Namibia safari planning with the experts

Namibia should not be considered primarily as a wildlife destination, but rather a country of spectacular landscapes and scenery, with the potential to see some remarkable wildlife adapted to the extraordinary environment here, including desert elephant and desert rhino. Namibia is also home to the largest population of cheetah in Africa.

Namibia Safaris itinerary planning

Although not Namibia's main attraction, there is certainly plenty of wildlife to be seen. Etosha National Park is home to plenty of big African game, including lions, elephant, giraffe and big herds of grazers. However, as Namibia's premier and really only wildlife destination, the park is very popular and can get congested. Slightly oddly, in our view, it has active waterholes which are floodlit at night in order to facilitate viewing from neighbouring lodges.

In the heart of Kaokoland and Damaraland can be found Namibia's specially desert-adapted elephants. Their feet are larger than those of the standard African elephant for ease of walking on the soft desert sand, their trunks are longer to allow them to dig down into the sand in search of water, and, in stark contrast to other elephants, they can survive drinking water only every 3-4 days. Damaraland's desert-adapted black rhino can also survive drinking only every few days. For marine wildlife viewing, whale watching is available from Swakopmund.

Namibia Itinerary Suggestions


We would recommend starting off in Sossusvlei for the iconic red dunes, some of which stand over 1000 feet tall. Then head up the dramatic Skeleton Coast to Damaraland for its haunting scenery and specially-adapted desert elephants and desert rhino, ending up at Serra Cafema. This is not an itinerary for the faint-hearted as it is incredibly remote and takes a bit of planning to get there, but the rewards are absolutely worth it.

Etosha is also a popular Namibia safari destination, particularly for those who haven’t been on safari before and are keen to see the big five; as it has excellent concentrations of game, but it does get a lot of visitors. If the big five are your priority, there are better safari destinations than Namibia.

A Namibia safari combines very well with few days’ city break in Cape Town. Beach extensions are a little less convenient; we would recommend Mozambique as the best option.

Where to stay in Namibia





Due to Namibia’s remoteness and inaccessibility there are very few camps to choose from.

In the Sossusvlei area the best two options for visiting the Namib Desert and the dunes are the two Wilderness camps of Kulala Desert Lodge and Little Kulala. These two camps are in a private concession adjacent to the National Park with their own private access.

Kulala Desert Lodge is a Classic style camp with a more rustic feel to the camp overlooking the dunes opposite. The smaller and more luxurious Little Kulala camp ranks as one of the finest camps in Namibia, each room ahs its own private pool and a sleep out area on top of the room for night time star viewing.

In the Damaraland area where you stay all depends on the activity you want to partake in. Desert Rhino Camp probably the smartest of the three we recommend in this area for its interaction with the black rhinos. For viewing the desert adapted elephants we favour Damaraland Camp over Doro Nawas Camp. However both are perfect for viewing the elephants.

Up the Skeleton Coast, Hoanib is one of our favourite camps, it’s desert style blends perfectly with its surroundings. Quite a way from the coast itself the camp, which does offer excursions to the coast. Natural Selections Shipwreck Lodge is in the perfect location if you want to explore the coastline, each of the rooms are designed similar to the wrecked ships you will see along the rugged coastline. However it is not the easiest and cheapest lodge to get to.

Up towards the Angolan border lies Serra Cafema, one of the most remote camps in Africa, here is all about interacting with the semi nomadic Himba community, enjoying nature walks, boating on the Kunene River and even quad biking over the sad dunes.

For Etosha, we only recommend staying inside the Ongava private concession which sits adjacent to the busy national park. Here you have options ranging from the rustic Meru style tented camps of Ongava Tented Camp to Ongava Lodge a more luxurious but larger camp or Little Ongava for those wanting more privacy in the height of luxury.

What to do on a Namibia safari holiday

Namibia is more for its rugged, wild and breath taking scenery than its wildlife. The sand dunes down in Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert are famed the world over. The Dead Vlei, a dried up lake is one of Namibia’s most iconic pictures with Big Daddy adjacent. The area also offers sunrise hot air ballooning over the dunes. If adventure is more to your liking, then the Fish River Canyon, second only in size to the Grand Canyon offers the best hiking in Africa. Namibia’s dramatic coastline along the Skeleton Coast is best seen from the air.

Why go on a Namibia safari holiday?

The landscapes are huge and – literally – breath taking. Furthermore, the variety is remarkable – enormous red sand dunes, German colonial architecture, a crashing Atlantic coastline, dense green bush and impressive wildlife, all in one itinerary…

Namibia is virtually completely deserted. With a population of a little over 2 million in a country four times the size of England, you can really get away from the crowds here.

The Namibian Dollar is pegged to the South African Rand, so you can find incredible value for money even at the luxury end of the market.

The desert adapted animals are a major highlight for any trip to Namibia but the country offers so much more with over 650 bird species, more than 70 large mammals with many being solely indigenous to Namibia. The country has the largest population of free roaming black rhino in Africa.

Lack of crowds. Having one of lowest population densities in Africa gives you the feeling that you are one of last people on the planet and how an African safari used to be.

How much does a safari to Namibia cost?

Safaris are not cheap, but Namibia can be a lot more economical than its African safari neighbours. Due to the relatively low value of the Namibia Rand the lodges are fantastic value even at the more luxurious end with prices as low as $500 per person per night all the way up to $1,700 per person per night. The one thing that does make Namibia more expensive are the internal flights with some of the small planes being as expensive as transatlantic trips. Self-driving is a great way of making Namibia one of the most cost effective trips in Africa. Please talk to one of our experts to discuss possible itineraries and the price differences between each.

Introducing Odyssey Explorer

Welcome to our new itinerary-building app! Odyssey Explorer allows you to browse a range of popular itinerary templates and tailor them to suit your budget and tastes. Once you are happy with your route template, Odyssey Explorer gives you the freedom to select and change your accommodation in each destination. It is an excellent tool for you to get an instant price for your dream trip before you work with a Tanzania expert to fine-tune it and make it into a reality.

When to go to on a Namibia safari

Namibia’s temperature is consistently pleasant, and it rains infrequently, so this is a destination suitable for year-round travel. Having said that, between November and March the days are likely to be a lot hotter but the evening and early mornings are very pleasant.

April and May offer warm days and these are lovely months to watch the landscapes come alive. During June Namibia starts to dry out and cool down for the winter (days will still be sunny but night times will get pretty cold), and it warms up again in September. The rains may start in November, but you can never be quite sure!

Namibia Safari Holidays - Africa Odyssey tips

Spend a night or two in Swakopmund. A little slice of Germany in Africa and has some great marine activities to offer.

Rent a car to save money on flights and explore Namibia at your own leisure – a real luxury for those who seek adventure.

If possible try and stay at both Desert Rhino and Damaraland to see both the desert adapted elephants and black rhino.

Climb one of the sand dunes in Sossusvlei for impressive views over the worlds oldest desert.

Enjoy a night sleeping out under the stars for views of the clearest night skies you will ever see.

Namibia Safaris FAQs

Is Namibia a good family destination?


Namibia is a fantastic holiday destination for families, offering unlimited adventurous opportunities and it is also great value for money. A lot of camps have specific family rooms and cater for younger children. We can advise you on the best places to stay.

Is Namibia easy to combine with surrounding African countries?


Combining Namibia with its neighbours is a very easy option. There are daily direct flights connecting Windhoek and Johannesburg linking with flights up to Victoria Falls, Maun in Botswana, Lusaka as well as Harare for Mana Pools. This does require an overnight in Windhoek. There are also direct flights several times a week between Windhoek and Victoria Falls but these are not so reliable.

Is self driving the best way to explore Namibia?


Namibia is an easy travel around destination with both self-drive and flying around both being great options. The majority of our holidays are fly around but for the more adventurous then a self drive around the country or part of is a wonderful way to explore Namibia. Distances can be quite far between destinations, giving you time to explore your surroundings in your own time. The roads are long, straight and well signposted and with GPS you can never get lost. For those with less time on their hands, a flying safari is the quickest and most scenic way of getting around Namibia especially over the Skelton Coast.

Client Reviews

[100% BASED ON 9 REVIEWS]

Africa Safari - Reviews

We thank you for your attention to detail and for always answering our questions and being so responsive and personal. We feel like you are a friend!

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Our trip... perfect. Everything was perfect. Organisation, people, accomodation, safaris, guides… 

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Many thanks for a superb holiday – unforgettable.

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We had a FANTASTIC experience and I cannot thank you and your colleagues enough for your help in making it so. Each and every place we stayed were wonderful.

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All of us agree that our trip could not have been better! If there might be in the future a repeat of a trip to Africa, it goes without saying that it would be organized by you.

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I don't normally write reviews but I was genuinely blown away with the holiday but also the level of support from you and the team.

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The trip was a 100% success and we could not be more pleased.

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The experience was simply great! It worth every single GBP we paid. All arrangements ran fantastically.

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We had a wonderful time and we will definitely refer you to those interested in a safari. We had an amazing time and will never forget it! 

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