Writing from 22.561° S, 17.066° E
I’ll be honest, going into my overland tour through Namibia with Acacia Africa, I was feeling only one thing: preemptive exhaustion. I had been in Africa for over six months by this point, and I was very burned out by the everyday challenges that come with traveling through the continent.
Now that I’m done, I can say without a doubt that Namibia surpassed my expectations and was my favorite African country to date.
It’s a place with vast expanses of absolutely nothing, and yet so much to see and do in between.
The first photo I ever saw of Namibia was of the dead trees in Sossusvlei, and they immediately caught my attention. Hauntingly beautiful and 900+ years old, the trees rise out of the desert floor in front of rust-red dunes and an unbelievably blue sky. It didn’t look like they could even be real in photos, so I knew I had to see them in person. It was at this point that I started researching, and stumbled upon Acacia.
The 11-day tour I ended up choosing started in the capital of Namibia — Windhoek — and ended in Cape Town, South Africa. It took us from a safari in lush green wildlife conservation areas to sandboarding in the blisteringly hot Namib Desert to wine tastings in the drought-stricken (but still stunning) Western Cape. Without having to plan anything myself, I got to see many of the top spots in Namibia, and left feeling like I had truly experienced the country, since we had driven the entire way and had incredible guides to show us the ropes.
Having never been to a desert before, I went into the tour expecting 1) to be really hot all the time and 2) to accumulate sand in all my possessions.
Both of those were pretty spot on, but what I didn’t see coming was the shock and awe I felt watching my first sunrise over the desert at Spitzkoppe, or the excitement of our shoeless hike up Dune 45, or the incredible (and refreshing) feeling of seclusion from the rest of the world.
I had no idea that the desert — like Africa in general — would get in my blood and make me desperate to return as soon as I left.
Namibia is not a super well-known tourist destination, so it flies under the radar and has few visitors compared to its neighbor to the south. That makes it all the more special, because sometimes you feel like there’s no one else in the world but you.
It’s a country that gives you its undivided attention with beautiful views to match, and all of us deserve an experience like that.
As always, all opinions in this post are my own. I usually avoid tours because I like to travel at my own pace, but in the specific case of overlands in Africa, I think they’re a perfect way to see a lot for a great price (with no planning or stress needed). I had an amazing time on my tour and cannot recommend Acacia highly enough. They have tours all across the continent for any timeline, budget, or set of interests — see more of their trips here!
Have you ever been to Namibia or on an overland tour? What was your favorite part?