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     REGIONS OF NAMIBIA

For ease of reference, we divided Namibia into 7 main regions as well as the most common routes leading into Namibia. Each region is described in more detail below.

 

Benguela Coast Etosha Namibia Kaokoland Mountain Kingdom Namibia Namib Nama Namibia Wetlands Namibia Routes In To Namibia
 

Benguela Coastline

Benguela Coastline -- From the diamond-rich Sperrgebiet in the south to the inhospitable coastline of the Skeleton Coast, the Namibian coastline along the cold Atlantic ocean is an ideal holiday and tourist destination.

From the diamond-rich Sperrgebiet in the south to the inhospitable coastline of the Skeleton Coast, the Namibian coastline along the cold Atlantic ocean is an ideal holiday and tourist destination.

Swakopmund and Henties Bay are popular holiday resorts for both tourists and locals as it offers a welcome relief from the hot interior of the country. Both shore fishing and boat fishing are rated amongst the best in the world.

Walvis Bay is seen as the gateway to central and Southern Africa due to its port. A natural lagoon, which is a RAMSAR protected site, hosts thousands of flamingoes and other sea birds.

In the vibrant harbour of Lüderitz fishing boats are unloading the daily caught fish. This jewel in the desert has experienced a recent revival with its developing waterfront.

The Namib Desert exhibits astounding plant, insect and animal life that have uniquely adapted to this age-old landscape of sand. The Atlantic Ocean exhibits interesting marine excursions, eg. boat cruises, kayak rowing, surf & boat angling.

Most of the hotels in the Benguela Region are found in the two major coastal towns, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

One of the main attractions of Namibia's coast is its outstanding angling potential, whether from the beach or off small boats, and diving for rock lobster. Popular species are kabeljou, galjoen, blacktail, steenbras, geelbek and white stumpnose. The main angling season is from November to March, and as these are also the hottest months in the interior, Namibians depart in large numbers to the coast to enjoy the cool climate created by the Atlantic's cold Benguela Current.

The coastal towns offer many different types of accommodation facilities. Swakopmund has several large hotels and a casino, hotel pensions which offer bed and breakfast, a large complex of different-sized bungalows specifically geared to accommodate anglers, small secluded guest houses and holiday flats fully equipped for self-caterers. The town has a large choice of excellent restaurants and shops where Namibian arts and crafts can be bought. These include hand-crafted jewellery, karakul rugs and carpets, leather goods such as the popular "Swakopmunder", a shoe made from kudu hide, and basketry from the north.

Henties Bay

Henties Bay is situated along the National West Coast Recreation Area and can be reached by the C34 salt road via Swakopmund or the D1913 gravel road via the Spitzkoppe. It is a popular angling resort and an excellent base from where to explore the Namib Desert.

Long Beach

Long Beach, a popular holiday resort, is situated between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and offers 2 restaurants, tidal pools for the children, playgrounds as well as fishing and crayfishing during season. Many tours are offered on and around Long Beach.

Swakopmund

Visiting Namibia's premier holiday resort is a tourism highlight. Swakopmund, lovingly nicknamed "Sleeping Beauty" as it is frequently enveloped in mist, is an ideal location for the visitor who wants to explore both the desert and the coast. Most visitors soon realise that they have allocated too little time to experience the many interesting sites this region offers.

World renowned sites such as the magnificent Cape Cross fur seal colony, the Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg and Twyfelfontein Rock Art treasures, the Skeleton Coast with the legendary but skittish desert elephant, the Naukluft Park and the magnificent dune formations stretching as far as Sossusvlei, place this western region in prime preference class.

For more info see the Official Coastal Guide. Also available is the Official Swakopmund Tourism and Info Map. For general information, bookings and reservations you can also contact: Namib-i information office Tel/Fax: ++264 (0)64 404 827.

Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay has capitalised on its well-endowed natural resources and scenic beauty. There is much to discover, learn, enjoy and appreciate. Visitors are treated with friendliness and every effort is made to ensure that they are comfortable - an unforgettable experience.

One of the key attractions of this town is the remarkable natural lagoon. This tranquil stretch of water with its natural beauty is accentuated by thousands of flamingoes and other birds.

A place of rare beauty and windswept dunes, stark landscapes and jagged coastlines - a world of untamed natural beauty. Walvis Bay is situated on the south-west coast of Africa at the edge of the Namib desert and is Namibia's principal port and growth centre.

Walvis Bay's rich natural resources and strategic location provide the basis for tourism and industrial development. The existing environment of growth and prosperity has already contributed to unprecedented interest both nationally and internationally. Seen as the gateway to central and southern Africa, Walvis Bay is on the threshold of a prosperous and dynamic future.

Lüderitz

Lüderitz was named after Adolf Lüderitz, who started a trading station in 1883.

Diamonds were discovered in the early 1900's and due to the great diamond boom, the luxurious town of Kolmanskop was built, today a ghost town. Later, more diamonds and a richer field were found further south and it was then that Kolmanskop was deserted and became the ghost town as it is today.

Lüderitz itself is a lovely town renowned for its old world charm and distinct German architecture. Lüderitz offers a variety of excellent restaurants, especially for seafood lovers and you will experience the true warm & friendly hospitality of this town.

The vibrant harbour is constantly full of life & excitement with fishing boats arriving & departing throughout the day and freshly caught fish is unloaded and transported away. Lüderitz is home to a variety of aquatic bird life including large numbers of flamingoes, cormorants and seagulls. Seals and dolphins are often seen playing amongst the waves in the bay.

The magnificent coastline is decorated with beautiful uncrowded beaches and secluded bays to explore. Galjoen, steenbras, rock lobster and dassie are amongst the most common species found in these waters.

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Etosha

Etosha was first established in 1907, when Namibia was a German colony known as South West Africa. At the time, the park's original 100,000 km² (38,500 mile²) made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is now slightly less than a quarter of its original area, but still remains a very large and significant area in which wildlife is protected.

The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places. The salt pan is usually dry, but fills with water briefly in the summer, when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular. Perennial springs attract a variety of animals and birds throughout the year, including the endangered Black Rhinoceros and the endemic Black-faced Impala.

This area boasts a number of exclusive and upmarket lodges around the famous national park.

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Kalahari Desert

Unspoilt Kalahari scenery - the land of the San with an abundance of game, wide open spaces, cattle farming, traditional villages.

The Trans Kalahari Highway runs through this region and is the main link between Namibia and South Africa.

The eastern part of Namibia is better known as the Omaheke Region. Gobabis is an oasis in a "thirstland" where nature immediately unwinds a tired spirit. The town is not only the perfect stopover when travelling between Namibia, Botswana (Maun, Okavango Delta) and South Africa, but is bursting with cultural diversity and gives the tourist an insight into how the very different cultures of the Hereros, Damaras, Coloureds, Germans and Afrikaners blend together.

The Trans Kalahari Highway runs through Omaheke and is the main link between Namibia and South Africa. It is the main access to the interior of Namibia and all its tourist attractions.

Via the Trans Kalahari Highway, it is a days drive from Johannesburg along the well-maintained tarred road. It is also a day away from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and from the world-renowned Etosha Game Reserve in Namibia. Travellers along this route will find convenient service centres and fuelling points along the entire route.

Omaheke offers unspoilt Kalahari scenery, it is the land of the San with an abundance of game, wide-open spaces, cattle farming, traditional villages with lots and lots to do. The Omaheke Region is the biggest cattle producing region south of the equator. Every Friday tourists can visit the cattle auctions and every year in May a two day Meat Festival is held. Omaheke is also hunter's paradise. Experience something new by making us your destination!

The Trans Kalahari Route

The Trans Kalahari route runs from the Gauteng Province in South Africa into Botswana and connects at Buitepos, one of Namibia's border-posts, through to the port of Walvis Bay. Besides the scenic wonders, multiplicity of wildlife and the vast open spaces, this route will also save you approximately 400km between Windhoek and Pretoria.

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Kaokoland

Kaokoland is one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa. It is a world of incredible mountain scenery, home of the desert dwelling elephant, black rhino and giraffe and the Himba people. The rugged landscape is especially attractive during the early morning and late afternoon when it is transformed into softly glowing pastel shades. The south of the area is characterised by rugged mountains with a number of watercourses, but north the scenery is dominated by table-top koppies. The well-known Epupa Falls with a massive water drop of 60m is a popular destination in this region. Visits to the local Himba tribes offer an insight into their uniquely adapted lifestyle.

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Mountain Kingdom

Namibia's capital, Windhoek, is nestled between ranges of mountains. Guestfarms and lodges in the vicinity of Windhoek are popular as they are situated in scenic surrounding, often on private game reserves harbouring a variety of game species, thus providing the visitor the opportunity to experience the peace and tranquillity of the bush.

Namibia's capital, Windhoek, is situated in the Central Region and offers a considerable number and wide variety of accommodation establishments.

The capital itself has a broad selection of hotels, some of which are large complexes with beds for over 400 people, state-of-the-art conference facilities, a choice of restaurants and bars, entertainment in the form of casinos and live music.

The heart of Namibia, its capital town Windhoek, possesses an unique charm due to its harmonious blend of African and European cultures and the friendliness of its people. It proves to be a strategic point from which to conduct business, or even to embark on your own Namibian adventure.

It provides an efficient infrastructure and easy access to tourist destinations in neighbouring countries, such as: the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the Okavango Swamps in Botswana, and well-known Nature Reserves in South Africa. Combined, they make this an ideal gateway to Southern Africa. For the business traveller, Windhoek offers all modern amenities such as conference facilities, commuting services, corporate accommodation and restaurants.

For the holiday-maker, it is an invaluable source, proving ideal for inspecting your travel paraphernalia, enabling you to make any adjustments or requisitions necessary. You are able to attend to your foreign exchange, plan your journey's next phase and collect or add all information necessary to ensure a peaceful and unforgettable stay. Take time to enjoy the city tours that are offered, giving you the opportunity to see Windhoek's places of interest, ranging from the Museum, the Art Gallery, the seat of government and the Zoo Park. For the traveller it is the ideal stop over to relax before setting out on the journey of a lifetime!

Windhoek also has a large number of pensions and guest houses, suitable for businessmen as well as tourists. These establishments have the advantage that they are usually managed by their owners, who offer a personalised service.

The guest farms in the surroundings of Windhoek are popular among travellers from abroad, as they are situated in scenic surroundings, often on private game reserves harboring a variety of game species, thus providing the visitor with the opportunity to experience the peace and tranquillity of the bush.

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Namib Nama and Succulent Karoo Desert

Namibia's Southern Region is one of the landscapes making the difference to the Namibian destination. No big game, no massive herds of antelopes, but vast, empty, ever-changing landscapes.

You will find peace and tranquility by the changing colours in this pristine wilderness. There are signs of human activities but they only emphasise that nature dictates the course. The well known dunes of Sossusvlei, the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs of Ai-ais are only a few of nature's spectacular experiences to encounter. Other well-known destinations include the Quivertree forest, Giant's Playground, the Brukaros, a mass of dark coloured lava, wild desert horses around Aus, and Duwisib, a castle built by Baron von Wolf for his American wife.

For the active traveller there are various activities, including hikes in the Fish River Canyon, hot air ballooning over the dunes, or challenging 4x4 trails in the Naukluft.

No big game, no massive herds of antelopes, but vast, empty, ever-changing landscapes.

You will find peace and tranquillity by the changing colours in this pristine wilderness. There are signs of human activities but they only emphasise that nature dictates the course. The well known dunes of Sossusvlei, the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs at Ai-Ais and the Kalahari desert are only a few of nature's spectacular experiences to encounter. Other well known destinations include: Quivertree forest, Giant's Playground, the Brukaros - wild horses around Aus, and Duwisib.

Many activities round off the picture of the South. Ballooning around Sossusvlei and challenging hikes through the Naukluft Mountains with the ever flowing springs. From one-day hikes to an eight-day hike for the really fit take you away into breathtaking wilderness.

4x4 Enthusiasts should try some of the official roads in the Kalahari for a challenge. Take an Uri, a Namibian built desert vehicle, to discover the two deserts, or try the Naukluft 4x4 Trail with your own. For a real get away, hike through the Namib desert in Namibia's biggest private nature reserve, the Namib Rand.

Let nature dictate your day as the road becomes the goal whilst finding tranquillity for the soul in the south.

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Wetlands Paradise

If there ever was a Garden of Eden, the Caprivi would surely have been that garden.

The region has been blessed with Africa's most special gifts - a unique and complex network of rivers, riverine forests, flood plains, swamps and open woodlands teeming with wildlife and birdlife. Elephants, hippo and buffalo roam this pristine area. There are more than 400 bird species in the region, this represents more than 70% of the total number found in Namibia. There is the renowned Popa Falls with its series of rapids, the Mahango Game Park has the largest concentration of sable in the world, the Mudumu National Park with 100 000 ha of woodlands and wetlands. The Mamili National Park is the largest wetlands with conservation status in Namibia.

The Caprivi is such a unique and totally contrasting part of Namibia just waiting to be discovered.

The north-east is a birdwatcher's paradise. Over 420 species of birds have been recorded here, including Kingfishers, Wattled Cranes, African Fish Eagles, African Skimmers and Pygmy Geese, and rare species such as Senegal and Coppery-tailed Coucals, Rufous- bellied Tits, Blackfaced Babblers, Sharptailed Starlings and Bradfield's Hornbills.

Most of the lodges have boats and offer sundowner, game viewing, bird-watching and freshwater angling cruises and excursions. The eastern tip of the Caprivi is targeted especially by fly-fishermen eager to catch the challenging tiger fish. For keen photographers, especially those who want to capture an African sunset, the peaceful rivers of the north-east present endless opportunities.

200Km east of Rundu along the Okavango River at (Divundu) and Bagani, one finds the famous Popa Falls. This area has an abundance of game and birdlife. Boat trips and game viewing excursions to Mamili, Mudumu and Caprivi Game National Parks are offered. At Bagani, a craft shop also offers local art for sale and there is a service station, a small supply store and a post office.

Katima Mulilo is the Capital of the Caprivi. The town is situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River and boasts shops, banks, a post office, supermarkets, clothing shops and a craft market. Most of the accommodation on offer is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River and therefore offers Tiger and Bream fishing. Beautiful sunset cruises, boating, quad biking, as well as trips to the Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls are all on offer.

The Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls are just a few hours drive from Katima Mulilo, therefore day trips, as well as overnight excursions are available. The area is enhanced with plentiful birdlife (+- 430 species) as well as wildlife (large herds of elephants, red lechwe, hippo and crocodiles). The north-eastern region has an abundance of offers for the visitor and is truly the forgotten jewel of Namibia.

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Routes


Various roads lead to Namibia.

Victoria Falls

One of the seven wonders of the world, the impressive Victoria Falls is definitely worth a visit. In full flood some 500 million litres of water cascade downwards at a speed of 100 metres per minute, causing a thunderous roar and towering columns of spray, hence the local name 'mosi-u-tunya', meaning the smoke that thunders.

One of the most interesting areas to explore in Zambia lies on the shores of the Zambezi river, from the Victoria Falls area approximately 70km west towards the Kasangula border post.

Some of the most magnificent lodges are nestled in the dense bush overlooking the mighty waters. The capital, Livingstone, is home to the country's biggest and oldest museum. Livingstone is just being discovered as an alternative to the town of Victoria Falls. More and more adventure activities are being offered, with easy access to the river banks, viewpoints and craft markets.

The Trans Kalahari Route

Gauteng means "place of gold" in Sesotho and although South Africa's smallest province, it has the countries highest population density. Pretoria is the capital of South Africa with many historical buildings and the largest number of museums in the country which makes it a great tourist attraction.

Conveniently situated in close proximity to Johannesburg International Airport and the major cities, makes this the ideal location for a truly unforgettable cultural experience.

The people of the North West Province, in South Africa, are mainly BaTswana in origin and they speak SeTswana, English & Afrikaans. The culture is predominant in their daily activities, such as their beadwork, pottery and their unique music.

Botswana is an exhilarating destination. The Okavango Delta is the jewel of Botswana and is one of the most precious natural resources in the world, enriched with stunning diversity of bird and animal species. The endless plains of the Central Kalahari, the salt pans and the riverine environment of Chobe National Park are equally blessed.

The Green Kalahari

The Green Kalahari ... a contradiction in terms. The vivid beauty of the contrasting landscapes and scenery of this region will prove itself to you as a hidden gem. It secrets unfolds in a journey through the lush green vineyards in the fertile valleys of the great Orange River, to the vast tracks of shimmering red dunes of the Kalahari desert.

When thinking of the Kalahari, images of clean, red sand dunes come to mind. In the Green Kalahari, however, the desert shows its harsh, dry face in many striking, but beautiful ways. They say that once you get the Kalahari sand in your shoes, you will keep coming back!

Bringing the green to the Kalahari, that is the job of the mighty Orange River. From its source in the Drakensberg, South Africa's largest river travels 2200 km to the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay. A dry, arid landscape comes to life around the banks of the river. The river does more than bring water, it shapes the character of the people of the Green Kalahari.

Enjoy the open spaces, where nature and modern lodging form a unity. Taste true South African delicacies and enjoy the hospitality of the Kalahari people. The great infinitely remote tract of red dune land is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which has a boundary, unrestricted by fences, with an even larger reserve in Botswana.

A number of exciting activities offered include camel rides, horse riding, hiking and 4x4 drives.

"The warm Kalahari sands will blow over my footprints. But the warmth of the Kalahari people at the lodgings will be printed in my heart. I came as a stranger, I left as a friend." (Anonymous)

Namaqualand

The route through the picturesque Namaqualand and the valleys of wild flowers during spring surely call for a stop.

Namaqualand is a rugged mountainous plateau that overlooks a narrow sandy coastal plain and the bleak beaches of the West Coast. This coastal plain is an important source for alluvial diamond mining by boats operating from small villages like Port Nolloth.

For most of the year, Namaqualand is dry and windswept. This apparently inhospitable environment produces, after enough rain, one of the world's natural wonders. Spring explodes into wonderful colours as far as the eye can see. It is world-famous for these marvelous displays of wild flowers and visitors from all over the world make annual pilgrimages to experience its beauty.

Derived from the Nama word "U-gib", meaning "the great brackish spring" Okiep was, until production ceased in 1919, the world's richest copper mine.

Springbok is the largest and most northerly town from which to visit Namaqualand. It offers modern amenities and a wide variety of accommodation establishments. Kamieskroon is set amid the huge granite outcrops and rock formations of the Kamiesberg range, making it a hiker's paradise. Pofadder is the perfect stop-over when travelling to Upington as is Vredendal en-suite to and from the Cape.

The Cape Peninsula

The Cape Peninsula boasts the world renowned Table Mountain as well as the scenic natural beauty of forests, rivers, sea and the world's richest floral kingdom.

One of the world's most sought after destinations lies at the tip of Africa. The Peninsula prides itself on its scenic natural beauty - forests, rivers, sea mountains and the world's richest floral kingdom.

"The Fairest Cape" has a rich cultural history as is represented by it's Rainbow Nation. First inhabited by the Khoi and San, the first European settlers arrived in 1652. Table Mountain became a sighting post and South Africa's mother city, Cape Town, the stopover for fresh fruit and vegetables on the long voyage between Europe and the Dutch West Indies.

The City Bowl offers many interesting attractions, such as the Castle of Good Hope, Green Market Square, the Artscape theatre, the Houses of Parliament, and several museums. A cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain provides breathtaking views of the Peninsula. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is famous for attracting international trade and tourists. It includes shops selling gem-stones, curios, souvenirs and fancy fashions, plenty of restaurants and taverns, as well as cinemas and theatres. Along the coastline you'll find many beautiful bays and beaches, such as Bantry Bay and Clifton, which is famous for its four inviting beaches.

The Southern Suburbs, apart from being steeped in Cape history, offer a kaleidoscope of stores, excellent restaurants, snack bars, bistros, cinemas and art galleries. At the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and forests, visitors can enjoy pleasant walks or a picnic, and learn more about the fynbos.

Angola

Angola lies on the border of the South Atlantic Ocean, between Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Luanda, the capital of Angola, has a population of approximately 3.8 million. The country has such diversities as the coastal section consists of wet highlands in the west, a rain forest in the north and towards the south, dry landscapes. Weather conditions vary between these areas as the coastal section has its rainy season between February to April, with winters that are mild and the summers are known to be hot & humid. The northern section receives rain throughout most of the year, while the highlands have a constant mild climate with their rainy season from November to April.

Portuguese is the official and most predominant language in Angola and Portuguese makes up the largest of the non-Angolan population. Many native-born Angolans can claim Portuguese nationality. There are also many ethnic groups and Bantu languages spoken but the main three are Ovimbundu, Kimbundu and Bakongo.

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