Namibia is a starkly beautiful land created on a grand scale over millennia and has some of the most imposing and other-worldly landscapes to be found anywhere.
The famed Sossusvlei Dunes, a massive sea of shifting red sand, has created the tallest sand dunes in the world. Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. The Namib Desert is the earth’s oldest desert. The coast at Cape Cross is the site of the largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere. In its glorious stubbornness, life persists even in the harshest realms of the vast Namib Desert, home to 70 reptile species, including the barking gecko as well as golden mole, jackal and sidewinder. Etosha Pan National Park supports vast herds of animals and rare plants that somehow manage to thrive here.
Captivating ethnic groups, such as the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and the Himba of the far north, strive to maintain their traditional tribal customs in the face of today’s modern pressures.
On the Atlantic seashore are the infamous relics of shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast and the community of Walvis Bay, which features a natural lagoon with an astounding abundance of seabirds. Some 120,000 birds, including flamingos and pelicans, were recently counted. They are joined each year by 200,000 migratory birds.
Namibia stands out as the first country in Africa where the protection of the environment has been enshrined in its constitution. Some 43% of the country is under some form of protective status; and it is the only country in the world where the entire coastline is protected. Communal conservancies in northwestern Namibia’s Damaraland are home to desert-adapted elephant, the only free ranging population of the endangered black rhino and a free ranging lion population. Namibia’s conservancy provides a win-win result for all, including some 230,000 local Namibians, and generating income and benefits to previously impoverished communities.
Namibia is a multi-faceted gem of dramatic landscapes, unique wildlife and hospitable people to provide a once-in-a-lifetime African experience.