Browsing all articles in Destinations and Attractions

A Namibian Safari of Cultures: The San People of Nyae Nyae

In the opening scene of TheGodsMustBeCrazy, a glass coke bottle falls from a passing helicopter and lands among a group of nomadic San people, at first a thing of fascination for the group it later becomes a source of conflict and an object of evil that needs to be destroyed.  The film takes off as one of the San elders, Ju/’hoansi travels to the end of the earth to return this object to the gods that gave it to them.  The San actor who plays this role is a Namibian San farmer called N!xau, whose people are as much a source of interest and fascination to the Western world as the fictional group in The God’s Must Be Crazy are.

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Things To Do In Namibia

These are just some of the items that Lonely Planet has mentioned as things to do in Namibia:

1. Lonely Planet review for Etosha National Park

The 20,000 sq km (7722 sq mi) Etosha National Park is one of the world’s greatest wildlife-viewing spots. For a few days each year, this immense, flat, saline desert is converted by the rains into a shallow lagoon teeming with flamingos and white pelicans. However, it’s the surrounding bush and grasslands that provide habitat for Etosha’s diverse wildlife. It may look barren, but the landscape surrounding the pan is home to 114 mammal species as well as 340 bird species, 16 reptiles and amphibians, one fish species and countless insects. The best way to see Etosha’s animals is to hire a vehicle, park near a waterhole and wait for the lions, elephants and springboks to turn up for a drink. Etosha’s three main entry gates are Von Lindequist (Namutoni), west of Tsumeb; King Nehale, southeast of Ondangwa; and Andersson (Okaukuejo), north of Outjo.

2. Lonely Planet review for Fish River Canyon

There’s nowhere else in Africa like Fish River Canyon, which has been gouging this gorge for thousands of years with incredible results. It’s huge – 160km (99mi) long and 27km (17mi) wide – and most of the canyon falls within Fish River Canyon National Park, where you can camp, walk, hike or relax in the bubbling hot springs. At the northern end of the national park, there’s the Hobas Information Centre, picnic sites, camp grounds, walking trails, and access to some of the best viewpoints in the canyon. From Hobas, you can walk the five-day Fish River Hiking Trail to Ai-Ais, at the other end of the canyon. The 85km (53mi) walk follows the sandy bed of the river (it should contain water in May or June). There are also day walks at the northern end of the canyon. At the southern end, Ai-Ais is a pleasant hot-spring oasis. The springs, which are piped into swimming pools and jacuzzis, apparently relieve rheumatism and nervous disorders. Ai-Ais has camping sites, bungalows and caravans.

3. Lonely Planet review for Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei is a huge ephemeral pan set amid towering red dunes that reach up to 325m (1066ft). The dunes are part of the 32,000 sq km (12,355 sq mi) sand sea covering much of western Namibia, and belong to one of the oldest and driest ecosystems on earth. The landscape here is constantly changing as colours shift with the light and wind alters the dune shapes.

 4. Lonely Planet review for Namibia Crafts Centre (in Windhoek, Namibia)

This place is an outlet for heaps of wonderful Namibian inspiration – leatherwork, basketry, pottery, jewellery, needlework, hand-painted textiles and other material arts – and the artist and origin of each piece is documented. The attached snack bar is well known for its coffee and healthy snacks.

5. Lonely Planet review for Haunted Forest

The area dubbed the Haunted Forest, west of Okaukuejo, is so named for its bizarre moringa trees, which recall enormous pachypodia (elephant-foot trees) or the legendary boojum of Mexico’s Baja California. San legend recounts that after God had found a home for all the plants and animals on earth, he discovered a bundle of leftover moringa trees. He flung them into the air and they fell to earth with their roots pointing skywards – and so they remain. Lately, this bizarre stand of bulbous remnants has suffered a good measure of elephant damage, but its unusual forms still merit attention and at least a few inspired photos.

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