Escape for the Weekend

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Namibia

Elephants and rhinos of Etosha National Park; seals of Cape Cross; the Fish River Canyon; the Waterberg Plateau Park; the Himba in Kaokoland; the Skeleton Coast; the WWI artifacts of Lake Otjikoto; and underwater caves of Lake Guinas.

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa, which has borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, with Botswana to the east, and with South Africa to the south-east and south. Namibia is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The total area of the country is 824 thousand square kilometers; the population is about 2.4 million people. The capital is Windhoek. The official languages are English and Afrikaans.

The national currency is the Namibian dollar. Money can be exchange at most banks. Major credit cards are generally accepted. ATMs can be found nearly in all cities and towns.

Namibia’s terrain consists of four major geographical segments: the Namib Desert in the west, where you will find almost no vegetation; a mountain wall, called the Escarpment, the height of which is up to 2000 meters; the Central Plateau, where most Namibian cities and town are situated; and the Kalahari Basin with dune ridges and sandy plains. The climate is arid, with about 300 sunny days a year.

Namibia is a popular holiday destination for many tourists. Its stunning sceneries, picturesque sand dunes, wild animals in their habitat, volcanic craters and waterfalls attract lots of nature enthusiasts.

In Etosha National Park you can see the tallest elephants of Africa, rare black rhinos, lions, giraffes and lots of other interesting animals.

The Namib Naukluft Park boasts amazing sand dunes, among which you can see the Welwitschia, a unique plant whose lifespan is up to 1500 years.

Those who adore seals should visit Cape Cross, one of the world’s largest colonies of Cape Fur Seals. During the breeding season it is home to about 150 thousand seals.

Those who like outdoor activities can go hiking in the Fish River Canyon, the largest in Africa and very picturesque; or go on safari in the Waterberg Plateau Park, where you can meet rhinos, buffalos, sables and cheetahs.

If you want to learn more about the traditional life of Namibia, Nyae Nyae Conservancy is one of the best places for it. Here the Bushmen people live as they are used to, preserving their cultural identity. In Kaokoland you can enjoy stunning mountain landscapes and get acquainted with the Himba – an ancient semi-nomadic tribe. On Brandberg Mountain you can see fantastic rock engravings, made by ancient people thousands of years ago.

The Skeleton Coast offers macabre and captivating sight of lots of shipwrecks lying on the coast covered with seaweeds.

In Windhoek you can enjoy charming colonial architecture, take a tour of its famous lager brewery and visit the National Museum.

Airports

Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), the main international airport located 45 kilometers from Windhoek.

Diving in Namibia

Despite rather long coastline (about 1.5 thousand kilometers) Namibia is not a very popular diving destination. Difficult access to the desert coasts, strong currents, rough sea and bad visibility make diving in the ocean almost impossible.

However diving is possible in two freshwater lakes -- Lake Guinas and Lake Otjikoto.

Lake Otjikoto, situated about 20km from Tsumeb, is famous for the World War I artifacts, hidden in the lake in 1915 by German armed forces. There is a legend that they dumped a lot of gold there. There are two diveable areas:

The Reef, whose depth is 25m - 35m, where you can see toilets and Kudu horns;

And the deeper part with cannons, munitions and a small boat located at a depth of 45m - 55m.

The nearby Lake Guinas is suitable only for technical divers with 30-meter cliffs. On the bottom of the lake you will find caves with unknown depths. The visibility is about 30 meters.



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