Namibia - a unique country, with its rich flora and fauna, a rare combination of landscapes and geological structures. There are almost 365 sunny days a year, extended Oceanside, endless desert sands and the green foothills of the rich hunting grounds, original population and the many monuments of nature.
Namibia is located along the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. It shares borders with Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. From the west by the Atlantic Ocean, in the south of the Orange River is limited in the north - the lower reaches of the river Cunene.
The capital Windhoek.
Namib Desert - the main attraction of the country and the oldest desert in the world, its age is estimated at 60-80 million scientists. Years. Stretching for 1,600 km. along the coast of the country, the desert striking diversity of its landscapes - brown weathered rocks, numerous canyons dry rivers, continuously moving huge sand dunes and vast gravelly wasteland interspersed with tiny oases. Completely dry area, where for years no single drop of rain, desert, however, is full of life and attracts thousands of tourists. Winter tormented by thirst animals congregate around the tiny ponds, where you can see and take pictures of almost all members of the Namibian wildlife.
Northern Namibia - the main "breadbasket" and the most densely populated region in the country. Here are a few major cities - the majority of the population (mostly belonging to the tribe "Ovambo") live on large farms and small towns.
City Otjiwarongo ("beautiful") was founded in 1892 Despite the fact that the city is often used as a transit point for a trip to the national parks, it deserves some attention - here are the Cheetah Conservation Center with nursery herding dogs and the only one in the country farm crocodiles, which are bred Nile alligators (up to 30 thousand. individuals). Vast expanses "bushveld" stretching around the city, replete with a variety of farms, whose owners (mostly white) is pleased to have hosted tourists.
Damaraland - beautiful and mysterious desert wilderness that lies south-west of Otjiwarongo. The highest mountains of the country (Brandberg massif, mountain Königstein, Shpittskopp and Pondoks) coexist here with vast plains, dry riverbeds, framed by a surprisingly lush, drawn through the waterless desert sands, and volcanic activity formed laccoliths Barnt Mountain and Organ Pipes are cut waterfalls nowhere who took rivers. There are interesting rock carvings in Tvayfilfonteyn (refer to the period 4-2 millennium BC. E.), Colorful erosional forms Vingerklip, "Stone Forest" (National Wildlife Refuge, where you can see fossilized 250-300 million years ago, trees), covered with petroglyphs (age 7 to 20 thousand. years ago) rocks White Lady, as well as excellent suitable for mountaineering and trekking mountains Shpittskopp (1728 m.) and peak Pondoks (1692).
Ondangwa and Oshakati, lying north of the Etosha Park, are major shopping centers and an excellent place to explore the culture of the people of the Ovambo. The sights of the area, in addition to traditional markets include National Monument and Museum Olukonda Nakambale - a monument and museum in the building of the first Finnish (!!) Christian mission in Ovamboland. The museum, along with the house of the missionary Martti Rautenena, who earned the nickname the locals "Nakambale" demonstrates the culture and history of northern Namibia, Ovamboland. Also interested in the farm "Ndong" where you can taste the typical dishes of local residents and to meet and practice with a unique culture, many hundreds of years developing in these harsh conditions. It is also interesting craft center and Cunene Kaoko-Info Center in the capital region Kaokoveld - Opuwo.
Across the northern part of the country's coastline stretches one more exotic locations - the Skeleton Coast. This stretch of coastline that begins north of Swakopmund, is a long strip of coastal plains occupied by dunes, rocky ranges and areas of ancient volcanic activity. Wild and rough country is considered one of the most unspoilt places on the planet. 700 km. are stretched numerous sites of shipwrecks - all along the coast are seen pitted sea water "edges" of the lost ships (dense fog, frequent these places, "resulted in" stranded more than one hundred ships). You can see the fur seal colony at Cape Cross (the second largest in the southern hemisphere), find the sand thrown up by the storm ancient coins or other evidence of the past, to admire the unreal landscape of barren desert on the ocean, as well as a ride in a jeep on the dunes or hike along the the most scenic park (medical certification is required). Wind, ocean currents and "floating" sand constantly changing landscape of the Skeleton Coast - the harbor are lagoons, coastal islands that are hidden in the depths, then reappear. And thanks to the cool river, coastal waters - one of the richest areas of the world ocean fish for fishermen's paradise.
Grootfontein ("big fountain") - a small town in the north of the country, founded by German immigrants in the late XIX-th century. Quiet town surrounded by bush and farms, is world famous for the fact that it is close to the crash site the world's largest meteorite Hoba is excellent, by the way, to save. Weighing about 50 tons of meteorite fell in these parts about 80 thousand. Years ago and today is a real place of pilgrimage for tourists. A built in 1896, "German fort" now contains an exposition of regional museum Grootfontein.
Tsumeb - one of the most picturesque cities in the northern part of the country. The difference between him and other Namibian towns feel almost immediately after entering the city - the streets are straight and well maintained, lots of trees and parks, and children playing football in the park and ride bicycles. This German "Ordnung" in its purest form. Despite the fact that Tsumeb is one of the centers of the mining industry in Namibia, dust, common in other northern cities, is virtually absent, so is a preferred place of the expedition, following in the national parks. In addition, interest Tsumeb Museum on Main Street with an extensive collection on the history of the region, as well as the Center for the Arts and Crafts with a large exhibition and sale of products of local craftsmen.
The central part of the country lies in the vast plateau of the same name, which is slightly softens the heat and allows you to develop industry, agriculture and tourism.
The capital of Namibia - Windhoek ("windy corner", its name is often pronounced as "Vinduk"), founded in 1840, is located at an altitude of 1650 m. Above sea level, between the mountains of Auas and Eros. As the largest city in the country, Windhoek has a population of only 300 thousand. People), but it stretches for 15 km. from north to south and 10 km. - From west to east. Here, a relatively mild climate and large enough by local standards, rainfall, so Windhoek and is considered the most "green" city in the country.
The sights of the city are the Old Fort (Alte Feste, 1880), and numerous colorful houses, almost locks in the German style - Hayntsburg (now a hotel), Sanderburg (private ownership) and Shverinsburg (residence of the Italian Ambassador), the Supreme Court building, parliament in the palace "Tintenpalas", the presidential palace and the National Theatre on Robert Mugabe Avenue, exhibition of meteorites on Post Street, a neo-Gothic church Kristukirhe and colorful Lutheran Church.
Well worth a visit National Museum of Namibia (several rooms scattered throughout the city, including the Old Fort), which has exhibition devoted to the nature, history and culture of the country, the National Gallery of Art with an extensive collection of African art, a nonprofit Folklore Center "Penduka" ("Awakening"), "Arts district" Varehaus and Crafts Center in Katatura Namibia, as well as a gallery Omatako-Curious.
In addition, there are many modern hotels and restaurants, a variety of shops and markets, including such exotic as the markets in the northern and southern exits from the city, as well as a lively nightlife - clubs Chez-Ntemba, Thriller Club, Tower Bar and dancing Li-Di-Da is well known far beyond the capital.
Reputation as a "green capital" support a large water sports complex at Jean-Zhonker Road Vernhill Park, Park Mall, Pioneer Park, and lots of small gardening zones (in almost every yard has a small lawn or park, often with pool) as well as the zoo and the vast area of the National Botanical Institute and Gardens. Around Windhoek are several so-called "German farms" and numerous parks - Okapuka, Melrose, Dan Vilhun and others, on whose territory the safari, observing wildlife, and organized hunting allowed to shoot animals.
The small resort town of Rehoboth, situated south of the capital, was founded in 1844 Resort was formed around the hot mineral springs and boasts an excellent Rehoboth Museum, housed in the residence of the first postmaster of the city (1903). Another interesting place - the crater of an ancient extinct volcano Boukkaros diameter of more than 2 thousand. Sq. Directly beside the main road that leads from Windhoek to the "capital of the south" Keetmanshoop.
In the Keetmanshoop, founded in 1866, interesting church of the Rhine mission (XIX c.), Which houses the Museum of Keetmanshoop, National Monument Kuiver Tree Forest (17 km. Northeast of the city) and the geological phenomenon in the form of a pyramid composed of natural manner giant boulders Giants-pleygraund.
Walvis Bay - the main port and the largest industrial center in Namibia, which lies 30 km. south of Swakopmund. Attractions are the Dune Seven (the highest dune in the region), the lagoon of Walvis Bay ("Whale Bay"), which is often observed in large herds of whales, "bird sanctuary" lagoon Ramser site where more than 50 species of nesting birds (here home to 70% of flamingos in South Africa), Esplanade around the lagoons, where even without binoculars, you can observe the life of animals and birds, salt panning areas of salt-Works with huge white towers of evaporated salt from seawater, numerous oyster farms, as well as resort Deyl- Deiva Adventure, specializing in outdoor activities, including a variety of extreme sports.
The southern part of the country is dry and harsh, most of it (Sperrgebiet - "forbidden territory") available for tourists because of the diamond mines are located, to which access is denied. Nevertheless, there are plenty of noteworthy places.
Luderitz - a small port on the ocean. Based Bremen tobacco merchant Adolf Luderitz in 1884, this city was the first German settlement in what was then "Zyudvestafrika." And today it has become the largest center of lobster and oyster farming in Africa. Worth seeing Felsenkirhe Church (1911-1912), the house Gёrke House on the hill Diamond Hill (a name that speaks, not it, right?), A small private museum Luderitz and apartment buildings in colonial style, preserved since the "gold rush" . On both sides of the city limits of the coast is a closed zone, but extremely picturesque - cliffs, caves, reefs, lagoons, and many miles of wild shores of which are constantly breaking the mighty ramparts of the Atlantic Ocean. Here lives a great variety of marine animals - sea lions at Diaz Point, flamingos at Grosse Bucht, penguins on the island of Halifax and numerous seabird colonies along the coast.
And, of course, is to visit the abandoned city and diamond mines south of Luderitz - Elizabeth Bay, Pomona, Bogenfels and the famous "ghost town" Kolmanskop. In all these cities the total romantic and sad story. In the early twentieth century, these places were found lying almost on the surface of diamonds, and "Diamond Beach" flowed into eager gain. In the area of mines founded the city had a railroad, deployed infrastructure and began to build houses, schools, hospitals and so on.. But diamonds quickly ended, and sandstorms, lack of drinking water and the heat expelled local residents from their homes in search of richer deposits . Since there are amazing and the abandoned city in the desert.
Individual merits taking pictures Ai-Ais town, famous for its hot springs and the fact that it is here that originates Fish River Canyon, which is considered the second largest in Africa after the gorge of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. And not far from the river Fish in the open in 1969, the cave "Apollo 11", are the most ancient rock paintings in Africa - their age is estimated at 27 thousand. Years.
Tropical, very dry, is influenced by the cold Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean. In the north-east of the country is subtropical, with a strong continental features. The average temperature in summer (December-April) + 28-32 C (in the north to +38 C), night + 15-20 C (in the desert regions of the temperature at night can dramatically go down to 0 C). Winter, respectively, + 15-20 C and about 0 C at night. "Rainy season" lasts from November to March-April. Precipitation ranges from 10-50 mm. per year on the coast (often they fall here only in the form of fog) to 400-600 mm. in the extreme north-east. On the coast is constantly blowing cold wind.
Far from Moscow at 2:00. From April to October set their clocks to daylight saving time (1 hour to the standard).
State languages - Afrikaans and English are common German, oshivango, Herero, Kavango, Nama, Damara and Ovambo.
The Namibian Dollar (N $), equal to 100 cents. Namibian dollar pegged to the South African rand in circulation on a par with the local currency. The appeal denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 N $, coins of 1 (coming out of treatment), 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents as well as 1, 2, and 5 N $.
For Russian citizens visa is not required. For a guided tour with a maximum duration of stay in the country up to 30 days visa ("Entry permit") is placed directly at the point of arrival in Namibia. When crossing the border must present a passport with at least two blank pages, valid for at least 6 months after the expected life of departure from the country, as well as a completed application form in English (in the questionnaire indicated Full name, date and place of birth, citizenship, permanent residence, number and expiry date of the passport, point of arrival, residence address in Namibia and the purpose of the trip).
Religion in Namibia: Christians - up to 90% (mostly Protestant and Roman Catholic), and the rest - the adherents of traditional indigenous beliefs.
Namibia is considered to be the safest country in South Africa. The criminal situation in the country is very quiet on the streets of cities can almost fearlessly walk at any time of the day. Some signs of racial segregation in the country is quite palpable - many schools are still divided into "white", "colored" and "black", somewhere noticeable apparent ill members of different races to each other, but rather, it is only a trace of past conflicts . To foreigners attitude is very good, and to the Russian - was a positive (in local waters running many of our sailors, also not forgotten the contribution of the former Soviet Union in the establishment of the independence of Namibia).
The calculations in the local currency should be particularly attentive to give up Denominations - parallel circulation of the Namibian dollar and South African rand creates a lot of problems - in the course of just three different color and pattern series of banknotes and coins, with the same face value coins vary in size, appearance. Should not be changed once a lot of local dollars - to convert the cash back is almost impossible, and despite officially the same course in South Africa for the Namibian Dollar will only 0.7 rand (so profitable to buy Namibian currency in South Africa). If the money is withdrawn from the ATM "BOB" (First National Bank), it is necessary to keep the receipt of the ATM - by her point of departure, albeit with a large commission, but it is theoretically possible to make a reverse exchange. For reverse exchanges cash Namibian dollars can privately apply to the crews of commercial and fishing vessels based in Walvis Bay.
Prices for all goods and services was a low. Commercial recycling (15.5%) applicable to most products and is generally not included in the price. Persons of seventy years and above, including foreigners, in large stores is a discount of 20 to 70% depending on the season.
Free movement in the country, with the exception of private property, two diamond-mining areas owned by De Beers (here at all is strictly forbidden to pick up something from the ground), as well as some of the reserves. Seen diamondiferous areas is only possible with a special permit obtained through the Namibian Police (also can be obtained in advance, no later than one month before the trip, in the offices of local officially licensed tour operators). Skeleton Coast declared a national park, to be permitted to enter only with a special pass (about $ 40 per person). Some areas adjacent to the territory of Angola, it is recommended to visit only as part of larger groups, which necessarily accompanied by an armed escort of local security forces.
Entrance to the national parks of the country is limited. Entrance fee (from 5 to 30N $, tickets to be stored). The gates open at sunrise and close at sunset, with the park visitors must leave it, and only officially registered groups have the right to remain in the park, but only within the camp. Tourists who failed to leave the park or go back to the camp, exposed to heavy fines. Such requirements are very reasonable when you consider largely nocturnal most of the local predators. It is recommended to reserve a place in the camps and lodges within the parks, especially in the period from June to August.
The locals are quite slow - to determine how soon will come the promised Namibians event, add three hours most pessimistic assessment expectations. Sign "service 24 hours" does not mean "clock" and "now" does not mean "immediately." National holidays often depend on the calendar, and a great risk to see covered in most places, at first glance, a weekday. The word "safe" also has meaning "safe for local residents." Many Europeans in those conditions, which are as harmless for the Namibian, simply will not survive.
Designation system of streets and houses in the country is close to the American, reaching roughly north-south streets are named "Street" and are indicated by numbers, from west to east - "road" with your own name or like reference numerals. Addresses are often written in the form of alphanumeric abbreviations. Following independence, many streets in the center of the city was renamed in honor of the leaders of the national liberation movement, which often confuses the notation - the locals use both new and old names interchangeably.
It is recommended to never, under any circumstances, is not what you do not know and do not go beyond the fenced area of the camp. Even out of the car without the permission of the conductor should not go. Pasteurized milk, dairy products, meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables are considered safe to eat, but the heat treatment is recommended for all food products.
Official holidays and weekends in Namibia
January 1 - New Year.
March 21 - Independence Day.
April - Easter and Good Friday.
May 1 - Workers Day (Labour Day).
May 4 - Holiday Kassing.
May - Ascension.
May 25 - Day of Africa.
August 26 - Day heroes.
December 10 - International Human Rights Day.
December 25-26 - Christmas (December 26 - Family Day).
Many private companies are closed for the Christmas holidays in the period from mid-December to mid-January, official institutions this is the time in standby mode.
Traditional cuisine Namibia
Culinary traditions of the country rather interesting and varied. For centuries the local cuisine has evolved in a fairly rigid food shortages - arid climate did not allow to grow in local land sufficient crops. With the advent of the colonialists in the Namibian cuisine were introduced European cooking methods, which, coupled with local traditions has produced a number of diverse recipes. And at the same time much influence cuisine of South Africa, where the above-mentioned factors were added and more strong national elements introduced from countries of Southeast Asia and Central Africa.
To prepare the meat dishes are used beef and mutton, the meat of antelope, crocodile, ostrich, zebra and other game, as well as poultry. In the hinterland of the food are eggs of almost all species of birds and some species of arthropods (ants, termites, and so on. D.). Traditional "braayfleys" (barbecue), hard sausages with spices "druevors" and "landyager" stew with spices "poykikos" chicken or fish on the grill, cooked over an open fire in the pot, a kind of lamb pilaf "Bobotov" jerky meat with spices "biltong", smoked meat in the smoke "raushfleyh" stewed chicken with peanut butter, Cameroonian curry with couscous, grilled over charcoal game and other exotic dishes traditionally attracted the attention of gourmets. Constantly on the table fresh bread, a variety of cakes and quite European-looking sandwiches. And at the same time, widely available national restaurants specializing in German, Arabic, Indian and so on. Kitchens.
Fresh seafood abound in this region all year round - lobsters, squid, mussels, oysters from Swakopmund and Luderitz, which are considered among the best in the world in terms of size and taste, as well as all kinds of fish. For lovers of exotic offers traditional local products - worms "mopane" or "omaungu" mushrooms "omayova", fried grasshoppers and termites eggs, spicy "chakalaka" baked on the coals or a huge ostrich eggs scrambled them, even the traditional porridge of millet "mahango "with butter and herbs or oatmeal" myeloma ", which are often used as a garnish, melons" tsamma "and" nara "(the latter is a rather large cucumber), fried with garlic snails, steak of ostrich" vinershnittsel "venison skewers "sosati" lion's tail clipping or crocodile.
Vegetables are usually quite rare, and are not cheap, they are served only in large restaurants and cafes, with the exception of asparagus and numerous local root vegetables and melons, quite unusual taste. But more and more are included in the use of local cheeses from goat's and cow's milk. Enjoys a well-deserved reputation chocolate "Springer", produced in Windhoek.
The country produces quality beers, the best grades of which are considered "Windhoek Lager" and "Tafel Lager", although the market and a lot of home-brewed beer, too, has a good reputation. In Omaruru grow grapes and produce wine varieties Kolamber and Cabernet, as well as the Namibian grappa under the brand name "Crystal Kelleray." Also interested in a local wine from watermelon "Matak" and strong palm moonshine "ualende."
Political system Namibia
According to the Constitution, adopted on 9 February 1990, Namibia - Republic of mixed parliamentary-presidential type. The head of state - the president (elected for a term of five years). Legislative - bicameral parliament (National Assembly - 72 seats, and the advisory National Council - 26 seats). Administratively, the country is divided into 13 regions ("district").
Around 1.95 million. Persons. The population of the country is divided into nine ethnic groups, 6 of which are Bantu family (Ovambo, Herero, etc..), 3 - to Khoisan language family (Hottentots-nama, Bushmen and others.). Also, the country is home to about 75 thousand. Immigrants from Europe (Afrikaners, Germans, British, Italians, Portuguese, Russian, etc.).
Restrictions on the import and export of local and foreign currency is not. Export of local currency is nominally limited to the sum of 50 thousand. Namibian dollars, but as the Namibian dollar is not walking outside the country to export its just pointless.
Duty-free import up to 2 liters. fault up to 1 liter. spirits, to 400 units. cigarettes, or 50 pieces. cigars, or 350 grams. tobacco; to 50 ml. spirits and up to 250 ml. toilet water. Duty-free import of gifts is limited to the amount of 50 thousand. Namibian dollars (including the cost of imported duty-free goods).
Banned the import of canned meat products, drugs, explosives, weapons and ammunition without the proper clearance (subject to declaration). It is strictly forbidden to engage in self-development and export of diamonds and minerals, as well as unlicensed hunting and export of hunting trophies without the permission of the Department of Wildlife.
Medical aid Namibia
Private health care services, on the basis of insurance. Insurance recommended international standard.
Recommended for vaccination against fever and malaria prevention. The danger of contracting malaria, mainly in severe (P. falciparum), exists in the northern areas and in areas Otzhodzondzhupa and Omaheke from November to June. In the country there is a risk of infection shistomatozom (avoid swimming in local fresh water), as there is some danger of being subjected to the attack of a crocodile. Also present are natural foci of hepatitis. When traveling to the inland areas are recommended to have serum against snake and scorpion bites (usually included with the first aid kit, part of the mandatory equipment conductors). High levels of HIV-infected patients.
Working hours Namibia
Banks are open from 9.00-10.00 to 15.30-16.00 from Monday to Friday, Saturday - from 8.30 to 11.00.
Currency exchange is available at the exchange offices of the international airport, as well as banks and their branches in practically all regions of the country. To pay in foreign currency (except, of course, rand) is impossible. N $ reverse exchange for hard currency, as a rule, is not performed.
Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 17.00 or 17.30, Saturday from 8.00 to 13.00 on Sunday, most shops will not work. Grocery stores are open all week from 8.00 to 19.30 or 20.00. Shops selling alcoholic beverages, open Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 18.30, Saturday from 8.00 to 13.00 and closed on Sunday.
Vehicular traffic the left. Most major roads are in excellent condition.
Public transport is developed quite weak. Apart from a few bus routes (for example, in the capital of only one line of bus service), most of which serve only some specific areas, such as operating a few taxis, serving mainly the area between the airport and downtown.
Main means of transport in cities - a taxi. Taxis are plentiful and cheap enough - the average fee does not exceed 1.5 Namibian dollars per kilometer plus N $ 5 for landing (after 22.00 fare increases by 15%).
The vast majority of passenger traffic in the country carries vehicles. Namibia has an extensive network of high quality roads totaling more than 64.8 thousand. Km. The most common method of transportation - bus companies and Intercape Ekonolux (cheaper but less regularly) traveling between Windhoek and other cities in Namibia, as well as Cape Town, Upington, Pretoria and Victoria Falls. On selected routes, a light breakfast.
Potable water Namibia
Tap water is usually chlorinated, but nonetheless can cause stomach upset. It is recommended to use bottled water.
Mains voltage is 220 V, 50 Hz. Three-pin sockets.
Tipping is different in different areas. Employees of hotels and lodges relies about $ 1 a day, in the restaurants - up to 5% of the bill, if the tip is not included in the cost of service. In national parks and reserves tips officially banned. Bargain, especially in rural areas, it is accepted everywhere and always, in large shops prices are fixed, but often at the end of the day or week are significant discounts.
Helpful information Namibia
Tourist Information Office (Windhoek) - 290-2092.
Wildlife Management Office Namibia (NWR) - 236-975 ... 8 or 223-903.
Tourist Information Office 404-827 (Swakopmund), 209-170 (Walvis Bay), 202-719, and 202-622 (Luderitz).
Telephone information service - 1188/1199.
Eros Airport (Windhoek) - (061) 702-102, 239-850.
Kutako Airport - (061) 299-6600, (062) 702-401.
Air Namibia - (061) 299-6140 (Eros) 299-6600 (Kutako).
South Africa Airways (Namibia) - (061) 237-670.
The railway company TransNamib's Starline - 298-2175, 122-6062.
The bus company Intercape - (061) 227-847.
The bus company Ekonolux - (064) 205-935.
Police and Rescue - 10-111.
Ambulance - 211-111 (Windhoek), 405-731 (Swakopmund), 205-443 (Walvis Bay).