The attractive capital features fine German colonial architecture, with Windhoek's highlights including the Tintenpalast parliament building, Christuskirche (the city's landmark church) and the fortress Alte Feste - the city's oldest surviving building, which houses a museum of Namibian history.
Namib Naukluft Park
The Namib Naukluft, the fourth-largest conservation area in the world, is part of the extremely impressive Namib Desert, believed to be the world's oldest desert. Here, oryx stroll over apricot-, ochre- and fawn-coloured dunes tufted with grasses.
Fish River Canyon
Even if you're not doing the famous hike through this, the world's largest canyon after the Grand Canyon, you can admire its scale and visit the nearby Kokerboom Forest. Kokerbooms (quiver trees) are bizarrely elegant giant aloes, once used by the San people to make quivers for their arrows, and now protected.
By joining a nature trail across the gravel plains of the arid and forbidding Skeleton Coast region, you can observe ancient desert-adapted plant species such as welwitschia, lithops and delicate lichens.
AfriCat Foundation, Okonjima
This predator rehabilitation centre (www.africat.org) cares for cheetahs, leopards, lions and endangered wild dogs. In the larger enclosures, the cats are radio-collared so guides should be able to guarantee close-up sightings. There's a luxury lodge for overnight visitors.
This isolated stretch of rocky shore is home to a huge, malodorous Cape fur seal colony; around November plenty of young pups can be seen huddled next to their mothers.
Rock art, Damaraland
The Brandberg/Twyfelfontein area has some very ancient rock engravings and paintings, of which the White Lady of the Brandberg is the best known. Nearby is the Aba-Huab Petrified Forest, a collection of around 50 fossilised trees thought to be over 250 million years old.
Himba kraals, Kaokoland
Learn about tribal customs and desert survival techniques by visiting the kraal (homestead) of indigenous semi-nomadic pastoralists, the Himba, in the Kaokoland region of northern Namibia.
Bordered by the Kwando, Linyanti, Chobe and Zambezi rivers, this region of swamps and flood plains has several safari lodges and offers boat trips, fishing, hiking and game viewing, particularly in the Mudumu and Mamili National Parks.
Here, a good place to stop is the Popa Falls Rest Camp, a popular haven on the banks of the Okavango River, where crocodiles and hippos bask in the water. About 12km (7 miles) to the south is Mahango Game Reserve, with elephants, buffalo and lechwe.
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