Wheels, Wings and Walking Shoes: Getting Around Namibia


This month, our theme is Landscapes - but we're well aware that there's more than one way to view Namibia's "endless horizons". There are some sights you need to get that little bit closer to - and others that can only truly be appreciated from the air.

Here's a roundup of different ways you can get around Namibia - for those who are fit and fearless, and those who seek calm and comfort.

 

On Foot

Trek across the desert. Photo: Venture Publications/NTB

Namibia's harsh terrain means that to really immerse yourself in the landscapes, there is often no option but to go on foot. Whether summiting the dunes at Sossusvlei, scaling the cliffs of Spitzkoppe and Waterberg, or following the course of the Fish River through the world's second largest canyon, a good pair of hiking boots will get you closer to the flora, fauna and geology of this diverse country.

 

Quad Bike

Quad biking in the Namib Desert

Quad biking in the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Photo: Zachary-Cy Vanasse, TravelHOT News

The soft sands of the desert are a dangerous obstacle for even the most experienced 4x4 drivers. In contrast, they are simply a playground for anyone on a quad bike! First-time bikers can get to grips with their vehicle on the flat sand before ascending into the dunes around Swakopmund or the Namib Desert, and get a kick out of cruising past oryx, fairy circles and even the ocean. Namibia promotes eco-quad biking with set routes through the dunes, to minimise the damage on the surrounding environment and avoid disturbing wildlife.

 

Private Vehicle

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Self-drive through the dunes

While much of Africa is only open to tour groups, Namibia welcomes private vehicles. Its excellent road network and numerous car hire options mean that a self-drive holiday is a fun, simple way to soak up Namibia's varies landscapes at your own pace. Stop when you like for a picnic or photo shoot, and even camp under the stars to have the scenery all to yourself as far as the eye can see.

 

Horse

Horseriding in Namibia

Horseback riding takes place across Namibia - taking in landscapes such as the Orange River and Fish River Canyon in the south, the Atlantic Ocean and seasonal Swakop River, the wilds of Damaralans, and the dunes of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, among others. Some tours are thrilling safaris - taking riders past elephants, giraffes, rhinos and even wild horses. Tours can be epic, multi-day adventures, or relaxed half-day treks, depending on your preference and experience. Whatever you choose, it's sure to be memorable!

 

Charter Plane

Namibia Flying Safari

Boarding a light aircraft. Photo: Zachary-Cy Vanasse, TravelHOT News

Travelling by light aircraft is not just an efficient way to get from A to B in such a vast land, it's also an enjoyable activity in its own right. A flying safari is the only way to really comprehend the endlessness of the Namib Desert, and to dicover the wrecks and abandoned mines along the Skeleton Coast. Gliding as low as 130 metres above Namibia's coastline, passengers can see flocks of flamingoes, giant colonies of Cape fur seals and watch the waves crash right into the dunes.

 

Cycling

Mountain Biking in Namibia

Cycling through the Namib, Photo: Namibia Individual Travel

The cycle bug has bitten in Namibia - locals love going on long rides into the wilderness, and cyclists from around the world make their way to the Namib for the gruelling and ever-growing Desert Dash competition. You can battle out the harsh terrain and punishing climate on a mountain biking tour of the land. Or take a two-wheel stroll through the lively streets of Katutura. Most cyclists prefer to bring their own equipment (it's pretty easy to arrange this with your airline) but you can rent a bike if you prefer.

  • Check out CycleTech in Windhoek for cycling supplies and news

  • Mountain Bike Namibia offers cycling safaris around Namibia

  • Katatura tours offers guided cycle tours through the culturally and historically rich township just outside Windhoek

 

Canoe and Kayak

 

Sea kayaking is possible in the lagoons around Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, allowing you to paddle away from the coast and take in the landscape at your own pace. Alternatively, canoe down the Orange River between Namibia and South Africa, or the Kunene River between Namibia and Angola. The exceptionally brave can raft here, near the gorgeous panorama of Epupa Falls.

  • Click here to view operators who offer kayak, canoeing and rafting tours.

 

Boat

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Dolphins off the coast of Namibia, Photo: Pack Safaris

If trekking, kayaking and driving seem too much like hard work on your holiday, kick back on a boat tour and see the landscape change as you sip a glass of sparkling wine and enjoy a plate of oysters. Tours take place near Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Luderitz, allowing you to take in the marine landscape complete with dolphins and pelicans, as well as viewing the dunes, sand spits and lighthouses from a new perspective.

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