Namibia - South West Africa - Namib Desert
Namibia, formerly known as South West Africa, is an independent country sharing south and east borders with South-Africa. The economy of this country governed by a national assembly, is firmly based on agriculture, herding, the mining of uranium, silver, gold and base metals and, of course, on tourism.
The attractiveness of Namibia is unique and worthy to be explored by tourist from all over the world.
Like the rest of the countries in southern Africa, Namibia has more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Winter (June to August) is dry. Rain occurs in summer between September and November and heavier between February and April. Humidity is low; rainfall varies from almost zero to more than 600mm (in the Caprivi). Droughts are quite common. Floods originate in Angola often cause damage to infrastructure. 21,000 people were displaced in March 2011 during the worst floods so far in the country's history.
Relevant information for tourists
Namibia lies mostly between latitudes 17° and 29°S (a small area is north of 17°), and longitudes 11° and 26°E.
The landscape consists of -
- The Central Plateau;
- The Namib Desert;
- The Great Escarpment;
- The Bushveld;
- The Kalahari Desert.
The Central Plateau is a wide, flat area accommodating the majority of Namibia’s economic activities and population. The nation’s capital, Windhoek, is located in the Central Pateau. translated to English, Windhoek means ‘Wind Corner’. The name, however, has nothing to do with wind; allegedly it was named after the Winterhoek Mountains in South Africa - the original settlement of the ancestors of Captain Jonker Afrikaner, the founder of the city. Several hot springs in the vicinity could have encouraged him to establish the original settlement.
The tourism activity centre of Namibia is the harbor city Walvis Bay (Whale Bay), a mecca for keen fishermen and a haven for sea vessels.
Climate data for Walvis Bay
The Orange River ~ South boarder of the Central Plataea
The Orange river forms part of the international borders between South Africa and Namibia. It is the largest river in South Africa and serves as several provincial borders within South Africa.
Fish River Canyon
Situated in the south of Namibia is the Fish River Canyon, the SECOND largest canyon in the world. The gigantic ravine is in total 100 miles (160km) long.
The Fish River is the longest river in Namibia. The river flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer (February to April), and the rest of the year only a chain of long narrow pools.
Fish River Canyon
The Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is a very large coastal desert, the only true desert in southern Africa and considered to be the world's oldest desert of roughly 80–55 million years old. The world's second largest sand dunes - after those of the Badain Jaran Desert - are to be seen in the Namib desert.
Inland is the Nabib-Naukluft National Park, the LARGEST game park in Africa and inter alia the habitat of African Bush Elephants, Mountain Zebras, lions adapted to deserts and a number of unusual plants and animals.
The Moon Landscape in the Namib Desert
The Skeleton Coast
Along the coast, and especially in the northern part - the Skeleton Coast - the strongest winds cause immense fogs and strong currents. The remnants of a number of shipwrecks can be found as much as 50 meters (55 yards) inland.
The Great Escarpment
The Great Escarpment is another geographical area in Namibia, rocky with poorly developed soils, yet rich with its characteristic abiotic conditions and vegetation, ranging from dense woodlands to more shrubby areas with scattered trees, in particular many species of Acasia.
The Bushveld is a specific geographical area situated in northeast Namibia along the Angolan border ~ (The Zambezi River). Temperatures are cooler and more moderate - approximate 10 and 30 °C (50 and 86 °F).
The spectacular Etosha Pan is situated in this region.
The Kalahari Desert, shared with South Africa and Botswana, is Namibia’s best known geographical feature with environments ranging from hyper-arid sandy desert to isolated mountains to typical desert dunes. The Succulent Karoo, where one third of the world's succulents are found, falls in this area, hosting over 5000 species of plants.
Extract: Regine Lord @ En route to a bushveld paradise erindi private game reserve in Namibia:
"There are a few human settlements which are the Kalahari’s best known inhabitants – The San Bushmen. This tribe, numbering only a few thousand are squeezed into inhospitable pieces of land and where they are sadly exploited as cheap farm labor. The Bushmen are now thought to be the last remnants of of Southern Africa’s original inhabitants who occupied the whole sub-continent long before white settlers invaded their territories." ~ http://www.safaris-in-namibia.co.uk/?p=185
Some tribes still follow traditional way of life
Caprivi is a narrow protrusion between Namibia and Botswana with Angola and Zambia to the north. It is bordered by the Zambezi-, Okavango- and Kwandi Chobe rivers. The area is rich in wildlife and mineral resources and inter alia the habitat of the endangered Wild African Dog, Lycaon pictus.
Downstream in the Zambezi River is the Victoria Falls situated between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and not accessible via the Caprivi. Due to a civil war from 1994–1999 the Caprivi is still unstable and therefore not appropriate for tourism.
Wild African Dog, Lycaon pictus
© Martie Coetser (August 2012)
Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-08-04 20:07:50
Title :: South West Africa ~ Namibia ~ Namib Desert
Category :: Article Hub
Fingerprint :: 229acc807329819c65b4501bbc4703c9fe09d0462b503ffa43d0fa4d39e10800
MCN :: C41GD-FLF59-RRLH6
Credit to -
Linda Bilyeu aka
sunshine625 for telling me about her doctor's visit to Namibia.
Dr. Mark Bielawny for sending me some of the pictures he took during his vacation in Namibia with permission to use them in this article.
Dr. Mark Bielawny & friends in Namibia
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