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Namibia

Namibia

The Republic of Namibia offers sights not seen anywhere else on earth. Namibia is known for its endless stretches of desert dunes and usual rocky formations that look as though you’re on the Moon. With its mostly barren and extremely dry landscapes its no wonder that Namibia is the 2nd least populated country in the world. Namibia offers iconic destinations to explore, such as the bare plains of The Namib Desert, the Great Dunes of Sossusvlei (among the highest sand dunes in the world), the Seal Colony at Cape Cross on the rugged Skeleton Coast, the Damaraland Highlands and the world-renowned and iconic wildlife sanctuary known as the Etosha Pan. Namibia has 13 recognized national languages, including 10 indigenous African languages and 3 Indo-European languages.  As a former colony of Germany until 1916, a German influence can still be felt as many descendants of settlers stayed, keeping their architecture, cultural traditions and language alive. South Africa began to occupy the German colony of South-West Africa in 1916 and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. It was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia won independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990.

Location: Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa

Border countries (4): East (Botswana), North-east (Zambia), North (Angola), South (South Africa)

Area: 824,292 sq km (318,260 sq mi)

Comparative: Slightly less than two times the size of California

Population: 2,436,469 Million (ranked 143rd in the world)

Religions: Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%

Languages: Oshiwambo languages 48.9%, Nama/Damara 11.3%, Afrikaans 10.4% (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), Otjiherero languages 8.6%, Kavango languages 8.5%, Caprivi languages 4.8%, English (official) 3.4%, other African languages 2.3%, other 1.7%

UNESCO World Heritage Sites (2): Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes (2007) and Namib Sand Sea (2013)

 

Popular Destinations of Namibia

Etosha National Park

Etosha National ParkEtosha National Park is one of Africa's major wildlife sanctuaries, being proclaimed a game reserve in 1907 and covering an area of more than 22,750 sq km (8,784 mi sq). Etosha, meaning 'place of dry water', is centered around a huge, flat calcrete depression (or 'Pan') of about 5,000 sq km (1,93 mi sq) in the northern region of Namibia. The 'Pan' provides a great, parched, silver-white backdrop of shimmering mirages to an area of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. Despite being a highly 'managed' environment with a cluster of man-made water-points around the central pan, and a boundary designated by a patrolled electrified fence, this is indeed one of the most special game parks in Africa. During the drier months of June to November the water-points exert a magnetic pull on big game and bird life. The water-points form the centerpiece for visitors looking to see the nearly 150 mammal species to found in the park, including several rare and endangered species such as the black rhino, black-faced impala, tssesebe and gemsbok.

 

Namib-Naukluft National Park

Namib-Naukluft National ParkAt 49,768 sq km (19,216 sq mi), the Namib-Naukluft National Park is the largest game park in Africa and  encompasses part of the Namib Desert, considered to be one of the worlds oldest at 55 - 80 million years old. The name 'Namib' is of Nama origin meaning vast and stretches almost 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) along the Atlantic coasts of Namibia, Angola and South Africa. The combination of water-laden air coming from the sea and the dry air of the desert causes immense fogs, strong currents and havok for sailors.  Namibia's highlight in the heart of the park is Sossusvlei, a huge clay-pan, enclosed by some of the tallest dunes in the world, reaching heights of over 300 metres (985 feet). Only after a heavy rainfall, which is very seldom in this area, does the vlei fill with water. The desert receives less than 10 mm (.4 inches) of rain annually and is almost completely barren, inaccessible and unpopulated. Though only a few animals such as oryxes, springbok and ostriches can be found living in this harsh environment, the spectacular desert scenery makes the area a popular destination for visitors to Nambia.

Namibia Travel Options

Namibia Safari | Women Only Namibia Safari Tours | Couples Only Namibia Safari Tours | Custom Namibia Safari

Cruising | Rail Journeys

 

Sources: CIA 2017, UNESCO 2017