First Time Namibia Safari: All you need to know
Namibia is one of the most fascinating and diverse countries on the planet, famed for its sprawling sandy plains, striking mountainous regions, barren coastlines, and astonishing canyons. Add in its intriguing history, wildlife-rich national parks and absorbing culture and its little wonder why scores of first-time safari goers contemplate visiting the ‘land of many faces’.
As trusted safari specialists, here at Secret Namibia we regularly hear from first-time safari goers eager to learn more about what a safari trip to this magical Southwest African nation entails. One thing we can say for sure is that you’re in for the trip of a lifetime and over the last few years we’ve helped countless couples, families, groups, and solo travellers plan the vacation of their dreams.
From the best time to visit for your maiden trip to what you can expect when you arrive, read on below to find out everything you need to know about going on a Namibian safari vacation for the first time.
What to expect when you arrive?
When is the best time for a first time Namibian Safari?
Namibia has a warm and temperate climate, and the seasons are generally split into two: the dry season (May to October) and the rainy season (November to April).
Although you can travel during the rainy season it’s not generally advised, particularly if this is your first time on a safari adventure. During the rainy season vegetation is lush and thick, making game viewing more challenging. In regions like Etosha National Park, water is still widely available which also means that the wildlife is much more spread out, making them harder to spot.
Instead, we advise visiting Namibia in the dry season when these waterholes dry up and the wildlife start to congregate around fewer permanent water sources. The dry season also coincides with the Northern Hemisphere summer, which means it’s easier for many eager travellers to book those all-important vacation days off!
How long should my first Namibia Safari be?
The answer to this question really does depend on a variety of different factors and what you want from your first safari experience. If your main aim is to enjoy exhilarating wildlife encounters and visit some of Namibia’s iconic natural attractions, a week-long trip could suffice, and we offer 7-day highlights itineraries that are perfectly suited for this type of trip.
However, if you would like to sample more of what this captivating country has to offer, or you’re planning an all-action family adventure, you may want to consider a longer tour; we can even arrange luxury Namibia safari tours that incorporate a visit to idyllic beach destinations that last for three weeks plus.
The type of safari you opt for will also likely play a factor in your decision. If you choose to book a luxury fly-in safari for example you may be able to see and do more in a shorter space of time because you’re not spending as much time travelling on the road.
Where should I go on my first-time Namibia safari?
Namibia is a vast and diverse country packed full of mesmerising sights and attractions; choosing where to go on your maiden safari is no easy task- but we’re here to help!
The best advice we can give you is to think about your own unique tastes and preferences; if you’re intrigued by history and culture then consider visiting Twyfelfontein, the site of the largest single concentration of San rock art engravings in southern Africa. Located in Namibia’s North-western Kunene region, close by you’ll also be able to explore the enchanting petrified forest, a place where you’ll encounter 280 million year old pine trees that are frozen in time.
If you and your travelling party want to embrace quintessential safari activities such as game drives and bush walks the good news is that you’ll never be far from a sprawling game reserve or bustling national park.
Etosha is Namibia’s most famous national park where you can spot dozens of species of exotic wildlife and plenty of interesting bird species. Erindi private game reserve, with is one of the largest private reserves in Southern Africa, is also a great spot for wildlife viewing; similarly, Okonjima, which is home to the AfriCat Foundation, is a great place for getting up close and personal with rapid predators including leopards.
Away from Etosha National Park and the Kunene Region, first time safari goers could consider visiting the eerie Skeleton Coast, aka the world’s largest ship cemetery. The Skeleton Coast’s name is derived from the fact that plenty of vessels have met their fate on this desolate stretch of coastline that spans 40km x 500km. If your maiden Namibia safari itinerary transport you to this region it’s also worth visiting Swakopmund, Namibia’s largest coastal town. In Swakopmund you can check out some fascinating marine life, enjoy sandboarding or just take a stroll around town admiring the German colonial style architecture.
Where should I stay on my first-time Namibia safari?
Namibia’s tourism sector continues to boom and there are now plenty of exceptional hotels, lodges and camps scattered all over the country, many of which are perfectly suitable for first-time safari goers.
As luxury safari specialists, Secret Namibia work with some of the country’s most prestigious accommodation providers and amongst the ones we recommend are Wolwedans Dune Camp, an ultra-lavish lodge located in the heart of the glorious NamibRand Nature Reserve.
Wolwedans, along with other luxury lodges we partner with like Little Kulala, offer guests the chance to stay in private and exclusive chalets fitted with stylish fixtures and fittings as well as private viewing decks and sparkling swimming pools.
To find out more about the accommodation options we would recommend to first time safari goers please make an enquiry now.
What to expect when you arrive on your first-time Namibia safari
So, you’ve conducted your research, agreed your travel itinerary, and booked your trip: congratulations you’re off on the safari adventure of a lifetime!
Here at Secret Namibia we often get asked what happens when you arrive on your maiden safari so here’s a little taste of what you can expect.
In all likelihood you’ll touchdown in the capital Windhoek and once you land, you’ll be greeted by one of friendly safari reps. If you’ve booked a self-drive safari our helpful rep will guide you through the paperwork and escort you to your rental vehicle. At this point we’ll also provide you with a travel package, run through your itinerary, and answer any questions you may have.
If you’ve booked a luxury fly in safari with us, the process is more or less the same but instead of being guided to your self-drive rental vehicle you’ll be taken by one of our reps to your privately chartered plane, ready for the first domestic flight of your trip.
Throughout your time in Namibia, you’ll benefit from 24/7 in country support so if this is your first time here don’t worry, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Our aim is to make your experience with us as smooth and seamless as possible and we want you to have the time of your life!
To find out more about how we can assist you on your first-time safari please get in touch today and one of our safari architects will get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, feel free to browse some of our luxury safari itineraries and all-inclusive safari packages.