Welcome to Namibia

Namibia is a vast country with many dry regions. The Namib desert lies along the coastline and the Kalahari desert is in the east. Rainfall is higher in northern and central areas, such as around Windhoek. Even so, cities rely on dams for their water and many farmers raise livestock because the land isn't suitable for crops.

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Food & Daily life

Modern & traditional

In some regions of Namibia, communities continue to practise very traditional ways of living; in other parts, life is more modern and commercial.

Geography & Wildlife

Dramatic landscapes

The mountains and deserts of Namibia offer some of the most spectacular and unspoiled areas of wilderness on the African continent.

Heroes' Acre

Namibia’s heroes

Those who helped form the independent nation of Namibia are commemorated in a special memorial site called ‘Heroes’ Acre’.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Kalahari

The Kalahari

Birds and animals employ various techniques to survive in the harsh conditions of the Kalahari desert.

Climate & Agriculture

A livestock country

With its dry climate, much of Namibia’s land is used for grazing livestock and cattle meat is the most important agricultural export.

Namibia map

Explore Namibia

Find out more about Namibia’s unique conservation areas and the history behind some of its towns and cities.

Facts & Figures

A large country

Though much larger than many African countries, Namibia has a tiny population, at just over 2 million. This compares with 10.6 million in Rwanda, which is a fraction of the size of Namibia. Find out other facts here and compare them with other countries.

Children's stories

Our Stories

Some of the youngsters from the SOS Children’s Village at Windhoek have made films of stories they’d like to tell. One is a happy tale of the treats which lie in store for children who do well at school. The other shows how it's hard to have fun with others, when you're doing all the work.

Meat market

Meat lovers

Namibians love their meat and the SOS chief reporters visit a local market where carcasses are cut up and sold.

People & Culture

Traditional cultures

Southern parts of Namibia were taken over by white settlers, pushing indigenous groups into northern and western regions, where many retain their distinctive cultures.

Poverty & Healthcare

Wealth and poverty

Despite mineral resources bringing wealth to the country, around half of Namibia’s people live in poverty and many children are malnourished.

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Swimming

Splashing around

With its hot, dry climate, water is always appreciated in Namibia and the youngsters all enjoy a trip to the local swimming pool.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Desert Express

Train travel

The rail network in Namibia is used for transporting goods across this vast country. However, passenger travel is on the increase, particularly among tourists.

History & Politics

Latecomer to independence

Namibia was one of the last African countries to be explored and colonised, and the last but one to be given its independence.

Tourism & Communications

Sensitive tourism

Tourism in Namibia has been expanding steadily. But with the country’s delicate wilderness areas and vulnerable nomadic groups, it needs to grow sensitively.

Economy & Industry

Four pillars

The economy of Namibia depends on four main industries – mining, agriculture, fishing and tourism.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Education & Jobs

High literacy

The vast majority of young people in Namibia are able to read and write thanks to investment in schools and education.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Wedding

Getting hitched

The Damara people of Namibia traditionally hold week-long celebrations when a couple get married.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Welcome to Namibia

Hello. We’re Zoodes and Flora. Welcome to Namibia.

Namibia has some spectacular landscapes, such as the beautiful but dangerous Skeleton Coast and the deserts of the Namib and Kalahari. We live in the centre of the country, in Windhoek. Like many capitals, the city is home to the old and the new, but traditions and history are greatly valued here. Come and find out more about our country.

Namibia topics Facts & Figures Poverty & Healthcare Food & Daily life Wedding People & Culture Geography & Wildlife Climate & Agriculture Swimming Heroes' Acre Welcome to Namibia Kalahari Economy & Industry Meat market Education & Jobs Children's stories History & Politics Desert Express Namibia map Tourism & Communications