Stunning beauty of Namibia in 36 photos; desert, wildlife and people

Deadvlei from Big Daddy dune, Sossusvlei
Deadvlei from Big Daddy dune, Sossusvlei

Are you planning a trip to Namibia and want to get some inspiration and travel ideas? Here we collected our best photos of Namibia from months of traveling through this amazing and beautiful country with incredible bio and landscape diversity, interesting history and friendly people. In this photo essay we’d like to share or admiration of Namibia and inspire you to travel, explore and discover it.

Interesting facts about Namibia

  • Namibia has the largest population of cheetahs in the world, 3500 individuals. Otjiwarongo, a town in the North of the country is called the cheetah capital of the world.
  • Dune 7 is the highest sand dune in the world.
  • Namibia is one of the best places in the world for stargazing.
  • Hoba meteorite near Grootfontein is the largest meteorite ever found on Earth.
  • Namibia occupies the 5th place in the list of the world’s least densely populated countries, 2,9 people per square kilometer.
  • The world’s largest underground lake is in Dragon’s Breath Cave, in a very dry area of Namibia’s Kalahari.
  • Cape Cross Seal Reserve has one of the largest Cape seal colony in the world.

Inspiring photos of Namibia

Stunning Namibian landscape

Stunning landscapes If you drive through Namibia from South to North or other way around you’ll be amused by all these different weird looking landscapes you get in Namibia; arid plains, strange shaped rock formations, huge canyon, Giant Playgrounds, Quiver tree forest. The colors of the soil change from pale yellow to bright red and greyish. In some areas you drive for hours through a lot of nothing that feels like being on a different planet surrounded by strange rocky hills and plains. Namibia is one of the countries where just driving around without even going to the famous sights will be enough to surprise you. A lot of nothing, gravel roads going to nowhere, a cozy food stop or a luxury lodge pops-up suddenly along the road exactly when you start getting hungry or tired.

If you like treasure hunting stories you might enjoy driving 4×4 routes in Kunene region trying to find Lone Men of Kaokaland, rock sculptures installed in the middle of nowhere by an unknown artist. It says there are 27 Men but people managed to find only 9 so far.

Fish River canyon from the view point, Namibia
Fish River canyon, Namibia
Waterberg plateau, Namibia
Waterberg plateau, Namibia
Sunset at the Brandberg, Namibia
Sunset at the Brandberg, Namibia
Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Epupa Falls, Namibia
Epupa Falls, Namibia
Arid landscape of Southern Namibia
Arid landscape of Southern Namibia
Quiver tree forest, Namibia
Quiver tree forest, Namibia
 Kunene region, Namibia
Driving through Kunene region, Namibia

Incredible wildlife of Namibia

The bio diversity of Namibia is incredible it has over 240 species of mammals (terrestrial and marine), 250 species of reptiles, 650 different species of birds and thousands of different insects. Many of these are endemic and some unfortunately endangered like wild dog, black rhino, puku antelope. The Kalahari the South-East of Namibia you can see many meerkats, ground squirrels, jackals, gemsboks, springboks, foxes, some zebras and even cheetahs. In the deserted areas around Brandberg if you’re lucky you can spot an elusive desert elephant. In Etosha National park 4 of out of famous The Big 5 animals can be spotted; lion, elephant, leopard and black rhino. As well as bat-eared fox, warthog, honey badger etc. in total more than 100 species of mammals. Rainy season in Namibia is a real paradise for bird lovers for example in Etosha you can spot 340 different birds many species are migratory. If you go further North towards Caprivi Strip, on the border with Zambia, you can see there many hippos, crocodiles, water birds, buffaloes, water birds, elephants and different antelopes.

A baby seal at Cape Cross Seal reserve, Namibia
A baby seal at Cape Cross Seal reserve, Namibia
Elephants at Mahango National park, Namibia
Elephants at Mahango National park, Namibia
Meerkat in the Kalahari, Namibia
Meerkat in the Kalahari, Namibia
Giraffe in Etosha park, Namibia
Giraffe in Etosha park, Namibia
Zebras, Etosha park, Namibia
Zebras, Etosha park, Namibia
Lioness, Etosha park, Namibia
Lioness, Etosha park, Namibia
Dung beetles, Mahango National park, Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Dung beetles, Mahango National park, Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Surrealistic Namibian desert

It is probably the main thing people imagine when thinking about Namibia, that desert occupies a big part of the country. The Namib desert offers some breath-taking scenery; red-sand dunes, petrified trees, dried lakes and river beds, huge piles of sand and endless night sky. It’s believed to be the oldest desert on Earth. The desert occupies the most of Southern Namibia, it stretches for 2000km along the coast, famous “meeting” of the desert and the ocean. The most spectacular and accessible for people part of the Namib is incredible Sossusvlei park with its highlights Dune 7, Big Daddy dune and Deadvlei. Driving between giant sand dunes is a must-have experience for any nature photography lover. With the extreme desert climate when day temperatures reach +45C when at nights it can drop to +7C and lack of water it’s difficult to imagine that any life being can survive here. But desert doesn’t mean there are no life or animals there in the Namib you can find different antelopes, jackals, meerkats, lizards, ostriches ad even desert elephants.

Dune 7, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Dune 7, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sunrise in Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sunrise in Sossusvlei, Namibia
Deadvlei from Big Daddy dune, Sossusvlei
Deadvlei from Big Daddy dune, Sossusvlei
Red-sand dunes of the Namib desert
Red-sand dunes of the Namib desert
Sunset from the top of Dune 45, Swakopmund, Namibia
Sunset from the top of Dune 45, Swakopmund, Namibia
Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Namibia

Wetlands of Namibia

Don’t be surprised Namibia has some wetlands with seasonal rainfalls, changing between night and day temperatures causes mist in the mornings that for many animals and plants is the main source of water. There are five wetland areas in Namibia; Etosha pan, Orange river mouth, Walvis Bay lagoon, Sandwich harbor and Caprivi Strip. Each of them plays an important role in the eco system of Southern Africa. Two best places for animal watching are Etosha pan and Caprivi Strip with hundreds of different animal species.

Orange River, Namibia
Orange River, Namibia
Hippos in the Kavango river, Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Hippos in the Kavango river, Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Etosha pan in rainy season, Namibia
Etosha pan in rainy season, Namibia
Sunrise at Kavango river, Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Sunrise at Kavango river, Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Deserted and beautiful coastline

Namibian coastline is a strange combination of hot sand dunes and cold Benguela current waters. Namibian coast is an extreme contrast of the desert meeting the ocean. Southern part of Namibian coastline except areas around Luderitz, is not accessible for tourists due to diamond mining. The best area to explore the coast is up from Swakopmund the Skeleton coast. The local Bushmen tribes called the coast “The land God made in anger” because of its hostile environment. The name comes from the times when whale hunting was popular activity in the area as many whale and seal bones were washed to the shore. Nowadays people associate the name with ship wrecks “skeletons” that you can find along the coast most of them were washed out after storms. The most interesting places of the Skeleton coast are Cape Cross Seal Colony and Flamingo colony in Walvis Bay.

Zeila shipwreck, Skeleton coast, Namibia
Zeila shipwreck, Skeleton coast, Namibia
Flamingo colony, Walvis Bay, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Flamingo colony, Walvis Bay, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Driving along the Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Driving along the Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Native tribes of Namibia

To see native people when traveling is always an interesting and exciting experience and a great chance to learn more about a country. In Namibia you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet with native people. There are 13 ethnic groups, the main are the Damara, the Owambo, the Herero, the Nama, the Caprivian, the Himba.  The best way to get to know the tribes is to visit one of the Living museums where people try to keep their original life style and traditions, to educate new generation about their ancestors and to make living promoting their culture to tourists.

Himba boy at Ovahimba Living museum, Namibia
Himba boy at Ovahimba Living museum, Namibia
Himba lady showing a traditional smoke cleaning procedure, Ovahimba Living museum, Namibia
Himba lady showing a traditional smoke cleaning procedure, Ovahimba Living museum, Namibia
Father and son, the Himba, Namibian tribes
Father and son, the Himba, Namibian tribes

Old-car stops in Namibia

Except for Sossusvlei these are probably one of the favourite photo spots for tourists though it doesn’t mean everybody gets the same photos with the same cars, there are quite a few options. From complete abandoned rusted cars in the desert to painted but still rusted cars with trees or cactuses growing from a boot at some food stops. All you need to find them is to keep your eyes opened. There are three main old-car stops; Canyon Roadhouse, Chamieities and Solitaire – all three places have guesthouses, campsite and restaurant/food shop.

Old car at Canyon Roadhouse, Namibia
Old car at Canyon Roadhouse, Namibia
Old car at Chamieites food stop and accommodation, Namibia
Old car at Chamieites food stop and accommodation, Namibia
Abandoned old car somewhere on the way, Southern Namibia
Abandoned old car somewhere on the way, Southern Namibia
Old car at Solitair Lodge, Namibia
Old car at Solitair Lodge, Namibia

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