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Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia
Cultural experiences in Namibia

There are 13 different tribes in Namibia including the Himba and Bushmen.

Namibian cultural experiences

Best places to experience the culture in Namibia

Namibia is one of our favourite places for cultural experiences in Africa. Despite having one of the world's lowest population densities, we've found some of our best experiences here, and have really enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know people of a radically different cultural background.

All of the lodges we feature employ largely local people, so depending on the different areas in which you stay; you'll meet people from different tribes and cultural backgrounds. These are never set us as “cultural experiences”, but Namibia constantly allows you the opportunity to talk with local people, hearing about their background and way of life, and probably a few of their interesting stories!

To actively engage with one of Namibia's more traditional cultures, a highlight for many is a visit to a Himba settlement. These are usually guided day trips and offer sensitive insights into the interesting lifestyles of these semi-nomadic, desert-dwelling people. The visits are not only a great opportunity to witness a new and highly contrasting culture to your own, they also are beneficial for the communities you are visiting.

For us, one of Africa's very best cultural experiences has always been a longer and more involved stay in a traditional Bushman village, where you can take part in a wide range of activities with the Bushmen and learn in detail about their hunter-gatherer culture.

Twyfelfontein, Namibia's only Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site has one of Africa's largest concentrations of ancient rock art and is well worth a visit. Easily accessed from most camps in the Southern Damaraland area, the many engraved rock faces are a fascinating insight into some of the practices of the hunter-gatherer communities that lived off this land.

Nhoma Camp

At Nhoma Camp you're staying right by a Bushmen village. Here, the Ju/'hoan people have been a part of the camp's setup from the beginning, and benefit substantially from your visit. Time with these people offers amazing insights into a hunter-gatherer culture.

Khowarib Lodge

Khowarib Lodge is superbly located for cultural interactions with Namibia’s iconic Himba tribespeople. Despite their semi-nomadic existence, Khowarib has a good track record of genuine interactions between guests and the inhabitants of the surrounding Himba villages.

Ozondjou Trails

Many travellers visit Damaraland to seek out the area's desert-adapted wildlife. Ozondjou Trails not only offers this opportunity but also gives an insight into the life of modern Namibians and the challenges they face of human–wildlife conflict.


Serra Cafema

Arguably Namibia’s most remote camp, Serra Cafema offers visits to traditional Himba villages. They’re authentic experiences; off the beaten track, away from most tourists, and conducted with great sensitivity. Learn about the lifestyle and customs of these semi-nomadic people.


Serra Cafema

Arguably Namibia’s most remote camp, Serra Cafema offers visits to traditional Himba villages. They’re authentic experiences; off the beaten track, away from most tourists, and conducted with great sensitivity. Learn about the lifestyle and customs of these semi-nomadic people.


Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp offers guest the option of a sensitive and welcoming interactions with Namibia’s some of traditional cultures. While these trips focus predominantly on Himba villages, they can be extended to take in Herero or Damara communities too.


Kunene River Camp

As part of a stay in the far north you may visit a traditional Himba settlement. During your visit you get a brief insight into the traditions and culture of these semi-nomadic people and get the opportunity to wander around observing how they live.


Wolwedans Desert Lodge

It's hard to comprehend survival in the wilderness of the NamibRand without refrigeration or water on tap. But take a guided walk from Wolwedans Desert Lodge, and learn how Namibia’s Khoisan peoples and their culture thrived in this desiccated landscape.


Ozondjou Trails

Many travellers visit Damaraland to seek out the area's desert-adapted wildlife. Ozondjou Trails not only offers this opportunity but also gives an insight into the life of modern Namibians and the challenges they face of human–wildlife conflict.


Nxamaseri Lodge

Botswana's first World Heritage Site, the Tsodilo Hills, are easily accessible from Nxamaseri Lodge, which offers guided and catered day trips here. Get a taste for this ancient culture, see the amazing density of historic San rock paintings and take in the stunning views.

Kazile Island Lodge

For a break from exploring the Bwabwata, embark on a cultural visit to a local homestead from Kazile Island Lodge. A local guide will talk to you about the day-to-day life of the residents of the village and about the unchanged traditions of the Mbukushu and Lozi cultures.


Nxamaseri Lodge

Botswana's first World Heritage Site, the Tsodilo Hills, are easily accessible from Nxamaseri Lodge, which offers guided and catered day trips here. Get a taste for this ancient culture, see the amazing density of historic San rock paintings and take in the stunning views.

Nkasa Lupala

Set within the Wupara Conservancy in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge offers a cultural visit to the homestead region of the conservancy. This tour takes in a local school and – where possible – a traditional authority.


Nxamaseri Lodge

Botswana's first World Heritage Site, the Tsodilo Hills, are easily accessible from Nxamaseri Lodge, which offers guided and catered day trips here. Get a taste for this ancient culture, see the amazing density of historic San rock paintings and take in the stunning views.

Best camps & lodges for Cultural experiences in Namibia


Serra Cafema

Serra Cafema

Arguably Namibia’s most remote camp, Serra Cafema offers visits to traditional Himba villages. They’re authentic experiences; off the beaten track, away from most tourists, and conducted with great sensitivity. Learn about the lifestyle and customs of these semi-nomadic people.


97% (35 reviews)
Kazile Island Lodge

Kazile Island Lodge

For a break from exploring the Bwabwata, embark on a cultural visit to a local homestead from Kazile Island Lodge. A local guide will talk to you about the day-to-day life of the residents of the village and about the unchanged traditions of the Mbukushu and Lozi cultures.


70% (2 reviews)
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

Okahirongo Ele. Lodge

Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is an extremely remote lodge, in the northwest corner of Namibia. It’s only neighbour is the nearby Himba village where you can go on guided visits, and gain insights into the culture and everyday life of these semi-nomadic, desert-dwelling people.


80% (1 review)
Khowarib Lodge

Khowarib Lodge

Khowarib Lodge is superbly located for cultural interactions with Namibia’s iconic Himba tribespeople. Despite their semi-nomadic existence, Khowarib has a good track record of genuine interactions between guests and the inhabitants of the surrounding Himba villages.


82% (9 reviews)
Nhoma Camp

Nhoma Camp

At Nhoma Camp you're staying right by a Bushmen village. Here, the Ju/'hoan people have been a part of the camp's setup from the beginning, and benefit substantially from your visit. Time with these people offers amazing insights into a hunter-gatherer culture.


95% (41 reviews)
Wolwedans Desert Lodge

Wolwedans Desert Lodge

It's hard to comprehend survival in the wilderness of the NamibRand without refrigeration or water on tap. But take a guided walk from Wolwedans Desert Lodge, and learn how Namibia’s Khoisan peoples and their culture thrived in this desiccated landscape.


95% (81 reviews)
Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp offers guest the option of a sensitive and welcoming interactions with Namibia’s some of traditional cultures. While these trips focus predominantly on Himba villages, they can be extended to take in Herero or Damara communities too.


97% (12 reviews)
Kunene River Camp

Kunene River Camp

As part of a stay in the far north you may visit a traditional Himba settlement. During your visit you get a brief insight into the traditions and culture of these semi-nomadic people and get the opportunity to wander around observing how they live.


100% (1 review)
Ozondjou Trails

Ozondjou Trails

Many travellers visit Damaraland to seek out the area's desert-adapted wildlife. Ozondjou Trails not only offers this opportunity but also gives an insight into the life of modern Namibians and the challenges they face of human–wildlife conflict.


93% (3 reviews)
Namushasha Lodge

Namushasha Lodge

Namushasha Lodge worked with local people to help create the Namushasha Heritage Centre in 2014. This “living museum” showcases the village life, traditions and culture of the HaMbukushu, BaLozi and MaFwe peoples who inhabit the Caprivi area.


80% (3 reviews)
Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge

Nkasa Lupala

Set within the Wupara Conservancy in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge offers a cultural visit to the homestead region of the conservancy. This tour takes in a local school and – where possible – a traditional authority.


91% (34 reviews)
Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp

Namibia’s Khoisan peoples and their culture thrived for generations in the desiccated wilderness of the NamibRand. At Wolwedans Dune Camp, learn a little of how on an interpretative Bushman walk led by one of their descendants.


98% (68 reviews)
Nambwa Tented Lodge

Nambwa Tented Lodge

Of the many different tribes in Namibia, each has its own unique customs and traditions. Find out about some of these on a cultural excursion to a local Caprivian village from Nambwa Tented Lodge.


95% (22 reviews)

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Where to see wildlife species in Namibia

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

69% SUCCESS

1,366 sightings from 1,968 observations

Where to see oryx in Namibia

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

33% SUCCESS

1,070 sightings from 3,276 observations

Where to see cheetah in Namibia

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

30% SUCCESS

635 sightings from 2,104 observations

Where to see black rhino in Namibia

White Rhino

White Rhino

Ceratotherium simum

The white rhino is the largest and most numerous of the world’s five rhinoceros species. They are larger, easier to see and generally more approachable than the black rhino.

43% SUCCESS

510 sightings from 1,174 observations

Where to see white rhino in Namibia

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

3,739 sightings from 4,119 observations

Where to see elephant in Namibia

Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

81% SUCCESS

3,116 sightings from 3,847 observations

Where to see lion in Namibia

Meerkat

Meerkat

Suricata suricatta

These highly sociable little mammals have an endearing appearance and comical antics. Found in the drier areas of Southern Africa, close encounters are a sought-after experience.

21% SUCCESS

90 sightings from 428 observations

Where to see meerkat in Namibia

Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

2,638 sightings from 3,185 observations

Where to see buffalo in Namibia

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

86% SUCCESS

3,607 sightings from 4,199 observations

Where to see giraffe in Namibia

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

2,733 sightings from 3,061 observations

Where to see hippo in Namibia

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

55% SUCCESS

2,225 sightings from 4,067 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Namibia

Brown Hyena

Brown Hyena

Parahyaena brunnea

This largely solitary scavenger is one of the more elusive and little-known of Africa’s carnivores. Shaggier than its spotted cousin, it occurs only in the arid southwest of the continent.

16% SUCCESS

250 sightings from 1,580 observations

Where to see brown hyena in Namibia

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

47% SUCCESS

2,000 sightings from 4,275 observations

Where to see leopard in Namibia

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

32% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 2,855 observations

Where to see wild dog in Namibia

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

68% SUCCESS

2,554 sightings from 3,779 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Namibia

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

57 sightings from 3,432 observations

Where to see pangolin in Namibia

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

2% SUCCESS

73 sightings from 3,421 observations

Where to see aardvark in Namibia

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

49% SUCCESS

1,493 sightings from 3,059 observations

Where to see eland in Namibia

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

3,942 sightings from 4,691 observations

Where to see zebra in Namibia

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

24% SUCCESS

495 sightings from 2,103 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Namibia

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

23% SUCCESS

474 sightings from 2,102 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Namibia

Sitatunga

Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekii

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across Africa, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.

19% SUCCESS

64 sightings from 345 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Namibia

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