Things To Do In Namibia


Namibia is in Southern Africa, bordering South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert, the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park, and the Kalahari desert. Its people speak nine different languages, including some of the Khoisan languages which include the 'clicks' that present an enigma to most native English-speakers. Namibia produces some of the world's highest quality diamonds.

Inhabited from the dawn of time by the San, also known as the "Bushmen", invaded by the Bantu, colonized by the Germans (who called it "South West Africa") and taken over by South Africa after WWI, Namibia is in many ways quite similar to South Africa. Since it was ruled under the apartheid system, Namibia also has many of the problems resulting from that system.

It is important to be aware that race is a common part of Namibian discourse. That is to say, Namibians will refer to the race of others more frequently than travelers from places where race is typically not an issue, would expect. Because of apartheid, the race is an issue in many spheres of life, so it comes up a lot. In spite of this, the various races do get along well in Namibia, and it is fairly uncommon to find racial tensions flaring.

Apartheid was never implemented as strictly in Namibia as in South Africa, so racial tensions are generally lower.

Namibia is similar to South Africa, and if you're used to traveling in one country, traveling in the other country is quite easy. There are some subtle differences. For example, in South Africa, a non-white person may choose to speak English rather than Afrikaans (as a political choice) whereas among Namibia's mixed-race population (who call themselves 'colored' in Namibia and South Africa) Afrikaans is a proud part of their culture, and many people still speak German. Overlooking these differences isn't going to cause offense, but they're handy to know.
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