27 Oct 2020
After refreshing summer thunderstorms in Namibia, the heavens are often adorned with a beautiful natural phenomenon - the bright colours of a flawless rainbow arc from end to end. Or beginning to end? Interestingly, a rainbow is in fact a circle. So, there is no beginning nor end. The only reason we don’t see it is because of the horizon. One needs a really good vantage point and ideal conditions to witness this wonder – one many are yet to experience.
In celebration of this exciting rainbow season, how about a trip to some of the most iconic parts of Namibia? With minimal atmospheric pollution and seemingly infinite space, who knows, perhaps you even catch a glimpse of a 360-degree rainbow. One thing is certain – the wonders and endless space will lead you in a 360-degree loop of adventure. We start and end this expedition in Windhoek. First stop:
Legendary encounters in Etosha
They say elephants never forget, but what they don’t say is that you never forget an elephant. It is especially hard to forget an entire herd approaching Okaukuejo’s waterhole as you approach it from the camp’s side – just like old friends meeting for a spontaneous drink.
Riveting wildlife encounters await and unexpected heart-stopping moments are plentiful, like when you realise an anthill that suddenly moves is in actual fact the biggest rhino you’ve ever seen.
Perhaps you decide to stretch your legs in the salt pan that is visible from space at a staggering 5000 km2. Only when standing in the pan will the reality kick in of how vast it truly is.
Gondwana fans are spoiled for choice with different lodging options that offer stunning views, refreshing pristine-blue swimming pools, warm hospitality and so much more than just a stay – every single lodge is an experience.
Immemorable starry evenings await - dancing to the live African beats around the campfire at Etosha Safari Camp. Not even to mention the sunset views from Etosha Safari Lodge’s deck or the cultural immersion at Etosha King Nehale. Camping is always an option too, with Camping2Go is a new favourite amongst many.
The journey transitions from white salt pans to red, rugged, rocky terrain.
The Damaraland koppies are calling
The Damaraland landscape is characterised by uncountable koppies (small hills). This area is so much more than rocks and hills, though. There are many geological sites that have become major tourist attractions. A highlight for many is Twyfelfontein that hosts one of the largest collections of rock engravings in Africa, dating back some 6000 years.
After a day’s exploration, you’ll be happy to dive into the pool at Damara Mopane Lodge. When the earth starts cooling down, embark on a guided walk to learn more about the vast vistas. There are several trails to explore the fauna and flora on your own time too.
The journey continues to where the cool coastal weather offers a welcome respite from the heat you’re coming from. Summer at the coast is any Namibian’s dream.
Activity hub Swakopmund
Become part of the ancient love affair where the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert come together.
Guests who’ve had the pleasure to indulge in breakfast at The Delight Swakopmund will all agree that it is an activity in itself. With a huge variety of breakfast foods, it is hard to not pay a visit to the buffet every few minutes.
But all jokes aside, there is no lack of keeping busy in the activity hub of the country. You will hardly want to kick up your feet, but eventually will be happy to unwind on the next leg of the journey that takes you to the Namib Desert.
Ancient sands of the Namib Desert
An excursion to the swirly orange sand dunes of Sossusvlei is a must, and so is climbing Big Daddy.
Once again, Gondwana fans have a variety of accommodation to choose from with the Namib Desert Collection. Here you can opt for a family stay at Namib Desert Lodge, even more isolation at Namib Dune Star Camp, luxury at The Desert Grace or the ultimate outdoor fun with camping and Camping2Go.
There are several self-guided hiking trails while the e-bike offers a different vantage point. Gain life perspective atop a dune at sunset and toast the memories made in one of the oldest deserts in the world.
You’ll be happy you climbed all those dunes as soon as the next leg of the journey takes you further south. Rest those legs in the car while you can.
Hiker’s and cyclist’s paradise at Klein-Aus Vista
We journey from one desert to another. Klein-Aus Vista is where the Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo meet – making it the most biodiverse desert in the world. It is also a haven for avid hikers, cyclists, campers and outdoor lovers.
Get your cowboy on at Desert Horse Inn or enjoy solitude in the rustic Eagle’s Nest Chalets.
It’s almost time to head back to Windhoek, but first you are up for spoils that break up the journey a bit.
Red Kalahari sand dreams
The velvety ochre sands of the Kalahari were meant to be enjoyed barefoot - but only in the cooler hours. You don’t have to venture far to see the natural inhabitants of the region, as the lodge is a regular meeting point for all kinds of animals. Nature drives, e-biking and walking trails will give you a better comprehension and appreciation of this never-ending vastness that is Namibia.
Perhaps you’ve experienced a Namibian thunderstorm by now against a pristine landscape canvas. If not, the crazy, yet amazing thing is that you still haven’t seen the whole country, so perhaps, like most visitors to our beautiful Namibia, you’ll be back for more.
These infinite horizons have become a huge attraction, be it the white plains in and around Etosha, the red dunes of the Kalahari, some of the world’s highest sand dunes in the Namib, or any other destination in this country that still boasts untouched landscapes. There are very few soul-cleansing experiences left in the world – Namibia is one of them.
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