The Namibian Coast!

Namibia’s coastline stretches 1572 km, from the southern border with South Africa, until the northern border with Angola. The coastline is rich in geographic diversity, as well as in natural beauty, sights and activities. The Namibian coastal towns include Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Henties Bay, and Luderitz, and smaller spots to camp and visit such as Mowe Bay, Torra Bay, and Elizabeth Bay.

Swakopmund, or simply Swakop for short, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Namibia. This quaint town is a well-known holiday town, where many Namibians and foreigners alike spend weekends away, and much of the festive season. Swakop is characterised by its colonial-era German architecture, as well as the big sand dunes that tower directly to the south of the town. It is no wonder why Swakop is one of Namibia’s top holiday destinations, as there are loads of things to do in this small but exciting town. Cultural activities include visiting the aquarium, the museum, the Kristal Galerie (‘Crystal Gallery’ – a museum dedicated to precious gems and minerals of Namibia), and more. The town centre is an exciting bustle of small shops and cafés, and you can easily walk from town to the beach, to the Jetty or to the Mole (ideally with an ice-cream in hand). 

Moreover, there are numerous outdoor activities such as electric motorcycle or bicycle tours of the town, fat bike (special bicycles with large tyres to drive over the sand)  and quad bike tours in the dunes, dune-boarding, dune-climbing, and so on. The desert is both beautiful and has many exciting activities in store! One can also take walking tours into the desert to witness the incredible fauna and flora, as well as tours to the landscape surrounding Swakop, such as the Moon landscape. For the extreme thrill-seeker, you can even go skydiving over the desert!

For a more relaxed, yet still lively experience, you can drive about 22 kilometers north of Swakopmund towards Henties Bay, where you will find the locally beloved Windpomp14, a restaurant with delectable fresh seafood dishes and warm, upbeat atmosphere. It is also a popular spot for camping on the beach, with spacious camp spots with individual bathroom and kitchenette facilities. 

Walvis Bay, which is 30 kilometres to the south of Swakop, is more of an industrial town, but also has its own unique charm. The Walvis Bay lagoon is an ideal spot for a sunset stroll, where you can see flamingos and pelicans, and there are restaurants and cafés on the water with wonderful seafood specialties. From the Walvis Bay waterfront, you can go on a catamaran tour of the harbour and lagoon area, with a chance of seeing seals, dolphins, and even whales! One can also do kayak tours from Pelican Point, which is a scenic drive out of Walvis Bay. From a kayak, you will be right amongst the playful seals, and if you are lucky, you can be visited by the dolphins! Dune 7, the tallest dune in Namibia, is another short drive out of Walvis Bay, and is a tough but exhilarating climb. For a longer tour out of the town, you can travel south of Walvis Bay to see the magnificent Sandwich Harbour – the ultimate desert-meets-ocean scenic experience!

Ghost Towns!

There are several ghost towns along Namibia’s coastline. The most famous of the ghost towns is Kolmanskop. It is situated about 10 kilometers inland from Luderitz, and it is an abandoned mining town. Kolmanskop is a photographer’s dream – the old wooden houses have slowly been permeated by sand dunes over the years, making for a fascinating sight as the desert has overtaken the town. Elizabeth Bay is a small mining town, situated about 25km south of Luderitz, and it used to be known as a ghost town. However, the mine was reopened, and the town has once again become occupied. Lastly, 15 km south of Elizabeth Bay, is Pomona, the smallest and least known of the three ghost towns. All three of the ghost towns are located in an area called the Sperrgebiet (‘prohibited area’), which, even though it is a national park, is mostly closed off to public access because of diamond mining.

Skeleton Coast!

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast makes up most of the northern half of Namibia’s coastline. The name comes from whale and seal bones that have always been found along the sea, as well as over 1000 shipwrecks that are scattered across along the coastline. The Skeleton Coast is known for its desert wildlife, such as desert lions, desert elephants, hyenas, black rhinos, and more. There is also a world-famous surf spot called Skeleton Bay, where surfers from all over the world come to experience the legendary barrels! The southern part of the Skeleton Coast, from the Ugab River until Torra Bay, is open to all travellers, however the northern part (up until the Angolan border) is restricted and one requires a permit to enter this area, which can be acquired from Windhoek or Swakopmund. 

Whether you want to have an outdoorsy, camping adventure, or whether you want to visit small coastal towns with a variety of sights and activities, the Namibian coast has a lot to offer! You will also be able to experience the most unique of natural phenomena, the desert meeting the ocean.


Namibia’s capital city is one sight in Namibia that you wouldn’t want to miss. There is much to do in this vibrant cultural hub. Even though the city is relatively small compared to other capital cities, with a population of only about 330 000 people, it is by far the largest city in Namibia. Things to do in Windhoek range from metropolitan city-life activities to outdoorsy activities. There are numerous incredible restaurants and coffee shops in town, in the city center as well as in Windhoek’s modern malls. However, if you prefer to be out in nature, there are loads of options for you in and around Windhoek!

Windhoek City
Image by wboroma from Pixabay

In only a short drive, you will find yourself out of the city and in nature, where you can go on hikes and game drives, trail runs, mountain biking excursions, and much more. Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve is only 20km outside of Windhoek, and is a game reserve that offers game drives and scenic hikes. The game reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including antelope, giraffes, a large variety of birds, and even a family of cheetahs. The game reserve is also the ideal place to stay when visiting Windhoek, because the The Daan Viljoen lodge is stylish and comfortable, and the campsites are private and in the perfectly equipped. There is also the Boma Restaurant at Daan Viljoen, which overlooks the big blue swimming pool. It is the perfect getaway destination, whilst simultaneously being close enough to the excitement and bustle of the city.

Windhoek also has a vibrant and lively nightlife, with many restaurants and bars/pubs. There are also often live music events taking place, and activities such as karaoke, quiz nights, art exhibitions, and markets. The Windhoek City Market is an outdoor night market that happens once a month at the Windhoek Country Club. It has wonderful atmosphere with live music, and numerous food and drink stalls, and stalls with arts and gifts. There is also another night market called the El Barrio Neighbourhood Market, where you can find an incredible selection of food stalls to appease anyone’s appetite! Various daytime markets take place on the weekends in and around Windhoek, including the market at The Tannery, and the market at The Shed, the market at Omeya. All three of these markets have their own individual charm, and each of them takes place at a venue only a short drive out of Windhoek, in three different directions. 

In the center of town is a wonderful place called the Craft Center, where Namibian crafters and artisans showcase their lovely creations. These range from jewellery, to carved wooden homeware, to linen, curios, and much more. It is the perfect place to buy souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home, or to spoil yourself! A short walk from the Craft Center along Independence Avenue will bring you to even more Namibian crafters, where you can buy intricately carved wooden items. Here you will find yourself in the hub of the bustling city center, surrounded by a combination of newly constructed modern buildings, and historical buildings. Windhoek offers an interesting retrospective on Namibian history, and you can learn more about this when visiting the Independence Museum. 

To experience Windhoek in its entirety, there are numerous city tours available, which give you guided insights into the city and township, and are very informative about Namibian cultures and traditions. There is also a daily walking tour of the city center, offered by Chameleon Safaris, which is free! Otherwise, if you prefer to do your own thing, feel free to chat to locals to find out about the best spots for dinner, drinks, entertainment, or other. You are guaranteed to have an interesting and enjoyable time in the Namibian capital city! 


Sossusvlei is one of Namibia’s most popular tourist destinations. The name ‘Sossusvlei’ is often used as a blanket term for the area in which Sossusvlei is located, a part of the Namib Desert situated in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, in Southern Namibia. Sossusvlei itself is actually one of the famous ‘vleis’ in the area, the others being the Deadvlei and the Hiddenvlei. The word ‘vlei’ comes from the Afrikaans word meaning ‘marsh’. The vleis are so named because they have formed after being storage basins for the Tsauchab river, with no outflow points, creating wet and marshy basins during times of rain, and drying out to form white salt pans when it is dry (which is the majority of the year). 

The gateway to the Namib Naukluft National Park, leading to Sossusvlei, is called Sesriem. About 4kms away from Sesriem, is the Sesriem Canyon. The Sesriem Canyon is a small but magnificent canyon, carved out by the Tsauchab River, stretching for about one kilometer. It gets up to 30 meters deep, and some parts of the canyon are only about 2 meters wide. The name ‘sesriem’ comes from a combination of two Afrikaans words; ‘ses’ meaning ‘six’, and ‘riem’ meaning ‘rawhide thong’. This name originated from the Dorsland Trekkers who settled in the area. They discovered that it would take the length of 6 rawhide thongs tied to a bucket to reach water at the bottom of the canyon at one specific point. This part of the canyon still has water that is enjoyed by the animals of the area. 

Just beyond the entrance into Sesriem, you will need to stop at the permit office, and purchase a permit for the number of people in your group, and for the amount of days that you will be visiting the park. The payment for this permit is important as it goes towards ensuring the upkeep of the national park facilities, as well as the conservation efforts for the landscape and the wildlife. Once you’ve acquired your permit, you will continue towards the actual gate of the national park, which opens at sunrise, and closes at sunset. The specific opening and closing times will be on display at the gate, and will vary around 7am and 7pm. Once in the park, after a 5km drive you will reach the iconic Elim Dune, which is a tall orange sand dune and is popular to climb and visit for sunsets, as it isn’t too far from the gate. Further into the park, you will find Dune 45, which is so named because it is found 45 km after the gate, and it is also a popular dune to climb. About 60 kms into the park, you will reach a parking spot where 2×4 cars will need to stop. Sossusvlei is about 6km further from this stop, but a 4-wheel drive vehicle is required to reach it because from this point onwards, the tarmac road changes to a thick sand road. The Hiddenvlei is a 4km walk from the 2×4 parking spot, and the Deadvlei is about 2km away from Sossusvlei. All the beautiful vleis are therefore in the same vicinity, making it easy and convenient to visit them all. And trust me, it would be worth it. 

Remember to always be mindful of the environment! The Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world, and has a fragile and unique ecosystem. There is a reason that Sossusvlei is Namibia’s most visited tourist attraction: because it is an absolutely beautiful landscape, and a sight to behold like no other. However, we need to work together to keep it that way! When visiting, make sure to leave no trace by keeping your rubbish and discarding it responsibly back at your accommodation, as well as respecting the fauna and flora. No matter how tempting it is to climb the dead trees in the Deadvlei, please don’t! These trees are hundreds of years old, petrified in time, and they are integral to the beauty of the Deadvlei – a symbol of strength to withstand time, but without human interference.

If you’d like to see more photos, visit our Instagram page here.

Discovering the Dead Valley Lodge

As you drive South from Windhoek, you may think that the landscape can’t get any more spectacular, and you will be surprised to discover that it gets more and more interesting along the way. You will leave Windhoek on the B1, travelling South through the mountainous Windhoek surrounding area, on tar road until you eventually turn off onto a gravel road. This is where the real fun begins. Depending on which route you have taken, you might get to the Spreetshoogte pass, which is an incredible drive through the Khomas Hochland Mountain Range. When you reach the top of the pass, you will need to stop and marvel at the view across the immense plains that stretch for hundreds of kilometers, before continuing your journey. Finally, shortly after having stopped for a coffee a slice of famous apple pie from McGregor’s Bakery in Solitaire, you arrive in Sesriem, the gateway to the famous Sossusvlei Desert.

It’ll probably be busy when you arrive at the Sesriem gate and go into the permit office. After all, Sossusvlei is Namibia’s most popular tourist attraction. However, once you’ve gotten your permit and continue towards the Dead Valley Lodge, you’ll slowly feel like you’re entering into another world. When the lodge comes into view, it doesn’t fail to amaze. The architecture is fascinating, but it doesn’t stand out like an eyesore against the serene desert background. In fact, it seems to blend in with its surroundings, as the iconic metal structure in front of the lodge is evocative of majestic shape of the desert dunes. 

Upon entering into the lodge lobby, you are greeted with the welcome sounds of cascading water from several water features, like entering into an oasis, and offered a refreshing cold-drink. You are also met with the incredible sight of the lodge interior. The word ‘interior’ may not even be the correct way to describe it, because everything is wonderfully open, so much so that there is no real barrier between the interior and exterior. If I’m making it sound like a fairytale, it’s because it is. The openness of the main lodge creates a lovely sense escape and relaxation, and looking out into the desert plains whilst sitting on a big comfy couch with a refreshing beverage is pure bliss. 

The accommodation at the Dead Valley Lodge consists of 20 luxury tented chalets. Each chalet is equipped with all the essentials; a kitchenette with fridge and coffee/tea station, air-conditioning, safe, and more. The chalets stand facing out towards the desert, and the tented walls have large ‘windows’ which can be opened to reveal the incredible view of the landscape. Each chalet is also free-standing, and feels like a private villa. The room and bathroom are spacious and impeccably decorated, and each chalet has a private patio with a table and chairs, which is the ideal spot to have a morning coffee and gaze out at the nature, and sometimes you are even greeted by the desert wildlife, such as the majestic oryx, who roam about the desert plains.

Another highlight of the Dead Valley Lodge is one thing that is important to everyone: the food. Every evening, the dinner buffet is laid out like a spread fit for royalty. You wouldn’t imagine that a lodge in the desert, in a remote part of Namibia would be able to serve such fresh and scrumptious cuisine. The starter spread is made up of a wide variety of foods including smoked salmon, prawns and calamari, fragrant soups, and fresh bread and salads. The main course is a special experience on its own; you choose your steak from a variety of meats (including ostrich and crocodile!), which is then seared to perfection, according to your preference, in front of you on one of the buffet grills. You also have a large selection of sides including vegetables and sauces. The dessert (not to be confused with Desert – both are incredible at Dead Valley) is no less spectacular, with options ranging from a warm, baked Southern African Malva pudding, to cheesecakes, chocolate mousses, and more. Lunch and breakfast are served à la carte.

If you aren’t spending your time relaxing by the idyllic pool, or reading in the lobby lounge, or unwinding in your chalet, you could go on one of the scenic drives that Dead Valley Lodge offers. You can’t go to Sossusvlei and not visit the iconic Deadvlei at sunrise, which the Dead Valley is named after. It is the most pristine and surreal desert landscape, with the fossilised trees standing in stark contrast against the bright orange dunes, rising up from the white salt pan. Or, you can go on a sunset drive and have a guided walk on the Elim dunes, where you will be able to sit and enjoy the sunset with a refreshing beverage. You can also choose to go to the Sesriem Canyon, which is like a hidden gem, lying beneath the earth’s surface. It is awe-inspiring to walk in the canyon, between the tall canyon walls and magnificent rock formations. 

Overall, my time at the Dead Valley Lodge was one that I won’t soon forget. Its location, views, services, and activities create an atmosphere and experience that can aptly be described with one word: magical. I will most certainly be going back for more. 

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Getting Around in Namibia

From far away, planning a trip to Namibia may seem daunting. But, we want to help make it easier by giving you some advice for planning your travels, and what to consider before arriving as well as during your stay. The topic for our first blog post is: Getting Around in Namibia!

Namibia is a BIG country. Fortunately, there are several options for transport when travelling around Namibia.

Getting around in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. 

First, you need to consider that Windhoek’s airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport, is about 40 kilometers outside of Windhoek itself. So, it’s important to arrange transport from the airport into town. There are numerous shuttle services available that do airport transfers to Windhoek, which makes it simpler to find and book your transfer. Otherwise, you can rent a car at the airport from one of the several car rental companies. You can easily find these and book online.

Once you’re in Windhoek, getting around isn’t too difficult. Popular international companies like Uber aren’t available in Namibia, but we have our own version called LEFA. LEFA is the Namibian Uber, and it is a very new, exciting and convenient method of transportation in and around the city. It works the same way that Uber does, you download the LEFA app from the App Store or Google Play, register with a cellphone number, and voilà, you are ready to request your lift. And, you do not need to stress about always needing WiFi connectivity to be online in Namibia, because SIM cards are easily and cheaply available, and data prices are comparatively low. But do take note, LEFA rides have to be paid in cash at the end of your trip, because the app does not yet accept cashless payment methods. Another cab company is called Dial-A-Cab, which works exactly as its name describes, you phone them and they send you a cab.

There are also a huge amount of public taxis in windhoek, and they are easily recognisable because of the large numbers on their cars, in order to identify them. These taxis are cheap and easy to come across, but it is important to have your wits about you in terms of safety, and they may not always drive very responsibly. Namibia is a safe country,  but it always helps to practise caution and be alert when travelling in a new place. 

[Sun Karros Lifestyle Safaris’ Daan Viljoen Lodge and Daan Viljoen Campsites  also offer transport services into Windhoek, to take guests to and from the most exciting and popular local spots and activities.]

Public transport in towns and cities, such as busses, are purely catered to local commuters and would not be of much service to tourists and travellers. 

And there you go! Now you know how you would get from place to place in Windhoek, whether you are dining out in one of Windhoek’s many restaurants, going to a Windhoek city market, or just generally want to get out of the hotel. You can almost always be guaranteed of good weather in Windhoek, so you might as well make the best of the visit!

Getting around the rest of Namibia.

If you are planning on travelling extensively throughout Namibia, the easiest way is to have your own rental car. However, the more remote you go, the more things you need to take into consideration and plan for. Many of the smaller, less used roads will only be accessible with a 4 wheel-drive car, either a Land Cruiser SUV or a pick-up truck (known locally as a bakkie). You would also need to be prepared with extra fuel, in case you get lost or reach a place that is too remote, and may not have fuel available. In Namibia, it’s very easy to drive for hundreds of kilometres and not reach any towns! 

If you do not want to hire a car to travel around Namibia, the other option would be to take a bus. There are several bus services, the most popular being Intercape MainLiner which has routes from Windhoek going to all of the major towns in Namibia, as well as through to Cape Town, South Africa. To get the most of a Namibian safari experience, we recommend that you gear up, rent a car, and explore this beautiful country in its entirety. The most prominent feature that you should be setting your sights on is Sossusvlei. This beautiful pan is located in the Namib Naukluft National Park, one of the biggest national parks in the world.  It is known for its majestic red dunes and vast open expanse, and you can experience this either by camping at Sesriem Oshana Campsites, or you can live it up in luxury at our Dead Valley Lodge. The Dead Valley Lodge also offers scenic drives into the national park, giving guided tours of Sossusvlei and the not-to-be-missed Deadvlei. 

Between Windhoek and Swakopmund, the easiest way to travel is a shuttle bus. There are numerous easy, reliable and inexpensive shuttle bus services that run daily between the two towns. You would definitely want to make the trip through to Swakopmund, Namibia’s picturesque coastal town. It is about a 4 hour drive away from Windhoek, and when you arrive, you will immediately notice the vast expanse of sand dunes to your left as you enter into the town. Although Swakopmund weather is slightly less predictable than Windhoek weather, with the sun shining bright on some days and the mist hanging low and thick on others, there are always things to do in this little town. 

Outdoor adventure activities include beach days, catamaran tours, visiting the iconic Swakopmund Jetty, quad biking tours through the dunes, and dining out at the locally beloved Windpomp 14 restaurant, known for its seafood and live music. Indoor activities are also numerous, such as a visit to the aquarium or museum, or browsing the quaint and quirky shops and restaurants in the Swakopmund town centre.