Sensational sundowners
Issue 5 (November 2009) We’ll show you the best places to relax with a drink in your hand at the end of the day.


The Namibians hold fantastic drinks parties at sunset – sundowners, as they call them.  Uncluttered horizons and apricot-coloured landscapes make these occasions an unforgettable experience.For many tourists, sundowners are the highlight of their trip. But where is the ultimate location in the country to watch the sun spectacularly dip out of sight? Travel Namibia decided to find out. We asked around, and before we knew it were deluged with emails. Guides, lodge owners, travel writers, Namibian journalists, and seasoned travellers all got in touch to offer their opinion. Perhaps the most enthusiastic however, were the photographers – after all a great sunset makes a fabulous picture. The spots that were most frequently mentioned are plotted on the map. Go on….have a sundowner on us.


Walvis Bay Lagoon
Photographers Steve and Ann Toon and Philip Dickson all chose this spot. Philip suggests going for dinner at the Raft Restaurant. He says: “Where else can you dine on a raft structure in a bay in Africa where pink flamingos fish ever-so elegantly a few feet away and squadrons of pelicans bank sharply and almost land in your lap?”  


Kunene River
Windhoek-based photographer Roy van de Merwe was once so entranced by the sunset at Epupa Falls he had to find his way back in the dark. “In the pitch dark I found myself scrabbling up a sheer rock face. It was worth it though – the photos were great.” A little further east, Kunene River Lodge will take you out on a boat for drinks at sundown. Owner Hillary Morgan says, “The Kunene River forms the  border between Namibia and Angola, so when on our sundowner we are definitely between the two countries.” 


John Wheeling runs Swakopmund’s Leisure Times. He says nothing beats a sundowner at The Tiger Reef Bar in the town. “We also often drive out to the sand dunes and have sundowners overlooking the town, the desert, and the sea.” 


Okaukeujo Waterhole, Etosha
What’s not to like here? It’s a comfy ringside seat at one of the best waterholes in southern Africa. And once the sun has gone down, the show is floodlit. As award-winning photographers Steve and Ann Toon say, “There’s cold beer, black rhino and elephant all in close proximity!” Travel writer Matt Todd also likes the more tranquil Halali camp waterhole.


The Kwando River, Caprivi
For wildlife filmmaker Ginger Mauney, the perfect sundowner is, “Toasting the end of the day while listening to hippos on the Kwando River near Lianshulu.”


Travel consultant Ben Forbes has two favourite spots for sundowners when he stays in the capital. “The highly-civilised Hotel Heinitzberg has  good views across the city. Or drive out to the edge of town on the C28 (the Swakopmund road) and when the tar turns to gravel, just pull over and watch the sunset over the Khomas Hochland.”


Gondwana Canon Lodge
Debbie Walker visited Namibia no fewer than 20 times while working for Namibia Tourist Board. She says, “The most stunning sundowner was at Gondwana Canon Lodge . They took us up a pile of rocks at the back  of the property and we sat drinking Savannah as the sun went down.”


Within a Namib Desert fairy circle
This is a favourite with Matt Philips, editor of Travel Africa Magazine. Nobody can explain for sure how these circles in the sand came to be formed, which gives you plenty to mull over as you cradle your cool beer.


Hikers Point, Fish River
Sven-Eric Kanzler of Gondwana writes: “Here you can sit right on the rim of the canyon and watch the gigantic gorges fill with shadows as the sun sets behind the mountains in the distance”. Unbeatable.



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