Known as the “Land of the Brave” according to its national anthem, Namibia has long been known for the sweeping sand dunes from the Namib Desert that comprise its shoreline. In recent years it has become more of a destination for visitors, especially those who want to see cheetahs and the capital of Windhoek’s unique architecture. Let’s take a look at what you should do while you’re there!
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
The name sure does not give it away, but this is in a Southern area of the Namib Desert. It is a dry sun-baked salt and clay pan that is entirely surrounded by red sand dunes. The other area is known for the dried out husks of acacia trees that stand upright in the glowing white salt pan. It used to be an oasis full of water and lush growth but now as you will see it is something out of a sci-fi movie on Mars or a Salvador Dali painting.
Etosha National Park
Now that you have seen one of the dead zones in the desert, it is time to head over to Etosha and the land of the living. This is in Northwestern Namibia and it too has salt pans, but also a whole lot of grassland and savanna for the wildlife to live off of. If you are looking to go on a safari in a relatively quiet park then this is an excellent choice. Expect to see a lot of elephants and mountain zebras which are only found in Etosha.
Skeleton Coast National Park
This name may give it away, but the coastline is littered with shipwrecks which makes some history buffs very curious about the region. If you think you can simply walk into this park though, be forewarned that you have to enter with a 4×4 vehicle and to access some areas in the north you actually have to fly-in as no vehicles are allowed. Conservation is very important, and the Namibian government has made it a priority.
With Namibia being a former German colony it should come as no surprise that German style colonial buildings are what comprise this lovely capital city. The Parliament Gardens are worth a wander, along with a visit to Christuskirche and the Tintenpalast. Each building offers a good historical point to learn about the foundations of the modern state that Namibia is now, and good opportunities for photos of this unique former-German run capital on the Southern tip of Africa.