With its warm and mysterious landscapes, Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a relic of Southern Africa. It is bordered by Angola and Zambia to the west, Botswana to the east, South Africa to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its largest city and capital is Windoek. Namibia is also a member of the United Nations(UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth.
From ancient times, Namibia has been inhabited by the tribes Khoisan, Damaras and Namaqua, with a noticeable immigration of Bantos. Most of all, it is an extremely precious territory where hundreds of animals life, many of which are desert species. Among lions, hyenas, zebras and wildebeests, Namibia also has the largest population of chetas in Africa. Here also lives the rare black rhinoceros, which is a severely endangered species.
The history of Namibia is complex, but extremely interesting. The ever growing pleas by African leaders had ONU take direct responsibility over the country. This way, the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) was recognized as the official representative of the people of Namibia in 1973. Namibia, however, remained under the rule of South Africa during this time, governed by South West Africa. After guerrilla wars and conflicts, with great participation by SWAPO, South Africa created an internal administration in Namibia in 1985. Five years later, on march 21st 1990, Namibia obtained complete independence from South Africa, except for Walvis Bay and the Penguin islands, which remained under the latter’s control up until 1994.
With a population of over 2.1 million inhabitants, this country is one of the least populated in the world. At the basis of its economy stand agriculture, tourism and the mining industry — which includes mining for diamonds, uranium, gold, silver and base metals.
A part of the history of Namibia is connected to Europe
The first European to travel to Namibia was the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão, who, in an exploratory mission along the western shore of Africa, stopped briefly at Skeleton Coast in 1485. Here, he rose a sandstone cross. This cross is now known as Cape cross and its historical importance is surpassed by the fact that there lives a colony of over 100.000 sea lions, or cape fur seals. Bartolomeu Dias was the next distinguished visitor to stop at Wavis Bay and Lüderitz, as he went around the Cape of Good Hope. Since the desert of Namibia was a fearsome barrier, none of the Portuguese explorers went too far into it.
Etosha National Park
The Etosha National Park is one of the most important nature reserves in southern Africa. It cover an area of 22 270 square km and is the home to 114 species of mammals, 340 species of birds, 110 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians and, surprisingly, one species of fish. Etosha, which means ‘Great White Place’ holds an enormous dried salt lake. It’s part of the Faz parte da Kalahari Basin, formed over 1000 million years ago. It was originally a lake fed by the river Kunene. However, the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried. It is now a dusty geological depression of salt and clay that fills up only with the intense rainfall, attracting thousands of wading birds, including impressive flocks of flamingos.
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