Neighbouring Botswana is a dry country with not as much vegetation but the highest sand dunes in the world and the oldest desert. If you’re willing to venture across the border, Namibia offers an all-new experience to that of Botswana. Both destinations definitely have scenic landscapes and delightful wildlife. Game observers will be happy at either place.
The key difference between the two Southern African countries is the development of the areas. Botswana has booming commercial tourism, from luxurious lodges to guided tours of safari, whereas Namibia is largely an unspoilt wilderness for the hardened self-sufficient traveller. It has safe yet basic camps set up for staying overnight. With a wilderness comes unknown riches that you may not have seen before.
In Namibia you are free to roam from place to place without paying a charge. Much of the land is deserted and not claimed by the state to keep wildlife. Of course, this doesn’t mean there is nothing interesting to see in the Namibian desert…
Big Daddy Dunes
At 80 metres (262 feet) tall, tourists are often astounded by the height of Dune 45. The sloping gradient of this famous sand dune in the Namib desert allows you to climb it. Where else would you be able to take a trek up such a high sand dune? Once you get to the top, you’ll probably feel superior for having climbed so high but small and inferior compared to the huge red landscape stretching as far as you can see.
From the top of Dune 45, you’ll see another famous dune named Big Daddy. Only experienced climbers ‘take on’ the largest dune in the Sossusvlei desert. ‘Big Daddy’ is aptly named as it towers over the landscape, but the highest dune in Namibia is Dune 7, which is 58 metres taller in the mountainous region of central Namibia.
Swakopmund is a built-up coastal town on the “mouth” of the river Swakop in western Namibia. From there you can go on an off-road adventure on 1-day self-drives on quadbikes up to 2-week guided excursions either on suitable 4x4s. There is a whole range of guided tours through the deserts to meet every traveller’s needs. These all-encompassing tours are rated as ‘excellent’ on TripAdvisor.
As you may well have guessed, the rocky lands outside Swakopmund closely resemble the surface of the moon. They have all the odd bumps, curves and hills we see in documentaries of lunar landings. This stretch of land is completely uninhabited, which draws even more comparisons to another world.
Namibia Cheetah Farm
When cheetahs prey on cattle in the wild they are usually put down themselves to prevent rhinos and zebras becoming endangered. However, to stop this process before it occurs, Cheetahs are ‘rescued’ and placed in a cheetah farm where they cannot do harm to other animals and nor can they be harmed by hunters. This is especially important considering that Namibia has the largest population (20%) of cheetahs in the world.