Central Highlands

The rolling Central Highlands lie two hours north of Windhoek. Tour the Africat Foundation at Okonjima, a rehabilitation project for cheetah and other predators.

Overview

The central highlands of Namibia are the backbone of mountains that divide the coastal desert regions and the higher, more temperate interior. These rolling hills are the home to many of Namibia’s sheep and cattle ranches. Some are ‘guest farms’ where you can experience first-hand what it is like to farm in such a vast terrain. Others such as Okonjima has turned to wildlife conservation many years ago.

The Africat project on Okonjima is a pioneer in the world of wildlife research & conservation. It focuses on rehabilitating cheetah and other predators into the wild. They take in cheetah which have been found on neighbouring farms and then release them into the wilder parts of Namibia. You learn about the project, but also see cheetah and other big cats in an up close and personal way.

Waterberg Plateau National Park

To the east of the main highway lies the Waterberg. This is a flat-topped sandstone plateau rising 150 metres above the surrounding plains, named for the springs that emerge at the base of the plateau.

The area’s natural water sources make it far more fertile than its immediate surroundings. So the park is home to plenty of wildlife including eland, sable and roan antelope and both white and black rhino. You may also see wild dog, tsessebe, buffalo and cheetah. Indeed it is one of the best places in Africa to see cheetah and leopard. Bird species include the black eagle and the rare Ruppel’s parrot, rock runners and Bradfield’s hornbills.

Erongo Mountains

The Erongo region receives its name for the majestic Erongo Massif that dominates the area around Omaruru. It makes an excellent half-way house between Etosha National Park to the north and Swakopmund to the east.

Tour Highlights

  • Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation
  • Search for desert adapted elephant in ephemeral river systems
  • Track for the endangered black rhino in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust
  • Explore the private Namib Tsaris Conservancy on exploratory nature drives and guided walks
  • Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes at Sossusvlei

Features

Why you may love it

  • Ideal stopover to break your journey between Windhoek and Etosha if you have time (The distance between Windhoek and Etosha is a solid 5-6 hour drive)
  • Visit craft markets where local craftsmen and women sell their work in small towns dotted along the road
  • The Waterberg is a fascinating geological site of sandstone crags, 200-year-old dinosaur footprints and petrified sand dunes
  • The Waterberg Plateau Park offers a great variety of guided and unguided walking trails
  • Cultural visits to local Herero communities provide an interesting glimpse into the life of the people who live in this area

Explore the Central Highlands map

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Did you know
  • TemperatureSummer temperatures reach 40 °C (104 °F)
  • GeographyThe Central Plateau is home to the highest point in Namibia