Namibia

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Namibia - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Alte Feste Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Literally the "old fort," the oldest existing building in Windhoek (1890) once garrisoned the first contingent of German colonial troops. Now...

    Literally the "old fort," the oldest existing building in Windhoek (1890) once garrisoned the first contingent of German colonial troops. Now this somewhat decrepit edifice serves as the National Museum's historical display center, with exhibits from the colonial and postcolonial periods, including numerous military items and an interesting section on Namibia's first democratic election and important patriots of the Namibian revolution. A somewhat flashier exhibit on Namibian rock compiled in cooperation with the University of Cologne is the most recent addition.

    Robert Mugabe Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-293–4437

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 2. Big Daddy Dune

    Other Attraction

    If you're in good shape, you can hike to the top of Big Daddy, the highest sand dune in the world at 360 meters (1,181 feet). But it's tough...

    If you're in good shape, you can hike to the top of Big Daddy, the highest sand dune in the world at 360 meters (1,181 feet). But it's tough going: more than an hour of very hot trudging and wading through ankle- and sometimes knee-deep sand to climb the major route up to Dead Vlei (where ghostly skeletons of ancient trees jut up from a flat, sandy, dried-up lake) and Big Daddy (the hub of Sossusvlei) from the parking area. If you don't feel up to any physical exertion at all, then sit in the shade of camelthorn trees at the bottom of the dunes and watch the birdlife, or focus your binoculars on the distant climbers.

    70 km (43 mi) from the Sesriem gate, Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 3. Bushman Art Gallery

    Museum/Gallery

    This souvenir and curio shop on bustling Independence Avenue distinguishes itself from the rest with its fairly sizable collection of cult objects...

    This souvenir and curio shop on bustling Independence Avenue distinguishes itself from the rest with its fairly sizable collection of cult objects (religious, ceremonial, drums, etc.) and domestic utensils of local bushman and Himba tribes (not for sale). A large assortment of other carvings and antiques from around Africa adorn the walls and display cases.

    187 Independence Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-228–828

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 4. Christuskirche

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Lutheran Christ Church is a good representation of German colonial architecture—a mixture of art nouveau and neo-Gothic dating from 1896...

    The Lutheran Christ Church is a good representation of German colonial architecture—a mixture of art nouveau and neo-Gothic dating from 1896. Although the church is sometimes locked, you can obtain a key from the nearby church office at 12 Fidel Castro Street (down the hill from the church).

    Robert Mugabe Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-244–588
  • 5. Elim Dune

    Other Attraction

    If you're fairly fit, it's well worth climbing the towering Elim Dune, the nearest sand dune to Sesriem, about 5 km (3 mi) away; it will take...

    If you're fairly fit, it's well worth climbing the towering Elim Dune, the nearest sand dune to Sesriem, about 5 km (3 mi) away; it will take you more than an hour, but the superb views of the surrounding desert and gravel plains are infinitely rewarding. Be warned: dune climbing is exhausting, so make discretion the better part of valor. If you're driving yourself, check with your car-rental company for distances and times, which can vary according to the state of the roads. Keep in mind that a 4x4 will give you more access and better viewing, and with a 4x4 you can park just below Dead Vlei.

    5 km (3 mi) from Sesriem, Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 6. House of Gems

    Store/Mall

    For a uniquely Namibian gift, visit this long-standing attraction in the heart of Windhoek. House of Gems is a small unassuming shop that has...

    For a uniquely Namibian gift, visit this long-standing attraction in the heart of Windhoek. House of Gems is a small unassuming shop that has been around for more than 40 years and houses a magnificent collection of Namibian crystals and semi-precious stones. Browse the raw crystals and marvel at the many colors or purchase an exquisitely cut tourmaline, topaz, amethyst, or aquamarine for a reasonable price.

    131 Werner List St., (former Stubel St.), Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-225–202
  • 7. Katutura

    Neighborhood/Street

    Created in the late 1950s for the forced evictions of blacks from the town center, Windhoek's vast African township now houses an estimated...

    Created in the late 1950s for the forced evictions of blacks from the town center, Windhoek's vast African township now houses an estimated 60% of the city's population and makes for an interesting trip. Be sure to visit the Oshetu Market ("our market"), where northern Namibian fare like mopane worms and dried patties of a type of local spinach are sold, and whose bustling meat market includes a barbeque area where the adventurous can try succulent slices of all types of roasted meat, dipped by locals in a mixture of salt and chili. Most tours will include a visit to Penduka, an NGO (a non-governmental organization set up by the UN) to empower women. Here you can meet the women who have learned to manufacture beads and fabrics for sale. Be sure to go with a guide, who can both navigate the dirt roads and provide commentary on what you're seeing; Katutura Face to Face Tours are one of several companies that run tours.

    7716 Sussex St., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-265–446

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours N$400–500 per person
  • 8. Kristall Galerie

    Museum/Gallery

    This sizable gallery houses the largest known quartz-crystal cluster in the world—an awesome natural wonder more than 520 million years old...

    This sizable gallery houses the largest known quartz-crystal cluster in the world—an awesome natural wonder more than 520 million years old and weighing 14,000 kilograms. Numerous smaller but no less beautiful chunks of Namibian minerals and gems, including a wide variety of quartz crystals, rainbow tourmalines, and other semiprecious stones, are also on display. Some great souvenirs can be had in the adjoining large gift shop and high-end jewelry boutique to allow you to take home a unique piece of Namibia.

    Corner of Tobias Hainyeko and Theo-Ben Gurirab Ave., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
    064-406–080

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$20
  • 9. Namibia Crafts Centre

    Market/Bazaar

    On Tal Street in the old breweries building behind the Kalahari Sands and Casino hotel, the Namibia Crafts Centre boasts some truly beautiful...

    On Tal Street in the old breweries building behind the Kalahari Sands and Casino hotel, the Namibia Crafts Centre boasts some truly beautiful and unique pieces of work. Dozens of stalls showcase the work of more than 1,500 rural craftspeople, and include items such as particularly fine woven baskets, striking and original beadwork, distinct Caprivian pots, handmade contemporary jewelry, eye-catching prints, and much more. Be sure to check out the Omba Arts Trust stall, where changing exhibits of truly stunning work done by women from disadvantaged communities can be viewed and purchased.

    40 Tal St., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-242–2222
  • 10. National Gallery

    Market/Bazaar

    This small but lovely museum features contemporary Namibian art. The somewhat ho-hum permanent exhibit downstairs features German-Namibian painters...

    This small but lovely museum features contemporary Namibian art. The somewhat ho-hum permanent exhibit downstairs features German-Namibian painters from the 20th century. Head upstairs, where cool contemporary lithographs by young Namibian artists line the walls, and regularly changing temporary exhibits feature very good work by Namibian and other African artists, most of which is for sale. A small café and shop adjoin.

    Corner of John Meinart St. and Robert Mugabe Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-231–160

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Suggested donation N$20
  • 11. National Marine Aquarium

    Museum/Gallery

    The small, attractive aquarium showcases great displays of marine life in its tanks, including a huge main tank that can be viewed from different...

    The small, attractive aquarium showcases great displays of marine life in its tanks, including a huge main tank that can be viewed from different angles. The bigger fish, especially the sharks, are fed around 3 pm so try to time your visit for then. It's a worthwhile attraction if you are travelling with kids and is a great way to spend half an hour or so.

    South Strand St. (at the southern end), Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
    064-410–1000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$30
  • 12. National Museum of Namibia-Owela Display Centre

    Museum/Gallery

    With displays on everything from archeology to natural history to ethnology, this rather musty but endearing museum makes up in information...

    With displays on everything from archeology to natural history to ethnology, this rather musty but endearing museum makes up in information (on densely formatted placards) for what it lacks in style, and it's next door to the larger National Museum of Namibia. The exhibit on the San, including refreshingly critical commentary on the bushman as a constructed concept, and a discussion on the exploitation of that concept, is worth noting.

    Robert Mugabe St., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
    061-276–825

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Suggested donation N$20
  • 13. Old Station Building

    Museum/Gallery

    Probably Swakops's most notable landmark, the gorgeous, historic Old Station Building was built in 1901. Declared a national monument in 1972...

    Probably Swakops's most notable landmark, the gorgeous, historic Old Station Building was built in 1901. Declared a national monument in 1972, this magnificent example of German colonial architecture came to life again in the early 1990s, when it was restored and renovated in a style evoking the charm and nostalgia of the old railway days. Don't miss the huge bustling lobby—a remnant of the building's former life as a railway station. Today, the building houses the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, which includes a movie theater, casino, spa, and two restaurants.

    2 Theo-Ben Gurirab Ave., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
  • 14. Palm Beach

    Beach

    At a manageable 500 meters (1,640 feet), Palm Beach, which stretches along the western side of Swakopmund and effectively forms the western...

    At a manageable 500 meters (1,640 feet), Palm Beach, which stretches along the western side of Swakopmund and effectively forms the western border, is the recommended beach for gentle walking. Swimming isn't encouraged due to rough waters and strong currents (and the icy Atlantic waters). Instead stroll from the north, starting at The Mole beach, and watch the sun go down in the west. Enjoy a sundowner on Swakopmund's famous jetty and if you're hungry try the festive scene at the famous Tug restaurant. The palms the beach is named after are set back against the access road offering limited shade. Busy in summer, but quiet in winter, Palm Beach is also often in fog due to the cold air of the Atlantic hitting the heat of the desert. Set just back off Beach Road, Hotel Zum Kaiser (previously known asSwakopmund Boutique Hotel) is the closest accommodation to the beach. Amenities: food and drink, parking, toilets. Best for: walking, sunsets.

    A.Schad Promenade, Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
  • 15. Post Street Mall

    Market/Bazaar

    At this open-air market known for its colorful sidewalk displays of curios, crafts, and carvings of all kinds, international tourists and...

    At this open-air market known for its colorful sidewalk displays of curios, crafts, and carvings of all kinds, international tourists and businesspeople rub shoulders with Herero women in full traditional Victorian dress. Keep an eye out for the meteorites mounted on slender steel columns. These meteorites hit the earth during the Gibeon meteorite shower, which rained down some 600 million years ago, the heaviest such shower known on earth. There are some curios and beadwork on sale here but be sure to check out the sidewalk curio market farther down on Independence Avenue.

    Post St., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
  • 16. Sam Cohen Library

    Library/Archive

    As in Windhoek, there are lots of historic German buildings dating to the turn of the 20th century, most of them in perfect condition. The railway...

    As in Windhoek, there are lots of historic German buildings dating to the turn of the 20th century, most of them in perfect condition. The railway station, the prison, the Woermann House, the Kaserne (barracks), the Lutheran church, and the district court look more like illustrations from some Brothers Grimm fairy tale than the working buildings they once were. You can usually purchase a book with detailed information about these buildings from the Sam Cohen Library, which is worth a visit for its impressive collection of Africana books, archives of old newspapers (many in German), and vast photo collection (though note the N$50 users' fee to browse the archives). This library began its life with 5 books and now has over 10,000 volumes.

    Sam Nujoma St., corner of Windhuker St., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
    064-402–695

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free (N$50 browsing fee)
  • 17. Sesriem Canyon

    Canyon

    About 4 km (2½ mi) from Sesriem Gate, your entry point to Sossusvlei, is Sesriem Canyon, named after the six rieme (thongs) that were tied...

    About 4 km (2½ mi) from Sesriem Gate, your entry point to Sossusvlei, is Sesriem Canyon, named after the six rieme (thongs) that were tied to the buckets of the early Dutch settlers when they drew up water from the canyon. A narrow gorge of about 1 km in length, the Sesriem Canyon is the product of centuries of erosion. Plunging down 30–40 meters at its end are a series of pools that fill with water during the rains, which only happens during the wetter months and not very often. If you are lucky you will get to cool off in the pools, otherwise climbing down into the canyon offers you a wonderful escape from the heat of desert as you wander along in the deep shade.

    Near entry to Sossusvlei, Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 18. Swakopmund Dunes

    Tour–Sight

    Though you may have already visited higher or more visually stunning dunes, the Swakop dunes have the unique distinction of being the subject...

    Though you may have already visited higher or more visually stunning dunes, the Swakop dunes have the unique distinction of being the subject of a truly fascinating tour that introduces visitors to the numerous—and normally invisible—creatures thriving in this surreal ecosystem. Both Chris Nel, the operator of Living Desert Namibia tours and Tommy Collard, of Tommy's Tours, are passionate and well-informed characters who tend to leap out of 4x4s to catch the desert's perfectly camouflaged lizards, geckos, and snakes. A visit here is a unique, educational, and often humorous experience.

    Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
  • 19. The Living Desert Snake Park

    Museum/Gallery

    With more than 25 species of Namibian snakes, lizards, chameleons, and scorpions, this small museum will excite herpetologists large and small...

    With more than 25 species of Namibian snakes, lizards, chameleons, and scorpions, this small museum will excite herpetologists large and small. Several of Southern Africa's most dangerous snakes can be seen in the flesh here, including the black mamba and puff adder. Snake feedings take place on Saturdays at 10.

    59 Sam Nujoma Ave., corner of Otavi Bahnhof, Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
    064-405–100

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$30
  • 20. The Mole Beach

    Beach

    The designated swimming beach at Swakopmund, The Mole, is actually a failed engineering project. In 1899 the South Africans controlled the closest...

    The designated swimming beach at Swakopmund, The Mole, is actually a failed engineering project. In 1899 the South Africans controlled the closest harbor at Walvis Bay, so attempts were made to build a harbor at Swakopmund. The engineer, FW Ortloff, failed to take into account the force of the Benguela current flowing down the length of Namibia and dumping desert sands on the shore. The result is the promontory you see today with The Mole now forming a secluded swimming beach. A short walk from the center of town, the beach is serviced by a number of restaurants and small cafés; the closest hotel is the Hotel Zum Kaiser. The Atlantic Ocean is generally cold and rough and unfortunately the town closed its heated Olympic-size swimming pool so if you're set on swimming, you'll have to brave it. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer. Amenities: lifeguards (in summer), toilets, parking (free). Best for: swimming, sunsets.

    A. Schad Promenade, Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

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