10 things I wish I knew before going to Namibia

Aytan Akhundova06 February 20211511 views9 min. read
10 things I wish I knew before going to Namibia
Namibia, Spitzkoppe lunar landscapes, incredible wildlife in Etosha, deep canyon valley of the fish river, the endless starry sky, scorching African sunsets, friendly locals and seriously delicious food. All this and much more you will find in Namibia!

So, where is Namibia located?

globe For many, the mere mention of Namibia is met with the answer " where is Namibia?". We understand that Africa is a huge continent that, unfortunately, is still somewhat ignored by the international community. Namibia on the map: It is bordered to the south by South Africa, to the north by Angola, to the east by Botswana, and to Zambia's northeast. Namibia on the map thanks to its mostly arid climate, the spectacular landscape resembles Mars, with vast expanses of rocky Namibia mountains and canyons, vast orange and white sand dunes, and empty savannas, while the rugged Atlantic Ocean coast is one of the most treacherous in the world.

1. The capital of Namibia - Windhoek

sunset over windhoek Most travelers arrive in Windhoek and rush straight to Windhoek almost immediately, and frankly, we understand why. If you've been on the road for a while, the capital of Namibia is a good place to stop, relax, and stock up on all your supplies before getting on the Namibia Highway to your next destination. If you are spending time in Namibia, Windhoek, we recommend that you visit the following places: - Christuskirche (Church of Christ) - Parliamentary Gardens - The handicraft market of the old Breweries - Visit one of the pubs (this is still a small Germany)

2. Namibia, interesting facts

skeleton coast Namibia is like nothing else on earth; it is a place where you will feel incredibly small in the size of the world around you and in complete awe of the best achievements of Mother Nature. Driving through the Namib Desert, the dead mountains and sand dunes surrounding us, we have never felt more insignificant without seeing a single life form for many hours. And this is the attraction of Namibia. With the rough Atlantic Ocean on one side, and the world's oldest desert on the other, Namibia is a very rugged destination. It is home to natural wonders such as the deep Fish River Canyon, the towering sand dunes of Sosusvlei and Swakopmund, the wildlife mecca of Etosha National Park, the glorious Spitzkoppe Mountains, a rich aboriginal and colonial history, and a thriving adventure scene. Namibia is also an ideal country to experience the trials and tribulations of Africa for the first time. It's safe (mostly), the official language of Namibia is English, the cost of travel is affordable, it has the big five, and its unique scenery is some of the most spectacular we've ever seen. So, suppose you are after one of the great adventures of the journey. In that case, you want to see the "Big Five" or get an adrenaline rush in epic proportions, Namibia, interesting facts about which are like nothing else, is definitely worth your attention!

3. The best time to visit Namibia

etosha national park Do you know the when is the best time to visit Namibia? Well, we strongly recommend visiting Namibia during the driest months of the year - around June, July and August. During this period, clear sunny days with cooler temperatures (sometimes with frost) are expected, especially at night. The dry season is also the best time to watch games, especially in Etosha National Park, as the animals concentrate around the scarce water sources. During this period, there is also less chance of contracting malaria, especially in northern areas such as the Caprivi strip, which should be avoided during the wet season in January and February. If you want to experience a completely different experience, Namibia weather, which from November to April can make some areas of the country green and sometimes bring floods to the desert thanks to the summer rains. Travel Advice to Namibia: Visit Namibia in June, July or August to get the best weather conditions and experience the wildlife.

4. Travel around Namibia slowly

sunset at damarland Traveling in Namibia is truly unlike any other trip on earth. Known as the land of endless horizons, the vast distances and epic landscapes of this country will leave you feeling both insanely small and insignificant, as well as carefree and in absolute awe at every turn. It's epic in every way, and a visit here is well worth it. It is little known that Namibia ranks second in the world in terms of Namibia population density after Mongolia, with a population of only 2.2 million. It is immensely vast, but at the same time completely empty. However, isolation has its advantages; we find Namibia an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and adopt a more relaxed lifestyle. Take full advantage of the vastness and spend at least two weeks exploring the country. If you have time - a month. This way, you don't have to rush from place to place and spend days in the car just to check the boxes. You won't regret it, and to be honest, the longer you explore Namibia, the less likely you are to want to leave.

5. Is it safe to travel to Namibia?

namibian children Undoubtedly, "is it safe to travel to Namibia" is the question most often asked about the country's time. In general, the Namibia people are incredibly friendly, the country's infrastructure is good, and the level of corruption here is much lower than in neighboring countries. It is, in the vast majority of cases, a peaceful and hospitable country. However, there are still problems associated with both poverty and gang violence, which leads to an increase in personal and petty crime. When it comes to traveling in Namibia and security, take the usual precautions you would take anywhere, such as never leaving valuables or bags unattended in the car, and be careful of those around you at ATMs. In some areas, we recommend that you do not wander alone or catch a taxi late at night (especially after 9 pm), as there have been reports of armed robberies and the theft of tourists' backpacks. As always, take these warnings personally, and instead of letting them sway you from visiting, just keep these safety tips in mind in Namibia. It is also very important to purchase travel insurance before traveling to Namibia.

6. Namibia was inhabited by shrubs for millennia, then colonized in 1884

san bushmen family Until the 19th century, Namibia was inhabited for thousands of years by the rich and peaceful cultures of the distinctive San, Damara, Herero and Nama Bushmen. The most famous of these groups, the San Bushmen, is also considered the oldest indigenous inhabitants of the region (Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa), living as a nomadic hunter-gatherer. Then, as in many other African nations (and to the surprise of the local indigenous Namibia population), Europeans arrived in the 19th century. Although Namibia was technically British territory, German colonists landed on the coastline at Valvis Bay in the 1880s and quickly took over the territory known to Germany as "South-West Africa" (actually, Prussia at the time). This occupation has made Namibia a completely unique country in the area; most of Namibia architecture is German. There is a German newspaper, and most of the population speaks German as one of their main languages. However, like most colonial empires in Africa, brutality was imposed on the indigenous population. From 1904 to 1907, during the so-called Herero Rebellion, the local Herero and Namaqua tribes took up arms against the colonialists, leading to what has been called "the first genocide of the twentieth century". German government officials ordered the extermination of the Natives, and wiped out half of the Namak population, while 80% of the Herero population was wiped out. In many ways, this was a harbinger of the years of apartheid that dominated the region in the 20th century.

7. Apartheid also existed in Namibia

group of tribal women Although today apartheid is most often associated with South Africa, it is important to understand that apartheid also existed in Namibia - which is why, as in South Africa, the social divide is still evident today. In the 1940s, South-West Africa became the de facto "fifth province" of South Africa and therefore fell under their terrible apartheid regime. Like South Africa, black and colored neighbourhoods were demolished, the population was separated from each other, and only in 1990 was independence gained and the united nation of Namibia formed.

8. Namibia currency

namibia dollars Namibia, along with South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, is part of the common currency area. Thus, the Namibian dollar is at 1:1 parity with the South African Rand. The South African Rand is widespread in Namibia, which is certainly convenient if you have a shift leftover than travelling in South Africa. While we're talking about Namibia currency, credit cards are available almost everywhere (we paid for the room with a credit card in the middle of the Namibia desert). However, just in case, bring an amount of cash with you.

9. Namibia isn't that cheap

tourists climb up the dune If you are travelling to Namibia on a budget, then it is worth nothing to travel to Namibia as cheap as you might think at first. In some cases, we find Namibia an affordable travel destination. Basic necessities such as food and drinks were inexpensive, and we found that living in cities and towns was also quite cheap. The entrance to many national parks is also very convenient. However, as you work your way into the Namibia desert, prices skyrocket. We recommend thrifty cities, using temporary housing services (check Hostelworld for the best budget accommodation options) or Airbnb. We found that when visiting Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon, or Etosha, Booking.com it has the best deals, so we recommend booking your accommodation through them. Alternatively, stay at many campsites if you have camping equipment. If you plan to drive on your own, be warned that gasoline prices are expensive

10. Namibia attractions

fish river In Namibia, you can see a huge number of tourist attractions. It can be huge and the distances can be long, but there is an awful lot to see in Namibia. Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Kolmanskop are places to visit in the south, while the unique and wild coastlines of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and the Skeleton Coast of Namibia are simply not to be missed. Don't forget Etosha National Park, which has some of Africa's best wildlife viewing opportunities, as well as the epic, otherworldly scenery of Spitzkopp. And we haven't even mentioned the abundant plains of the Caprivi strip - one of the most unspoilt safaris in Africa!

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