The country, formerly known as South-West Africa, gained its independence on March 21, 1990.
Located in Southern Africa, the country is bordered on the north by Angola and Zambia, on the south by South Africa, on the east by Botswana, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Around 80% of the country’s terrain consists of deserts.
Like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, Namibia is one of Africa’s richest places in strategic minerals (diamonds, uranium, and gold). Mineral resources are the backbone of the country’s economy
The nation’s population is around 2.5 million people. The Ovambo is the country’s largest ethnic group; they make up some 50% of the population. The English-speaking state, twice the size of California, is the most sparsely populated republic in the African region.
The country, known as the “Gem of Africa”, is a unique place for eco-tourists. Much of Namibia is as it was centuries ago. Due to this, it has a host of natural wonders and amazing places. From one of the world’s biggest deserts and national parks to tropical forests and savannahs with one of Africa’s most concentration of wild animals, including lions, zebras, elephants, rhinoceros, hyenas, and marine mammals.
This amazing country has more than 300 days of sunshine per year.
Since 1993 the legal currency is the Namibian Dollar. Previously the South African Rand was used when they were still under South African rule. However, the SA Rand is still accepted as legal tender, since the Namibian dollar is pegged to the Rand. The exchange rate is 1:1 and the currencies are just mixed in Namibia. However, the Namibian Dollar is not accepted anywhere in South Africa. So when you continue travelling to South Africa make sure you spend or change all your money in the country.
Even when a variety of languages are spoken amongst the different tribes and people, English is the only official language. When travelling in Namibia, you will hear it pretty widely spoken, although in many areas people will also speak German and Afrikaans
Swakopmund, the nation’s second largest city, has some of the best-preserved colonial buildings on the African continent.
The Namib desert stretches along the Namibian coast all the way up to Angola. It is estimated that the area has been dry for at least 55 million years, making it the oldest desert in the world.
The Fish River Canyon is the oldest canyon in the world, it is also the worlds second largest. The Canyon is over 500 million years old. The Canyon was formed over 500 million years ago due to the collapse of the valley floor. It was further formed by water and wind erosion. It is located in the southern part of the country, not that far from the South african border.
The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib desert are some of the highest dunes in the world. Dune 7 is the highest in the area measuring 383 meters. The most climbed one is Dune 45. Most people visiting Sossusvlei will climb Dune 45 to enjoy a spectacular sunrise. It is a challenging climb, especially early morning before sunrise, but really worthwhile. The main characteristic about the dunes in Sossusvlei is their red colour, caused by the presence of tiny iron ore particles that oxidised over time.
Namibia has the largest free-roaming cheetah population in the world – there are an estimated 2,500 – 3,000 cheetahs in Namibia. Cheetahs are under pressure from farming and ranching encroachment on their habitat. Leopards and lions are also indigenous big cats in Namibia.
Another interesting facts about Namibia is that the country is home to two large but very distinct deserts, the Namib desert and the Kalahari desert. They each have a different look and geological structure. The Kalahari desert is semi arid sandy desert, covering parts of Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. It does get slightly more rainfall than the Namib desert and therefore attracts a large variety of wildlife and supports different types of vegetation
Shipwrecks dot the wild Skeleton Coast coastline and elephants wander through the sand dunes that plunge directly into the freezing Atlantic ocean. A desolate place that’s extremely rewarding for the adventurous traveler.
The San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, are considered Namibia’s first people. They traditionally followed the migratory patterns of the animals and still have no homeland. They speak a clicking language.
Kolmanskop, located near to the town of Lüderitz, is Namibia’s most famous ghost town. Kolmanskop was established as a mining town when in 1908 diamonds were found along the cost in Lüderitz. The diamond rush led to the establishment of the town. When 30 years later, the diamonds in that area became depleted, Kolmanskop changed into a ghost town. Currently Kolmanskop is one of the most beautiful and special places to visit in Namibia, especially for photographers.
The Gibeon meteorite shower is the largest meteorite shower on earth. It took place in prehistoric times, but had covered an area of 275 by 100 kilometres in central Namibia. It was an iron meteorite. The early inhabitants of Namibia, the San or the Bushman, used the material of the meteorite to make weapons and tools. Some of the remains of the meteorite are on display in the city centre of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.