Luxury and boutique hotels in the Karas region

Largely desert and mountain and mostly pleasingly wild – with the odd diamond mine to the south – Namibia’s Karas Region is the least populated spot in the country. The locals you encounter are most likely to be herds of oryx, springboks, wild horses and – if you’re very lucky – a prowling cheetah. Travel through the Namib Desert requires planning, endurance, and an off-road vehicle – essential if you’re self-driving. But, the adventurous are rewarded with marigold-hued dunes to scale and slide down, painterly landscapes punctuated by baobabs and unpolluted skies aglow with stars. Gallop over the sands, zip through challenging trails on e-bikes or ride and spy through Namib-Naukluft National Park.

When to go

If ticking off wildlife is your MO, visit during the dry season from May to October, and pack for scorching days and chillier nights. Or, if you arrive a little earlier, you’ll see the lush vegetation coaxed out by the rainy season.

Getting there

  • Planes

    The nearest international hub is Namibia’s Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport; flights here from major cities in the UK, US and further afield usually stop over in Johannesburg. Depending on where you’re staying, some lodges have their own private airstrips (best arranged via your hotel), or the region is around a six-to-seven-hour drive.
  • Automobiles

    This is wild terrain that doesn’t play by the rules, as such a 4x4 is a must for adventures. Self-driving isn’t recommended as roads are treacherous in places and the uninitiated might feel out of their depth, so it’s best to hire a local driver or arrange transfers to and from your hotel.