How to Enjoy a Namib Desert Sunset

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Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Audrey Scott

When late afternoon falls and the day comes to a close in Southern Namibia, a ritual begins: the sundowner.

Prepare yourself by four-wheeling it to an overlook, high perch, or just about anywhere you can catch the sunset bathe the vastness of the Namibian desert landscape.

Then wait. Particularly if you are the guest of a discerning guide, your patience comes paired with a gin & tonic in one hand and a few bits of biltong (salted, dried meat) in the other. Simple and mildly decadent.

As the sun sets over the petrified dunes in the Namib desert, the colors turn to deep, bright reds and pinks as if by water color brush. But it's just after the sun dips below the horizon that the performance really begins, winding along the color wheel to a finish where the desert blushes in twilight afterglow.

Sundowner in the Namib Desert, Namibia
Cars lined up for the Sundowner in the Namib Desert – Namibia.

The Namibian sundowner. Simple in name and concept. Yet beyond enjoyment, it's an opportunity to observe, to let Mother Nature wash over you in color, and to absorb it all in appreciation.

It's something you'll come to look forward to each evening while carving your way through the reaches of the Namibian desert.

Disclosure: We were in Namibia as speakers for the Adventure Travel World Summit. Our transport and pre-summit tour was provided to us as part of our speaking arrangement. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.
About Daniel Noll
Travel and life evangelist. Writer, speaker, storyteller and consultant. Connecting people to experiences that will change their lives. Originally from the U.S. Daniel has lived abroad since 2001 and most recently has been on the road since 2006. When he's not writing for the blog you can keep up with his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about him on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

2 thoughts on “How to Enjoy a Namib Desert Sunset”

  1. Hello Dan and Audrey, I am enjoying your posts. I was wondering if you answer questions or give advice.
    I am trying to decide where to travel this summer in June. My thoughts are the 10-day Huayhuash hike that you posted about, biking the Santiago Camino way, or go to Namibia to see the desert and climb up Big Daddy, I love Africa and Peru. I have never been to Spain or Portugal. I love to hike. My husband and I hiked up Kilimanjaro the summer before last. It was a highlight of my life. We did the 9-day hike, and that’s why I am leanint=g towards the Huayhuash trek. But my heart. wants to return to Africa. We did the Macchu Picchu trail ten years ago and I loved that. So how would you rate the 10 day Huayhuash trek? I also hiked the Anna Purna to Mutanoth 40 years ago, which was another high light. I love hiking but Africa is calling. Any advise would be great.
    Thank you,
    Connie Kakalia

    • Connie, you have a lot of great choices ahead of you. The answer really depends what you are looking for — wide open desert, high mountains, pilgrimage route. All are such different experiences in terms of landscapes, culture, level of activity, etc. We loved the 10-day Huayhuash trek in Peru and it is much more or a high elevation alpine trek (more similar to Annapurna) than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It was one of the best treks we’ve ever done in terms of scenery, challenge, and just getting away into nature. The Namibian desert and Big Daddy are more about vastness and wide open spaces. And the Camino is about the trail, but it’s more about the feeling of community with other pilgrims. We walked our Camino del Norte/Camino Primitivo, but I imagine it is the same as for bikers as you’re staying in similar albergues and accommodation.

      So, the question is really about what sort of adventure, landscape and experience you want this summer. All are great options.


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