Namibia

Map of Namibia

Capital: Windhoek

Area: 824 290 km² (second least densely country in the world after Mongolia)

Population: 2.1 million

Ovambo          50%
Kavango          9%
Herero             7%
Damara           7%
White               6%

History: Became German Imperial Protectorate in 1884. After WW1 the League of Nations mandated the country (1920) to South Africa which imposed its laws and from 1948 its Apartheid policy.

Full independence was gained from SA in 1990 with the exception of Walvis Bay and Penguin Islands which remained under the control of SA till 1994.

Economy: About 4 000, mostly white, farmers own almost half the arable land – Agriculture is one of their main industries. Fishing also used to play a major role.

Mining diamonds, gold, uranium and silver – plays an important part in their economy. Namibia is a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Namibia is the fourth-largest exporter of non fuel minerals in Africa, the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium, and the producer of large quantities of lead, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten.

The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand.

Tourism and game hunting are also important industries

GDP: US$14.64 billion (2010 est.)

Per Capita Annual Income:
US$6,900 (2010 est.) (SA=R10 700)

Comparison to the world: 132 out of 230 countries- SA is Nr 106

Most visited places:

Caprivi Strip

Fish River Canyon
Sossusvlei and Sesriem
Etosha Pan
Skeleton Park
Coastal Towns – Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Luderitz Bay.

KEETMANSHOOP:

Before being colonized the area was known as #Nu#goaes = Swartmodder/Black Marsh indicating a spring in the area. First white settler was Guilliam Visagie in 1785.

Places to see in Keetmanshoop:

Rhenish Mission Church, built 1895, it houses the museum and is a national Monument.

Quivertree Forest Rest Camp located on the farm Gariganus just 13 km north east of Keetmanshoop on road M29 offer tourist’s comfortable accommodation amid a pristine Namibian Landscape. Quiver tree = Kokerboom. The Giants Playground, unique dolerite rock formation, is also situated here.

Hardap dam:

Hardap Dam is a dam close to Mariental, Hardap Region, Namibia. Created in 1962 while Namibia was under South African occupation, Hardap Dam is the largest Dam in the country. The reservoir dams the Fish River and has a surface area of 25 km². The Dam is also home to numerous examples of wildlife of Namibia.

WINDHOEK:

Capital.

Population:      More than 300 000? (census 2001)

Tourist attractions:

Christ Church – Lutheran, built 1896, quartz sandstone, portal & alter marble, Stained glass windows are very special.

Alte Feste = Old Fort in German. Built 1890, but now it is the National Museum. In 1960 it was still part of Windhoek High School and this is were my Latin class was situated. I wrote matric in 1960 at Windhoek High School.

Luther Street 13?, on the corner, Nap Power building is opposite – this was the house we lived in, now it is a restaurant/coffee shop, perhaps you can drop in?

Joe’s Beerhouse: – please have supper here! (Very special.)

160 Nelson Mandela Avenue

Tel: +264 (0) 61 23 24 57 (also fax)

Mo-Thursday open 17h00 till late

Fri to Sunday open 11h00 till late

Booking is essential.

Otjiwarongo:

Otjiwarongo is located on the B1 road and its links between Windhoek, the Golden Triangle of Otavi, Tsumeb and Grootfontein, and Etosha National Park. It is one of Namibia’s fast growing towns, with a neat and peaceful quality environment, and many excellent facilities including supermarkets, banks, lodges and hotels. Some of Namibia’s best-known private game farms and nature reserves are located in and around the town. Otjiwarongo is one of Namibia’s towns with a large population of German-speaking people. German influence is also evident on its Germanic buildings. The school “Donatus School Otjiwarongo” (D.S.O.) was once known as “Deutsche Schule Otjiwarongo”.

History:

The Herero people were the original settlers of this area, and they called the place Otjiwarongo, meaning “Place Where Fat Cattle Graze”. The name is appropriate as Otjiwarongo is home to some of the biggest cattle-breeding companies in Namibia. German Namibians first settled in Otjiwarongo in 1900. A bloody war was fought in the area between the Hereros and the Germans in 1904 where many of the tribe’s people died. The Hereros where the only African settlers in the town until 1906 when few Ovambo and Damara tribes migrated to the town for settlement.

Tourism:

The main interest for tourists is Otjiwarongo’s proximity to the Waterberg Plateau Park. Otjiwarongo is home to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, an internationally-recognized organization dedicated to ensuring the long-term survival of the cheetah through research, conservation and education.

Also about 50 miles from Otjiwarongo is Okonjima, the home of the Africat Foundation, a successful cheetah and leopard rehabilitation centre, with viewing made possible by staying at the adjacent Okonjima Lodge. On the edge of town is the Crocodile Ranch, one of the few captive breeding programs for the Nile Crocodile that has been registered with CITES. The ranch exports the skins, but sells the meat locally. Also in town is Locomotive No 41, originally brought from Germany to haul ore between Tsumeb and the port at Swakopmund.

It is home to 20 percent of the world’s cheetahs, mostly on private ranch land.

Built 15 km outside of town, the Omatjenne Dam provides artificial recharge of local groundwater.

GROOTFONTEIN.

In 1840 Boer families settled here – they were part of the Dorsland trek heading to Angola.

Economic mainstream: Mining and agriculture.

24km west of Grootfontein is the Hoba Meteorite – at more than 60 tons it is the largest meteorite on earth as well as the largest naturally occuring mass of iron known to exist on our planets surface.

POPA RAPIDS:

Some 200 kilometres east of Rundu lies one of the scenic highlights of Namibia in the western part of the Caprivi, the Popa Falls. Actually, they are rapids rather than waterfalls. Here, the Okavango breaks through a four meter high rocky intrusion in its riverbed. The falls lie amidst enthrallingly beautiful nature.

Here you also find the most scenic campground in the north of Namibia.
Popa Falls is a simple government rest camp next to some rapids in the Okavango River, which are pretty rather than spectacular. They mark where the river drops 2.5m over a rocky section, caused by a geological fault. After passing over this, the Okavango begins gradually to spread out across the Kalahari’s sands until eventually it forms its remarkable inland delta in Botswana.
The rest camp on the banks of the Kavango River is dominated by mature stands of knob thorn and dense bush willow scrub.
Much to the credit of Namibia’s conservation authorities, the vegetation was disturbed as little as possible when the rest camp was being built and today the tall, shady trees are much appreciated after a long, hot drive.

From the camp it is an easy ramble to the falls. A wooden bridge has been built across the channel that flows past the camp sites. This gives day visitors access to an island, on which a short walk will bring them to the cascades.
Provided the level of the river is low, it is possible to boulder-hop across some of the smaller channels to get a better view of the falls. However, you must not expect to see a waterfall in the true sense of the word. The name is a misnomer as the falls are nothing more than a series of rapids created by a rocky quartzite ledge which obstructs the course of the Kavango River at this point. Although the rapids have a total drop of only about 4 m, they extend across the full width of the river – about 1, 2 km at Popa.
When the river is in flood, the rocky ledge is submerged – the cascades are, therefore, best viewed during the dry season when the fully-exposed ledge reveals a multitude of rushing channels and small islands.

CAPRIVI

The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia, about 400 kilometres long. Germany exchanged the area – together with Helgoland – with the United Kingdom for Zanzibar in 1890. It was named after the German chancellor of the time, Graf von Caprivi, who signed the contract with the British.

The tarred Caprivi Highway was built to replace the corrugated dirt road, which was hardly passable during the rainy season. Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park in Botswana, both popular tourist destinations in the north, are now easily accessible.

Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip (in German: Caprivizipfel), Caprivi Panhandle or the Okavango Strip and formally known as Itenge, is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about 450 km, between Botswana on the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west. Caprivi is bordered by the Okavango, Kwando, Chobe and Zambezi rivers. Its largest settlement is the town of Katima Mulilo. It went through a civil war from 1994-1999 and remains unstable till today.The Caprivi conflict involved an armed conflict in Namibia between the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA), a rebel group aiming for the secession of the Caprivi Strip, and the Namibian government. Its main eruption occurred on August 2, 1999 when CLA launched an attack in Katima Mulilo, occupying the state-run radio station and attacking a police station, the Wanella border post, and an army base. This secession attempt was quashed by Namibian armed forces after a few days.

The strip is administratively divided between the eastern Caprivi Region and the western Okavango Region
The service centre of the Caprivi is the small town of Katima Mulilo at the eastern tip. Katima lies directly on the banks of the Zambesi River and offers some attractive lodges at the river. It also has an airport, a hospital, some petrol stations, grocery stores and a streetmarket with arts&crafts, traditional baskets woven from grass, wood carvings, jewellery and clothes.

There is a border post to Zambia in Katima nowadays, which, due to the new Zambezi Bridge at Wanella, has become more and more attractive for tourists. If you are heading for Botswana or Zimbabwe, follow the B8 to Ngoma Bridge.

RUNDU:

Rundu is the capital of the Kavango Region, northern Namibia, on the border with Angola on the banks of the Okavango River. Rundu has roughly 76000 inhabitants (2001) and lies about 1000 m above sea level. It is the commercial capital of the Kavango region.

Outside the formal suburbs shanty towns symbolise the rapid urbanisation of the town and high unemployment rates. Rundu Airport, mostly used for tourism and cargo, is 5 km southeast of the town.

The Rundu State Hospital is situated in the center of the town, off Markus Siwarongo street. It’s the largest hospital in Kavango.

Rundu Open Market is the most well-known and biggest open market in the town. It was founded in 1996 through cooperation between the government of Namibia and the government of Luxembourg.

KONGOLA:

Kongola is a village and the district capital of the Kongola Constituency in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip. It is situated on the national road B8 (Otavi – Katima Mulilo). Kongola has a petrol station and a wholesaler. Although the village is situated on a national power line, it has not yet been connected to the electricity grid. There is also no access to safe water at Kongola.

KATIMO MULILO:

Katima Mulilo is the Capital of the Caprivi Strip, Namibia’s far north–east extension into central Southern Africa and has apopulation of about 28,100.(2010) It is located on the national road B8 on the banks of the Zambezi River in lush riverine vegetation with tropical birds and monkeys.

The nearest Namibian town from Katima Mulilo is Rundu, about 500km away. About 40km east of Katima Mulilo lies the settlement of Bukalo, where the road to Ngoma branches off that joins Namibia to Botswana.

In 1971 the area around Katima got involved in the South African Border War. As in World War II, it was a strategically important location, this time due to troops transports into and out of Zambia and Angola. Established and run as a garrison for a long time, Katima Mulilo still shows signs of its military role today. In the city centre was the South African Defence Force military base, almost every house had a bomb shelter. The town benefited from the military presence in terms of infrastructure and employment, and there are still a number of military bases surrounding the town.

The settlement also was at the centre of the Caprivi conflict in the 1990s, an armed conflict between the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA), a rebel group working for the secession of the Caprivi Strip, and the Namibian government.[7] In the early hours of August 2, 1999, CLA launched an attack occupying the state-run radio station and attacking a police station, the Wanella border post, and an army base. A state of emergency was declared in the province, and the government arrested alleged CLA supporters.

Katima Mulilo is inhabited by members of the Masubia and Mafwe tribes.

Since the opening of the Katima Mulilo Bridge in 2004 that spans the Zambezi River and connects the Zambian Copperbelt with the Namibian deep sea harbour at Walvis Bay, Katima Mulilo has become a boom town that attracts significant investment. This development has, however, also fanned illegal business activities, and driven the establishment of shanty towns to an extent that endangers social stability.

Most of this information comes from Wikipedia, Wikitravel and Lonely Planet.

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