The game-rich Etosha National Park offers unique game viewing as wildlife centres around the few permanent water holes. The photographic opportunities are spectacular as different species crowd into the frame at once swirling dust and dazzling the white salt pans. It really does offer game viewing on a plate as the wildlife comes to you, so if you’re looking for a break from bumpy game drives, Etosha offers the chance to set up with a cold beer at the edge of a water hole, or even on the veranda of your lodge, and wait for birds and beasts to come to quench their thirst.
The quaint and quirky German towns of Swakopmund and Lüderitz offer a fun punctuation to a safari. Explore their pretty streets and enjoy a beer and apple strudel, go in search of the Namib Desert Horses (the only feral herd of horses in Africa) or hone your photography skills in Deadvlei, arguably one of the most photogenic places on earth where the fossilised trees cast shadows on the cracked, bleached pans and gravity-defying orange dunes.
Namibia is largely malaria-free, well organised and has good infrastructure. Although many roads are gravel, they are well maintained and cut through the most breath-taking landscapes under the widest skies, making a road trip an absolute pleasure. The contrast between the arid south and the lush north, where five rivers bring life-sustaining water along the Caprivi Strip and into Botswana’s Okavango Delta, is remarkable, it’s hard to believe these very different environments are in the same country.
There is a wealth of accommodation to choose from. Camps and lodges are generally of an extremely high standard and usually offer spectacular views. The night skies, far from any light pollution, are spectacular. To top it all, there are unique, desert-adapted lion, giraffe and elephant, as well as the curious brown hyaena that wander the desolate Skeleton Coast in search of a meal that may have come in on the tide.