Hotels in and around the Namibia country
While the tourism industry continues to blossom in this southern African country, Namibia continues to boast vast landscapes, uninhabited by people and untouched by the hand of industry. It is defined by its unique mix of cultures, languages and landscapes as well as its abundant wealth of wildlife.
Namibia depends largely on tourism for its financial stability, but more so on fishing and mining. These activities use the abundant natural resources of the country to sustain its communities. Visitors come from all over the world. However, most tourism is generated by closer countries, such as South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. In recent years, those from further afield have begun to recognise Namibia's political stability, natural abundance and convenient locale within Africa as a tourist lure. This influx has assisted the many rural Namibian folk to create an income around the needs and desires of these visitors.
Ancient Namibia was home to Bushmen and Namaqua tribes, as well as the Damara people, in the 1300's. The next century saw Bantu tribes arriving from the northern areas of the continent. Portuguese explorers arrived in 1485, but Namibia was not paid much attention until the 19th Century, when it became a German colony. Within the first 10 years of the 1900's, a huge conflict arose between the Herero and the Namaqua people, resulting in the death of approximately 75 000 to 100 000 people. Between 1914 and 1918, South Africa occupied the colony and declared Namibia a League of Nations' mandate territory. South Africa maintained relative control over the country until 1988 (in response to a UN peace plan). In 1990, the country became fully independent with the exception of Walvis Bay, which was declared independent (from British rule) in 1994.
Most of Namibia is well developed and its roads safe. It is only in the more rural northern areas where a 4 x 4 or similar vehicle is recommended for rougher terrain.
The Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport is the launching point from where most travellers explore the rest of this gorgeous country. This airport boasts one of the longest runways in the world at 4673 metres. Local flights are conducted from the multitude of smaller airports in and around Namibia.
Namibia is generally popular for its awesome scenery, plants and animals. The Gross Barmen Hot Springs is an accommodation facility just 100 km north-west of Windhoek. It boasts campgrounds as well as fully-equipped, self-catering (optional) bungalows. Its main attraction, however, is the thermal hall and communal spring bath. At 65 degrees Celsius, these therapeutic waters are sure to soak away the concerns of city living and transport you to a place of utter relaxation. Gross Barmen is equipped with a restaurant, bar and a well-stocked shop for provisions. The outdoor swimming pool provides a refreshing retreat for sun-weary travellers and children alike.
The Skeleton Coast Park is situated in the Namib Desert and extends approximately 500 kilometres. This park is ideal for avid fishermen as well as those visiting the country for its prolific wildlife. The park is particularly popular as it remains relatively untouched by external human influence. It is wild and raw. The animals have adapted to this environment. Elephants and a variety of buck roam the desert plains. There are various camping areas within the Skeleton Coast Park, some perched just metres from the rivers.
Etosha National Park remains one of Namibia's prime attractions and is one of Africa's largest parks. The expansive Etosha pans stretch for 5000 square kilometres, and are home to their own unique variety of fauna and flora. The southern edge of the pans is dotted with waterholes along its outer border, ensuring that the animals and plants can enjoy cool refreshment. Summers see a hot, dry, arid pan, while winters can often boasts quite a lush area.
Namibia is known for its 300 days of sunshine per year. Indeed, this is a hot, sunny land, but night temperatures can drop significantly. Visitors are urged to bring warm, comfortable clothing along, even during the warmer months. Temperatures are hotter along the coast, but these areas are cooled by onshore winds. The interior experiences warmer air flow, but cooler temperatures. Summer is officially from December to March, but can generally be said to extend all the way between October and April, during which time days can reach a high of about 40 degrees Celsius (with nights remaining cool). Winters also boast warm days (approximately 24 degrees Celsius), but nights can drop below freezing.
Before visiting any foreign country, it is wise to ensure that all vaccinations are up to date. Consult with a travel doctor regarding polio, yellow fever, malaria and so on.
Some areas of Namibia are known for malaria infections (including, but not limited to, the Okavango, Kaprivi and Kunene regions). Anti-malarial prophylaxes are generally recommended for all visitors to the area. In addition, use specially designed sprays for clothing, bedding and skin and sleep under a treated mosquito net.
Drinking water is safe in the urban areas. However, if you are entering or staying in a rural part of Namibia, it is best to opt for mineral or boiled water.
With an average annual sunshine of 300 days, the sun is a particular threat. Take extra precautions against being sunburnt and do not spend extended time in the sun between the hours of 10h00 and 14h00.
When on safari in Namibia, it is vital to heed the instructions of your trained guide or conservationist. Do not ever touch, feed or attempt to chase an animal, even if it appears friendly or curious. Keep an eye out for snakes when walking anywhere in the vicinity of the bush.
Do not leave the group with which you are travelling to wander around the markets or city areas alone. When visiting these areas, do not carry large amounts of money or photographic equipment on your person.
Do not swim in any rivers unless you have received reliable assurance that it is safe to do so and you are in a group. Crocodiles and hippos have made these waters their home and are not receptive to intruders.
Namibia requires foreigners to possess a valid passport and Visa before entering the country, as well as return tickets (or similar plans to return) and sufficient funds in their bank accounts. Namibia has embassies throughout the world. Visitors are only permitted to stay for 90 days each year, unless special arrangements are made.
Any visitors planning to bring their boat or aquatic apparatus may do so only with an Import Permit, which is issued by the Department of Water Affairs.
Namibia uses the Namibian dollar, made up of 100 cents. Its economy is stable and depends largely on fishing, farming, mining and tourism. Its excellent natural resources have put Namibia in good stead economically. The fact remains, though, that there are many poor people, usually located in the rural areas.
If you are planning to work in Namibia, you will require a waiver from the Labour and Immigration Department as well as a copy of the acknowledgment slip for a residence permit application.
Should you want to live, work or study in Namibia, and you are not a resident of the country, contact:
Government of Namibia
Cohen Building, Kasino Street, Windhoek
Private Bag 13200
Tel: +264 61 292211
Discerning guests of the Gondwana Cañon Park in Namibia enjoy a choice of three accommodation options - the Cañon Lodge, Cañon Village and Cañon Roadhouse.