Namibia is a huge country with contrasting landscapes and an incredible array of wildlife. It is fast developing an excellent reputation as one of the finest places to see game in Africa, we therefore spend four days in Etosha National Park.
Perhaps one of the most exhilarating places on earth is the Namib desert. We drive to Sossusvlei in the heart of this desert to witness what can only be described as pure natural beauty. In the morning light the desert flushes with colour that deepens and changes as the sun’s rays strike the quartz sand from an ever higher angle throughout the early morning. The spectacle is breath taking. The endless expanse of legendary 'walking dunes' - sculpted by the wind - has to be seen to be believed. Far from all looking alike, dunes of different areas have distinctive shapes and characteristics. We walk with a specialist local guide to learn about the curious mechanics of this unstable landscape and discover the natural world living within and around it.
We experience the grandeur of the Fish River Canyon, visit the diamond mining ghost town of Kolmanskop, as well as the old world charm of Luderitz and Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast as well as the seal colony at Cape Cross.
The safari is lodge based combined with some camping. We can enjoy the richness of Namibia’s culture and people with either a bed waiting for us at the end of the day or the star lit night-sky that surrounds the camp fire!
Namibia has established itself as one of Africa’s leading nations as far as conservation is concerned, and each year thousands of tourists visits the country in order to explore its unique wildlife heritage.
Already 20 game reserves and resorts, covering nearly 15% of the country’s surface, have been set aside. Among these are the renowned Etosha National Park and the Namib-Naukluft Park, which is the fourth largest conservation area in the world.
Namibia has been variously referred to as ‘Africa’s Harsh Paradise’, ‘The ageless land’ and ‘A Thirst land Wilderness’. It is a land of contrasts with scenery that ranges from the Orange dunes of the Namib Desert to the papyrus-lined channels of the Linyanti Swamp. Bounded in the west by the cold Atlantic Ocean and in the east the sprawling Kalahari, the country’s northern border consists of the Kunene and Zambezi rivers, while the Orange River forms the southern border.
Geology and geomorphology: Over countless aeons’ fire, ice, extreme temperatures, rain and wind have combined to fashion one of the most fascinating landscapes in the world.
The awesome Fish River Canyon in the south of the country, moon land scapes, columns pointing skywards, table-top mountains and the isolated inselbergen all provide a testimony to these Herculean forces.
Weather: The first and foremost, Namibia is a land of sunshine. Well over 90 percent of the inhabitable land receives three-quarter of its possible hours of sunshine as direct sunlight.
Namibia’s people: Stone Age hunter-gatherers roamed the plains and valleys of the Namibian landscape thousands of years ago, leaving behind mementoes in the form of paintings.
Flora: Although the name ‘Namibia’ conjures up visions of vast expanses of the desert, the country does have an interesting diversity of flora, with some 300 indigenous trees and shrubs and 3,500 flowering plants. The vegetation of Namibia has been divided into three major zones: desert, savanna and the woodland, within which fifteen main vegetation types have been distinguished.
Fauna: A rich variety of mammals, ranging from the elephant to the diminutive Damara dik-dik, is attracted to Namibia’s diverse habitats. To date some 136 mammal species (excluding bats and marine mammals) have been recorded within the country.
Wildlife conservation: The first formal conservation areas in Namibia were set aside in 1907 when three game reserves were proclaimed by the German colonial administration of Governor Von Lindequist.