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Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

Namibia is a land of endless blue skies, vast horizons and crisp mornings: pure joy for photography enthusiasts. It is also safe, clean and organized with an excellent infrastructure, making it a favourite destination for family vacations, especially self-drive safaris (that’s travel lingo for independant road tripping - an ideal way to vacation with teenagers). 

Namibia’s wildlife is fascinating (think intriguing desert-adapted species like elephant and oryx), with Etosha National Park and Damaraland offering the best game viewing. Sossusvlei’s massive sand dunes are on our Top 10 Most Inspirational Places In Africa for good reason, while the remote Damaraland and Kunene regions are home to ancient rock art. The Kunene is the setting for one of Africa’s top cultural encounters with the extraordinary Himba people. 

The crowning jewel of this treasure of a destination is Swakopmund: a pretty coastal town that is Adventure Central. Go sandboarding, quad biking and camel riding in the desert, or explore the wild Atlantic Ocean on boat trips in search of dolphins, pelagic birds and Cape fur seals.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

Namibia is a land of big blue skies and excellent infrastructure – including the well-maintained dirt roads.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

It is easily one of Africa's best family safari destinations, especially for children. 

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

Namibia is home to a plethora of desert-adapted species, like this scimitar-horned oryx that is also known as a 'gemsbok' in the Afrikaans language.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

The Namib Desert is breath-taking with its lost valleys and fossilized trees. Head to Deadvlei to see a dessicated ancient wetland studded with weather-beaten tree stumps, surrounded by dunes that seem to change colour depending on the time of day.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

This is a destination filled with sweeping vistas and unforgettable moments. The dunes of the Namib are among the tallest and oldest in the world.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

The great dunes of Sossusvlei – one of Africa’s most inspiring places. It is a travel tradition to climb Dune 45 (generally taken to be the highest in the area) at sunrise before savouring a well-deserved cup of coffee.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

 Expect plenty of outdoor action, from sand boarding to quad biking (ATVs). Sand boarding is easier than surfing and the soft dunes break your (hopefully not too many!) falls easily while you are learning. 

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

Desert-adapted elephants possess an almost mystical knowledge of water sources, allowing them to cross vast expanses of the country along historical migratory routes. Many desert species have evolved to need water only once every few days.

Africa's Best Family Road Trips: Namibia

Afternoons are best spent relaxing in anticipation of the spectacular sunsets. There is much more to Namibia than the desert: to the north, Damaraland is greeen and fertile while to the south, the long and wide Orange River is a lifeline for farmers and wildlife alike.

Do you love the idea of a family road trip but don’t feel confident in your 4x4 driving skills? Namibia offers a range of great options, from hiring a driver-guide with your vehicle to joining a fully serviced 4x4 expedition. You can also fly from destination to destination via light aircraft, giving you a bird's eye view of the magnificent canyons, mountains, dunes, pans and river that make up the unique terrain.

If Namibia’s combination of sunshine, easy-going adventure and outdoor fun sounds right for you, have a look at some of the sample tours listed below. These ideas for itineraries show you how the attractions combine and give you an idea of costs but they are not cast in stone. We believe in tailor-making the journey around you, not making you fit the journey.

If your time is limited: this 7-day fly-in safari uses quick air charters to include Sossusvlei’s dunes, cultural encounters with the Himba people in the Kunene region, and the chance to spot Damaraland’s desert-adapted elephant.  

The family road trip of a lifetime: the Namibia Self-Drive Adventure, a 10-day 4x4 safari taking in Etosha National Park’s wildlife, Swakopmund’s adventure activities and Sossusvlei’s dunes – perfect for independant travellers.

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