For her Honeymoon, Anouk visited Namibia in 2017. Namibia is a great example when you think of sustainable (tourism). The country was the first in the world to address habitat conservation and the protection of natural resources. In all defined geographic areas, the locals are responsible for the protection of wildlife. Tourism helps to decrease proverty by stimulating community development, creating new job opportunities, generating alternative income streams, and learning new skills and expertise.
Namibia’s most compelling tourism assets are the native wildlife and cultural heritage. Communities now associate these natural resources with increased economic benefits and place a greater value on conservation efforts. This has resulted in decreased poaching, successful restoration of wildlife and revitalization of cultural traditions.
Namibia is a great country to visit. We only stayed in Namibia for two weeks but if you really would like to see everything the country has to offer you, you can easily stay a month. Let us tell you more about our route.
We live in the Netherlands so in our case we needed to go by plane. The flight to Windhoek, Namibia took us around 10 hours. At the airport we collected our 4×4 and we drove straight to Windhoek city.
Windhoek is a nice city to walk around and discover the history. To experience to local lifestyle you need to make a reservation for a tour with a guide from Face 2 Face tours. Face 2 Face is the first tour operator, to let visitor’s experience the hustle and bustle of Katutura (township). They offer the unique opportunity to experience an aspect of Windhoek not usually seen by visitors.
We booked the township tour and our local tour guide took us to Katutura. Katutura is a melting pot of people of African origin. She knew everything about the history and lifestyle. Together we visited the old cemetery, the market and a women project. Driving around the townships was really special.
We were told not to wander around in the city late at night. If you would like to go somewhere, take a cab. We asked the driver from Face 2 Face and he drove us to a restaurant in the evening. This is definitely more safe!
The second day we drove from Windhoek tot the Kalahari, which took us around 3 hours. In the Kalahari we reserved the Gondwana Kalahari Anib Lodge in de game park. One of the most beautiful lodges we ever saw and the people were so friendly! After arrival we decided to go on a sunset game drive with a ranger. Our first game drive and we saw zebras, springboks, wildebeests and kudus. After the sundowner we drove back to the lodge, enjoyed a delicious dinner and had a great view from our terrace on the waterhole.
From the Kalahari to Sesriem it’s around 4 hours driving. Don’t expect highways but do expect a lot of sand and pebbles! After buying the permit to enter Sesriem we drove through the parc to the Sossusvlei/Deadvlei. We couldn’t drive the last meters with our car and decided to walk which we did regret very soon! It’s a really long and sandy walk and the sun was killing. We stopped the first car which crossed our way and asked if we could go with them. If you go here, don’t try to walk but take a ride with the guides.
The Sossusvlei has the highest dunes on earth and the Deadvlei is amazing and worth everything!! In the middle of the dessert you suddenly see the enormous white Deadvlei.
In the Sossusvlei we did drift with a hot air balloon over the majestic sand dunes of the Namib desert. A real bucket list experience. The views were amazing and after the hot air balloon trip we enjoyed a champagne breakfast in the middle of the dessert. And what it made even more beautiful is that Namib Sky Balloon Safaris really cares about the environment. They strictly adhere to eco-friendly principles; create greater environmental awareness to both visitors and the local community. The environmental impact is kept as minimal as possible; they only use the existing tracks, use solar energy, have a vegetable garden and support the local community socially and economically.
The Namib desert is huge. We stayed in an awesome camp in the middle of nowhere, the Namib Dune Star Camp. You can read everything about this bucket list stay in the accommodations section.
Staying in the desert gives you the opportunity to enjoy a sunrise walk. Our guide told us everything about the small animals living in the desert.
Walvis Bay & Swakupmond
Walvis Bay and Swakupmond are both located by the sea. In Walvisbay we went to the Walvis Bay Golf Club. Crazy but fun to golf in the desert with sandy greens instead of grass. We also did a kayak tour visiting the Cape Fur Seal Colony with Exo Marine Kayak Tours. We started early in the morning. The seals where really curious, swimming around our kayaks. So much more fun than the boats which you can take in Walvisbay to see the seals as well. If you would like to go for a kayak tour, we recommend you to stay in Walvis Bay.
Swakupmond is situated next to Walvis Bay and is a former German colony. It’s a nice place to walk around and look for historic buildings and architecture.
When you drive around in Namibia you will see Himba people at the side of the road. We were very interested in this tribe and decided to drive from Walvis Bay to the Toko Lodge, nearby Etosha. A few hundred metres from the lodge the Katenda Himba Village is situated. Our host from the lodge, guided us to the Himba village. During the tour we met the group in an informal, easygoing way. The people showed us around their village; a collection of huts made of branches, mud and cow dung. The Himba are a striking people to look at. The women are topless and wear mini-skirts made of goat skins adorned with shells and jewellery made of iron and copper. The men wear goatskin loin cloths. Both men and women smear their skin with a mixture of rancid butter, ash and ochre to protect them from the harsh desert climate. The paste (Otjize) is often mixed with the aromatic resin of the Omuzumba shrub, a little like adding perfume to a suntan lotion. As well as protection from the sun, the deep red colour is a highly desirable look in the Himba culture.
Etosha National Park
The highlight of Namibia is definitely Etosha National Park! On our way to the gate, we suddenly saw our first elephant who stepped in front of us on the highway. We were just on time to stop and watched one of the most beautiful animals of the world standing in front of us. After this experience we drove to the park to get our permit. In the park we saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, oryx, kudus, springbok, capricorn, two rhinos and a lion.
From Etosha we drove to Waterberg. We expected to stay close to the Waterberg but this was to far away to visit in just one day. This is why we decided to relax at the swimming pool of our lodge and visit the farm with a guide. Nice to see that a farm in Namibia is totally different than our farms. From our bed we could see the Waterberg plateau, a great view!
Daan Viljoen Game Park
Our last stop before going home was Daan Viljoen Game Park. This park is situated next to Windhoek. We stayed here for two nights to relax at the swimming pool. For us it was quite warm (around 20/25 degrees) but fort he locals it was cold. Very funny to experience; winter clothes vs swimwear. In Daan Viljoen Game Park it is possible to follow walking tracks, which we decided to do. It was fun but not special. We don’t recommend you to go here as well, you can better stay somewhere else for a couple of more nights.
Unfortunately only stayed in Namibia for 2 weeks but you can easily go here for more than two weeks. We spoke to people who visited parts of the country we would love to see but unfortunately we didn’t have the time for this. Namibia is undiscovered and a great country to visit, for a honeymoon or other vacation. The locals give you a welcoming feeling and they are proud of their country and wildlife.