There is no better way to experience the illustrious Namibian desert than to feel the sand shift beneath your feet. Whether you’re looking to climb into rocky canyons, or conquer sand dunes and horizon-touching plateaus, Namibia has a number of hiking trails that’ll take you directly into the heart of this epic country.
Naukluft Hiking Trail
This circular route takes you trekking through the rolling dunes, and dramatic desert expanse of the Namib Naukluft National Park. Witness the magic of one of the oldest deserts in the world first hand, with this treacherous and rewarding hiking trail. The full route takes a total of eight days, though there is an option to tackle just the first four, which are known to be the easier portion. So don’t fret if you’re pressed for time, or worried about fitness.
Open: 1st March to 31st October due to extremely high summer temperatures
Duration: 4 day or 8 days
Fish River Canyon Hike
The largest canyon in Africa, the Fish River Canyon is a hiker’s mecca. The pinnacle of Namibia hiking trails, this 85km trail starts from the main Canyon view point near Hobas, and ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa. Trek for five days through sand and stone, alongside the intermittent river, with the Namibian sun on your back. Ease into the rhythm of the elements, as you rise with the sun and rest with the starry night sky above you. The startling beauty of the Canyon is something you won’t easily forget.
Open: 1 May – 15 September
Duration: 5 days
Sweet Thorn Trail
You’ll find the Daan Viljoen Game Park near Windhoek, and when you do you’re in for a treat. Traverse the beautiful Khomas Hochland mountains and spend a cozy night in the halfway point hut. With commanding views and captivating wildlife, the Sweet Thorn trail is the perfect pause after a busy week in the bustle city of Windhoek.
Open: All year round
Duration: 2 days
Mountainous and lush with vegetation, the Waterberg Plateau Park is teeming with all kinds of exciting fauna and flora. With distinctive red-stone cliffs and over 200 species of bird, you’ll have trouble watching where you’re walking. Basic shelter is provided so, unlike the other hikes in the area, you won’t need to carry a tent. Some of the Namibia wildlife heavy-weights to keep an eye out for are rhino and shy mountain leopard.
Open: April – November
Duration: 4 Days
A beautiful, shorter hike in the Naukluft Mountains, the Olive Trail gets its name from the Wild Olive trees along the route. Descend a spectacular gorge and follow an easy walk along the dry river bed. The highlight, and arguably trickiest section of the trail, involves a chain bridge and a rocky ledge. Keep an eye out for kudus and baboons along the way!
Open: All year round
Duration: 1 day
After exploring the vast number of Namibia hiking trails, you’ll need a peaceful place to rest your head. Visit Venues4Africa to find diverse and comfortable Namibia accommodation so you can start planning your desert adventure today.
Image Credits: jbdodane, Bobulix, tomorrowmayrain.wordpress, thefoxtakespictures.wordpress.com, Joachim Huber, Massmo Relsig