In this remote corner of Africa, the dramatic landscape is the real star.
This spectacularly arid country in Africa’s south-west was made for the Imax screen. While Namibia can’t compete with the huge herds of wildlife found elsewhere on the continent, its dramatic landscapes will impress even the most jaded traveller. To take in all of its dazzling diversity, from the soaring red sand dunes to the plunging canyons and shipwreck-encrusted coast, be prepared to take to the skies – the view from above makes it all worthwhile.
One of southern Africa’s most remote camps, the luxurious Serra Cafema is perched by the Kunene River in Namibia’s north-west. Activities include desert quad biking and visiting the semi-nomadic Himba tribe. Meals are a highlight: try the kingklip eel wrapped in Black Forest ham – pair it with a local gin.
Would Madame like to try the antelope tonight? Game meats, including kudu and eland, are part of the traditional cuisine, although these days they are sustainably farmed. Head to the rough-and-ready Joe’s Beerhouse in the capital, Windhoek, for oryx carpaccio (note the repurposed dunnies that serve as bar seating).
From slow and steady to high-speed thrills, you can explore Namibia’s wide-open spaces at a pace that suits you. Experienced hikers will love the challenging five-day trek through Fish River Canyon or, for a quick hit, head straight to the Hell’s Bend viewing platform, where you can gaze into the deep chasms the river has cut into the landscape over 300 million years. You can play detective on an early-morning walk through the rolling dunes, deciphering the tracks of animals that have been ranging across the desert at night, or sign up for an exhilarating sand-boarding adventure. To cover more territory, a quad bike is the way to go. Or rise above it all with a hot air balloon and marvel at the exotic terrain unfolding beneath you.