There is no doubt that Namibia is one of the most photogenic countries in the world. We have some of the best places to visit in Namibia. These include some of the most jaw-dropping scenery you will ever encounter. Definitely, Namibia is undoubtedly one of Africa’s best travel gems.
Namibia is gifted with by expansive deserts. She is also flanked by a wild coastline and is known to be among the most sparsely populated countries in the world.
What is not in question is that getting between different destinations in Namibia is an integral part of the adventure here!
It is therefore imperative that planning a rough route for your Namibia safari is essential. This will not only help you see as much but also save time. It will not matter whether you are taking a tour or opting for a self-drive, you are well prepared for some big distance days on your Namibia tour.
So to help you do with planning of your Namibia safari, we have picked up my 15 favorite places to visit in Namibia that you can’t miss.
This list of our favorite places in Namibia will not only introduce you to all of the must-see places of Namibia, but it will also show you a couple of hidden gems as well.
We want to show you that Namibia is so much more diverse than you ever imagined; it’s very different from the rest of Africa too.
15 Best Places to Visit in Namibia
These are the best things to do and best places to visit in Namibia in no particular order:
This comes naturally as it goes without saying that you can’t miss the capital when you travel to Namibia. This colonial gem is definitely worth at least a few days of your Namibia tour itinerary. Take time to explore its cute cafes, quaint feel and heritage architecture.
You may want to save if travelling on a budget here. There are several budget accommodation places to stay.
Chameleon Backpackers comes highly recommended. It is important to note that many Namibia tours will begin and end in Windhoek. This is especially great for those who are on self drive tours and are not crossing to the neighboring Botswana or South Africa.
2. Fish River Canyon
A visit to the second-largest canyon in the world is something not to be missed. Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. It is a long drive to get there, but definitely worth it and thus qualifies among the best places to visit in Namibia.
For bet views, you should visit Fish River Canyon at sunrise. There are plenty of great viewpoints and you don’t have to hike in order to see the canyon. However, hikes and multi-day treks are available too for those that would like to explore and enjoy the canyons extensively.
3. Canyon Roadhouse
It is located just a few miles from the Fish River Canyon. The Canyon Roadhouse is an attraction in itself. It’s a hotel and a restaurant with the most incredible collection of old cars. Fill up on smiles at this extraordinary and out-of-the-ordinary lodge.
Resembling a roadhouse of old with a large red roof, the lodge is a veritable treasure-house and a ‘must-do’ stop when visiting the canyon. The outside area hints of the wonderland interior with its rusty old Chevys and Fords from a bygone era, adorned with corky quiver trees and desert flora. Park your vehicle and step inside. A definite must for any family visiting Namibia with kids!
Solitaire is a small settlement in the Khomas Region of central Namibia near the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It currently features the only gasoline station, bakery, cafe, and the only general dealer between the dunes at Sossusvlei and the coast at Walvis Bay, as well as to the capital Windhoek.
Solitaire is a small settlement with a permanent population of less than 100 people. It’s not really a town, but it has all kinds of facilities and since it’s in the middle of nowhere everyone passing by stops here for gas.
Solitaire became famous because of the book by Dutch author Ton van der Lee dealing with his stay in this place.
It’s a place that has a true Namibian feel. Solitaire is remote, quirky, and so different from anywhere else in Namibia.
5. Tropic of Capricorn
There is not much to see at the Tropic of Capricorn, except for the sign. But it’ not every day you cross the southernmost latitude where the sun can be directly overhead.
So, as far as must-visit places in Namibia go, Tropic of Capricorn is one of those symbolic attractions that deserve a short photo stop. The Tropic of Capricorn sign is on road C14 between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund.
If you are to visit just one town in Namibia, Swakopmund is the place to be. It’s by far the most lively and touristic town in Namibia, but in a good way. This is a beautiful coastal location, charming colonial architecture, lots of hotels, shops, restaurants…
Swakopmund is a real oasis in the Namibian desert. It’s one of the best places to visit in Namibia and a must to be included in any Namibia itinerary.
Swakopmund is a coastal city in Namibia, west of the capital, Windhoek. Its sandy beaches face the Atlantic Ocean. Established by German colonists in 1892 and the city’s colonial landmarks include the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the Mole, an old sea wall.
Next to the lighthouse, the Swakopmund Museum documents Namibian history. Inland, the elegant Swakopmund Railway Station, now a hotel, also dates to the colonial era.
7. Quiver Tree Forest
The Quiver Tree Forest is a forest and tourist attraction of southern Namibia. It is located about 14 km north-east of Keetmanshoop, on the road to Koës, on the Gariganus farm.
Quiver Tree forest is a nice place to break the long drive when driving through Southern Namibia. It’s become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Namibia.
Quiver trees are quite peculiar and are a make for some nice photos. Bushmen traditionally used the branches of these aloe trees to make quivers, thus the name – quiver tree.
8. Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay is a port town on the coast of Namibia. Sheltered by the Pelican Point sand spit, its tidal lagoon is home to abundant birdlife including flamingos, pelicans and Damara terns.
The harbor is busy with fishing boats and ships. Dolphins, whales and Cape fur seals inhabit the Atlantic waters around the Pelican Point Lighthouse. East of the bay, coastal sand dunes like Dune 7 mark the start of the Namib Desert.
Walvis Bay waterfront is home to a big colony of wild flamingos. Expect to see thousands of pink flamingos, as well as pelicans and other birds.
Don’t miss Walvis Bay flamingos when traveling in this part of the country. It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Namibia.
Very little known and somehow left out of the main tourist routes, Spitzkoppe was one of the most breathtaking places we visited in Namibia.
The Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert of Namibia. The granite is more than 120 million years old and the highest outcrop rises about 1,728 metres above sea level.
The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. It is one of the most spectacular landscapes and has practically no people at all. Don’t miss this hidden gem that is one of the most beautiful destinations in Namibia!
10. Kolmanskop Ghost Town
Kolmanskop (Afrikaans for Coleman’s head, German: Kolmannskuppe) is a ghost town in the Namib in southern Namibia. It is located ten kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz.
It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement.
Once a prosperous German diamond mining town, Kolmanskop is now an abandoned ghost town, slowly sinking in the sand dunes of the Namib Desert.
Kolmanskop is one of the few places where you can learn more about Namibia’s history. It’s also a real photographers’ paradise.
Being here early morning offers the best light for photography. You can also obtain a photo permit and get access from sunrise to sunset (non-commercial photography only).
Twyfelfontein, officially known as ǀUi-ǁAis, is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain that receives very little rainfall and has a wide range of diurnal temperatures.
Twyfelfontein is the largest site of ancient Bushman rock engravings in Africa. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and another must-see place in Namibia.
There are several routes that you can choose and a local guide will take you on a tour. If you can’t decide, we recommend choosing The Lion Man route – it’s said to be the best option. Go early in the morning for fewer crowds and better light for the pictures.
12. Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
This is our number one on the list of must-see places in Namibia is Sossusvlei. This place should be number one of any ‘best things to do in Namibia’ list!
Sossusvlei is a desert that is home to the world’s largest sand dunes. Don’t miss Deadvlei too – the white salt pan with ancient acacia trees that you see in all Namibia travel guides.
Make sure you climb at least one of the higher sand dunes. We recommend Big Daddy, Big Mama, or Dune 45.
13. Cape Cross Seals
We cannot even try to describe this place, Cape Cross Seal Reserve is another absolute favorite from our Namibia trip.
Hundreds of thousands of seals, as far as the eye can see. It’s one of those places that you have to see to believe it, and an experience you’ll never forget.
14. Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia. It was proclaimed a game reserve in March 1907 in Ordinance 88 by the Governor of German South West Africa, Dr. Friedrich von Lindequist.
Etosha is a large salt pan in Northern Namibia. It’s also the biggest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia, with guaranteed animal sightings. You can see pretty much all African animals here and in big numbers.
Furthermore, Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible wildlife reserves in Africa and can easily be visited individually. Plan at least 2 days/ 3 nights for Etosha safari tour.
15. Skeleton Coast National Park
The Skeleton Coast got its name from how dangerous it was to sail a ship along the coast in centuries past. To this day, the desolate coastline is still known as the world’s biggest ship graveyard. The Skeleton Coast National Park is mostly uninhabited, with a few sparse villages dotting the landscape.
Most visitors come specifically to see the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. The reserve is historically significant because it was the 15th century landing spot of the first European to visit the Namibian Coast. More importantly for most visitors, it is now a breeding colony for more than 200,000 cape fur seals.
So, this is our list of the best places to visit in Namibia. We hope that it has inspired you to visit this beautiful African country and explore it a bit deeper, beyond the main tourist attractions.