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Namibia

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Namibia

Namibia, which is also known as the Republic of Namibia, is an African nation located in the southeastern region of the continent. It has a population of over 2.5 million people. The capital city of Namibia is Windhoek. Although English is the country’s official language, they also have many recognized languages including Afrikaans and German. The nation had previously been under German control, followed by South Africa. It wasn’t until the year 1990 that Namibia finally became its own independent nation. Its current government is a multi-party parliamentary democracy.

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The country of Namibia is a great travel destination for adventure-seekers who are looking to experience the magic of Africa and what makes it so special. The country is home to amazing wildlife and stunning landscapes. In addition, there is a rich culture to discover in Namibia’s native people. Namibia’s land features the Skeleton Coast, which got its name because of many shipwrecks there, as well as the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei. Namibia’s borders include neighbors like South Africa, Botswana, and Angola.

Because Namibia is a larger country with a less-dense population, the ideal method of exploring Namibia is by renting a car. If you are visiting Namibia, when to go is important as well, since some seasons have better weather and deals for travelers. When driving around the country, some of the best travel tips you will receive are to always fill up your tank when you have the opportunity and to always carry extra cash.  Gas stations can be few and far between, and most places usually do not accept credit cards. If you are not entering Namibia by car, the easiest way to arrive in the country is by flying to Hosea Kutako International Airport. This is located outside of Windhoek, Namibia’s capital and its largest city. 

The currency of the country is the Namibian Dollar, 10 of which is worth about 0.74 US dollars, although you can often also pay for things using South African Rand.  English is the official language of the country, also the vast majority of people speak a native African language such as Oshiwambo at home. Namibia’s sparse population is mainly due to the country’s large Namib desert. And since Namibia has a large desert landscape, it’s also a very hot country to visit, which is something to consider for tourists. The overall scarcity of water makes Namibia very dependent upon groundwater for sustainability. The country has been mindful enough of how important resources are that they also include conservation and the protection of natural resources as a critical component of their country’s constitution.

Accommodations in Namibia can be an amazing experience for smart travelers. The country offers safari camps for tourists, which are great for those who want to be among nature as much as possible. For those travelers more interested in the paranormal – or even just great photography – you can visit the Kolmanskop area. Although Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and largest city, other significant cities to explore are Swakopmund, Luderitz, Outjo, and Opuwo.

Swakopmund is a town north of the city of Walvis Bay.  It is a hip town to explore, and a good place to resupply before a long drive out into the bush.  Nearby, there is also the opportunity to go sandboarding down dunes.  Luderitz is an old German colonial town with some interesting historical architecture.  It is also the access point to the famous ghost town of Kolmanskop, an abandoned mining village out in the desert.  Further east is the Garub Plains near the town of Aus. A good travel tip is to visit this desert oasis for a chance to see wild horses.

The section of the Namib desert north of Swakopmund is known as the Skeleton Coast, which is famous for its many shipwrecks and for the Cape Cross seal colony. In the southern coastal desert is the Sossusvlei salt pan, surrounded by hundreds of miles of giant red sand dunes.  The most famous of these dunes is Dune 45, on the way to Sossusvlei. An excellent recommendation is to continue on from Sossusvlei to the salt pans Hidden Vlei and Dead Vlei.  Dead Vlei is filled will dead trees, which provide excellent opportunities for photography. Some other Namibian geological wonders include Mount Spitzkoppe, which sticks up above its surroundings like the Matterhorn; Fish River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world; and Brandberg Mountain, the tallest in the country and home to the ancient White Lady rock painting. Rock paintings can also be found at Twyfelfontein, which were created by the San people, one of Namibia’s main native ethnic groups.

Wildlife can be encountered around much of Namibia, but some of the country’s best wildlife spotting opportunities can be found in Etosha National Park, which is accessible via Outjo. This is a great place to spot elephants, rhinos, lions, jackals, impalas, wildebeest, leopards, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, ostriches, and other African fauna.  The park surrounds a large salt flat, where animals come to drink. To the west of Etosha is the Kunene Region. The hub for this remote region is Opuwo. Some smart travel advice for those looking to learn more about native Namibian culture is to visit the Kunene Region and get to know the Himba people. The area is also the location of Epupa Falls, an incredible waterfall near the Angolan border. If you are looking for some wildlife, nature and exciting adventure, consider visiting the country of Namibia on your next trip abroad.

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

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1. Eligibility: The Tiplr’s Best Travel Tip Award (the “Contest”) is open to all the users of the digital platform Tiplr who are 21 years of age or older as of time of entry. Employees, officers, and directors of Tiplr, Inc., and any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliated companies, dealers, sales representatives, licensees, service agencies, independent contractors, advertising and promotion agencies, web hosting and service and fulfillment providers (all of the foregoing, collectively, “Contest Entities”), and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses) and those living in the same household of each (whether legally related or not), are ineligible to enter or win the Contest. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning the prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. Sponsor reserves the right to verify the eligibility of the Grand Prize winner.

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