Namibia Adventure Travel Guide
If you want eye-popping, jaw-dropping, shiver-down-the-spine type landscapes then book a trip to this un-populated, un-spoilt gem of a country. Namibia shoulders the Atlantic Ocean to its west, A... (Read more...)
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Most people think that adventure sports are bank-breakingly expensive and cheap adventure holidays just don't exist. But you don't have to travel to an exotic location, buy or rent specialist equipment to have the time of your life. [caption... Read full post...Posted by Tom Sykes on 9th October 2012
In case it escaped your attention, South Africa is currently hosting the World Cup. With all eyes on the footy, it's easy to forget the opportunities this country provides the adventure sports fan. It has always been a place of adventure, and one... Read full post...Posted by Mark Pawlak on 21st June 2010
Moving eastwards the desert gives way to the Central Plateau of Namibia. This wide and predominantly flat region is the most productive farming area in the country and therefore the most densely populated. It’s also home to Namibia’s highest peak, Konigstein which summits at 2,606 metres.
Lying across the eastern border of Namibia is the Kalahari Desert, a world famous region that is shared with Botswana and South Africa. The desert is classed as arid and semi-arid thanks to its rich diversity of succulent plant life - most species of which are endemic. Another feature of the Kalahari are Inselbergs. These are isolated mountains that create micro-climates and independent habitats for species not adapted to life in the surrounding desert.
Namibia is also interspersed with ‘Bushveld’ land. Areas of scrubby shrub land, acacia trees and savannah grasslands, which provide sanctuary and shelter to wildlife.
One of the most unique geographical features in Namibia is the Etosha Pan: a large, dusty depression that was formed 1000 million years ago and was formerly a saline lake. Nowadays, for the majority of the year it is a crusty, mineral-rich bowl but if the annual rains are heavy, the waters return and the wildlife follows. The best time of year to visit the Etosha National Park is May to September.
Summer in Namibia is from October to April. Average daily temperatures range from 20C to 34C. Winter is from May to September with warm days contrasted by very cold nights. Summer is the wet season in Namibia although the rains can be fickle and the country is often subjected to extended droughts.
Namibia conjures up images of complete isolation, red deserts, huge blue skies, lucid sunsets and far-reaching vistas. The reality is exactly that, and when you’re cruising along the traffic-free roads, leaning in to bends and revelling in the solitude, you will be glad you chose Namibia for your moto-adventure.
The country is large, but on a bike and with a couple weeks to spare, you can cover a lot of ground and get a good feel for the pulse that Namibia beats to. The terrain is a mixture of empty asphalt roads, loose gravel tracks, sandy paths, challenging dunes and busy city streets. The landscapes lurch between grassy, bushveld savannahs to seas of sand and skeletal, empty coastline. Winter is the best time of year to ride in Namibia as temperatures are cooler and the humidity lower.
Wild, remote, awesome: just three words you could use to describe the surf along Namibia’s desert coastline; from north to south you’ll be spoilt for choice. Some of the spots are hard to get to, others need you to paddle out past crowded seal colonies, and all are completely deserted leading you to wonder why the hell don’t people know about this place?! The majority of breaks are for experienced, pro or slightly crazy surfers, thanks to the massive swell that boils up through the Atlantic currents.
Northern Namibian surf highlights include Cape Cross and Ovahimba Point. Through the central portion of the coastline check out Hottentot Bay, East Hill Point and Spencer Bay. Down south there’s Affenrucken Point, Angras Juntas, Elizabeth Bay, and for the pro’s Luderitz Wedge. This names just a few breaks, so have fun and watch out for the seals.
Consistent, strong winds blow from March to August against the Namibian west coast. Kitesurfing hasn't fully established itself in Namibia yet so be one of the pioneers! Find new spots, have a wicked adventure and kick back at the end of the day to impressive coastal sundowns. The most established kite spots are located mid-way up the coastline, which extends from Walvis Bay to the town of Swakopmund. Further south is Luderitz, a good spot for speed kiting and waves.
In Namibia there is an extensive choice of companies running overland tours around the country. It is one of the best ways to see Namibia, experience the culture, and combine multi-activities while on your holiday. Go on safari in Etosha National Park, visit the world's highest sand dunes in the Namib Desert, encounter the semi-nomadic Ovahimba people or just kick back and relax on the beach. Overland adventures really do help you experience the wealth of Namibia's natural environment.
Fly to Windhoek and arrange transport north to the fringes of the Kalahari Desert and Okonjima National Park; here you can trek, spot game and relax in the mellow landscapes of this stunning region. Then travel further north to Etosha National Park and view wildlife and birds. Ever onwards, journey south-west to the coast and be sure to stop at Twyfelfontein, Cape Cross and Swakopmund. You'll have the opportunity to surf, quad-bike and trek along the internationally renowned Skeleton Coast. Further south lie the massive dunes at Soussuvlei, so hike to the summit of a dune at sun rise for contemplative moments. Travel back to Windhoek and maybe continue your journey to one of Namibia's equally impressive neighbouring countries or jet home, and start planning your next visit!
Whilst on your journey around Namibia, why not also take advantage of the enormous dunes and have a go at sand-boarding or quad-biking? At certain times of year there might be the opportunity to raft in the central regions of the country. Or, to get the best perspective there is on this mind-bogglingly beautiful country, throw yourself out of a plane and check the view.