Sossusvlei dunes © Judith Duk
A holiday in Namibia is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the beauty of a pristine natural environment teeming with wildlife.
Since Namibia has one of the most uninviting and desolate coastlines in the world, it was neglected by early European explorers like the Portuguese, who limited their activities to setting up navigational crosses along the desert shoreline. Today visitors have discovered the vast potential of a country rich in natural resources, with desert landscapes, sunshine, wildlife and a rugged, barren beauty.
It was only during the last half of the 19th century that the race for colonies among the world powers began, and so ensued the German control that became Namibia's colonial reign of terror. The indigenous tribes tried vigorously to retain their independence, and in 1904 a major uprising by the Herero and Nama people resulted in massive genocidal retaliation by the colonialists, with an estimated 60 percent of the southern native population being wiped out. Today the total population reaches just over two million and consists of 11 main ethnic groups, while the influence of German colonisation is still evident in architecture, food and language, particularly in the capital city of Windhoek.
Namibia has a diversity of natural habitats: the rugged coastline and haunting beauty of the Skeleton Coast, the endless stretch of undulating ochre-coloured sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the impressive gorge of the Fish River Canyon winding through the arid landscape of the great plateau, and the vast salt pan of Etosha National Park, one of the world's greatest wildlife viewing destinations. These are the attractions that draw travellers to one of Africa's more intriguing destinations, the unspoilt wilderness of Namibia.