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Namibia Overview

NAMIBIA

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Namibia has the Kalahari Desert in the east and the very cold South Atlantic in west. The country is rich in resources with a spectacular natural beauty not be found anywhere else in Southern Africa. Namibia has inherited a solid modern infrastructure from its colonial and African roots, the diversity of cultures include the Herero, San, Nama, Damara, Owambo, Afrikaner, German, Asian and others. With its rugged mountains, wild seascapes and lonely deserts, Namibia is a destination not easily forgotten once experienced, you will want to return.

The Namibian economy is dominated by the mining of diamonds and uranium. Other industries include cattle and sheep herding, tourism and fishing. Although the water shortages, lack of local fuel sources and a widely scattered population are challenging for the economy, the country’s GDP is twice the African average and the population remains small and diverse. Eighty percent of food and manufactured goods are imported from South Africa.

To see the best of Namibia, attractions not to miss include Windhoek, Etosha, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, the Namib Desert Park, Skeleton Coast, Fish River Canyon and the Damaraland. The attractions are widely dispersed and are probably best seen over a two week period. The best way to see this vast area and ensure you see all these attractions, hiring a car and doing the journey yourself is a must. Alternatively you could combine some of these attractions with other African countries and fly in and out.

Namibia Quick Facts
 
Location: Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
Area: 825,418 sq km
Border countries: Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km
Population: 1.9 million
People: Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
Language: English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages: Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
Religion: Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
Independence: 21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
Head of State: President Sam Shafishuna NUJOMA
Capital: Windhoek
   
Currency: Namibian dollar (NAD); South African rand (ZAR) - Exchange Rate(link popup window)
Export Commodities: millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish
Agriculture - products: millet, sorghum, peanuts; livestock; fish
GDP growth: 3.3% (2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $7,100 (2003 est.)
 
 
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