Namibia, Namibie, Namíbia… if you’re lucky, you’ve probably heard the name before. If you’re new to Namibia, please join me on my discoveries in this beautiful country that will leave you craving more.

For someone who has travelled the world by sea, I couldn’t believe that I’d only come to discover this hidden gem a year ago. The country has an estimated total population of 2.5 million people, so the odds of meeting a Namibian abroad are not high. I was fortunate enough not only to have met one but I also found myself a second family. People often say that they “left their heart” in such and such a place but for me, I’ve left my soul in Namibia.

When the sky’s the limit ©Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

The country is perfect for those willing to embark on an adventure and experience the best nature has to offer. I grew up in the city and the closest I’d been to camping was when I was a child and slept in a fake tent in the living room. So when I went on an actual camping trip far away from civilization, the child in me saw in real life everything she once only saw in her imagination and heard noises in the wild that kept her awake the whole night (specially after hearing stories of hyenas).

Words cannot describe how breathtaking it is to see the stars, the planets and the Milky Way just above you. In case you didn’t know, Namibia has its own Dark Sky Reserve and is one of the top destinations for stargazing as it has some of the darkest skies on Earth. Don’t believe me? Come check it out for yourself!

Solitude in Sossusvlei ©Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

Then there are the deserts. Namibia is home to the Namib, the world’s oldest desert that features some very  high dunes. It is a coastal desert with spectacular dunes in Sossusvlei that are as high as 300 metres and that will leave your legs begging for mercy after the intense upward hike.

The southern part of the Namib is where you have the best of both worlds: the desert and the sea. It is the place where the dunes run into the Atlantic Ocean giving you spectacular views and another reason to appreciate the wonders of nature. From one side you feel the heat from the sun’s reflection on the sand and from the other side you feel the breeze of the ocean that brings with it that nostalgic scent most seafarers crave. If you stay at The Delight Swakopmund, please remember to ask the staff at the reception for more information on the quad biking and Sandwich Harbour 4×4 tours; you will not regret it!

Running down the dunes! ©Anqi Lu on Unsplash

In addition, Namibia is also covered by the Kalahari Desert that because of its annual rainfall and established vegetation, is not considered a true desert but a fossil desert. It has a very diverse flora and is characterised by the red dunes (in case you’re wearing white, please refrain from rolling down the dunes). While visiting the Kalahari Anib Lodge you can experience the sighting of springboks, ostriches, oryxes and many more species around the property. The sundowner drive on offer leads you to a magical spot on top of a red Kalahari dune where the sun sets right before of your eyes.

Kalahari Anib Lodge Sundowner Drive ©Steffi and Stefan

This takes us to the next experience that will make you want to travel to Namibia: the sunsets (because I’m never awake early enough to appreciate more sunrises!). I have witnessed the sun ducking over the horizon in many different countries, even in the middle of the ocean, but none comes close to the perfectly rounded bright orange sphere that is the sun in Namibia. It is believed that the dust in the atmosphere contributes to the magical shades of colours we see.

Sundowners are a must and you have so many options at the Gondwana Collection Namibia properties that you have no excuse not to take the opportunity to cheer and contemplate the sunset. Just appreciate the beautiful view and let the moment take your breath away. This is usually when your soul whispers “thank you” and you look up in gratitude and say your thank you.

Namibian sunset ©Daniela Chan

Sundowner drinks ©Anna Heupel

Namibia is also a great wildlife destination with game parks and protected areas. The national nature parks contribute to the conservation of the biodiversity and ecosystem. Thanks to conservation efforts, Namibia is home to the world’s largest free-roaming black rhino and cheetah populations. The country’s wildlife is as diverse as its landscapes and one can see game as varied as elephants and whales, depending on where you go.

Cheetah ©Alfred Quartey on Unsplash

The one thing missing on my Namibian bucket list is to witness rain. I’ve heard how important rain is to Namibians and I cannot wait to experience the other face of this magical land when it is all green and rivers flow briefly.

After the rain ©Kathrin Fritzsche

So you have everything covered in only one destination! There is something for everyone, for every taste. I was told on my first trip that once you drink a cup of tea made from the resurrection plant you’ll come back to Namibia. And guess what? I did come back!

What do you look forward to for your visit to Namibia?

Author – I’m Dani, a Chinese-Brazilian who is retiring her sea legs and has an obsession with Namibia. I love camping and I’m trying to make the most out of this journey we call life.