The South in Namibia

Shutter Stock/  Steve Minkler  The south of Namibia is an arid, sparsely populated region with isolated farmhouses and communities scratching a living from the rocky ground. While seemingly inhospitable, there is widespread cattle and karakul sheep farming and plentiful game, two perennial rivers (the Fish and Orange), the awesome Fish River Canyon and, on the coast, the unusual isolated existence that is Lüderitz. The distances are vast, but there is plenty to catch the eye, with mountain ranges, red Kalahari sand and quiver trees, herds of kudu and circling birds of prey, pleasant dams for watersports and the sand-enveloped diamond boom town of Kolmanskop. On the edge of the Namib Desert is the delicate Duwisib Castle, an outpost of European elegance in the middle of the veld, and further south lie the brooding Brukkaros Mountain and the quirky Quiver Tree Forest.

Geographically, the south encompasses all the land from Rehoboth to the South African border and from the borders with Botswana and South Africa in the Kalahari Desert to the ancient Namib and cold waters of the South Atlantic Ocean. The central highland plateau runs like a spine down the middle of the region and it is along this narrow strip of land that the majority of the population lives.

Politically, the south is divided into the Hardap and Karas regions, with their administrative centres at Mariental and Keetmanshoop respectively. The only other towns of significant size are Rehoboth and the old German coastal town of Lüderitz. However, all over the south there are a scattering of smaller towns and settlements, many of them dating back to the days of the first European missionaries.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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