Often skipped out, or at best given a single night's layover, as people race for pole position at a waterhole in Etosha National Park up north, the Waterberg has many game farms and lodges that warrant a longer stay.
The plateau, which is a remnant of an enormous ancient plateau, rises 200m above the surrounding plains and creates a diversity of habitats. The Waterberg Plateau Park and surrounding game farms are the base for numerous conservation-related research projects.
The plateau supports open grassland and broad-leafed woodland; the foothills and plains are marked by savannah woodland with acacia the dominant tree. Several springs well up to provide lush undergrowth and yet another wildlife habitat.
Age-old geological attractions en route to the northern regions offer interesting diversions and provide some spectacular scenery.
Rare species including white rhino, buffalo, and sable and roan antelope have been introduced to the Waterberg Plateau Park and the existing game includes giraffe, kudu, leopard, hyena and cheetah. While no match for Etosha National Park as a wildlife destination, the park has two excellent - and very popular - long walking safaris that provide a fascinating close encounter with Namibia's wilderness. One is guided with no set route and the other is a self-guided demarcated trail.
Several excellent game farms have developed over the years and offer exceptional private safaris with luxury accommodation and good numbers of Africa's big game. The Cheetah Conservation Fund is several amalgamated game farms with private lodges on the western side of the Waterberg Plateau Park. The AfriCat Foundation is part of luxury lodge/game farm combination, Okonjima Lodge Plains Camp, where they rehabilitate animals such as cheetah to be re-released into the wild.
On a farm, 60km south of Otjiwarongo, is a series of fossilised dinosaur footprints estimated to be between 150 and 200 million years old. Further north, near Grootfontein, is the Hoba Meteorite: the largest meteorite ever found and a huge hunk of metal 1m high and nearly 3m across.
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The AfriCat Foundation
Founded in 1991, The AfriCat Foundation is a family-run, non-profit organisation in central Namibia. Their mandate is to assist with the long term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores: that magnificent creature, the cheetah; the beautiful leopard; the fascinating brown hyena and of course the icon of Africa: the lion.
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The 10 Best Places to Visit in Namibia
Namibia has some beautiful, unique and extraordinary scenery. Attractions abound and activities are limitless. But it's the whole journey that is the most extraordinary attraction of them all. Just driving through the country will be an experience quite unlike any you've had before. While parts of Namibia resemble other places - like the Kruger Park and Okavango Delta - no other place on Earth comes close to resembling Namibia.
After the world's oldest desert in the south, the Caprivi wetlands come as a bit of surprise. The finger of land that slices between Botswana and Zambia to touch Zimbabwe is a sub-tropical paradise of perennial rivers, sodden marshes and verdant woodlands at odds with the parched country to the west.
The Kaokoveld, a vast and empty wilderness occupying the north-western quarter of Namibia, is roughly divided in two by the Hoanib River. The north is known as Kaokoland and the south as Damaraland. Although these administrative divisions fell away after Namibian independence the colloquial demarcations have persisted.
The springs of Windhoek (pronounced VIN-took) attracted pastoralists long before time was measured with alarm clocks, breakfast runs and train schedules. But since 1840 random claims and several skirmishes for dominion over the precious water have culminated in a city with more facets than a flawless diamond.
The Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast is a sliver of desert that spans the 1,500km from the Orange River in the south to the Kunene River and Angolan Border. Despite its macabre name - given by sailors wary of the strong winds, shifting sandbanks and rusting wrecks - the northern section of the great Namib Desert is full of life and a fascinating place for the informed visitor.
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