Capital | Windhoek
Population | 2,147,585 (July 2011 est.)
Area | 825,418 SQ KM
Official Language | English
Holidays | Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
Currency | Namibian Dollar (NAD), South African Rand (ZAR)
Time Zone | UTC +1
Best Time to Visit | May to October (the dry season)
Connecting with the Culture | Wandering around Windhoek, Namibia’s attractive capital city. Camping at Etosha National Park, one of the world’s best wildlife-viewing venues. Heading to the ‘dune sea’ of the Namib Desert, home to the country’s enigmatic emblem, the dunes of Soussusvlei. Driving through Khaudom Game Reserve, a wild and hard-to-reach park packed with wildlife. Luxuriating in the hot springs at Ai-Ais in the Fish River Canyon. Soaking up the European vibe of Swakopmund, Namibia’s most German town.
Read | Born of the Sun, the largely autobiographical first novel by local author Joseph Diescho.
Listen | to Namibia’s renowned ensemble the Cantare Audire Choir.
Watch | Sophia’s Homecoming which tells the story of an Owambo woman who goes to work as a domestic in Windhoek.
Eat | a cooked breakfast with bacon and boerewors (farmer’s sausage).
Drink | the light and refreshing Windhoek Lager, or try a traditional brew such as mataku (watermelon wine).
In a Word | Hallo (Hello)
Characteristics | Sand dunes; diamond mining; German beergardens and coffee houses; vast deserts; limitless sunshine; rock art; wonderful wildlife.
Surprises | The world of elders should not be questioned and they should be accorded utmost courtesy; in areas where individual sand dunes are exposed to winds from all directions, a formation known as star dune appears.
NEWS ABOUT NAMIBIA
Namibia Annual Seal Cull Starts
(HN, 7/22/12) - Namibia's annual seal hunt, which will see some 86,000 Cape fur seals slaughtered by `clubbing & `shooting' by the end of November - started Sunday amid outcry from conservation groups that brand it a massacre for trade purposes. Namibian authorities maintain that what they call `seal harvesting' is meant to control the burgeoning seal population which threatens the fishing industry. "Namibia's seal population has increased to the point where they exceeded by far the carrying capacity of the environment ... therefore it is humane to curb the unrestrained seal population to a level where they can be sustained by the environment," the government said in a statement. But activists slam these reasons as hypocritical, saying the hunts are carried out for commercial gain. "There is no justification for the killing. This is purely a political and economic issue, with very little concern for animal welfare," conservation charity International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) director for Southern Africa Jason Bell said. (Read more at IAfrica)