Distances in Namibia can be misleading. It will take approximately 1 hour to drive 90km on main roads and 90 min to do the same distance on gravel roads.
Indication of the weather that you can expect.
Namibia, which lies off the western coast of Southern Africa, is a land of contrasts. The cold Benguela current hugs the remote beaches of the vast Namib Desert. A wide variety of fish species are provided with nutrient rich water from the cold Benguela current. From forested regions to savannah and from the desert to the endless grass plains, is nothing short of astonishing. In this one country the range of climatic conditions and landscapes is incredible. Whatever your preference, Temba can assist you to experience this awesome country.
There is indeed a wide range of accommodation in Namibia – to suit everyone, and Temba can be relied upon to arrange accommodation reservations for you. There is ample choice between luxury four star hotels or basic self-catering ( self contained ) - or camping for those who prefer to rough it. The Namibian desert reserves and game parks have some of the best lodges and campsites in Africa. From the Namib to the Kalahari, or from Damaraland to Etosha, there will indeed be something that you will enjoy.
The cattle farming area of Gobabis is approximately 200 km east of Windhoek and is not far from the Botswana border. A variety of game can also be seen in this area, most notably on the Harnas Sanctuary Game Farm. If you are on your way to Botswana, Zelda Guest Farm is an excellent option, or Goba Lodge. East Gate Lodge has more basic self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation.
The huge desert areas lie to the south of Windhoek with tourist attractions such as the Fish River Canyon and Sossusvlei. Many people visiting South Africa and then heading up to Namibia travel the enormous distances in either their own vehicle or a hired vehicle from Temba Car Hire. When travelling up to Namibia from South Africa, Noordoewer is the first town that you will come across. Noordoewer is named due to its situation on the northern banks of the Orange River. You will see vineyards which suddenly end in the rocky gravel plains which are alongside the barren Namib Desert. You can opt to do some canoeing on the Orange River, and self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation is on offer at Orange River Lodge.
North West of Noordoewer is the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The second largest canyon in the world is in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and is a geological paradise. You could either stay at Ai-Ais hot water springs or journey on through the spectacular rock formations to view the Fish River Canyon. There is a wide variety of accommodation in this area, highly recommended is one of the most special lodges in Africa - Cañon Lodge. There is also Cañon Village, Cañon Roadhouse or the Fish River Lodge - which lies on the western rim of the canyon.
On the harsh scrub plains of the central area which runs through the southerly region between the Kalahari Desert to the east and the Namib Desert to the west, hardened sheep and cattle farmers still manage to eke out a living.
One of the oldest deserts in the world is the Namib. This is area is a firm favourite for many a photographer travelling to this area to take breathtaking photos of the enormous sands dunes. An experience not be missed are the sand dunes at Sossusvlei which are the highest sand dunes in the world. The best time to visit the dunes is early in the morning when the sand is cooler and firmer underfoot and when the shadow contrasts are most apparent for photographs. For a luxurious experience not be missed, Desert Dune Lodge is situated within the park. For self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation, Temba recommends Desert Camp at Sesriem or the more luxurious option – Sossusvlei Lodge.
There is a wide variety of accommodation such as Namib Desert Lodge and Solitaire to the north and Desert Homestead and Betesda to the south, if you have enough time to spend in this fascinating desert area. On-line reservations can be done through the Temba website.
There are quite a few day trips and activities from the German influenced town of Lűderitz where you still see some of the interesting old buildings which were built in typical German style, and best known for the diamond exploration in the early 1900’s. One of Lűderitz’ main tourist attractions is the ghost town of Kolmanskop, situated in the Sperrgebiet, about 10 km inland from Lűderitz. This was a busy diamond mining town which now attracts many photographers to capture the ghost town’s constant battle against the Namib Desert. No access is permitted into the actual diamond concession areas which still operate. Diamond mining is now mainly done offshore. There is a variety of accommodation to choose from, The Nest Hotel with the fantastic view over Lűderitz Bay, or smaller guest houses such as Pension Zur Waterkant.
The main highway is a good tar road that runs through the centre of Namibia in a north-south direction. After a long, dusty journey Grunau Lodge offers self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation and Grunau Country House hotel-type accommodation. Grunau is the centre of the sheep farming area.
On your way up to Windhoek, and north of Grunau, is Keetmanshoop - Namibia’s 5th largest town. Keetmanshoop is also the unofficial capital of southern Namibia. On offer in Keetmanshoop is hotel accommodation at the Canyon Hotel, self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation at Maritz Country Lodge or the Quivertree Lodge, which is a natural quiver tree (kokerboom) reserve.
Approximately 200 km north of Keetmanshoop is the town of Mariental. This is a rather small town but there is accommodation on offer at Mariental River Chalets or Hardapdam. The name of Mariental River Chalets should not mislead you, as the Fish River is dry for most of the year and the wide sandy riverbed sometimes does not look like anything like a river. About 80 km from Mariental into the Kalahari is Intu Africa. This is a nature reserve which the San (Bushmen) have made their home.
If you would rather explore Namibia’s northern regions, you could skip through the south and would most likely start out in Windhoek. Windhoek lies between attractive thorn trees and grass covered hills in a natural basin. Visit Temba on-line for reservations at one of the many options to choose from, whether it be self-catering ( self contained ) at Arebbusch Lodge or Monteiro, or hotel type accommodation at the Safari Hotel or the Windhoek Country Club and Casino.
Swakopmund is the best known coastal resort in Namibia. If you would like to see the Skeleton Wild Coast, you would turn west from Windhoek and travel through Karibib and Usakos to reach Swakopmund. The German influence is also very evident in Swakopmund in many of the older buildings, such as the Swakopmund Hotel which was previously the attractive old station building. Swakopmund is high on the list of angling destination for the many fishermen visiting this area in December. Even if you don’t know much about gems and rocks, the Kristal Gallerei in Swakopmund is highly recommended. For accommodation there are many options. The unusual Stiltz Lodge is elevated and built on poles over the reed beds in the mouth of the Swakop River. A stylish and modern hotel is The Beach Hotel which is right on the beach with amazing views over the windswept beach. The luxurious Hansa Hotel, or more affordable accommodation such Sam’s Giardino Hotel, Hotel Pension Rapmund or Hotel Eberwein all pride themselves on their excellent German style service.
Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Henties Bay along the Skeleton Coast all offer amazing fishing from the beach for the many visitors in December. The hotels and lodges in and around Henties’s Bay cater especially for fishermen. The Eagleton’s of Eagle Holiday Flats, and Byseewah Guesthouse, are very willing to arrange fishing expeditions on request. For hotel type accommodation, De Duine Hotel offers excellent meals and this is where you will find one of the favourite local pubs.
Many people lost their lives due to the lack of fresh water along the Skeleton Coast, which also gets its name from the many shipwrecks found in this area. The upmarket Cape Cross Lodge is renowned for up-market accommodation and excellent meals – bearing in mind that each drop of water has to be transported from Hentie’s Bay by truck! There are still animals roaming in this area, despite the harsh conditions, namely desert jackal and brown hyena which have adapted to survive without water. Near Cape Cross Lodge you can visit Cape Cross Seal Colony which opens at 10 am – plan ahead to include this in your visit to the area.
The gate of the Skeleton Coast National Park is less than an hour’s drive on the salt-encrusted road from Cape Cross. The only overnight accommodation is Terrace Bay within the park.
Damaraland will most likely be your next destination after the Skeleton Coast National Park. This is a semi-desert area with twisting dry riverbeds, red rocky ridges and plains and gnarled Mopane trees. Here you can still see a variety of animal life, despite the harsh conditions. You may be lucky to spot the rhinos and desert elephants near Palmwag Lodge, which is a highly recommended lodge. These huge mammals have adapted to survive with very little water by finding each last drop of moisture from the surrounding vegetation. You can stop over at Twyfelfontein to see the Petrified Forest (ancient tree trunks petrified into rock) and the amazing Welwitchia plants, some of which are reported to be more than 2000 years old! Some amazing examples of Bushmen rock paintings and engravings can be found near Twyfelfontein Country Lodge. Shimmering on the horizon in the distance you will see the Brandberg or ‘Fire Mountain’. Twyfelfontein Country Lodge is a great place to stay over for one or two nights and is well-known for excellent meals.
The roads all lead to Khorixas from Twyfelfontein. Khorixas is the unofficial capital of Damaraland. Offering neat and affordable self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation on the outskirts of Khorixas is the Khorixas Rest Camp. The Vingerklip, also known as the finger of God, is a high rock formation that rises out of the plain, which is east of Khorixas. In this area, Ugab Terrace Lodge and Vingerklip Lodge both provide luxury accommodation and are both very special lodges well worth visiting.
Heading to the north east of Namibia, you will almost feel that you are in another country. The north is a sub-tropical wonderland compared with the dry south. The vegetation changes extremely rapidly from Okahandja on the way to Otjiwarango and you soon realise that you are longer in the desert. This is a thriving cattle district and many of the surrounding farms also have antelope and warthog. If you need to overnight in this area, there are indeed some lovely lodges. Four km from Otjiwarongo is Otjibamba Lodge or north of the Waterberg Mountains is the Frans Indongo Guesthouse. West of Otjiwarongo is Mount Etjo Safari Lodge – a luxurious lodge. Waterberg Plateau National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Namibia, and although the park is small, the accommodation is superb. The vegetation, game and bird life here is extraordinary compared to the dry, desert regions of Namibia.
You will then travel along the south/north road from Okahandja to Outjo, which is the gateway to the Etosha National Park. Ombinda Lodge is just south of the town of Outjo. Etotongwe Lodge is north of Outjo and both lodges provide excellent accommodation.
Etosha National Park remains Namibia’s prime destination for excellent game viewing and bird watching around the huge pan, which is dry most of the year. The various waterholes however provide drinking water for the animals. There are some excellent private lodges only a few kilometres from the southern gate of the Etosha National Park. For those wanting to take day trips into the Park, there are private lodges offering excellent accommodation but the tariffs within the Park are rather high. There is excellent self-catering ( self contained ) accommodation outside the park – Etosha Lodge. For a more luxurious option just 5km from Anderson’s Gate, is Etosha Safari Lodge. Their sister lodge, Etosha Safari Camp, offers more affordable accommodation. If you cannot find accommodation within Etosha National Park, these lodges are good alternatives.
There are no longer any self-catering ( self contained ) lodges within the Park. All three of the lodges within the Park, Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni, have all been upgraded and now offer more luxurious accommodation. Although the accommodation is pricey, many visitors are prepared to pay the higher prices to stay within the Park. All the camps have waterholes close by. The waterhole at Namutoni at the eastern gate is less frequented by animals but the waterholes at Okaukuejo and Halali offer excellent game viewing. Here you will often see a variety of game without leaving the camp. In the eastern part of the Park, there is a new luxury resort called Onkoshi.
Mokuti Lodge will be the next lodge as you leave the Etosha National Park. This lodge is in a class of its own and as an alternative to the lodges within the park, is still relatively affordable.
If you will be travelling via Tsumeb you could turn north to Ruacana where there is accommodation such as Kunene River Lodge. From the lodge you can visit the Kunene River, take a drive to the impressive waterfalls at Ruacana, or the famous Kaokoland area where the Himba tribe live.
Grootfontein is a fairly large town and lies south east of Tsumeb. Not far from here is the Grootfontein meteorite, which is the largest known meteorite in the world, approximately 5 metres in diameter. Continuing north from Grootfontein is the town of Rundu, which is on the banks of the Kavango River. Angola is across the river from Rundu. The long finger of land known as the Caprivi is east of Rundu. Hakusembe River Lodge and Kaisosi River Lodge are good options to stay in Rundu or you could also consider Omashare River Lodge as a further alternative lodge.
In the far northern panhandle of Namibia is the Caprivi. This area has 4 national parks and is a rich paradise with a wide variety of game and some of Africa’s largest rivers crossing through it and bordering it. At Divundu the mighty Kavango River cuts through the Caprivi Strip and then flows through the Mahangu National Park. When the Kavango River flows into Botswana it then becomes the Okavango River and begins to split into marshes and channels. One of the main water sources for the whole Okavango Delta is this particular river. There are some beautiful camps and lodges on the Kavango River, to name a few, Mahangu Safari Lodge, Ngepi Camp and Popa Falls, to stay over for a day or two.
You will enter the Caprivi National Park when crossing the Kavango River. The Caprivi is biologically the richest corner of Namibia – Namibia’s wetland paradise. All of Africa’s big five occur here, except for black rhino. You will cross the Kwando River 200 km into the park and there you will find the small village of Kongola. Mazambala Island Lodge is near the river crossing on an island in the Kwando River. In the Mudumu National Park, Lianshulu Lodge is a luxurious and romantic destination. S outhwest from here, the Kwando River meanders into the Mamili National Park. It forms a huge wetland – the Linyanti Swamps. The Linyanti Swamps drain into the Chobe River.
Part of the southern border of the Caprivi is the Chobe River which then flows into the Zambezi River. At the confluence of these large rivers the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet.
At Katimo Mulilo the Zambezi River, which is Africa’s third largest river, forms part of the northern border of the Caprivi. The Zambezi River Lodge in Katima Mulilo offers good hotel-style accommodation. For those wanting to catch tiger fish, the Zambezi River is excellent. Or why not opt for a river cruise as a more peaceful experience? There is also more affordable accommodation at Kaliso Lodge which is on the road heading south towards the Ngoma Bridge border post to Botswana.
Temba is able to help you book your accommodation and to choose your route to explore and experience the wonderful country of Namibia.