In south-western Africa lies a land of compelling fascination – a land for those who worship at the shrine of Africa at its most resplendent, but also at its most unconventional. This land is Namibia.
Described by the bushmen as the “Soul of the World”, Namibia is rugged, natural, soulful and liberating. While Mother Nature has been fierce and unforgiving, she has also been bountiful.
As with the rest of Africa, Namibia enjoys abundant wildlife. The Etosha National Park has over 114 mammal species, several of which are rare and endangered, while others are endemic to north-western Namibia and south-western Angola only. About 340 bird species occur in the park, of which a third are migratory. Namibia has large tracts of land which have been declared as National Parks or made available to the local communities. This land is all unfenced, allowing for unhindered traversing of wildlife.
Together with its diverse environments, from bushland savannah across semi-desert to the oldest desert on earth, Namibia has flora that will fascinate the avid botanist. The Succulent Karoo region is home to more than 5,000 plant species, nearly 40% of which are endemic and 18% threatened. It has the richest succulent flora in the world, holding about one-third of the world’s approximately 10,000 succulent species.
But it is its landscapes that Namibia is best known for. Few things come close to the spectacle of the red dunes and blue skies – the vegetated undulating dunes of the Kalahari Desert, contrasted against the breath-taking, star-shaped dunes of the Namib Desert; the surreal Deadvlei, with its white clay pans; and the monumental mountain ranges in Damaraland formed by the forces deep within the earth, similar to the Alps in Europe.
The sheer expanse of this country will both thrill the senses and invigorate the soul.