1 See dolphins in Walvis Bay
On a morning boat trip in the bay – sparkling wine and oysters included – you’ll see a lighthouse and the seal colony at Pelican Point. You might also spot dolphins and even a whale if you’re lucky. Pelicans might also come and beg for scraps of food…
Mola Mola ( mola-namibia.com) has a tour called the Marine Dolphin Cruise, which costs R700 per adult and R420 per child aged 4 – 12. Laramon Tours ( laramontours.com) offer a Dolphin Cruise and Catamaran Charters ( namibiancharters.com) offer a Dolphin & Seal Cruise – both cost R950 per adult and R520 per child aged 4 – 12.
2 Visit Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei
If you want to take photos of this spectacular desert landscape early morning or late in the afternoon, stay at Sesriem campsite (#89, p 100). The campsite is inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park – you’re allowed to drive to Sossus and Dead Vlei an hour earlier and stay an hour later than visitors who stay outside the park.
The road is tarred from Sesriem to the Sossusvlei parking area. From there, you can catch a ride in a Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) 4x4 taxi (R180 per person) or drive in your own 4x4 along the 4 km sand road to Sossusvlei itself.
Park fee: R100 per adult, plus R50 per vehicle.
3 Take photos at Spitzkoppe
Walk around, climb the huge boulders, look at rock art and take photos of the well-known rock arch. Day visitors R80 per adult; R40 per child aged 6 – 12; R80 per vehicle.
4 Look for dune creatures
There are lots of guided tours departing from Swakopmund that can show you the reptiles, birds and insects that live in the dunes. Tommy Collard’s is one of the best. He’s been doing Living Desert Tours for decades. It costs R850 per adult; half-price for kids under 12.
00 264 81 128 1038; www.tommys.iway.na
5 Say cheers at Joe’s Beerhouse
This restaurant is a Windhoek institution. There are plenty of beers on the menu, from Tafel Lager to Erdinger Weissbier, and all kinds of venison: kudu, gemsbok, zebra…
00 264 61 232 457; joesbeerhouse.com
6 Swim in the desert
The eastern tip of the Namib-Naukluft National Park extends into a barren mountainous landscape. One of the best ways to explore this part of the park is on the Waterkluft Trail (17 km). You don’t have to hike the whole thing; you’ll reach a kloof full of cool, clear river pools after about 2 km. Park fee: R100 per adult; R50 per vehicle.
7 Look for a lagoon in the sand
Sandwich Harbour lagoon is in the Namib-Naukluft National Park about 50 km south of Walvis Bay. Get a permit (R100 per person; R50 per vehicle) from the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism if you want to drive there in your own 4x4. You’ll mostly travel on the beach so check the tide table beforehand.
Many operators offer tours, like Desert, Dunes & Dust ( desertdunesdust-tours.com) or Sandwich Harbour 4x4 ( sandwich-harbour.com). Rates from R1 650 per person for a half-day tour to R1 950 per person for a full-day tour that includes a light lunch and drinks.