While most tourists in Namibia find the amazing landscape the main attraction in this land of contrasts, the variety of cultures and peoples are well worth exploring. A number of holidays and festivals are observed, most of which are religious or historic in significance, albeit not necessarily of specific current content.
Monday 9 May
- Mother’s Day
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From its turbulent colonial past, Namibia has emerged as a promising and progressive independent country with an increasingly bright future. In 2014, Namibia became the first African country to use electronic voting in its presidential elections. Namibia was the first country in Africa and one of only few in the world that incorporates environmental protection into its constitution. Yet, far from cities and shopping malls, you can still find the remains of Namibia’s ancestral culture. In the country’s north, the Ovakwanyama tribe of the Oshiwambo people have remained as traditional as the modern world allows.
The northern part of the Atlantic coast of Namibia is called the Skeleton Coast. Initially named because of the whale and seal skeletons from the former whaling industry that littered its shores, the coast is now home to several shipwrecks that fell foul of the region’s infamous ocean fog. Portuguese sailors called the area the ‘gates of hell’ and Namibia’s Bushmen refer to it as ‘the land God made in anger’.
Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein, has the largest known concentration of engravings in Africa. Over 5,000 individual figures between 2,000 and 6,000 years old have been recorded here.
Namibia is a vast country filled with captivating landscapes, beguiling wildlife and a bewildering array of natural wonders. According to scientists, Namib Desert is over 55 million years old! It has some of the highest sand dunes in the world. The highest dune in the area rises to 383 metres.
Earth’s largest (non-subglacial) underground lake is hidden beneath the Kalahari Desert in Dragon’s Breath Cave in Namibia.
Discovered in 1920 near Grootfontein, the Hoba meteorite is the world’s largest. Weighing 54,000kg, it’s thought to have fallen to Earth around 80,000 years ago.
Namibia has Africa’s largest free-roaming population of black rhinos as well as the largest cheetah population in the world. Nearly 20% of the country is protected by national parks such as Etosha. Namibia is one of the countries that has desert-adapted elephants.