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.


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 predators into the wild. They take in leopard or 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 have educational opportunities to learn about endangered species such as brown hyena and pangolin, as well as leopard-tracking.

However there are some great alternatives such as Otjiwa Safari Lodge.

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.

Waterberg plateau, central highlands of Namibia

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.

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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

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Natasha Jantjies

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Natasha, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • TemperatureSummer temperatures reach 40 °C (104 °F)
  • GeographyThe Central Plateau is home to the highest point in Namibia