Bench Africa expert, Maria Tropiano tips Namibia as one of the top destinations for 2017.
Namibia is my favourite country and I have been twice. What I love about the country is that is offers so much variety; it’s not just a safari destination.
Damaraland is known for its Desert-adapted elephants and the UNESCO approved Twyfelfontein site, housing prehistoric engravings depicting wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs.
Between the golden dunes of the Namib Desert and swells of the icy Atlantic Ocean, the seaside resort town of Swakopmund is ideal for either adventure or relaxation. Bold German Colonial buildings are scattered throughout the city, which makes for a stark contrast sitting at the edge of the Namib Desert. Adventure-seekers can enjoy a quad bike ride through the dunes, Sand Boarding, Tandem Skydiving or, as well as fishing, dolphin cruises and kayaking.
Sossusvlei boasts the highest sand dunes in the world. Climbing Big Daddy was one of the hardest walks I have ever attempted; the sand was so soft that with each step, my foot would slide back down. All was forgotten when an hour and half later there I was standing at the top of Big Daddy looking over the vast desert wilderness of Namibia. Worth the climb!!!
Etosha National Park is known as the ' great white pan' and offers excellent game viewing and boasts some 114 mammal and over 340 bird species.
Top Tip: Take a self-drive adventure through Namibia!
Not only is this is a safe option in these countries but it's also a brilliant way to keep down costs AND you can travel at your own pace, stopping to take in the wonders whenever the mood takes you!