This is a 5 day trip through Namibia. If I did it again, I would add a few more days so that we could slow down and really soak it all in. I would also add in a stop at Epupa Falls.
That said, Namibia is, to this day, my favorite place I have ever been. It is a stunning landscape that is like no other. Absolutely a destination I will never, ever forget.
This is the route we took. We drove it in a 4-wheel drive SUV.
Our first stop and my second favorite part of the tirp to Namibia (keep reading for my favorite stop). This stunning landscape honestly speaks for itself.
We camped somehwere outside of Sossusvlei for this leg of the trip.
A stop to load up the backpack with food and wine and we had ourselves a picnic in the "dead valley".
Solitare is a small town outside of Sossusvelei and worth a stop.
It's not very big but you'll be able to stop for gas, food at the restaurant and take some pictures with the old cars that have been devoured by the desert.
Tropic of Capricorn
On the way to Walvis Bay you will cross the Tropic of Capricorn. This is the southern most latitute where the sun can be seen overhead (or so Google tells me). In any event, it's a good photo op.
In Walvis Bay we went on a dolphin and seal sailing cruise. This was a lot of fun, even if I did get incredibly sea sick. They gave us food, a drink local to Namibia and even had the seals jump up on the boat for a visit.
Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of this excursion on account of the sea sickness. So you'll just have to take my word for it.
And maybe take some dramamine prior to the trip so you don't end up like me.
4-Wheel through the dunes with epic sea views.
This was my favorite part of the entire Namibia trip. The tour starts at Walvis Bay and they drive you out over the dunes, stopping at a few places with epic views of the dunes and the sea. Afterwards they set up a lunch right on the dunes, you eat and then head back into town.
Called the Skeleton Coast from the whale bones that once littered the sand, it is also known as the worlds largest ship cemetery, or, as the Portuguese called it, ‘the gates of hell”.
It is also one of the only places in Africa where Lions are wild.
If you are planning on driving the Skeleton Coast make absolutely sure you have enough gas to make it. There are no gas stations, or people for that matter, along the way. By the time we made it into a town with gas we had 4km left in our tank.
Also, being that lions are wild here, be very careful if you have to get out of your car for any reason. It's a wide open desert, so there aren’t many places for them to hide, but you should always have a lookout to watch your back should you have to get out and change a tire or something.
That said, the Skeleton Coast is a treasure trove of things to see and absolutely worth the visit.
The Sea Reserve in Namibia is the world's largest breeding colony for seals. It contains over 200,000 seals during peak breeding season.
The seals are cute but this is possibly one of the worst smells I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s worth doing but prepare yourself.
The blinding fog off the coast of Namibia has turned the Skeleton coast into a ship's graveyard. Kind of eerie but also very cool to see in person.
We arrived to the entrance of the Skeleton Coast and went inside for a permit. As we were leaving, my travel partner asked the woman at the desk if there was anything we should be aware of/concerned about.
She said, "No, not really. Well... the lions."
Yes, the Skeleton Coast is home to some of the only wild lions in Africa.
However, you are unlikely to see lions while on the Skeleton Coast as these desert adapeted lions are small in number.
Nevertheless, be aware that they do call the Skeleton Coast home and be alert if exiting your car.
With a full tank of gas, food and water and a healthy respect for nature, the Skeleton Coast is a bucket list item that is well worth the trip.
Somewhere between The Skeleton Coast and Etosha National Park, we encountered some members of the Himba Tribe.
We stopped to purchase some of the goods they were selling, take some pictures with them and we gave them some of the snacks we had on hand, which they were very excited to receive.
My favorite part about travel is getting to meet and understand the people of the area and their culture, so this was a highlight for me. They were friendly and excited to see us. I don't think they get many visitors in this remote part of Namibia.
Etosha National Park
Located in the northern part of Namibia, Etosha National Park is an excellent place for wildlife viewing. It’s many waterholes mean you are almost guaranteed to see many wild animals.
Around Etosha National Park you will find everything from campsites to very comfortable resorts.
We ended up camping close enough to a waterhole that I woke up to lions roaring throughout the night. Definitely freaky but absolutely an experience I will never forget.
If you’re not quite up for that, there are some very nice reports with 4 solid walls that will be excellent places to sleep between safari excursions.
As you can see in the photos, it was quite barren when we went, which acutally makes for excellent animal viewing as they tend to be gathered at the waterholes.
Our last stop before returning to the airport to fly back to South Africa was camping in Spitzkoppe.
The granite peaks made for a stunning backdrop and an incredible sunrise.
I also saw some of my favorite wildlife here, from the Black-footed cat that got into our food while we slept to the red-billed hornbill that made my Disney loving inner child squeal with delight.
On the last morning in Namibia, with my hair caked with dirt, utterly exhauseted and exhilarated , we headed back to Windhoek to catch a flight back to South Africa.
The capital of Namibia and home of the airport, Windhoek feels very modern while the rest of Namibia, with its unique terrain, feels more like stepping onto another planet.
I did not spend a lot of time in Windhoek but I recommend at least getting something to eat, as you can get a very high end meal for very little money. Additionally, stop to interact with the Himba tribe, who can often be found selling their goods here, too.
And that concludes my 5 days in Namibia.
We did a lot. I wish I had had more time.
Nevertheless, it remains one of my favorite places I have ever visited.