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Etosha National Park’s Big Five; Namibia

It’s a “dream trip” for many: an African safari. And there are few places in the world which rival Etosha’s wildlife.

Declared a National Park in 1907, Etosha National Park is truly one of Nambia’s highlights. Originally the largest game reserve in the world, it’s now less than a quarter of the original size. Regardless, it’s still massive at nearly 8,600 square miles.

Home to the Big Five

Visitors won’t be disappointed by the variety of animals in the Namibian savannah conservation area. Etosha National Park is home to the Big Five: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. This is also a great place to see the world’s largest population of the endangered black rhino.

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Cape Cross Seal Reserve; Namibia

Ever wondered what 250,000 seals look like in one place? At Cape Cross Seal Reserve in Namibia you can find out.

And you should. Oh, you most certainly should. As the world’s largest fur seal colony and home to the rare Cape fur seal, a visit will not disappoint.

History of Cape Cross

Long before it was known as a fur seal colony, Cape Cross was the landing site of the first European explorers to set foot in Namibia. Portuguese explorers in the 15th century discovered the area and set up a large stone cross to honor the king (see below).

Centuries later, Namibia was under German Occupation and known as the German South West Africa. Settlers were looking to build a bay better than nearby Swakopmund and – during the search – Captain Becker saw the cross put up by Portuguese explorers nearly four centuries earlier.

Good sign? Sadly, no.

But while the captain never found what he was looking for, he did find thousands of seals and his adventures provided the first written account of this massive colony.

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Soaring Dunes; Namibia

Imagine climbing a sand dune until dawn. Then – as sunlight peaks over the horizon – the sky explodes with majestic hues, painting colors along the dunes below.

In Namibia, you can see these massive dunes near Sossusvlei.  Part of the Namib Dessert and the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei and its surrounding areas are some of the most photographed and visited sites in Namibia.

But you shouldn’t stop there.

One of Namibia’s hidden secrets, NamibRand National Park, is an exclusive reserve bordering Sossusvlei. It’s a great way to spend a few extra days while further exploring the Namib Desert. Continue

Shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Over a thousand shipwrecked vessels line the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. This wasteland comes courtesy of the Benguela Current, dense fog and rough surf, the cause of many seamen’s doom.

The most famous wreck – the Dunedin Star – sank here in 1942. And while some of its cargo was salvaged in 1951, much of it remains visible on the beach to this day.

At one time the entire coastline of Namibia was referred to as the Skeleton Coast. Today, however,  it’s just the northern section. The Skeleton Coast National Park covers 6,200 square miles (16,000 km²) of northeastern Namibia. Protecting a third of Namibia’s coastline, the park stretches from the Kunene River in the North 310 miles (500km) south to the Ugab River.

The Skeleton Coast is growing increasingly accessible. Despite common misconceptions, the park landscape is quite diverse ranging from dunes to vast mountain ranges to canyons with rich volcanic rock.Continue