Namibia Safari, Holiday & Travel Information
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Best of Etosha, Namibia

Best of Etosha, Namibia

Etosha National Park is the highlight for most travelers visiting Namibia and is the largest game park in Africa! With incredible wildlife and game viewing and voted second best destination in the world to visit by Lonely Planet what are you waiting for? Namibia is ideal for self-drive tourists or for those that prefer an organised tour or overlanding. Etosha spans an area of 23000 square kilometers and is well known for its massive salt pan which covers about 23% of the total area of the park and can apparently be seen from space! Much of the wildlife gather around the various watering holes in the dry winter months so visitors don’t have to spend hours driving around looking for animals so the best time to visit is from May to Oct./November.   Nothing compares with coming close to the largest mammal on earth…the majestic elephant. These gentle giants are prolific in Etosha and one can spend hours watching them amble towards the water holes and using their trunks to spray water over themselves to cool down. For bird lovers there are over 300 species to view. Of course the undisputed king of the bush are the lions and Etosha has a healthy population of these big cats which can often be viewed at the water holes. Watch how all the other game at the water hole scatters when the king of the bush makes his way down for a drink.   Etosha is also known for its healthy population of the black rhinoceros of which is highly endangered. Etosha’s watering holes are considered to be one of the best places on earth to view these amazing and prehistoric looking beasts. Many other fascinating creatures can be seen and viewed in Etosha….leopard, giraffe, cheetah, wildebeest, hyena, kudu, zebras and much more – in total a 114 different mammal species can be found in the park. Accommodation inside the park is available at the various government run lodges or campsites. The advantage of staying inside the park is that visitors don’t have to exit the park after sunset. There are also many excellent and comfortable lodges and camp sites outside of the park and one is allowed to enter Etosha when the sun rises but must leave before sunset. Etosha is a malaria free zone. Plan your safari now to Etosha for ever-lasting memories of Africa! What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further...

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FEATURE: Gitta Paetzold on the Namibia Tourism Industry

FEATURE: Gitta Paetzold on the Namibia Tourism Industry

Today, we are talking with Gitta Paetzold, CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia about the the challenges and joys of the Namibia Tourism Industry. The Hospitality Association of Namibia has since its inception in 1987, grown from an initial 16 members to a total of close to 400 members. H·A·N represents the full spectrum of the hospitality industry, from hotels, to guest houses, guest farms, lodges, rest camps, restaurants, conference centres and catering services. Over the years, more and more tourism and hospitality related businesses also joined the Hospitality Association, making H·A·N a true umbrella-body and an important factor in the tourism & hospitality industry of Namibia in general. What is your favourite thing about the tourism industry in Namibia? Tourism has an amazing way of bringing people of different cultures, backgrounds, professions, and aspirations, together, who are then unified by the same basic needs, which are to eat, sleep & move. Through the interaction with people outside their normal sphere of work, there is much larger scope for cultural exchange and focus on the human element. In Namibia,  tourism is also closely linked to the country’s flora & fauna. As Namibia sells itself as a country of wide open spaces, and many travelers come here to view & enjoy the beauty of our environment, – something that we treasure, and are all involved to a certain extend to help preserve, – hence tourism allows us to be part of conservation efforts too,  – so it is an all-encompassing, multi-faceted engagement,  allowing for constant learning and widening of horizons in terms of cultural interchanges, bio-diversity challenges as well as interpersonal skills on demand daily,  in addition to the need to remain on top of international technical and marketing trends,  to remain on top of the game. What do you think are the biggest obstacles/challenges facing the tourism industry in Namibia? Is it growing? Statistics just released by the MET certainly show steady growth in tourism, and private sector has confirmed this too.  The last 18 months have been particularly promising, with a number of major international events taking place in Namibia, putting Namibia on the map as it were as a tourism destination of choice. Accolades such as the 6th most popular destination, voted for by New York Times in late 2013, and Lonely Plant ranking Namibia TOP as family destination, and second only to Singapore in terms of destination of choice in October 2013, speak volumes as to the role Namibia plays in international tourism. Much effort has gone into getting our country to rank that high, from NTB marketing efforts in Europe, and elsewhere, the North American Destination Marketing Campaign between 2010-2014 through the MCA Compact, as well as constant and thorough engagement & interaction of individual companies, operators and agents serving in or selling Namibia as destination across the globe. Almost more important than seeing growth in arrival numbers is the fact that the tourism industry infrastructure in Namibia has grown and diversified over the last decade.  You only need to look...

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Wild Wednesday – 2014/11/05

Wild Wednesday – 2014/11/05

Wild Wednesdays here at BookNamibia.com are about letting your hair down, taking a middle of the week breather and taking a moment to to reflect. We’ll be posting videos, pics, whatever seems like fun and encourage you to join us on our Wednesday adventure. Share with your friends and we look forward to sharing the fun with you.   Wild Wednesday – Lioness Hunts Down a buck with Kevin Richardson What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further...

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Charly’s Desert Tours – Swakopmund

Charly’s Desert Tours – Swakopmund

We’d like to introduce you to Charly’s Desert Tours – the oldest safari enterprise in Swakopmund with almost half a century of travel experience. Sporting well equipped cars and professional, warm hearted and extremely friendly tour guides we offer tours and excursions countrywide along with lots of activities around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Due to their experience, you can count on amazing and unforgettable tours throughout Namibia and they are proud to show their guests the magic of our beautiful country. Come with us and enjoy the breath taking landscapes of Namibia with Charly’s Desert Tours! Living Dunes Experience ( 8h30 – 12h00 ) Join us on an extraordinary exploration of the coastal dune belt just outside Swakopmund. To the untrained eye the dunes are just a pile of sand, however our skilled and experienced guides will introduce you to a wealth of life. Track Palmato Gecko’s, Sanddiving Lizards, and the famous fog-basking Tok-Tokkie beetle, Sidewinder Snakes, Spiders, Scorpions and Chameleons. This 3 hour exploration will be rounded of with a short dune drive. This tours departs with a minimum of 2 adult guests. Full day Sand and Rock ( 8h30 – 18h00 ) Many of our guests choose to do the “Living Dunes Experience” in the morning, come back to town for a leisurely lunch at own costs, and then join “The Namib Desert Tour” in the afternoon. This option offers the chance of seeing and experiencing the dunes, the vast open gravel Plains and the spectacular Moon landscape. The morning explores the little creatures, while the afternoon offers an exploration of the botanical side of the desert. Namib Desert Tour (Half day tour) Our way from Swakopmund to one of the oldest deserts in the world leads us at first past the old steam engine „Martin Luther” which was thought to be a replacement for the ox wagons in 1896. The dry Swakop contains a lot of ground water that’s why some olive and vegetable farmers as well as sport activity providers have settled in the area along the river bed. Our exploration takes all along the Swakop River and the ancient canyons to discover the multitude of desert adaped and fascinating palnt life.We drive along the Swakop river bed and discover in this wide, ruff area beautiful minerals, „living stones” and ages old plants like the prehistoric Welwitschia mirabilis. The geological history of Namibia lies in front of us like an open book, and as the Namib Desert is close to the Atlantic coast it shows a unique flora. Lichens and rare Nara plants match perfectly with the climate and we hope to be lucky to see antelopes or an ostrich family. The Swakop dry river is also the home of springboks, jackals and all kinds of birds. Service: We will pick you up at your Hotel/Pension/Private address and bring you back after the tour Departure is at 8h30 and at 14h00 Duration: 4 hours You will guided by an experienced guide. On all tours you will...

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Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre

Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre

Where the Skeleton Coast Comes to Life Enclosed by the ever-changing movement of the dunes of the desert in the east and the waves & beaches in the west. Enclosed by the ever-changing restless movement of the dunes of the Namibian desert on the east and the pounding waves and beaches of the Atlantic Ocean to the west, lies the historic town of Swakopmund, gateway to the Skeleton Coast. The Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre has been designed to complement the architecture of the historic (1902) station building which today forms part of the hotel’s public areas. The hotel offers the perfect balance between charming, old world tradition and the thrill and excitement of modern day entertainment. Valet service for your convenience as well as an AVIS Rent-A-Car on complex.  Ideal for the whole family with a shallow and deep area and surrounded by an inviting lawn area with sun loungers and palm trees. Business meetings are well catered for with our wide range of options and optional extras and you can choose from a wide range of venues, that are fully air-conditioned and perfect for screenings, lectures and presentations. Relax after your meeting at our picturesque pool, enjoy one of our speciality braais (barbeque), or treat yourselves to a gourmet meal in the Platform One Restaurant. We will exchange your British Pounds, Euros and US Dollars for Namibian Dollars (passports required). 11 DSTV channels are available. Wireless internet connectivity is free for the convenience of all our in-house guests. A gym for the fitness enthusiast and a health spa for those in need of some pampering. Other activities can be arranged: Desert Tours • Camel Rides • Dune Boarding • Quad Biking • Tandem Skydiving • Fishing • Scenic Flights • Dolphin Cruise. An 18 hole golf course is nearby – only a 10 minute drive from the hotel (14 km). 88 spacious rooms & 2 presidential suites – most rooms overlook the garden courtyard and swimming pool. Pamper yourself with our 24-hour room service, DSTV and valet service. Medical service is on call and we provide one room with wheelchair accessibility. Enjoy the old-world feel of the historical architecture combined with first-class service. Whether it’s dining in style or something more casual and laid back, you will be impressed with our quality and service. For a more refined experience, try our Victorian-style Platform One. Platform One This 160-seater Victorian-style restaurant has been carefully designed to take you back to the old-world charm of a bygone era. Choose between our gourmet à la carte menu or renowned speciality buffet spread. Sit back and relax as the sumptuous aromas and flavours wash over you, and be treated like royalty by our attentive and experienced hospitality staff. Go ahead – spoil yourself. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast: 06h30 to 10h00 Lunch: 12h30 to 14h30 Dinner: 18h30 to 22h30 What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For...

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Wild Wednesday – 2014/10/29

Wild Wednesday – 2014/10/29

Wild Wednesdays here at BookNamibia.com are about letting your hair down, taking a middle of the week breather and taking a moment to to reflect. We’ll be posting videos, pics, whatever seems like fun and encourage you to join us on our Wild Wednesday adventure. Share with your friends and we look forward to sharing the fun with you.   Namibia – it has to be on your bucket list What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further...

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Kolmanskop – Namibia’s Own Ghost Town!

Kolmanskop – Namibia’s Own Ghost Town!

Kolmanskop is Namibia’s very own ghost town in the Namib Desert in Southern Namibia. It is situated approximately 10 kilometers inland from the town of Lüderitz. Guided tours of Kolmanskop Ghost Town are available and recommended for everyone. Kolmanskop was a very small but very rich mining town. The town is named after Johnny Coleman, a transport driver who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon opposite the settlement on a small incline. It all started in 1908 when the first diamond was found in the area by Zacharias Lewala and German miners settled in the area soon after. The diamond rush was a frantic one and caused many opportunists and those seeking fortune to descend on Kolmanskop. Kolmanskop grew into a very rich mining village albeit a small one. The new residents built the village in German architectural style and the village included a hospital, power station, school, ballroom, and many more amenities including the first tram in Africa – which went into Lüderitz. This small mining town also boasted a skittle-alley, theatre and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere. Life was made as comfortable as possible for the German inhabitants and their families. The town was soon a bustling little town. The town development reached its peak by the 1920’s with many German families as well as some 800 Owambo contract workers living in the town during the height of the diamond rush. Kolmanskop thrived for about 40 years and then sadly went into decline after World War 1. By the end of World War 1 the diamond fields were exhausted. Diamond prices crashed and richer diamond deposits were discovered south in Oranjemund. In 1928 the discovery of the richest diamond-bearing deposits on the beaches near the Orange River meant that many of the inhabitants of Kolmanskop joined in this new rush and left their homes and possessions behind. By 1954 Kolmanskop was completely abandoned. Due to the strong desert winds, most of the homes have been demolished and are slowly being taken over by sand dunes. While a number of the buildings have been restored and a museum was established in 1980, tourists now walk through the houses buried knee-deep in sand and the little town has become a popular tourist attraction in the area. The abandoned buildings and surrounding area is very popular with photographers. Kolmanskop Ghost Town has also been the scene of a few movies over the years. Most notably ‘Dust Devils’ in 1993 and ‘The King is Alive’ in 2000. As the town is located in a restricted are of the desert – “Sperrgebiet”, tourist do need to acquire a permit in order to enter the town. Guided tours are included in the permit cost and you can learn about the detailed history of the former mining town and the diamond industry – past, and present. Whether you are on a self-drive tour to Namibia or if you’ve booked an organised safari to visit Lüderitz,...

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Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first World Heritage Site

Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first World Heritage Site

Twyfelfontein (which means ‘uncertain spring’ in Afrikaans) was first proclaimed a National Monument in 1952 and in 2007 UNESCO awarded Twyfelfontein World Heritage Status. Twyfelfontein is not a town, it is a place. It is situated in the Huab valley of Mount Etjo in the Kunene Region of North Western Namibia (formerly known as Damaraland). Twyfelfontein is an ancient site of rock engravings and is one of the largest concentrations of rock paintings (petroglyphs) in Africa. Twyfelfontein is officially known as ǀUi-ǁAis which is Damara/Nama for ‘jumping waterhole’. There is a spring in the valley and slopes of red and yellow sandstone as well as many imposing rock formations. There are many places where you can even see where the wind has blasted holes through the sandstone blocks. If you are on a self drive holiday or organised safari in Namibia then we recommend the north-western region (the north west region consists of Damaraland and the Kunene) be included in your travel itinerary. A visitors centre has been built at Twyfelfontein and was designed to blend into the sandstone of the surrounding environment. Mainly recycled and local materials have been used in the construction of this building and it is interesting to note that no cement has been used. The entire visitors center can easily be dismantled leaving little to no impression on the immediate landscape. Tourists are able to visit the centre which contains interesting information about the local fauna and flora, history of the site and the meaning and symbolism of many of the engravings. Tours are conducted from the visitors center. A percentage of the revenue from tourism through entrance fees at Twyfelfontein is shared with the local community to help them meet their basic needs. In this way, the locals are made aware of the importance of preserving their heritage. It is often told that locals may have avoided the engravings as the area was considered sacred and also thought to be inhabited by the spirits of those long gone from the earth. The site is of particular importance due to the stone tool artifacts and manufacturing debris found there. There are 17 different sites displaying a whopping 2 500 engravings spread across 212 slabs. It is estimated that Twyfelfontein was first inhabited about 6000 years ago by Stone Age hunter gatherers. It is believed that these hunter gatherers are responsible for most of rock engravings and quite possibly all of the paintings that are found in the area. The KhoiKhoi then appeared between 2000 – 2500 years ago and settled in the surrounding valley. The KhoiKhoi are an ethnic group that are closely related to the San/Bushman. This group also produced some rock art in the area however it is interesting to note that their rock art is clearly discernable from that of the hunter gatherers. Both groups worshipped here and conducted shamanic rituals. This site is of particular importance as stone tool artifacts and manufacturing goods were found here in the past. There...

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Wild Wednesday – 2014/10/22

Wild Wednesday – 2014/10/22

Wild Wednesdays here at BookNamibia.com are about letting your hair down, taking a middle of the week breather and taking a moment to to reflect. We’ll be posting videos, pics, whatever seems like fun and encourage you to join us on our Wild Wednesday adventure. Share with your friends and we look forward to sharing the fun with you.   This incredibly rare footage was captured by the Campbell-Harris family while on holiday. While this was not filmed in Namibia, both species are found in Namibia. What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further information....

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Wild Wednesday

Wild Wednesday

Wild Wednesdays here at BookNamibia.com are about letting your hair down, taking a middle of the week breather and taking a moment to to reflect. We’ll be posting videos, pics, whatever seems like fun and encourage you to join us on our Wild Wednesday adventure. Share with your friends and we look forward to sharing the fun with you.     Ever wondered how some of the tiniest creatures survive in the Namib Desert? Take a look at this short clip to see how life sustains itself in one of the world’s harshest and extreme environments What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further...

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Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail – A unique experience for the young at heart

Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail – A unique experience for the young at heart

The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second most visited attraction in Namibia. The giant ravine, the second biggest canyon in the world, is in total about 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and almost 550 meters deep. The Fish River itself is the longest interior river in Namibia. The river flows intermittently, and floods in the late summer. The rest of the year it is a chain of long narrow pools. The hot springs resort of Ai-Ais is at the lower end of the Fish River Canyon. You can access a public view point near Hobas, a campsite situated 70 km north of Ai-Ais which is part of the Ai-Ais or Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The rest of the canyon is privately owned. The river runs through dolomite strata upstream, which formed part of the canyon millions of years ago when the plate movement occurred, which was the first process in Fish River Canyon’s formation. Lower down, the characteristic riverbed is formed from a complex granite system and you see forms like Fingerspitze. The water is safe to drink but water purifying tablets are still recommended by park officials. The main attractions in this area are the Ai-Ais National Park, hiking in the Fish River Canyon, The Fish River Canyon hiking trail is quite unique and one of the most popular hiking trails in Southern Africa with immense scale and rugged terrain. The whole 85 km trail all the way through to Ai-Ais can usually be completed in 5 days. West of Hobas, at the viewpoint, the trail begins. There is a 2 km descent, which takes roughly 2 hours and is probably the toughest part of the trail. While the first stretch to reach Palm Springs is only 13 km, you can split this section up into two days. This is the most rugged part of the trail and there is plenty of boulder hopping and pools of water to navigate through so it will take some time. Palm Springs has a sulphur spring which is a constant temperature of 57 degrees. While it’s a great place to rest, camping isn’t great due to the smell. From Palm Springs, the walk becomes easier and the canyon widens with fewer obstacles to overcome. Once you reach the causeway and the last 30 km of the trail, you’re on the home stretch and it is flat and easy going all the way to Ai-Ais springs. There is transport from Ai-Ais back to the beginning of the trail, so you can get back to your vehicle. There are no amenities on the trail and open fires are not allowed. There is no mobile phone reception and only two emergency exits are available. While there are no shelters or camp sites, tents are not necessary as the area is desert and it rarely rains in the winter months. As there is flooding and extremely hot summer temperatures, permits are only issued between 1 May and...

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Is Ebola Affecting the Tourism Industry?

A deadly virus appears in Africa, and makes the jump from animals to humans. Decades later the virus causes an epidemic: Preying on poor sanitary conditions and public-health practices. The reality of the situation is that Ebola in West African countries does not only bring terrible suffering but is also affecting last minutes visitor numbers and new enquiries for the coming year for the Tourism industry,especially in Southern Africa.  In addition, this disease exacerbates the uncertainty, because hardly anyone knows whether the situation will improve soon. Some studies show that the bookings have decreased 20 to 70%. About a third of tourism operators have reported no decrease and have been doing business as usual. The impact is more noticeable in East than in southern Africa. It is a heavy blow for the industry and the numerous wildlife reserves that rely on its revenue. The Current situation in Namibia: As there are no confirmed Ebola cases in any major safari countries, including Namibia, and the current risk for Namibia is very low. The Ebola virus is not airborne and only spreads if people come in contact with the bodily fluids (such as blood, sweat and saliva) of an infected person. How does the Ebola virus survive in dry conditions? The Ebola virus is sensitive to light, heat and low humidity. The Republic of Namibia is a vast, sparsely populated country being situated between the Namib and the Kalahari deserts, Namibia is the country with the least rainfall in sub-Saharan Africa, thus has low levels of humidity; no bacteria or virus can live on dry surfaces with a humidity of less than 10 percent for a long time. How easy is it to kill the virus from Surfaces? Relatively easy. In the Ebola-affected countries, health teams are using bleach to disinfect surfaces and bed sheets. But good hospital-grade disinfectants will kill off the virus as well. Efforts made by Namibian government bodies: Namibia has implemented health screenings at all major airports and border posts After we received a couple of queries, concerning clients travelling from Ebola affected countries are not allowed entry into Namibia we did write to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The response was as follows: “Namibia has not closed our borders or banned any one travelling from any country either Ebola affected or not. Screening of all people entering the country will however be conducted at entry points such as airports, seaports and at the borders. Those coming from Ebola affected countries will undergo more screening and questioning by the health professionals at those entry points before they are allowed entry into the country.” I also phoned Dr. Vries, Chairman of the National Emergency Health Preparatory Committee and he confirmed to me; that clients coming from Ebola affected countries will be observed thoroughly at any border and if any suspicious signs show, strict measurements will be taken.  Distance between Namibia and Ebola Outbreak Area: Tour operators reported that many tourists view Africa as a single country...

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Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

The Skeleton Coast is considered by many to be the most pristine stretch of coast in the world! Whether you are traveling on a self-drive holiday to Namibia or part of an organised safari tour through Namibia it is recommended that you include a visit to the Skeleton Coast in your itinerary. The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Coast of Namibia and south of Angola. It stretches from the Swakop River on the edge of Swakopmund all the way up to the Kunene River which is the boundary between Namibia and Angola. It is about 500 kilometers long. Initially the name of this stretch of land was given due to the sheer number of bones lining the beaches due to whaling operations and seal hunts that took place in the past. The bushmen of Namibia called this region “The Land God Made in Anger” and Portuguese sailors named this stretch of coastline the ‘The Gates of Hell’. These days the name Skeleton Coast refers to the number of shipwrecks that lie scattered along this coast. It is believed that there are over 1000 shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast. A large part of this coastline (16000 square kilometers) has been declared as the Skeleton Coast National Park – mainly from the Kunene River to the Ugab River. The Northern half of the park is a designated wilderness area and due it being an ecologically sensitive area access is limited. Popular attractions are the Agate Mountain Salt Pans, the large seal colony at Cape Fria and the clay castles of the Hoarisib River.   For the best views of this coastline we suggest a fly-in safari or a scenic flight from Swakopmund. Earliest inhabitants, known as Strandlopers made this region their home and foraged the beaches for means of survival. They ate fish, seals, sea birds and whatever else was available. They would move inland when necessary but while at the seaside, would construct shelters out of stone, reeds, whalebones and skin. For over 500 years ships have run aground along the coast due to thick fog. Wrecks such as the Dunedin Star, Eduard Bohlen, Otavi, Islander, Suiderkus, Sir Charles Elliot and KaioMaru are well-known points of interest. The wrecks provide a great environment for Cape Fur Seals and seabird colonies. The most recent ship to experience the harshness of the Skeleton Coast was a Japanese registered fishing vessel known as the MVF Fukuseki Maru. This vessel got into trouble and ran aground in March 2018 near Durissa bay which is just South of the Ugab river mouth. All 24 foreign crew members were rescued by Namibian authorities.   It is believed that the main reason why so many ships run aground on this stretch of coast is because the Benguela current gives rise to extremely dense and practically blinding ocean fogs for much of the year. The Skeleton Coast has a surprisingly good variety of wildlife even though this area appears to be desolate and arid. The larger mammals are...

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Wild Wednesday

Wild Wednesday

Wild Wednesdays here at BookNamibia.com are about letting your hair down, taking a middle of the week breather and taking a moment to to reflect. We’ll be posting videos, pics, whatever seems like fun and encourage you to join us on our Wild Wednesday adventure. Share with your friends and we look forward to sharing the fun with you. This rhinoceros did not like being disturbed by this charging warthog…   What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further...

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Etosha National Park – Game Viewing Tips – Part 2

Etosha National Park – Game Viewing Tips – Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our Etosha National Park series. Today we are looking at game viewing, how to get the best out of your trip and the rules and regulations of the park. Located in northern Namibia, 5 hours’ drive from Windhoek, Etosha National Park is home to nearly 114 mammal and 340 bird species. You can see cheetahs, jackals, giraffes, zebras, springbok, hyena, wildebeest & kudu as well as four of the big five (Buffalo are not found in Etosha). There are also 16 species of amphibians and 110 species of reptiles and even one species of fish which interestingly enough increases up to 49 species of fish during floods! The best time of the year to visit Etosha is from May to October…it is generally cooler and animals are far more likely to visit the waterholes as the park is dry due to it not having rained in this time. Here is a guide of some of the animals you will probably get to see when game viewing in Etosha, provided you go at the right time of year and are patient: Elephants – Said to be the home to the tallest elephants in Africa, Etosha’s elephants reach up to 4 meters tall at the shoulder. Up to 2000 elephants roam the park and have flourished in the desert environment. Often referred to as the ‘’white ghosts of Etosha’ as these elephants cover themselves in the white clay dust. The entire elephant appears white and it quite a sight to see these giant ‘ghost like’ pachyderms. Lions – Up to 750 lions live in Etosha. The lions in western Etosha are the most ferocious in the park. Leopards – While leopards tend to hide out in dense brush whenever they can, they can be spotted at Etosha. Chances of spotting them are higher at night as they are nocturnal predators. Rhinos – There is a healthy population of black rhinos at Etosha. While white rhinos have been reintroduced, they are rarely seen. However, they may be spotted at certain watering holes if you are lucky. There are over 80 watering holes scattered across Etosha. The southern fringes, near the rest camps are where you will find the majority of the waterholes. It is best to simply locate one of the many watering holes and wait for the wildlife to come to you. Bear in mind, though, if you are not the only vehicle “lying in wait” to see what comes by, the wildlife may be tempted to find a different watering hole if it is too crowded. Guides and parks board staff can advise you on the best places to go and you are sure to hear plenty stories from fellow guests. Make the most out of the watering holes by bearing the following in mind: Get a map of Etosha. This will be of great help in locating the various waterholes and how to get there. Take a pair of binoculars if possible.  Slow down...

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Lüderitz Speed Challenge

Lüderitz Speed Challenge

The Lüderitz Speed Challenge is an annual event held in the town of Lüderitz since 2007 with 33 competitors from all around the world participating. The opening ceremony of this event took place yesterday at the Lüderitz Nest Hotel with the mayor of Lüderitz, Suzan Ndjaleka and the Honourable Jerry Ekhandjo, Minister of Youth, Sport & Culture officiating the event. To date this event has produced 11 world and 64 national records and is considered one of the most prestigious water sport competitions ever. The event will run from the 6th of October to the 2nd of November. Actual challenges commence tomorrow. Kiteboarders and windsurfers will see a new and improved speed strip, based on feedback from competitors. Competitors compete on a special man-made canal and the goal is to record faster speeds in less wind power. Basically, competitors sail over a 500 m distance during which average speed is determined. Two high precision cameras are placed at the start and finish lines and these monitor and record speeds. At the end of a competitors run a display indicates the riders average speed and ranking. Namibia’s participant, Matthias Rottcher will be hoping to smash some records. Good luck Matthias. photo: Copyright © 2013 Luderitz-Speed Challenge What are you waiting for? Book your Namibia Safari today… For Accommodation click here For Activities click here For Car Rental click here For Shuttles click here For Tours & Safaris click here For Conservation click here Alternatively, contact us should you require any further...

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Top 8 Misconceptions about Namibia – or Africa in General

Top 8 Misconceptions about Namibia – or Africa in General

There are many misconceptions in the wider world about Namibia, and Africa in general. We’d like to dispel a few of these myths and set the record straight once and for all. As a tourism resource, we really have heard it all. However, we’d like to draw attention to the main misconceptions below: 1.     Africa is a country. What? No, it’s not. It’s a continent. Namibia is a country in Africa, though. We can’t really blame people too much as the media tends to lump everything all in one but it’s really not the same thing. Africa is home to 54 independent and unique countries with their own currency, flag, anthem, history and identity. There is so much diversity between the different countries, from their physical environment, and the people as well as culture, language, religion as well as lifestyle. 2.     Africa is one big desert or one big rain forest. There may be deserts in Africa, Namibia included, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that. There are mountains, plains, rain forests and plenty of diversity within Africa. Just because that’s all you’ve seen on television, doesn’t mean that’s all there is here. 3.     Everyone in Africa lives in huts. While the majority of people still live in rural areas, for the most part, Africa, and Namibia is largely urbanized and towns and cities grow quickly and the western lifestyle has influenced many people. There are buildings, towns and cities in all countries in Africa. Even in Africa, you’ll find skyscrapers and concrete covered towns. 4.     There is wildlife roaming free all over. This one is the most widespread misconception and the most ludicrous. Wild animals live in controlled areas. There are various species of wild animals and birds contained in zoos and parks which are managed by wildlife officials to keep the wildlife as well as the general population safe. 5.     African food is weird. Ok, every culture has something a foreigner would consider weird so this may not be a total misconception but it isn’t so bad. There are fast food chains in many countries. If travelling to the rural areas within any of the countries, you would no doubt encounter some strange food such as Mopani worms but this isn’t likely if you visit a town. 6.     Africa is Dangerous. While there are some countries in Africa one wouldn’t dream of visiting, there are some beautiful countries, like Namibia for an example, that are safe, and amazing tourist destinations. The media tends to focus on the negative, simply because it is news. How often do we hear about the positive things coming out of Africa? When last did you see Namibia in the news? 7.     Africa isn’t technologically advanced. Most African countries have embraced technology. There are tons of mobile phones, computers, tablets etc. available. However, there are areas that struggle to get electricity to use these devices and the stark contrast between the rich and the poor can be a dividing factor....

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Visiting Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon and Big Daddy!

Visiting Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon and Big Daddy!

Whether you are on a self-drive tour or on an organised safari to Namibia you will most certainly want to include a visit to Sossusvlei in your itinerary. Sossusvlei is undoubtedly southern Namibia’s most popular tourist attraction and forms part of the Namib Sand Sea World Heritage Site. The name ‘Sossusvlei’ is often used in a general manner to refer to the surrounding area (including other neighbouring vleis such as Deadvlei and other high dunes such as Big Daddy, Big Mama, Dune 45 and Elim Dune). Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan and has the most spectacular scenery one could possibly imagine. Huge orange coloured sand dunes under wide blue skies, gnarly old trees and springbok and the odd gemsbok. It is recommended to visit Sossusvlei either early morning or late afternoon as it can get very hot during the day. The rising or setting sun also provides a magical effect on the dunes and the shadows that are created by the moving sun. One would enter Sossusvlei via the Sesriem Gate. Remember that this gate opens at sunrise and will close again when the sun sets. Unless you are staying at the Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) lodge or Sesriem Campsite you will have to ensure that you are out of the park before the gate closes. As you start driving towards Sossusvlei you will almost immediately notice the dunes starting on your right side with Elim Dune. These huge sand dunes continue all the way on towards Sossusvlei. Dune 45 – at the 45 km mark, is a favourite for climbing. It is well worth the climb as the surrounding scenery consists of a sea of huge sand dunes as far as the eye can see. You will then cross the Tsauchab River, which is usually dry except for when there is good summer rainfall. This only happens every few years so it is unlikely that you will encounter the Tsauchab River in flood. Visitors to Sossusvlei are required to drive a distance of 60 km’s from the Sesriem entrance along a tarred road through the park to reach Sossusvlei. Please note that a permit is required and can be obtained from the nearby park office. While it may be tempting to rush ahead to your destination, keep your speed down and drive cautiously as Springbok often cross the road. You may even see Oryx (locally known as Gemsbok) resting under the odd tree or dune. Once you reach the Sossusvlei parking lot, if you have a 4×4, and have experience driving on soft sand, you could deflate your tyres and navigate the last 5 km to the vlei. Everyone else has the option to use the NWR shuttles which travel to and from the vlei. The shuttle stops at the onset of the 1 km walk to Dead Vlei through soft sand and a final climb up a small sandy slope. Here you will be greeted by an other-worldly and surreal scene and undoubtedly one of...

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What to read about Namibia: Book Review

What to read about Namibia: Book Review

It’s always lovely to kick back and enjoy a good book when travelling. What better way to learn about the places you are visiting than to read a novel set in the places you are visiting or to get a travel book detailing the beauties and wonders you can see. We’ve put together 5 books you may want to consider adding to your collection to increase your knowledge on Namibia. 1.     Sands Of Silence: On Safari In Namibia by Peter Hathaway Capstick Genre: Travel Writing This lavishly illustrated and historically important safari is captured in print by Peter Hathaway Capstick. He journeyed through Namibia in the spring of 1989. The nation was on the brink of independence and the land scorched by son and many years of a bitter war. In these perilous circumstances, Capstick commenced on what must have been the most thrilling safari of his career. He introduces the reader to the amazingly stark landscape that is the Busmen’s tribal territory. Facing risks of all kinds, this exciting big game adventure spins riveting tales from his travels, reports on the Bushmen’s culture, political persecution and the Stone Age life of Africa’s original hunter-gatherers. Ethical hunting is explained in detail as a tool for game protection and economic management on the continent. Dr. M Philip Kahl, leading Africa wildlife photographer captures one hundred striking colour photos in the “land of thirst.” From the Publisher “Chatty, discursive, and splendidly forthright in his opinions, Capstick writes of a way of life fast disappearing but still immensely attractive.” To see what others thought of this book, click here. 2.     The Other Side of Silence by Andre Brink Genre: Fiction The Other Side of Silence is the story of young German woman dreaming of her country’s colony in South-West Africa (Namibia). To escape the years of abuse and little hope of a better future, she learns of women being transported to the colony to attend to needs of male settlers and decides to go. She is confronted with harsh realities of colonial life and she revolts against the regime that brought her there. Mounting an army of female and native victims of the widespread colonial brutality, she sets out on a march through the desert to take on the German Reich. The combination of the history of colonialism and the myths of Africa, this amazing tale is beautifully written detailing suffering, violence, revenge, love and compassion poignantly. To see what others thought of this book, click here. 3.     Namibia by Gerald & Marc Hoberman Genre: Photography Gerald Hoberman, a master of the art of photography, and his son Marc, have turned out an amazingly fascinating portrait of Namibia. Their photographs capture the essence of a stark land of astonishing beauty. The diversity of the country’s people, from the San, to the Himba and even the European influence of the German empire is revealed through the lens. The colonial ambiance still pervades the capital city and smaller towns. Gerald and Marc venture into...

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Traveling to Namibia – Frequently asked Questions

Traveling to Namibia – Frequently asked Questions

Where is Namibia? Namibia is found in the South West of Africa. Angola borders it to the north, Zambia to the northeast, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south. The Atlantic Ocean borders Namibia on the western side. How big is Namibia? 825,418 sq km (318,696 sq miles). It is the second least sparsely populated country in the world (after Mongolia). Namibia’s landmass is the equivalent to that of Spain and Germany combined! What is the Population? Namibia has an estimated population of about 2,300,000. What is the time zone of Namibia? GMT +2. What is the Capital of Namibia? Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and is centrally situated. What is the weather and climate like? Namibia has a subtropical climate, characterized by hot and dry weather with little rain along the coast. Periods of winter drought alternate with summer rainfall between October and March with the interior having higher rainfall. When should I visit Namibia? Namibia is a year round destination but Peak season is from July to November. Bear in mind that if you are planning to visit in December/January it gets very hot! Do we need a 4×4 vehicle to drive in Namibia? No you do not necessarily need a 4×4 to tour in Namibia. It however depends on which areas in Namibia you would like to see. Areas such as the Kunene Region it is advisable to hire a car with high ground clearance and 4×4. The National parks in the Zambezi (Caprivi) you will require a 4×4. It will also depend on if you are planning on traveling to Namibia during the rainy season. Remember that 80% of roads in Namibia are gravel and if you are traveling in a normal sedan car you will be required to travel slowly to ensure your safety. Speak to a car rental company about your travel requirements in Namibia and they will advise you accordingly. For car rental options please click here. Where does one find out about what Activities are available in Namibia? One can find out all the information you need about what kinds of activities are available in Namibia right here. What currency should I use? The official currency of Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$), divided into 100 cents. The Namibian Dollar and South African Rand are the only currencies accepted in Namibia. Traveler’s cheques in Rands are accepted. Foreign currency can be converted into Namibian Dollars or South African Rands at commercial and bureau de change. Can I use my credit card? Major credit cards are widely accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. Cards can also be used to withdraw cash from ATM’s. Filling stations do not accept credit cards. How much should I Tip? It is customary to give 10% of the bill in restaurants if service received is of a good standard. Porters should receive about  N$5.00 – N$10.00 and a petrol station attendant about N$10.00. Is Namibia a safe destination? Namibia is a peaceful...

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Etosha National Park Travel Tips: When to go, how to get there and what to pack – Part 1

Etosha National Park Travel Tips: When to go, how to get there and what to pack – Part 1

If you are in Namibia, you absolutely have to include Etosha National Park in your itinerary. Etosha is undoubtedly Namibia’s top and most visited destination. Whether you are on a self drive holiday or organised safari tour spending a few days in Etosha is highly recommended. Etosha National Park, meaning “Great White Place” is one of the largest and most important game reserves in Southern Africa and covers an area of 22 270 square kilometers. Home to 114 mammal species, well over 300 bird species, reptiles and amphibians, Etosha is a wildlife enthusiasts dream. Visitors are likely to see many different buck species, giraffe, rhino, elephant and even lions. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a leopard or cheetah. There are also fuel stations within Etosha National Park so don’t worry about running out of fuel while you are driving around Etosha just be sure to fill up whenever you get the chance. All three of Etosha’s main camps have fuel stations (Okaukeujo, Halali and Namutoni). There are also restaurants and shops selling food stuff and other goods at these 3 camps.   When to visit Etosha National Park This really depends on what you would like to see. Rainy season is from November till April– the hottest and wettest months of the year. The pans fill with water and the animals give birth during this time. Bird watching reaches its peak at this time of the year. The vegetation in the park transforms from dusty & dry to green and lush. Therefore animals and wildlife don’t necessarily visit the main watering holes and may be more difficult to find and see. A travel tip for visiting Etosha at this time of the year is to ask other travelers in the park what game they have seen and where they have seen it. One can also ask the game wardens and staff of Etosha where to go and see game. The dry season (May till October) is considered the best time to visit Etosha. You will find the animals congregating around the main waterholes to quench their thirst. The grass is also low at this time of the year and allows for much better game viewing. At times there is so much game waiting at the waterholes for their turn to drink water – it is remarkable to see so much game at one time and the interactions between them all waiting for that much needed time to drink water. The main waterholes are located at Namutoni, Okaukeujo and Halali. Between May and July (winter months), temperatures range from 18 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day with cold temperatures experienced at night. Photo Credit: Arno Dietz – Etosha Waterhole (3)   How to get to Etosha National Park Etosha National Park is approximately 5 hours from Windhoek if you are driving. It is best to drive slowly to be safe, although the road can be easily navigated in one day. Etosha’s main gates are Von Lindequist (west...

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The Do’s & Don’ts of Travelling to Namibia

The Do’s & Don’ts of Travelling to Namibia

Are you travelling to Namibia soon? Namibia is considered an ideal destination for self drive tours and offers great road tripping opportunities. If you’ve never been before, you may be feeling a little nervous about what to expect. Namibia is still Africa but it’s considered the ideal destination for first time visitors to Africa. It’s a classic desert and safari destination that is widely known for its beauty and is a lot safer than other African destinations. Of course, depending on the purpose of your trip, you will have different things to experience and your activities will look different if you are a bunch of single guys or if you are on a family trip. There are however, some universal do’s and don’ts which are good to follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to one of Africa’s most breath-taking destinations. Below you’ll find some useful travel information on Namibia.   The Do’s Do plan your trip carefully. Remember that at least 80% of the roads are gravel (well maintained) and that distances are vast! You will be required to travel at a slower speed and this means it will take you longer to reach your destination. Don’t plan your next nights’ accommodation too far away otherwise you will end up spending far too much time in your car driving just to get there. Know where it is you want to go and what you want to do there. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be and make any accommodation bookings you need to make in advance especially in peak season (July –November). Do make sure the car you are using is able to navigate the roads you plan on using. If you are going to be using any secondary/gravel roads, it is probably best to use a 4×4. If you don’t have one, you can hire one. Certain areas such as the national parks in the Zambezi region (Caprivi) require a 4×4. If you are hiring a car speak to your car rental company and tell them where you are planning to go – they will advise you accordingly. The north western region (Kunene) requires a vehicle with high ground clearance. If hiring a car make sure it has air con. Do fill up the car with fuel whenever you get the chance and make sure you have enough cash on you to cover your fuel expenses in the event there are no card machines available. Even if you think you still have plenty of fuel left fill up anyway. Do bring a decent map of Namibia along. GPS devices are great things but not always updated and accurate. Even cell phones can’t always help you in areas where there is no signal (and there are lots of areas in Namibia that don’t get signal). Do use sun protection – the sun is intense! Just because you are in the car, it doesn’t mean you can’t get burnt. Pack in a...

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