Namibia is a former German colony, which has been an independent republic since 1990.
It is a vast country- about 3 times the size of the UK, with a population of just over 2 million. Its core exports are diamonds, gold, copper, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, processed fish and cattle. Flying into Windhoek, the capital, we will be spending most of our time in the desert away from civilisation- though do pass near the indigenous Himba territory and past some fascinating rock art left over the landscape thousands of years ago.
There is plenty of further information Namibia out there online- and for those of you keen to find out a little bit more about Nambia before you go, here are some reading suggestions from the Namibian Tourist Board:
- Skeleton Coast by Amy Schoeman
Once an area feared and shunned because of its treacherous coastline, Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is now prized as a place of solitude, beauty and tranquility. In the early 1980s, Amy Schoeman took a deep and penetrating look into the strange and elusive visual qualities of this remote and dynamic desert wilderness. Skeleton Coast will delight visitors intrigued by the history and mystique of Namibia’s coastline.
- An Arid Eden by Garth Owen-Smith
Garth Owen-Smith is has been regarded as a ‘conservationist extraordinaire’ and ‘the man who saved Kaokoland, home to Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants’. He is also a gifted writer with a highly unusual and gripping story to tell of his forty years living in the field in Namibia’s Kaokoland. An Arid Eden introduces a vivid cast of characters from Namibia’s diverse cultures – including the Herero, Himba, and Damara. Through his trials and tribulations, Owen-Smith uncovers what can be considered a blueprint for successful conservation in Africa. It is a tremendous read for wildlife enthusiasts and anyone interested in conservation.
- The Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin
In 1935 Henno Martin left Germany with his friend and colleague, Hermann Korn, for geological research in then South-West-Africa. In 1940, facing internment by the South African government, Martin and Korn decided to move into the desert and wait out the war, where they lived for two and a half years. The Sheltering Desert describes the intense physical and mental hardship they endured, the challenge to survive in the vastness of the Namib Desert, and their gradual adaptation to the Bushman lifestyle. This is a must read for anyone considering a hiking adventure in Namibia.
- An Elephant’s Life by Caitlin O’Connell
This unique and intimate immersion into the life of the African elephant blends stunning photography with a deep and passionate understanding of one of Namibia’s most majestic creatures. Elephant Life up-close and personal look at elephant society, narrated by Caitilin O’Connell, a world-renowned field biologist who has been researching and photographing elephants in their natural habitat for two decades. A must read for visitors wanted to gain a better understanding into one of Namibia’s most fascinating animals.
- A History of Namibia by Marion Wallace
Marion Wallace’s A History of Namibia is highly praised by academics and historians who specialize in African history. This book offers visitors a more indepth look into Namibia’s history than those found in a typical guide book, begining with the first human footsteps by ancient peoples, years of colonization by European powers, and the creation of a new nation. Visitors to Namibia will quickly appreciate this book’s ability to provide context to this rich and culturally diverse nation.