Tell people you’re headed to Namibia and they’ll likely have little idea where that is. As one of Africa’s youngest countries boasting the oldest desert in the world, this vast and wild republic on the south-west coast of Africa isn’t on most tourist maps—yet.

But with wildlife galore, adventure sports, ancient culture, stunning landscapes, very few people and environmental protection built into its constitution, Namibia is one of those places that intrepid travelers fall in love with and often never leave. I visited Namibia in 2013 and definitely found myself thinking, “I Could Live Here”. 

Ready to go? From self-drive and family safaris to active adventure, photographic tours and bespoke luxury, here are 5 Unforgettable Namibia Adventures to help you GO NOW. 

Namib-Naukluft Sand Dunes (2011)

SELF DRIVE: Extraordinary Journeys

One of the best things about Namibia is that, unlike many other safari destinations, it offers the chance for travelers to do a self-drive itinerary. If exploring Africa behind the wheel of a 4x4 appeals to you, then Namibia should be high on your list. Click through for a sample itinerary by custom safari experts Extraordinary Journeys that could be done as a self-drive or with a private guide depending on your style. Learn more

MULTISPORT: Adventure Life

Does tracking endangered black rhinoceros on foot, spending two nights sleeping beneath the stars in the Namib Desert, hiking the world’s largest sand dunes and sea kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean sound like an amazing vacation? What about optional mountain biking, sandboarding and cooking classes? Then check out this new active Namibia safari from Adventure Life.  Learn more

FAMILY: G Adventures

Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn’t mean your adventuring days are over. Get wild with your family and introduce your kids to the wonders of Namibia on this G Adventures family safari. With age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move and packing as much excitement as possible, this adventure includes desert exploration, searching for big game, checking out petrified forests, and going on a game drive in Etosha National Park. Learn more

Namibia Photo Safari, hundreds of zebra gather at Kalkheuwel waterhole, Etosha National Park,  a vast protected reserve in northern Namibia with huge herds of big game.


Hone your photographic skills on a privately escorted YourSafari Photographic Tour. Capture stunning images of Namibia’s huge game herds and wild leopards, cheetahs and lions in Etosha National Park with Kathryn Haylett, co-author of The Photographer’s Guide to Etosha National Park. Or, track cheetahs on foot in the Okonjima Game Reserve and watch the sun rise over the largest sand dunes in the world. With YourSafari, each tour is custom crafted. Learn more

BESPOKE: Butterfield & Robinson

From a charter plane you’ll have a bird’s eye view of this spectacular country in customized luxury with Butterfield & Robinson. On the ground, you’ll get in deep and track rhinos on foot while you meet the Himba people and learn about their nomadic lifestyle. Marvel at the dunes at Sossevlei, then get off the beaten path with visits to Kaokoland and Damarland. With extraordinary experiences tailored to meet your every need and every stitch of every day crafted just the way you want it, this private adventure is all yours.  Learn more

Learn more about Namibia:

Discover country highlights, things to do, travel tips, image galleries, and more about travel to Namibia at Namiba Tourism

Learn 6 Reasons to Go to Namibia at the Huffington Post.

Click here to view my Etosha National Park photo gallery.

Read about Namibia’s pioneering communal conservations and its collaborative projects with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".