Namibia is a country with raw but amazing scenery. It combines desert landscapes with impressive biodiversity. The natural beauty of the country is preserved on the territory of numerous national parks. Namibia combines impressive cultural differences in lifestyle and culture. On the one hand are the modern cities like the capital Windhoek; on the other hand are the unique Bushmen villages where the lifestyle is almost unchanged since time immemorial.
Geographic location, boundaries and size of Namibia. Namibia is a large country located on the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. To the north it borders with Angola, to the Northeast with Zambia, to the east with Botswana and to the south and southeast it borders with South Africa.
Occupies an area of 825,418 sq.km. Because of the natural features of Namibia, very small part of the state borders follow natural curves. South tropical circle passes through the central parts of the country.
Relief of Namibia. The majority of Namibia has a high altitude and is occupied by high plateaus. Overall, the locations with a high of less than 1000 meters are rare, except in coastal areas.
The highest point in Namibia is called Konigstein. It rises to about 2606 meters and is located in the Central Plateau.
The coastline is straight and slightly indented. Bays and peninsulas are almost entirely missing. At one of the largest bays along the coast lays the city of Walvis Bay.
Climate of Namibia. Namibia falls entirely within the tropical climate zone. The weather here is dry, sunny and hot throughout the year.
Temperatures in Namibia are constantly high. In the capital Windhoek summer temperatures are usually above 30°C. Despite the high altitude of over 1600 meters, the winter degrees of the capital are in the range 21 – 25°C.
More significant is however the difference between day and night temperatures. After hot days the nights often are quite cold. For example, in the warmest month January, night temperatures rarely exceed 18 – 19°C and in winter varies between 5 and 10°C.
Although Namibia is mainly occupied by deserts and semi-arid areas, temperatures here are much more easily bearable than the temperatures into the desert regions of northern Africa.
Rainfall is rare, especially into the arid coastal regions of the country. Overall, the rains fall during the summer half-year from November to April.
It is important however to clarify the term “rain” as in this part of Africa a real heavy rainfall is rare occasion. Most significant rainfalls there are in the high internal parts of the country. For example, in the capital Windhoek are rarely accounted more than 80 mm of rain.
Population of Namibia. Namibia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Africa. Despite the vast territory, the country is home to only 2.2 million inhabitants.
Most of them are dark-skinned, but small part is of European origin. Local inhabitants are Christians (Catholics). The main spoken languages are English and Afrikaans. The most populous cities are the capital Windhoek (300 000), Rundu (60 000) and coastal city Walvis Bay (50 000).
Economy of Namibia. Namibia has a growing economy. Main source of income are the rich deposits of minerals. The country is among the leaders in the world production of diamonds.
Only South African mining produces greater quantities of diamonds on the African continent.
The large deposits of minerals in combination with a small population ensure the people of Namibia higher living standard in comparison with the majority of the countries on the continent.
History. Before the arrival of the first Europeans, Namibia was inhabited by Bushmen. The first European sea-farer arrived here in the 16th century.
They were Portuguese explorers who conquered the territories of present-day Namibia. In the 19th century many of these lands became possessions of Britain and Germany.
In 1915 the country was conquered by South Africa. On 21 March 1990 Namibia became an independent country. Since 2001 the country gradually began to develop its tourist industry and year after year attracts a growing number of tourists.
Tourism in Namibia
Namib Desert. Territory of Namibia is occupied mostly by dry desert and semi-arid lands.
Near the coast of the continent flows the cold Benguela current which is the main reason for the formation of the Namib Desert.
It covers practically almost the entire coast of the country. Like other African countries, Namibia attracts tourists with the cleanliness and preservation of its nature.
Namib Desert is not as hot as are other deserts like the Sahara and Kalahari. The reason is in the pleasant coolness, which comes from the Atlantic.
Colonies of seals. One of the biggest attractions in Namibia is the huge colonies of seals that live between the cold sea and hot desert.
For these animals the border between Namib Desert and Atlantic Ocean is a real paradise.
The large mammals live undisturbed, and visitors often meet major warning signs that say to respect the distance of at least 150 meters from the colony of seals, especially if you are in a car.
It turns out that this harsh and inhospitable coast can offer the seals security that would hardly be found elsewhere. On the one hand are cold and rich in fish ocean waters, on the other hand is the security and safety of the beach away from the sharks, whose main prey are seals.
Sometimes, however, is possible some jackal to attacks the colony, but because the seals are quite large animals, real threat exists only for the small infant seals.
Kalahari. One of the most exciting parts of Namibia is the Kalahari Desert. It is located in the southeast part of the country.
According to many people Kalahari Desert is considered to be the most beautiful desert in the world. It fascinates with its fiery red hues and dazzling variety of species.
Here you can see such species as black rhino, African elephant, lion, cheetah, various antelopes (including one of the fastest – Antelope springbok), various types of snakes, scorpions and meerkats – the most iconic animals of the Kalahari.
Okavango River. In the north-east Namibia, through the territory of the country for nearly 60 km flows the unique Okavango River.
It turns into an oasis the otherwise dry lands through which flows. Fauna along the Okavango can hardly be described. This is one of the best places for safaris in the world.
Here you can see leopards, cheetahs, lions, hyenas, elephants, antelopes, zebras, giraffes and all sorts of different animals. Because of its unusual beauty much of the territories along the Okavango River in Namibia are a protected area.
Here is the Mahango National Park. In the area there are excellent opportunities to practice ecotourism.
Waterberg Plateau. Waterberg Plateau National Park is very beautiful and picturesque region, whose beauty reminds Australia.
This plateau rises impressively among the red semi-arid lands on which grows only dry-loving vegetation. Time has left its imprint on its forms. If you climb up the plateau you will enjoy the amazing view that reveals around.
Plains merge with the horizon and there is nothing to disturb this sense of infinity. In the vicinity of the plateau is much more likely to meet a cheetah. The reason is that these flat and open spaces provide the fastest cat excellent conditions for hunting.
When to travel to Namibia? The best time for tourism in Namibia is the winter half-year from April to November. At this time of year the weather is most pleasant. Choosing the winter months you will avoid the summer heat and the probability of rain.
What clothes to wear for tourism in Namibia? The situation with the choice of clothes is quite complicated. Summer clothes are required throughout the year because the days are very warm, but the desert nights can be quite cold.
For this reason it is best to prepare a lighter coat for the night if you travel during the southern summer and something quite warmer for the night (as for temperatures between 5 and 10°C) if you travel in the southern winter.
If you plan to indulge in adventures and dream to get to know interesting and unknown places, it is best to predict strong and comfortable shoes, hat, sunglasses and sun block.