Namibia is one of South Africa’s neighbouring countries. I’ve not visited this country yet, but I would like to someday. The country is bordered to the South by South Africa, to the East by Botswana and to the North by Angola.
It’s also one of the youngest democratic countries in Africa. Namibia has been selected as the topic for the 10 facts section of this blog. If you can add anything to this list, please comment on the post.
Here are 10 facts about Namibia
1. The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias in 1486 but the region was not claimed by the Portuguese crown. Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century, when traders and settlers arrived, principally from Germany and Sweden.
2. Namibia became a German colony in 1884, although Walvis Bay (in the Southern part of the colony) was under British rule.
3. South Africa occupied German South West Africa (as it was known back then) during World War I and continued to administrate the region as a “5th province” until 1988. During this period the military wing of the South West African Peoples Organization (SWAPO) started a war for indepedence (in 1966).
4. Transition for Namibian independence started in 1989. The country declared indepence from South Africa on the 21st of March 1990 (about 20 years ago)
5. Walvis Bay became part of the country in 1994 when Apartheid ended in South Africa.
6. The country has a population of just over 2 million people. More than 200,000 people live in Windhoek (the capital city of the country).
7. The Namib desert occupies an area of around 80 900 square kilometres (31 200 square miles) stretching for about 1600 km (1000 miles) along the Atlantic Ocean coast of the country.
8. Dune 7 is one of the highest dunes of its kind in the world.
9. The Etosha National Park was established under German rule in 1907 and was the largest game reserve in the world when it was established (over 100,000 square kilometres).
10. Frankie Fredericks (Namibian Olympic Silver medalist) and Percy Montgomery (Springbok rugby player) were born in Namibia.
Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.