Tales of ship wrecks, diamond hunters, angry giants and ghost towns hide beneath the fiery landscape of the Namib desert, beckoning tourists to explore its unique and ever-varying history.
Namibia, located in southwest Africa, is known for its contrasting scenery. The open arid regions present one of the clearest views of the night sky bejewelled with numerous stars. As one lies on the desolate stretch of the Namib Desert, new array of constellations come within telescopic reach. Such a breathtaking astronomy lesson can be experienced at the International Amateur Observatory, near Windhoek which has a 24″ reflector, one of the largest amateur telescopes in Africa.
Opportunities for novices at the Namib Desert do not end there. The desert is reputed to be the oldest in the world and a breeding ground for some of the largest sand dunes around. Hence, they are ideal for paragliding, ballooning, dune and sandboarding.
Its spectacular history written by inhabitants and invaders presents itself at various quarters. More than 120 registered caves are situated across the country. The longest cave in Namibia is the Arnhem Cave, with a total passage length of 4800 meters. Visitors are only allowed to take torches or cave lamps in order to prevent degeneration of the prehistoric art etched in the ancient walls. Archaeological treasures such as evidence of guano miners, and prehistoric arts come to life in the shadowy enclaves of the space. Newer degrees of adrenaline rush can be experienced by cave diving offered under the supervision of authorities.
A must see, however, is the Skeleton Coast Park, 500 miles from the Kunene River. It gets its name from the enormous ship wreck, dating back to the early 1900s, scattered across the beach. This sand swallowed ship wreck is also a place to spot desert animals.
Namibia also boasts a remarkable example of the tremendous powers which shaped the Earth – blocks of grey dolerites stacked up on one another known as Giant’s Playground. At first glance the sites create visuals of giants playing with bricks, as they are arranged in an eccentric order.
When off the travel mode, food is another way of rejoicing the region’s uniqueness. Namibia’s rich tapestry of people and diverse cultures manifests itself in the food. The dishes are a wonderful melange of historical influences and cultural diversity. The Bay Leaf, Butchers Grill, Blue Olive, Café Society and Vanilla are hailed to produce the most delicious assortment of Namibian culinary treats.