Roaring Adventures: Creating Unforgettable Family Memories on a Namibian Safari


Welcome back, fellow travel lovers, to the next installment of our family travel series! If you’ve been following along on our travel blog you might remember our last escapade in Bali, where we discovered the magic of tropical landscapes and cultural wonders. Well, buckle up, because this time, we’re venturing into the heart of Africa for a family safari in Namibia! It may not be your typical family vacation spot, but trust us, the unconventional path often leads to the most extraordinary experiences!

Why Namibia?

Namibia is often regarded as one of Africa’s most family-friendly safari destinations for a variety of reasons. The well-maintained road network ensures easy exploration of the country’s varied landscapes, while families that value flexibility can plan visits at different times to enjoy Namibia’s varied climates.

Safety and security are always a priority with family getaways and Namibia ranks highly in this regard too. In fact, Namibia is known to be one of the safest countries in Africa with low crime rates and high levels of political and social stability. Although generally safe, the US Department of State recommends refraining for displaying large amounts of valuables, but this advice is generally given wherever in the world you travel.

Unlike other safari destinations like Kenya, Namibia also offers a more eclectic mix of activities for both children and adults alike. Families are also drawn here owing in large part to the huge range of luxurious accommodation options which again aren’t always typically found in other popular safari destinations.

Namibia Safari Activities for the Whole Family

As we touched on above, Namibia has become a favoured destination for families due to its outstanding natural beauty and the promise of unique adventures at every turn. Whether mom loves water-based activities or dad loves history and culture, there’s something here to appease every member of your clan, whatever their age or interests. Below we’ve highlighted just some of the incredible activities you can enjoy on safari in the nation they call The Soul of Africa.

Wildlife Safaris: Begin your family odyssey with the crown jewel of Namibia safari – wildlife walks and game drives. Etosha National Park is a haven for animal enthusiasts and the go-to place for game drives, offering not only the famous Big Five but also a plethora of other incredible species. Engage your little ones in a treasure hunt of the savannah as they spot zebras, giraffes, and wildebeests. Further north, regions like Kaokoland and the Skeleton Coast, whilst desolate, also provide ample opportunity for further wildlife viewing and the chance to see fascinating desert-adapted creatures.

Dune Boarding in Sossusvlei: If your family has a taste for adventure, head to Sossusvlei for an adrenaline-pumping session of dune boarding. As the sun paints the colossal dunes in hues of gold and orange, strap on your boards and experience the thrill of surfing down the soft sands. Whether you’re racing each other or simply enjoying the rush, it’s an activity that bridges the generation gap, bringing joy to both young and old.

Stargazing in the Namib Desert: As the day bids adieu, usher in the night with a celestial spectacle in the Namib Desert. Away from the city lights, the vast expanse of the desert sky becomes a canvas of twinkling stars. Spread out a blanket, lay back, and share stories of constellations with your children. It’s not just stargazing; it’s a cosmic classroom where the wonders of the universe unfold before your family’s eyes.

Hot Air Balloon Safari over the NamibRand Nature Reserve: Take your family adventure to new heights with a hot air balloon safari over the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Drift silently above the stunning landscapes, observing the sweeping dunes and desert wildlife below. The gentle sway of the balloon provides a serene backdrop for family bonding, creating a memory that will stay with you long after the balloon touches down.

Canoeing on the Orange River: For a water-themed adventure, head to the Orange River, where the whole family can embark on a serene canoeing expedition. Drift along the river, surrounded by the rugged beauty of the desert landscape. The calm waters make it suitable for all ages, and you might even catch a glimpse of the diverse birdlife along the riverbanks.

Quad Biking in the Namib Desert: Quench your family’s thirst for excitement with a quad biking adventure in the Namib Desert. Navigate the vast dunes and desert plains on these nimble vehicles, experiencing the thrill of off-road exploration. Many operators offer family-friendly quad biking experiences, ensuring a safe and exhilarating ride for parents and children alike.

Cultural Encounters with San Bushmen: Expand your family’s cultural horizons by engaging with the San Bushmen, the indigenous people of the region. Join them on a guided cultural experience where you can learn about their traditional hunting techniques, enjoy storytelling, and even try your hand at creating traditional crafts. It’s a meaningful interaction that provides valuable insights into Namibia’s rich cultural heritage.

Family Safari Tips

A Namibia safari isn’t your typical vacation down in Florida or to the sun-soaked shores of Southern Europe. With that in mind we’ve listed some helpful tips and advice below to ensure your adventure runs smoothly, especially if you’re accompanied by little ones.

  1. Pack Smart for All Seasons: Namibia’s climate can vary dramatically so you should pack accordingly. Leading safari operators like recommend making sure you have enough layers to accommodate temperature fluctuations throughout the day, ensuring warmth during chilly evenings and comfort under the scorching sun. Don’t forget hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection. If you want to stay fashionable, you can read our safari fashion guide here.
  2. Comfortable Footwear: Safari adventures often involve walking and exploring diverse terrains. Ensure everyone has comfortable, closed-toe shoes suitable for both sandy dunes and rocky landscapes.
  3. Insect Repellent and First Aid Kit: Namibia’s wilderness is teeming with unique flora and fauna. Pack insect repellent to ward off bugs, and carry a basic first aid kit for minor injuries. It’s always better to be prepared.
  4. Educational Entertainment for Kids: Long drives between destinations can be made enjoyable for children with educational games, books, or wildlife identification activities. Engage them in the safari experience by turning it into a fun and learning opportunity.
  5. Flexible Itinerary: While planning is essential, allow for flexibility in your itinerary. Unexpected wildlife sightings or an impromptu cultural experience may arise, and having a bit of flexibility ensures you can seize these moments.
  6. Stay Hydrated: The African sun can be intense, leading to dehydration. Encourage everyone, especially children, to drink plenty of water throughout the day. A reusable water bottle for each family member is a practical addition.
  7. Binoculars and Cameras: Enhance your wildlife viewing experience with binoculars. Bring cameras to capture the magic of your safari, creating lasting memories. Consider disposable cameras for younger children to foster their interest in photography.
  8. Respect Wildlife Distances: Teach children the importance of respecting wildlife distances. Ensure they understand that observing animals from a safe distance not only protects them but also allows for a more authentic and enjoyable experience.
  9. Engage with Guides: Namibia’s safari guides are a wealth of knowledge. Encourage your family to ask questions, fostering a deeper understanding of the region’s wildlife, landscapes, and cultures.

Planning Your Family Safari

When it comes to actually booking your safari it’s also important to conduct some research and find a reputable operator that can deliver the experience you and your family expect. The time of year you visit can also impact your experience so keep that in mind before you start rushing to find your passport.

Choose the Right Time: Namibia’s climate varies, so plan your visit according to the region you’ll be exploring. The dry season (May to October) is ideal for wildlife viewing, while the wet season (November to April) brings lush landscapes and migratory birdlife.

Research Family-Friendly Operators: Look for safari operators that cater specifically to families. These operators often provide knowledgeable guides who understand the dynamics of travelling with children, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Customise Your Itinerary: Tailor your itinerary to suit your family’s preferences. Mix wildlife safaris with cultural experiences and outdoor adventures to keep everyone entertained. Flexibility is key when travelling with children.


Family-Friendly Accommodation

Finally, finding the right accommodation serves as the pivotal thread that can either make or break the entire experience. Namibia, fortunately, boasts an array of family-friendly lodges scattered across its diverse landscapes, each providing a sanctuary of comfort amidst the untamed beauty. From spacious rooms to kid-friendly amenities, these lodges are equipped with all the essentials to ensure a seamless and enjoyable stay for every member of your tribe.

With spacious chalets and guided activities suitable for children, Okonjima Nature Reserve is a great choice for families. The highlight is the AfriCat Foundation, where both children and adults can learn about and observe big cats.

Located near the iconic dunes of Sossusvlei, Desert Quiver camp is another top option that offers self-catering accommodation in modern, comfortable units. The peaceful surroundings provide a perfect base for exploring the nearby desert landscapes. With a swimming pool and family chalets, Mushara Bush Camp is an excellent choice for families that want to experience the epitome of luxury whilst visiting Etosha National Park. The camp’s serene atmosphere also complements the excitement of game drives.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.