In the north, Etosha National Park is Namibia’s unmissable wildlife destination. During the dry season, when water is scarce, the park’s animals gather around waterholes making game viewing as easy as parking your car in the right spot.
Along with herds of springbok, zebra, and blue wildebeest, you’ll see plenty of elephants and lions and, if you’re lucky, cheetahs.
You’ll also see desert animals such as oryx, meerkat, ostrich, and bat-eared foxes.
The park is the best place in Africa to spot black rhinos, while black-faced impala and Damara dik-dik are two other remarkable species. They’re only found in one other place – across the border in Angola.
Wildlife surrounding Etosha National Park
To the south of Etosha, Waterberg Plateau Park is home to some rare species, such as sable and roan antelope and black and white rhino, and Namibia’s only breeding colony of Cape Vultures.
Wildlife in Damaraland
Among the rugged mountains of Damaraland, in Namibia’s northwest, are free-roaming populations of desert elephants (which are incredibly rare – the only other place in the world you’ll find them is Mali) and desert-adapted black rhinos and lions.
Namibia’s most rewarding wildlife experiences include tracking black rhinos and elephants against spectacular desert backdrops.
Wildlife in the Zambezi Region of Namibia
In far north-eastern Namibia, the Zambezi Region (formerly known as the Caprivi Strip) offers a different wildlife experience to the rest of the country, thanks to its heavy summer rainfall, rivers, and water sources.
This is where you can see hippos and crocodiles, and it’s one of the only places in the country where buffalo occur. A highlight of the Zambezi Region is water-based wildlife viewing from boats or a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe).
Wildlife on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia
Stretching along Namibia’s northern coastline, the Skeleton Coast National Park has one of the world’s largest breeding colonies of Cape fur seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve.
There are around 100,000 seals here year-round, and if you visit the reserve in November and December, you’ll see their tiny pups – and perhaps a stalking jackal.
Wildlife in Central Namibia
In central Namibia, there’s marine wildlife to see from a boat and kayaking trips from Walvis Bay to spot seals, whales, and dolphins.
Central Namibia also has two places to take part in animal tracking. Search for cheetahs and leopards at Okonjima Nature Reserve near Otjiwarongo and track rare and extremely elusive pangolins at Erindi Private Game Reserve.
Wildlife in Southern Namibia
Southern Namibia isn’t a prime big-game region. However, if you want to see the animals of the Namib Desert (oryx, springbok, kudu, zebra, giraffe, hartebeest, leopard, hyena, jackal, and fox), the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast conservation area with spectacular scenery and a low density of visitors, is your best bet.
An unusual wildlife highlight of southern Namibia is the herd of around 150 wild horses that roam freely in the desert between Aus and Lüderitz – the world’s only desert-dwelling wild horses.