Namibia is best-known for its otherworldly landscapes: immense red dunes atop white clay pans; ancient, black mountains riven with rugged, sand-bottomed canyons; hazy coastlines dotted with old shipwrecks and whale bones. The magnificent emptiness and bleak beauty of the country draws a small but increasing number of well-traveled visitors, especially with the openings of new luxury safari lodges and tented camps.
But Namibia is not just about splendid scenery. The country has an abundance of desert-adapted wildlife, including elephant, giraffe and some of the last unfenced rhino in the world. Both in the Hoanib Valley and along the Skeleton Coast, we saw a range of unique animals. Indeed, one of the most memorable sundowner drives I’ve had was in the ostensibly inhospitable Hoanib Valley.
The Skeleton Coast lives up to its eerie name, and standing where the grey dunes meet the sea feels like standing on the edge of the world. Fog and underground rivers support an abundance of life here, including boisterous seal colonies and surprisingly cute jackals.