Making the Most of Namibian Wildlife
Wherever you go in Namibia, you’ll discover unique sights and incredible creatures. From the cityscapes of Windhoek to the vast reaches of Etosha, Namibian wildlife will enchant and amaze you.
From the moment you fly into Windhoek, you’ll find opportunities to immerse yourself in the country’s wild creatures at rest camps just outside the city limits like Arebbusch Travel Lodge.
Find out more about these creatures, where to search for them and how to best enjoy your sightings here.
What to Expect from Namibian Wildlife
Namibia has a firm focus on conservation, with over 40% of the country’s land area devoted to biodiversity and sustainable initiatives.
As a result, Namibia offers a showcase of all of Africa’s most famous denizens, in over 20 state-run parks, 59 conservancies and numerous private game farms.
These places are dedicated to conserving the creatures in their custody, including several species found nowhere else on Earth.
Namibia’s Endemic Species
Apart from the 700-odd unique vascular plants found in Namibia, there are also 13 endemic bird species and 26 animals found in Namibia.
These numbers make Namibia a wildlife destination of global significance and endless fascination for visitors. Some of the best-known unique animals and plants include:
- Namib Coral-tree
- Lüderitz Living Stone
- Rock Corkwood
- Brandberg Acacia
- Carp’s Barking Gecko
- Dune Lark
- Namib Burrowing Skink
- Desert adapted lions and elephants
- Golden Wheel Spider
Some of the more creatively named ones include the festive gecko, the Namib Round-eared Sengi, the White Lady Spider, and the Dune Hairy-footed Gerbil.
Namibia’s Best-Known Conservation Spaces and What to See There
Namibia’s National Parks are the best place to see some of this incredible diversity. The landscapes mimic this variety, offering never-ending panoramas of vast deserts, huge sand dunes, salt pans, and dramatic canyons.
These are some of the best places to explore:
- Etosha National Park
Etosha offers one of the greatest showcases of wildlife in Africa, boasting all of the Big Five, barring buffalo. You won’t find any hippos among these arid spaces either, but the great numbers of lions and elephants soon make up for that.
The park offers a variety of accommodation both within its borders and along the edges of this spectacularly unique destination.
Swakopmund is adrenaline central in Namibia, offering many heart thumping activities for adventurers.
Here you can venture out on guided tours to see some of the world’s most enigmatic desert-dwelling species, like cartwheeling spiders, Palmetto geckos, toktokkies, and sand-diving lizards.
From here, you can head offshore to admire marine mammals at close quarters.
- Namib-Naukluft National Park and Sossusvlei
This is Africa’s largest game park, incorporating towering dunes, gravel plains, canyons, and mountains.
These arid spaces include some of Namibia’s most photographed places including the well-known Deadvlei. During your visit you could see oryx, springbok, steenbok, dassie rat, klipspringer, cheetah, large lichen fields, and ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis.
- Skeleton Coast
No trip to Namibia is complete without exploring this vast ravaged coastline, littered with the wreckages of ships.
This is where you might encounter desert-adapted lion, black rhino, and elephants, as well as hyenas, armour-plated lizards and Nile soft-shelled turtles. You can also catch up with the colony of fur seals at Cape Cross in the northern reaches of this fascinating stretch.
- Caprivi Strip
The Caprivi Strip offers a lush aspect of this diverse country with flowing rivers that are in stark contrast to the rest of Namibia. Grazing mammals abound here as well as leopards, Cape hunting dogs, crocodiles, and hippos.
The petrified forests, flat-topped mountains, and barren plains of Damaraland are another habitat that supports desert-adapted elephant and rhino. In fact, it’s the only place in the world where black rhinos exist without any conservation status.
- Fish River Canyon
The 500-million-year-old Fish River Canyon is more famous for its huge dimensions and abundance of hiking, biking, and running activities, but you could also spot some wildlife indulging in these pursuits.
These include zebra, kudu, and baboons.
This is yet another Namibian hotspot for seeing desert-adapted elephants. It’s a sparsely populated place offering plenty of diversity from mopane savannah and mountains, as well as the Kunene river.
It’s one of Namibia’s most pristine and untouched regions, nestled in the northwest corner of the country.
How to Maximize Your Wildlife Experiences
Each destination in Namibia offers a range of options for exploration, offered by experienced guides and tour operators, but there are also ways to enjoy Namibia under your own steam.
This is the full range of ways to make the most of your Namibian wildlife experiences:
Although an ordinary sedan will get you far in Namibia, renting a 4×4 is a good option for those who want access to every nook and cranny of the country. You can hire a suitable vehicle as well as camping gear on arrival in Windhoek.
When opting to go the self-drive route, your time is your own. You can spend time lapping up the wildlife experiences you most enjoy, without catering to the whims of other travelers. You can choose your own routes and linger at promising waterholes for hours at a time, indulge in bird watching, or focus on the little things in life.
Guided tours and game drives are ideal for those who want to seek out some of Namibia’s desert dwelling minutiae, or benefit from the knowledge of experienced guides. Often, they make a welcome change from trawling the landscapes on your own looking for wildlife and can provide fascinating insights into the natural world or relevant historic sites.
With a guided tour you can hand over the reins of responsibility to someone else so that you can truly enjoy all the sights and scenes without worrying about where to next?
Guided Walking Safaris
Some private reserves and tour operators offer a range of exciting excursions into the wild. During these outings, you’ll travel in the company of armed experienced guards, tracking sought-after animals like black rhino.
This is also one of the best ways to enjoy birdwatching, and find out more about Namibia’s floral species, too.
Hides and Floodlit Waterholes
Most of the camps in Etosha National Park have floodlit waterholes just outside the perimeter fence. These facilities allow serious nature enthusiasts to keep watch for Etosha’s most exciting species around the clock.
You’ll find bird hides scattered across the country at both private and national parks, where you can watch birds and passing wildlife wander by undisturbed.
With Hardly Any Effort at All
Whether you fly or drive into Windhoek, you can start your wildlife experiences right at the outset if you opt for a stay at Arebbusch Travel Lodge.
This lovely, secure property on the edge of Windhoek offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching while enjoying a meal or from the comfort of your own deck.
Explore Namibia’s Wildlife the Way You Want
Are you a keen wildlife enthusiast? Namibia offers abundant opportunities to get your fix. Explore our blog for more information or get in touch for assistance planning your trip.
Please Note: The details shared in this blog post are correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.