Namibia holds its own as far as the strange and exciting countries to visit in Africa.
Maybe your first thought about going to Namibia is climbing the biggest desert sand dunes, maybe it is exploring the culture of the Himba people or maybe it is seeing the wild animals that many people come to Africa for.
The truth is that there is so much to see in Nambia and trying to rank and grade the attractions is a recipe for headaches.
In this article, we shall look at 17 of those places we think would offer a great experience of Namibia. The places are in no particular order - just numbered for easier reading.
Let's dive right in.
Best Places To Visit In Namibia
1. Skeleton Coast National Park
According to local folk tales, God created the Skeleton Coast when he was Angry. The Name is however derived from the various animal (and human) skeletons that dot the coast as a result of catastrophic shipwrecks all throughout history.
The wrecked ships and their parts are also seen both on the beach and inland. While it is on the coast, the Skeleton Coast is only reached by local aircraft from the mainland as the coast is too dangerous to use.
2. Cape Cross Seal Reserve
While you are still in Skeleton Coast National park, you should visit the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. The rough seas of the Skeleton Coast are habitat to some of the best marine life, which provides enough food for more than 300,000 Cape Fur Seals.
3. Caprivi Strip
This is the small protrusion on the map of Namibia that goes on until it reaches the river Zambezi. Because of the location in the north of Botswana and South of Angola and Zambia, the geography of the Caprivi Strip is similar to that of Botswana.
The same environment of lush flood plains bustling with wildlife makes a visit to the Caprivi seem like a Botswana safari of the Okavango area.
Given that the Strip stops just near Victoria Falls, it can often be added if one is inclined.
4. Twyfelfontein Rock Carvings
The Twyfelfontein Rock carvings are the largest concentration of petroglyphs in the whole of Africa. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has rock carvings that are estimated to be more than 6000 years old.
5. Fish River Canyon
Fish River Canyon is the second biggest canyon in the world and Africa's biggest. There are many great viewpoints and you essentially won't have to hike if you aren't inclined. There are hiking trails - even multi-day trails depending on how tough you are.
The scenery will be even more striking at sunrise or sunset and you can capture some great pictures at these times.
6. Quiver Tree Forest & Giants Playground
The Quiver Tree Forest and the nearby Giant's Playground are great attractions in the southern part of Namibia. The local stories about the place are fascinating for anyone going through the area.
The Kalahari desert is shared between Namibia, Botswana, and parts of South Africa. The landscape is dominated by little vegetation with animals concentrating in the areas with water.
The vast uninhabited landscape makes for good and contemplative cross country road trips which could start in any country and continue as the Kalahari geography changes.
8. Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is where you go if you want to explore the wildlife of Namibia in a way that is unlike anyone. You will be able to find the animals on the several watering holes that are situated near the salt pans.
No African safari is ever complete without seeing some wild animals in their natural home - the wild. And Etosha is your answer to that while you are in Namibia.
Windhoek is Namibia's Capital City and a major entry port for international flights. Chances are that your Namibian safari adventure will start and end in Windhoek.
As the biggest city, there is a lot you can explore on day trips. From museums and historical sites to other fun activities like events, nightlife, and shopping.
If you want to get some souvenirs for your trip, the many shops and galleries will provide you with a wide selection of items.
Related article: 10 places to visit in Windhoek, Namibia
Spitzkoppe is one of Namibia's famous landmarks, and rightfully so. The granite rocks rise dramatically from the flat land to dominate the surrounding.
Exploring the various rocks, you will find pre-historic paintings of the early inhabitants. Rock climbers might even choose to take the challenge a step further but the experience is still wonderful wherever you stand.
11. Tropic Of Capricon
A stop on the Tropic of Capricon makes for a great photo moment. Like the Equator, there is not much to see on these imaginary geographical lines.
If you happen to be into geography, your picture on the tropic of Capricorn will mean even more. For a seasoned traveler, pictures on all these geographical lines say so much.
12. Namib-Naukluft National Park
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is the largest protected area in the world. It covers both the Namib Desert as well as the Naukluft Mountain ranges.
The national park is vast and the landscape changes in a way only nature can manage. The Sossusvlei is a small dot of this great natural environment.
Look out for the fairy circles - such an interesting reality that science can't explain fully.
Yes, Sossusvlei is in Namib Naukluft but it deserves a separate mention. With the highest sand dunes in the world (at over 1,000 ft) seeing the sunset over the dunes is a moving experience.
Besides the sunset, make sure to climb at least one of the sand dunes. Big Daddy and Big Mama are popular favorites you should consider.
Additionally, visit Deadvlei for the stunning white salt pans with dead acacia trees.
14. Hoba Meteorite
The Hoba Meteorite is the largest known meteorite on earth. Because of its massive size and weight (more than 60 tonnes), it has never been moved from when it fell around 80,000 years ago.
Since its development as a tourist center, the meteorite has had very many visitors from all parts of the world.
Kaokoland is located in the northern region near Angola and is one of the least explored areas of Namibia. This is because Kaokoland is very remote and far from most of the commonly visited areas.
Kaokoland has wildlife that is adapted to the hot and mountainous surrounding. Kaokoland is also the home of Namibia's semi-nomadic Himba people who live off the land.
16. Epupa Falls
The Kunene River creates the Epupa Falls which spread out over 1 mile. This is in the Kaokoland region which borders to the north with Angola.
After seeing so much desert, a waterfall is a perfect contrast of natural beauty. To reach the Epupa falls, a strong 4X4 car is necessary.
Swakopmund is regarded as the adventure capital of Namibia - and this is where locals come for a fun weekend. The historic architecture ties it back to when it used to be a German Colonial town.
From sandboarding, camel safaris, quad biking, or relaxing on the beach, the variety makes Swakopmund a great place for both adrenaline adventure and slowing down.
17 places to visit is a lot, but there is even a lot more that Namibia offers in terms of natural beauty, History, and Culture. It gives you the classics, the highlights, and the fascinating surprises.
Words can never be enough in expressing the magic of a place, and that is especially true of Namibia. If you are thinking of visiting Namibia, you can make your focus on any combination of the above places.
Depending on your interests, you will find that there is so much more that we left out. The best way to experience Namibia is definitely being there yourself.