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Namibia offers silence, space and the opportunity to get away from everything. It is the second-most populous country on Earth, with only two people per square mile. It’s possible to drive endlessly under blue skies, without ever seeing another vehicle. The landscapes are so vast and unpopulated that you sometimes feel like you’re at the edge of the world. Namibia is a place where you can truly immerse yourself in wilderness areas in an overpopulated world.
Namibia, the driest country in Africa south of the Sahara is home to a wide range of animals and plants that have adapted to the harsh environment. These include the welwitschia, which can live for over 1000 years, as well as the desert elephants, which are found only in one other location on the continent.
Namibia is home to many parks and reserves that offer big game safaris. But Etosha National Park is the best. During winter months, the wildlife sightings are almost unrivaled in Africa. Tracking black rhinos and cheetah by foot are other highlights of Namibia’s wildlife.
Namibia’s unique landscapes make it stand out. Namibia has some of Africa’s most stunning natural sights, including the Namib Sand Seas, where you will find the highest dunes anywhere in the world, and the Fish River Canyon.
NamibiaOfficiallyRepublic of NamibiaInternationally, it was also known as “Internationally until 1968”.South West Africa, AfrikaansNamibieOrSuidwesafrica?CountryIt is located on the southwest coast ofAfrica. It borders the following:AngolaTo the northZambiaTo the northeastBotswanaTo the eastSouth AfricaTo the southeast and south, theAtlantic OceanTo the west. It can be arid or desert in the north, and it is also desert on the east coast. It is a stunning landscape, but it is best to view the desert, mountains and canyons than to live there.
Only three permanent rivers remain: the Kunene, the Okavango and Cubango, the Mashi and Kwando as well as the Orange and Zambezi at the northern and southern borders. Only the northern frontier is accessible, and not all of it. The late conquest of Namibia was made possible by the coastal Namib desert and treacherous reefs, shoals and cliffs of the coast (half-aptly called the “Skeleton Coast”), as well as the near deserts along Orange River and the dry Kalahari area to the east. These areas form a geographical frame around Namibia.
It is roughly rectangular at 600 by 300 to 450 mi [965 to 480 to 725 kms]. Namibia’s eastern extension (the Caprivi Strip), was created from a German misconception that accessing the Zambezi, despite the Victoria Falls, meant access to India Ocean.
Namibia gained independence on March 21, 1990 under a democratic multiparty constitution, after 106 years of South African and German rule. The capital isWindhoekGet a Britannica Premium subscription to get access to exclusive contentRegister Now
From west to east, Namibia is divided into three main topographic areas: the coast Namib desert and the Central Plateau. Partly rocky, the Namib has a central stretch of dunes. While having complex flora and fauna, it is a fragile and sparsely covered environment unsuitable for pastoral or agricultural activities. Oranjemund, in the south, and Arandis, in the middle are both home to diamonds (possibly washed from the Basotho highlands via the Orange River). The Namib, 50 to 80 miles wide over most of its length, is constricted in the north where the Kaokoveld, the western mountain scarp of the Central Plateau, abuts on the sea.
The heart of Namibia’s agricultural life is the Central Plateau. It varies in elevation from 3,200 feet to 6,500 feet (975-1,980 metres). It borders the Kunene, Okavango and Orange river valleys in the north. It is mainly savanna, scrub and, in the north, is more wooded. There are hills, mountains and ravines, including the Fish River Canyon, and salt pans (notably, the Etosha Pant). Brandberg, also known as Mount Brand (8,442 feet [2,573 metres]), is Namibia’s highest mountain and is located along the plateau’s western escarpment.
The east slopes down to Namibia, where the savanna joins the Kalahari. In the north, hardpan and rock beneath the sand, in addition to more abundant river water and rainfall, make both herding and cultivation possible.
Only the border rivers, as noted above, are permanent. The Swakop-Kuiseb rivers rise from the plateau and descend the western escarpment before dying in the Namib (except for rare flood years when they reach Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, respectively). The Fish (Vis) River rises in the Central Plateau and (seasonally) flows south to the Orange. Numerous smaller rivers also rise on the plateau, and then die downstream in the Namib desert or Kalahari desert.
Namibia’s soils range from barren sand and rock to low-quality sand-dominated to relatively fertile soils. The best soils are in the north, in the Otavi Mountains, in parts of the central and southern portions of the plateau, and in the Caprivi Strip. Agriculture is limited by water, not soil fertility. Overuse of land, both in densely populated Ovambo in the north and in commercial farming areas has led to severe erosion and lowered water tables by up to 100 feet in 20th century.
Namibia lies on the southern edge of the tropics. It has distinct seasons. The Benguela Current cools the coast, which carries with it rich and recovering fish stocks. It averages less then 2 inches (50mimetres) of rainfall per year. The Kalahari and Central Plateau have diurnal temperatures that range from more than 50 degrees Celsius (30 degrees C) on summer days to less than 20 degrees Celsius (10 degrees C) in winter. In Windhoek, on the plateau, the average temperature for December is 75 degF (24 degC), and the average maximum 88 degF (31 degC). These averages for July are 55 degrees (13°C) and 68 degrees (20°C) respectively. Humidity is normally low, and rainfall increases from about 10 inches (250 millimetres) on the southern and western parts of the plateau to about 20 inches in the north-central part and more than 24 inches on the Caprivi Strip and Otavi Mountains. Multiyear droughts and highly variable rainfall are common. Groundwater is just as important in the north as it is in the mountains. However, it is less variable than rainfall. Kalahari rainfall is not significantly different from that in Namibia’s portion. However, groundwater availability is lower than in the Karstveld or isolated artesian areas.
The https://pkdeveloper.in/na-full-form/Namib desert and the Kalahari desert are home to exotic, fragile desert plants. The plateau is dominated by scrub bush and grass, while the mountains are sparsely populated. The north is home to more trees. Aloe varieties are abundant in the Kalahari plateau and other less sandy areas.
Namibia is richly endowed with game, albeit poaching has seriously diminished it in parts of the north. In the ranching area, game such as antelopes and giraffes co-exist with sheep and cattle. The Etosha Pan in the north is a major game area and tourist attraction.
Namibia has established several parks and reserves to celebrate and protect its rich plant and animal life. These parks include Etosha National Park and Skeleton Coast Park. Namib Naukluft Park is also included. Sperrgebiet National Park is another. |Ai-|Ais and Fish River Canyon Park, along Namibia’s southern border, merged with South Africa’s Richtersveld National Park in 2003 to form the |Ai-|Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
Only 1% of the country is arable. However, almost two-thirds of it is suitable for pastoralists. Wasteland (mountain and desert) and bush or wooded savanna, plus a small forest zone, constitute the remainder.
Half of the population lives in the north. Another 15% live in the north-central commercial ranching areas, north and south Windhoek. 10% reside in the central and southern exblack homelands. The remaining 10% are located in coastal towns or inland mining communities. Over one third of all people live in urban areas. Namibia’s youth is relatively young, with around two-fifths of the population being 16-year-olds or younger. This is in contrast to other African countries.