Namibia

Time needed: 1 Week(s) to 3 Week(s)

Sharing borders with Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa; Namibia is the thirty-forth largest country in the world and spans over 825 418km². Despite its size, the harsh, contrasting nature of many areas of the country mean that it is the least densely populated country in the world and has only 2.5 people per square kilometre. The capital and most populated city in Namibia is Windhoek. Previously known as South-West Africa, Nambia gets its name from the Namib Desert which stretches for 1600km along Namibia's coastline before extending up into Angola.

The dry areas of Namibia have been inhabited by the Bushmen, Damara and Namqua people since early times and by European explorers since Diego Cão and Bartholomew Dias disembarked there in 1485 and 1486 respectively.

Namibia's landscape is made up of five distinct geographical regions; the Central Plateau, the Namib Desert, the Escarpment, the Bushveld and the Kalahari Desert. The Central Plateau runs from north to south and incorporates Windhoek as well as Nambia's highest point; the Königstein. The Namib Desert is an area of immensely arid gravel plains and sand dunes and includes the Skeleton Coast and the Kaokoveld areas while the Great Escarpment rises to over 2000 metres and is known for being rocky and having very poorly developed soils. Found in the north eastern section of Namibia along the Caprivi Strip and the Angolan border, the Bushveld region receives a much greater amount of water or precipitation each year, resulting in cooler temperatures and better conditions for animal and plant life. The Kalahari is probably Namibia's best known geographical feature. Spread between Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, the Kalahari is a desert with a difference, being home to areas such as the Succulent Karoo and its 5000 succulent plant species.

Despite the harsh climates, one of the biggest attractions to Namibia is the Etosha National Park where a wide range of wildlife wanders naturally, and where visitors can spend hours watching a lion stalking its prey or a baby elephant playing at a watering hole. Other highlights of a visit to Namibia include the coastal holiday town of Swakopmund, the sea of sand dunes at Sossusvlei and the magnificent views found at the world's second largest canyon; the Fish River Canyon.

Visitors to the country are advised to make sure their spare tires are functional and they are skilled at changing tires. In certain areas many of the roads are only accessible by 4X4 and are considered great fun by off-road adventure fans!