Top Ten Namibian Attractions

Top Ten Namibian Attractions

       Namibia is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. It gained independence from South Africa on March 21, 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek. The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen, Damara and Namaqua, and since about the 14th century AD by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion. It became a German Imperial protectorate in 1884 and remained a German colony until the end of WWI. In 1920, the League of Nations mandated the country to South Africa, which imposed its laws and, from 1948, its apartheid policy. In 1966, uprisings and demands by African leaders led the UN to assume direct responsibility over the territory. It recognized the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) as the official representative of the Namibian people in 1973. Namibia, however, remained under South African administration during this time. Following internal violence, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990, with the exception of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, which remained under South African control until 1994. Namibia has a population of 2.1 million people and a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding, tourism and the mining industry, including mining for gem diamonds, uranium, gold, silver and base metals form the backbone of Namibia’s economy. After Mongolia it is the 2nd least densely populated country in the world. Approximately half the population lives below the international poverty line and the nation has suffered heavily from the effects of HIV/AIDS, with 15% of the adult population infected with HIV in 2007.

  1. Namib-Naukluft National Park

    The Namib-Naukluft National Park is a national park of Namibia encompassing part of the Namib Desert (considered the world’s oldest desert) and the Naukluft mountain range. With an overall area of 49.768 square km, the Namib-Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa and the 4th largest in the world. The most well-known area of the park is Sossusvlei, which is the main visitor attraction in Namibia. A surprising collection of creatures survives in the hyper-arid region, including snakes, geckos, unusual insects, hyenas, gemsboks and jackals. More moisture comes in as a fog off the Atlantic Ocean than falls as rain, with the average 106 millimeters of rainfall per year concentrated in the months of February and April.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, Top Ten Deserts, Top Ten Lizards, Top Ten Snakes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namib-Naukluft_National_Park,
  2. Kalahari Desert

    The Kalahari Desert (Dorsland in Afrikaans) is a large semi-arid sandy savanna in Southern Africa extending 900,000 square km (350,000 square mi), covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert. There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is very high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain per year. The surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2,500,000 square km (970,000 square mi) extending farther into Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife. Ancient dry riverbeds, called omuramba, traverse the Central Northern reaches of the Kalahari and provide standing pools of water during the rainy season. Previously havens for wild animals from elephant to giraffe, and for predators such as lion and cheetah, the riverbeds are now mostly grazing spots, though leopard or cheetah can still be found.
    Links: Top Ten Deserts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalahari_Desert,
  3. Twyfelfontein

    Twyfelfontein “jumping waterhole,” is a site of ancient rock engravings in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain that receives very little rainfall and has a wide range of diurnal temperatures. The site has been inhabited for 6,000 years, first by hunter-gatherers and later by Khoikhoi herders. Both ethnic groups used it as a place of worship and a site to conduct shamanist rituals. In the process of these rituals at least 2,500 items of rock carvings have been created, as well as a few rock paintings, which makes the site one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa.
    Links: Relieves and Petroglyphs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twyfelfontein,
  4. Windhoek

    Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around 1,700 m (5,600 ft) above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek’s population was 233,529. A population influx from all over Namibia has caused researchers to estimate the figure now to be well over 300,000. Due to its relative size Windhoek is, even more than many other national capital cities, the social, economic, and cultural center of the country. Nearly every national enterprise is headquartered here. The University of Namibia is, too, as are the country’s only theatre, all ministry head offices, and all major media and financial entities. The governmental budget of the city of Windhoek nearly equals those of all other Namibian local authorities combined.
    Links: Top Ten Churches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windhoek,
  5. Bushveld

    The Bushveld is found in north eastern Namibia along the Angolan border and in the Caprivi Strip which is the vestige of a narrow corridor demarcated for the German Empire to access the Zambezi River. The area receives a significantly greater amount of precipitation than the rest of the country, averaging around 400 mm (15.7 in) per year. Temperatures are also cooler and more moderate, with approximate seasonal variations of between 10 and 30 °C (50 and 86 °F). The area is generally flat and the soils sandy, limiting their ability to retain water. Located adjacent to the Bushveld in north-central Namibia is one of nature’s most spectacular features: the Etosha Pan. For most of the year it is a dry, saline wasteland, but during the wet season, it forms a shallow lake covering more than 6,000 square kilometers (2,317 sq mi). The area is ecologically important and vital to the huge numbers of birds and animals from the surrounding savannah that gather in the region as summer drought forces them to the scattered waterholes that ring the pan. The Bushveld area has been demarcated by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Angolan Mopane woodlands ecoregion, which extends north across the Cunene River into neighboring Angola.
    Links: Top Ten Angolan Attractions,
  6. Hoba Meteorite

    Hoba, also known as Hoba West, is a meteorite that lies on the farm “Hoba West,” not far from Grootfontein, in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia. It has been uncovered but, because of its large mass, has never been moved from where it fell. The main mass is estimated at over 60 tons, and it is the largest known meteorite (as a single piece) and the most massive naturally-occurring piece of iron known at the Earth’s surface.
    Links: Top Ten Meteorites, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoba_meteorite,
  7. Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namibia,