Combining with the Namib Desert to form the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the vivid scenery of the Naukluft Mountains is undoubtedly deserving of a visit in its own right. The spectacular cliffs, plateaus and ravines are a geologist’s dream, with varying rock types dominated by dolomite and limestone, manifesting in multi-coloured, implausibly shaped formations that decorate the landscape. Among the valleys and peaks there are freshwater springs that form crystal clear pools, perfect for a refreshing swim. There is a surprising array of wildlife here, including zebra, oryx, springbok and kudu, while elusive leopard prowl but are rarely seen. This is also a fantastic area for plant lovers, with euphorbia and distinctive quiver trees lining the walking trails to provide excellent photo opportunities against the expansive mountainous backdrops.
Unsurprisingly this is ideal walking territory, with unguided hikes to enjoy from your lodge and longer, guided expeditions that will test the leg muscles. Bumpy, scenic drives in 4x4s are also enjoyable, with precipitous routes rewarding visitors with beautiful, panoramic vistas that can be appreciated over a picturesque sundowner. An easy drive north of Sossusvlei and south from Windhoek, the Naukluft Mountains perfectly break up journeys between the two, and are equally enticing for a couple of days of active exploration or horizontal relaxation.