Did you know?
Endemic black-faced impala are found in northwestern Namibia, desert-adapted elephant and black rhino in Kaokoveld.
When you first arrive for your South Africa Namibia trans-border experience, you'll find it's all about space. Deserts stretch out in golden waves before the eye. The blacktop highway runs on forever, and disappears over a far horizon. The Fish River Canyon winds along into stony eternity. Shipwrecks appear like ghosts in the mists of the Skeleton Coast. An old German fort shimmers like a forgotten memory in the heat mirage of Etosha. And you're just a little human speck in the midst of this natural vastness.
Stay a while, and fine details fall into focus. You discover monster meteorites, ochre people who live by holy fire, 2 000-year-old dry land plants in stony craters, the close-up wonders of lichen fields, wild horses running into the wind and elephants that rise up like silver giants out of subterranean waterholes. The most delicious black forest cake this side of Munich, Germany – and beer, glorious beer.
There are all manner of tourists arriving for a South Africa Namibia trans-border experience these days. Young, adventurous travelers with adrenalin to burn, campers and romantic trippers and amateur photographic clubs.
Entering trans-border Namibia from South Africa through the N7 at Vioolsdrift, the second deepest canyon in the world awaits a short distance to the west. In fact, you may have crossed the Orange River from the Richtersveld into Ai Ais, a trans-border park with Namibia and South Africa. From here, let the map and your guide book lead the way.
Here the Namibian Dollar is worth the same as the South African Rand, the country runs on mining, agriculture and tourism and the roads are mostly excellent.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Namibian Tourism Board
Tel: +264 61 290 6000
How to get here
Most South Africans drive into Namibia from Viooldrif or Ariamsvlei in the far south. Crossing by pontoon from the Richtersveld into the Ai-Ais is also a possibility . Or you could fly in to Windhoek.
Best time to visit
Spring is particularly lovely. Summers obviously, are very hot, but every season has its attractions.
Around the area
Drive slowly between Keetmanshoop and Luderitz, and you'll probably see the only wild herd of desert-dwelling horses in the world. Their origin remains a mystery.
This is self-drive country. You can hire cars, 4x4s or campervans once in Namibia.
Length of stay
Anything less than four days will seem too little. This is a vast country.
What to pack
Remember that most of this country is desert – hot by day, chilly by night. Temperatures are more temperate at the coast. Bring binoculars, a hat, a camera. A kikoi or any length of cloth will be handy to guard your electronics against dust.
What to eat
In Swakopmund and Windhoek, particularly, you'll find real German cuisine – schnitzel, eisbein and sweet pastries made in the traditional way. And Namibian beers are regarded as some of the best in the world.