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So you want to go on holiday to Namibia? Here's a list of the things to do.
It's just as magnificent as the Grand Canyon and far easier to get to for us South Africans. To get to the Fish River Canyon fly to Upington, hire a vehicle from Upington Airport, drive the 397km along the N10 & B3, and go stay at the Fish River Lodge. It's best to visit in the southern hemisphere's winter season, when it's a bit cooler.
Situated on the Kunene River which seperates Namibia from Angola, the Epupa Falls is best visited in March/April, when the river is in flood. Don't expect a dramatic single sheet of water like at Victoria Falls - the falls take place over 1500m and the heighest single drop is 37m, the river is about 500m wide at Epupa. Fly to Windhoek, hire a car from Windhoek Airport, and then drive 887km to Epupa Falls. Whilst at Epupa go see a Himba Kraal. Stay at the Epupa Falls Lodge.
Afterwards, drive to see the Ruacana Falls, which are 135km upstream on the Kunene. The Ruacana Falls is 120m high. Stay at the Ruacana Eha Lodge.
The Etosha National Park consists of grasslands & Mopane trees around a salt pan; and offers the opportunity to see mammals like springbok, zebra, elephant, rhinos, giraffe, lions, leopards and hyena. Fly to Windhoek and drive to Etosha. Stay at the Onguma Bush Camp. Go in the southern hemisphere winter, when it's cooler.
Keetmanshoop isn't really a holiday place, but you can go to the Cheetah Park or visit Giant's Playground. Fly to Upington & then drive. For accommodation in Keetmanshoop, stay at Alte Kalkofen Lodge.
Lüderitz is my favourite town in Namibia, it offers an oasis of life in the middle of the desert's Sperrgebiet, is next to the sea and I'm fascinated by Kolmanskop, the deserted town which is slowly getting filled by the dunes. It's easy to get to, as there are flights from Windhoek to Lüderitz with Air Namibia. Alernatively take a cruise from Cape Town to Lüderitz.
The red dunes near the Sossusvlei (a clay/salt pan) are a big attraction to photraphers and fun lovers who like rolling down them (what is a visit to Namibia without getting sand in your hair). The most famousare Dune 45, Elim Dune, Big Daddy (the heighest in the area) and Deadvlei (photographers love the contrast of the the orange dunes against the white of the pan below them and the dead black trees). Fly to Lüderitz, and drive up to Sossusvlei.
Walvis Bay isn't the most attractive town, but you can go sandboarding & quad-biking in the desert. Dune 7, the tallest in the world, is in the area. Walvis Bay is popular amongst birders, and is well known for its flamingo population. Swakopmund is a short drive away, it's a beach resort town with German architecture. Fly to Walvis Bay, and hire a car. Stay at the Sandfields Guesthouse.
Here's a photo of the President's playground, the Namibian State House Complex in Windhoek -it's a bit controversial, as some think it was a waste of public funds, and others find its 1960s style architecture a strain on the eyes!
Written by Rob Baker