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Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Swakopmund is the activities capital of Namibia.

Walvis Bay lagoon attracts lesser and greater flamingos.

gentle kayaking with seals bobbing around you

shipwrecks along Namibia's west coast

spoiled for choice - great seafood restaurants

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Comparing Swakopmund and Walvis Bay is like comparing apples and oranges: both are seaside towns, but there the similarity ends.

Their proximity – just 30km apart on the Atlantic coast – and the desert hinterland would suggest otherwise, yet the two places have grown up in very different ways.

Swakopmund has long been a favourite with travellers to Namibia. It may sprawl up the coast, but it is, at heart, a quaint Germanic town whose core architecture harks back to the early 20th century. Museums line its wide streets; craft and antique shops are enticingly tucked away. Purists can indulge in German cuisine, though most settle for beer or coffee and cake – and the big draw is seafood, with plenty of choice from a plethora of excellent restaurants.

With one of very few natural harbours along this coast, Walvis Bay developed as a fishing port, giving it a very different, more workmanlike feel, with relatively few places to stay. But that harbour shelters a beautiful lagoon, which in turn attracts flamingos, pelicans, even dolphins into its waters – making the town a favourite with nature lovers.

While Swakopmund is the perfect jumping off point for the range of adrenalin sports that seem to be constantly evolving in the dunes behind the town, Walvis Bay is ideally located for more natural pursuits, with a 4WD trip to Sandwich Harbour high on the list of attractions. Boat trips from the harbour take visitors out among seals and dolphins – or get closer to the action by kayak, with seals seemingly out to splash you from every angle.

Despite the differences, the edges are blurred by the fringing desert, whose dunes, rare Welwitschia plants, even a “moonscape”, hug the towns’ eastern borders. With excursions such as these – and in reality all activities – easily undertaken from both towns, the choice of where to stay is, at least in part, a matter of style.

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Swakopmund & Walvis Bay: in detail

Trips visiting Swakop' & Walvis Bay

Just ideas, we'll always tailor-make a trip for you


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Pelican Fly & Drive Safari

10 days • 5 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A unique itinerary visiting the must-see highlights combining the adventure of a classic Namibian self-drive with the ease and spectacular views of a fly-in safari.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 3 other areas

US$5,420 - US$6,420 per person

Read more about the Pelican Fly & Drive Safari

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Caracal Self-drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

The quintessential Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the highlights from Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert to Damaraland’s wilderness and a safari in Etosha. A great mix of accommodation and excellent value.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 4 other areas

US$2,220 - US$2,970 per person

Read more about the Caracal Self-drive Safari

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Francolin Fly-in Safari

10 days • 5 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Fly between northern Namibia’s highlights – Sossusvlei’s dunes, quaint Swakopmund, Damaraland’s mountains and a safari in Etosha – on this spectacular aerial adventure with a relaxed pace and luxury but good value accommodation.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 3 other areas

US$5,640 - US$7,140 per person

Read more about the Francolin Fly-in Safari

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Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations • 2 country
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

Visiting Okonjima, Namib-Naukluft and 7 other areas

US$3,320 - US$3,410 per person

Read more about the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

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Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

12 days • 7 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A classic 12-night self-drive adventure around the highlights of eastern and northern Namibia taking in Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha and a final stop at Okonjima. Comfortable lodges and great value.

Visiting Okonjima, Etosha and 4 other areas

US$2,750 - US$3,080 per person

Read more about the Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

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Cape Fox Guided Safari

13 days • 7 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A classic clockwise circuit around Namibia’s northern highlights with a private guide and vehicle. We can’t think of a better way to see more in this timeframe.

Visiting Windhoek, Namib-Naukluft and 4 other areas

US$5,940 - US$8,780 per person

Read more about the Cape Fox Guided Safari

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Brown Hyena Self-drive

14 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

The perfect trip for those who want to mix the adventure and freedom of a self-drive with some of our favourite luxury camps in Namibia and a great mix of activities.

Visiting Okonjima, Namib-Naukluft and 5 other areas

US$5,340 - US$6,040 per person

Read more about the Brown Hyena Self-drive

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Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations • 3 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

An in-depth look to Namibia including from the Namib Desert to Victoria Falls and everything in between. This three-week self-drive adventure includes unrivalled mix of environments and great value.

Visiting Etosha, North-west Kalahari and 7 other areas

US$4,690 - US$5,980 per person

Read more about the Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

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Quiver Tree Self-drive Safari

14 days • 7 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

An offbeat Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the epic Fish River Canyon and fascinating ghost town Kolmanskop in the south, before turning north via the classic highlights of Sossusvlei, Swakopmund and Damaraland.

Visiting Lüderitz & Aus, Fish River Canyon and 5 other areas

US$2,200 - US$2,260 per person

Read more about the Quiver Tree Self-drive Safari

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Black-faced Impala Guided Safari

13 days • 6 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A unique mix of luxury and adventure in our original, and perhaps most varied, destination on a privately guided Namibian overland safari. Perfect for families, friends or couples travelling together.

Visiting Windhoek, Namib-Naukluft and 3 other areas

US$5,930 - US$8,270 per person

Read more about the Black-faced Impala Guided Safari

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Map of Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Choices for where to stay in Swakopmund & Walvis Bay


Most recent reviews of our trips to Swakop' & Walvis Bay

Click below to browse all 799 reviews from Swakopmund & Walvis Bay.
All from our travellers; all are in full & unedited.


100%
799 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
784
Good
15
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Mr & Mrs L from Surrey

Arrived 24 Sep 2019, 20 nights

"My Sep 2019 trip"

"We really enjoyed this holiday and had may memorable days …" Read Mr & Mrs L’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

safari lovers from UK

Arrived 12 Mar 2020, 22 nights

"Return trip to Namibia after 35 years"

"We have used Expert Africa a number of times ... This trip highlighted why! …" Read safari lovers’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs R & V from ASCOT

Arrived 6 Mar 2020, 8 nights

"1 week Taster trip of Namibia"

"a very good 'Taster' of Namibia... a beautiful country... magnificent scenery …" Read Mr & Mrs R & V’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs P from London

Arrived 1 Aug 2019, 10 nights

"Everything was perfect, thanks Maruska!"

"Everything was perfect....I only wish we could use EA to book all our holidays. …" Read Mrs P’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Dr CB & Dr MB from Tring

Arrived 12 Sep 2019, 19 nights

"The trip of a life-time"

"What a great trip. Superbly organised by Expert Africa (thank you Tracy) …" Read Dr CB & Dr MB’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs C from Golden CO

Arrived 25 Jan 2020, 8 nights

"Namibia is Worth Visiting"

"We sooo enjoyed our trip to Namibia that we plan to return! Our only trouble was …" Read Mr & Mrs C’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs D from Perth

Arrived 9 Jan 2020, 18 nights

"Amazing trip - loved it!"

"Our overall experience was amazing. Thank you, Expert Africa …" Read Mr & Mrs D’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs R from UK

Arrived 7 Oct 2019, 19 nights

"My Oct 2019 trip"

"We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Expert Africa to anyone. …" Read Mr & Mrs R’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs SH from Seattle

Arrived 3 Dec 2019, 19 nights

"My Dec 2019 trip"

"I believe our trip was as great as it was thanks to help from Maruska and Expert …" Read Mr & Mrs SH’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms S. from Surrey

Arrived 13 Nov 2019, 13 nights

"Fabulous"

"Expert Africa were fabulous. Thank you Sabina! …" Read Ms S.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Swakopmund & Walvis Bay reviews

When to go to Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Swakop' & Walvis Bay in Namibia


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Namibia in January

January is at the heart of Namibia’s rainy season. However, as you’d expect from a country dominated by desert and semi-desert environments, the rains are often (but not always) weak and usually quite localised. Some days will be clear, the strong sun raising temperatures to around 30ºC/86ºF; on others humidity and clouds build, sometimes culminating in spectacular thunderstorms. In extreme cases, these generate flash-floods which race down the beds of ephemeral rivers.
Across the country, the greening landscape makes a refreshing change, especially in desert areas. Many birds are in full breeding plumage and migrant species are here in force. In the north, where the rains are more reliable, the abundant water and food allows wildlife to disperse, making it trickier to spot.

  • Variable weather: clear, hot & dry, or cloudy & humid with some rain
  • Occasional, highly localised thunderstorms
  • Many animals with young; birdlife at its most spectacular
  • Wildlife dispersed & harder to see, especially in Etosha & the Caprivi
  • Very few tourists (apart from the New Year) so rates mostly low

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in January

Namibia in February

February is the wettest month, but as Namibia is dominated by deserts, the rains are often weak and patchy. The variation in weather across Namibia is significant, too; the central highlands and Caprivi can see some heavy rain. More typically, some February days are clear with a hot, strong sun; others are cooler as cloudy skies build and, sometimes, culminate in short, spectacular thunderstorms. Occasionally these generate flash-floods, bringing ephemeral rivers to life and making travel more challenging.
Across the country, the landscape feels green and alive; insects and smaller animals are more easily seen, and many birds and animals are raising their young. However, small pools in the bush and thicker vegetation can make it hard to spot the wildlife.

  • Variable weather: clear, hot & dry or cloudy & humid with some rain
  • Occasional localised thunderstorms meander over the landscape
  • The bush feels alive; birdlife is at its most spectacular
  • Wildlife in Etosha & Caprivi is dispersed & harder to see
  • Few tourists, so rates usually at their lowest

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in February

Namibia in March

March usually sees Namibia’s main rains tailing off, although actual precipitation varies hugely across the country and can be unpredictable from day to day.
Many days will be clear, with a strong sun driving temperatures up. On others, clouds will build, and the late afternoon may see a short, spectacular thunderstorm. Such deluges reduce in both frequency and volume as the month progresses.
Across the country, landscapes are often vivid: a “green and pleasant land”. Many birds and animals are finishing raising their young, so smaller animals and insects are in evidence. In the north, where rains are generally heavier, pools in the bush and thicker vegetation can make it difficult to spot larger animals.

  • Variable weather: clear, hot & dry or cloudy & humid with some rain
  • Afternoon thunderstorms less common as March progresses
  • Animals looking sleek and well-fed, after 3–4 months of plenty
  • Wildlife in Etosha & Caprivi is dispersed & harder to see
  • Few tourists visit during March, so rates often low

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in March

Namibia in April

Typically, April is dominated by dry weather; there’s an ever-decreasing chance of rain. Temperatures are now below their peak and continue to fall. Even so, days remain pleasant and warm, but there might be a slight chill in the air at night. The rains usually leave many parts of the country verdant and green, so animals are in fantastic condition – often with fast-growing young in attendance.
With the dust washed out of the atmosphere, photographers make the most of clear air, spectacular landscapes and healthy animals. Stargazers will have clearer night skies as the month progresses. In the game parks of Northern Namibia, water and food remain in plentiful supply, so finding big game can prove trickier than later in the year.

  • Becoming drier &, especially at night, also cooler
  • Few visitors, except around Easter, so rates remain low
  • Wildlife in Etosha & Caprivi remains relatively hard to see
  • Migrant birds have started to leave
  • Fresh, clean air and often green, verdant landscapes

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in April

Namibia in May

By May, Namibia is usually drying out fast as the rains have ended. If they’ve been good, then the land remains green, but wildlife starts to congregate at more permanent water sources. Over much of the country the air quality and clarity can be amazing, making this an ideal month for photography.
Typical days are warm, with crisp, clear mornings and clear blue skies. Evenings are usually cool, and temperatures may dip below 10ºC (50ºF) overnight. Many lodges still charge “low season” prices, although with Namibia’s increasing popularity in recent years, some have started to introduce higher “shoulder season” rates.
May’s good-value rates, increasingly good wildlife sightings, beautiful landscapes and crystal-clear air combine to make this one of our favourite months in Namibia.

  • Lovely weather: dry, warm days & cool nights
  • The country is drying out although many landscapes remain green
  • Fantastic air clarity – ideal for keen photographers
  • Visitor numbers are often still low, mirrored by lodge rates
  • Wildlife is starting to congregate more around remaining water

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in May

Namibia in June

Namibia is dry again. Skies are blue and usually largely cloudless. Days are lovely: warm and dry; nights are cold, sometimes below freezing in the desert. Most swimming pools in Namibia are always outdoors, making them too cold for all except the very dedicated.
Take a warm hat and gloves for game drives, where dawn and dusk will feel particularly chilly. In the north, especially Etosha, wildlife viewing is now into its dry-season pattern, focusing around the waterholes – though the park is still not busy.
Photographers come for superb air clarity, with minimal dust or smoke in the air. Historically, June rates have been low. However, with Namibia’s increasing popularity many lodges now count it amongst their “high-season” months, and request higher prices.

  • Clear, bright days with blue skies; cold nights, mornings & evenings
  • Great air quality, especially welcome for photographers
  • “Shoulder season” for some lodges: lodge rates moderate
  • Wildlife gravitates to waterholes, making game-viewing productive
  • Some greenery in the landscape, depending on the last rains

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in June

Namibia in July

Reliably warm daytime temperatures (upwards of 20ºC/70ºF) and good wildlife sightings make this a popular month to visit Namibia. Rain would be very unusual indeed and clear skies make for great photographs. Once the sun sets, though, temperatures cool rapidly bringing cold nights that may dip below freezing in the desert. Be prepared: dress in layers and expect early-morning and late-afternoon drives, and anywhere coastal, to be cold.
As the land dries and vegetation shrivels, game congregates beside drinking water: Etosha’s waterholes are busy with animals. Across the country, lodges charge “high season” rates; many are fully booked a year or more in advance, especially during European school holidays (from the latter half of July to late August).

  • Dry days, warm in the sun, with crisp, cold nights
  • Cloudless skies: July is usually superb for stargazing
  • The beginning of European school holidays so more families travelling
  • Peak season: so high rates and many lodges fully booked far in advance
  • A fantastic time of year for wildlife watching, particularly in Etosha

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in July

Namibia in August

August is the height of Namibia’s “winter”. Expect cloudless skies and plenty of warm sun in the day, but nights down to freezing in the desert. Dress in layers and bring warm clothes (including hats and gloves) for chilly starts and evenings. Only the hardiest even contemplate using outdoor pools.
It’s 3–4 months since any rain, so the land is dust-dry and much vegetation is golden brown. Many landscapes appear sparse and harsh. Wildlife congregates around available water sources, helping to guarantee good animal sightings.
Namibia is never really “busy” by the standards of Europe or the USA, but August is the most popular time to visit, especially for families. Book early (over a year in advance) if you want to stay at the best lodges.

  • Dry days, warm in the sun; cold mornings, evenings & nights
  • Cloudless skies in the day; spectacular stars at night
  • Busy by Namibian standards: family rooms in particular demand
  • Peak season: so high rates and many lodges fully booked far in advance
  • A fantastic time of year for wildlife watching, particularly in Etosha

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in August

Namibia in September

September is a month of blue, cloudless skies and fantastic wildlife viewing. Rain is almost unheard of. As the month progresses, the days and nights get warmer. In some areas, daily maximums hit around the low 30s Celsius, although low humidity ensures this feels comfortable. The contrast makes the nights seem very cold. The air is becoming dustier, occasionally augmented by smoke from fires – so becoming hazy for photographic purists.
In the national parks, animals congregate around remaining water sources – making September one of the best months for game viewing. Hence it’s one of Namibia’s most popular months for visitors: a “high season” month that is often the time of choice for safari aficionados.

  • One of the best months for wildlife viewing
  • Warm days & cold nights, with temperatures rising during the month
  • Many plants have faded from green to golden brown
  • Air can be hazy – with dust & sometimes smoke
  • High season rates; many lodges & camps are full 9 months in advance.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Namibia in October

Namibia is usually at its hottest and driest in October. Temperatures build as the month progresses; towards the end, daily highs may exceed 40ºC/100ºF, though with humidity close to zero, even this rarely feels oppressive.
In exceptional years, isolated rain showers may fall in late October. More usually, the end of the dry season sees wildlife watching at its best, particularly in Etosha. The place feels like a desert as spectacular herds of thirsty animals gather around the available water. October is popular amongst wildlife enthusiasts and commands peak-season prices, even if dust and smoke may make the air hazy, challenging photographers. Visitor numbers can fade towards the end of the month, allowing a window for last-minute bookings.

  • Probably the most spectacular month for wildlife-viewing in Etosha
  • Hot and dry: much of the country feels like a desert
  • The air can be hazy with dust & smoke
  • It’s peak time to visit, so expect high season rates
  • Lodges & camps are full, especially early in October

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in October

Namibia in November

November is always a bit unpredictable: sometimes dry and hot; sometimes cloudier and cooler. Typically, mornings are hot and cloudless and clouds appear in the afternoon. Humidity builds and eventually breaks, resulting in spectacular thunderstorms that bring convection rainfall in late afternoons. Such storms are typically sparsely distributed and highly local – being completely absent from desert areas, for example. Places that do get good rain will flush green, with a tangible feeling of new life softening the landscapes. Many mammals give birth to their young.
Once any rains come, wildlife dissipates in search of food, and game viewing in Etosha becomes harder. Conversely, this is a great time for birdwatchers, with migrant species in breeding plumage.

  • A very interesting, variable month, depending on the rains
  • With rains come an amazing explosion of both vegetation & new life
  • Wildlife viewing better in Damaraland than Etosha if it has rained
  • Shoulder season: mid-range rates offer great value
  • Away from the Namib, showers are more likely later in the month

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Namibia in December

December is the first “proper” month of Namibia’s rainy season, and one of its hottest. Clear mornings give way to building clouds and, with luck, the occasional short, spectacular thunderstorm: refreshing and cleansing. These are often highly localised and generally warmly welcomed: most Namibians love rain!
Rains clear the air of dust. Even relatively short showers enable plant life to erupt, carpeting this thirstland in green and providing food for the young animals which abound. Animals disperse widely, which can make game viewing challenging. Many birds are breeding and so sporting their most colourful plumage.
Christmas and the New Year fall within local “summer holidays” – so places to stay can be surprisingly busy, especially in and around coastal towns, where temperatures are cooler.

  • Hot and humid; sometimes refreshed by cooling showers
  • Landscapes flushed green if/where there has been rain
  • A tangible life and energy amidst this often green & pleasant land
  • Very photogenic: blooming deserts amidst crystal-clear air
  • Best time for birdwatchers; larger animals harder to spot

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in December

Namibia fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Swakopmund & Walvis Bay.


Excursions in Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Optional extra day-drips and excursions possible whilst your staying within Swakopmund & Walvis Bay. Talk to us: these are usually best arranged before you go.


Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Full day

Experience this usually inaccessible part of the Skeleton Coast, where the dunes of the Namib plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. One of our top recommendations, this is an adventurous 4WD trip, guided by experts. You'll explore the Kuiseb Delta and (tides permitting) traverse dunes and the beach to reach Sandwich Harbour, a remote freshwater lagoon with abundant birdlife.

More about Coastal tour
94% (190 reviews)
Desert tour

Desert tour

Variable, depending on the tour

Discover the unexpected on a trip into the desert surrounding the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. A must for wilderness lovers, this extraordinary landscape encompasses the Welwitschia Plains, sculpted dunes, the magic of the Kuiseb Delta – and much more. There are plenty of options, each with its own unique focus.

More about Desert tour
100% (9 reviews)
Dolphin and seal cruise

Dolphin and seal cruise

Half-day inc brunch

A boat cruise around Walvis Bay lagoon is a must for lovers of wildlife and the great outdoors. Seek out the ‘marine big five’ – from Cape fur seals to bottlenose dolphins – and marvel at the range of bird species for whom this haven on the Skeleton Coast is home. Then round off the morning with an oyster brunch.

More about Dolphin and seal cruise
90% (10 reviews)
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

Morning incl. tea, coffee & sandwiches

Get up close and personal with a colony of Cape fur seals on a kayaking excursion from Walvis Bay. Enjoy a gentle morning’s paddle in Walvis Bay Lagoon as seals surround and interact with you and your kayak. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of some Heaviside’s or bottlenose dolphins.

More about Kayaking with seals
98% (152 reviews)
Scenic flights in Namibia

Scenic flights in Namibia

Variable, depending on the flight

Namibia is famed for its stark beauty and boundless desert vistas and there is no better way to soak these in than from the air. A scenic flight gives you a unique perspective on this stunning and varied country, and may even provide a bird’s-eye view of areas that are out of reach to those restricted to terra firma.

More about Scenic flights
94% (7 reviews)

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