The land of the brave
“Unity, Liberty and Justice”
Travelling through Namibia, you will experience the landscape, ethnic groups, towns, adventures and animal life changing, quite drastically at times, within a hundred or two hundred kilometres from each other.
We have been fortunate enough to have travelled a few tens of thousands of miles in and around Namibia. In the pages under our Namibia heading, I share our road trips with you. I hope you enjoy a bit of Nam for yourself in all its contrasting beauty.
It’s hard to top our last New Years Eve spent on the Skeleton Coast, being one with nature and seeing celebrations going on all the way along the beach while the sun kissed 2015 goodbye.
The stars begged us to wish upon them while the flames of the fire warmed our body, right the way into our soul. With an open bottle of champaign on ice, it made for a perfect no drinking and driving scenario. We had stepped out of the fast pace of the life. We breathed in the beauty of nature and let the Earth’s energy rejuvenate our soul while barefoot upon the sand. To dream and to ponder while wishing that all the answers to our questions would magically unfold.
- Country dialling code +264
- Daylight saving times – Time – UTC+1. In the summer time GMT+2 as from the 1st Sunday in September to the 1st Sunday in April. Winter time GMT+1 hour from 1st Sunday in April to the 1st Sunday in September.
- Population around 2.2 million.
- 9 Languages – English, Afrikaans, German, Rukwangali, Silozi, Setswana, Damara/Nama, Herero, Oshiwambo.
- 12 Ethnic groups – The majority being the Ovambo then Kavango, Damara, Herero, White, Nama, Coloured, Caprivian, San, Basters, Tswana and others.
- An area of land around 824,200 km² in which it holds within it a water area of around 1,000km².
- Situated mainly between the latitude of 17º – 29ºS and the longitude of 11º – 26ºE.
- Airports – Hosea Kutako International, a 45mins drive East of Windhoek. There are a few Domestic airports in the various towns: Eros – Windhoek, Katima Mulilo – Caprivi, Keetmanshoop, Lüderitz, Ondangwa, Rundu and Walvis Bay.
- Border Posts –
- Economy – The extraction and processing of its minerals for export are its greatest resources – diamonds, uranium, copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, silver and tungsten. The agriculture industry comprising of millet, peanuts, livestock, fish, dairy sorghum and wine.
- Jan 01 – New Years Day
- March 21 – Independence Day
- March/April – Easter weekend (Western Christian dates)
- May 01 – Workers Day
- May 04 – Cassinga Day
- Aug 26 -Herero People’s Day
- Dec 10 – Human Rights Day
- Dec 25 – Christmas Day
- Dec 26 – Day of Goodwill (Family Day)
- You don’t need a visa if you are from any of the following places. Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Any other country requires a visa.
- You are allowed to enter the country for 90 days within a year.
- Vistors passports must be valid for at least six months after the date of entry into Namibia.
- You need to supply an address of your first place you’ll be staying at and a contact number.
- Check that you have given yourself sufficient time for any unplanned emergencies when entering your exit date at the border control. If you end up overstaying your expected time of departure from the country you could find yourself with a severe fine. Check the dates they stamp in your passport and on your Road Permit Fees.
- Always check the countries laws at the time of travel in connection with children. An unabridged birth certificate was still necessary as of Dec 2015.
26 Point History Timeline
- Way back in the past, in its pre-colonial period, it was inhabited by the San, Damara and Nama people.
- 14 Century AD – Bantu people of many languages immigrated from Central and Southern Africa into Namibia.
- 1485 – Portuguese navigators explored the area.
- 1486 – Bartolomeu Dias, who was the first mariner to navigate around the Southern most tip of Africa. At Diaz Point by Luderitz, a cross stands in his honour.
- 18 Century onwards – Some of the Orlam clan, made up of mixed -race descendants of Khoikhoi, Europeans and slaves from Madagascar, India and Indonesia, crossed the Orange River from the Cape Colony and moved into the Southern region of Namibia. The Nama tribe welcomed them and allowed them to use their waterholes and grazing at a small cost. The Orlams then travelled North where they met up with the Herero tribe in Gobabis, Windhoek and Okahanja, who weren’t as friendly as the Nama tribe in the South.
- The Nama – Herero War happened in 1880. Imperial Germany sent troops to the problematic places and “evened” out the status quo between the Nama, Orlams and Herero.
- 1884 – Namibia was under German Rule run by Otto Von Bismarck to hold back any British encroachment. It was named German South-West Africa (Deautsch-Süidwestafrika). People from Germany and Sweden arrived to trade and to settle there.
- The British governor in Cape Town partook on the Palgrave Mission and had the harbour of Walvis Bay annexed to the Cape Province of British South Africa.
- Late 19 Century – Dorsland Trekkers crossed Namibia on their way from the Transvaal to Angola, and some of them settled in Namibia. The Portuguese tried to convert these trekkers to Catholicism and wouldn’t allow their language to be spoken or learnt at the schools.
- 1904 – 1907 Herero and Namaqua against the Germans genocide which ended with half the population of Nama and three-quarters the population of Herero killed.
- 1915 – South Africa occupied the land, ensuring the defeated of the German force during World War 1. Then South Africa oversaw and helped administer it from 1919 as a “League of Nations Mandate territory.”
- The Herero and Namaqua survivors were released and subjected to a policy of deportation, dispossession, forced labour, racial segregation and discrimination. An outcome for most Africans at the time, where they returned to their territories/homelands (Bantustans) under the 1949 SA rule post.
- 1946 – The United Nations replaced the League. SA refused to surrender its policies to the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement. The outcome was that the international administrators wanted to monitor the situation and ultimately were looking for an independence result.
- 1950’s – The Herero Chief sent petitions to the UN calling for Namibia’s independence.
- 1960’s – The European powers granted independence to their territories in Africa. The pressure was increased for South Africa to do the same for Namibia. A tiny percentage of settlers who had arrived from South Africa into Namibia, apparently owned, almost three-quarters of the only arable land.
- 1966 – A complaint from Ethiopia and Liberia, who were calling for the South African administration to leave Namibia, was dismissed. The U.N. General Assembly subsequently revoked SA’s mandate. In response to the 1966 ruling by the International Court of Justice, the arms struggle began for Namibia’s independence. South-West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) military wing formed, as was, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia fighting for their freedom.
- 1971 – The International Court of Justice issued an opinion declaring SA’s continued administration to be illegal.
- 1978 – UN Resolution 435 was passed to ensure a transition towards independence for Namibia. South Africa didn’t agree to these plans.
- 1988 – South Africa finally agreed to a ‘transition to independence’ for Namibia by accepting the UN Peace Plan for the region after a diplomatic agreement between SA, Angola and Cuba, with the USSR and the USA watching over them. SA agreed to withdraw its troops and demobilise its forces. Cuba agreed to pull back its men in Southern Angola. They were sent to support the MPLA in its war for control together with UNITA.
- 1989 April – 1990 March – United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) under the leadership of Martti Ahtisaari monitored the peace process, elections and supervised military withdrawals. Peacekeepers and political workers negotiated and dates were set for an election process to begin in earnest.
- 1989 Nov – Over 46 000 SWAPO exiles return to Namibia for their first one person, one vote elections by the constitutional assembly. The election slogan was “Free and Fair Elections” and was won by SWAPO. The official opposition ended up being the SA backed Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA).
- 1990 Feb – The Namibian Constitution was adopted which incorporated protection for Human rights, compensation for state expropriations of private property, an independent judiciary and an executive presidency. The constituent assembly became the national assembly.
- 1990 – 2005 – Sam Nujoma became the first President of Namibia while Nelson Mandela and the world watch on the 21st March 1990. A multi-party democracy began with local, regional and national elections. Namibia’s name derives from the Namib Desert.
- 1994 – Walvis Bay Harbour was ceded back to Namibia by South Africa at the end of South Africa’s Apartheid era.
- 2005 – 2015 – Hifikepunye Pohamba took over as President after the 15-year rule of President Sam Nujoma.
- 2015 March 21st – Hage Geinob took over the Presidency of Namibia from Hifikepunye Pohamba. SWAPO has won every election since its Independence.