More Details
Joe Mcdaniel Zdwhztpd Uw Unsplash
Sam Power 0csuthgaqii Unsplash
Sand Dunes Namib Desert Dawn Roadtrip Wonderful Namib Naukluft National Park Travel Destination

Namib-Naukluft National Park

Namib-Naukluft National Park, covering an expanse of 49,768 km2, which includes a large portion of the Namib Desert, is not only the largest national park in Africa but also the largest national park in the world.

The Namib-Naukluft National Park was initially known as ‘Game Reserve No. 3.’ Further explanation as to the name and origin are detailed below in the history. The original area was proclaimed in 1907 but Namib-Naukluft national park came into existence years later in 1979. The word Namib, which comes from the Khoekhoe language meaning ‘vast land.’ Whereas, Naukluft Berge believed to be German in origin, gives us Berge meaning ‘mountain’ and Naukluft comes from Afrikaans, nou kloof, which means ‘narrow ravine or gorge.

The History of Namib-Naukluft National Park

  • 1907: Friedrich von Lindequist, the governor of German south-west Africa, proclaimed three game reserves.

Game Reserve No. 1: Omuramba Omatako,
Game Reserve No 2: Etosha,
Game Reserve No 3: Namib-Naukluft. The park was proclaimed to prevent English settlers from occupying the Walvis Bay area.

  • 1941: Sandwich Harbour was merged with Game Reserve No. 3.
  • 1962: The park gained more land with a small extension of the southern border.
  • 1966: Game Reserve No. 3 was named Namib Desert Park. This park included the moon landscape located east of Swakopmund, and a little area located north of the Swakop River.
  • 1968: Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park was established for the protection of Harmann’s zebras, a species found only in Namibia.
  • 1979: The Namib Desert Park was merged with Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park, with the park gaining its current name Namib-Naukluft Park. A second large area, a strip of Atlantic ocean, was also added to the park. Through this addition, the Namib-Naukluft became Namibia’s first marine reserve.
  • 1986: The Namib Desert Park was extended with the addition of two large diamond mining areas, known as Diamond Area No 2 and a section of Diamond Area No 1 (Sperrgebiet).
  • December 2010: Dorob National Park, formerly known as the National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area, was first established. The park covers the land as far as Sandwich Harbour, due to which, Namib-Naukluft Park’s northern border had to be adjusted.

Wildlife In Namib-Naukluft National Park

Namib-Naukluft National Park isn’t a well-known wildlife destination, but it has plenty of Gemsbok (a large species of antelope) and Springbok (medium-sized antelopes). These are a few species of antelopes that have adapted enough to survive the driest desert areas of the park. Two more small antelope species – Klipspringer and Steenbok – call the Namib-Naukluft park their home and are found closer to the seasonal rivers.

The Naukluft mountains have always been a hotspot for Hartmann mountain zebras. Chacma baboon, Cape ground squirrel and meerkat are also seen in the park. In the absence of larger predators, the Namib-Naukluft has a small population of leopard, jackal as well as spotted and brown hyenas.

With more than 200 recorded bird species, Namib-Naukluft national park has gained the status of a great bird-watching destination. Dune lark, found only in Namibia, can be seen in the Sossusvlei area. The Sandwich Lagoon and the Naukluft mountains are prime bird-watching spots, with sightings of African black duck, black stork, cinnamon-breasted warbler, greater flamingo, gray lark, karoo scrub robin, Ludwig’s bustard, rockrunner, and Verreaux’s eagle.

Namib-Naukluft National Park’s Premier Attractions

  • Sossusvlei: Sossusvlei, is the primary attraction of Namib-Naukluft National Park as well as Namibia, is a salt and clay pan. The clay pan, surrounded by red dunes, presents visitors with a captivating view of the white against red. One of the most photographed places in Africa, Sossusvlei landscape has made appearances in the film The Cell and the documentary Samsara.
  • Big Daddy Dune: The highest dune in the Sossusvlei area Big Daddy measures about 325 meters. Facing Big Daddy is another high dune known as Big Mama.
  • Deadvlei: Deadvlei once used to be an oasis covered with acacia thickets, now it is a white clay pan surrounded by dead and blackened acacia trees. This bizarre setting, against the orange dunes, presents a fascinating landscape, an attraction which has found its way into several documentaries and films.
  • Sesriem Canyon: Sesriem Canyon, formed by the Tsauchab river carving into the rock, is about 0.6 miles long and 30 meters deep. The canyon lies around 4 kms from the Sesriem, a small settlement in the Namib Desert. This settlement, well-known for the Sesriem-gate, is the main entry for Namib-Naufkluft’s visitors who want to visit the Sossusvlei.

When To Visit Namib-Naukluft National Park

The best time to visit Namib-Naukluft is the months of May to October when the temperature is cooler. The rest of the months in the Namib Desert can be pretty hot which will limit your activities. November to April is considered to be the best time to visit Namib-Naukluft National Park for bird watching, as several migrant birds visit the park in these months.

You are the first to review

You May Also Be Interested In...

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park

0 reviews

Etosha National Park, one of Namibia’s most well known national parks, covers an expanse of 22,270 square km, of which 4,800 square km is covered by Etosha Pan, after which it is named. Over the years,...

or sign in with