Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

15 Interesting facts about Namibia

Fifteen interesting facts about Namibia. Dragon’s Breath Cave is the largest underground lake in the world and is located in the Southern African country of Namibia. 

There are many interesting facts about Namibia, the second least populated country on earth. The African country of Namibia is the 34th largest country in the world. The Kalahari Desert runs along Namibia southeastern border while the oldest desert in the world, the Namib Desert extends along the entire west coast of Namibia. 

Namib desert kuiseb canyon
Namib desert kuiseb canyon

Despite its enormous size, Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries on the African continent. 

In the 2011 census, just over 2 million people live in Namibia. People commonly speak two or three languages and more than 49% of the population speaks Oshiwambo.  Namibia is divided into 14 regions and subdivided into 121 districts. Namibia’s economy remains very dependent on trade with South Africa. 

Namibia’s Location

Namibia lies in Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa.

Size of Namibia’s Land

Namibia covers about 825,418 sq km or 318,695 sq miles or 203,964,799 acres about the same size as France and Germany combined or slightly more than half the size of Alaska.

Namibia’s Capital City


Namibia’s Population

In the 2011 census, just over 2 million people live in Namibia. From the total of 2.1 people, 1 million were females and 1 million were males. Despite its huge size, Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries on the African continent. There are around 2.6 people per in Namibia, 43% living in urban areas and 57% in living in rural areas.

Namibia’s Languages

English is the official language but the first language of only 7 % of the population. People commonly speak two or three languages and more than 49% of the population speaks Oshiwambo. Nama or Damara spoken by 11%,  Afrikaans is spoken by 10% of Namibians, Kavango and Otjiherero 9%,  and German, Portuguese, Spanish and French are spoken by some of the population.

Namibia’s Religion

Christian 80% to 90% (mostly Lutheran) and indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%.

Namibia’s Climate

Namibia has a desert climate, it is hot, dry and rainfall is very sparse and erratic. The coolest temperatures are found along the coast. The hottest months are December to March. Rainfall usually falls between October - April.

Namibia color map
Namibia color map

Namibia’s Economy

The economy remains very dependent on trade with South Africa. Namibia’s major agricultural products are millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes, livestock and fish. Namibia has less than 1% of land suitable for growing crops and has a very limited natural freshwater resources.

Namibia’s Government

Namibia is divided into 14 regions and subdivided into 121 districts. Each district votes for one councilor for the regional council of each region. There are 14 regional councils, corresponding to the 14 regions of Namibia; East Kavango, Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene,

Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa,

West Kavango, and Zambezi. The Republic of Namibia is divided into three branches, Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. The current president is His Excellency Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, Prime Minister Honorable Dr. G. Geingob and Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Marco Hausiku.

Namibia’s Flag

The sun symbolizes life and energy. The golden color of the sun represents the warmth and the color of the plains of the Namib Desert.       

The blue symbolizes the sky, the Atlantic Ocean, Namibia's marine resources and the importance of rain and water.  Red represents the Namibian people, their heroism and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all.  White refers to peace and unity, while the green symbolizes the country's vegetation and agricultural resources.

Namibia’s Independence

Namibia won its independence in 1990 and has been governed by the South West African People's Organization. The South West African People's Organization (SWAPO) was founded in Windhoek, Namibia on April 19, 1960 by Herman Toivo ja Toivo. On May 4, 1978 more than 600 Namibians were murdered by air bombings and land raids by the South African Defense Force, the brutal attack was called the Battle of Cassinga which is remembered on May 4th of each ear in Namibia.

Namibia’s important sites

Twyfelfontein is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since June 2007. Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of rock engravings in Africa. Twyfelfontein carvings are wide-ranging from animals to people to ritual practices to scenes of daily life over at least 2,000 years.

The Namib Desert is a narrow plain about 40-102 miles or 65-165 km wide and runs the entire length of the 994 mile or 1,600 km Atlantic coastline. The icy, north flowing Benguela Current and high pressure atmospheric conditions are responsible for the extremely low rainfall and contribute to the regular occurrence of fog along the coast. The cold Benguela current originates in the Antarctic regions and carries dense cold polar water up the Southern African West coast.

Unlike the Namib, the Kalahari Desert of eastern Namibia is well vegetated, despite its deep sands and absence of surface water. These sands are often in the form of parallel stabilized fossil dunes. The truth is the Kalahari is not a true desert as it receives too much rain, it is actually a fossil desert. The size of the Kalahari Desert is enormous, it stretches across seven African countries of Angola, Botswana a Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. The Namibian section of the Kalahari Desert is covered with trees and seasonal waterways due to regular rainfall.

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