South Africa on the southernmost tip of the continent quite literally meets the ocean from one side to the other and the beaches are pristine. White sands and crystal waters will see you while away the days under a glowing sun to the sound of crashing waves if you're looking for a typical beach holiday.
That’s not to say that Namibia doesn’t have beaches, because that we have in abundance, but it certainly won’t deliver the tropical beach holiday you’re thinking of. It’s a coastline of mostly Namib Desert, where the dunes trundle into the cold Atlantic Ocean. Largely uninhabited with hovering fog rolling in, it isn’t called the Skeleton Coast for nothing.
This is, in fact, it's charm, kilometres and kilometres of National Park and stunning untouched wilderness, shipwrecks, and desert adapted wildlife. There may not be many people living here (except in coastal towns) but there is life and it’s the wonder of it that makes it so special.
It’s a change of pace in any Namibian itinerary from hot, arid and dry areas coming from any direction. Take a stroll on a quiet uncrowded beach, shore fishing is a biggie and it’s host to the longest wave on the African continent at Donkey Bay. Experience the largest Cape fur seal colony, one of five Ramsar sites for birding in the wetlands of Walvis Bay and the coastal towns each have their own to show off along with a relaxed, holiday vibe to desire.
While Namibia may not be a tropical beach destination, Namibia’s coast is unlike any other and one of its greatest highlights for so many reasons. You can of course still enjoy a cocktail and while you may not be lying on the beach to catch a tan, out and about doing activities, catch a tan you will.
Most itineraries in Namibia will include the coast, it’s a highlight with good reason, although it may not deliver your typical beach holiday. If that’s what you’re after then the blue flag beaches of South Africa, where the sand is soft and the water is warm, is more your thing. Camps Bay in Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, the Dolphin Coast in KwaZulu-Natal. There’s no shortage of options and if you still want more, there’s always Mozambique. Dive in.