Adventure in Namibia With its
wide-open spaces, sunny climate and diversity of landscapes, Namibia offers an
extensive range of outdoor activities that cater for adventurers of all kinds,
from confirmed adrenaline junkies to others seeking less exhilarating but
equally rewarding adventures.
Adrenaline addicts can choose between
abseiling a steep cliff face and shooting the rapids of the Kunene River to
catching tiger fish, bungi jumping and dune boarding down the Namib coastal
dunes. On a hike on the Waterberg Plateau there’s a possibility of a
face-to-face encounter with a rhino, and there are several subterranean caverns
to explore at various sites in the country. Other options include paragliding,
skydiving, exploring the Namib by camel or on horseback, and sea kayaking.
A host of other sports and activities are
exciting in other ways, such as exploring the remote wilderness areas of the
country on foot or by 4x4, undertaking birding excursions in the species-rich
north east, and angling for coastal and freshwater fish. And for amateur
astronomers who like to spend time after dinner gazing at the stars, Namibia’s
clear night skies are legendary for optimal viewing.
With landscapes ranging from the orange dunes of the Kalahari in the east, the Namib in the west and the desolate expanses of the Kaokoveld in the north west, there are numerous opportunities in Namibia to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations.
• Trails in the remote northern areas • Trails in the Namib-Naukluft Park • Trails in the Henties Bay environs
With habitats ranging from the dunes of the Namib, coastal wetlands and vast areas of savannah to the floodplains and waterways of Kavango and Caprivi, Namibia’s birding checklist boasts 676 of Southern Africa's 887 species.
Mountain biking Namibia’s central plateau running from north to south with an average altitude
of between 1 000 m and 2 000 m, the rugged mountainous escarpment that descends
into the Namib Desert in the west and the rolling hills of the Khomas Hochland
west of Windhoek, provide many opportunities for exhilarating and truly tough
• Combination tours • Extreme off-road cycling • Desert Rhino Cycle • Engen Hochland Mountain Bike Marathon • The Namibian Model Pick 'n Pay Cycle Classic
Canoeing & Rafting
Although Namibia is mostly an arid region, there are plenty of reservoirs and rivers suitable for canoeing and rafting. Canoeing is also offered on the Orange, Kunene and Okavango rivers as an additional activity by the lodges located next to these rivers.
• Down the Orange • On the Kunene • On the Okavango
Horseback rides & trails
For accomplished riders there are several options, including a trail of about 400 km starting in the Khomas Hochland and proceeding down the rugged escarpment and across the gravel plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park to end on the beach at Swakopmund and one of 250 km through Damaraland, incorporating the Aba-Huab River, Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountain and Goantagab River.
Namibia has become one of the top hunting destinations in Africa. Members of the Namibia Professional Hunters Association (NAPHA), which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2009, maintain a high standard of ethics. Hunting options range from trophy hunting on hunting or guest farms to hunting and big-game safaris in concession areas in the east and north-east of the country.
Other water sports
Namibia’s dams, the Atlantic Ocean and Walvis Bay Lagoon lend themselves to a variety of watersports. Waterskiing, sailing and board sailing are popular on Von Bach Dam near Okahandja, Hardap Dam just north of Mariental, and Lake Oanob close to Rehoboth.
Rising abruptly above the Namib plains, the Spitzkoppe is a landmark for motorists travelling between Usakos and Swakopmund. It is also Namibia’s top rock-climbing destination and since the first successful ascent in 1946, there have been over 440 ascents to the 1 728 m-high summit.
The name Bitterwasser has become synonymous with the sport of soaring (also referred to as gliding) ever since the late Peter Kayssler began logging vast distances on his farm in the early 1960s.
With its generally cloudless night sky, especially in the dry winter months, minimal contamination by artificial light and air pollution, and excellent view of the southern constellations, Namibia has superb stargazing conditions. As such it is favoured by both professional and amateur astronomers.
Camping Camping in Namibia – something for everyone
There are a multitude of sights, smells, tastes and sounds of Africa to be experienced and enjoyed by camping in Namibia – from the harsh, barren, stony plains around the Fish River Canyon, past the towering red dunes of Sossusvlei, along the wind-swept shores of the cold Atlantic Ocean to the seemingly endless plains and rocky mountains of Kaokoveld and the humid forests on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in Caprivi.