When you think of Namibia – the typical imagery that comes to mind is the vast, arid land with wide open spaces and the second lowest population density on the Planet (after Mongolia) but this is not where it ends – there is a lot more to our varied landscape – so let’s have a look at some facts you might NOT have known about Namibia!
44% of Namibia is under some form of conservation, this includes National Parks, Privately owned Nature reserves and communal conservancies. Oh – and Namibia is the only country in the World whose ENTIRE coastline is protected.
Namibia boasts an impressive list of endemic flora and fauna which includes 8 mammal species, 10 bird species, 30 lizard species and approximately 200 plant species! A little aside for the ornithologists out there, of the 676 bird species found in Namibia 500 nest here. Just a thought…
Namibia is home to the largest non-subglacial underground lake in the World which is found in Dragon’s Breath cave – the lake has a surface area of almost 2 hectares or 4.9 acres and the depth remains unknown. Anyone else suddenly realise they’ve watched too many horror movies??
The San tribes are Southern Africa’s only truly indigenous people and genetic testing has proven that the tribes that are still found here are one of the groups from which modern humans evolved. Namibia is home to 35,000 San peoples who comprise 6 different tribes, each with their own language and customs.
Namibia has one official language (thank goodness for small mercies) but 30 languages are spoken in this very cosmopolitan country and 11 of those are indigenous to Namibia.
Namibia now boasts TWO UNESCO World Heritage sites – the first one proclaimed was the Bushman painting and rock engraving site at Twyfelfontein where over 2,500 pictographs have been identified and in 2013 the Namib Sand Sea which is home to Sossusvlei and Sesriem was also declared a World Heritage site (you knew we would get Sossusvlei mentioned somehow, didn’t you)
While we are on the subject of ‘declared sites’ – Namibia’s NamibRand Nature reserve was declared a Dark Sky Reserve in 2012. Not only that, but it was given GOLD status (one of only two sites on Earth) – what this means to you and me is that this area has the lowest levels of light pollution ON THE PLANET and it’s right here in our backyard. Stargazers of the World unite!
Tsumeb mine, on the Eastern fringes of the Etosha National Park, even though it is closed at the moment, still holds a place of prestige amongst mines worldwide because over 200 different minerals have been discovered here.
Namibia is home to the largest single piece of meteor on Earth close to Grootfontein. It weighs in at a staggering 66 tonnes.
And if THAT is not enough of a reason to visit us then… we are also home to the largest Cheetah population in the World and this is not likely to change in the near future as Namibia was also the first country in the World to include conservation in its constitution.