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7 places you don't want to miss in Namibia and Botswana

Namibia and Botswana are two entirely different countries despite being neighbours; where Namibia is known for towering sand dunes and vast deserts, Botswana has wide-open plains and wetlands stretching for miles. Yet both boast an incredible variety of wildlife living in these diverse and spectacular landscapes. Discover seven of the must-see highlights.
1. Sossusvlei, Namibia
The vivid ochre dunes of Namibia's Sossusvlei are iconic of this incredible country. Featuring the world's tallest dune and the skeletons of camel thorn trees, which have never decayed thanks to the arid atmosphere. A photographer's dream, this landscape is as eerie as it is beautiful and the view from atop "Big Daddy", at around 300m high, shows off the region in all its splendour.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

2. Chobe National Park, Botswana
In northern Botswana, Chobe National Park is the oldest and most diverse of the country's parks. It's best known for being home to the world's largest elephant population. There are around 50,000 Kalahari elephants living here and their migration follows the seasons through the park; from the north-western corner during the dry season to the south-east in the rainy season.

3. Etosha National Park, Namibia
The Etosha Pan formed around 12 million years ago from a lake that was roughly the size of Holland. It is now a dried up depression with underground springs enticing large herds of animals, including rhino, zebra, giraffe and even lion. Under the African sun, this beautiful silvery plain often shimmers with mirages that make these dusty flats even more atmospheric.

4. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana's Okavango Delta offers a wildlife experience unlike any other in Africa. Staying aboard a houseboat we'll see animals congregating around the water to drink and to swim. Head out onto the delta for a water safari, with the chance to see elephant, crocodile, hippo and a wide array of bird life at close quarters.

5. Swakopmund, Namibia
Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund has a distinct character owing to its German and African heritage. The town has a colourful past that you can explore simply wandering the town's streets or visiting its museum. Swakopmund covers the best of all worlds; it's an ideal base for adrenaline-fuelled activities in the Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast, or to simply relax by the sea front and watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

6. Twyfelfontein and Tsodilo Hills, Namibia and Botswana
The San bushmen community believes that that Tsodilo Hills in Botswana are the site of first creation, so there are around 4,000 rock paintings marking this important place - some dating back as far as 20,000 years. In Namibia's Twyfelfontein there are many different rock carvings created by hunter-gatherers during the stone age; many showing animals that are still recognisable today.

Rock paintings in Tsodilo Hills, Botswana

7. Namib Desert, Namibia
The Namib Desert stretches along the Atlantic Ocean on Namibia's Skeleton Coast - so-called due to the hundreds of shipwrecks that dot the shoreline. Here the hot desert air meets the cold oceanic atmosphere, giving rise to dense fogs that can obscure offshore rocks and have wrecked many ships. This is just one of the incredible sights that exist in the Namib Desert; in stark contrast, the east has lush vegetation, where cheetahs can be spotted among the scrub.

Namibia and Botswana are diverse destinations, perfect for discovering  amazing wildlife, dramatic landscapes and ancient and modern cultures. Discover more on our Namibia and Botswana trips.

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