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General

Namibia is a country of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine, and a feeling of unconfined space. With its unspoilt landscapes and large variety of game, Namibia is one of the larger countries in Africa, and draws an increasing number of visitors from various parts of the globe.

A sense of freedom is generated by the wide horizons, the clear unpolluted skies and a population density which is among the lowest in the world. This feeling of tranquillity and stillness combines with a landscape which is singular in it's colours, full of contrasts of light and shade. In addition, the diversity of it's people creates a rich blend of cultures and traditions. The population is composed of several different ethnic groups, including the San, the Khoi-Khoi, the Herero, and the Ovambo as well as the small European population, largely Germans and Afrikaners.

Windhoek

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital city and lies in the heart of the central highlands in an airy basin surrounded by rolling mountains. It has a combination of innovative modern constructions and old German colonial buildings. As capital cities go, this is one of the safest and most relaxed in Southern Africa and a perfect place to start or finish a Namibian holiday. Windhoek is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with good hotels, sophisticated shops and convivial bistros. Stately buildings range from the home of Namibia's parliament, to the newly founded Hero's Acre.

Day tours can be undertaken into Katutura, several museums in Windhoek, the National Library, National Archives, National Art Gallery and the National Botanical Gardens. It has several examples of German colonial architecture, including the Alte Feste, the Christuskirche and the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the former colonial administrative building. Gross Barmen is a hot-spring resort to the north.

Northern Region

The Etosha National Park is one of the most famous game sanctuaries in the world and remains largely free of human influence. Its 22,270 sq km (8599 sq miles) are located in the north around the Etosha Pan. This depression is 1065 m (3494 ft) above sea level, forming a huge, salty hollow which is only occasionally filled with water and surrounded by grasslands and bush. There are vast stocks of wildlife, particularly elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, springboks, kudus, gemsboks or oryxes, hyenas, jackals, leopards and cheetahs. It is open throughout the year. There are well-equipped camps with comfortable rondavel accommodation and camping facilities.

Waterberg Plateau Park, Namibia’s only mountain resort, has striking red sandstone cliffs and is home to many rare and endangered species of game. It is a popular stopover for visitors on their way to Etosha National Park. There are good facilities here for game viewing and a number of hiking trails.

Also en route to Etosha is Lake Otjikoto, 24 km (15 miles) northeast of the mining town of Tsumeb. Once fabled to be bottomless, it is now known to be 55 m (140 ft) deep and contains some rare fish. Northeast of here is Kaudom Game Reserve in Kavango, where there are two camping areas and where blue wildebeest, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and various species of antelope wander.

Further northeast, the Popa Falls Rest Camp, where crocodiles and hippos bask in the water, is a popular haven on the banks of the Okavango River. About 12 km (7 miles) to the south is Mahango Game Reserve, catering to day visitors only, with elephants, buffalo and lechwe.


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