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Overview to Namibia: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

The Namibian Landscape

Namibia derives its name from the word ‘Namib’ - a desert whose name also means ‘vast’. And sure enough, the country is vast and desert-like. But right across its striking landmass, it crams some of Africa's most precious natural resources into an impressive travel package.

The country is defined by a sense of space and scale that’s epitomized by the rolling dunes of the Skeleton Coast. Lining the country’s northern coastline, the rusting shipwrecks (grounded in treacherous fogs) make it one of the most atmospheric sights imaginable.

But this stark landscape is contrasted by dense bush areas that provide a habitat for a rich diversity of wildlife. One of the best safari destinations is the Estosha National Park, whose Etosha Pan Waterholes offer travelers some unbelievable photo opportunities.

Fish River Canyon (on the border with South Africa) is a rare treat. Not only is it a preserve of wildlife and a great hiking site but, for the more adventurous backpacker looking for a suitably white-knuckle experience, it also offers sand-skiing and abseiling.

Over to the west, Walvis Bay is surrounded by yet more ecotourism and adventure travel activities. Inland, the Brandberg Mountains offer countless astonishingly beautiful treks and the country’s highest mountain, the Konigsberg, which is a favorite with intrepid climbers.

By contrast, beach-lovers can head north from the capital, Windhoek, to the engaging resort town of Swakopmund. Cooled by the mists that roll in off the Atlantic, its location on the edge of the sprawling Namib Desert mirrors that of Namibia generally: vast, desolate and beautiful.