Situated just a short plane ride away from its more well-known sibling South Africa, Namibia is a southwestern African country with German roots. Its interesting cultural mash-up, endless activities and natural wonders cater to every traveler’s style. But if you’re short on time and long to experience the beauty of Namibia, here are a few highlights that will give you enough to create memories yet leave you craving more.
The great thing about Namibia is, there’s something for every budget. Fly into the capital city of Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport and head straight to the Hilton Windhoek. Located in the center of town, the Hilton offers affordable rooms and great rooftop views of Windhoek that can be enjoyed from the pool.
Not looking for the hotel experience? Venture just outside the city to Windhoek Game Camp and enjoy some low-key luxury glamping at a very affordable price. Starting at around $50, become one with nature as you share your accommodations with friendly giraffes and other wildlife that freely roam the property and don’t mind tanning with you at the pool. Have a little cash to burn? AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is synonymous with luxury in Namibia and offers breathtaking views of the Namibia desert, nature safaris, ATV riding and more.
While in Windhoek, be sure to grab a bite at Joe’s Beerhouse for authentic Namibian-German cuisine, Restaurant Gathemann for a bit of fusion, or La Marmite for delicious North and West African cuisine.
Now that you’ve got your lodging taken care of, time to hit the ground running. Visit Tintenplast, the parliament building, Parliament Gardens and the historic Katatura Township for a glimpse into local life. Hire a reliable local tour guide and take a drive into the Namibian desert. Stop along the Skeleton Coast to spot shipwrecks, Walvis Bay to watch the Atlantic Ocean and desert collide, and the clay pan of Deadvlei—home to 900-year-old “dead” trees—before finally reaching the town of Sossusvlei.
In Sossusvlei, be sure to spend the night so you can experience the Namib Desert (known to be the world’s oldest desert) at dawn. Hike the stunning red sands of Dune 45 (the most photographed dune in the world) and catch a spectacular sunrise. If you’re looking for more adventure, take an ATV ride around Dune 7 (the highest dune in the world) or opt for a hot air balloon ride and experience the natural beauty of the Namib from above.
If what you’re really looking for is a safari outside of those on the beaten path, head to Etosha National Park for a three-day guided safari tour that will introduce you to the amazing nature and wildlife reserves Namibia has to offer.
Danielle T. Pointdujour is a proud Howard University grad and Brooklynite living the passport life to the fullest. With over 40 countries under her belt, you can always find Danielle traveling the globe in search of new experiences and sharing her two cents about the world around her. You can follow her writing, musings and global adventures on Twitter and Instagram.