Having seen all those dark, smiling and radiant faces on many covers of expensive
photography books, and having seen the red sand, beautiful sunsets and amazing wild life on National Geographic. It is time for you to get personal with Namibia. This beautiful and vast country has a lot to offer for adventure seekers, short term holiday makers, safari lovers and culture enthusiasts. It is said that many travelers have gone as far as tearing up plane tickets home, because they could not stand to leave Namibia.
What to see and do
Etosha National Park
The place of dry water, or Etosha is one of Africa's biggest and well known Wild Life sanctuaries. Etosha is centered around a huge, flat depression that extrends about 5000 sqkm to the far north of Namibia. The dry water refers to the parched shimmering mirage that you see in the area of semi arid savannah grassland and thorn bushes. The pan contains water a few times a year, and even then after a very good spat of rain. Etosha is abundant in animal life and thousands of flamingoes have made this park their home. Although the road is dusty with no tarmac you do not need a 4x4 to drive around, the maximum speed in the park is 60km/h. The park is open everyday from sunrise to sunset and at dawn you need to be on your way out of the park.
Fish River Canyon
Mother nature was feeling very generous when she birthed Fish River Canyon, as it is a place of boundless and indescribable beauty. It has a depth of 550m making it the 2nd largest canyon in the world and meanders along a distance of 160km through fissured koubis massif all the way down to Ai-Ais. Travelers who would like to do the Fish River Canyon trail need to know that this is only done in winter, due to flash flooding in summer and temperatures going up as high as 56 degrees Celsius. No one under the age of 12 can partake in the hike, you need a doctors certificate to do it and there needs to be more than 3 people doing the hike at any one time.
When thinking of the Namib desert one rarely pictures grey dry rocks in their mind. Most of us think of skeletal looking trees with the beautiful back ground of red sand dunes. And if we're lucky a spectacular sunset thrown in by mother Africa to make an awesome photo we can put up on our facebook pages.
But South of the Sossusvlei, the sand gradualy gives way to not a sandy, but a rocky desert. This area is mostly flat, but some elevations can be found, such as in the moon valley system. Even though Namib is a desert it forms part of a national park called called Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa!
You can also find some very unusual endemic animal and plant life in the desert. Most of the animals found have found some pretty remarkable ways of survival in the almost waterless desert. The Namib desert is an important location for the mining of tungsten, salt and diamonds.
The Kalahari, Namibia's rough south, is together with the adjoining Namib the world's oldest desert. This landscape fascinated people in all times: The meagreness, the infinite seeming distances, the tranquillity, the fragile but resistant nature, the incredible view on the stars of the southern hemisphere. The area includes a pass down into the Fish River Canyon that is accessible even for offroad vehicles. Its location between the high plains around Keetmanshoop and the dunes and diamond areas close to Lüderitz in addition makes the Vogelstrausskluft an ideal starting point to explore Namibias impressive south.
Accommodation in Vogelstrausskluft
It takes a very special shade of hair colour to not know that Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, I have occasionally been accused of having such a shade by a friend or two and a boss or two.
The biggest city in Namibia lies in a valley bordered by the Eros Mountains, in the north and the Auas Mountains in the south at an altitude of 1650m.
Namibia's' city centre can be explored by foot.A few places we suggest you visit are the Tintenpalast-Ink place, this is where parliament is, Christuskirche- Christ-Church of the Lutheran parish from 1896 or Namibia's' national museum.There are many more attraction in Windhoek and old buildings with the German influence in architecture very obvious. English is a widely spoken language, but you can also get by very well if you speak German.
Pictures courtesy of Markus Held and Bries
Backpacker Accommodation in Windhoek
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