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Namibia is a place of endless horizons and stark, wild beauty. From scenic Damaraland to the lush river-strewn Caprivi strip, Namibia’s landscapes are diverse and striking. Capital city Windhoek and charming ‘adventure-central’ Swakopmund are also great places to visit on any Namibia overlanding tour.
Damaraland is situated to the north of Swakopmund and to the south of Etosha National Park. It’s an incredibly scenic part of Namibia, with a dramatic landscape of wide open sandy plains, massive granite koppies and red hued mountains.
Home to the elusive desert elephant and the endangered black rhino, Damaraland is also part of the Community Wildlife Conservancy: a powerful community-based tourism venture aimed at protecting the wildlife of the area.
Most Africa overland tours that travel through Damaraland will take a trip to Twyfelfontein, which holds the largest known concentration of Stone Age and San Bushmen cave paintings and engravings in southern Africa.
Popular things to do in Damaraland on a Namibian overland safari? Track rhino on foot, visit the engravings in the late afternoon and take photographs, and meet the local Himba people.
In a country most known for its desert dunes, the lush Caprivi Strip sticks out like a sore thumb, literally. It’s that oddly-shaped panhandle that stretches between Angola and Botswana in far-northern Namibia.
Enclosed by permanent water, the Caprivi Strip starts at the Kavango River and follows the Zambezi River to the border junction of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Most overland tours travelling through Namibia are on their way to Chobe, the Okavango Delta or Victoria Falls, so you’re bound to travel through the Caprivi at some point!
The Caprivi Strip is a lush, watery paradise, with a few small game reserves, rushing rivers and a surprisingly large number of villages.
Whether you’re travelling into Botswana from Namibia or the other way round, the Caprivi Strip has a number of great campsites and lodges in which to relax and soak up the chilled-out atmosphere.
Although Windhoek is Namibia’s capital city, it’s often bypassed in favour of the coastal town of Swakopmund, once a sleepy town of Bavarian beer maidens and German patisseries, now challenging Victoria Falls as the ‘adrenaline capital of Africa’.
It’s an odd little town; the harsh Atlantic pounds its shores, fog shrouds it most mornings and shipwrecks lie scattered just off shore. But its huge appeal to Namibian overland travellers is that it’s right on the edge of the Namib Desert.
From sandboarding to sky-diving, Swakopmund is an obligatory ‘yes’ on every adventure-seekers Namibian trip. Scenic flights, deep-sea fishing, quad-biking and hot-air ballooning should all be on an overlanders agenda! Read more about our featured Namibia adventure activities.
Just to the south of Swakopmund is the tiny town of Walvis Bay, while the north-bound road takes you to Cape Cross in the Skeleton Coast National Park.
Namibia’s capital is Windhoek, and thanks to a brilliant stroke of German planning, it’s located slap bang in the middle of the country. Although an extremely small capital by global standards, it is the gateway to the spectacular scenery and landscapes of Namibia.
Most Namibia overland travellers will visit Windhoek, either as a pit-stop en-route to Etosha National Park, or as the start or end point for a trip. If you are making a stop, be sure to check out the colourful markets and the decidedly delicious German cuisine.
Joe’s Beerhouse is probably Windhoek’s most famous restaurant, and is a overlanding must-do! After camping in the desert, a gigantic piece of eisbein and a draught of Windhoek Lager will go down well at any time of the day.
It’s a peaceful and relaxed city - so much so it verges on the slightly dull. It doesn’t have too much to offer the visitor, but the shops sell pretty much anything you might like to buy and there’s a good European café culture.
Namibian overland tours tend to use Windhoek either as a springboard into the country, or as a good safe base to start a multi-country trek into Botswana and Zambia.