Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia

About

The ecologically protected Namib-Naukluft National Park is Africa’s largest national park and the fourth largest in the world. It comprises an area of 49 800km².

The park is divided into 4 sections, namely Naukluft, Sossusvlei and Sesriem, Namib and Sandwich Harbour. Each of these sections has its own entrance gate and some have campgrounds.

The National Park is filled with interesting and unique lifeforms as well as a bewildering array of spectacular sights.

Location

The Namib-Naukluft National Park is found on the Atlantic Coast of Namibia about 5 hour’s drive from Windhoek and about 3 hours’ drive from Swakopmund.

It extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the edge of Dorob Park in the north, butts up against the Restricted Diamond Area in the south and reaches the border of the NamibRand Nature Reserve to the east.

The magnificent Naukluft Mountains are part of the Namib-Naukluft’s north-eastern border.

Brief History

Game Reserve No 3 was proclaimed in 1907 and subsequently swallowed up the land around it to form the Namib-Naukluft National Park. This is how it happened:

  • 1941– Sandwich Harbour was added
  • 1956 – Kuiseb Canyon, Swakop River Valley and Welwitschia plains were incorporated to form the Namib Desert Park
  • 1979 – Diamond Area No 2, including Sesriem and Sossusvlei were added and the Namib-Naukluft National Park came into existence

Accommodation

Most of the accommodation options within the park are of a rustic variety, allowing visitors to immerse themselves more fully in nature without the trappings of civilization.

These are:

  • Sesriem Canyon which has 50 campsites a filling station, shop, restaurant and bar
  • Naukluft Camp in the Naukluft section provides 6 chalets, 21 campsites, a restaurant and bar
  • The luxury Sossus Dune Lodge’s Afro village with 23 stilted chalets and 2 honeymoon suites, a restaurant, bar, tourist shop and swimming pool

There are several luxurious lodge offerings dotted all around the Namib-Naukluft National Park, many within an hour’s drive of the entrance gates.

These lodges boast a wide range of offerings including guided tours into the park, hot air balloon safari’s, spa packages and onsite activities.

Children

Children are welcome at all NWR parks although the activities in the Namib-Naukluft may prove a little strenuous for smaller children.

Resorts outside of the park cater for children with age-appropriate activities and facilities.

Conferencing

Self-catering group bookings are possible at all the camps in the Namib-Naukluft National Park but conferences are not possible.  Most of the larger properties on the outskirts of the park have excellent conference facilities.

Activities

Self-drive as well as guided tours are possible in Namib-Naukluft National Park and you can also explore the area on quad bikes and along hiking trails.

Taking a guided tour is an excellent and interesting way to explore the park.

Photography, bird watching and safaris to see the unique desert species are other popular pastimes.

Some of the not-to-be-missed sites in the Namib-Naukluft include:

  • Sesriem Canyon
  • Dead Vlei
  • Hidden Vlei
  • Big Daddy and Dune 45
  • Sossusvlei
  • Petrified Dunes
  • Naukluft Mountains

Dining

All the internal camps and those on the outskirts of Namib-Naukluft have excellent dining facilities.

Fauna and Flora

Despite its barren appearances, you may encounter some interesting lifeforms during your travels around the Namib-Naukluft park.

The ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis plants are found in the north while camel thorn trees, large lichen fields, Aloe sladeniana, Aloe karasbergensis, cluster fig, Commiphora, and Euphorbia grow abundantly elsewhere.

Birds to look out for include Rüppell’s parrot, rosy-faced lovebirds, Black eagles, lanner falcons, augur buzzards, pale chanting goshawks, hamerkop, brubru and Monteiro’s hornbill among the 200 species that occur here.

Hartmann’s zebra, rock hyraxes, klipspringer, gemsbok, kudu, springbok and ostrich are all found within the boundaries of the park.

Smaller animals include Namib Dune geckos, cartwheeling spiders and sand snakes.

Packing List

Some essential items to bring along for your visit to Namib-Naukluft National Park include:

  • A camera
  • Sunglasses, lip balm, moisturizing lotion and sunblock
  • Swimming costume and towels
  • A map and guide book
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Binoculars, preferably one pair for each person
  • Torch
  • Mosquito repellent and anti-malaria medication

Getting There

Many fully-inclusive guided tours into the Namib-Naukluft National Park are available from Windhoek and Swakopmund.

If you choose a self-drive excursion instead, a 4×4 vehicle is preferable to a sedan if you want to make the most of your visit.

Directions from Windhoek: Travel along the B1 to Rehoboth and then take the C24 to NamibGrens and the C14 to Solitaire to reach the Naukluft section of the park. The Sesriem gate is further along this road.

Directions from Swakopmund: Take the C14 from Walvis Bay which takes you directly to the entrances to Namib-Naukluft.

Air Transfers are available from Eros Airport to private airstrips in the park and surrounding areas.

For more information or to book your trip to Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia, pop Namibia Travel Guide a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist you. 

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were 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.

Advertisements