Nestled in the southwest corner of Africa, Namibia is a land of undeniable beauty. Dominated by its spectacular desert terrain, this country will surprise and delight you at almost every turn.
In the far south of the country, just across the border from South Africa lies the majestic Fish River Canyon, which is the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon in Arizona. To say that it is immense would be an understatement. It stretches for miles and miles. Standing on the edge and peering down into the abyss can definitely induce vertigo. Watching the sun set over the canyon and seeing all of the different rock layers come alive is a truly magical experience.
Further north, you will find Sossusvlei, which is home to the most intriguing landscape. The area is characterised by high sand dunes that are a very distinct shade of red due to all of the iron in the sand. Dune 43 is one of the most photographed dunes in the world and upon arrival it is very easy to see why. The spine of the dune resembles a snake slowly slithering across the desert. It is of the deepest red and the view from the top is breathtaking.
Just past Sossusvlei is the famous Deadvlei. It started its life out as an oasis in the desert, but over the years, the water has slowly dried out leaving a stark white salt pan in its place. Unfortunately for the few acacia trees that were growing there, they slowly withered and died leaving their charred black skeletons frozen in the pan. The contrast between the white salt pan, the black acacia trees and the red dunes behind is stunning.
If you continue your drive north up the coast you will eventually come to the small town of Swakopmund. This small town on the coast of the Atlantic was originally the main port when Namibia was still known as German Southwest Africa. Today, it is well known as an adventure sports hot spot. You can try your hand at sky diving, sand boarding or swooping through the dunes on your very own quad bike. The quad biking, in particular, is an experience not to be missed.
Situated in the far north of the country is Etosha National Park. This park abounds with African wildlife. You can spot herds of elephants lumbering across the road, jumpy springboks, ostriches running through the bush and if you are really lucky, a few big cats. It is absolutely amazing and you will be smiling wildly every time you spot an animal. Just ensure that you have your cameras fully charged and always at the ready because you never know what could be around the corner.
Namibia is a gorgeous and extremely safe country. The majestic landscape will leave you speechless and the wildlife will have you grinning like an eight year old on Christmas morning.
Written by Joseph Ramsey for The Essential Destination