The Caprivi Strip <ul><li>The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia, about 400 kilometers long . Germany exchanged the area - together with Helgoland - with the United Kingdom for Zanzibar in 1890 . It was named after the German chancellor of the time, Graf von Caprivi, who signed the contract with the British . </li></ul><ul><li>The tarred Caprivi Highway was built to replace the corrugated dirt road, which was hardly passable during the rainy season . Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park in Botswana, both popular tourist destinations in the north, are now easily accessible . </li></ul><ul><li>The Caprivi strip is located in the tropical climate/area of Namibia. It receives the highest rainfall during the raining season in December – March. Various rivers run through the Caprivi strip. This particular western area has the highest humidity.. Making the people in it very vulnerable to malaria. </li></ul>Picture: The Sunset on the Caprivi strip
Etosha national park <ul><li>Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa's finest and most important Game Reserves. Etosha Game park was declared a National Park in 1907 and covering an area of 22 270 square km, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish. The Etosha Park is one of the first places on any itinerary designed for a holiday in Namibia. </li></ul><ul><li>Etosha, meaning "Great White Place", is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1000 million years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up. The pan now is a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds. </li></ul>Picture: Two white rhinos at the watering hole at one of the lodges in Etosha.
Sossusvlei The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes . Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 metres, the highest in the world . Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in this area, does the vlei fill with water . As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time . Picture: Footprints in the sand of someone walking up the sand dune. <ul><li>Unlike in many other countries, The Namibian government and nature conservation program have declared a law against driving on any sand dunes of the Namib desert or in Namibia. However there are certain allocated spots for driving in the dunes and it has to be done with a tour company. </li></ul>
This is the most photographed sand dune in the whole world. This is the vlei, meaning pan of dried out water.
Swakopmund <ul><li>Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbor during the German colonial era even though the water at the coast is actually too shallow and the bay is unprotected . But Lüderitz was too far away and the seaport of Walvis Bay was in British possession in those days . </li></ul><ul><li>Swakopmund is a popular seaside resort with a slightly nostalgic atmosphere, many tourist attractions and a pleasant climate in summer . Especially around Christmas the town is full of people from Windhoek and accommodation is extremely hard to find . </li></ul><ul><li>Driving along the stunning dune - lined coastline is particularly attractive, whether you go south to Walvis Bay ( 30 km ) or to the National West Coast Recreation Area in the north . The road ( slippery when there is fog ) goes right along the beach and leads to the Ugab rivermouth and further to the fishermen's resort of Henties Bay and Cape Cross on the way . North of the Ugab, the Skeleton Coast National Park starts, for which a permit is required . Interesting is also the Welwitschia Drive that leads to the Moon Landscape at the Swakop Riviera and into the northern part of the Namib Naukluft Park. </li></ul>Picture: the recently renovated pier of Swakopmund.
Walvis bay Picture: Flamingoes in a lagoon just outside Walvis Bay <ul><li>Although Walvis Bay had already been discovered by Diaz as early as 1487, it was only founded in 1793 by the Cape Dutch . Two years later it was annexed by the British . In 1910, Walvis Bay became - like the entire Cape Colony - part of the South African Union . After Namibia's independence, the only deep sea harbor on the Namibian coast remained under South African rule and only in 1994, did the former South African president F . W . de Klerk agree to return it to Namibia . </li></ul><ul><li>Today, Walvis Bay has about 50 000 citizens and seems to be quite a busy town. Most people are employed at the modern harbor terminal and in the booming fish industry. Another production branch is the processing of sea salt. The salt fields of Walvis Bay cover an area of 3500 hectares and annually produce 400 000 tons of high quality salt. </li></ul><ul><li>Also worth seeing in Walvis Bay, is the local museum in the Civic Centre, the Birdlife Information Centre and the wooden Rhenish mission church established in 1880. "Dune 7" at the outskirts of town is the highest sand dune in the area and once you have climbed to the top, you can enjoy a stunning view. The town has numerous good restaurants, cafes and bars as well as comfortable hotels and guest houses on offer. A unique experience is the adventurous 48 km drive to Sandwich Harbor, a freshwater lagoon surrounded by dunes, and a favorite amongst anglers and ornithologists </li></ul>
Windhoek <ul><li>With 200 000 inhabitants, Namibia's capital of Windhoek is the biggest city in the country. The attractive town lies at an altitude of 1650 metres in a beautiful valley bordered by the Eros Mountains in the north and the Auas mountains in the south. Towards the west, stretches the Khomas Highland to the Namib and the coast. Windhoek combines the modern city architectural style with that of the German colonial era. The city is - for an African town - still very clean and a bit provincial, although the atmosphere does have cosmopolitan flare as well. The influence of the German language and culture is, in many ways, still present. There are German restaurants where one can have traditional German dishes, bread and beer, and even celebrate the German carnival. Although English is the official language, one can use German just about anywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>The city centre of Windhoek lies on both sides of the Independence Avenue, and can be explored by foot. The busy main road ( formerly known as the "Kaiserstrasse") starts at the Ausspannplatz in the south and stretches up to the former township Katutura in the north. Worth a visit are the "Tintenpalast" ("Ink Palace"), which houses Namibia's parliament, the Christuskirche (Christ Church) of the Lutheran parish from the year 1896, the "Reiterdenkmal" from 1912 and the "Alte Feste" (Old Fort); former headquarters of the Schutztruppe and today, Namibia's National Museum. Since 1997, the historical buildings of Windhoek are overshadowed by the monumental Supreme Court building. </li></ul>Picture: Windhoek. The capital city.
The Namibian economy rests on four pillars : mining, agriculture, fishery and tourism . Mining generates about one third of the gross domestic product and the biggest portion of the income in foreign currency . Namibia is very rich in natural resources with some minerals occurring exclusively under Namibian soil . Out of a great variety of minerals, mainly diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, zinc, copper, lead, tin, marble and granite as well as semi - precious stones are being mined . Almost half of the revenue brought in from the export of mining products comes from diamonds alone . The company Namdeb - which partially belongs to the government as well as the South African De Beers group - runs big mining operations in Oranjemund and in Elizabeth Bay near Lüderitz and produces over a million carats of diamonds annually . The second-most important economic sector is agriculture. It only generates a small part of the GDP, but more than half of all the jobs are to be found in agriculture: characterised by poor wages. The approximate 4000 farms belong mostly to white farmers who farm cattle and sheep extensively and export the meat to South Africa. Some farms are successfully producing ostrich meat, mainly for export. Due to the arid conditions in most parts of the country, crop-farming is found mainly in the Otavi/Tsumeb region, near Mariental at the Hardap Dam and - as subsistence farming - in the former Ovamboland region around Oshakati, where mainly millet and maize are being cultivated. The tourism sector also registers a considerable growth rate since the Namibian independence . The annual number of visitors is nearing the one - million mark . A third of the visitors come from South Africa . The Germans hold the second place, followed by the British, Italians and French . Part of the state revenue from tourism flows into nature conservation . Economy