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10 Interesting Facts About Namibia

Posted by Tiffany Bowers on 15 Sep 2022

Part of the Namibia Safari & African Safari Collection

Namibia is a fascinating country in southern Africa that you should surely visit at least once in your lifetime. Here are some fascinating facts about Namibia that may persuade you to visit the country.

Here are 10 interesting facts about Namibia:

  • Fact number 1 – Namibia is home to the world’s oldest desert

Shifting sand dunes, gravel plains, and rugged mountains make up this extremely arid ecoregion.

Namib Desert Namibia Safari

The Namib Desert, the world’s oldest desert, has been around for at least 55 million years, devoid of surface water but bisected by many dry riverbeds. The Namib Desert is one of many stunning experiences that Namibia is known for.

A few ungulates, such as Hartmann’s zebras, live in these vegetated riverbeds.

Scenic photo of dunes in the Namib Desert

The south of the desert is very dry, with no dry riverbeds; the gemsbok is the only large mammal that can survive in this harsh climate.

An interesting fact about Namibia is that the thick fogs are common along the coast, and they are the desert’s lifeblood, providing enough moisture for a variety of interesting, well-adapted animal species to thrive.

  • Fact number 2 – Namibia has 30 languages that are spoken in the country

Another fun fact about Namibia is that it has a remarkable diversity of spoken languages: about 30 overall.

language and culture of namibia safari guide Himba

More than 11 languages are native to Namibia, but with its cosmopolitan culture, languages from all across the world are spoken in Namibia.

Traditional Herero Woman in Namiba

Oshiwambo dialects are the most often spoken languages in Namibian homes, with Oshiwambo dialects accounting for 49% of the population, followed by Khoekhoegowab (11%), Afrikaans (10%), RuKwangali (9%), and Otjiherero (9%).

  • Fact number 3 – Namibia has some of the highest sand dunes in the world

The tallest dune in the Sossusvlei region is Big Daddy. Between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei lies this huge dune, which dwarfs the other dunes at 325 meters.

sossusvlei climbing namibia adventure

Take a lot of water and trek to the summit of Big Daddy, where you can gaze down on Deadvlei, for maximum bragging rights. Climbing Big Daddy and visiting the Deadvlei is one of the most popular experiences that Namibia is famous for.

Dunes in Namibia

At 325 meters, Big Daddy is the tallest dune in the Sossusvlei area, although not the highest in the Namib Desert. In reality, Dune 7, which is 388 meters long, has received this honour. Dune 7 gets its name from the fact that it is the 7th dune on the Tsauchab River.

  • Fact number 4 – World’s most extensive meteorite shower

The Gibeon meteorite shower is the largest known meteorite shower on Earth, covering a wide elliptical area of some 275 by 100 kilometres, centred on Brukkaros south of Mariental.

Namibia Capital City Windhoek

Most of the pieces fell just southeast of Gibeon. To date, some 120 specimens with a weight of almost 25 tons have been recorded. In fact in Namibia, an unknown number have been collected but never recorded.

The Gibeon meteorite shower occurred in prehistoric times in central Namibia. Remains from this meteorite shower are exhibited at Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city.

  • Fact number 5 –  Namibia has one of the largest concentrations of rock art in Africa

The first known inhabitants of Namibia are the San (Bushmen) who belong to the Khoesan people.

San Rock art in Namibia

These hunter-gatherers – like the Ju/’Hoansi, Kxoe and the Kung – have travelled across the vast plains of Southern Africa for thousands of years until migrants armed with arms looking for new land to graze their animals and plant their food, driving them further and further east into the Kalahari Desert.

The San have resided in Namibia for more than 6,000 years, and there is more than enough rock art to confirm this.

  • Fact number 6 – Namibia has the largest population of free-roaming cheetahs in the world

Cheetah Conservation in Namibia

At the Cheetah Conservation in Namibia, you can run across one of the 3,000 or so free-roaming cheetahs in the country.

  • Fact number 7 – Namibia is also home to the second-largest canyon in the world

The Fish River Canyon, located close to the border with South Africa, is also the oldest in the world.

fish river canyon namibia adventure

Researchers have determined that the canyon was formed at least 500 million years ago through water and wind erosion, coupled with the collapse of the valley floor.

  • Fact number 8 – The most fascinating Namibia Tribes

The Himba tribe in the Kunene region of the country has strongly clung to their traditional ways and beliefs.

Himba Woman in Kunene Namibia

They wear traditional clothes, eat traditional foods and even practice traditional religions. The women wear skirts and leave their upper bodies bare. Basically, they have been unaffected by modernism in any way.

  • Fact number 9 – The Skeleton Coast is the world’s biggest gravesite for sailors and ships

A large number of sailors have died at this coast in Namibia, given the dense fog and the violent storms in the area.

Skeleton Coast Namibia Travel

In the 1940s, a slate was discovered along with human skeletons. The slate was written by a survivor and directed anyone who found it north. Unfortunately, the wreck had happened close to a century earlier.

  • Fact number 10 – The Namibian dollar is used interchangeably with the South African Rand

Under South African rule, the country used the rand to transact and only started using the Namibian dollar after independence.

Nambia Currency

Currently, both currencies are accepted in the country. This means that if you are doing a safari in South Africa and then Namibia, you won’t have to go through the effort of exchanging any currencies.

Keen for a Self-drive adventure? Why not have a look at the Namibia self-drive itinerary by alajode, where you will be sure to find an adventure-packed curated plan for Namibia.

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Copyright © Discover Africa Safaris | 10 Interesting Facts About Namibia | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2022