Ancient Destinations to Visit while in Namibia

Namibia, with its striking natural beauty and diverse wildlife, is known for being a top holiday destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

However, beyond its otherworldly landscapes, and tucked away behind the scenes, this African nation has a complex history and a fascinating culture, which when explored during a Namibia tour, gives travellers a chance to learn more about the country.

While the recent past is the one that gets the most attention, it is Nambia’s ancient past that is really most worth exploring, especially if you have an interest in fossils and rocks.

The Best Ancient Attractions of Namibia 

The Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings

Given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein which is located in Damaraland, is home to some of the most extensive and best-preserved rock engravings in Africa!

These ancient markings were created by the San people, and they date back thousands of years. The engravings depict scenes of animals, humans, and abstract symbols, and they give viewers a unique glimpse into the beliefs and daily life of Namibia’s original people.

The Petrified Forest

You can really travel back in time when you visit the Petrified Forest near Khorixas. Here ancient tree trunks have turned to stone giving travellers a window into Namibia’s geological history.

These petrified logs are estimated to be around 280 million years old, and exploring this unique site offers insights into the world as it was long before human history began.

The Brandberg Mountain

The Brandberg Mountain, which has the reputation for being Namibia’s highest peak, is not only a natural wonder but it is also home to all sorts of ancient rock art. Its most famous artwork is the “White Lady,” which is a painting that has sparked intrigue and debate for years among historians and travellers alike.

Whether the White Lady is a depiction of a human, spirit, or something else entirely, it remains a significant archaeological and cultural site and on worth adding to your holiday travel list if you are keen on learning more about the history of the site.

The Cape Cross Seal Reserve

While known for its resident seal colony, Cape Cross holds plenty of historical importance too.

In 1486, the Portuguese explorer Diego Cão placed a stone cross here, marking the area as one of the earliest European explorations along the Namibian coast. This site gives travellers a glimpse into the age of exploration as well as trade along Africa’s western shores.

The Ruins of Khami

Travellers with an interest in historical archaeology will find the ruins of Khami quite captivating.

These are the remnants of a once-thriving city-state in northwestern Namibia, and they offer clues about the ancient African societies that inhabited the region. If you find yourself here, you should take the time to explore the stone walls, terraces, and artefacts. These incredible ruins represent the area’s rich and complex past.

The Tsumeb Museum

While not a historical site in itself, the Tsumeb Museum in northern Namibia displays a treasure trove of artefacts, minerals, and cultural relics. The museum provides an informative overview of Namibia’s history, which includes its colonial period, the indigenous cultures, and the mining industry that shaped the nation.

The Alte Feste (Old Fort) in Windhoek

The capital city, Windhoek, is home to the Alte Feste, which is an old fortress as well as a historical museum. The Alte Feste tells Namibia’s journey from colonial rule to independence through exhibits which include weaponry, textiles, and photographs.

The Namib Desert’s Desert-Adapted Human Settlements

The Namib Desert is not just an incredible natural wonder but it is a historical site in itself. The desert has been inhabited for centuries by various indigenous communities, including the Himba and Herero. A visit to their desert-adapted settlements offers the chance to interact with local communities, which still thrive in the harsh desert environment, and learn about their traditions and ways of life.

The Old Trading Post at Okahandja

Okahandja, located near Windhoek, is an old trading post with a fascinating history. The post was a centre for trade between indigenous Namibian peoples and European settlers and today, visitors can explore the local markets that now run here and learn about the town’s historical significance.

Read our other blogs here