How to Elope in Namibia in 2024 [The Full Elopement Guide]

Post Summary: Below is a full guide to eloping in Namibia, where I’ve compiled everything you need to know to plan an incredible adventure! This vast desert wilderness is one of the most spectacular landscapes you’ll ever witness, and makes for a phenomenal elopement location in Africa. I’m giving you all my best tips including where to elope in Namibia, fun activities to do, what to wear, what to pack, and so much more.

I recently went on one of the most incredible adventures of my life through the deserts of Namibia, and I will now be telling literally everyone I know to add visiting Namibia to their bucket lists. Once I was able to experience the diverse range of wildlife and the otherworldly landscapes firsthand, I knew that Namibia was also going right on my list of the best elopement destinations in the world. So you bet I compiled all of my top tips, recommendations, and ideas into one giant blog post for you: welcome to my complete Namibia elopement guide for 2024! Ready to fall in love with this incredible country, if you haven’t already through just a couple of photos?

Where is Namibia?

Let’s start by making sure you’re familiar with where Namibia is, as it might not have been on your travel list until now! Namibia is a country located in southwestern Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Angola to the north, Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Botswana to the east, and South Africa to the south. The capital and largest city of Namibia is Windhoek, which is located in the central Namibian highlands and is most known for its diverse culture, gorgeous landscapes, and German colonial architecture. Namibia has actually been inhabited since prehistoric times (and was then ruled by the German Empire through the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, hence the architecture), so it’s a really historically fascinating and culturally rich country to learn about. It also happens to be the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa!

Why Elope in Namibia?

I have a feeling that the photos throughout this blog post make it pretty obvious why Namibia is such a fantastic elopement destination, but there is so much more to the country than just its striking landscapes! Though that is a huge draw for many people, as it should be 🙂 In case you’re not quite convinced that you should consider eloping in Namibia yet, here’s a list of some of the top reasons why you should elope in Namibia based on my own personal experience visiting the country.

The stunning landscapes

Duh. Namibia’s landscapes are absolutely breathtaking and have got to be some of the most photogenic in the world. With vast red dunes, expansive deserts, rugged canyons, salt pans, and gorgeous mountains, the natural beauty of Namibia is freaking to DIE for. No matter what time of year you visit, or whether you venture through the desert at sunrise, sunset, or twilight, the wide variety of extreme, dramatic landscapes will leave you in pure awe. You can even find tree forests, winding rivers, and waterfalls—it’s truly a magical experience getting to witness all the diverse scenery that Namibia has to offer! I swear as soon as my plane started to descend into Windhoek, my adventurous heart could not handle waiting any longer to get out there and explore, hahaha.

Privacy & seclusion

Namibia is actually one of the most sparsely populated countries in the WORLD, with only around 2.8 million people—meaning that many of its natural attractions are remote and less frequented by tourists. You’re much more likely to find privacy and secluded spots in Namibia than you would be in other touristy areas of Africa such as the pyramids of Giza or Petra, Jordan; you’ll be able to experience the natural beauty of Namibia on your own, without massive crowds around to block your views. This is especially the case if you have a great tour guide that can take you around and show you some of the more locally-known, secluded spots that tourists may not often know about!

Unique wildlife

Namibia is home to a hugely diverse range of wildlife including desert-adapted elephants, zebras, ostriches, oryx, various species of antelope, and even penguins—all of which are freaking insane to see out in the wild. The country even has the largest population of cheetahs that aren’t kept in national parks in southern Africa! Namibia also has multiple endangered species, including the wild dog, black rhino, oribi, and puku, which are often threatened by poachers and whose livelihoods are impacted by climate change. I highly recommend learning about Namibia’s endangered animals beforehand, and doing your research on how to safely see wildlife during your time there; the World Wildlife Foundation website is a great place to start!

Cultural experiences

Namibia is rich in not only history, wildlife, and spectacular views, but also in cultural diversity. As the country was ruled by Germany for a long period of time, German architecture and culture has left a significant impression on much of the architecture, cuisine, and even the languages spoken by locals. Namibia has also been inhibited by tribes including the San, Nama, Damara, Ovambo, and Herero tribes, all of which have their own unique traditions and ways of life. Incorporating local elements and rituals into your elopement in a respectful way, such as traditional music, dance, or ceremonies, can make the experience even more special and authentic!

Adventurous opportunities

Whether you’re craving a thrilling adventure and want to ride a Jeep through the Namibian sand dunes, or you’d rather keep it a little more lowkey and see the incredible wildlife on a safari, Namibia is full of incredible opportunities for adventures of all levels. There’s SO much to do here that I’ve included an entire section later in this guide that’s dedicated to all the epic activities you could include in your Namibia elopement—so keep on reading!

Ease of elopement planning

Finally, Namibia is a fairly easy place to visit for tourists, which is always great when you’re planning an elopement in another country. The tourism infrastructure is well-developed, and there are reputable vendors and tour operators who can assist with arranging your elopement, so you won’t need to do it all on your own. Ensuring that everything runs smoothly can be challenging when you’re in a country you’re not familiar with, so take advantage of the amazing local guides and experts who are there to help you along the way!

What to Know About Visiting Namibia Before Your Elopement

When you’re planning an elopement in a country that you’ve never visited, there’s a LOT to take into account besides the regular wedding planning tasks and considerations: language barriers, currency, transportation, etc. So I wanted to give you a few of the most important things you should know before eloping in Namibia, based on my own experience visiting the country a few months ago!


The official language in Namibia is English; however, there are several indigenous languages spoken by various ethnic groups, including Oshiwambo (Ovambo), Khoekhoegowab (Khoekhoe), and Afrikaans. Oshiwambo is the most common language spoken across the country, while Afrikaans is the most widely understood.


The currency used in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equal to around $0.05 USD as of January 2024. The South African Rand (ZAR) is also widely accepted in Namibia, and is approximately 1:1 to the NAD.

Health precautions

Namibia is a malaria-prone country in certain regions, so I’d recommend consulting with your doctor about necessary precautions before your trip!

Water scarcity

Namibia has a very arid climate, and water is a precious resource. Be mindful of water usage, particularly in remote areas where water may be scarce.


The standard voltage in Namibia is 220-240V, and the primary socket types are Type D and Type M (the South African standard). I’d recommend bringing a universal adapter (like this one) to charge your electronics!

Left-side driving

Namibia follows left-side driving, similar to countries like the United Kingdom. If you're not accustomed to driving on the left, take some time to adjust before starting your journey to your elopement location, or plan to find another way to get around if you don’t feel comfortable self-driving!

Public restrooms/rest stops

Lastly, some public restrooms may require a small fee for maintenance. It's common to encounter attendants who may provide a small service, and a tip is appreciated—so it's a good idea to keep extra coins on you just in case.

12 Best Places to Elope in Namibia

Now onto the slightly more fun stuff: choosing WHERE the heck to elope in Namibia! You could truly elope anywhere in this stunning country and be rewarded with some of the best views of your life, but there are definitely certain areas I’d recommend over others. Below is a list of the 12 best places to elope in Namibia, from spectacular salt pans to national parks to deep desert canyons.

1. Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei is by far one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Namibia—it’s a white salt and clay pan in the southern Namib Desert, surrounded by massive red dunes that feel straight out of Dune. (Fun fact: that movie was actually partially filmed in the Wadi Rum Desert, another one of my favorite international desert elopement locations—learn more about it in my Jordan elopement guide!)

Anyway, back to Sossusvlei: if you’ve never heard of a salt pan, all it is is a natural expanse of ground covered with salt and other minerals, just like the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. What makes Sossusvlei so spectacular is the fact that you don’t just get to see those gorgeous, shining white salt flats—you also get the towering, vibrant dunes all around you! Included in those dunes is the Big Daddy Dune, which is the tallest one in Sossusvlei, as well as other scenic spots such as Sesriem Canyon and Dune 45. I also recommend stopping at Deadvlei if you have the chance; it’s a white clay pan that offers even more incredible views of this area, located in a valley between dunes near Sossusvlei.

2. Namib Desert

The Namib Desert as a whole is without a doubt one of the most iconic and striking deserts in the world, being that it stretches over 2,000 kilometers across the Atlantic Coast and boasts a diverse array of otherworldly natural beauty. This arid desert has been around for 55-80 million years and may actually be the oldest desert in the world—how wild is that?! It truly has everything you could ask for in an adventurous, desert elopement location: spectacular dunes, desert foliage, coastal fog, and ocean views. There’s a reason it was named “Namib,” after the word “Nama,” which means “there is nothing:” there is truly nothing but extreme landscapes and spectacular views as far as the eye can see. Such an insanely cool place to elope!

3. Skeleton Coast National Park

Honestly, do I need to say anything else but the name of this one to convince you to elope here?! Namibia’s Skeleton Coast spans across 500 kilometers of the country’s northwestern coast, and was named due to the fact that it’s the world’s largest ship cemetery. You’ll find a ton of shipwrecks, debris, and even whale skeletons scattered across the beaches along this coast, so it’s definitely a unique and intriguing place to explore! The majority of these shipwrecks are results of the super dense fog that covers the area, which can look really freaking cool against the coastal scenery and the sand dunes further inland. Whether you explore the southern part of the national park, from the Ugab River up to Torra Bay, or the northern part, from Torra Bay up to the Kunene (which is only accessible with a tour operator), the Skeleton Coast won’t fail to amaze you!

4. Walvis Bay

A massive bay with an abundance of coastal wildlife, gorgeous harbor views, and easy access to sand dunes nearby? Yes please! Walvis Bay is a little port town along Namibia’s coast, with waters that are home to a variety of creatures such as dolphins, whales, and Cape fur seals. It’s a huge tourist attraction thanks to its abundant wildlife, gorgeous scenery, waterfront restaurants, luxury hotels, and public parks; all of which make it a really great place to stay for your elopement if you want easy access to everything you’ll need.

5. Etosha National Park

Situated in northwestern Namibia, Etosha National Park is one of the largest national parks on the continent and is most known for its abundance of wildlife. It’s also home to a salt pan that is SO large it can be seen from space—crazy! Etosha is definitely the place to elope if you want nearly guaranteed game sightings, as the game reserve is very easily accessible and is filled with animals such as lions, giraffes, leopards, and even the endangered black rhino in some areas with thicker vegetation. This park can get super crowded, so it’s best to book your visit in advance to ensure you get to explore the expansive salt pan!

6. Damaraland

This next one is technically part of Skeleton Coast National Park, but it’s such an exceptional location that I wanted to give it its own section. Damaraland is a mountainous region bordered by the Namib Desert to the west, the Kalahari Desert in the east, and Windhoek to the south, and is one of Namibia’s last remaining “unofficial’ wildlife regions. This means that it’s inhabited by endangered species such as the black rhino, in addition to an array of typical Namibian animals like zebras and giraffes. One of the more famous attractions in Damaraland is the Brandberg, which is actually Namibia’s highest mountain and is covered in crazy cool, ancient rock paintings such as the White Lady! You can also check out Twyfelfontein, a site that has one of the largest concentrations of Bushmen engravings (petroglyphs) in Africa.

7. Okonjima Nature Reserve

Okonjima is a family-run lodge and game reserve in the Omboroko Mountains of Namibia. This reserve is most known for its leopard, pangolin, and brown hyaena sightings, as well as its wide range of incredible excursions such as guided morning walks through the reserve and bird-watching adventures! It’s also home to The AfriCat Foundation, which is a really amazing Namibian organization that promotes the conservation of large carnivores in their natural habitats. I can’t recommend this reserve enough, especially if you want to stay somewhere for your elopement that includes pretty much everything you’ll need/want for your authentic Namibian experience!

8. Brandberg Mountain

This one should sound familiar since I just mentioned it in the section about Damaraland! Brandberg Mountain lies in the north-central Namib Desert, located in the Erongo region in west Namibia. Brandberg means “fire” or “burning” in German, Dutch, and Afrikaans; a name that was inspired by the scarlet colors of the mountain when the sun shines down at sunrise and sunset. It also works well with the insanely hot temperatures of the rocks along the mountain during the daytime! The mountain itself is actually a dome-shaped massif that originated wayyyy back when, and has since become a very spiritually significant site to the San (Bushman) tribes. You’ll find the iconic White Lady rock painting under a rock overhang in the Tsisab Ravine, which contains over 45,000 rock paintings on its own!

9. Swakopmund

If you’d rather spend your time in a coastal town than in the heat of the desert, look no further than Swakopmund, also known as Swakop—a.k.a. Namibia’s biggest coastal town. It’s a super popular resort town with gorgeous sandy beaches, German colonial landmarks such as the Swakopmund Lighthouse, an elegant railway-station-turned-hotel, and a museum documenting significant Namibian history. This is an amazing place to elope if you want to have access to both beautiful, relaxing sandy beaches AND desert adventures, such as quad-biking across the sand dunes or exploring the desert on foot. You truly get the best of both worlds in Swakopmund!

10. Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a semi-arid, sand-covered savanna that covers not only a big chunk of eastern Namibia, but also large parts of Botswana and South Africa. “Kalahari” is derived from the word “Kgala,” meaning “the great thirst” in Tswana; from the name itself, you can get a clear picture of just how little rainfall this desert gets throughout the year. You’ll find large salt pans such as the Etosha Pan, ancient dry riverbeds, and only one permanent river that flows in the northwest—so make sure you’re ready for a very, very dry adventure if you elope in the Kalahari! You’ll get the chance to see wildlife such as oryx, meerkats, and endangered African wild dogs.

11. The Fish River Canyon

Who wouldn’t want to visit one of the LARGEST canyons in the world, only second to Arizona’s Grand Canyon—let alone elope there?! Located in southern Namibia, the Fish River Canyon is absolutely one of the most scenic places in the country (and the continent as a whole), featuring an expansive ravine and absolutely phenomenal scenery. Looking out at the vast desert landscapes, the deep valleys, and the dramatic cliffs is an otherworldly experience, especially if you manage to time it right as the sun is rising or setting: absolute magic, I tell you. How freaking epic would it be to say your vows atop a canyon that literally started developing 500 million years ago?!

12. Kolmanskop

Last on the list is a little bit of a different type of place: instead of a dramatic desert with bright orange dunes, we’re heading down south to Kolmanskop, an abandoned ghost town in the Namib desert. This area was depleted by intensive mining back in the 1930s, and was totally abandoned by the mid 1950s. It’s a really unique and fascinating place to visit, as the sand dunes have since burst through the town and all of its buildings, so every room is essentially filled with banks of sand—what a wild way to see all the destruction that the passage of time has caused. I definitely recommend visiting these not-so-ancient ruins if you have the time during your trip.

Best Lodging for Your Namibia Elopement

One of the most important parts of planning an unforgettable trip to Namibia is finding the right place to stay. Fortunately, Namibia has PLENTY of unique, cozy, and breathtaking accommodations for you to choose from, including spacious safari lodges, luxury villas, and upscale tents in the middle of the neverending desert. 10/10 recommend finding a place that allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of Namibia without having to leave the property, and that offers epic excursions/adventurous opportunities for you to go on! Below are 10 of the best places to stay for your Namibia elopement that are sure to help you experience the magic of Namibia in a way you’ll never forget.

1. Droombos | Windhoek

2. Okapuka Safari Lodge | Windhoek

3. Le Mirage Hotel & Spa | Sossusvlei

4. Moon Mountain Lodge | Naukluft Mountains

5. Flamingo Villas | Walvis Bay

6. Mowani Mountain Camp | Damaraland

7. Swakopmund Entertainment Centre | Swakopmund

8. Brandberg White Lady Lodge | Damaraland

9. Omaruru Game Lodge | Omaruru

10. Mount Etjo Safari Lodge | Okonjati Game Reserve

How to Get Your Namibia Marriage License

While it IS possible for U.S. citizens to get married in Namibia, I recommend signing your paperwork at home before heading to Namibia instead, and then simply having a symbolic ceremony in Namibia. This will help you avoid having to go through the process of getting your Namibian marriage license as U.S. citizens, and will make your trip a LOT easier since you’ll already have all the legal stuff wrapped up & good to go.

Symbolic ceremonies are just as meaningful, even if you’re already technically married; there are plenty of ways to make your ceremony special, such as participating in unity ceremonies or incorporating religious/cultural traditions. Check out my guide to 15 Unique Ceremony Ideas for a Meaningful Elopement for all sorts of ideas!

If you do want to legally get married in Namibia, check out the U.S. Embassy website for further information and to learn about the requirements.

Best Time of Year to Elope in Namibia

Choosing the right time of year to elope is JUST as important as choosing the right location, so below, I’m giving you my thoughts on when you should elope in Namibia.

What is the weather like in Namibia?

Namibia has an overall arid climate, but this can vary by region. Coastal areas, such as Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, tend to experience milder temperatures due to the influence of the cold Benguela Current; whereas inland desert regions, like Sossusvlei and the Namib desert, can have extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year. When you’re planning an elopement in Namibia, it’s crucial to consider the climate of the specific region you’ll be visiting, and to plan accordingly!

Here’s a general overview of the weather in Namibia by season.

Winter (May-October)

In the winter, average daytime temperatures range from 18°C to 25°C (64°F to 77°F), but temperatures can drop significantly at night, often falling below freezing in desert areas—so be sure to pack appropriately! Layers will be your best friend when you’re experiencing warm days and cold evenings. The lack of rain during the winter months results in dry landscapes, so don’t be expecting any lush foliage or moisture in the air.

Spring (September-November)

Spring is a transitional period in Namibia, and is when temperatures start to rise after the winter. Daytime temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), and nights are much milder than the winter—but it can still be cool once the sun goes down, especially in desert regions.

Summer (November-April)

Summer is the wet season in Namibia, with thunderstorms and occasional heavy rains. Daytime temperatures can reach highs of 30°C to 40°C (86°F to 104°F) or more, especially in the central and northern parts of the country, and desert regions will be veryyy hot during the daytime.

Autumn (March-May)

Just like spring, autumn is another transitional period in Namibia, when temperatures start to cool down to much more bearable ranges, especially for outdoor activities. Daytime temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), and the nights become cooler, but they’re generally more comfortable than in the winter.

When is the best time of year to elope in Namibia?

Now that you know what the climate is like during each season, what is actually the best time of year to elope in Namibia? While each season definitely offers its own unique advantages and disadvantages, I personally recommend eloping during the dry season versus the hot season.

Dry season lasts from May to October, and is when you’ll experience the most clear skies, low humidity levels, and moderate daytime temperatures, which make it comfortable for outdoor activities. Wildlife also congregates around waterholes during the dry season, which provides excellent opportunities for safari experiences!

Hot season lasts from November to April, and November & December are considered the “shoulder season.” The lush greenery during the rainy season can add a unique and beautiful backdrop to your elopement, but the hot temperatures are definitely less than ideal for outdoor activities. If you're planning an elopement in the desert areas, like Sossusvlei, the cooler temperatures during the dry season may be more comfortable for outdoor activities. Wildlife is also still active during this time, but the dense vegetation can make it slightly more challenging for game viewing. 

Keep in mind that Namibia’s climate can vary by region, so be sure to consider the specific location of your elopement when planning and choosing a time of year to elope!

What to Pack for Your Namibia Elopement

In addition to the typical wedding items (such as your rings, vow books, and outfits), here are a few items you’ll want to be sure to pack for your Namibia elopement:

  • Sunscreen (the desert sun is insanely aggressive—don’t get burnt on your wedding day!)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Wet wipes
  • Travel documents
    • Passport
    • Visas
    • Travel insurance
  • Portable power bank
  • Offline maps
  • Reusable water bottles (plus a life straw for filtering)
  • Light snacks
  • Small mirror for touch ups
  • Cash in local currency
  • Emergency First Aid kit
  • Universal travel adapter

For more practical tips and advice on what to bring for your desert elopement, check out my full Desert Elopement Guide

What to Wear for Your Namibia Elopement

As far as clothing goes, you should plan your elopement attire based on the region you’re eloping in as well as the climate. For cooler seasons, bring plenty of layers to add and remove as temperatures change throughout the day; for warmer seasons, choose lightweight and breathable fabrics (which are also easier to travel with). It’s super important to wear comfortable and desert-appropriate footwear, as well—safety comes first when you’re exploring these kinds of wild, extreme landscapes, so don’t wear your most fashionable heels out in the sand dunes!

For a complete list of tips on how to pick your adventure elopement attire, check out my Guide to Picking Your Perfect Hiking Elopement Dress.

10 Unique Ideas + Activities for Your Namibia Elopement

I could seriously go on forever about all the opportunities for top-tier adventure that the Namibian landscapes provide—you could spend MONTHS exploring the sand dunes, riding through the desert on a 4x4, going for game drives through the savannah, and exploring all that the local towns have to offer. I seriously would stay in Namibia for your elopement for as long as you possibly can, since it’s a looong journey to get there and you might as well make the most of it! Since you unfortunately won’t have all the time in the world to explore this expensive desert oasis, here’s a list of the top 10 things to do in Namibia for your elopement.

1. Go for a game drive in the savannah

2. Float in a hot air balloon at sunrise over the Namib desert

3. Take a 4x4 out onto the sand dunes of Sandwich Harbor for an off-road adventure

4. Hike up Big Daddy (the tallest sand dune in Sossusvlei)

5. Take a catamaran tour around Walvis Bay and interact with some of the local sea life (such as seals, dolphins and pelicans)

6. Spend the evening exploring the small shops and quaint German town of Swakopmund 

7. Relax by the pool and enjoy a spa day at Le Mirage Hotel and Spa

8. Take a helicopter tour to see the vast landscapes of Namibia from above

9. Search for the elusive desert elephants in the Brandberg Mountains – the only place in the world where these amazing creatures exist! 

10. Go stargazing in the Sossusvlei Desert under the night sky

Namibia Elopement Photographer

Hey friend, I’m Katie—your neighborhood Namibia elopement photographer, lover of all things adventure, and personal travel guide. I’m freaking obsessed with this incredible country and want to encourage SO many more couples to consider it for their elopement destination, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide! If you’ve fallen in love and want to plan an epic Namibia elopement with a photographer there to document it all + support you along the way, I’m your gal. Get in touch with me and let’s get you all ready to drive off into the Namibian sunset together (in the middle of the sand dunes, of course)!

Namibia Elopement Packages and Pricing

Elopement Packages and Pricing for Namibia

  • Full day of elopement photography coverage anywhere in Namibia
  • Your own personal elopement guide & consultant
    • Unique and personalized location scouting
    • Vendor recommendations
    • Permit and marriage license assistance
    • Hand-crafted elopement timeline
    • Created just-for-you activity list
    • Unlimited guides and resources
    • 100+ page How to Elope Guidebook
  • Optional complimentary officiant service
  • Digital online gallery with full resolution image and printing rights
  • Sneak peek images within 1 week
  • Photographer travel fees covered anywhere in Namibia

Starting at $10,000


Looking for more epic international elopement destinations to consider? Check out a few of my personal recommendations & in-depth resources below!

Morocco Elopement Guide

Jordan Elopement Guides

Egypt Elopement Guides

Bali Elopement Guides

In order to make your dream elopement day happen, it's super important that we connect and that you feel comfortable with me! The best way to do this is to reach out and schedule a call so you can learn more about me and I can learn about you two so i can document what's real + the most important to you.

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