Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world, and it is home to the highest sand dunes in the world. The coast is scattered with shipwrecks, collapsed wooden buildings, and whale skeletons. It has a somewhat eery nature that makes it a truly unique experience. For a lot of people, this area is one of the main driving factors behind a visit to Namibia, and it is not an opportunity to be missed! Trips in the desert range from a couple of days to six day adventures. 

The shipwrecks in the Namib desert are in unhospitable locations, so getting there is not easy. Some people decide to do a fly-by; however, to really experience these wrecks, driving into the desert is best. The desert is a protected area, and large areas are used for diamond mining, so you can't just attempt to drive to the wrecks yourself. The easiest way is to book onto a desert driving tour, which normally last six days between Luderitz and Walvis Bay. A reputable tour operator is Coastway Tours, and their tour will allow you to visit the Eduard Bohlen and Shawnee wreck as well as countless abandoned buildings and vehicles. The number of people who have been to these deserted locations is very few, and so if you really want a true sense of adventure, this tour is highly recommended! The sight as you drive between the Atlantic Ocean on one side and towering sand dunes on the other is incredible and something you won't find anywhere else. An added benefit is the significant lack of light pollution, meaning you can easily see the Milky Way, which is ideal for astrophotgraphy! Camping under the stars for six days in the desert isolated from the outside world is something you will struggle to find elsewhere!

It's important to realize that the dune driving is challenging and requires a lot of concentration. It's also compulsory to have a four-wheel drive vehicle with a low range gearbox for this tour. As you can probably imagine, there are no petrol stations in the desert, so you will need to carry fuel to last you the six days. Over the six days, you will cover approximately 630 kilometers. If this doesn't sound like you, that's not a problem. Tour companies exist that will drive you through the desert rather than having to drive yourself. 

This is a must-do trip for anyone looking for a unique, challenging, once-in-a lifetime experience!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Pros

Remote. Unique. Stunning.

Cons

No signal. Challenging driving.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Sand Dunes
Wildlife

Location

Comments

08/27/2020
Our Bogenfels/Pomona tour with Coastways Tours Lüderitz scheduled for April 4, 2020, was cancelled by us on March 13, 2020, the day we learned that the COVID-19 pandemic would prevent us from entering Namibia. Per Coastways refund policy (0% if cancelled fewer than 8 days before the tour date; 50% 21 to 8 days; 100% 22+ days), we are entitled to a 100% refund of the 10,000 Namibian dollars ($671.57 USD) tour cost paid by us on April 16, 2019. Politely phrased reminders sent from us by email to Coastways in April, May, June and July 2020 resulted in responses that “our accounting department is working on it”. In mid-July 2020, we notified the Namibia Consumer Protection Group but, to no avail. We can produce digital copies of correspondences to support the above. We strongly recommend booking elsewhere. A current online search (end of August 2020) showed at least three alternatives to Coastways, companies that hopefully will honor their refund policy.
Michael & Beverly
North Carolina, USA

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