One of the youngest democracies in the world that included
protection of environment in its constitution, country of desolate Namib
Desert, famous Etosha National park with its abundant wildlife, enormous and
magnificent Fish River Canyon, Swakopmund - small Bavarian-style German town on
the edge of Namib and cold Atlantic ocean that remains almost unchanged since
the beginning of the century, peaceful land of old traditions, ancient tribes
and modern infrastructure.
Namibia has always been a country of superlatives. Dragon's
Breath is the largest subterranean lake in the world, Hoba meteorite is the
biggest ever found, Gibeon meteorite shower is the largest ever discovered,
Namib Desert is the oldest desert and it is also the only desert in the world
that harbours elephant, lion, giraffe and rhino. Red sand dunes at Sossusvlei
are regarded as being the highest in the world.
The Namib Desert is also home to
one of the oldest living fossil plants, the Welwitschia mirabilis. Namibia has
the largest free-roaming cheetah population in the world an estimated 2 500.
And there is more. Rossing is the largest open - cast uranium mine, the coast
is the largest occurrence of rock salt and Uis is the largest known tin
People:About 50% of
the population belong to the Owambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other
ethnic groups are: Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, Bushmen 3%,
Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%
Religions: Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least,
other Christian denominations 30%), native religions 10% to 20%
Political history: In 1884 the country was proclaimed a
German protectorate and for the next almost 30 years Namibia, that time German
South West Africa, remaineda German
colony. Capitulation of Germany in the beginning of 1915 resulted in
administration of South Africa under a 1920 League of Nations mandate. After
implementation of United Nations Resolution 435 in 1989 and free and fair
elections Swapo (South West African People's Organization) came to power under
leadership of Dr. Sam Nujoma who became first president of an independent
estimate population of the country is currently 1.7 million people with an
annual growth rate approximately three percent and population density of less
than 2 people per square kilometre.
Languages: The official language of the country is English, although German and
Afrikaans are widely spoken. Indigenous languages include Bantu languages such
as Owambo, Kavango, Herero, Caprivi and Tswana, Khoisan languages spoken by the
Nama-Damara and San (Bushmen) people.
Government: The Republic of Namibia is a
multiparty democracy with fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the
country's constitution. The country is lead by the President Mr. Sam Nujoma.
Education: The literacy rate in the country is estimated at 40 percent. There
are approximately 1 450 schools and one tertiary institution, the University of
Namibia. In addition there are several teacher's and agricultural colleges,
computer and information technology training centres, training centres for
employers and employees in tourism trade.
Major towns:The capital of Namibia is
Windhoek with a population of approximately 200 000 inhabitants. Other major
centres are Rehoboth - the centre of Rehoboth Basters, Okahandja - capital of
Herero tribe, Gobabis and Otjiwarongo regarded as a centres of cattle industry,
Tsumeb - former mining town, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay at the coast,
Grootfontein, Otavi and Outjo in the north, Mariental, Maltahohe and Karasburg
in the south and Gochas, Stampriet and Aranos in the east.
Airports: There are
two international airports in Namibia, Hosea Kutako International airport
situated 42 km from Windhoek and Walvis Bay airport. All Namibia's major town
have airport or registered landing strips.
Roads: The country has a well-maintained network of surfaced and gravel roads
covering more than 40 000 km in total. Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari
highways give the country access to Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and
Railways: The railway network consists of more than 2400 km of railway lines
connecting major towns in the country. The Desert Express is the 5-star luxury
train service between Windhoek and Swakopmund. Once a year the Rovos Rail from
South Africa offers 2 600 km trip from Johannesburg to Swakopmund.
Banking: The banks in Namibia connected to major international communication
networks and offer fast and efficient transfers of funds to and from any
destination in the world. Major credit cards widely accepted. Foreign currency
exchange services offered in banks in all major towns in the country.
Currency: The national currency of Namibia is Namibian dollar (N$), divided
into 100 cents with a current rate of approximately 6.3 N$ for 1 US$. South African
Rand is also legal tender in the country and linked to Namibian dollar on 1:1
Credit card agencies in Windhoek
VISA: First National Bank of Namibia, Tel: 299 2213, fax: 226 676.
Master Card, Diners Club: Standard Bank of Namibia, Tel: 294 2143(4/5/6), fax:
American Express: Tel: 249 037, fax: 224 417.
Time zone:Summer time is two hours
ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in
April). Winter time is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (first Sunday in
April to first Sunday in September).
Health precautions:The northern,
northern-east and far northern-east areas of Namibia are prone to malaria and
visitors are advised to take prophylaxis.
What to buy: Semi-precious stones and gems, diamonds, wood carvings and Herero
Namibia has an area of 824 268 square km. Namibia is situated in Southern Africa and borders on South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Zimbabwe.
The country is divided into 13 constitutional regions: Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto (formerly Owambo), Okavango, Caprivi, Kunene (formerly Kaokoland and a part of Damaraland), Karas, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Khomas and Hardap.
Namibia has four distinct topographical regions: the Namib, a long and narrow coastal desert; central plateau running from north to south with an altitude up to 2000 m above sea level; the eastern lowlands including Kalahari Desert; the high rainfall areas of Okavango and Caprivi.
22 00 S, 17 00 E
Total: 3 824 km, border boundaries: Angola: 1 376 km, Botswana: 1 360 km, South Africa: 855 km, Zambia: 233 km.
1 572 km
The highest mountain in Namibia is the Brandberg with a height of 2 579 m above sea level with Moltkeblick (Auas range) at 2 480 m being the second highest. Other notable mountains of Namibia are: Bismarckfelsen (2 419 m), Gamsberg - Namibia's Table mountain (2 347m), Spitzkoppe (1 730 m).
Namibia has only five perennial (permanent) rivers are situated on the country's borders: Kunene, Okavango, Zambezi, and Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe rivers in the north and north-east and Orange river in the south.
In general Namibia has a dry climate with the exception of the high rainfall area in the far north east. The country is regarded as a semi-desert country where droughts are frequently occurring. The summer day temperature can reach up to 42 degrees C, while night winter temperature can reach as low as -5 degrees C. Rain in Namibia usually falls in the summer with an average rainfall figures varying from less than 50 mm along the coast to up to 700 mm in the far north-east.
The large mammal group represented by elephant, giraffe, rhino, and buffalo with endangered species such as black rhino, cheetah, wild dog, lion, kudu, waterbuck and oribi. Out of 887 bird species recorded in Southern Africa 620 have been found in Namibia.
Namibia has 14 vegetation zones including desert, semi-desert, forest savannahs woodlands, Mopani and thorn bush woodlands, dwarf shrub, camel thorn, mixed trees and shrub savannahs. The country has more than 120 tree species and more than 200 endemic plant species.
01 January New Year's Day
21 March Independence Day
21 April Good Friday
24 April Easter Monday
01 May Worker's Day
04 May Cassinga Day
25 May Africa Day
1 June Ascension Day
26 August Heroes Day
10 December Human Rights Day
11 December Public Holiday
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Family Day
Supermarkets and most food shops are open on most public holidays (except Christmas and Easter), but most restaurants and other services to be closed.