go! Namibia


- esma.marnewick@weg.co.za

If there’s one country I wouldn’t mind spending a lockdown in, it’s Namibia. In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, I couldn’t help but think that Namibia would be just the place to maintain a social distance. Sparsely populated and with huge, empty spaces and lots of fresh air, Namibia is a great destinatio­n now that we can travel again.

I had a lump in my throat while working on this guide – I thought about all the Namibians whom I’d met over the years, whose main source of income was tourism. How desperate do you feel when you only see a handful of tourists for six months? The chalets, rooms, campsites… all empty.

But even though some places closed their doors during the pandemic, most are still open and ready to welcome visitors. Many places kept their 2020 rates unchanged and there are fantastic special offers to entice people to visit. It usually costs about R330 per person to camp at Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), for example, but now it’s R400 per night for four people until the end of October. Some places offer a 50 % discount for SADC members. There are even places where you can pay about R700 per night for accommodat­ion, breakfast and dinner. We have highlighte­d these discounts where possible in the accommodat­ion section.

So, if you like a value-for-money holiday and love Namibia because of the solitude in nature it affords, you should visit now – there are even fewer tourists than before. You might be the only person at the Fish River Canyon viewpoint, or the only photograph­er at Sossusvlei (see page 138).

And don’t let the thought of a Covid test or a border crossing put you off – read about Evan Naudé and Toast Coetzer’s travel experience­s during the pandemic on page 12.

I’m so inspired by the stories and photos in this guide, I’ll book a family holiday as soon as we send it off to the printers. I hope we convince you to do the same.

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