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Namibia - Country Information

http://www.safari24.com/picts/nam_flag.jpg

Official languages

English

Capital

Windhoek

Government

Republic

 - President

Hifikepunye Pohamba

 - Prime minister

Nahas Angula

Area

824,292 km²

Population

2,031,000

http://www.safari24.com/picts/nam_emblem.jpg

- Density

2.5/km²

GDP ( PPP ) - Per capita

3.330US-$

Currency

Namibian dollar ( NAD )

Independence

from South Africa  on 21 March 1990

Time zone

UTC +1

 - Summer 

UTC +2

Calling code

+264

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa on the Atlantic coast. It shares borders with Angola , and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east, and South Africa to the south. It gained independence from South Africa in 1990 and its capital city is Windhoek. Namibia is a member state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations

History of Namibia
The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen , Damara , Namaqua , and since about the fourteenth century AD, by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion. The region was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century, when the land came under German control as South-West Africa -- apart from Walvis Bay under British control. South Africa occupied the colony during World War I and administered it as a League of Nations mandate territory until after World War II, when it unilaterally annexed the territory, albeit without international recognition.

In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration of Namibia, in accordance with a United Nations peace plan for the entire region. Independence came in 1990 , and Walvis Bay was ceded to Namibia in 1994 .

http://www.safari24.com/picts/nam_map1.jpgGeography
The Namibian landscape consists primarily of central highlands, of which the highest point is the Konigstein at 2,606 metres above sea level. The central plateau runs from north to south, bordered by the Namib Desert and its coastal plains to the west, the Orange River to the south, and the Kalahari Desert to the east.

A remarkable strip of land in the northeast, known as the Caprivi Strip is the vestige of a narrow corridor demarcated for the German Empire to access the Zambezi River.

The Namibian climate ranges from desert to subtropical, and is generally hot and dry; precipitation is sparse and erratic. The cold, north-flowing Benguela current accounts for some of the low precipitation. Besides the capital city Windhoek in the centre of the country, other important towns are the ports of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, as well as Oshakati , Grootfontein , Tsumeb and Keetmanshoop.

Economy of Namibia
The economy is very dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 20% of the GDP . Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa , and the world's fifth largest producer of uranium . Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia also produces large quantities of lead , zinc , tin , silver , and tungsten .

About half of the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture ) for its livelihood, but Namibia must import some of its food. Although per capita GDP is five times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia 's people live in pronounced poverty because of large-scale unemployment . The Namibian economy has many close links to South Africa . Agreement has been reached on the privatisation of several more enterprises in coming years, which should stimulate long-run foreign investment. However, reinvestment of environmentally derived capital has hobbled Namibian per capita income .

Tourism
Namibia generally attracts eco-tourists with the majority visiting to experience the different climates and natural geographical landscapes such as the great eastern desert and plains. There are many lodges and reserves for eco-tourists to travel to and stay over.

Politics of Namibia
The politics of Namibia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Namibia is both head of state and head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Demographics of Namibia
Namibia is among the three sovereign countries with the lowest population density. The majority of the Namibian population is black African - mostly of the Ovambo tribe, which forms about half of the population - and concentrated in the north of the country. In addition to the black Bantu majority, there are large groups of Khoisan (e.g. Nama and Bushmen ), who are descendants of the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. Khoisan differ significantly in appearance from both Bantu and White Africans . Blacks of other Bantu descent are descendants of refugees from Angola. There are also two smaller groups of people with mixed racial origins, called Coloureds and Basters, who together make up 8% (with the Coloureds outnumbering the Basters two to one). Whites of Dutch, German, British, French and Portuguese ancestry make up about 12% of the population - which is the second largest proportion in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa . Most of Namibian whites and nearly all those of mixed race are Afrikaans speakers and share similar origins, culture, religion and genealogy as the white and coloured populations of neighbouring South Africa . A smaller proportion of whites (around 130,000) trace their family origins directly back to German settlers and maintain German cultural and educational institutions. Nearly all Portuguese are white miners and settlers from their former colony of Angola .

Half of all Namibians speak Oshiwambo (Ovambo) as their first language, whereas the most widely understood language is Afrikaans . Among the younger generation, the most widely understood language is English . Both Afrikaans and English are used primarily as a second language reserved for public sphere communication, but small first language groups exist throughout the country. While the official language is English , most of the white population speaks either Afrikaans or German , both official languages until 1990 when Namibia became independent. Portuguese is spoken by blacks and whites from Angola . Christianity is the major religion, with the Lutheran Church being the largest then followed by the Roman Catholic.

 

 

 

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