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Insights Adventure Travel

Kimberley

Nottingham

NAMIBIA

Spectacular and diverse
Namibia Insights

 

For those wishing to see the “Big Five” there is no better country.

 

With the largest cheetah population in the world and home to other iconic species such as African wild dog, brown and spotted hyaena, and serval, not to mention 27 other carnivore species, 20 species of antelope and over 700 species of bird, Namibia is a world-class destination for the professional and amateur game viewer.

 

Namibia offers beauty and tranquillity in equal measure and it is easy to feel as if you are the first person to set foot in many areas of its vast wilderness. One of the least populated and most politically stable countries in Africa, Namibia is one of the safest countries to explore with an organised group or as an independent traveller.

 

Stretching from the coastal towns along the Atlantic Ocean in the west, across the dunes of the world's oldest desert, the Namib, through the bushveld, to the Kalahari in the east, Namibia’s constantly changing landscape never ceases to surprise and entertain. The Skeleton Coast, Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, The Waterberg and the Caprivi bring visitors from around the world but the list of attractions goes on.

NAMIBIA HIGHLIGHTS

Etosha National Park

 

Etosha National Park is Namibia's premier game viewing experience.

 

Situated in the northwest of Namibia it is an area well known for its wildlife. Vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains attracting a diversity of wildlife. In the heart of the Park is The Etosha Pan - a shallow depression that covers an area of 5000sq kilometres.

 

Dry and shimmering for most of the year, the pans fill up with water after good rains to a depth which is seldom deeper than 1m.

 

In the dry season, wildlife is attracted to perennial springs and waterholes which makes for excellent game viewing.

 

Namibia Insights

 

Fifty-seven percent of Namibia's land is designated as nationally protected for the benefit of communities and wildlife whereas, by comparison, South Africa's nationally protected areas only cover six percent of the country. More surprisingly, however, is that the entire Namibian coastline, from Angola in the north to South Africa in the south, is a protected area, including two marine reserves, so although Namibia is known globally for its terrestrial wildlife its marine fauna is equally abundant and diverse.

 

Namibia is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups who provide an array of friendly and fascinating cultures to meet and enjoy. Local crafts and food, along with traditional singing and dancing, can regularly be found as you make your way through the country.

 

As one of the few countries in the world to specifically address conservation and protection of natural resources in its constitution, the income from tourism helps to support the environment, wildlife and communities that make Namibia so unique. So you can be assured that your visit is helping to protect the wonders you see along the way.

 

What is not a wonder is that people return to Namibia again and again!

When To Go

 
 
Namibia is blessed with sunshine, averaging around 300 days each year and, as an arid zone, has the benefit of very low humidity.
 
The wet season, between December and March, brings a relative abundance of water which allows the wildlife to move away from the permanent water sources. As a result game viewing is at its best, particularly in Etosha National Park, during the dry season, June to October, when the wildlife congregates nearer to the waterholes.
 
Namib-Naukluft National Park is mainly visited for its incredible scenery and stunning desert vistas rather than its wildlife. Rain in the Namib-Naukluft is minimal throughout the year but temperatures are cooler in the winter, from May to October, making activities more comfortable at this time.
 
The Skeleton Coast can be visited year round but the summer, October to March, is warmer and the skies are clear. Morning fogs are also lighter at this time of year and the nights warmer.
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As with most climatic factors in Namibia, temperatures will vary between the savannah, highlands, desert and coast regardless of the time of year. When preparing to visit Namibia we advise travellers to prioritise the average daily highs and lows for each month, rather than simply the daily average, which will have a far greater impact on comfort levels.
 
During the summer (November to April) the midday temperature is regularly 34°C (and can reach as high as 50°C in the Kalahari) and drops to 15-16°C at night.
 
The winter temperatures can vary between 25°C in the heat of the day and just below 0°C before sunrise.
 
Regardless of the time of year layers of suitable clothing are the key to making sure that you are comfortable throughout the day.

Etosha National Park

Namib-Naukluft National Park (including Sossusvlei)

Skeleton Coast National Park

Rainfall in Namibia varies significantly from one region to another with the South-West averaging 0 mm annually compared to 600 mm in the North-East. However, the vast majority of all rainfall in Namibia takes place in the wet season and at predictable times of the day.
 
In the wet season rain falls in short but heavy bursts in the mid/late afternoon after clouds have built up during the day. 
 
The average number of days it rains each month has a much more significant effect on any trip to Namibia than the quantity that falls. For instance, an itinerary which focuses on Etosha and the Caprivi will be limited far more by the rain during the Wet season than other areas. 

Today's Weather

Swakopmund and the coast, "always cloudy, never raining".
 
Namibia is the only place in the world where the desert and the Atlantic Ocean meet and this creates some potentially surprising conditions for the uninitiated.
 
Hot air from the Namib meets the cold air from the Atlantic to create cloud and mist. However, it is unable to rise above the dunes to move inland or high enough to rain. As a result, a blanket of cloud sits over much of the coast, including the beaches around Swakopmund, for around 65% of the year.
 
During the winter (May-Sep) this can make the coastal areas unexpectedly cold with a temperature of 8°C reduced further by wind and mist.
 
Because of this the coast, unlike the rest of the country, is at its best in the summer months of December and January when it is dry and at its sunniest.