Desert & Landscapes
Having the world's oldest desert, the highest sand dunes, and one of the most notorious coasts to shippers (the 'Skeleton Coast'), Namibia is one of the world's newest independent republics. Previously known as South West Africa, Namibia was a German protectorate up until World War 1, when it came under the administration of South Africa. The German heritage is still evident in the architecture and place names (eg. Luderitz, Swakopmund) and in the dress of the Herrero tribe, who still copy the dress of the 19th century German missionary wives. The country has large stocks of diamonds, copper, uranium, tin, silver and other minerals, and these, plus the more traditional stock raising and fishing underpin the economy.
The largely desert-like landscape offers some stunning scenery: The Fish River Canyon in the south, Etosha National Park in the north and the Fish River Canyon. Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world (161 kilometres in length, 27 kilometres wide, with a drop from the rim of over 500 meters). The sightings from the many viewpoints are spectacular. The Fish River itself does not flow every year but when it does, it appears suddenly and with force. During the winter months it is reduced to a few pools. There is a hiking trail along the bottom – some 86 kilometres long, it takes about 5 days to complete and ends in Ai-Ais (that is, hot springs) - but it is only accessible at certain times of the year.
Best time to visit Namibia
Namibia can visited all year round. Most of the tourists will visit this country during the European summer holidays, which is from July until September. One of the most popular places to go is Etosha National Park. The best period to visit this park is from May till September. This is known as the dry season of Namibia. Since there it’s barely raining during this period, animals will gather around the waterholes and can therefore be easier spotted. Despite the fact that Namibia mainly consist of desert, the country still has its seasons. In the desert itself there is barely to no rain throughout the year. The months November until March are known as the rainy season. So, from time to time there will be some rainfall, especially in the eastern part of Namibia.
Namibia is also loved for all the birds that can be spotted. The best time to spot a lot of different birds is during the summer, which is from December till March. However, be prepared for very hot and humid weather. During these summer months the temperature will be, on average, around the 31 degrees celcius, but this can increase untill about 40 degrees. During the winter (June until September) it will be around 21 degrees during the day, but during the nights, however, temperatures can drop till 0-5 degrees.