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Namibia Cruises

Namibia is called many things: ‘Skeleton Coast’, ‘the Land God made in anger’, ‘Gates of Hell’, so you might feel daunted by the prospect of a Namibia cruise. Don’t be. 

There’s nothing to fear from this wild African country – it’s a unique cruise destination with stop-offs at some fascinating ports. Located in southwest Africa, and with a population of just 2.1 million people, it’s one of the least densely populated countries in the world. 

 Namibia is a land of contrasts where the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert collide. It’s also a land of treasure. Rich in precious gems, the country spent years being squabbled over by greedy colonialists but is now a thriving independent nation. However, Namibia’s treasures are not just found in gold and diamond mines. Look above ground to see Nambia’s living treasure: the wildlife. 

Top 5 interesting facts

  • Namibia gained independence in 1990.
  • It boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year. 
  • Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest conservation area in Namibia.
  • Namibia’s ‘Dragon’s Breath’ is the world’s largest underground lake.
  • Skeleton Coast is named for the shipwrecks dotting the coastline.
 

Highlights

Walvis Bay

The deep-water harbour of Walvis Bay is a great staging point for excursions along the untamed Skeleton Coast or into the desert. The town rose to prominence under British colonial rule in the 19th century and its Anglophile past is evident in the architecture of the town, an eclectic mix of ornate European and functional African. The waterfront is pretty, with a selection of shops and some good seafront restaurants. In the town centre there’s a museum on Nangolo Mbumba Drive charting the history of the region. However, the area’s real attractions lie beyond the city limits.  

Luderitz

Luderitz is a shallow bay where it is impossible for large ships to dock – so you’ll hop ashore via a smaller boat. Previously a German colony, Luderitz used to be the centre of the diamond mining industry. Wandering around the town centre you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally disembarked somewhere along the Danube! Luderitz’s architecture has a distinctly Bavarian flavour: the Old Post Office, the Deutsche-Afrika Bank and the Göerke Haus are usually the most pleasing to visitors. 

 

Landscapes

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This is a country of vast open spaces and breathtaking vistas, and is a country of contrast too. A visit to Walvis Bay shows how nature and industry exist side by side. Home to one of Africa’s most important bird reserves, enormous colonies of flamingoes and pelicans reside here all year round. Here you’ll also find Walvis Bay’s saltworks, responsible for supplying 90% of Africa’s salt.

No cruise to Namibia is complete without a visit to the country’s arid interior, quite possibly the oldest desert in the world. A 4x4 guided desert excursion from Walvis Bay takes in mountainous dunes, some towering over 1,000 feet, and local wildlife including oryx, springbok, ostrich and jackal among others.

For contrast of a different sort, take a guided tour of Kolmanskop, 13 miles from Luderitz. Like Luderitz, Kolmanskop enjoyed a boom during the diamond rush but served no practical purpose afterwards and was abandoned. Now a ghost town, Kolmanskop is slowly being reclaimed by the Namib Desert. It’s an eerie but fascinating experience. 

 

Ports in the country

 

Cruises visiting Namibia

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