes, you bound to find something to fill your frame and astound your friends and family back home.

Photography guru, Steve Davey, rates it as one of the world’s greatest locations and offers a host of tips on capturing it at its best.

Ben McRae won Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year with a portfolio that features a number of stunning images from Namibia, and offers tips on how you can make your photos stand out. Actually travelling to Namibia is recommended, but not obligatory.

If you’re still looking for inspiration, you could do worse than swinging by the Namibia photo galleries uploaded by our readers at MyWanderlust. 

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10 favourite locations for taking photos – Steve Davey

How to shoot a winning portfolio – Ben McRae

MyWanderlust Namibia photo galleries

Hot air ballooning, Namibia

Everything you need to know

Ready to start planning your trip? Our Namibia Travel Guide is the perfect place to start.

If you have a particular question, pop over to the myWanderlust forum where our knowledgeable community is ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions people have already asked about Namibia. The answer to yours might already be there.

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Namibia travel guide

myWanderlust forum

Namibia Q & A

Desert elephant, Namibia

Ready to go?

Here’s a selection of fantastic tours offered by our partners. From amazing self-drive holidays and luxury safari camp stays to intense wildlife encounters, there’s something for every taste and budget. You’ll find the full list of tours available here.

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Trip Finder can help you find adventures in Namibia

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