Located in southern Namibia, the NamibRand Nature Reserve protects the biome of the southern part of the Namib desert. The area is a significant corridor for migratory wildlife, and its claim to fame is that it is one of the largest nature reserves in southern Africa, encompassing an impressive 2,150 square kilometres of striking landscapes.
Imposing mountain ranges flank the east side of the reserve, and the world-renown Namib-Nauklift Park shares a 100-kilometre border with the reserve. There’s more than one vegetation type that characterises the landscape, and almost all iconic Namibian landscapes are well-represented in the reserve. Brick red dunes, sandy and gravel terrain, scrubby covered dune, vegetation laden valleys and endless horizons interrupted by captivating inselbergs, provide the perfect habitat for typical Namibian animals.
This reserve is a tourism hub, and anything from hot air balloon rides to guided walks and game drives are offered. The area is remote, so a series of charter flights or 4WD journeys are needed. The reserve is situated about 500 kilometres from Windhoek. The smaller airports are located close to luxury lodges and in major tourist areas such as Sossusvlei.
Visitors can experience anything from hot air ballooning over terracotta dunes to guided nature walks and thrilling quad biking tours.
More elusive animals such as the brown hyena, leopard, black-backed jackal and Cape fox can be observed.
The NamibRand Nature Reserve is a wild and untamed reserve home to oryx, springbok, kudu, Burchell’s zebra and hartebeest. The most commonly spotted species is springbok and oryx, seen just about everywhere within the reserve. More elusive animals such as the brown hyena, leopard, black-backed jackal and Cape fox can also be spotted. Many conservation programs are underway and include caracal and cheetah reintroduction into this reserve where they once roamed freely many years ago.
Over 150 species of bird have been recorded in the reserve. The lappet-faced vulture, Ludwig’s Bustard and the endemic dune lark occur in the reserve. Other small creatures occur throughout the reserve, in particular the golden mole.
From May to October there’s barely any rain, and during November is when the rains begin to fall. However, the rains are very light. This rainy season lasts until well into April. Because the reserve is so expansive, the climate varies. It’s a fantastic year-round destination.
This expansive reserve takes centre stage for safari activities and outdoor pursuits. Geared towards tourism, visitors can experience anything from hot air ballooning over terracotta dunes to guided nature walks and thrilling quad biking tours. 4WD drives around this prehistoric landscape are popular. Visitors can arrange scheduled tours that take anything from one to three hours. Sundowner 4WD desert tours come highly recommended.
Guided hikes and trails, including two to three-day hikes with wild camping, is an activity recommended for the adventurous at heart—the perfect way to view wildlife and spot rare birds.
This reserve mainly has ultra-luxurious lodges and desert camps. If visitors want to experience true Namibian luxury, this is the area to stay.
Each of the high-end lodges offers activities and amenities, and have been designed by architects to make a minimal impact on the landscape. Visitors can expect simple canvas tents built with classic wood, erected in secluded spots. Some of the accommodation options come with private chefs.