10 amazing places to go trekking in Namibia

Posted on 4 March 2024

Trekking in Namibia will allow you to experience the beautiful desert landscapes, African wildlife, and those golden Namibian sunsets.

These 10 amazing places to go trekking in Namibia range from multi-day hikes to three hours so that, no matter your fitness level, you’ll be able to enjoy the magic of Namibia.

Fish River Canyon

trekking in Namibia

Picture: Getaway Gallery

Probably the most well-known hiking trail in Namibia, the Fish River Canyon is a feast for the eyes. The hike takes you along the Fish River and is the only way to see the canyon from the bottom. The full trail is 86 km, about 14 km shorter than the river thanks to a few shortcuts, and can take up to five days to complete. The trail is open from May to mid-September when temperatures aren’t searing hot. It’s not the easiest hike as trekkers will need to contend with sand, rocks, and river crossings. It is also advised to prepare for hot days and cold nights when packing your gear.

ALSO SEE: Exploring Namibia: 15 must-do activities and places to visit

Olive Trail

This 10 km hike starts at NWR Naukluft Camp and takes about 5 hours to complete. This is perfect for the hiker who loves breathtaking scenery, loves hiking, and is unafraid of heights. It takes you through the Namib Naukluft National Park and affords you the opportunity to spot plains game such as Hartman Zebra, Kudu, and Klipspringer, as well as several birds of prey. It is important to note that hikers need to cross several pool chains which can be hard to navigate. This hike is well-marked, and easy to navigate without a guide.

Etendeka Walking Trail

Grootberg Canyon in Damaraland in Namibia

Enjoy a three-day guided walking trail within the Etendeka Concession below the majestic Grootberg Mountains. The flora and fauna of the concession are unique and give trekkers a unique perspective of Namibia. Described as being ‘off the beaten track,’ Etendeka is known to have a rich and diverse geological area. Children from the age of 12 can hike this trail, and hikers should have good fitness levels and a love of nature. The guides are professional and highly knowledgeable of the area.

Waterberg Plateau Park

The plateau of Waterberg in the center of Namibia

A national park in central Namibia, Waterberg Plateau Park is east of Otjiwarongo town. It looks over the Kalahari plains of Eastern Namibia and boasts a diverse and rich ecology with over 200 bird species and rare antelope species. The oldest rock stratum is more than 850 million years old and 200 million-year-old dinosaur tracks are also visible in the park.

The Dassie, Fountain, and Porcupine Trail Loop starts and ends at the Waterberg Plateau Campsite and is a 10.5 km unguided hike. You’ll get to experience a variety of beautiful views as you walk along the base of the plateau, walk beside the stream, and ascend to get panoramic views of the savannah plains below. The best time to hike is between May and November when temperatures aren’t too hot.

  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Contact: +264 61 285 7200

Absolute Erongo Walking Trail

trekking in Namibia

A 1.5-day walking trail through the Erongo Mountains, rock canyons, and granite forests. You get to spend the first night at Hohenstein Lodge and the second at Etemba Wilderness Camp. Hohenstein Lodge offers this guided hike in a package that includes two nights’ accommodation and all drinks and meals.

The Erongo is home to giraffes, wildebeests, kudus, and mountain zebras, among other wildlife that you might have the chance to spot as you go. Children are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult, and it is highly advisable to pack a swimming costume (especially in the hot summer months).

Tok Tokkie Trail

trekking in Namibia

The Tok Tokkie Trail offers a trekking experience through the NamibRand Nature Reserve. This three-day/two-night guided hike will take you through ‘arguably the most beautiful part of the Namib Desert.

The hike is suitable for children from eight years old and the guide will set a pace that suits the group. He will also point out bird species and wildlife that you may come across as you walk through the beautiful landscape. Due to extreme weather conditions in summer, the trail is closed from December until February.

Trans-Kalahari Walk

Spend one and a half days walking through the Kalahari’s iconic red dunes. The walk is light and the nights are spent, first at the Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge, and then at the Dune Camp. You’ll get to explore the semi-desert landscapes and the wildlife (wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, etc) that call the Kalahari home.

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge offers a package that includes a professional and knowledgeable guide, drinks, and meals, as well as two nights of accommodation. Although very hot in summer, this hike is available year-round.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Contact: +264 (0) 61 240020

Big Daddy Dune

trekking in Namibia

If you’d rather do a quick morning trek, hiking up the Big Daddy Dune is the activity for you. One of the highest sand dunes in the world in the world’s oldest desert makes this hike quite a popular one. The two challenges that come with climbing this dune are the soft sand and the Namibian heat. You will find yourself stopping often to rest.

Most people like to camp at the bottom of the dune and leave early in the morning to make it down before the heat of the day. The view at the top makes the struggle all worth it, as you get a whole new perspective of the beautiful Namib desert.

The Matterhorn of Africa

For something a little different, “The Matterhorn of Africa” is one of the most popular trails in Namibia. Perfect for hikers and climbers, the trail takes you through incredible arches, boulders, and granite peaks. It is open to hikers year-round but is known to be quite a difficult one.

The hike takes about eight hours and the ascent takes you to the highest hiking point. This hike needs to be done with a local guide to ensure the protection of Spitzkoppe’s fragile ecosystems.

The Rock Sculpture Hiking Trail

trekking in Namibia

The Rock Sculpture Hiking Trail is perfect for those looking for a good walk but easy to navigate. Within the Namib Naukluft Park, east of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay is this 11 km trail. The granite rocks around the trail have eroded over hundreds of years and now resemble a massive sculpture gallery, hence the name.

This hike can take up to five hours to complete, and starting as early as possible is highly recommended. The trail is well-marked and starts and ends at Bloedkoppie. It is open year-round and permits to enter the park can be purchased at the Walvis Bay or Swakopmund tourist offices.

Pictures: GettyImages

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