Namibia is located in southern Africa and is known for its natural attractions. The highlights include Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon Park, the Namib desert, and the Kalahari Desert. The country was a former colony of Germany but gained independence back in 1966. Namibia locals speak nine different languages, and the country is famous for the high quality of diamonds it produces. If these facts didn’t make Namibia interesting enough, here are seven more that may surprise you.
1. Namibia Has the World’s Largest Population of Free-Roaming Cheetahs
The number of free-roaming cheetahs fluctuates between 2,500 and 3,000. A visit to the Cheetah Conservation Fund is one of the best ways to see them. You’ll be even more likely to hear them, as they’re known for the distinct chirping sound they make.
2. Namibia is Home to Desert Elephants
There are only two countries on the globe with desert elephants and Namibia is one of them. While they’re not a separate species, these elephants have adapted to desert life over time. They have a smaller body mass, larger feet, and longer legs in order to deal with the conditions and travel long distances to water sources.
3. Namibia is Home to The World’s Largest Underwater Lake
Discovered in 1986, Dragon Breath’s Cave holds the largest lake in the world that isn’t sub-glacial. It got its name because of the hot, steamy air that rises from the entrance. Visitors won’t be able to explore the cave, as only professionals know how to navigate it.
4. Namibia Has Some of The Highest Sand Dunes in The World
Visitors flock to Sossusvlei to see Big Daddy sand dune, measuring 325m. Although it doesn’t have as interesting of a name, Dune 45 is the most photographed of the dunes. Most visitors will climb to the top of the sand dunes for the views, while others try out the sand surfing.
5. Namibia Has a Skeleton Coast
The coast got its name because of the seal and whale skeletons that frequently washed up on shore. Once in a while, a few human skeletons would wash up too. Because of the thick fog around the area, the coast has been known for shipwrecks over the years. In fact, more than 1,000 known ships have wrecked on Skeleton Coast. The Portuguese refer to this area as ‘The Gates of Hell,’ while the Bushmen call it, ‘The Land God Made in Anger.’ On a lighter note, the area is home to 100,000 seals; the largest population in the world.
6. Namibia is The Second Least Densely Populated Country
Even though the country is double the size of California, only two million people reside there. It’s this lack of people that makes Namibia such a great destination for wildlife viewing. Mongolia comes in first place though when it comes to the lowest population.
7. Namibia is Home to 13 Ethnic Groups
One of these groups is the Himba. The Himba people are nomadic and have been largely secluded from the outside world. It was only around 15 years ago that they first came into contact with Western influences.