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Close Encounters of the Wild Kind on Holiday in Namibia
Modern Windhoek with its greenery and European architecture may be the starting point for a Namibia holiday, but much of this country is arid. In the Namib Desert, the vast red sand dunes of the Sossusvleisalt and clay pan are mesmerizing in the twilight. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is an empty place. Gemsbok, a large desert-adapted antelope, will spring out of nowhere. Would you believe that even in this harsh environment some 3,500 species of plants and animals survive?
In the west, this red-orange sand dramatically meets the Atlantic Ocean. Catamarans cruise around Walvis Bay to spy on dolphins, seals, and pelicans. Barely an hour north, at Cape Cross on the Skeleton Coast, an enormous breeding colony of Cape fur seals basks in the warm sunshine.
The ancient rock art of Damaraland speaks of the long history of humans in this region. Further north is the open bush of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Watch for agile springboks prancing through the grasslands and deserts, track rhinos on foot, or go on night safaris with expert guides. Long days of driving through Etosha culminate at a bush camp near a watering hole, where you can sit back, relax, and watch a steady stream of animals coming in for a drink.
Namibia offers travelers exceptional and varied experiences, and Enchanting Travels is adept at shaping atypical itineraries. It’s the perfect fit. Start a conversation with our experts, and they will work out the most memorable Namibia tour you can imagine.
The climate in Namibia is distinguished separately within its vast landscapes – from the deserts in the west and east, to the fertile north. The best time to travel to Namibia depends where you visit and what you want to do during your trip. Follow the link for more detailed information.
Is Namibia travel safe? Our destination experts are often asked this question. Here is the good news: Namibia is one of the safest travel destinations in Africa. Here are some general safety measures to follow in Namibia to ensure that your vacation is completely stress-free.
You will notice a strong German cultural influence during your Namibia tours, from the architecture to the language, food and entertainment. Even so, the majority of Namibia are part of the Bantu ethnic group, which includes the Ovambo and Herero communities who make up modern Namibia.
Another part of the population are Khoisan, who include the San, the Nama and the Damara peoples. You can still see San and Himba peoples living very traditional, nomadic lives in more remote and wild areas of Namibia, such as Tsumkwe and Kaokoveld.
During one of our Namibiavacations you might witness the popular drumming culture and traditional dances during the country’s festivals and celebrations, accompanied by horn trumpets, gourds, marimbas, strings and flutes. German choral music also has been adopted in the country.
English is the official language of Namibia, yet the most popular language spoken is Afrikaans. Most Namibian people speak their tribal languages. German is also spoken.
The traditional hunter-gatherer people in Namibia lived off fruits, nuts and bulbs and it is understandable why as Namibia is home to some wonderfully unique and seasonal ingredients! During one of our private Namibia tours, try the Swakopmund green asparagus from September to April, the Kalahari Truffles in May/June, and Omajowa, large fleshy mushrooms that grow after the February rains. You can also enjoy Luderitz Oysters all year around.
Outdoor cooking and the Braaivleis (meat barbeque) is part of the Namibian culture! Popular meats include beef, lamb, ostrich, springbok and gemsbok, but you can also develop your taste buds for bird and crocodile meat during one of our Namibia vacations. Seafood, including Rock Lobster and the southern African fish, Kabeljou, can also be enjoyed.
Don’t forget to try:
Potjiekos: a spicy chicken/fish stew that is cooked in a cast iron, three-legged pot over coals.
Brötchen: filled crisp bread rolls, usually with cheese, meat or salad.
Landjäger: a traditional German sausage snack of smoked pork and beef.
Biltong: spiced dried meat.
Droewors/Boerewors: spicy dried sausage.
Wiener schnitzel: thinly cut veal that has been breaded and deep fried and a typical German settler dish
Harslag/Pluck: a dish made up of the heart, lungs, livers and kidneys of animals, cooked with potato and onions in a sweet and sour sauce, or with cinnamon, chillies and cloves.
Afval: tripe (offal), usually prepared as a curry.
Mopane worms: not for weak stomachs, these fried caterpillars are considered a delicacy.
Kapana: barbequed red meat, usually served with peppers, onions and sauce, sold streetside.
Top Namibia Travel Tips – Cuisine:
Taste the world-renowned Windhoek Beer! Brewed from malted barley and hops, it is manufactured in strict compliance with German Purity Law, Reinheitsegebot.
As you travel in Namibia, don’t miss Springer chocolates, a famous and delicious brand from Windhoek.
The Enchanting Travels team is happy to help you plan unique private and tailor-made Namibia tours.
Did you know that Namibia was once known as the German South West Africa? This was the name given when Namibia was colonized by Germany in the late 19th century. Germany was keen to hunt elephants that lived on the land for their ivory.
During colonization, disagreements occurred between two ethnic groups, the Namas and the Hereros. The Schutztruppes, a German protective force, were brought into the country to calm the conflict. Large numbers of indigenous people were killed during this time. Diamonds were discovered in Namibia in 1908, which caused further unrest in the country and caused Namibia to end up in martial law until 1919. As mandated by the League of Nations, the Union of South Africa took over Namibia’s administration until the United Nations (UN) was formed, and the country went into UN Trusteeship.
Namibia gained independence in 1990. Dr Sam Nujoma was the first president of the country. Despite being home to a vast desert, the country has much to offer, and Namibia tours have greatly helped the economy.