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Africa Namibia Travel & Tips Information
In Namibia, on the parched palate of a vast and contradictory land, the realities of thirst have created a plethora of idiosyncratic societies. The rolling dunes of the Namib Desert are filled with the greatest diversity of living creatures of any duneland in the world.
The desolate skeleton coast, a monument to past maritime disasters, contrasts with the vibey holiday atmosphere of the quaint German settlement of Swakopmund. Within the area of Etosha Pan, the lake of mother’s tears, where the surrounding water pits enclose the salt space, large herds of game are on a permanent pub-crawl. This provides some of the most amazing game viewing opportunities anywhere.
Inland, in the surreal Damaraland, you’ll encounter various social curiosities, including the Fished Forest; Welwitschia Mirabilis, the thousand-year-old underground tree; the Kokerboom statue; and the diminutive Damara Dik Dik, with the quivering nose.
Namibia – big sky country.
A place where undulating desert folds to meet a rugged coastline, Namibia offers a diverse range of highlights: Scenic beauty including the Skeleton Coast – untouched and untamed, this desolate and uninhabited landscape is home to the hyena rare brown and desert elephants, seal colonies. and it is the burial place of many ships; the Kunene River – the source of one of Africa’s largest waterfalls, Ruacana; the splendor of abundant birds and wild animals; unusual geological formations including the Fish River Canyon, Brandberg, Spitzkoppe and the unique star-shaped dune mountains at Sossusvlei;
pristine desert including the Etosha Pan – an oasis in the center of a vast semi-desert region, the Namib Desert – the only desert that harbors elephant, rhino, lion and giraffe; diverse and friendly nation – vibrant African cultures mixed with German, British and South African architecture and traditions; Adventure opportunities – from sand boarding, canoeing, white water rafting to hot air balloons and the Desert Express Train.
Welcome Tourism Services offers a full variety of guided tours; driving tours and flying safaris; special interest and adventure packages; customized tours and safaris throughout this exciting and unique region. We cater to individual travelers, groups, conferences and incentives.
Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is located in the Central Region. With its international airport, Windhoek is a convenient point to start or end your tour and provides a good base for local excursions. The northern part of the Central Region has an amazing diversity of birds, animals and mineral wealth, while to the west is the Namib Desert and the Kalahari to the east.
The majestic Auas Mountains, Eros Mountains and Khomas Hochland surround Windhoek. Mineral springs provide an oasis in this very dry region and holiday resorts are located near Windhoek. National parks, charming small towns, out-of-the-way mission stations and cattle ranches all have their own unique attractions.
The Namib region stretches from Oranjemund in the south to the Skeleton Coast to the Angolan border in the north, mostly consisting of national parks. The Namib-Naukluft Park is considered the fourth largest in the world, covering 49,768 square km. The hardy desert plants and variety of landscapes make this a magical place for scenic photographers.
The ancient Namib Desert contains many of Namibia’s tourist destinations and is home to one of the oldest plants in the world – the prehistoric Welwitschia Mirabilis and a large number of endemic dune creatures.
The Skeleton Coast National Park stretches from Ugab to the Kunene River. Hardy desert animals congregate around intermittent watering holes, while in the distance rugged mountains and views of sand dunes add to its beauty.
The popular seaside resort of Swakopmund has many buildings dating back to the turn of the century, these national monuments represent the city’s German colonial past. With its many excursion opportunities, Swakopmund is fast becoming Namibia’s group and convention destination. Walvis Bay is 31 km south of Swakopmund, another major port of entry and has a thriving fishing industry.
The Walvis Bay lagoon is one of Africa’s most important wetlands and hosts large flocks of flamingos, pelicans and other water birds. To the west of the Naukluft mountains is the canyon of Sesriem, traversed for centuries by the river Tsauchaub. 63 km away is Sossusvlei, a dry mud basin surrounded by some of the highest sand dunes in the world. Lüderitz, between the desert and the coast, was the first German settlement in Namibia and the base of South Africa’s diamond industry in 1908. This seaside resort is the center of Namibia’s lobster industry, known for its oysters and ghost town of Kolmanskop is not far.
The Northern Fertile Region is the largest region in Namibia, with vast areas under cultivation, supported by underground lakes. The highlight of this region is Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s premier wildlife sanctuaries and an official game reserve since 1907. This 22,270 sq km park ranges from dense bush to open plains and is home to birds and fertile wild animals.
Two attractive towns in the center of a rich mining area are Otavi, sheltered by the Otavi and Tsumeb mountains further north. Damaraland offers contrasting deserts, rolling grasslands and high mountain ranges with unusual geological features, rock paintings and rare animals. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Skeleton Coast National Park.
The volcanic landscapes around Khorixas bear traces of dinosaurs and the Petrified Forest (massive tree trunks up to 30m tall) lies scattered across fields with Welwitschias and other hardy desert plants growing amongst them.
Twyfelfontein (Fountain of Doubt) is to the south-west of the Petrified Forest which offers spectacular rock paintings and carvings dating back thousands of years. South of Twyfelfontein is a desolate landscape of volcanic rock called Burnt Mountain. Nearby are the Organ Pipes, a perpendicular basalt formation. The Brandberg range contains the highest mountain peak in the country (Kunigstein 2 573 m) and many rock paintings including the famous White Lady of Brandberg.
The Caprivi Strip is an exciting destination for the adventurous traveler with rivers, forests, swamps and waterways – a stark contrast to the arid grandeur of the rest of Namibia. Activities in the area include hiking, fishing, game viewing, bird watching and mokoro trails. The beautiful landscape of the Southern Region is bleak, desolate, hot and dry. Earthquakes and storms have carved the land into wonderful sculptures. Brukkaros, an extinct volcano, looms over the plains north of Keetmanshoop.
Fish River Canyon – a gorge 161 m long, up to 27 km wide and almost 550 m deep and the hot spring resort of Ai-Ais are popular attractions.
The Kokerboom, an aloe capable of surviving years of drought, and the Quiver Tree Forest, a protected area 23 km north-east of Keetmanshoop, are found here. Although agriculture (dominated by livestock production) provides the livelihood for about 70% of Namibia’s population, mining provides the backbone of the economy.
Diamonds, gold, silver, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, magnesium, cadmium and other base metals are all produced. Developing rapidly since independence, tourism is currently the country’s third most important foreign exchange earner.
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