11 Fun Facts about Namibia
Updated: Apr 4
Namibia is a beautiful country in southern Africa that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Listed here are some amazing facts about Namibia that may persuade you to visit the country for a Namibian safari:
1. Namibia has some of the world's tallest sand dunes
Big Daddy is the tallest dune in Sossusvlei. This massive dune, located between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, stands at around 325 meters tall. Pack plenty of water and go to Big Daddy's summit, where you have fantastic views all the way down to Deadvlei.
Dune 7 is the tallest dune in Namibia at 383 meters. Dune 7 was so named because it is the seventh dune one encounters after crossing the river Tsauchab.
2. Namibia is home to 30 different languages that are spoken throughout the country
Despite its tiny size, Namibia's population is quite diversified in terms of language and culture. Namibia has over 11 indigenous languages but also has languages from all over the world, including English which is Namibia’s official language although less than 1% of the population speak it!
Namibia has a population of approximately 2.6 million people who speak up to 30 different languages. The most extensively used is Oshiwambo dialects (49%), a Bantu language, followed by Afrikaans (11%), Khoekhoegowab (10%), RuKwangali (9%), and Otjiherero (9%).
3. Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world
Namibia has one of the world's lowest population densities in the world with 3 people per km2. In Namibia's desert sceneries, silence is accentuated, especially in Sossusvlei and the Skeleton Coast, which contributes to the otherworldly atmosphere.
4. Namibia was the first country to constitute environmental protection
Namibia is a newly independent country (March 21, 1990). Because of Namibia's recent declaration of independence, it has been able to craft an innovative, modern constitution, and we applaud its inclusion of environmental conservation as a key pillar. Over 42% of Namibia’s land is under some form of conservation management – more than any other country in the world.
Namibia is one of the world's largest deserts, and this regulation allows for a very magnificent and unique ‘untouched' natural experience in this parched environment.
5. The Skeleton Coast is the world's largest ship cemetery
Over the centuries, dense fog and heavy storms caused many shipwrecks along Namibia's coast. In 1971 the Skeleton Coast National Park was established covering 6,504m2. 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.
6. Namibia has one of Africa’s largest concentrations of rock art
Twyfelfontein, in Namibia's Kunene Region, contains one of the continent's highest concentrations of ancient rock engravings.
In ancient hunter-gatherer and later herder shamanism, the rock engravings are considered to be part of shamanic rituals. The area has been inhabited for at least 6,000 years and is Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, approved in 2007.
7. Namibia has the largest population of free-roaming cheetahs in the world
Around 3,000 or so free-roaming cheetah can be found in the country.
8. Second largest canyon in the world: Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is one of Namibia's natural beauties located in the Karas region. The canyon is 160 km long, 27 km wide, and almost 550m deep. Many visitors from all over the world visit Fish River Canyon to experience the sheer beauty; hiking and trail running are also popular!
9. The Namib Desert is the World’s Oldest Desert (55 million years old)
Namib means "land of open expanses". Deserts are shaped by fierce winds, roasted by blazing heat, and rusted by the iron of Africa. It is an open area that invites exploration and adventure. The Namib is full of incredible surprises.
10. The world’s largest underground lake
The world’s largest non-subglacial underground lake, discovered in 1986, is hidden beneath the Kalahari Desert in a cave known as Dragon’s Breath Cave (so named because of the humid air that rises from it). The lake is located at least 100m (330ft) below the surface and has an area of almost two hectares.
11. The world's most extensive meteorite shower
The Gibeon meteorite shower covers an oval area of 275 by 100 km, focused near Brukkaros south of Mariental that fell in prehistoric times.
Most fell southeast of Gibeon. So far, 120 specimens weighing about 25 tons have been identified. The number collected but never registered in Namibia is unknown. A collection is displayed in Windhoek’s Central Business District and proclaimed a National Monument. All meteorites found in Namibia are automatically protected as National Monuments and must not be removed from where they have been found, nor damaged in any way.