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Factsheet - Namibia

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Capital: Windhoek

Population: 1.8 million

Currency: Namibian dollar

Language: English, Afrikaans, German, Herero

Ethnic makeup: 86% African (50% Owambo, 9% Kavango, 7% Herero, 7% Damara, 5% Nama, 4% Caprivian, 3% San, 2% Baster, 0.5%

One of the most scarcely populated countries on earth, Namibia is still very much a magical place mostly untouched by man. From its treacherously beautiful coastline to its coppery, soaring sand dunes, incredible moonscapes and savannah grasslands teeming with life, this country of contrasts is a wilderness paradise.

Windhoek is the attractive capital of the country and is surrounded by mountains. Like other towns in Namibia, it has several examples of German colonial architecture, including the Christuskirche, the Alte Feste and the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the former colonial administrative building. Gross Barmen is a hot-spring resort to the north.

Restaurants and cafes reflect the German influence on Namibia, and most dining rooms offer a reasonable choice of local and continental cuisine. They are found mainly in the major cities. A speciality of Namibia is game, in all its variations; worth a try are biltong (air-dried meat) and Rauchfleisch (smoked meat).

The Etosha National Park is one of the most famous game sanctuaries in the world and remains largely free of human influence. There are vast stocks of wildlife, particularly elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, springboks, kudus, gemsboks or oryxes, hyenas, jackals, leopards and cheetahs.

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