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Namibia

Namibia

Namibia Locator MapThe 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

Namibia Wildlife

Mammal Species: 192 (20th in Africa)

The Big Nine (9 of 9): Includes the 'Big Five' (Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, Leopard) plus Cheetah, Giraffe, Hippo and Zebra (Burchell's and Mountain). The 'Big Nine' refers to the nine most sought after animals to see while on safari. The 'Big Five' refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot.

Carnivores: Aardwolf, Afro-Australian fur seal, Caracal, Cat (Black-footed and Wild), Civet, Fox (Bat-eared and Cape), Genet (Common and Panther), Honey badger, Jackal (Black-backed and Side-striped), Meerkat, Mongoose (Banded, dwarf, Namaqua slender, Selous', Slender, White-tailed and Yellow), Otter (Clawless and Speckle-throated), Serval, Spotted hyena, Striped polecat, Striped weasel, Wild dog

Other Animals: Aardvark, Antelope (Roan and Sable), Blue & white-bearded wildebeest, Bushbuck, Bushpig, Cape hare, Cape pangolin, Cape porcupine, Dik dik (Guenther's and Kirk's), Gemsbok, Greater kudu, Grey duiker, Hartebeest, Impala, Klipspringer, Lechwe, Puku, Rhebok, Rock dassie, Rock hare (Jameson's and Smith's red), Scrub Hare,  Southern reedbuck, Springbok, Steenbok, Tsessebe, Waterbuck, Warthog

Bird Species: 619 (24th in Africa) Bird lovers will enjoy Namibia with a recorded 619 bird species calling this southern African country home.

Wildlife Areas of Namibia

 Excellent   Good   Fair   Poor   None 

 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 kms. Etosha, meaning 'place of dry water', is centered around a huge, flat calcrete depression (or 'Pan') of about 5,000 sq kms 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.

Best time to visit:  Jan ¹   Feb ¹   Mar ¹   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct ¹   Nov ¹   Dec ¹ 
Chance of spotting the Big Nine:  Elephant   Zebra   Giraffe   Lion   Leopard   Cheetah   Rhino   Buffalo   Hippo 

¹ Temps begin to heat up in October reaching as high as 32°C/90°F making it uncomfortably hot until end of March

 

 

Namib - Naukluft National Park

Namib-Naukfluft 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. 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 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.

Best time to visit:  Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec 
Chance of spotting the Big Nine:  Elephant   Zebra   Giraffe   Lion   Leopard   Cheetah   Rhino   Buffalo   Hippo 

Note: Though none of the Big Nine are spotted in this park, there is a good chance you will see oryxes, springbok and other animals

Namibia Travel Options

Namibia Destination | Namibia Safari Tours | Women Only Namibia Safari Tours | Couples Only Namibia Safari Tours | Custom Namibia Safari | Namibia Cruising | Namibia Rail Journeys

 

Sources: CIA 2017, UNESCO 2017, World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-WCMC), 2004. Species Data (unpublished, September 2004)