Formally a German Colony, Namibia gained independence from South Africa only in 1990, retaining many of its Germanic cultural roots, which are particularly prevalent in the towns and cities. Despite being larger than both United Kingdom and Germany combined, Namibia has a tiny population of just over 2 million people. The reason is water – or more accurately, lack of it. With permanent rivers only on its northern and southern boundaries, Namibia is exceedingly arid. For the most part, rain puts in a regular appearance only in the country’s more northerly regions, around December to March. Further south and along the Namib coast, rain is increasingly rare, and in many parts of the country, it may not fall for several years.
Despite this disadvantage Namibia has maintained a healthy level of economic growth, courtesy of its rich natural resources and commercial farming industry.
Namibia as a Destination
Namibia is one of Africa’s easiest countries to travel around, in large part due to its economic and social stability, which has allowed its infrastructure to flourish without impediment. Roads are signposted and well maintained and there is a well-developed network of parks, reserves, safari lodges, guest houses and campsites. It is also a country of dramatic contrasts – from the big-five, game-rich Etosha, to the surreal sand dunes of Sossusvlei; the wild beauty of Skeleton Coast and the epic landscape of Fish River Canyon to the unforgettable experience of tracking desert rhino and desert elephant in Damaraland. No matter where your interests lie – whether you are a safari addict, a local culture connoisseur, an ocean lover, a desert specialist or even an adrenaline junkie – Namibia has you covered.