South of Sossusvlei but still very much part of the Namib Desert, the Namibrand Nature Reserve is a huge protected area covering over 2,000 sq km of varied landscapes. The massive sand seas prominent further north are still in evidence here, interspersed with rugged mountains, wide open plains and tumbling kopjes (piles of granite boulders). This is a breathtaking, remote land which remains almost completely unspoiled due to its historic inaccessibility, together with more recent efforts by committed conservationists. Every bit as beautiful in the wet season as during the dry, dusty winter, the rains bring sweeping carpets of verdant greenery and vibrant desert rainbows to contrast with the usual oranges, golds and browns of the Namib-Naukluft. The wildlife here is thriving and you can expect to see the usual cast of desert classics, headed by oryx, springbok and ostrich.
With these rich, diverse landscapes, the Namibrand is ripe for exploration on foot or by vehicle. The renowned Wolwedans organisation pioneered the establishment of this erstwhile farming area as a protected reserve, and it now boasts a number of camps in differing locations. Full day expeditions, shorter nature drives and guided walks are on the activities menu, and it is usually possible to walk and drive on the same excursion. There are also rustic, mobile camping adventures deep into the reserve, where you can sleep under the stars and marvel at the noiseless beauty of the area. The Namibrand is less well-known than its northern neighbour, with many visitors heading straight to Sossusvlei and neglecting to go further south, but we heartily recommend you include this pristine reserve in your itinerary.