Top Things to Do in Namibia Other than Safari
Published on: December 10th, 2021
Last modified: December 28th, 2023
Namibia is an absolutely stunning destination, full of natural beauty and fascinating cultural sites. It’s one of the best places in Africa for the classic safari experience – Etosha National Park makes sure of that – but it’s also so much more. From spotting shipwrecks to soaring among the clouds, this country offers endless opportunities for adventure.
Here are the top 11 things to do in Namibia, whether you’re looking for wildlife, history or thrilling adventures.
Best Places to Visit in Namibia
1. Admire the Surreal Scenery of Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei is an iconic spot in Namibia, known for its rust-coloured ridges of sand and mosaics of cracked clay soil. A visit here should be at the top of your to-do list, as it’s one of the country’s most famous and picturesque sites.
If you’re travelling in the warmer months from October to April, you’ll get to see bright desert flowers blanketing the dunes. In fact, summer might just be the best time to visit Namibia – especially if you want to enjoy Sossusvlei with as few tourists around as possible.
2. Take a Flying Safari
What’s better than a safari in Namibia? A flying safari over Namibia. Hop on a small plane to get a bird’s eye view of its incredible landscapes. Our private charter flights will take you to the most remote corners of the country, helping you to discover its best-kept secrets.
In addition to sweeping views and exclusive destinations, a flying safari will allow you to spend more time in each spot – and less time travelling between them. This means you can hit all the highlights in just a few days, from the middle of the desert to the rugged coast.
3. See the Shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast
Namibia’s western coastline is famous for its treacherous waters and dangerous currents… so it’s no wonder that the sand here is littered with shipwrecks. This desolate landscape is punctuated by decaying masts and hulls, creating a scene unlike any other on earth.
One of the best things to do on a trip to Namibia is simply to stroll along the Skeleton Coast, taking in its stark beauty and listening to the waves crash. But it’s also a great place to see wildlife, from desert elephants and oryx to rare hyenas and cheetahs. You can also visit the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, a sanctuary that’s home to thousands of Cape fur seals.
4. Explore the Auas Mountains
Namibia’s highest mountain range is located near the capital city of Windhoek. The Auas mountains are 56 kilometres long and include several famous peaks, including Moltkeblick: the country’s second-highest spot. Mountaineers and hiking enthusiasts will be right at home here – but if you’d rather stay on level ground, you can always admire the mountains from afar. We recommend posting up at The Olive Exclusive for amazing views of the Auas.
5. Discover a Diamond Ghost Town
Wandering through the abandoned town of Kolmanskop will transport you back into the not-so-distant past. After diamonds were discovered here in the early 1900s, the town became a bustling hub of activity. German settlers made a fortune, and traces of their opulence can still be seen here today.
After a few decades, the diamond supply dwindled – and before long Kolmanskop was empty. Today the buildings lie in ruin, sunken into sand and shadows. We suggest taking a tour, wandering through the ghostly village and then having a snack at the only cafe for miles.
6. Get to Know the Himba
Namibia is home to several indigenous groups, but none is more recognisable than the Himba. These semi-nomadic people are known for the bright red otjize paste that women apply to their hair and bodies. Beyond its striking aesthetic effect, it’s a natural method of cleansing and protecting the skin. You can meet the Himba and learn about their traditional lifestyle on a cultural safari to Kaokoland.
7. Track Rhinos Through the Desert
Namibia’s Palmwag Concession has the largest population of free-roaming black rhinos in Africa – and we’ll help you see them up close. Stay in a Meru-style canvas tent at Desert Rhino Camp, where you’ll have the chance to join rhino-tracking expeditions every day. You’ll also meet the team from the Save the Rhino Trust, and learn about the work they’re doing to protect these incredible animals.
9. Admire Ancient Rock Art
Want to see some of the most impressive rock art in southern Africa? In the middle of Damaraland, the open-air gallery of Twyfelfontein features thousands of ancient engravings made by the indigenous San people – making this UNESCO World Heritage Site a must-see in Namibia. Follow the guided routes to find the famous ‘Lion Man’ and ‘Dancing Kudu’ engravings, as well as depictions of all kinds of animals, humans and more.
10. Have an Adventure in Swakopmund
In the far northwestern corner of Namibia, Swakopmund is a thrill-seeker’s paradise. You can go kitesurfing, windsurfing or kayaking off the country’s Atlantic coast. If you prefer to stay on dry land, try dune boarding, quad biking or horse riding – the options are endless.
Not in the mood for an adrenaline rush? You can also spot all kinds of rare and beautiful birds here, including pink flamingos, or take a trip to nearby Walvis Bay. Either way, we suggest ending your day with a great meal and a relaxing evening at the Hansa Hotel.
11. Go Hot Air Ballooning Over the Namib Desert
Seeing the world’s oldest desert on the ground is impressive enough – but imagine flying above it. You can do exactly that on a hot air balloon flight over the Namib Desert. This is a truly unforgettable experience, offering jaw-dropping views from exhilarating heights. Due to high temperatures, hot air balloon trips are usually scheduled in the morning. You may have to set an early alarm, but it’ll be worth it to see the sunrise from your vantage point in the sky.