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Saturday, January 10, 2009


Although not as well known as some of its African neighbours, Namibia is a gem for those in search of wildlife and wilderness. Once governed by Germany and South Africa, Namibia has been independent since 1990. Germanic influence can still be found in the country's well-maintained towns, roads and rest camps. Namibia is peaceful and more prosperous than many nearby countries because of its productive mining, farming, fishing and tourism industries. However, with half the country’s agricultural land owned by a few thousand white farmers, land reform is a burning issue. Essentially a desert country, Namibia offers contrasting landscapes. The Namib Desert is a vast swathe of high dunes and desolate plains with an awe-inspiring sense of space. The thorn bush savannah and rugged mountains of the central plateau give way to the majestic Fish River Canyon in the south. In the north of the country, landscapes range from the dense bush and open plains of the great Etosha Pan, to woodland savannah and lush vegetation. Etosha National Park, the third largest in Africa, owes its unique landscape to the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression edged by waterholes to the south which guarantee rewarding game viewing.