Interesting facts about Namibia

namibia flag

Namibia is a country in southwest Africa.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Namibia.

It is bordered by Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

The official language is English.

As of 1 January 2017, the population of Namibia was estimated to be 2,542,904 people.

It is the 34th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 825,615 square kilometers (318,772 square miles).

Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level, almost exactly at the country’s geographical centre.


The Namibian landscape consists generally of five geographical areas, each with characteristic abiotic conditions and vegetation, with some variation within and overlap between them: the Central Plateau, Namib Desert, Great Escarpment, Bushveld, and Kalahari Desert.

Running from north to south, the Central Plateau is generally wide and flat, and contains a majority of the country’s population and economic activity.

The Namib Desert stretches along the entire coastline of Namibia. It is believed that Namib Desert is the oldest desert on the globe; as well, the sand dunes located here are the highest in the world.

namib desert

The Great Escarpment swiftly rises to over 2,000 meters (6,562 ft). Its landscape is rocky, yet significantly developed.

The Bushveld is located in northeastern Namibia along the Angolan border, and is a mainly flat and sandy stretch of land.

The Kalahari Desert is perhaps Namibia’s best known geographical feature. Shared with South Africa and Botswana, it has a variety of localised environments ranging from hyper-arid sandy desert, to areas that seem to defy the common definition of desert. One of these areas, known as the Succulent Karoo, is home to over 5,000 species of plants, nearly half of them endemic; fully one third of the world’s succulents are found in the Karoo.

kalahari desert

Namibia has 1,572 kilometers (977 miles) of coastline.

The network of protected areas in Namibia covers about 38% of the national territory. It is made up of 19 national parks, plus other types of protected areas.

Etosha National Park is unique in Africa. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes, giving you almost guaranteed game sightings. At the same time Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa.

etosha national park

The Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia. It is the largest canyon in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep.

fish river canyon

The Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain at 2,573 meters (8,442 ft) above sea level and located on the flat Namib gravel plains, on a clear day it can be seen from a great distance.

brandberg mountain

Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert. The name “Sossusvlei” is often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area (including other neighbouring vleis such as Deadvlei and other high dunes), which is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia. The name “Sossusvlei” is of mixed origin and roughly means “dead-end marsh“.


Twyfelfontein officially known as ǀUi-ǁAis is a site of ancient rock engravings in north-western Namibia. The site has been inhabited for 6,000 years, first by hunter-gatherers and later by Khoikhoi herders. Both ethnic groups used it as a place of worship and a site to conduct shamanist rituals. In the process of these rituals at least 2,500 items of rock carvings have been created, as well as a few rock paintings. Displaying one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa, UNESCO approved Twyfelfontein as Namibia’s first World Heritage Site in 2007.


Cape Cross is a small headland in the South Atlantic in Skeleton Coast, western Namibia. It is home to one of the largest colonies of Cape Fur Seals in the world. The surrounding area was proclaimed a reserve in 1968 to protect the biggest and best known of the 23 colonies of Cape Fur Seals which breed along the coast of South Africa and Namibia.

cape cross

The San (Bushmen), who are among the world’s oldest surviving hunter-gatherers, have lived in this territory for over 11,000 years.

From 1884, Namibia was a German colony: German South West Africa.

After the First World War, the League of Nations mandated South Africa to administer the territory.

From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid also to what was known as South West Africa (modern-day Namibia).

In 1966 SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization) began a long guerrilla war in Namibia. Finally in 1988 South Africa agreed to allow Namibia to become independent.

A constitution was written and Namibia became independent on 21 March 1990.


Namibia’s economy is tied closely to South Africa’s due to their shared history. The largest economic sectors are mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa and the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium.

According to the World Bank, Namibia is classified as an upper middle income country.

The Christian community makes up 80%–90% of the population of Namibia, with at least 75% being Protestant, and at least 50% Lutheran.

The most popular sport in Namibia is football.

The name of the country is derived from the Namib Desert.

The large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being the second least densely populated country in the world, after Mongolia.

Dragon’s Breath Cave located in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia contains the world’s largest  non-subglacial underground lake, with an area of almost 2 hectares (4.9 acres).

Namibia has the largest free-roaming cheetah population in the world – there are an estimated 2,500 – 3,000 cheetahs in Namibia.

Namibia’s dramatic landscapes have been used as the backdrop for films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Flight of the Phoenix (2006), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).