Dead Vlei / Hidden Vlei / Sossusvlei:
These spectacular attractions are situated in the Namib-Naukluft Nationalpark, which is Africa’s largest conservation area. The whole national park is a dream for photographers and pictures one of a fascinating landscape on earth. The red sand dunes are some of the highest in the world by reaching almost 400 meters. Together with their black shadows, rocky mountains, rolling plains, animals, and plants, they create a stunning atmosphere and one of the most incredible ecosystems in the world.
Sossusvlei is said to be the most popular vlei, whereas Dead Vlei might be the most beautiful one. It is characterised by pitch-black Dead Camel Thorn Trees, a white clay pan and rusty-red sand dunes, such as Big Daddy, which is supposed to be the highest one in the world.
Its entry is for free, even though you can book guided tours if you want to. If you want to find untouristic Hidden Vlei (as the name tells), you should go with a navi in your car where this vlei is marked. Note: Dead Vlei is only reachable by foot (15-20 minutes walk), so make sure to take enough water with you!
Tip: Another nice way of experiencing this oldest desert of the planet is in a hot air balloon.
This 22.000 m² area gets its name from a large 5.000 m² endorheic Etosha salt pan and is the right place for any safari. The national park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, including several threatened species such as the black rhinoceros. We got to see the ‘Big 5’ within three days doing our non-guided safari tour. In every camp, you should check the safari books, where which kind of animal was seen the other day. The fee is 5€/day per Person and 70ct for a car. This is a lot cheaper than booking a safari tour! Because it is a huge national park, it is easy to find!
The city was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa and is an excellent example of German colonial architecture. Today, a small part of its population is still German-speaking. While driving along Skeleton Coast, you can hardly miss it!
Tip: Get excellent dinner in a simple restaurant named Ocean Basket.
Cape Cross Seal Reserve:
On your way, you should totally stop at Cape Cross, which is a small headland in the South Atlantic Skeleton Coast. This protected area is home to one of the largest colonies of Brown Fur Seals in the world. Even though it costs you 3,40€ to get in, it is worth seeing it.
This canyon is the largest in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. Even though you might finally meet other backpackers, it is entirely worth hiking there. There are some footpaths, the longest follows 88 km of the Fish River and usually takes five days. Important to know is that there are no amenities on the trail and hikers have to carry all their needs with them. Excellent public viewpoints are near the camping side Hobas (of course, they are for free)! Also, visit the hot springs resort of Ais-Ais at the lower end of the Fishriver-Canyon. We spent a night there and just loved its comfortable atmosphere.
I am addicted to this place! It is all and only about quiver trees, but they depict a prime photo motive. This place is hard to find; it is 13km north of Keetmanshoop on the road M29. You need to watch out for a small sign telling you when to leave the main road. Its entrance is for free, and the campgrounds around are cheap (3-8€/Person).