Diving in Namibia
Despite its long coastline of over 1 500 km, Namibia is more famous for activities such as adventure sports and game viewing in Etosha National park than it is for underwater activities.
Anglers will argue that this stretch of the Atlantic Ocean along the skeleton Coast is indeed a paradise for them with excellent catches recorded every year.
Only the most determined and experienced divers have ever attempted to venture beneath the surface of the tempestuous seas found here. Water temperatures average from 8 to 18C and there’s no telling what the currents will do.
These die-hards try their luck in the depths between Lüderitz and Spencer Bay. Even during the best diving months, December to May, visibility remains low at 3 to 10 meters, tops.
If you are set on getting your suit wet while visiting Namibia, chances are, you want to head inland to find your enjoyment in more accommodating water sources above sea level.
Caves and Lakes for Diving in Namibia
Here you can explore caves and sinkholes where it is much safer to strap on your goggles and oxygen mask for a few hours of subterranean exploration.
While these diving spots may be a lot safer than their offshore counterparts, it’s still a technical venture and not for beginners. Most of these Namibian inland dive sites are classified as Type III by the World Underwater Federation CMAS. This means that they are difficult and need to be undertaken with a qualified instructor in tow.
What’s more, many of these are located on private land, so you’ll have to get the owner’s permission first. It’s a good idea to get in touch with the Namibia Underwater Federation at least 3 months in advance to make the arrangements.
These are some of the best-known inland sites in Namibia:
- Lake Otjikoto
- Lake Guinas
- Lake Harasib
- Dragons Breath – the largest subterranean lake in the world.
In true Namibian style, diving here is not for the faint-hearted. For more adventure activities and to plan your tip to Namibia, check out the Namibia Travel Guide.
The Adventure World Travel Summit will be held on African soil for the first time from 26 to 31 October 2013, when Windhoek and Swakopmund host this prestigious event. The summit will serve to confirm Namibia’s growing reputation as a top adventure destination and assure her of a place on the world map of tourism for the foreseeable future.
Namibia has an excellent infrastructure in place and puts a strong emphasis on tourism as a whole, so it came as no surprise when the proposal by the Minister for Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Nditwah, to “bring the summit home” was accepted at the last AWTS, held in Mexico during 2011.
This year, the Adventure Travel World Summit is to take a different direction. Delegates will take part in field trips to experience these wonderful activities for themselves and networking and development programmes, education seminars and review opportunities will be made available to businesses and professionals in the adventure tourism sector. This will give Namibians a chance to ‘show them how it’s done’, with true African flair, and enhance Namibia’s reputation as a peaceful, exciting and breathtakingly beautiful destination.
Apart from great natural beauty, interesting and unusual attractions and fantastic weather, Namibia checks all the boxes when it comes to doing things right from a tourism perspective. Sustainable tourism and conservation are high on the agenda for Namibia while community involvement and upliftment by means of tourism are powerful motivational forces behind every tourism effort in Namibia.
While these aspects are important to the 600 delegates that will be attending the summit this October, they are not priorities for the thousands of tourists who flock here every year. They come to sand board in the Namib Desert, trek with the local Khoi people, skydive in Swakopmund, float in a hot air balloon at Sossusvlei, go on safari in Etosha, quad bike, ride horses and generally have the time of their lives.
On the eve of this extremely prestigious event, Namibians have every reason to hold their heads high for setting an outstanding example for the rest of Africa to follow.