Namibia: Holidays, Events, Climate
|January 1||New Year|
|March 21||Independence day|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May 25th and 26||Africa day|
|26th of August||Day of heroes|
|10th of December||Namibian Women's Day and International Human Rights Day|
|December 25th and 26||Christmas|
Source: Countryaah - Namibia Holidays
Altogether there are 13 public holidays in Namibia, whereby interestingly all holidays which fall on a Sunday are made up on the following Monday. A specialty is Herero Day, which is only celebrated in the city of Okahandja on the last weekend in August. The battle at Waterberg is commemorated here. Although Herero Day is not a public holiday, it is perceived as such by the Herero.
The following events take place annually in Namibia:
In April the Carnival in Windhoek, on August 26th Maherero Day in Okahandja (on this day the Herero meet to honor their fallen tribal members, because the chiefs and martyrs of their people are buried in Okahandja), also in August Coastal Carnival in Swakopmund, the Windhoek Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Show in September and the Oktoberfest in October. Other important events are the Wild Cinema-Windhoek International Film Festival in March, the Namibia Travel Expo in May, the Standard Bank Biennale, the Culture Weeks of the Polytechnic and University of Windhoek in August and September, the Namibia Youth Expo in October and the Sanlam NBC Music Awards in December.
The climate in Namibia changes from north to south and vice versa.
The climate in the north is hotter than in the south. October, the hottest month of the year, can have average daytime temperatures of up to 35 ° C. From January to April the temperatures are a constant 31-30 °C. By June/ July they drop to 26 °C. During the night the temperatures remain constant between 18 and 19 °C from October to March. By June/July they drop to 6 ° C. There is hardly any precipitation from May to September. In the remaining months there is a maximum of 11 days of precipitation per month.
In the extreme south, temperatures are around 18-21 °C all year round. The months of June and July are also the coldest and January/February the warmest. At night the temperatures drop to 10-14 °C. There is hardly any rainfall throughout the year.
If you want to take photos of people, you should kindly ask for permission beforehand. Usually the request is answered positively. Often, however, a little money is also asked, which is particularly true of the Herero, whose women usually wear very conspicuous costumes that they also like to present.
Namibians are very proud of their rather well-developed country. You should therefore get up as a guest when the national anthem is being played. Too much criticism of country-specific things should be avoided.
In Namibia you don't have to worry if you wear shorts or hot pants in public. On the contrary, you will see Namibians in the streets who also dress like this. The combination of shorts and long, thick socks, which is rather frowned upon in the West, has a background in Nambia. The socks are supposed to keep snakes from doing really serious damage with their bites.
It is normal in Namibia to inquire about the state of affairs of your counterpart when you are greeted, even if you hardly know them or not at all. So one should say "How are you?" Add (spoken "Howzit?") to the greeting. A short and positive answer is then expected and not a long monologue about problems and worries.
Crime is not as big a problem in Namibia as it is in other parts of Africa, but you should never, and especially in Windhoek, never walk the streets alone in the dark. It is better to take a taxi on the way home. But you should avoid taxis in which people are already sitting or in which other people (want to) get on. You will quickly see in the cityscape that apartments and houses of the economically wealthy classes are fenced in or surrounded by walls. During the day you can move around freely in the country, but that does not mean that it is advisable to display your valuables conspicuously.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Rock carvings from Twyfelfontein
On the former farm of Twyfelfontein - located in Damaraland in north-west Namibia - the visitor will find over 2,500 well-preserved rock carvings and rock engravings on the sandstone cliffs there. These - depending on the scientist - between 2,000 and 10,000 years old and well-preserved drawings depict for the most part animals - such as antelopes, giraffes, ostriches, zebras and rhinos as well as their footprints. But there are also quite detailed depictions of humans.
The drawings are probably from the San people. The Twyfelfontein rock carvings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007.
The Namib Desert is located in Namibia in southwest Africa and stretches for around 2,000 km along the Atlantic coast. It begins in the south on the Orange River on the border with South Africa and ends behind the border with Angola in the village of Benguela.
To the north, towards the border river Kunene, it forms the skeleton coast known as the ship cemetery, in which numerous shipwrecks rise ghostly from the sand of the dunes.
In the south is the diamond restricted area. The width of the desert is up to about 160 km and is limited by the highlands, which rise steeply up to 1,000 m. This coastal strip is particularly dry because cold ocean currents can be found near the coast. Some of the sand dunes change color depending on the position of the sun and humidity.
In the meantime, lodges have been built in these coastal strips to accommodate tourists. Poaching was severely restricted by the guarding of the lodges and the desert animals are reproducing again. B. the sand gecko, the black rhinoceros, the desert elephant and the climate-adapted wild horses. Many of the animals live under the sand and are nocturnal, such as the sidewinder snake or the desert mole rat.
There are also interesting plants like the Welwitschia, which can reach a biblical age - namely up to 2,000 years. It has only two leaves, which can be up to 8 m long. There is also the Nara bush, whose melon-like fruits are used as food for many animals.
The Benguela Current in the Atlantic is very cold, the sea is rich in fish and also large animals like the fur seal and the beach lion. There are even penguins in the cold sea. Since June 20, 2013, large parts of the Namib Desert have been part of the “UNESCO World Natural Heritage”.
Katima Mulilo is the center of the Caprivi region, which extends in the far northeast of Namibia. The city extends on the southern bank of the Zambezi and forms a twin town with Sesheke in Zambia on the north bank of the river, with which it is connected via the Katima Mulilo Bridge. About 28,000 people live in Katima Mulilo, a more African city than Windhoek. Katima Mulilo could and can benefit from the declining tourism in neighboring Zimbabwe, as numerous groups of visitors to the not far away Victoria Falls are now coming to the safer accommodations on the Namibian side.
In Lüderitz, which has 12,500 residents, you can follow the traces of the German colonial era. The city was named after the merchant Adolf Lüderitz (1834-1886), who was born in Bremen. The city is particularly impressive for its beautiful Art Nouveau houses, which testify to the wealth and luxury resulting from the diamond boom of that time. The landmark of the city and a national monument is the Evangelical-Lutheran rock church, inaugurated on August 4, 1912, from which you have a beautiful view of the city. Also worth seeing are the houses of the industrialists and colonial houses, such as B. the Goerkehaus, completed in 1910, which is also one of the national monuments of the country. The Deutsche-Afrika-Bank building, built in 1907, is also worth a visit. The building was opened on Jan. Declared a National Monument in February 1980. A recommended excursion destination is the approximately 32 hectare shark island, which became a peninsula after being filled in in 1906.
The capital of the Oshana region in north-central Namibia is one of the largest cities in Namibia. Around 39,700 people currently live there. At the time of the almost 30-year civil war in Angola, Oshakati was an important base for the army of South Africa, which actively intervened in the war from Oshakati. Oshakati is therefore not free from influences from this time, when civil development was very difficult. But the city, which increasingly became a refuge for many refugees, developed economically in areas that were of importance for the military.
The capital and the economic center of the Kavango region spreads out in the north-east of Namibia and with around 81,500 residents is the second largest city in the country after Windhoek. The city's lifeline is the Okavango, which also acts as a border river to the nearby Republic of Angola. The Okavango is of the utmost importance to the Kavangos, a people who make a living from fishing and agriculture. Rundu has also made progress in tourism and in the education sector.
The capital of the Namibian region Erongo is inhabited by 34,300 residents and is located in the Namib Desert, directly on the Atlantic. The popular tourist destination has particularly high numbers of tourists in December and January. In addition to tourism, the city benefits economically from the many retirees who prefer the favorable climatic conditions in Swakopmund to those in the rest of Namibia. Buildings worth seeing in the city include the mineral museum called "Crystal Gallery", the so-called Hohenzollernhaus and the old train station.
The district town on Walvis Bay in the Erongo region, also known as Walvis Bay in German, is not only the most important seaport in Namibia, but also the third largest city in the country with around 67,200 residents. The Trans Kalahari Highway begins and ends in Walvis Bay, a highway that crosses the entire continent from Mozambique. In terms of tourism, Walvis Bay is still in its infancy, even if Walvis Bay is no longer just an insider tip because of its activities. From the city you can also take wonderful tours into the surrounding area, for example to the guano platform Bird Island, which is around 9 km from Walvis Bay.
Around 400,000 people, i.e. 20% of the total Namibian population, currently live in Namibia's capital Windhoek (Afrikaans: Windecke), the country's economic and political center. The city, framed by mountains, has existed since at least 1840 and is the (main) seat of all important institutions and companies in the country such as the Bank of Namibia, the national broadcasting company NBC, etc. The city is also the main hub of the road, rail and air network. Windhoek, one of the cleanest capitals in Africa, has numerous European and African influences that coexist. The contemplative cityscape that resembles a central European city in many places is interesting. The most popular sights include the clock tower of the former Deutsche Afrikabank,
Alte Feste in Windhoek
The Alte Feste rises on Robert Mugabe Avenue in the Namibian capital Windhoek. The laying of the foundation stone for the castle construction is also considered the hour of birth of Windhoek, because in connection with the fortress construction, of course, many people settled and thus created an urban structure over the years. The old fortress of Windhoek nowadays has a museum character; it is also home to the National Museum of Namibia.
Windhoek railway station Windhoek
railway station is dominated by an imposing reception building, which was inaugurated in 1912. It was designed in the Wilhelmine architectural style, with some Art Nouveau components also being found. It was established by the German colonial power, which at that time had the say in German South West Africa. The Old Joe narrow-gauge locomotive stands in front of the building; it dates from the beginning of the 20th century. The TransNamib Museum is located on the first floor.
Heinitzburg in Windhoek
The building, which can be correctly called Heynitzburg, is one of the three castles of Windhoek luxury hill. It was built by the architect Wilhelm Sander, who completed it in 1914 and initially used it for himself. But already in 1916 he sold it to Hans Bogislav Graf von Schwerin, after whose wife it was now called Heynitzburg. The castle, which is well worth seeing, with its striking castle structures is now the atmospheric setting for a luxury hotel and restaurant.
Imperial Post Office in Keetmanshoop
The beautiful Imperial Post Office in the city of Keetmanshoop is an architectural child of 1910 and a national monument of Namibia. The city tourist information office is currently housed in the building.
Sanderburg in Windhoek
The smallest of the three castles of Windhoek Luxury Hill was built between 1917 and 1919 and is due to the architect Wilhelm Sander, who was not only the builder and name giver, but also the first owner of the house. What is striking about the castle is the castle construction with its medieval look. Today the Sanderburg is privately owned.
Schmelen House in Bethanien
The Schmelen House is in Bethanien, a mission station built in 1814 by Johann Heinrich Schmelen. The house is the oldest building ever built by whites in Namibia.
Schwerinsburg in Windhoek
The largest of the three castles in Windhoek's luxury hill district rises full of character on a ridge. Its origin goes back to 1890 and a signal tower that used to stand in its place. A very noticeable element of the castle is the 104 meter deep borehole in the castle courtyard, which was drilled into the ground in search of water. The Italian ambassador of Namibia is currently living in the castle.
State House in Windhoek
The State House of Namibia is of course located in the capital Windhoek. Actually, however, the Statehouse is an entire ensemble of buildings that serves as the seat of the President of Namibia and the Namibian government, among others. The ensemble can be found on Robert Mugabe Avenue in Windhoek's Auasblick district. The Statehouse was opened in 2008 and replaced the Old Statehouse, which can still be visited in the Windhoek-Central district today.
Ink Palace in Windhoek
The magnificent Ink Palace in Windhoek, built under German colonial rule, still serves as the seat of the Parliament of Namibia, i.e. the National Assembly. The palace can be found in the historic district of Windhoek-Central. The architect Gottlieb Redecker provided the designs for the ink palace, whose sketches were then realized in 1912 and 1913. The name of the German colonial building refers to the many civil servants and scribes who worked there and was derisively called the Ink Palace by the German population. The palace is surrounded by the pretty, spacious parliament gardens.
Bushman Art Gallery in Windhoek
The Bushman Art Gallery is one of the largest art galleries in the Namibian capital Windhoek. It is privately operated and has a very extensive collection of exhibits on African art.
Namibian National Museum in Windhoek
Namibia's largest museum is a state-funded cultural and research institution, which is also given private research contracts. The National Museum is divided into two locations, namely the Alte Feste and the Owela Museum. While the Alte Feste has a history and national history-oriented exhibition, the Owela Museum focuses on scientific and zoological aspects.
This museum in Swakopmund is dedicated to the local history of Namibia. The privately run museum was founded in 1951 by the dentist Dr. Alfons Weber and focuses on the history and nature of the coastal regions of Namibia and of course on the local history of Swakopmund.
Museum in Windhoek Namibia's central transport museum was housed in the rather imposing reception building of the Windhoek train station and focuses on the history of Namibia's rail traffic.
Independence Memorial Museum in Windhoek
The multimedia Independence Museum is located in Namibia's capital Windhoek. It was housed in a triangular glass building that is five floors and around 40 meters high. The youngest museum in the country was completed in 2011.
Christ Church in Windhoek
Between 1907 and 1910 the evangelical Lutheran church was built in Namibia's capital Windhoek and is also a landmark of the city.
The building, designed by the architect Gottlieb Redecker, was inspired in 1896 by Pastor Wilhelm Anz, who wanted to build a peace church to commemorate the end of the war between colonial Germans and the Nama, Herero and Ovambo peoples.
The church was built in neo-Romanesque style, with numerous elements of Art Nouveau to be found on it. With its 24 meter high church tower, the Christian sacred structure stands in the historic district of Windhoek-Central.
Church of the Rhenish Mission in Keetmanshoop
In 1895 the Church of the Rhenish Mission in Keetmanshoop, Namibia, was built by the missionary Tobias Fenchel. The local history museum, which provides a good overview of the town's history, was later housed in the granite church.
Church of Swakopmund
The church of the German Lutheran Congregation in Swakopmund is a child of the year 1911. It was realized in the neo-baroque style. Their services are held in German every Sunday.
Rhenish Mission Church of Walvis Bay
In Hage Geingob Street in Walvis Bay, the Rhenish Mission Church is a national monument of Namibia. Interestingly, what is probably the oldest historical building in the city was built in Hamburg in 1879 and was brought to Walvis Bay by sea.
St. Mary's Cathedral in Windhoek
The cathedral of the Archbishop of Windhoek is also the main church of the Roman Catholic Church in Namibia. The neo-Romanesque sacred building was created between 1906 and 1908. It rises on Karl-Werner-List-Street and is slightly elevated by a forecourt with stairs. The rather imposing entrance facade is framed by two corner towers, each about 30 meters high.
St. Mary's Cathedral was declared a National Monument by the Historical Monument Commission and has been a landmark of the Namibian capital since its completion. Church services take place every evening (except Monday).
South-east of the port city of Walvis Bay is the only desert research station in the world that is manned all year round.
It is located in the Namib Desert and has existed since 1962. Today the station sees itself as a research, education and training center for all of southern Africa. Scientists from numerous countries are working to find answers to questions about desertification, water abstraction and the adaptation of flora and fauna to the living conditions in the desert.
Henties Bay (also Henties Bay)
This coastal village in the Atlantic is located about 70 kilometers north of Swakopmund, was once just a summer. The city is now also a popular place to live, where around 5,000 people live permanently. However, around Christmas and New Year in particular, it is not unusual for the population to increase tenfold.
The place, which was created in the 1950s, was named after Major Henty von der Merwe, the "founder" of the small town.
HESS observatory in the Khomas highlands
HESS is the abbreviation for High Energy Stereoscopic System. The main purpose of this observatory is to measure and register extremely high-energy gamma radiation - above 100 GeV - which comes from space and hits the earth. The facility consists of four telescopes, each around 12 m in diameter. The observatory is located in the Khomas highlands near the 2,347 m high Gamsberg.
The Rössing Mine is a gigantic uranium mine located in the Klan Mountains near the Khan River. Around 9% of the world's uranium production is extracted there, making the mine the largest uranium mine on earth. It is possible to visit the mine. But you have to join one of the two tours that the Swakopmund Museum offers twice a month. During these tours you will get detailed information about the processes of uranium extraction.
The lagoon on the South Atlantic is around 10 km long and is known as a huge colony of birds with up to 200,000 animals. Sandwich Harbor is therefore a nature reserve and belongs to the Namib-Naukluft Park. Visiting the lagoon is only possible during the day and from Walvis Bay. That's when boats or four-wheel drive vehicles drive to the bay.
Welwitschia-Drive (also: Welwitschia-Route)
The Welwitschia-Route is a 50 km long piste that runs southeast of Swakopmund through the Namib Desert. The slope is framed by many Welwitschia plants, which also gave it its name.
The slope ends at the Welwitschia area, where the oldest known Welwitschia in the world rises. Their age is estimated to be around 1,500 years.
Zoo Park in Windhoek
The publicly accessible city park on Independence Avenue in Windhoek's historic Central district is the only larger park in the Namibian capital, apart from the Parliament Garden. Important parts of the park are the Café Zoo, which dates back to the colonial times, an open-air stage and a children's playground. Interestingly, the remains of an elephant who lived at least 5,000 years ago were found on the zoo grounds in 1961. The name of the park still refers to an earlier zoo that existed on the site of the current facility until 1953.
The specially shaped rock is located near Elisabeth Bay south of Lüderitz in the restricted diamond area.
In the middle of a semi-desert lies the 2,573 m high Königstein - Namibia's highest mountain. In its many gorges and caves, numerous rock carvings and
stone engravings are well worth seeing.
Damaraland south of Kaokoland
In Damaraland is Namibia's highest mountain, the Königstein (2,573 m). Other spectacular natural beauties are the weathered Spitzkoppe, the petrified forests, the Vingerklip and the rock paintings and stone carvings of the San near Twyfelfontein.
The region is extremely dry with less than 100mm of annual rainfall. Nevertheless, elephants live here, which have adapted quite well to the local conditions.
Etosha National Park
Almost a quarter of the 22,270 km² park is covered at an altitude of 1,065 m by the white Etosha clay pan, which after years of drought turns into a large lake that attracts hundreds of thousands of flamingos. Large herds of elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes and springboks live in the park.
Fish River Canyon
The second largest canyon in the world, located south of Keetmanshoop, has a length of 160 km, is between 457 and 549 m deep and up to 27 km wide. Some of its lowest rock layers are over a billion years old.
The 86 km long hiking trail along the river to Ai-Ais begins at the main viewpoint, near Hobas.
Giant's Playground at Keetmanshoop
Huge boulders lie scattered across the landscape as if by a giant hand.
The largest meteorite ever found on earth is located on the grounds of the "Hoba" farm near Grootfontein.
Its weight is about 50 tons, the volume about nine cubic meters. It struck Earth about 80,000 years ago and is estimated to be between 190 and 410 million years old.
Khaudum National Park
This 4,000 km² national park, located in the very north-east of the country, is part of the five-country Kavango-Zambezi Nature Reserve (see below). Around 2,500 elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals and 220 different bird species live in the park. At the moment there are only a few tourists who also have to "struggle" with off-road vehicles on the approx. 100 km long miserable "roads".
The park consists mainly of extensive dry forests on a predominantly sandy soil. It was built in 1989.
Quiver tree forest on the Gariganus farm near Keetmanshoop
The aloe plants that occur in unusual numbers at this point are sometimes over 200 years old. They usually grow between black rock formations (dolerite) and bloom in June and July.
Okonjina Nature Reserve
This nature reserve covers an area of around 20,000 ha = 200 km² and is located west of the Waterberg Plateau. The reserve was established in 1993 on the initiative of private individuals. One finds cheetahs and leopards as a special feature
This very deep lake is particularly attractive for divers as the German troops sunk their weapons here after the First World War.
Sandwich Harbor in the Namib-Naukluft National Park
The lagoon is one of the most beautiful spots on the Namibian coast.
The narrow, one kilometer long and 30 m deep canyon in the limestone was created by the Tsauchab River. At the bottom, however, there are only a few pools of water.
Skeleton Coast Park
In the southern part of the 16,000 km2 park are the "Roaring Dunes" of Terrace Bay, a natural phenomenon caused by wind. The park is home to numerous colonies of the South African fur seal and the so-called desert elephant.
Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park
The Namib-Naukluft Park was founded in 1907 by the German colonial rulers.
The Sossusvlei salt pan, which is surrounded by dunes, is located roughly in the middle of the Namib-Naukluft Park and approx. 60 km from the entrance and is easily accessible via a paved road. The term Namib comes from the Nama language and means in German “place where nothing is”. And the Vlei means salt and clay pan and Sossus means blind river ”. The salt pan of the Sossusvleis emerged from the originally 150 km long Tsauchab River, which was blocked over time by the huge dunes and then formed a cracked and dry surface of salt and clay. On average, however, the river only carries water approximately every 10 years. But if the river then carries enough water, the salt pan fills with water that cannot seep away so quickly because of the clay soil and forms a lake.
Along with the Atacama Desert in Chile, the approximately 95,000 km² Namib Desert is the only coastal desert in the world and is the driest desert in the world with a rainfall of around 20 mm per year. It originated around 80 million years ago. The low rainfall is due to the fact that the cold current of the Benguela Current reaches the southern coast of Africa. The cold sea water means that the water hardly evaporates and consequently no clouds can form. Only the damp fog provides some moisture, which is why the Namib Desert is also known as the fog desert.
The local dunes, on the other hand, were only formed about 5 million years ago. Some of the dunes have their own names, for example the “Big Daddy” dune with a height of 350 m is one of the highest dunes in the world. The "Big Mama" dune is a little lower. Dune 45 got its name from the fact that it is 45 km from the park entrance at Sesriem. It has the still considerable height of 170 m.
In 1979 some areas - including the Sossusvlei - were added to the park. As a result of further expansions, the park is now the largest national park in Africa with an area of around 50,000 km².
The park may only be entered (driven on) after sunrise and must be left again at sunset. However, there is an exception for guests staying in the park.
Dead Vlei is around 6 km from Sossusvlei. The “Dead” Vlei used to be the end of the Tsauchab River, but due to deposits of clay and mud, the river looked for a new path and now ends - provided it has water. In Dead Vlei, dead camel thorn trees dominate the landscape. The drying up trees, bleached by the sun, contrast with the local light clay soil and the deep blue of the sky.
Thermal springs in Ai-Ais and Groß-Barmen
The 57 °C sulphurous spring water penetrates from a depth of about 1,000 m to the surface.
Petrified Forest near Khorixas
The age of this collection of fossil tree trunks is between 240 and 300 million years. Here you can also find the very slowly growing Welwitschia mirabilis (desert plant).
Waterberg north of Windhoek
A national park was established on the Table Mountain plateau, which is home to around 90 different species of mammals, including several rare or endangered species such as horse, sable and elephant antelopes, blue wildebeest, white and black rhinos, buffalo, leopards and Cheetahs. Furthermore, 20 different bat and 13 frog species live here. 200 species of birds, among them the rare Cape Vultures, and a total of 479 different plants were counted in the park.
Kavango-Zambezi Nature Reserve
The Kavango-Zambezi (Zambezi) Conservation Area (KAZA) extends over a total of five countries in southern Africa, including Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in addition to Namibia. The entire area covers an area of around 444,000 km² - which is roughly the area of Germany and Austria. The area has so far been largely spared from tourists. But nature lovers from all over the world are increasingly discovering this cross-border natural attraction with its fascinating flora and fauna. About 50% of the African elephants live here. The Khaudum National Park in the northeast of Namibia is part of the protected area.
The reserve serves four main purposes: Okon
- The preservation of biodiversity
- Creation of development opportunities for the local population
- Promotion of tourism
- Secure peace in the region through cross-border cooperation.
International University of Management in Windhoek
The International University of Management is a private, but state-recognized university in Namibia's capital Windhoek. In addition to its headquarters, it has branches in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Ongwediva. It was created in 2002 when it emerged from the Institute for Higher Education founded in 1993. The areas of strategic management and information technology are taught on the new campus in the Dorado Park district.
Polytechnic of Namibia in Windhoek
The Polytechnic of Namibia is one of the largest universities in the country. The main campus is located in the Windhoek-West district and extends around the former maternity ward and the Elisabethhaus. Around 11,500 students are currently enrolled at the Polytechnic.
University of Namibia in Windhoek
The University of Namibia, or UNAM for short, is the third of the universities in Namibia. It was founded in 1992. At the university located in Windhoek, teaching is predominantly in English, although individual courses in Afrikaans or even German are offered. Since 2009, the university has also been responsible for training doctors who previously had to complete their studies in South Africa. In an international comparison to the other universities in Africa, the UNAM came in 21st place.