Tip: Look up at night for the best stargazing!

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Spitzkoppe was one of the stops on our two week road trip through Namibia and it was easily one of my faves. Epic rock formations, insane starry nights, and hardly any people — a must on any Namibia itinerary.

Namibia is easily one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever visited. From its kind and welcoming people to the breathtaking landscapes and diverse natural wonders, it is a country that should absolutely be on your bucket list. From the sweeping dunes of Sossusvlei to the wildlife of Etosha, the country has so much to offer travelers. 

If you’re planning a trip to Namibia, a visit to Spitzkoppe must be on the list!. Also known as the “Matterhorn of Namibia,” this striking peak stands tall amidst the vastness of the Namib Desert, attracting travelers from all over the world. Spitzkoppe directly translates to ‘pointed dome’ in German, an accurate description of this beautiful peak. The granite peak of Spitzkoppe, which is part of the Erongo Mountains, was created by the collapse of a gigantic volcano more than 100 million years ago and later the erosion, which exposed the granite. 

In this article, I will share everything you need to know about planning a trip to Spitzkoppe, including how to get there, the best time to visit, the best things to do, and where to stay for an unforgettable experience.

Making tea as the sun rises over Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Making tea as the sun rises over Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Before we dive into the article, here are some of the most popular tours in Namibia if you’re short on time: 

Popular tours in Namibia

Spitzkoppe: the basics

🚙 1.5 hours from Swakopmund, 3 hours from Windhoek

⛺️ Campsites are available both inside and outside of the park. The sites inside are more primitive, traditional campsites. Outside of the park you’ll find running water and electricity at sites. You can also find a lodge within the park.

🚐 You’ll need to hire a guide to enter many parts of the park. It’s super affordable and well worth it!

🎟️ Park entry costs about $6 per day per person

🌅 Head to the arch for the best sunrise and sunset (no guide needed)

How to get there

Spitzkoppe is located in the Erongo Region of Namibia, approximately 280 kilometers (174 miles) from the capital city of Windhoek. The only way to reach Spitzkoppe is by car, whether this is with a tour group, private car, or rental car.

If you’re arriving from an international destination, your journey will begin with a flight to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek. From here, you can either rent a car (my recommendation) or join a guided tour to reach Spitzkoppe. It is approximately a 3 hour drive, and makes a great addition to any road trip in Namibia.

If you are visiting Spitzkoppe as part of a larger road trip, you can reach Spitzkoppe from Swakopmund in 1.5 hours and Etosha National Park in about 5 hours. 

While a 4WD car isn’t necessary for Spitzkoppe, I definitely recommend it for this and any road travel throughout Namibia. 

To find the cheapest flight options from your city, you can use this search form below: 

Best time to visit Spitzkoppe

Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Namibia’s winter is during American and European summer. Namibia’s winter is from April to October. During these months you can expect cooler but still very pleasant temperatures. In my opinion this is the best time to visit. We needed to bundle up a bit in the evenings and early mornings, but during the day the sun was hot and we were able to wear shorts and a t-shirt.  

I personally wouldn’t recommend visiting during summer (November to March). During these months the sun is super strong and the temperatures rise. Since Spitzkoppe is located in the desert, the summer heat can be a bit overwhelming. 

Best things to do in Spitzkoppe 

While there are tons of great things to do in Spitzkoppe, the park itself it not that big. It also really isn’t particularly crowded, even during the high season. This is great because it means that you really don’t need to plan anything ahead of time.

Go hiking and rock climbing

Spitzkoppe is an awesome place for hikers, as there are tons of different trails. You’ll find everything from easy walks around the park to intense, difficult hikes. In fact, you can even hike all the way to the summit of the Spitzkoppe peak. 

Pontok Route – a 4.5 hour difficult hike that leads to the lookout point at the top of Spitzkoppe

Bushman Circle Route – a 7 hour circular hike. There is a steep chain climb in the beginning. After the climb the rest of the hike is through relatively flat terrain. You will need a guide to complete this hike.

Matterhorn Route – a 7-8 hour hike for experienced climbers only. No climbing gear is necessary but the hike is steep and exposed.

Watching the sunrise in Spitzkoppe with a coffee
Watching the sunrise in Spitzkoppe with a coffee
The sun setting over Spitzkoppe
The sun setting over Spitzkoppe

Enjoy sunset at the rock arch 

Other than the Matterhorn of Namibia, the most famous and photographed spot in Spitzkoppe is easily the rock area. The nature-made arch perfectly frames the beautiful peaks in the background, perfect for sunrise or sunset views. 

There is very little climbing necessary to reach the arch, as you can practically drive right up to it. However, I do recommend wearing sturdy shoes when climbing on the rocks. 

Hiking at the rock arch at sunset
Hiking at the rock arch at sunset
The rock arch - one of the best things to do in  Spitzkoppe
The rock arch – one of the best things to do in Spitzkoppe

 

Take a guided tour of the park

There are a few areas of Spitzkoppe, such Bushmen’s Paradise and Snake River, that cannot be explored independently. For these areas it is required to book a guided tour. These can be easily booked through your campsite. 

The Spitzkoppe area has been inhabited by the San people, also known as the Bushmen, for thousands of years. These hunter-gatherers were the earliest known inhabitants of the region and left a significant cultural legacy in the form of rock art.

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The native people communicated with other tribes, which you can find in the form of ancient rock art paintings.This unique rock art can be found in several different places around the granite peaks, if you know where to look. These rock paintings and engravings are estimated to be thousands of years old and provide valuable insights into the lives, beliefs, and traditions of the San people. The art depicts scenes of hunting, dancing, rituals, and everyday life, offering a glimpse into the cultural heritage of these ancient inhabitants.

Stargazing

Spitzkoppe offers one of the best experiences for stargazing that I’ve ever had, due in part to the location of Spitzkoppe and the lack of light pollution. From our campsite we could see thousands and thousands of stars, the Milky Way completely on display. 

Whether you choose to stay at a lodge or camp, you’ll be able to enjoy the stars, but I promise there is nothing quite like making a fire and camping out under the stars. It’s a travel experience that you don’t want to miss! 

Costs to visit the Spitzkoppe area 

Overall a visit to Spitzkoppe is incredibly budget-friendly. The biggest expense will likely be your rental car. We rented our car from Savanna, but I’ll share more details on renting a car in Namibia below. 

Once you’re in the area, campsites both inside and outside of the park are super affordable. We paid 400 NAD per night at Spitzkoppe Tented Camps & Campsites, just outside of the park gate.

The park itself has a daily fee of 120 NAD (around $6 USD) per day per person. 

If you want to explore certain areas of the park, such as Bushmen’s Paradise, you will need to hire a local guide. The tour costs 350 NAD per person and lasts two and a half hours. It’s a really great way to not only explore the park, but to also support the local community. 

View of the "Matterhorn of Namibia" from outside of the park gate
View of the “Matterhorn of Namibia” from outside of the park gate

Dining in Spitzkoppe 

While we were in Spitzkoppe we actually cooked all of our meals at our campsite. There is something so fun and peaceful about cooking in the wild in my opinion. In the mornings we enjoyed hot coffee and tea alongside a warm bowl of oats. In the evenings, we grilled up spicy season chicken over the fire, and enjoyed sauteed veggies, rice, and beans.

If you don’t want to cook, however there are restaurants available at both campgrounds. I personally can’t vouch for any of the food so give it a try and let me know in the comments below!

You may also like…

21 Best Things to do in Namibia

Where to Stay

Like most destinations in Namibia, the first thing to decide is whether you want to s†ay inside or outside of the park. In terms of camping, you’ll have nicer facilities just outside of the park, but the views from the campsites within the park are unbeatable! 

If you’re staying outside of the park you will need to drive in each day, which while close still adds some time on an early morning sunrise mission. 

Spitzkoppe Camping

If you want to stay directly in the park (which I recommend), you need to stay at Spitzkoppe Camping. This is not to be mistaken with Spitzkoppe Tented Camps which is located right outside the park gate. You make a booking in advance but the actual sites are first come first serve, so I recommend arriving early if you want a spot in a view.

These camp spots are more primitive, as no facilities are provided. There is a shared toilet and showers.

Spitzkoppe Tented Camps 

We stayed at the Spitzkoppe Tented campsite just outside of the park gate. The sites are bookable in advance and cost around $25 a night for a site. These sites include a small shelter, hot running water, a shower, toilet, and electricity. Plus, the views are still great! 

This campground also offers glamping sites if you do not have your own camping gear, or if the tent life isn’t for you. 

Enjoying a cup of tea with a view from our Spitzkoppe campsite
Enjoying a cup of tea with a view from our Spitzkoppe campsite
Printed map of Spitzkoppe
Printed map of Spitzkoppe, available at reception

Spitzkoppen Lodge 

If you’re looking for a bit more luxury, then I recommend a night at Spitzkoppen Lodge. The lodge has 15 private chalets, each with a private bathroom and viewing deck. There isn’t a ton of big game in the Spitzkoppe area but you may see zebras, hyenas, and some of the hundred plus different bird species in the area. 

Photo credit: Booking.com

Spitzkoppen Lodge

Spitzkopped Lodge is a great alternative to camping, while still being immersed in nature. The lodge, which features a gorgeous pool, is located by a zebra colony.

Check rates and availability

What to pack

Packing the right gear is essential for a successful and enjoyable trip to Spitzkoppe. Here’s a list of items to consider:

Hiking boots – with the many hikes and rock climbing opportunities in the park, I recommend packing a good pair of hiking boots or sneakers. I personally love to travel with my Merrell Moab Flight trail running sneakers. They are lightweight, easy to pack, but still great on long hikes,

Check out my travel hiking shoes

Travel sandals – if you’re planning to camp while in Spitzkoppe, then I recommend a pair of lightweight, easy to slip on sandals. The last thing you want is to be lacing up a pair of hiking boots in the middle of the night when you need to leave your tent to use the toilet. I wore my Tevas 95% of the time during our two week road trip in Namibia. They are  truly the perfect travel shoe. 

Check out my favorite travel sandals

Water – the sun is super strong in Namibia, even during the winter months. Make sure you’re drinking lots of water throughout the day, especially during any hikes. We stocked up at the grocery store before arriving in Spitzkoppe.

Warm layers – as hot as it gets during the midday sun, the nights get just as cold. The early morning sunrises can be quite cold before the sun properly rises, so layers are super important. This includes a jacket (I used my Patagonia NanoAir) and a beanie.

My favorite travel jacket

Binoculars – Spitzkoppe offers the opportunity for incredible birdwatching. As full time travelers we find binoculars a bit too bulky, we travel with a single monocular instead. It’s super travel friendly and great for wildlife sightings.

Pocket-sized monocular

A camera (with a zoom lens) – we invested in a 200-400mm lens for our camera body before this trip and it was so so worth it. It allowed us to get clear shots of all of the wildlife. If it’s in your budget, many travelers in Namibia carry a lens up to 600mm, but that is much bulkier. If you don’t already have a lens, or don’t want to travel with one, you can rent one in Windhoek. 

Sun protection – Namibia is hot year round and the sun is super strong. Make sure to pack adequate sunscreen and wear a hat during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest. 

TRAVEL TIPS

🏘️Book your accommodation

Booking.com will help you to book accommodation in advance and check availability

✈️Book your flight in advance

To find the cheapest flight options, you can use WayAway and find the most suitable option for you

🧾Get your tickets and tours

with Viator and GetYourGuide to get the most out of your journey

Planning a road trip in Namibia? Here are some other articles that you should check out:

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