Named after the inhospitable Namib desert wich is renowned for its pristine and picturesque landscapes, little is known about the early history of Namibia. It was only by the middle of the nineteenth century that explorers, ivory hunters and missionaries began to venture into the interior of South West Africa, where after it was colonised by Germany. This predominantly arid country hosts one of the oldest deserts and highest dunes in the world and the third largest game reserve in Africa. Ranging from coastal and desert plains, rugged mountains and rocky plateaus on the inland to densley wooded bushveld, Namibia undeniably presents a photographer’s paradise.
With a variety of ethnic cultures scatered over an area four times the size of Great Brittan, you hardly even notice the sparsely populated 2 million people inhabiting the country. Namibia is one of the richests African countries boasting its econy through mining, fisheries, agriculture and tourism, even though it is not as developed as some of its African neigbours.
With more then 300 sushine-filled days, Namibia is an excellent all year round destination. It offers diverse wildlife and unique vegetation with remarkable adaptations to survive in this harsh land. Hosting four different landscapes with unique characteristics and attractions, Namibia is nestled between the Skeleton coast and desert plains on the west, with canyons, dry riverbeds and barren mountain ranges in the central parts, filled with dense bushveld in the north-east, rounded off by the Kalahari Desert on the south-east, bordering Botswana. The Kunene River in the north marks the boundry to Angola with the Orange River in the south separating the country from South Africa. Being one of the worlds driest deserts, the Namib stays cool from the cold Benguela current, keeping it free from rain for most of the year. Coastal fog from the Atlantic Ocean provides moisture to this area. The altitude confirms summer rainfall to the interior of the country, with high day temperatures and cool nights. Winter nights can be fairly cold and days are generally warm and pleasant. The average annual rainfall varies from less than 50mm at the coast to 350mm in the central parts and up to 700mm in the Caprivi, bordering the Okovango Delta in Botswanna.
The Namibian Dollar is linked on a one to one exchange with the South African Rand, which is also accepted throughout Namibia. International visitors gain tremendously when visiting the country.
It is the easiest to visit Namibia with Rands instead of Namibian Dollars and it is strongly suggested to exchange any Namibian Dollars back to Rands before leaving the country, as the Namibian Dollar is seldom available or accepted in banks outside Namibia. Mastercard and Visa are most commonly accepted, except in more rural areas. Credit cards can not be used to pay for fuel.
Ensure that you have adequate cover from your travel insurance for lost luggage and medical expenses as well as delays and cancellations. Even if you are self-driving it is sensable to have complete coverage for your journey.
The major private hospitals are of a good standard with clean and safe facilities. In serious medical cases, evacution will be done by air to South Africa where further facilities are available, hence the reason for comprehensive travel insurance. Northern Namibia, including Etosha is listed as malaria areas. The rest of Namibia practically holds no risk at all. A doctor should advise you well in advance of your departure and be sure to do thorough research by yourself.
thombe SAFARI will highly recommend an extended visit to Namibia to discover more of the land of contrasts on your own. Join the forum discussions for more info on Namibia or any travel related queries you may have.