Photo: PHOTO: Namibian desert. (Photo via iStock / Getty Images E+ / Wolfgang_Steiner)
Namibia is one of the world's least densely populated countries, so, if you're into sand and relative solitude, this is the place for you. The Namib Desert along Africa's Atlantic coast has a certain desolate beauty and is spectacular in its vastness. A diversity of wildlife manages to survive in its arid conditions, including a significant cheetah population, elephants, rhinos, zebras, lions, leopards and giraffes.
Etosha National Park, Namibia's greatest wildlife sanctuary, includes a combination of of desert, semi-arid terrain and savannahs, as well as a massive salt pan for which it is famous. Namibia is also known for its gigantic sand dunes, including "Dune 45", the world's most-photographed dune, which is estimated to be around 5 millions years old and the same height as the pyramids at Giza.
While Namibia is considered a low-risk travel destination, opportunistic crime, including pickpocketing and items-theft is fairly common, particularly in concentrated urban centers. Underdeveloped infrastructure can be a problem outside of urban area, with roadways subject to compromise during flooding season. Identifying as an LGBTQ person is illegal in Namibia, so LGBTQ travelers will need to exercise discretion and avoid public displays of affection. All tourists should carry some form of photo identification on them at all times and are advised (strangely) not to take photos of government or military buildings, as numerous foreigners have reportedly been detained for doing so