Namibia is three times the size of the UK, but is home to just two million people. In some ways, travellers booking flights to Namibia will feel like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden – it’s a land teeming with wildlife and natural wonders and there are few people to share it with.
Located on Africa’s Atlantic coast, Namibia has a chequered past. It was German South West Africa between 1884 and 1915, a devastating time for the Herero, Nama and Damara tribes, and was then taken over by South Africa until Namibia declared independence in 1990.
Today, the German influence is visible in Windhoek, the capital, with its layout of “strasses”, beer gardens and colonial-era architecture.
Northern Namibia is home to the Etosha National Park. A game reserve since 1907, there are 114 species of mammal, 340 types of bird, 110 types of reptile and 16 amphibian species.
To the south lies the Namib Desert, a harsh but beautiful landscape of red sand dunes. The desert stretches 1,600km along the Skeleton Coast, the sinister-sounding site of many shipwrecks, some of which are now being found inland as the sand reclaims land from the sea.
Hot, hot, hot. This desert country can enjoy temperatures of 40 degrees in the summer. The coastal areas are cooler.
Namibia gets an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, and is a mostly year-round destination.
Winter runs from May to September, and temperatures are about 18-25 degrees during the day. At night, below-zero temperatures and frost is common. This is the time to search for cheap flights to Namibia for game viewing.
The summer months – and rainy season – are October to April. Temperatures range between 20 and 34 degrees and nights are cool. In the extreme north and south, temperatures can climb past 40 degrees. However, the summer months are the best time of year to go birding.
Air Namibia offers domestic Namibia flights from Eros Airport in Windhoek to destinations including Ondangwa, Walvis Bay, Luderitz and Oranjemund.
Several trains run to Namibia from South Africa including the Shongololo Express, Bushveld Train Safarisand the Rovos Rail, which operate scheduled itineraries. The Desert Express which offers overnight trips between Windhoek and Swakopmund, and Omugulu Gwombashe Star offers luxury trips from Windhoek to Oshivelo in Northern Namibia.
Intercape Mainliner operates bus services between bigger towns in Namibia and from Windhoek to Victoria Falls, Livingstone and Chobe National Park. It also connects with Johannesburg, Cape Town and other towns and cities in South Africa.
Renting a car is also an option for travellers. There are car-rental companies at Windhoek Airport. Drive on the left.
(prices quoted are from London)