Namibia is a starkly beautiful land created on a grand sweeping scale over millennia. This country has some of the most imposing, impressive and other-worldly landscapes to be found anywhere.
The famed Sossusvlei Dunes, a massive sea of shifting red sand, has created some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. Fish River Canyon is said to be the second largest canyon in the world. The coast at Cape Cross is the site of the largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere. The Namib is the earth’s oldest desert. In its glorious stubbornness, life persists even in this harsh realm, which is home to 70 reptile species, including the barking gecko as well as golden mole, jackal and sidewinder. Etosha Pan National Park also manages to support animals and rare plants, including the rare desert elephant. Captivating indigenous groups, such as the San Bushmen of the Kalahari and the Himba of the far north, strive to maintain their traditional customs in the face of today’s modern pressures. On the Atlantic seashore are the infamous relics of the shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast and the community of Walvis Bay, which features a natural lagoon with an astounding abundance of seabirds – some 120,000 birds, including flamingos and pelicans. They are joined each year by 200,000 migratory birds. Communal conservancies in northwestern Namibia’s Damaraland are home to desert-adapted elephant, and the only free-ranging populations of lion and endangered black rhino.
Namibia stands out as the first country in Africa where the protection of the environment was enshrined in its constitution. Its conservation initiatives provide win-win results for all, including for some 230,000 local Namibians by generating income and benefits to previously impoverished communities. An impressive 43% of the country is under some form of protected status. It is also the only country in the world where the entire coastline is protected. Namibia is a multi-faceted gem with dramatic landscapes, unique wildlife and hospitable people that provides a once-in-a-lifetime African experience.
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