Something of a catch-all term for a large swathe of territory with various local quirks and nuances, the Central Highlands for our purposes stretches all the way from the Erongo Mountains north-west of Windhoek to the Waterberg Plateau, in the north east of the country approaching Caprivi. Often overlooked, a number of destinations within this range should be seriously considered for detailed exploration, particularly for those whose itinerary concentrates mainly on the north. There are numerous examples of Namibia’s famed expansive landscapes, a variety of wildlife boosted by world renowned conservation projects and some top class walking trails in differing highland ranges.
For us, there are three major highlights within this area where stays of at least two nights will be rewarding. The Erongo Mountains are a rugged, accessible taster of definitive Damaraland scenery, with strewn kopjes, green valleys and rolling mountains. This is an outstanding walking destination, with breathtaking landscapes, ancient rock art and one outstanding lodge. Almost directly north of Windhoek is the private Okonjima Reserve, home to the world famous Africat Foundation, working to protect and re-introduce cheetahs and other big cats to the wild. Within an expanding fenced territory there is plentiful wildlife, excellent accommodation and exciting ways to get close to big cats. Further east is the beautiful Waterberg Plateau, within a protected reserve that boasts stunning walking trails and a healthy range of wildlife. Many itineraries include one night stays in these destinations to break up long drives between more renowned highlights, but we think that each is definitely worth a closer look.