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Namibia

Namibia impresses with its vast virgin land frequented by multiple animal species. It is a unique country that offers a superb wild life scenery. Namibia has 1570 km of coastline on the Atlantic coast of the African continent. Two thirds of its territory are covered by two deserts, the Kalahari in the East and the Namib in the West. Sossusvlei Dunes, rising to almost 350 meters high, are the highest in the world.

 

Nearby is Deadvlei (white clay pan), strewn with dead trees, burned by the sun, but standing miraculously in the middle of the dunes. The northwestern coast of the country, an arid and desolate coastline, also takes the name of “Skeleton Coast” because it is a sanctuary for ships in distress. Much less inhospitable, the Fish River Canyon is popular for hiking. The Fish River has carved the gorge of this canyon for thousands of years now giving it a phenomenal size: 160 km long and 27 km wide. Second largest canyon in the world, Fish River is a unique place in Africa which offers an incredible scenery.

Etosha national park is made for lovers of the African bush and its wildlife. This park is one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the world with 114 species of mammals (including elephants, giraffes, lions, spotted hyenas, antelopes, zebras, oryx, blue wildebeest …) and more than 340 species of birds.

Damaraland offers an apocalyptical landscape. Damaraland is also an area where you can see the rare black rhinoceros or desert elephants.

Meaning “distant land”, the Kaokoland is the territory of Himbas, called “red people” because of the ocher color oil which they coat their body to protect themselves from the sun. Semi-nomadic pastoralists, the Himbas live today as they were more than 200 years ago. It is sunny almost all the time in Namibia. During the austral winter, from June to September, the weather is nice and perfect for wildlife observation. However, nights can be cold. The attractiveness of Namibia lies in the immensity and splendor of its wild territories, and the exceptional abundance of its fauna. Hiking and safaris are an unforgettable experience, and the entire discovery of the country tainted by adventure. Meeting with local people is quite rare but not impossible. Namibians are very curious and hospitable.

Namibia is primarily a desert, the Namib Desert, known for its highest dunes in the world. Namibia, with its impressive variety of landscapes is a place where wildlife prevails. A vacation in Namibia often gives the impression of being alone in the world or immersed in another time thanks to a meeting with his Himba people. It is difficult to move around in the country: few buses and trains. Rent a car would be the best option. The roads are in good condition, but we recommend renting a 4×4 vehicle to be able to drive anywhere.

Art and culture

Each Namibian ethnic group has its own artistic activities. These are for the most part influenced by their religious beliefs: dances, songs, sculpture, etc. Traditional storytelling is perpetuated within each tribe of the country and veneration of the dead is very important particularly among the Himba people.

The German influence in the country is visible specially in the architecture of the cities. On the west coast, for example, the cities of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay look like nineteenth century Germany cities.

What to visit

Climb up and down the “Crazy Dune” that rises to almost 300 meters in the Namib Desert, a must when you book a hotel in Namibia. With its amazing fauna, it would be a pity not to be tempted by a safari and to go, in the Etosha Park for example, to observe the “Big Five” (Elephant, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and buffalo)

Gourmet specialties

Namibia’s cuisine (with a lot of grounded meat) is heavily influenced by the German presence for more than a century. Generally based on milk, meat and corn, traditional Namibian cuisine is mostly cooked within family circles. You will be tempted by the typical dishes of the country such as Mielie, a porridge of corn; or the Nara, a round melon very often used for cakes. Try the local beer, Windhoek Bier made by the Germans.

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