Climb the highest sand dunes in the world. Descend to the floor of the deepest canyon in Africa. Immerse yourself in the past at one of the Africa's richest rock art sites, and watch wildlife shimmer against one of the most spectacular pans on earth. Explore the oldest, driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul.
Namibia is home to vibrant cities where people are excited about the future, while remaining deeply connected to their rich, cultural past. A stable, democratic government, infrastructure that allows guests to move confidently off the beaten path and endless horizons that beckon you to explore define this country and its people.
This is Namibia, where you are sure to find adventure, and you may just find yourself.
Namibia is truly unique, influenced by various cultures during colonization and now reborn from the shadows of Apartheid in 1990. What has emerged is a true sense of unity in diversity, the coming together of at least 11 major ethnic groups, each celebrating their past while working together toward the future. You will notice this in dress, language, art, music, sport, food and religion. There exists a wonderful collage, but first and foremost, Namibians are proud to be Namibian. And for good reason.
The history of this land can be found carved into rock paintings found to the south and in Twyfelfontein, some dating back to 26,000 B.C. A long lineage of various groups including San Bushmen, Bantu herdsmen and finally the Himba, Herero and Nama tribes among others have been making this rugged land home for thousands of years.
But, as Namibia has one of the world's most barren and inhospitable coastlines, it wasnt until the middle of the nineteenth century that explorers, ivory hunters, prospectors and missionaries began to journey into its interior. Beyond these visitors, Namibia was largely spared the attentions of European powers until the end of the 19th century when it was colonized by Germany.
The colonization period was marred by many conflicts and rebellions by the pre-colonial Namibia population until WWI when it abruptly ended upon Germany's surrender to the South African expeditionary army. In effect, this transition only traded one colonial experience for another.
In 1966 the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) launched the war for liberation for the area soon-named Namibia. The struggle for independence intensified and continued until South Africa agreed in 1988 to end its Apartheid administration. After democratic elections were held in 1989, Namibia became an independent state on March 21, 1990.
To date, Namibia boasts a proud record of uninterrupted peace and stability for all to enjoy.
Conservation is a cornerstone of the Namibian experience.
Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution, and the government has reinforced this by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies.
Today, over 43% of Namibia's surface area is under conservation management. This includes national parks and reserves, communal and commercial conservancies, community forests, and private nature reserves.
After Independence in 1990, visionary conservationists in the field and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism enacted policy changes that allowed rural communities to benefit from wildlife by forming conservancies. In 1998, the first four conservancies were registered.
Today, more than 70 registered conservancies embrace one in four rural Namibians. A sense of ownership over wildlife and other resources is encouraging people to use their resources sustainably. Wildlife is now embraced as a complimentary land use method to agriculture and livestock herding.
People are living with wildlife, including predators and large mammals, and are managing their natural resources wisely. They are also reaping the benefits. In 2009, community-based natural resource management generated over N$ 42 million in income to rural Namibians. All the while, the program is facilitating a remarkable recovery of wildlife.
Namibia now boasts the largest free-roaming population of black rhinos and cheetahs in the world and is the only country with an expanding population of free-roaming lions. Namibia's elephant population more than doubled between 1995 and 2008 from 7,500 to over 16,000 individuals. This remarkable turnaround has led some to call Namibia's conservation efforts the greatest African wildlife recovery story over told.
Whether you set out on your own self-drive safari or join a group of like-minded travelers, Namibia is Africa's best-kept safari destination secret. In Namibia, you have the opportunity to venture into the unknown and yet be completely safe. Visitors can take in the beautiful wildlife and unique landscapes at their own pace, on their own terms. Like nowhere else in Africa, Namibia provides the visitor the opportunity to escape stress, experience peace and freedom, sit and admire the breathtaking landscapes and reflect. From game-packed parks to the silence and spectacle of the desert, this incredible country, its landscapes, people and wildlife are waiting.
Guests embark on their safaris with a feeling of excitement and confidence. Namibia has a stable, democratic government and the country is renowned for the quality of its infrastructure which includes a superb road network, broad cell phone coverage, accommodation and camping choices for every interest and budget and people who are amongst the most friendly and helpful in the world.
Namibia is a land of stark contrasts, where towering dunes meet a tempestuous coastline. As it should be in a land of such contrasts, Namibia offers an endless variety of safari options. Experience the haunting silence of the Kalahari Desert and spot one of 430 bird species in the Caprivi region, search for desert elephants in Damaraland and interact with the astonishing Himba community in the remote Kaokoveld.
Here travelers have the opportunity to see Africa's Big 5 and numerous endemic species against the backdrop of the country's unique landscape. Namibia is the last place on earth where black rhino roam free across communal land, and is one of two countries in the world that are home to the desert-dwelling elephant. The country holds the largest free-roaming population of cheetahs in the world, with one-quarter of the world's cheetah population stalking the arid plains. Animals such as gemsbok (Oryx), springbok, bat eared fox, ostrich and black backed jackal are all seen on a regular basis making a Namibia safari different than any other wildlife country in Africa.
A wide variety of safaris can be organized by tour operators, ranging from self-drives, fly-ins, guided overland tours, camel safaris, horseback riding safaris, walking safaris, and privately guided safaris, just to name a few.