In 1990 Namibia became independent from South Africa, being the youngest nation of Africa. The multi-ethnic state Namibia chose the sun banner as symbol for their national unity. The twelve sunrays stand for the twelve peoples of the land.
The name, "Namibia“ stems from the word „Namib“ a desert spreading in the entire coast area of Namibia. This neutral name was chosen, so that none of the many peoples would be displeased. With a total area of 824.292 km2 Namibia is nearly four times as big as Great Britain. The countryside is shaped by two deserts: the Namib spreading from the Cape Province to Angola and the Kalahari situated in the east of the country. Namibia is very sparsely populated - most of the people live in one of the few towns or in the northern, most fertile part of the country.
The most important cities of the country are Windhoek (more than 250.000 inhabitants) and Swakopmund (more than 25.000 inhabitants). Here visitors can best experience the transition from a colonised country to an independent nation: Historical buildings next to modern ones, museums, monuments and lively streets.
Swakopmund is an international seaside resort at the Atlantic Ocean and capital as well as administrative centre of the Erongo-region. Because of its agreeable climate Swakopmund is a prominent holiday resort, not only for Europeans, but also for Namibians and South Africans.
In Namibia people drive on the left side of the road, as it is also the case in South Africa. As Namibia is located in the southern hemisphere the seasons are antipodal to Europe. This means that the warmest and most rain-laden months of the year are from November to February, reaching temperatures of 35 degrees. In European summertime, Namibia is relatively cold (0-20°C). At the coast, however, the weather is of constant nature, being fresh and agreeable during the whole year. The mornings are often foggy.
The main sectors of the economy are Mining (Diamonds, Uranium, Copper,Lead, Zinc, Magnesium, Silver, Gold), Fishing, Tourism and Agriculture. The biggest employer is Agriculture (46%), the fastest-growing sector is the Tourism.
Namibia's highest mountain is the Königstein in the Brandberg-Mountains with a height of 2579 m, situated close to the coast, about 200 km north of Swakopmund.
Flora of Namibia: 14 vegetation zones, 120 species of trees, 200 endemic plant species and the fossil plant named Welwitschia Mirabilis.
Fauna of Namibia: Big game as elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, leopard and giraffe, 20 antelope species, 240 mammal species, 250 reptile species and 670 bird species
The official language of Namibia is English. Because of Namibia’s history, other languages play an important role as well: 60% of the people speak also Afrikaans, a language originating from the dutch language. German is spoken by 35% of the population (20% of Namibia’s population today is of German origin).
Namibia has a democratic constitution with a multiparty parliament. There is a division of power between executive, legislature and judiciary. The political situation of Namibia is very stable, human rights are basically kept. Namibia is a secular state with freedom of religion (90% Christian) and freedom of the press/media.
More than 50 countries have a Namibian consular or embassy representation in Windhoek.
Namibia is partner country of the German development cooperation. The main focus of this cooperation is on resource protection, rural progress, transport and sustainable economic growth. Namibia is supported with 500 million Euro annually.
You do not need any vaccinations for travelling to Namibia. Most tap water is purified and safe to drink. Visitors should exercise caution in rural areas.
Important: petrol stations do not accept credit cards.
Official language: English
Recognised regional languages: Ovambo, Afrikaans, German etc.
Form of government: Republic
President: Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba
Prime minister: Nahas Angula
Area: 824.292 km²
Population: 2.052.000 (state 2006)
Density: 2.2 per km²
Independence from South Africa: March 21, 1990
Currency: Namibian dollar (NAD),
South African Rand (ZAR)