Namibia is the first African country to address wildlife conservation and protection of natural resources in its constitution. A whole lot of places in Namibia are natural-born wonders, and it is only wise to preserve those beauties despite the force of modern development. Many people consider Namibia the beginner version of Africa; well, it has how grown into much more mature Africa and it does represent a portion of African Tourism industry to a great existent.
Total area: 318,772 square miles, with negligible water surfaces
Capital : Windhoek
Largest city: Windhoek
Government: unitary – semi-presidential republic
Climate: arid to semi-arid, but with cold temperature in coastal areas
Main Airport : Hosea Kutako International Airport - Windhoek
Official language : English
The entire landscape of Namibia is divided into five major geographical features including Namib Desert, Kalahari Desert, Central Plateau, Great Escapement, and Bushveld. The most interesting part is that each feature has different abiotic conditions, and some of them overlap each other. Best known feature is probably Kalahari, with its varied environments from hyper-arid to some areas barely categorized as desert....
About 60% of Namibia consists of Savannah and the balance is divided between types of desert and woodland. Savannah dominates the highlands and desert, the Namib. Both Savannah and woodland are found in the Kalahari.
Although the greater part of Namibia lies within the tropics, the climate is typical of a desert-like country with warm to hot days and cool to cold nights. Rainfall is low and irregular whilst evaporation rates are high. 90% of the country consists of dry land that deteriorates from semi-arid to extremely arid. The remainder is sub-humid.
People and Cultures
Namibia has an estimated population of 2.2 million people, comprising 13 ethnic groups. They are: the Herero, the Damara, the Nama, the San (Bushmen), the Rehoboth Basters, the Coloureds, the Whites, the Caprivian, the Kavango, the Topnaars, the Tswane, the Himba and the Owambo. On the far north you will come across the Himba people, and the San people in the east. Sometimes you need to spend time with somehow isolated primitive people who have never thought the world would move as fast as it is today, to find wisdom and help you in the soul-searching journey. In Namibia, encounters with wildlife and the desert create unforgettable moments, but meeting with those soulful people can be the most memorable part of the entire adventures. About half of Namibian population is of Ovambo ethnicity; they mainly live in the north of the country, although many have moved to town. Besides Ovambo and Himba, another well-known ethnic group is Herero. Official language is English, but Namibians also speak Germans, Afrikaans, Setswana and other tribal language.
Among all countries in Africa, Namibia is one of the safest. Sparse population plays important role to keep crime rate down, but travelling to big towns and cities still require extra precautions. The capital city of Namibia, Windhoek, is nothing like any urban area; you may mistake it with a provincial town due to its low population density. There is nothing in Namibia that requires you to practice any safety precautions more than any other place in the world. Always pay attention to the surrounding and avoid going along after dark.
As mentioned earlier, Namibia is the first to include wildlife conservation in the constitution. This is the country where you can find pristine land areas filled with millions of animals thriving in their natural habitats with almost zero intervention from humans. Namibia sets the bar high for all wildlife-watching destinations; you will find lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and even the rare black rhinoceros. Etosha National Park is the ultimate destination to spoil your eyes, mind and souls with all the adventures, wonders, and scenic views of how animals interact with each other and the environment at the same time. In addition to the national park, Etosha has two more notable mentions: Damaraland and Caprivi Strip.
Damaraland hosts Africa’s largest concentration of wild rhinoceros, elephants, and lions. All animals and vegetations have been well adapted to desert ecosystem. Caprivi Strip is filled with rich parks such as Bwabwata, Nkasa Rupara, Okonjima, and Erindi along with many game farms. Together they create safe havens for rescued animals.
More than 700 bird species live in Namibia, and all have adapted to the varied geographical features and different habitats in the country. Best time for bird watching starts from November to April or during the rainy season when food is plentiful. Lodges and camps are available in the best spots in Etosha National Park and other destinations as well. Some of the most popular bird species include falcons, pelicans, albatrosses, penguins, and flamingos.
The name “Namibia” is derived from the world’s oldest desert, the Namib. When it comes to natural beauties, Namibia ranks among the top thanks to the combination of physical features including coastal areas, wildlife conservancies, wetlands, rivers, and of course Kalahari and Namib deserts. In the coastal areas, Namibia presents the meeting point of dry desert and the Atlantic Ocean. Iconic landmarks such as the Sossusvlei sand dunes and Skeleton Coast create unique ecosystems and environmental conditions beyond words. Namibia’s inland is home to majestic sceneries of Naukluft Mountains, Damaraland, Spitzkoppe, Brandberg Mountain, and Fish River Canyon to deliver endless adventures for the outdoor activities enthusiasts. In general, all that you can think of about African landscape, Namibia has them all.
We will not blame you for assuming that Namibia looks like the point where the Earth offers no further route to track. Spend time to wander across the Lüderitz, and get bewildered to realize how the place is as inhospitable as you can imagine, at least for human. In the coastline of the seemingly-post-apocalypse town, however, you can find seabirds including the endangered African penguin. Move forward to the north and you’ll arrive at the Skeleton Coast, where Namibia gives quite excellent representation of how punishing the nature can be to humans. Shipwrecks scattered along the coast have been the silent witness that humankind is pretty much at the mercy of the desert.
Best Places to Visit in Namibia
Namibia has a lot to offer. People have different preferences about what constitutes “the best”, but at least they can agree that these following places are not to be missed while they are in Namibia.
Etosha National Park: covering an area of more than 7,700 square miles, Etosha National Park is probably the best place where you can enjoy world-class wildlife-viewing adventures. Unlike most other parks in Africa, Etosha makes it easy for you to do it. Instead of wandering across the park in your vehicle and make noises everywhere you turn, the national park can bring herds after herds of animals to your eyes. It is a dry park with plenty of water holes. Just park your car right next to a water hole and the animals have no choice but to reveal themselves because they need to hydrate.
Lüderitz: sandwiched between the Atlantic Coast and Namib Desert, this small town is a unique impressive geographical setting filled with old-style German architecture. Lüderitz is a colonial relic featuring nouveau churches, cafes, and bakeries. As if the town is stuck in time, this small town deceives no one; it may appear interesting for visitors, but the geographical condition is a strong hint of how incongruous the place is. Humans can hardly survive, but the rocky coastline creates ideal environment for seabirds including flamingos and penguins.
Sossusvlei: despite the fact that Sossusvlei is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Namibia, the landscape somehow manages to retain the sense of remoteness. World’s highest dunes are decorating Sossusvlei; they are best not only because they are enormous, but they have interesting characteristics in relation to the sunlight. The dunes change colors depending on what angle the sunlight hits it. Best times to witness the beauty of Sossusvlei are sunrise and sunset. The wind also constantly changes the shape of the dunes.
Fish River Canyon: the second most visited tourist attractions in Namibia is Fish River Canyon. It is a gigantic ravine that stretches 100 miles long, 17 miles wide and about 1,800 feet deep. There is a hiking trail that will put your strength and experience to the test. There are no amenities along the trail, so you have to manage for yourself.
Namibia for Tourism
Namibia is a country where the landscape and wilderness do not seem to change over the course of time. Thousands of years of human civilization in many parts of the country have retained good balanced relationship with all the indigenous animals. With all the passing lions, elephants, rhinoceros, leopards, buffalos, hundreds of bird species. Namibia delivers the best sense of desert wilderness and out-of-this-world coastline to explore.