I honestly don’t think I will ever get over my Namibia road trip. After my Namibia safari tour I legitimately had a new FAVORITE country… and that is saying a lot for someone who always refused to name a favorite for anything!
I did this overland tour through Namibia (and 6 other countries) but you could also do a self-drive Namibia road trip if you are up for the challenge. The photos I took in Namibia have got to be some of the best of my entire life, and I wanted to share them with you.
I spent a total of ten days driving through Namibia. We entered from South Africa on the south coast, by crossing the Orange River. We then traveled north, visiting Fish River Canyon, the Namib Desert, Namib-Nakluft National Park, Sossusvlei and sand dunes, ‘moonland,’ Swakopmund, Spitzkoppe, Etosha National Park, and Windhoek. These photos are all in order – an itinerary style, if you will – of the trip. I’ll list them out by day and explain a bit about what they are.
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The Namibia road trip was so much more than just these destinations, however. The entire journey – even the smallest of moments – was really pure magic. From the women selling fresh crystals on the side of the road, to catching tadpoles in cool rock pools, to scrambling up sand dunes and rock piles for incredible African sunsets, to exploring roadside markets and having the Atlantic ocean lap up at my toes… it was truly incredible. I can’t really even find the words to describe what Namibia is to me. I think I’ll just let the photos do the talking on this one… with minimal interruption by my attempts at captions!
BUT – if you want an in-depth explanation of each day/place (with less photos) I actually wrote a journal every single day of my Africa trip, which is published on my blog. To get the full experience, maybe open My Road Trip through Namibia: African Adventure Daily Travel Journal (opens in another tab automatically) so you can peer a bit into what life was like during my Namibia overland tour. If not… I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did! WAY less reading that way. 😛
Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 1: Orange River
This river creates the southern border between Namibia and South Africa. It’s the beginning of a desolate desert, has incredible geological formations, and beautiful river rafting. We stayed at a beautiful space called The Growcery, with a campsite, open-air bar area, guided rafting tours, and upgrades to tiny check rooms for under $3.
I just LOVE getting up close to cool textures.
This guy was growing all by himself out of hard, dry rock.
We hiked up to this view over the Orange River. Namibia is on the other side!
We watched the sun set over the river with our new furry friend.
Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 2: Road to Fish River Canyon
The drive today was incredible, and we had our faces and cameras totally glued to the window the whole time. Well, we actually had them OUT the window, because it was so hot that the only way to get a breeze was to open the windows all the way!
We pulled up to our lodge, Canyon Roadhouse, and set up camp. It was a beautiful campsite, but we were jealous of the accommodated tour busses staying in the beautiful lodge! It really did have an old roadhouse feel, with old cars in display and everything! We did a quick drive to Fish River Canyon in time to walk a part of the rim and watch ANOTHER one of the best sunsets of my life!
The desert was desolate and flat for the first part of the day.
… But then it got more interesting.
These and almost all the rest of the photos (until Etosha) are different parts of the extraordinarily diverse, incredibly scenic Namib Desert. This desert covers the entire West Coast of Namibia (and parts of South Africa and Angola), and is one of the largest, and THE oldest desert in the world.
Enjoying the vibes from the oldest desert in the world. And when I say old, I mean 55 MILION YEARS OLD.
This is Fish River Canyon. It’s the second largest canyon in the world behind the Grand Canyon.
I thought my shirt was very appropriate for my adventure.
Fish River Canyon also started forming at least 50 million years ago, and it one of the best sunset spots of my life. Wait for it….
THERE IT IS. Can life get much better?
Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 3: Fish River to Sossus Camp
This leg of out Namibia road trip was one of my favorite drives of my life. As you will see, the scenery changed SO drastically through the day, but each and every view was equally, ridiculously, GORGEOUS!
I would go back to this campsite, Hammerstein Lodge + Campsite, in a heartbeat. The setting was perfect. It was basic, but truly all we needed to enjoy this desert wonderland. They even had a little pool and set out food for the wild animals!
This is what lunchtime looks like on an overland tour. Pull over somewhere pretty, everyone help get out and prepare the supplies, set the chairs up in a circle, make sandwiches, chill out and enjoy the meal with a view.
No sleeping allowed on this road trip. You wouldn’t want to miss a single view!
Yet again, the landscape changes.
Still breathtaking though .
It’s more than just the views here; you really feel something. It’s like the desert wants to teach you from it’s 55 million years of existence.
From orange and green back to white and purple.
Distant, purple mountains protecting the desert.
Our scenic campsite for the night in the Sossus Desert.
The epitome of a desert Oasis, our campsite had a tiny pool built into a grass area with trees – the only bright green for miles.
Desert colors + tones.
There couldn’t possible be a happier camper around!
But wait, the camper DID get happier when wild animals arrived to feed near the camp and she got to get up close and take photos. This wildebeast and Oryx are going head to head.
When you’re looking out over wild animals in the middle of a purple desert, and it becomes real that you’re in AFRICA.
Oh yeah, and you are also watching them from a POOL.
Namibia did not have ONE less-than-perfect sunset. Not one. You’ll see from all the pics.
Orange on one side, purple on the other.
This is not an ad for Acacia Africa, I Promise 😛
Each night we would switch off helping our amazing guide cook dinner and wash up. This night we had an awesome barbecue – or a braai as they call it here in Africa!
My day got even better when this adorable little guy wandered over from reception. He would fit perfectly in my backpack! 😛
Oh, and it got even BETTER when a casual GIRAFFE walked by at sunset. What is life?!?!
I didn’t think life could improve until the stars came out. Dear lord, the stars in Namibia are 5x brighter than the brightest I have ever seen.
Galaxies, cosmic clouds, more stars than I have ever been able to make out. Magic.
Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 4: Sossus Camp to Sossusvlei Dunes and Namib Nakluft National Park
Today we arose before the sun to make it to the famous Namib Nakluft National Park. On the agenda was hiking sand dunes and checking out Deadvlei, a famous ancient desert! It’a a true highlight of Namibia and must be a stop on any Namibia road trip!
We were up before the sun to climb the dunes before it got too hot. This was a desert sunrise.
Here’s our truck driving through the red desert at sunrise, with the moon still out. I like taking sideways photos sometimes.
The angular sunrise light on the dramatic dunes.
Looking out over the desert from one of the most famous dunes in Sossusvlei, Dune 45.
Apparently, it’s the most photographed sand dune in the world. The tiny dots up there are people.
It’s hard to tell, but this photo stretched for miles. You can just make out the road.
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Tiny people, big world.
I’ll never get over the contrast on these dunes.
Smooth. Milky…. creamy.
Arriving to walk to deadvlei. Would you use this outhouse?
More awesome textures.
Deadvlei is an ancient white clay pan within the red dunes, with ancient dead trees creating a photographer’s paradise.
A skeleton living up to the name of its location.
These trees are over 1000 years old, and it got too dry for them to even decompose.
Back in the truck we got to observe some more wild animals.
Maybe the most interesting animal crossing sign I’ve seen.
It may look grainy, but honestly there were that many stars.
Those are two different galaxies next to the Milky Way. That’s THREE GALAXIES we could see with our naked eyes.
Photos to Inspire A Namibia Road Trip Day 5: Sossusvlei to Swakopmund
Today we went back into civilization from being out in the middle of absolute nowhere (and loving it) for the past few days. Rather than small remote campsites with mere toilet and kitchen structures for us, we stayed in an actual hostel in Swakopmund called Amanpuri. Staying in a real bed – with a real pillow- was actually life changing. We forgot how good it felt!
Swakopmund is one of the best places to do adventures in Namibia. There are tons of Swakopmund activities like Sandboarding, skydiving, 4×4’ing, and more. It’s also coastal, and near the city you can see where the massive sand dunes meet the Atlantic. It’s pretty much perfect.
Couple desert zebras checking on things.
The tropic of Capricorn passes through Namibia. This means that there’s a temperate climate south of the Tropic, and a more tropical climate to the north. We could actually see this change in our further Africa travels! Funnily enough, I crossed this Tropic in Australia also.
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Soon after the Tropic of Capricorn, we started to pass through an area known as ‘moonland.’ I’ll give you three guesses why it’s called that! 😛
I’m also a big fan of photographing roads! This is a legit Namibian Highway. Most driving days would consist of regularly catching air due to the bumpiness.
Continuations of Moonland
THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!
If I asked you to guess where I took this, would you in a million years have guessed ‘Namibia?’
This is a coastal view of Swakopmund. There are little shops, markets, restaurants, and museums in town.
Photos to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 6: Sandboarding and Swakopmund
We stayed an extra day in Swakopmund in order to have time to do all the activities it had to offer! I chose to go sandboarding, and others did other or multiple activities.
First walk up the hill for to go sandboarding! Read all about Sandboarding in Namibia here.
I got the hang of things pretty quickly!
Namibia used to be a German colony, and is to this day full of a majority of German tourists and German-speaking tours. The buildings and street names are all very German. This is an old advertisement for boats sailing here from Germany.
Photos to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 7: Spitzkoppe
Spitzkoppe may or may not have been my favorite stop of the Namibia road trip. OK, fine, I would never choose a favorite (have you been paying attention to these photos?!) But Spitzkoppe, a national park of mountainous boulders and incredible nature, was absolutely unforgettable. We stayed at the only campsite there, Spitzkoppe Community camp, and totally went off the grid for a night and loved it.
We pulled over for some photos as soon as the park came into view. Pretty spectacular, huh?
This is one of the crystal necklaces I bought on the side of the road on the way to Spitzkoppe.
Stands on the side of the road into Spitzkoppe where local children were selling shells, crystals, wind chimes, and other trinkets.
Just a little desert campsite 🙂
We arrived at our campsite, pitched our tents, and went on a bush walk to see some ancient bushman paintings. This plant is one they would apparently use as poison to kill animals. So… don’t touch this root! 😉
Our guide explaining these multiple thousand-year-old bushman paintings to us.
Afterwards I shot off on an adventure up the mountain. These people seemed to have the right idea.
A different yet equally stunning part of the Namib Desert
Quick 10 second timer shot by propping my camera up on a rock. 🙂
Of course we shoud have known that Spitzkoppe would offer ANOTHER other-worldly sunset!
My camp mates probably got tired of me telling them where to stand for epic photos… but I think this one turned out!
*heart eyes emoji*
Of course, the sunset was also perfectly framed.
My friend Min putting the size of this place in perspective
Gettin’ creative with the star photos tonight.
Photos to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 8: Spitzkoppe to Etosha National Park
Today we left the desert once and for all, and were zoming on on finding some real African Wildlife in Etosha National Park. Over the 2 days we were there, staying at the Okaukuejo Resort’s campsite. I loved spending time by the pool here in between our safari’s!
Saying goodbye to Spitzkoppe.
First spotting of our afternoon game drive: a springbok!
One of the highlights of Etosha was seeing an entire family of giraffes walk by.
We also spotted a hunting jackal, which is rare!
Shaping up to be yet another great sunset?
Why yes, yes, it was.
Etosha National Park Day 2
Today was a full day Namibian safari! We weren’t the most successful but it was a beautiful day in a beautiful place.
Etosha National Park
The most exciting part of our day – dozens of vultures eating a poor elephant. Oh, the food chain!
The massive lake in the middle of Etosha is largely dry.
The one thing giving me fomo of doing a flight over the Namib-Nakluft sand dunes – ‘the kiss’ dunes!
ANOTHER amazing sunset, this time over the watering hole?! Would only be better if a lion came to drink!
Photo to Inspire Your Namibia Road Trip Day 10: Windhoek!
Windhoek (pronounced in an extremely German-sounding way) is the capital of Namibia. We got there on a national holiday, so everything was closed, unfortunately. My group and I got to walk around a bit, but there’s no way a city could ever compare to what we had seen in the days prior!
We stayed at Urban Camp, which was beautiful safe, and centrally located. After setting up, we got an amazing dinner of local game at a German restaurant (I got an oryx schnitzel!) to round our our AMAZING Namibia road trip.
Next Up in my African Travel Journals: Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe!
ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR NAMIBIAN ROAD TRIP:
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