With holidaymakers able to visit more far flung destinations than ever before, trips to destinations such as Namibia are becoming ever more popular. But what is there to do in this beautiful country?
Well, no trip to Namibia would be complete without a trip to the beautiful Etosha National Park, dominated by the large Etosha Salt Pan. The park is home to a great array of mammals and birds and should you choose to go on a game drive through the park you will most likely see elephants, giraffes, and lions and if you’re lucky, you may even see some leopard and cheetah. There are a number of rest camps at the park and a new lodge (opened 2008) within the parks itself. Some of the rest camps inside the park have access to floodlit waterholes where you can watch the animals come and go during the evening. The best time to visit is between April and September, the first few months are cooler but from then on the waterholes are much more frequently visited due to the increased temperatures.
The Skeleton Coast is the name given to the section of coast between the Atlantic Ocean and Kaokoveld and Damaraland. Due to the dense fog and rough surf, this area of coast is particularly inaccessible and is littered with various shipwrecks caused by the rocks offshore. There are bleached whale and seal bones scattered across the shore from when the whaling industry was still active and it is these plus the remains of the ship wrecks washed up on the shore that give the coast it’s rather foreboding name. The coast and its surrounds have now been grouped into the Skeleton Coast National Park which runs from the Ugab River to the Kunene. Within these boundaries are a large seal colony at Cape Fria and the salt pans of the Agate Mountain along with the shipwrecked shores themselves.
Namibia is also home to a cheetah release programme called the AfriCat Foundation ran by conservationist Dave Houghton. Its headquarters are at Okonjima which is located halfway between Windhoek and Etosha National Park. Here you can track rehabilitated cheetahs, visit the AfriCat Welfare Programme and take game viewing trips and bushwalks. For some hands on experience you can also choose to volunteer at the Noah’s Ark Wildlife Centre in Gobabis near the Botswana border. Here, for a fee, you can help feed and clean the animals and their enclosures and really get involved. There are many wildlife conservation programmes in Namibia each trying to look after the beautiful animals that live in the area and a visit to one of them is a truly rewarding experience.
So whether it’s the spooky yet intriguing Skeleton Coast, the dry arid Namib Desert or the animals of Etosha National Park and the rehabilitation programmes, your Namibia holidays will be unforgettable.