Things to do in Namibia

Our top activities in Namibia

Safari in Etosha National Park

During dry season, animals cluster around the park's numerous small waterholes - with elephant, zebra, jackals, springbok and giraffe jostling for drinking space. By night, floodlights reveal lions, leopards and endangered black and white rhino. Grab your sundowner, sit back, and enjoy the show on a Namibia safari.

Visiting a Himba village

The semi-nomadic Himba travel with their goats between settlements in the remote, barren expanse of Damaraland
One of the best cultural things to do in Namibia, Himba village tours introduce you to the villagers as go about their daily tasks. Paint your skin with ochre and ash; waft a deodorising smoke made of incense; see goats being milked; and step inside the privacy of a Himba hut for an experience as far removed from your daily life as you can get.
Responsible tour operators work together with the Himba to create these tours. The villagers are usually paid in goods such as sugar and maize meal, which are more valuable in this remote region than money. You can contribute extra by purchasing jewellery and other souvenirs at the end of your tour.

Climb a colossal dune

The silhouette of a courageous climber on the crest. The skeletal trees of Dead Vlei below.
Early risers and dedicated hikers will be rewarded with surreal views for miles across the desert, phenomenal photo opportunities, and the satisfaction at having conquered one of the highest dunes in the world.

Learn one of the world's most complex languages

The Damara and Nama people speak similar languages of the Khoisan family, and you will hear these unusual languages spoken throughout Namibia. They use four distinct clicks - which are fiendishly hard to pronounce, and even harder to incorporate into words. However, even the Damara and Nama admit to being utterly flummoxed by the language spoken by the San - who use seven clicks. One theory is that the clicks developed as a way of communicating while hunting without disturbing the wildlife, as the clicks would not be recognised by the animals as human speech.
If visiting a San community, or a Nama or Damara household as part of a Namibia tour, ask your guide to teach you how to greet and thank your hosts in their own language. Although you're unlikely to be able to twist your tongue around it, it shows respect for those you are visiting - and it's sure to raise a smile and act as an icebreaker!
Read an account by Responsible Travel's founder Justin Francis of his encounter with the San in the Kalahari Desert.
Photo credits: [Safari in Etosha National Park: Eric Bauer]
Written by Vicki Brown
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Photo credits: [Page banner: Eric Bauer]
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