The country has a complicated past, inextricably linked to its neighbour and former ruler, South Africa. Namibia suffered greatly at the hands of South Africa’s apartheid government, eventually gaining its independence in 1991.
Namibia has a rich heritage and is home to many tribes, such as the San and the Himba, who still live by traditions dating back centuries. It’s worth finding out as much about Namibia’s history as you can during your stay. With battles, occupations, protests and more, there’s a lot to discover.
Culture and cities
Virtually all trips start and end in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.
Whilst here, see the memorial commemorating Namibian independence, and take time to visit museums and historical sites to learn about Namibia’s fascinating history.
Then, stroll around the colonial areas (which have mostly been converted to shops, cafes and restaurants) to get a feel for the city as a whole. A couple of days is plenty of time to spend in Windhoek. Namibia is about so much more than its capital.
For coastal vibes, head to the distinctly Germanic city of Swakopmund. It is home to some of the best restaurants and pubs Namibia has to offer, or explore the striking giant sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the most photographed part of the country.
There isn’t really a ‘beaten track’ in Namibia, as the country remains off most travellers’ radars. However, for those who to seek out hidden gems, we recommend heading to the Zambezi Region (formerly known as Caprivi Strip), a stretch of land that connects Namibia to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The area is so lush and near-tropical, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re still in the same country! The wildlife spotting opportunities are spectacular here too.
Another gem is Fish River Canyon, the largest in all of Africa, second largest in the world, located in the deep south.
Certain areas of Namibia like Luderitz may make you feel a little isolated. However, it’s this solitary experience that will make this trip truly unforgettable. You’ll get to explore barely- visited villages all on your own, find undisturbed beaches and encounter animals without the hustle and bustle of mainstream tourism. What could be better than that?