Go Beyond

Fully-supported, privately guided and
and personally tailored self-drive safaris throughout southern Africa.

 


Namibia

Namibia is one of the best self-drive destinations in the world. Its road are consistently good and the infrastructure developed. The country also offers superb game viewing in national parks and game reserves with good camping facilities including hot showers and flushing lavatories. But there are also some remote camping situations where you will need to create a bush camp with portable shower or bucket and a long-drop lavatory. In such areas, you will also need to be totally self-sufficient. The country’s landscapes are an ever changing kaleidoscope, varying from the Namib dune sea in the west to teak woodlands and waterways in the northeast.

Only Etosha National Park is fenced. The other national parks and game reserves in Namibia aren't fenced and the wildlife moves freely through the camps.

In line with many of Africa's national parks, off-road and night driving is not permitted except when staying in private lodges or unless otherwise specified.

 



THE CAPRIVI STRIP

The Caprivi in Namibia is an odd strip of land that contains several national parks and considerable safari opportunities. It is the only area of Namibia that is well watered by rivers.

Caprivi Game Park
This park extends along the Okavango until it meets the Kwando River in the east. The terrain is generally flat and sandy, with some woodlands and vegetated dunes. Although game is present, you may not see much as you are restricted to the single road running through the park.

Mamili National Park
This park is the largest wetland area in Namibia and is characterised by a complex network of channels, reed beds, ox-bow lakes and tree-covered islands.

Mudumu National Park
This park is lush with marshes, riverine forests, dense savannah and woodland.

SEASONS

Rainy season: Rain falls during the hot months of November to March and temperatures and humidity is high. Mosquitoes breed well in these conditions and a visit in the heart of the rainy season is best avoided.

Dry season: May to October is dry and animals tend to congregate along the river. Game is at its most dense and easily visible in the middle and end of the dry season. October becomes very hot with the anticipation of rain making the air heavy.

CAPRIVI SPECIALITIES

  1. Wading elephants, hippos and crocs
  2. Remarkable bird life
  3. Lovely riverside lodges
  4. Mountain-biking safaris
  5. Fishing excursions
  6. Boat trips
  7. Limited visitors

FACTS

This is a malarial area.

NAMIB-NAUKLUFT PARK

This park is one of the largest national parks in Africa and protects one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world. The Namib’s scenery is stunning and its wildlife fascinating as it thrives in one of the harshest environments on earth.

Sossusvlei
It is here that you will find the largest sand dunes in the world as they rise majestically from a sea of sand. The older the dune the brighter the colour from slow iron oxidisation and a zillion tiny fragments of garnets. These dunes refract spectacular colours with the changing light and turn from burnt orange through reds to deepest mauve.

SEASONS

Rainy Season: Rain usually falls in late summer from February to April, but an 8 year study showed that most showers in the southern Namibia (Sossusvlei area), occurred in the months of December, March and April with an average rainfall of 63mm per annum. However, rainfall is erratic and unpredictable and the high summer temperatures cause fast evaporation. As a result the Namib is classified by international standards as 'hyper-arid'.

Temperatures: From November through to March the daytime temperatures rarely peak below 95°F (35°C) or drop lower than 59°F (15°C) at night. From April to October daytime temperatures range between a very pleasant 77°F (25°C) to 95°F (35°C), with June, July and August recording the lowest night-time temperatures around 41°F (5°C). Temperatures are recorded in the shade and the air feels considerably hotter under the scorching sun with heat radiating off the dunes.

NAMIB-NAUKLUFT SPECIALITIES

  1. Walking up the largest and brightest coloured sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei
  2. Photography where a bad picture is almost impossible
  3. Coming across the 'picture postcard' oryx standing by a lone dead tree in the undulating desert
  4. Flying over an endless rippling desert in small aircraft or hot air balloon
  5. Walking to Dead Vlei and the white cracked arena on which stand long-dead trees
  6. Appreciating the small creatures of the desert like head-standing beetles and barking geckos
  7. Take a camel safari through the northern Namib-Naukluft
  8. Water birds of Sandwich Harbour
  9. Night gazing into a crystal clear sky full of falling stars and satellites
  10. Immeasurable space
  11. Heightened self-awareness and perspective on the meanings of life
  12. Exploring the nearby Lunar Landscape on horseback

FACTS

Sandwich Lagoon is only accessible with a permit and is difficult to get to.
Sossusvlei lies within a national park which is closed from dusk till dawn, so there is no off-road or night driving.
Malaria is most unlikely to be contracted in the desert.

SKELETON COAST

It has been said that the Skeleton Coast is hell on earth. It is an area of nearly two million hectares of gravel plains and sand dunes that together form one of the world's most inhospitable and waterless areas.

SEASONS

Summer: October to May sees blue skies with cool to warm rather than hot temperatures.

Winter: In May to September the coast becomes shrouded in mist from mid afternoon to mid morning and a strong westerly wind blows. It never drops below freezing at the coast but inland it cools down very fast in the afternoon and as night falls it can become very cold.

Rainy Season:
In lieu of rain, the sea mist gives moisture to plant and animal life. If rain comes it will be during the summer months.

SKELETON COAST SPECIALITIES

  1. Fearless solitude
  2. Ghostly shipwrecks
  3. Aerial views of canyons, coastline and dunescapes
  4. Unique photographic location
  5. Possible encounters with Himba people
  6. Fly-in safaris with Skeleton Coast experts
  7. Unobtrusive luxury in the safari lodges
  8. Desert elephants might be seen
  9. Cape fur seal colonies

FACTS

Morning and evening temperatures can be cool or very cold so take appropriate clothing.
Sunburn can occur even on overcast days.
It is most unlikely to contract malarial in this area.

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

This park is one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. It occupies a vast area on Namibia's central plateau and is a haven for mammals and birds.

SEASONS

The best game-viewing time is during the coolest dry months of May to September, but bird watching is at its peak in the rainy season from November to March. The average daily temperature is 88°F (31°C) and average minimum is 57°F (13.7°C).

Rainy Season: Rainfall is approximately 14 inches (358mm) per year with January to March the hottest and wettest months. During this time the pans usually fill with water and animals give birth.

Dry Season: July to September are the driest months.

The 'in between' months, which are neither wet nor dry but somewhere in the middle, are very pleasant.

ETOSHA SPECIALITIES

  1. Dry-season waterhole watching
  2. Floodlit waterholes for evening viewing from within campsites
  3. Glistening salt pans empty or full are a spectacular sight
  4. Sensational rain clouds forming
  5. Huge herds of elephants
  6. Mirages from the distorting heat of the salt pans
  7. Thousands of flamingoes when the pans are full
  8. Black-faced impala and little dik-diks
  9. Fascinating and colourful birdlife
  10. Oryx meandering across a salt pan
  11. Wet season fields of yellow blooms dotted with grazing animals

FACTS

As this is a National Park, no off-road or night driving is allowed.
Several days are needed to visit this unique park.
The park's focal point is the Etosha Pan - a flat saline desert, 130 km long by 50km at its widest in the eastern sector of the park. Etosha is 23,175 square kilometres in extent.
This is a low risk malarial area.

DAMARALAND

This is an area of stark plains, petrified forests and ancient valleys leading to rocky outcrops and the soaring peaks of the Brandberg Mountains.

Brandberg Nature Reserve
The brooding Erongo mountain range of the Brandberg (Burnt Mountain) massif, emerges mysteriously from the surrounding flat arid scrubland. In the ravines and caves of these mountains many prehistoric rock paintings have been found and none more famous than the ‘White Lady’ of the Brandberg.

SEASONS

May to December are the best months to visit this region.

Summer: November to April are hot with an average mid-summer daytime temperature around 95°F (35°C) especially in the river valleys.

Winter: The cooler months of May to September are pleasant with an average temperature during the day of 79°F (26°C). Nights can be very cold averaging 43°F (6°C) with a frost not uncommon in June, July and August.

Rainy Season: The variable annual rainfall is between 1.18inches (30mm) and 4 inches (100mm) per year starting in January and reaching a peak in March. Rain usually comes as heavy late-afternoon thunderstorms.

DAMARALAND SPECIALITIES

  1. Rock engravings of Twyfelfontein
  2. The 'Organ Pipes' basalt columns
  3. The extraordinary petrified forest
  4. The 'White Lady' of the Brandberg
  5. Star-gazing par excellence
  6. Desert elephants might be seen
  7. Rare free-ranging black rhino
  8. Meeting the roaming Damara goat and cattle herders
  9. A quad-biking safari

FACTS

This is a low-risk malarial area.

KAOKAVELD

This remote northwestern corner of Namibia is rugged, harsh, untamed and practically devoid of commercial tourist developments. This is Namibia's wildest terrain where the traditional Himba people live. The Kaokoveld remains a wild sanctuary for small but wide-ranging populations of the renowned desert elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion. Roads are horrendous and basic infrastructure is virtually non-existent - this is prime safari territory!

SEASONS

May to December are the best months to visit this region.

Summer: November to April are hot with an average mid-summer daytime temperature around 95°F (35°C) especially in the river valleys.

Winter: The cooler months of May to September are pleasant with an average temperature during the day of 79°F (26°C). Nights can be very cold averaging 43°F (6°C) with a frost not uncommon in June, July and August.

Rainy Season: The variable annual rainfall is between 1.18inches (30mm) and 4 inches (100mm) per year starting in January and reaching a peak in March. Rain usually comes as heavy late-afternoon thunderstorms.

KAOKAVELD SPECIALITIES

  1. Namibia's wildest terrain
  2. Star-gazing par excellence
  3. Desert elephants might be seen
  4. Rare free-ranging black rhino
  5. Meeting the traditional Himba people
  6. A quad-biking safari

This is a low risk malarial area.

FISH RIVER CANYON

Nowhere else in Africa is there anything like the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River, which joins the Orange River, has been gouging out this canyon for aeons. Located in southern Namibia it is second only in grandeur to the USA’s Grand Canyon in Arizona. Rock stratas of purples, pinks and greys stretch along a 100-mile (161km) course. It drops vertically by 1,800ft (550m) out of a flat arid plateau without any warning, even though at some points it is 17 miles (27km) wide!

Ais-Ais Hot Springs
This hot-spring oasis lies beneath the towering peaks of the southern end of the Fish River Canyon.

SEASONS

Summer: November to April are the hottest months with average mid-summer temperatures ranging between 97°F and 100°F (36°C-38°C) and reaching in excess of 104°F (40°C) by midday in the canyon.

Winter: May to September are cooler but you can still expect daytime sunshine and pleasantly warm to hot temperatures. At night it can get very cold with a mid-winter July minimum of 44.5°F (7°C) or less, especially in the canyon.

Rainy Season: The annual rainfall is highly variable and erratic and varies between 2 inches (50mm) and 4 inches (10mm) per year.

FISH RIVER CANYON SPECIALITIES

  1. 54 miles (86km) Fish River Canyon hike
  2. Magnificent views of the canyon
  3. Exquisite photographic opportunities
  4. Floating in therapeutic hot springs
  5. Unique desert environment

FACTS

Ais-Ais Hot Springs is closed from November to mid-March as it is just too hot.
This is not a malarial area.

WATERBERG PLATEAU PARK

This national park features a vast sandstone plateau that looms above the plains below. Around the base of the plateau are an abundance of freshwater springs that support a mosaic of trees and wildlife. The park is also a haven for rare and endangered species.

SEASONS

Rainy Season: About 85% of the region's average annual rainfall of 20inches (500mm) falls between November and March. These are the summer months with temperatures reaching 104°F (40°C)

Dry Season: April to October is generally dry with very pleasant daytime temperatures but cold enough at night to send the barometer below freezing.

WATERBERG SPECIALITIES

  1. Walking around and up to the plateau's edge
  2. Standing beneath trees full of chattering Ruppell's parrots
  3. Game driving atop the plateau
  4. Swimming in the refreshing pool of the resort on the slopes of the plateau
  5. Watching the colours of the plateau turn golden in afternoon sun
  6. Enjoying the clean clear air

FACTS

You can only access the plateau with a Nature Conservation guide either on foot or by vehicle.
Accommodation at the resort must be booked in advance and there are private lodges nearby.
This is a low-risk malarial area.

BUSHMANLAND

A visit to the wilds of Bushmanland brings with it the opportunity to learn about ancient San culture. Many people travel through this area en route to Khaudom Game Reserve.

Khaudom Game Reserve is a wild, seldom-visited area of woodland and savannah growing upon old stabilised Kalahari sand dunes. The whole area is laced with a life-giving network of underground riverbeds.

BUSHMANLAND SPECIALITIES

  1. A cultural safari through Bushmanland
  2. The challenging terrain of Khaudom

 

If you would like to download a PDF File with more detailed information, please click the link below.

Namibia Fact File (pdf)



Information courtesy of the Game Reserve website  

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