Parks and Places

Zimbabwe has an excellent diversity of wildlife , scenery and historical sites which linked together give you a very complete safari experience in Africa.

Etosha National Park

One of Africa’s big and famous National Parks, at 22,200km2 it has an extraordinary array of animals and due to its size if you travel East to West across this park you will see how the environment and species change as you travel. For instance In the east of the park you will find the desert adapted Mountain Zebra, these start to be replaced by the Plains Zebra about 60km’s from the Eastern boundary. This is a very busy National Park and there are no private safari camps inside the park, only the National Parks facilities, there are however a range of accommodation options from self camping to luxury safari lodges. Etosha is an excellent place to look for both White and Black Rhino, Oryx, Brown and Spotted Hyena, Springbok, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Dik Dik, Lions, Cheetah and Leopard. For the birders it is also great with a big species list and one of the only places that you can find big flocks of Ostriches as opposed to the more usual small family groups. After the rains it is also possible to see nice flocks of Flamingoes here as well should the Etosha Pan get any meaningful inflows of water. There is also a small road that takes you a short way out onto the actual Etosha Pan which is well worth doing as well.

The Namib - Naukluft National Park

This is the largest National Park in Namibia after a number of different areas were consolidated to create it. However the main reason people travel here is to see the famous Sossusvlei and the Dead Vlei with their associated ancient sand dunes which are the largest in the world and tower over these valleys. This incredible area is considered the World’s oldest desert, and as a result of its age, many creatures have adapted to live in this hostile environment making a journey here with a guide that can uncover and show you this amazing diversity is a really incredible experience for those that enjoy the complexities of nature’s detail and engenuity.

The Skeleton Coast Park

So named because of the shipwrecks and whale skeletons that can be seen along this incredibly harsh coastal stretch that goes right the way up to the Angola border and beyond. It is formed by the cold Benguela Current which flows north from the Antarctic. When the dry air from the Desert and the cold water meet you get a dense mist that envelopes the coastline in the evening and morning, and it is these micro droplets of water that bring life to the many creatures and plants that have adapted to this incredible environment. The northern reaches of the park are only accessible by plane. In the South there is the largest known breeding colony of Cape Fur Seals at Cape Cross which is really worth a visit when travelling through this area.

The Damaraland

East of the Skeleton Coast is a huge area called the Damaraland, which has many attractions. Apart from its epic and ever changing scenery you have Africa’s largest population of free ranging black rhino. There is also the desert adapted giraffe and elephants to be found here as well. Namibia’s highest peak is in this area called Brandberg – a massive granite inselberg that reaches 1980m above sea level, around its base there are numerous rock paintings the most famous being “the white lady”. Twyfelfontein is one of the UNESCO heritage sites because of the incredible rock engravings that are found here amongst the numerous sandstone formations rising in the Huab River Valley.

The Kaokoland

This is an area North of the Damaraland up towards the Angola border and has the Skeleton Coast as its Eastern boundary. This is really one of the the most untouched places that you could find in Africa and home to an amazing variety of desert adapted animals that include, ostrich, elephants, oryx, black rhino and lions. It is also home to the nomadic Himba people that some how manage to survive in this incredibly harsh environment.

Luderitz - Kolmanskop

A small town in the South of Namibia and was the centre of Namibia’s diamond rush in the early 1900’s. From here you can visit some of the offshore islands that support significant populations of African Penguins, Cape Gannets, Bank and Crowned Cormorants. From here you can also visit the famous “ghost town” of Kolmanskop which was abandoned in 1956 and is slowly being swallowed up by the desert sands.

The Caprivi Strip

An unusual spit of land which typifies the colonial boundary markings of Africa, done along purely commercial, geographical lines or in some cases for ego purposes, versus the reality of tribal boundaries. This particular narrow stretch was annexed to Namibia (German West Africa) as a result of a negotiation between the British and German governments in 1890, for Germany to gain access to the Zambezi River which the Germans felt would be navigable and hence make an easier link between Tanzania (German East Africa) and Namibia. The deal resulted in Germany giving up it’s interest in Zanzibar and the Island of Heligoland in the North Sea to the British. Today this narrow strip of land remains controversial but it does have a few small National Parks that form important wildlife corridors out of Botswana into Angola and Zambia. There are some camps in these parks that offer a very similar experience to what you would have in the other Southern African Safari parks.

Walvis Bay - Swakopmund

These two towns are quite different from one of another but are quite close and there is lots to do here for visitors to Namibia. Walvis Bay is primarily a working town with Namibia’s main sea port located here and also a thriving salt industry. The town is located on a sea lagoon and it is this area that attracts a wonderful array of birds including flamingos and pelicans and is also home to a breeding colony of Cape Fur Seals. Due to the calm waters of the lagoon it is an excellent experience being able to kayak amongst these seals that often find the kayaks quite intriguing. Swakopmund is the main tourist town of this area – so there are many hotels and restaurants here and a wide range of day activities that can be done from here it is also easy to visit Walvis Bay from here and do the activities on offer there or do some of the desert activities that include 4x4 rides into the dunes – sand surfing – bike rides along the coast and fishing. You can also visit the World’s oldest living fossil plants – Welwitschia mirabilis and the fascinating desert lichens as well. Or you could try your hand at fishing along this very bleak and interesting coastline.

Ai - Ais / Richtersveld National Park

This Park right down on the South of the country bordering South Africa is home to the Fish River Canyon which is second only in size to America's Grand Canyon! It has as many places in Namibia very interesting vegetation and geology. This is possible to explore on foot for the very fit down into the Canyon during the cooler months of the year ( May to September ) and can be challenging but very rewarding - the hikes are typically 4 days in length and you need to carry all your own supplies.