What makes a safari experience in Namibia so unique - Travel - Destinations

What makes a safari experience in Namibia so unique?   by Jamie Richardson

in Travel / Destinations    (submitted 2011-07-29)

If African safari holidays are something you have ever considered, you will know that there are so many destinations to choose from, so what gives a Namibian safari the X-factor? Located between the Kalahari Desert and the South Atlantic covering a vast 800,000 square kilometres, Namibia is one of the most unique safari destinations of the world, with breathtaking scenery including deserts, oceans, dunes and mountains. Namibian safaris are unlike any other African safari adventure; the experience is as much about the adventure and exploring the landscape as much as it is about discovering the wildlife.

What makes Namibia so unique is the abundance of wildlife on display, large animals such as elephant, rhino, lion and zebra which can all be found in desert environments roaming freely as they are not restricted to designated reserves. There is also a wealth of small game and even many endemic species like the black faced impala to be found. Namibia is also a popular destination for bird watching, there are 630 species including some very range restricted birds to be spotted.

Namibia has twenty six parks and reserves on offer to display the wildlife. The three main tourist attractions for the wildlife include the Waterberg Plateau National Park, the Cape Cross Reserve and the most famous of these is the Etosha National Park which is the home to over one hundred mammal species. The parks and reserves range from the open bush of the centre and the north, to the inhospitable coastal strips.

To add some excitement to any safari experience the Skeleton National Park, the resting place to several shipwreck remains and large seal colonies is very popular. The Skeleton Coast located in the North West is considered one of the most desolate places on earth, as the landscape ranges from windswept sand dunes, rugged canyons and mountain ranges. The Skeleton National Park houses a great variety of specific including big cats, elephants, black rhinos and many more. Due to the inaccessibility of many of these camps, the Skeleton Coast is only accessible via four wheel drives in the southern section. The only way to experience the northern section is through a Fly-in safari. Fly-in safaris are generally preferred and offer a great way to take in the scenery. The Cape Cross Lodge is also an ideal retreat, just 4kms from the seal reserve offering luxury accommodation and breathtaking views.

Also not to be missed is the coastal town of Swakopmund which is fast becoming the adrenaline capital of Africa. The seaside town lies at the tail end of the Skeleton Coast and would provide an extra dimension to any safari holiday offering visitors the perfect opportunity to unwind. Swakopmund resembles a small German town with palm lined streets, promenades, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and museums. Night time entertainment ranges from casinos, pubs, restaurants to an assortment of drama, music and cultural events. The Sea Side Hotel and Spa is an ideal location to stay to combine the excitement of a safari and a pampering spa experience.

Safaris in Namibia are available all year round but the best game viewing periods are during the dry winter months between May and September. The winter temperatures can drop below freezing at night so you might prefer to visit in the milder months of October or April. Alternatively the best months for bird watching fall between November and April.

A Namibian safari is not only about wildlife encounters, it is a major attraction of Africa offering beautiful landscapes, deserts and mountains. As safaris in Namibia are generally less expensive than the perhaps more well known destination of Botswana and Tanzania, Namibia is a must visit place for every traveller and admirer of natural beauty.