Namibia

Namibia is hauntingly beautiful and an untamed land that inspires visitors to marvel at the forces of nature. Mother Nature’s artistic side is evident in this country of infinite blue skies, the rusty-red sand dunes, spectacular green canyons and a grey fogged coastline. You’ll experience crystal-clear star-filled nights, captivating desert-adapted wildlife, epic scenery and fascinating tribes. This is where you go for a different kind of safari—one that takes you through the varied environments in addition to the wonderous wildlife viewing.

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What to Expect

Few countries can match the magnificent range of scenery here, Namibia is a country of sheer beauty, and starkness. On the surface it might appear to be devoid of life, but you will discover flora and fauna uniquely adapted to and fighting for survival in the world’s oldest desert – the Namib.

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On the barren coastlines scattered with shipwrecks and ghost towns, dig into the history of the country. View spiny mountains, photograph the desolate chalky white salt pans, drive along the snaking rivers and lush wetlands into civilizations that eek out survival in the harshest of places. Witness game in the wide grassy plains of the Kalahari or hike the iconic dunes. At some point, you may wonder if you are the only person left on Earth.On the barren coastlines scattered with shipwrecks and ghost towns, dig into the history of the country. View spiny mountains, photograph the desolate chalky white salt pans, drive along the snaking rivers and lush wetlands into civilizations that eek out survival in the harshest of places. Witness game in the wide grassy plains of the Kalahari or hike the iconic dunes. At some point, you may wonder if you are the only person left on Earth.

Don't Miss Out

The Essence of Namibia — Sossusvlei, Namibia’s ‘oceans of sand’, with awe-inspiring dunes that have been sculpted by wind and time. Here you will find the famous Deadvlei with its white desert clay pan, orange sands and ancient dead trees.

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The quintessential Namibia photograph can be taken here on your hike up Dune 45 (which is more spectacular than it sounds!). If the climb itself doesn’t take your breath away, then the glorious sunrise from the top over an endless sea of dunes will. It is the stuff of dreams…

Windswept coast— A graveyard of bleached skeletal remains and shipwrecks, cave art, roaring dunes; those are just a few of the highlights of time spent on the Skeleton Coast. The rocky coastline is also home to a huge Cape fur seal colony which you can investigate on foot or by kayak. The charming former trading post of Lüderitz in the South has been frozen in time and is steeped in history. Nearby the ghost town of Kolmanskop is being reclaimed by the desert after its boom as a diamond mining town from 1908-1938.  Swakopmund in the North is a German-styled town full of adrenaline activities like quad biking, hot-air ballooning, sandboarding, dune carting, and parachuting. Walvis Bay is known for dolphin cruises, kayaking, fishing and scenic catamaran trips in Sandwich Harbor.

Cultural Connections – The beautiful semi-nomadic Himba tribes of the North in Kaokoland still follow ancient traditions and encompass deep wisdom. Well-known for their warm hospitality and deep seeded customs, the Himba live in extreme isolation at the mercy of their harsh environment. Wealth and status are measured in cows. Typically covered in ochre and dressed in simple garments and spectacular jewelry, they are striking images in a modern world. Respectfully engage with local communities and learn more about their daily survival. Considered the Himba’s city-dwelling cousins in the South of the country, the Herero people were nearly decimated in the early 20th century by German colonists but have rallied to become some of Namibia’s best businessmen and cattle farmers today. Still clinging to ancestral ways but adapting to modern life, women donning floor-length gowns in bold colors may be seen on the streets of Windhoek. Their garments a source of pride by persevering against those who sought to oppress them.

Hidden gem— Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world, is immense and mind-blowingly beautiful. Unlike the largest canyon in the world, The Grand Canyon in the United States, this magnificent place is virtually untouched by the throngs of tourists. Solitude, serenity, and vistas as far as you can see are literally all yours. Ramble as you wish along the rim of the canyon or into its depths with knowledgeable guides. Hikes into the canyon itself lasting from 1 to 5 days are possible depending on season and your interest. The geology which formed this miracle over a billion years ago is still the star of the show but wildlife viewing and archeological discoveries are quite incredible as well.

Need to know

Flights are typically routed through Johannesburg or Cape Town via gateways like Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich. Flights directly into Windhoek via Frankfurt, London (LGW), Doha, Nairobi and Addis Ababa are also quite popular.

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  • We advise spending 4 days if you are just going to Sossusvlei or Etosha or 7-14 days for a more in-depth Namibia safari. Namibia is easily combined with any destination in Southern Africa.
  • We recommend Namibia to seasoned safari veterans and those seeking romance and adventure. First-time safari goers will love Namibia but should not expect large numbers of wildlife.
  • Visas are required for most visitors and are available upon arrival, but inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
  • There is a good network of shared charter flights to tourist destinations and remote camps. Flying is typically the norm and there are some excellent guided overland options. Namibia is perfect for intrepid travelers who want to self-drive with good roads.
  • English is widely spoken along with Afrikaans and German. Communication is relatively easy throughout the country.
  • You will find high-caliber guides in Namibia at the various properties you visit.
  • Food is of good quality and variety on safari.

When to go

Namibia enjoys a semi-desert climate of hot days and cool nights. Midsummer temperatures may rise to over 104F (40C). Winter days are warm, but dawn temperatures may drop to freezing.

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Along the coast it is cool with low rainfall and fog prevails from late-afternoon to mid-morning. The rainy season is October through April and the remainder of the year is cloudless averaging 300 days of sunshine per year.

May – September: This is the long dry season and best viewing conditions for wildlife and temperatures moderate during the day. From June-September you will want a warm jacket, hat, and gloves as temperatures can dip to freezing.  So, expect chilly mornings, bright sunny days, and cool evenings until September when temperatures start to rise. This is peak travel season for visitors.

October – April: This is typically the rainy or ‘green’ season, when temperatures climb, and spectacular thunderstorms and clouds give drama to the sky. The land bursts to life with a flurry of color. Wildlife is a bit more dispersed than usual and sightings might not be plentiful.

Accommodation

Whatever your preference for lodging may be, you can find it in Namibia. Many of our guests prefer the delightful B&Bs in Windhoek and Swakopmund. The luxury camps and lodges are dwarfed against the wilderness of the country.

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Most of Namibia’s accommodations feel like the edge of the Earth in terms of remoteness and stunning natural wonder, but they deliver comforts and amenities which rival posh city hotels in other Southern Africa destinations. Lodging in Namibia varies from a primitive camping experience to super high-end luxury. In some of the less trafficked locations, simple clean comfortable accommodations are the norm. Every property booked on a Rothschild Safari is vetted by staff and offer the highest standards in each category.

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

Betsy Robertson

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

Dawn Jacobs

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

George Kowalski

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

Jackie Smith

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

Jamie Scarlett

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Joe Moravec

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Kim Mather

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Lisa Anderson

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.