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Namibia Parks & Reserves
Nambia’s parks and reserves are diverse and scenic, ranging from the dry white pan of Etosha National Park to the red dunes of the Namib Naukluft.
Overlanders on a trip to Namibia are sure to visit the amazing Fish River Canyon, the 2nd largest in the world, and maybe take a trip to the desolate Skeleton Coast to visit the Cape fur seal colony at Cape Cross. Browse our amazing Namibia overland tours for more ideas.
Etosha National Park is one of southern Africa’s finest and most important game reserves, covering an impressive 22 27km², and home to the massive Etosha mineral pan, all that remains of an ancient lake.
A guaranteed few nights will be spent in Etosha when on a Namibian overland tour, usually in one of the rest camps, known for their exciting night time game viewing at the floodlit waterholes.
In the dry season Etosha is a flat white wilderness, aptly demonstrating its meaning: ‘Great White Place’. But come summer, the park is an explosion of colour, as the pan turns into an algae-rich lake attracting thousands of water birds including pink-tinged flamingos and pelicans.
Overlanding through Etosha is always rewarding: oryx, giraffe, zebra and springbok are regulars at the waterholes, while black rhino, huge elephants, cheetah and lion are often spotted.
Best time to go? The cool dry winters when animals stay close the waterholes. If you’re on a Namibian overland safari during this time, you’re bound to enjoy incredible game viewing.
The massive Namib Desert stretches along Namibia’s coastline from the Orange River in the south to just north of the Kunene River.
As the oldest desert on earth, it’s home to some truly bizarre life forms - animals, insects and plants that have somehow adapted to this inhospitable region.
For travellers on a Namibian overland trip, the 50 000km² Namib Naukluft National Park, which encompasses a huge part of the desert, is a popular destination, as it is most famous for its towering red sand dunes at Sossusvlei.
Overlanders can clamber up the dunes, visit the eerie Dead Vlei, go sandboarding or even see the desert from the air with a scenic flight, sky dive or hot-air balloon excursion.
Best time to go? Visit the Namib at sunrise, when the play of light and shadow give the landscape amazing tints and textures, allowing for wonderful photographic opportunities.
The Skeleton Coast is a barren and hostile stretch of the Namibian wilderness, home to only a few hardy jackals and brown hyena, but it also marks the spot where Diogo Cao, a Portuguese sailor, set foot on what is now Namibia in 1486.
That area is now known as Cape Cross, a popular tourist attraction because of its huge 100 000 strong Cape fur seal colony. Most Namibian overland tours will take a day excursion out to Cape Cross to view the seals swimming in the surf and sunbathing on the rocks.
Named for all the ghostly shipwrecks left abandoned on the beaches, the Skeleton Coast is a harsh place: inhospitable and one of the least visited places on earth.
Overlanders on a trip through Namibia will find this place a mysterious and unforgiving place, but just for that reason, it’s worth the visit.
Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is situated in the far south of Namibia, and is usually the first attraction overlanders will witness on their way north from Cape Town.
This winding ravine, at 160km long, 500m deep and 27km across at its widest point, is the second largest in the world, after Colorado’s Grand Canyon.
A Namibian overland tour on its way from South Africa to Victoria Falls will likely make a stop at the canyon; there are several viewpoints along the western rim with incredible views of the dramatic twisting cliffs.
Temperatures in the summer can reach some 50 degrees and the canyon is closed to hikers at this time. If your group is doing a short hike through the canyon in the cooler months, a stop at Ai-Ais hot springs at the bottom end of the canyon is well worth it!
Ideal as a setting for striking photography, the Fish River Canyon is not to be missed on an overland adventure through Namibia.