Walking through Namibia


Being on foot is one of the best ways you can take in the rugged landscapes, diverse wildlife and unique flora of Namibia. In this post we will be looking at a selection of walks that showcase the variety of on-foot adventures you can have in Namibia.

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Visitors on a guided walk in Damaraland.

When in Namibia, go walking

Once you get out into Namibia’s countryside the one thing that you should realise is that almost every lodge, camp, rest camp, and game park will have a selection of walking trails that you can walk if you so choose. Many of these will be un-guided, but some of the establishments do offer guided tours.

Below are a few examples of the types of walks you can find while travelling through Namibia. The walks covered below range from traditional walking trails to more adventurous and unusual safari-style walks.

 

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 Have feet, will walk.

Walking the Waterberg

The Waterberg Plateau Park is a terrific place to visit for a few days. Game drives, diverse plant life and beautiful surroundings make the Waterberg a must-see when in Namibia.

The park does not allow visitors to drive themselves around the park but guests are encouraged to explore the park by foot. The grounds of the park are crisscrossed by a network of footpaths and hiking trails and those looking to explore the famous reserve can do so with ease.

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Map of the park's many walking trails.
(Image via African Reservations)

Walking in the Waterberg one gains an appreciation for the huge plateau itself and if you are lucky, and very quiet, you may catch a glimpse of a few of the park’s inhabitants. Keep an eye out for tracks in the sand while walking as there are several animals in the park who use some of the trails that guests do.

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Black rhino taking a dip in the Waterberg.
(Image via Africa and Beyond)

The bird life in the Waterberg is also fantastic and if you are a keen birder then you will know that bird spotting on foot is one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of some rare birds.

The walking trails are not particularly challenging and most guests, young and old, should be able to find a trail that suits their fitness level and peeks their interest.

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The trails are all clearly marked. Above is marker for the Fig Tree trail.

For more information on the Waterberg click here.

Tracking Desert Rhinos on foot.

The Desert Rhino Camp is a mobile camp run by Wilderness safaris in partnership with the Save the Rhino Trust in the Palmwag Concession area. The camp is located in an area that is close to the Skeleton Coast in the north west of Namibia. The Palmwag Concession area boasts the highest concentration of black rhinos in Africa but it is also home to a large population of desert-adapted black rhinos.

 

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A tracked rhino, hiding in the bushes.

Save the Rhino Trust regularly tracks the rhinos in the concession area as part of its efforts to conserve the endangered animals, and guests can help them out. You can, on foot, help the rangers and conservationists track these gentle giants through their natural environment- a walking experience that is as rare as it is incredible.

 

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 A family of desert-adapted rhinos.

Read a first hand account of one such experience here.

Climbing the dunes of Sossusvlei

There are several massive dunes near the iconic Sossusvlei and walking/hiking to the top of these dunes is a wonderful way to get amazing panoramic views of the famous vlei and its surroundings. There are no restrictions as to what dunes you can climb up, but there are trails that are more popular than others.

 

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Adventurers trekking up one of the many dunes near Sossusvlei.

One of the more popular trails is the one that leads to the Dead Vlei with its fossilised trees and clay pan offering numerous photo opportunities for the walkers who crest the mighty dunes surrounding the vlei.

 

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The unforgettable Deadvlei.

You can drive yourself to the dunes but you will need a 4x4 vehicle to get closer. There is a designated area where you can park your car. There are also several tour operators that will bring you to the same parking lot near the massive dunes.

 

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The walk up Big Daddy is tough, but worth it.

Click here for a concise guide to getting up and down these dunes.

 

Following the Bushman trail at Okonjima

The Bushman trail at Okonjima affords guests the unique opportunity of following in the footsteps of the indigenous San people that still live in the area just west of the Waterberg.

The trail, which you will be taken along by a guide, will give you a glimpse into how Namibia’s oldest cultural group has lived their lives for centuries. From gathering food to crafting tools and preparing food, visitors are encouraged to participate and learn about one of the oldest living civilizations on the planet.

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A guide teaching some guests about San culture.
(Image via Okonjima)

Follow this link for information on the trail and the game reserve.

Further Reading 

Above are but four examples of the different kinds of walking adventures you can have in Namibia. As mentioned there are literally hundreds of walking trails in this vast country and it is always a good idea to ask whatever establishment you are staying at if there are any interesting walks to do.

Here is a list of camps with good walking trails around them.

And for those of you who feel like a more challenging on-foot adventure, check out our post on the unforgettable Fish River hike.

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