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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 Dunes 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 Dunes 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.

Cultural experiences elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Cultural experiences in other countries.


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Kenya

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Malawi

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Cultural experiences in Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique can offer really unique African cultural experiences - which have their roots in its ...

Cultural experiences in Rwanda

Rwanda

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Tanzania

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Cultural experiences in Zambia

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Where to see wildlife species in Africa

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


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

1,112 sightings from 1,335 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa

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.

29% SUCCESS

418 sightings from 1,453 observations

Where to see cheetah in Africa

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

1,590 sightings from 1,750 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa

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.

70% SUCCESS

644 sightings from 924 observations

Where to see oryx in Africa

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.

83% SUCCESS

1,523 sightings from 1,833 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa

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

1,168 sightings from 1,310 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

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.

50% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 1,799 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa

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

112 sightings from 711 observations

Where to see brown hyena in Africa

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.

45% SUCCESS

840 sightings from 1,873 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa

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.

80% SUCCESS

1,314 sightings from 1,646 observations

Where to see lion in Africa

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.

29% SUCCESS

261 sightings from 899 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa

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

218 sightings from 508 observations

Where to see white rhino in Africa

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.

31% SUCCESS

375 sightings from 1,214 observations

Where to see wild dog in Africa

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.

63% SUCCESS

1,058 sightings from 1,668 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Africa

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

27 sightings from 1,487 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa

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.

3% SUCCESS

43 sightings from 1,572 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa

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.

45% SUCCESS

613 sightings from 1,362 observations

Where to see eland in Africa

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.

20% SUCCESS

38 sightings from 189 observations

Where to see meerkat in Africa

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

1,724 sightings from 2,057 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa

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

228 sightings from 959 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Africa

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.

21% SUCCESS

198 sightings from 954 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa

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.

20% SUCCESS

25 sightings from 122 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Africa

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