Into The Wild: 3 Must-Visit Safaris In Namibia

Into The Wild: 3 Must-Visit Safaris In Namibia

Just a few years ago, Namibia was the darling of the travel world. Like all trends, the media influencers have moved onto new shiny objects – or in our case, destinations. I say let them and their followers move on! Leave Namibia to us savvy travelers as Namibia is still worthy of our travels. Namibia is safe for independent travel and is easy to navigate with a developed infrastructure of roads. Many of the other “hot” destinations require organized tours to travel deeper.

While there is a ton to do in Namibia, this article focuses solely on safaris, which can easily fill up a week or more. My recommendation is to fly into Windhoek, Namibia, rent a car, and start driving north to these 3 essential wildlife parks for some Namibia safari.

Dip your toes into the wild side at Daan Viljoen Game Park

into the wild: 3 must-visit safaris in namibia | dip your toes into the wild side at daan viljoen game park

Daan Viljoen Game Park may not be the most adventurous of Namibia’s game parks, but it is definitely worthy of a visit. While you won’t find any of the big five (lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard) in the game park, you will find plenty of other wildlife to get you excited for what’s to come. There are plenty of antelopes, giraffes, and birds to photograph along the trails. As an added bonus, Daan Viljoen is one of the few parks where you can hike the trails without a guide.

It’s also a great spot to rest for a couple of nights to allow the jetlag to dissipate. Relax at the pool or on the private terrace of your room. We spent hours sitting on ours watching the baboons and warthogs at play. Daan Viljoen is also only a short drive to Windhoek if you wish to explore Namibia’s capital city.

Track wild cats at AfriCat Foundation

into the wild: 3 must-visit safaris in namibia | track wild cats at africat foundation

Your experiences only get better as you drive further north to Okonjima – home of the world renowned AfriCat Foundation. While AfriCat has facilities throughout Namibia dedicated to the protection and conservation of large predators, Okonjima focuses on rehabilitating large cats like cheetahs and leopards. AfriCat offers various guided tours throughout its park, ranging from night safaris to daytime tracking tours on foot or by vehicle. Please note that due to the dangerous nature of the animals, all tours into the portion of the park with predatory animals are with a guide. Remember, this isn’t a zoo; these animals are in the wild!

Other activities at AfriCat include a bushman’s work, where you learn traditional bushmen survival techniques, and the Carnivore Care and Information Center, where you can see the facilities used to rehabilitate these dangerously, wild animals. When the safari is over, relax by the pool or in one of the many open-air lodges with sundowners.

Experience one of the largest game reserves in Africa - Etosha National Park

into the wild: 3 must-visit safaris in namibia | experience one of the largest game reserves in africa - etosha national park

Wrap up your tour at Etosha National Park where you will truly take a walk on the wild side. Not only is Etosha one of the largest game reserves in Africa, it’s also one of the most unique. The national park is set on a saline desert. Viewing animals is easy as the dry conditions force the animals to the many watering holes throughout the day for your viewing pleasure. You’ll see lions, elephants, zebra, kudu, impala, giraffe, ostrich, hyena, jackal, and maybe even the endangered black rhino!

Due to the uncontrolled nature of Etosha, no hiking is permitted in the park with or without a guide. Instead, visitors view wildlife from motor vehicles. You can navigate the roads on your own with a map guiding you to the watering hole, or you can have a true safari experience and ride in an open-air vehicle. I recommend the latter of the two options as not only will the driver know where to spot wildlife (ours helped us find a black rhino) but they also know the behavior of the animals a little better. There are many stories of charging elephants overturning passenger cars.

Continue your exploration of Namibia

In this post, I only highlighted game parks as they can easily fill up a weeklong holiday. If time permits, there is plenty more to explore in Namibia like Fish River Canyon and Sossusvlei Sand Dunes. While these aren’t safari activities, you will experience some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes on the planet.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Bryan Richards is a travel, food, and craft beer writer. In the past eight years, he’s traveled to five continents, 20 countries, and 71 cities. He has a passion for exploring regional foods and...Read more

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