National Parks and Protected Reserves
Visitors to Namibia will undoubtedly visit one or more of the National Parks and Protected Reserves.
Namibia boasts 20 protected and state managed national reserves ensuring that the country`s abundant wildlife remain one of the its greatest assets. These protected reserves cover approximately 17% of the land surface area for which Namibia has gained international recognition.
Etosha National Park
The most famous of Namibia`s national reserves is the spectacular Etosha National Park which is home to 114 different mammal species. Etosha`s name translates as Great White Place or Dry Water. The wildlife is typical of the southern savannah plains in Africa with large herds of game such as Springbok, Burchell`s Zebra, Oryx and Blue Wildebeest, as well as smaller numbers of Red Hartebeest and Mountain Zebra. It`s also home to Lion, Cheetah and the elusive Leopard. Some 300 Black Rhino live in the Etosha Park. It also has a large Elephant population that fluctuates between 750 -1500 as they migrate between Kaokoveld, Etosha and the Caprivi Strip. Visitors will surely be treated to a diverse range of Namibian wildlife.
The Namib Desert and Surrounds
The Namib Desert is one of the country`s most breathtaking and unique habitats. The word Namib is a indigenous Nama-word meaning the vast place which accurately describes this 55-million year old desert that stretches over 2,000km and receives only about 2mm of rainfall per year. A visit to Namibia will not be complete if you have not personally experienced and seen the copper-coloured shifting sand dunes meeting the cold Atlantic Ocean.
The Waterberg Plateau
Waterberg Plateau was proclaimed a protected, National Park in 1972. The striking feature of the Waterberg National Park is it large, flat table-like mountain top. The mountain range is not easily accessible which is allowed for the relocation of endangered species. The White Rhino was reintroduced from South Africa.
Coastal Towns and Attractions
One of the famous and best established coastal towns, is Swakopmund and is a beehive of tourist activity. This town is situated in the Namib Desert and is filled with German colonial architecture. A 30-minute drive from Swakopmund will bring you to the harbor and industrial town of Walvis Bay. The Walvis Bay Harbor is undergoing extensive expansion and development to accommodate the influx of vessels importing - and exporting - goods from and to Namibia.
Cape Cross is National Seal Reserve which covers 60sqkm and is approximately 120km north of Swakopmund. It is home to one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. The seal population numbers fluctuate between 80,000 and 100,000 with only one in four seal pups surviving as they often fall prey to jackals and hyena. It is truly a remarkable place to visit and to come close to these Cape fur seals as far as the eye can see.