A Guide to the Best Namibia National Parks
Etosha National Park in Namibia

Guide to the Best Namibia National Parks

As one of Africa’s most unique and sparsely populated destinations, Namibia is one of the best places in the world to travel to if you have a love for the wild.

Home to an array of fascinating plants and wildlife, as well as some incredible and hauntingly beautiful landscapes, a Namibia tour will leave you with a sense of wonder, while satisfying your wanderlust.

Of all the destinations you can visit while on your tour, you should make some time to visit one of the many national parks.

There are a number of well-known national parks in Namibia, and then there are those out of the way, almost hidden parks, that few travellers know about and even fewer get to see. When planning a Namibia tour, and if you wish to visit a couple of the country’s conservation areas, this is just the guide for you, as we will be talking about the best Namibia National Parks and why you should pay these particular ones a visit.


Wildlife Safari Etosha National Park


Etosha National Park

Situated in the north-central region of Namibia and well known for its abundant wildlife, Etosha National Park is without a doubt the most famous park in the country and as such it draws a lot of travellers each year.

Covering some 20 000 km², Etosha National Park is home to the Big 5, as well as a number of other fascinating animals. It is best to visit the park during the dry season, as this is when the wildlife sightings are at their very best!


Etosha is easily accessible by car or plane. There are plenty of flights connecting the major Namibian cities like Windhoek with airstrips near the park. If travelling by car, there is the self-drive option, but guided Etosha Park tours are highly recommended for optimal wildlife viewing, and let’s face it, guided tours are also a whole lot more fun with much less fuss.

Park Highlights

Etosha’s huge salt pan attracts a staggering array of wildlife, including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and springboks, especially during the dry season.

You can also head off on a guided game drive, with a guide who will be able to take you to the best places to see wildlife, while also teaching you all about the area. Etosha has various scenic viewpoints where you will get to see panoramas of the park’s incredible landscapes.

A Unique Etosha Experience

Spotting the elusive black rhinoceros is certainly the biggest highlight of a trip to Etosha.


Namib-Naukluft National Park


Namib-Naukluft National Park

This sprawling park has some of Namibia’s most dramatic landscapes, including the iconic Sossusvlei dunes and the rugged Naukluft Mountains. The park is situated in the western part of the country, right between the Atlantic Ocean coastline and the Great Escarpment. It covers a large part of the Namib Desert and the beautiful Sandwich Harbour.


Although it is a bit out of the way, the park is accessible by car or plane. There are flights connecting Windhoek with the coastal town of Walvis Bay, which serves as a gateway to the park.

Self-drive is also possible but guided Namibia tours are often best for a safe and enriching experience.

Park Highlights

Seeing the awe-inspiring Sossusvlei dunes, towering hundreds of meters above the desert floor, walking through the Deadvlei, a striking landscape dotted with skeletal trees, or hiking amidst the majestic Naukluft mountains are all must-do activities when you visit this incredible place. You should also do a little stargazing while here, as Namibia is famous for its crystal-clear, light pollution-free skies.

A Unique Namib-Naukluft Experience

If you visit here, and you have the energy and the ability, you simply have to climb the iconic Dune 45, to take in the most spectacular sunrise views. When you reach the top the sense of accomplishment will make the effort well worth it.


Namibia's Skeleton Coast Shipwrecks


Skeleton Coast National Park

This otherworldly park is situated along Namibia’s northwestern coast and it is famous for its haunting beauty that stems not only from the fact that this place is home to shipwrecks but that in the right weather, the Skeleton Coast can take on a rather spooky look, with the fog rolling in off the icy Atlantic.

But it is certainly not all doom and gloom here. Instead, there are plenty of beautiful things to see and experience, especially if you are a history buff who wants to learn more about this stretch of the coast’s past.


The Skeleton Coast is in a very remote and rugged area. As such it is only accessible by chartered flights or specialised 4WD tours. There are quite a few guided Skeleton Coast tours available, and they will certainly be the more comfortable option.

Park Highlights

Exploring the desolate coastline, which is dotted with shipwrecks, or enjoying the sight of the dolphin colonies as they swim up and down the coast are certainly highlights of a trip here. You might also be lucky enough to see the unique desert-adapted brown hyenas who call the area home.

A Unique Skeleton Coast Experience

One of the most interesting, and rather challenging, things that you can do when visiting is to go kayaking along the coast. This unique experience will give you a deeper appreciation for what the sailors of old went through when travelling to the Cape of South Africa.


Mudumu National Park Namibia


Mudumu National Park

Mudumu National Park is found in the Caprivi Strip, which is up in the north of Namibia. The park has the Kwando River in the west and it covers some 1000 km². For a dry landscape like Namibia, Mudumu National Park is truly unique. Unlike other areas of the country, this area has rivers to feed the wildlife, making it a top place for animal sightings.


Like the other parks in Namibia, this one is accessible by car or plane. There are flights connecting to Kasane, a town bordering the park. While you can self-drive here, you should do so with caution because the park is remote and lonely. This is why guided tours are recommended.

Park Highlights

Some highlights include exploring the Kwando River by boat, where you will encounter all sorts of wildlife, including hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and a plethora of birdlife.

A Unique Mudumu Experience

One of the most unforgettable experiences is spotting rare antelope species like the sitatunga and red lechwe, both of which have adapted to the marshy environment.


Bwabwata National Park Sighting


Bwabwata National Park

Bordering Angola, and as such situated right in the north of Namibia, Bwabwata is home to the most magnificent mopane woodlands and floodplains, and here you will also find the fringes of the Okavango Delta, which adds to the specialness of this beautiful place.

The park covers an area of around 6 100 km² and given its location, while it is a little-known park, it is possibly the best destination to visit, especially if you are hoping to see some of Africa’s most famous animals.


Again, this park is accessible by both car or plane. Some flights connect to Rundu, a town situated right on the border of the park. If you want to drive , you will need to hire a 4WD vehicle as the park’s terrain is rather rough. Guided tours are generally the recommended option.

Park Highlights

This lesser-known park offers fantastic opportunities for bird watching and for spotting elusive wildlife like lions, cheetahs, and elephants.

A Unique Bwabwata Experience

You should explore the Mahango Game Reserve, which is a part of Bwabwata Park, also known for its lush vegetation and diverse birdlife. A visit here can increase your chances of seeing all the animals you have on your bucket list.


Rhino in Namibia


Mangetti National Park

A recent addition to Namibia’s park system, Mangetti is a unique national park as it primarily focuses on conservation efforts for rare and endangered species like black and white rhinos.

The park is situated in the eastern part of the Kalahari, deep in the woodlands. It is about 100km south west of the small town of Rundu. Of all the parks in Namibia, this one is truly one of the smallest, covering some 420 km². But in that small area, there’s plenty to see and experience.


The park is only accessible by car. Self-drive is possible, but guided tours are beneficial and most recommended due to the park’s focus on conservation and limited visitor infrastructure.

Park Highlights

If you are one of the lucky few to visit here, you should take the time to enjoy the amazing landscapes including the woodlands and granite outcrops. And since this is a wildlife park, you should also be on the lookout for Namibia’s on-going conservation efforts and the variety of wildlife including giraffes, zebras, and springboks.

A Unique Mangetti Experience

Participating in a conservation research activity and contributing to Namibia’s fight against poaching will be one experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.


Waterberg National Park


Waterberg Plateau National Park

A park with a view, the Waterberg Plateau National Park features a tabletop mountain that offers views of the most breathtaking vistas and it has become a safe place for birdlife, including the rare Cape vulture.

Aside from those stunning views, this park, situated in the centre of Namibia, covers around 405 km² and is home to some of the country’s rare animals, including the black rhino, which was reintroduced to the park from Damaraland in 1989.


Waterberg Plateau National Park is accessible by car. And like all of the other parks, you can self-drive here but booking a guided drive is a far better option. There are plenty of tour options available.

Park Highlights

Hiking the scenic trails, with those breathtaking views of the surrounding plains, taking in the historical rock paintings and learning more about the San people’s ancient legacy, and looking out for a variety of wildlife adapted to the park’s unique ecosystem, including klipspringers and bat-eared foxes, all make a trip here something you’ll love.

A Unique Waterberg Plateau National Park Experience

A hike up the challenging circular route to the top of Waterberg Plateau for panoramic vistas is a must.


Richtersveld National Park


ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

Straddling the border between Namibia and South Africa, the ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park offers a unique opportunity to experience a shared ecosystem.


The ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is accessible by car.

You can self-drive here, but only with proper planning due to the park’s remote location. Guided tours are always the safer and more informative experience, especially as border crossings and park logistics can get complicated.

Park Highlights

This is a landscape unlike any other, a combination of desolate desert plains, towering mountains, and the mighty Fish River Canyon, Africa’s largest canyon, so naturally, taking in those views and taking lots of photos is a must! You should also explore the park’s rich biodiversity, as this is home to the world’s richest succulent flora despite the arid climate.

A Unique ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park Experience

After all your travels, you can kick back and relax with a soak in the natural thermal springs at Namibia’s ǀAi-ǀAis Hot Spring Game Park, all while enjoying the rugged scenery. You can also spend some time learning more about the cultural heritage of the Nama people who have inhabited this land for centuries.


Ditch the tourist trail and explore Namibia’s national parks like a true adventurer!

Choose your preferred national park and book your Namibia tour today!