5 things you didn't know about Namibia

September 20, 2019

Namibia, an African country rich in nature and culture, is a place to be discovered: here are five things you may not know about this wonderful nation.

Landscape in Namibia

Namibia is a country to be discovered, among dry deserts, multi-ethnic populations and festive and colorful traditions. Discover 5 curiosities about Namibia that you may not know.

It has a very ancient desert

The Namib Desert is one of the oldest (and most fascinating) deserts on Earth and with its red dunes is perhaps the main attraction of the country. It is accessed from the Namib Naukluft Park, one of the largest protected areas in the world, in the Sesriem area. Walking on the dunes of the Namibian desert is a unique and unforgettable experience, especially in the hours of the sunset, when the landscape is colored with fiery hues. Also interesting is the experience of the "pans", dry lakes that dot the arid Namibian landscape.

Desert dune in Namibia
Namib Desert.

You eat German and drink South African

The native Namibian cuisine has flavors that often do not meet the taste of the European traveler. However, in cities and lodges you will easily find international cuisine, especially German or English, because of past colonization. Typical delicacies of the country are also the meats, especially wild game, ostrich, kudu and antelope. Delicious fruits and vegetables abound, including papaya, lemon and lime. Wines, being from South Africa, are excellent.

Potjekos typical Namibian lamb dish
Potjeko, a typical Namibian dish made with lamb.

Herero Day is celebrated in August

From August 23 to 26 in Okahandija the Herero Day is celebrated: it is the most famous festival in the country and the Hereros come together on this occasion to remember their ancestors, wearing colorful costumes and with the body covered with traditional designs. The chiefs of the tribes then march to the cemetery where members of Maharero dynasty are buried.

Herero dolls from Namibia
Herero dolls.

The oryx is the only one surviving in its desert

Namibia is home to the oryx, a large antelope, which is able to survive in the desert. This animal is in fact equipped with a cooling system of the brain that, thanks to breathing and blood circulation, means that it can stand the heat of the environment, even when the body temperature rises to 45 degrees. At these temperatures, all other mammals die.

Oryx in the desert, Namibia
Oryx in the desert.

It boasts the oldest national park in Africa

Etosha National Park was the first national park to be established in Africa. Its typical environment is well summed up in the meaning of its name, "place of dry water." It hosts the famous Etosha Pan, a vast depression formed by a dry lake, which is interesting because here all the African animals gather to drink. A real feast for visitors, who are thus able to admire them.

Herd of elephants in Etosha National Park, Namibia
Herd of elephants in Etosha National Park.

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