Namibia Tourism delegates recently ventured into the UAE and introduced the country’s key attractions in partnership with Marco Polo Holidays.
Led by Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism and Mr. Digu Naobeb, CEO of Namibia Tourism Board, the delegation reinforced the country’s alluring attractions as a must-see tourist destination nestled along the southwestern coast of the African continent with a large land surface, known for clear blue skies and sunshine, unpolluted air, memorable wildlife encounters and the best destination for star gazing.
Namibia, a land rich in culture is a land of contrasts, where the country’s natural beauty leaves visitors breathless, its endless horizons allowing for picturesque views. At the same time, its abundant wildlife is a dream to behold.
A promising destination, the essence of Namibia undeniably lies in its people, their warmth, culture, history and gastronomy. The economy is based on agriculture, fishing, mining and tourism. Similar to the UAE, Namibia has seven cluster regions with infinite opportunities and diversity and remains one of the most beautiful countries worldwide with a kaleidoscope of activities and adventures for tourists.
According to Namibia Tourism Board, although Namibia has many attractions, the ones below should be on your itinerary:
1. Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is found in the southern part of Namibia›s longest river. This incredible geological landscape features a gigantic ravine, about 161 Km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep, making it the second-largest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon in Arizona) and Africa›s largest canyon. The canyon is rugged, stark, and offers visitors, photographers, and backpackers the most serene and stunning landscapes.
2. Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is one of Africa›s premier game parks with fantastic game viewing. The Park was declared in 1907 and covers an area of 22 270 km². Here you will view rare and endangered species such as the black rhino, cheetah and black- faced impala roaming freely in their natural habitat against the unique backdrop of the Etosha Pan. Its unique natural waterholes attract a daily parade of wildlife and staying in the park allows you to connect with nature. Etosha is a genuine wildlife conservation experience not to be missed.
3. Skeleton Coast
The area extends from the Ugab River mouth north to the Kunene River, covering an area of 14 400 km². Mysteries and mists shroud this desolate coastline; seal and whale bones and shipwreck tales abound. The desolate desert and icy ocean merge in an untamed wilderness, apparently lifeless interior, and its fair share of visual oddities. Nevertheless, the miles of flat beaches are popular with fishermen.
4. Damaraland & Kaokoland
Damaraland is at once beautiful, unique, and fascinating with rocky mountains, grass-covered plains and every conceivable range of brown from dark russet to bleached blonde. The area is home to one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Twyfelfontein, which symbolises a rich cultural heritage of the San/Bush- men people in the form of rock engravings. Alongside the banks of the Kunene River, lies Kaokoland. It is home to the Ovahimba, the last true nomads of Namibia, who trek through the area searching for water and good pastures. This region is best suited to adventurous 4×4 tours and camping.
5. Namib- Naukluft Park
The Namib-Naukluft Park is one of the world’s largest conservation areas, stretching from the plateau of central Namibia to the vast basin of the Namib Desert. Wide- open spaces framed by purply-blue mountains and impossible sunsets make the Namib-Naukluft a place of singular beauty and peace. Sossusvlei and Sesriem are the major highlights within the Namib Naukluft Park. Sossusvlei is characterised by the endless sea of rust-orange dunes, the bleached white pan (Deadvlei)
6. Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
On the central coast, Swakopmund, a resort town, and Walvis Bay, Namibia’s main seaport, offer an oasis’s where the sea meets the desert. The two towns are a mere 30 km apart, and in between, considerable development of holiday resorts is taking place. The towns offer adrenaline-rush activities and are considered Namibia’s “adventures hub”. The list of activities for any tourist alike are endless, ranging from quad biking, boat cruise, camel riding, dune surfing, skydiving, fishing, camel riding, desert tours and many more. Places of interest include and are not limited to the National Aquarium of Namibia, Dune 7, Lagoon, Walvis Bay Waterfront, townships, etc.
7. Kavango and Zambezi
These two regions boast of being ‘Namibia’s Wetlands Paradise’. It is traversed by a complex network of rivers and has relatively high summer rainfalls that have created a fertile wilderness of riverine forests, flood plains, swamps, and open woodland. The area has the most significant number of bird species. As a result, it is steadily gaining a reputation as a retreat for bird-watchers, nature lovers and specialists studying the wetlands systems and their flora and fauna. Sunset river cruises on photos safaris, swamp safaris, boating, a trip on the mokoro (dug-out canoe) and game viewing, either on foot or in open 4×4 vehicles, are the most sought-after activities by visitors to the region.
8. Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert, home to the San /Bushmen, stretches across Eastern Namibia, providing moments of great solitude and poignant reflection as you gaze across the great stretches of open sands, dotted with a variety of trees, shrubs, and acacias. It’s a magical place where some well-placed rain can transform the seemingly endless sand into an area of blossoms, flowers, and blankets of grass in the springtime.
9. Sperrgebiet National Park
This protected area, formerly known as the Sperrgebiet Diamond Area, stretches from south of Lüderitz up to the Orange River mouth, including the famous mining town of Oranjemund. The area has wide open landscapes of incredible beauty, pristine desert, sand dunes, mountains, inselbergs, deserted beaches, the majestic Orange River, wild animals, excellent birdlife, weird and beautiful plants, ghostly remains of abandoned mining settlements and more
history than most other environs in Namibia.
The Spitzkoppe lies west of Usakos, and it is one of Namibia’s most photographed and painted outcrops of granite. These granite rocks are intrusive and were formed by the slow cooling of molten masses below the earth’s surface. Granite is a widespread rock found in abundance across Namibia, but none are as stunning as those found at the Spitzkoppe. The Spitzkoppe is particularly special because interesting plants, birds and other wildlife are found in the surroundings.
Destination Information and images courtesy of Namibia Tourism Board.
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