Desert Namibia: The Open Spaces from the Namib Desert to Damaraland

C. Fraser Claire

Dunes, Desert-Adapted Wildlife, and Dark Skies in Desert Namibia

Desert Namibia: Exploring the Namib Desert and Damaraland Dunescapes

Rugged Landscapes, Extraordinary Remoteness, and Unexpected Beauty in Desert Namibia

Anyone who loves the world's wild places is naturally attracted to savannah, forest, and mountains.The wilder and more remote the better. Few places invoke the 'lost in the world' feeling quite like the desert. Desert Namibia in particular holds scenes of apparent desolation that, on closer observation, brim with life, beauty, and the Earth's oldest stories. Along isolated gravel tracks, through mountains of volcanic black and searing red dunes, this scenery is hypnotic.

An exploration of wildest Namibia is an exercise in solitude. There is not much of humanity to observe here - and the locals themselves are a marvel of subsistence, a reminder of how little we actually need to survive. Tufts of plants peeking through the gravel make the presence of wildlife a mystery, a myth - until one stumbles across a perfect print in the sand. You're alone with desert-adapted animals that underscore the 'wild' in wildlife. From the well-trodden tourist attractions of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei to the astonishing quiet of Namib Rand and incredible encounters with desert-adapted wildlife in Damaraland, explore desert Namibia with us.

Namib Desert & Desert Namibia Travel Tips >

Desert Namibia Safari Travel by The Safari Store
The burnt red of the sand marks the age of the landscape - the ancient heart of the world cast in brilliant bronze.

Namibia means 'the land of open spaces' - a place that has earned its name and gives a masterclass in plains, mountains, and dunes. This is the middle of nowhere, the edge of everywhere. It is a country that pares back the ages to show off every kind of landscape - from delta-esque floodplains of Caprivi to towering dunes of the Namib and the jagged shores of the Skeleton Coast with bones and shipwrecks between its teeth.

Round every gravel bend is spellbinding scenery, changing in hue and shadow. This is country that features endemic species, fascinating cultures, African wildlife, some of the world's darkest skies, and historical landmarks - hidden in sheer distance.

Read our destination stories for travel inspiration, get quick travel tips for exploring desert Namibia and Damaraland, and find out what to pack so you're prepared for your Namibian adventure.

What To Pack For Desert Namibia >

Desert Namibia travel by The Safari Store
Desert Namibia self-drive safari - by The Safari Store

Namib Desert and Namibrand

The Namib Desert and Namib Rand are the perfect destination for anyone on the hunt for true peace, quiet, and remoteness. Namibia's wide open spaces show off here in unforgettable ways, with desert's towering dunes and the area's extraordinary biodiversity on show for every visitor. Namib Rand is also Africa's first Dark Sky Reserve - one of the darkest skies ever measured. No matter what kind of traveller you are, there's a unique sense of peace that comes from time among the dunes and observing the cosmos from a campfire in Namib Rand.

Visiting the Namib Desert means stepping foot in the world's oldest desert - a place that has remained remarkably stable for around 80 million years as the world has changed around it. There is a poignance to how untouched the place has been by human development. While the Namib is a celebration of constancy, be warned - you may just find yourself changed by it.

Read About Namib Rand >

Desert Namibia - Namib Rand by The Safari Store

Sossusvlei and Namib Naukluft Park

The great adobe dunes at Sossusvlei have megalithic appeal for people around the world. These dunes are among the tallest in the world. Whether standing at their base of these dunes or climbing their high ridges, being dwarfed by dunes is the perfect contrast to savannah and bushveld safaris on a trip to Southern Africa. If you're trying to capture the perfect snaps, the light and scope of the dune fields - on the ground or on the popular hot air balloon rides in the area - make for exquisite subject matter.

Read about our day trip to Namib-Naukluft National Park and a day in the dunes at Sossusvlei.

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Namib Naukluft and Sossusvlei - by The Safari Store


The map makes Twyfelfontein look like a metropolis. While this remote town is a great stop-off for supplies or a few days' stay on a Damaraland tour, it is surrounded by the desolate beauty of Namibia's sandy, stony landscapes. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has some of the highest concentrations of petroglyphs in the world and is a short drive from the ancient rock formations, the Organ Pipes.

Find out about our stop at Twyfelfontein, an extraordinary first sighting of desert elephants, and a trip through powder dust along the Khowarib Schlucht on our Namibian overlanding trip.

Read About Twyfelfontein & Khowarib Schlucht >

Desert Namibia in Twyfelfontein - by The Safari Store

Hobatere to Palmwag

From listening to lions in the middle of the night to following the road to the middle of nowhere, our Damaraland overland tour took us from Hobatere outside Etosha's Galton Gate along the dry riverbed of the Ombondi River to the desert oasis at Palmwag.

Find out about this desert wonderland, wild camping next to lion prints, and moonlight through the palms at Palmwag as we made our way to the wild and raging Skeleton Coast.

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Desert Namibia travel to Palmwag - by The Safari Store

Skeleton Coast National Park

The jagged mountains inland of the Skeleton Coast are dips and peaks of beauty and hopelessness viewed from a beach littered with shipwrecks, whale bones, hyena tracks, and lion warnings. The ferocity of the winds and sea along this stretch of Atlantic coastline add to the drama of this extraordinary scenery.

Find out about our overlanding trip through the Skeleton Coast National Park towards Mount Brandberg and to Ugab STR Camp - a land of passes, plains, rock and shadow.

Read About Skeleton Coast and Ugab >

Desert Namibia - Skeleton Coast National Park - by The Safari Store

Etosha National Park

The 'great white place' of Etosha National Park holds plenty of appeal for safari-lovers. As with all of Namibia's destinations, the landscape shows off in this part of the world. The shimmering white of the pan turns elephants into giant clay figurines, with plenty of action around waterholes to pepper the peacefulness of the place with a bit of adrenaline.

Find out about the popular Etosha National Park - from the pan to the dolomite kopjies and mopane woodland. Get destination inspiration, travel tips, and packing advice.

Read About Etosha National Park >

Etosha National Park - by The Safari Store
Desert Elephants in Namibia - by The Safari Store

Preparing For Your Desert Namibia Safari. Travel Tips and Packing Advice For the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei.

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