Journeying through Namibia will take you through a variety of ecosystems and let you discover their inhabitants. The Namib Desert covers a large part of the country. But in a country twice the size of Germany, there is still enough place for other natural highlights!
Namibia is bordered by Angola, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and the Atlantic to the west. The Namib Desert runs along the coast from South Africa to Angola. The south and north of the Namib Desert are sandy and gravel plains. However, the fine sands of the central section are covered by dunes. The most famous sand dunes are in the vicinity of Sossusvlei. The inland Great Escarpment borders the Namib Desert. This region is dominated by rock formations and rugged mountain chains, and forms a natural transition between the Namib Desert and the Central Highlands. These cover the majority of Namibia and are covered by shrub savannah. The central Erongo region contains Brandberg, Namibia’s highest peak at over 2,500 m. The Central Highlands are bordered by part of the Kalahari Desert, known for its red dunes, and the Kavango-Caprivi region. This wetland in the north-east of Namibia stands in contrast to the rest of the country, which is dry.
The oldest areas of Namibia consist of two landmasses Kongo-Kraton and Kalahari-Kraton which were originally separated by the Damara sea. Over Millions of year these two areas moved towards each other. When they collided they created the Damara Mountains. Nowadays parts of these mountains can be also found in Khomas highlands as well as in the Naukluft Mountains. Another important event regarding the origin of landscapes was the separation of African from South America. Before both Africa and South America were parts of the super-continent called Gondwana. The separation of both continents lead to a lifting of the flanking bench and the development of relief became more dynamic. The Namib Desert and the central party of the country were affected by strong erosions and weathering.
In the Namib Desert only adaptive animals like the desert beetle can survive the high temperatures and dry environment. The desert beetle for instance can use the air humidity (even if it is very low) to cover his water demand. On the coast there are several colonies of seals. In the rest of the country typical African animals like elephants, rhinos or antelopes can be observed. In the northern part of Kavango-Caprivi wild crocodiles can be found.
Namibia is located in the subtropical-arid climate zone. The temperatures are rather high and the air is dry. Depending on the place and season temperatures can vary strongly. In the western parts rainfalls are pretty rare and temperatures can rise up to 40°C. In winter temperatures can fall below the freezing point at night. The climate on the foggy coastal areas is determined by the Benguela stream and strong south-west winds and thus relatively cold. The central highlands have strong rainfalls and high temperatures in summer and mild temperatures in winter. There are around 300 days of sunlight per year! However, spontaneous rainfalls and thunderstorms during the African summer months (December to April) are no rarity. During the winter month (April to September) temperatures are more comfortable though.
In Namibia there is no daylight saving time.
The currency in Namibia is Namibian Dollar. For the current exchange rate please visit www.oanda.com
All units accord to the metric system.
In Namibia the standard voltage is 220/240 Volt at a frequency of 50 Hertz. Before your departure you should check if you need any adapter.
Long distance busses connect all larger cities. Besides that there is a railway network, so that you can reach almost every city easily by train (but consider that the trains are relatively slow!). In order to see as many places as possible in the country you should get a rental car. The road system is highly developed, but some parts of the street might not be paved though. To rent a car in Namibia an international driving license or a national driving license in English language is required. Since Namibia is sparsely inhabited there are not many petrol stations. Do not forget to refuel at every petrol station you pass and better fill some petrol in a can as a backup.
Along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean there are hundreds of old wrecks, half-sunken into the sand. This place is called Skeleton coast. In this area you find the Cape Cross Seal Reserve where you can observe plenty of wild seals.
This place is characterized by a unique mountainous landscape and a large number of rare animals such as black rhinos, whose populations are recovering due to different protection programs. In addition to a wildlife tour you can also visit the “Spitzkoppe Mountain” where you can find historical cave painting. Can you find the “white elephant”?
This place is home to the famous “big five” and the Dik Dik antelope which weighs only 5 kg. One of the most important reasons why to visit Etosha National Park is the stable populations of black rhinos. Besides that the park has got the highest density of wild animals in Namibia. In the center of the park there is a large salt pan which serves as water source for many animals.
Due to its lush vegetation this region forms a beautiful contrast to Namibia's generally arid landscapes. The East of this region is similar to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the rest of the area is covered by lush forests. Here you can observe antelopes, hippos and crocodiles.