Here in the nearness of where I stand, there is always a distance – a space, an in-between, the endless horizons…
Here I am alone, but I belong.
Adapted from Jan McCallum
Big cats, desert-adapted elephant, black rhino and many more roam a landscape of wind-swept dunes that alter with rugged canyons, which have walls of richly colored volcanic rock, and extensive mountain ranges. Shipwrecks are littering the beaches as well as the bleached whale and seal bones still visible from the days when the whaling industry was active. From here, we pass into the world’s largest continuous stretch of sand, the Kalahari Desert, which, thanks to a modest measure of rainfall, is well vegetated with a variety of trees and shrubs and during springtime even covered in blankets of flowers and grass. Here, the emotionally enriching and liberating silence and solitude lead you into what could only be described as a spiritual experience. It is the land of the proud San Bushmen, whose ancient knowledge allows them to live in perfect harmony with their natural environment.
Red dunes, vast plains and rugged mountains make up the serene landscape between the inhospitable Namib Desert and the escarpment of the interior plateau. Our journey leads us from here into a landscape of abstract beauty with dunes of apricot, orange, red and maroon tints further to dunes of enormous height that provide breathtaking views and to Deadvlei, a large ghostly expanse of dried white clay punctuated by the skeletons of ancient camelthorn trees. The Himba, a tall, slender and statuesque people, rub their bodies with red ochre and fat to protect their skins against the climate. Desert adapted elephants have special behavioral characteristics to cope with the environment.
Especially to our Africa experienced travellers we advise a trip to Namibia. Marlies Gabriel, a German - Namibian herself, proposes the most beautiful places at their best travel time due to her personal experience. The combination of all destinations listed below and the complete organization of your travel to the different places of the country is a unique offer of The African Embassy Safaris and is not bookable elsewhere.
On our safaris, we have something for each of our senses:
- Etosha National Park: A vast, shallow pan of silvery sand dominates the eastern territory of this park, while the rest is covered with sparse shrubs, grassy plains and hilly mopane woodlands. During the dry season, tens of thousands of animals converge to drink at the waterholes – elephant, giraffe, rhino and lion, possibly leopard, cheetah and many more.
- Okonjima / Cheetah Conservation Fund: Red dunes, vast plains and rugged mountains make up the serene landscape between the inhospitable Namib Desert and the escarpment of the interior plateau. Here, we find Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, home to the world’s highest sand dunes . Climbing up one of these dunes provides breathtaking views of the whole area. The best time to view Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset when the dunes refract spectacular colors, ranging from burnt orange, red and deep mauve.
- NamibRand: This reserve was established to help protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the south-west Namib Desert. Conserving this eastern edge of the Namib Desert is critically important in order to facilitate seasonal migratory wildlife routes and to protect biodiversity. Virtually all facets of the Namib Desert are represented on this Reserve – sand and gravel plains and stretches of savanna alternate with mountain ranges and vegetated dune belts.
- Skeleton Coast / Damaraland / Kaokoveld: Beautiful, but arid and unforgiving attractions in this area have names like Burnt Mountain, the Petrified Forest, the Skeleton Coast. Occupying a huge, harsh stretch of landscape to the northwest of the country, even the people and wildlife have adapted accordingly.
- Kunene Delta: The landscapes in this most north-western region of Namibia offer spectacular desert mountains, gorges, plains and ephemeral rivers. These seasonal rivers create a focus for wildlife – desert-adapted elephant and rhino, but also giraffe, various species of antelope and even lion. The region is home to three main ethnic groups – the Damara, Herero and Himba people, all of whom have a rich cultural heritage.
- Caprivi: Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia. It protrudes like a finger out of the rest of the country and shares borders with Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the wettest region of Namibia and consists mostly of extensive wetlands, floodplains, woodlands and rivers, like the Okavango and Zambezi. This habitat sustains a large variety of animal and bird species. Spectacular herds of elephant, buffalo, red lechwe and reedbuck form part of the game viewing experience, but the waters are also home to five-meter long crocodiles and families of hippopotamus, which venture into the floodplains to feed at night.