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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 21, 2021
Headline for 05 Intriguing Facts About Namibia – A Land of Many Marvels
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05 Intriguing Facts About Namibia – A Land of Many Marvels

Located in the southern part of Africa, Namibia might not be as well known as some of its neighbouring nations, but it has equally captivating attractions and things to do. The fascinating facts below show just what diverse wonders you can find here and why you should visit.


The Oldest Desert in the World

Namibia is named after the Namib Desert, the oldest desert on the planet; it is believed that this desert goes at least as far back as 55 million years! Devoid of surface water, it is harsh though hauntingly beautiful landscape well worth seeing. Amongst its significant features is its impressive sand dunes including one known as Dune 7; its height reaches approximately 383 metres making it the world's highest sand dune. The dunes also offer fun activities and from the town of Swakopmund, one can enjoy sandboarding and quad biking.


Environmental Protection is Part of the Constitution

Environmental conservation plays a big part in Namibia, so much so that it is a part of the country's constitution. It is the first African nation to adopt such a measure and this has gone a long way in helping to preserve local flora and fauna. In fact, more than 40% of Namibia is encompassed by conservation management be it at nature reserves, game reserves, wilderness areas or protected areas. Wildlife has thus thrived and visitors can see lions, elephants, cheetahs, black rhinos, black-faced impalas, roan antelopes, Cape fur seals, Cape vultures and more.


Cheetahs and Black Rhinos a Highlight

Namibia has around 2,500 to 3,000 cheetahs and is home to the largest free-roaming cheetah population on the planet. You can see these endangered big cats at places such as Etosha National Park; for those travelling to Windhoek, hotel offers can be found at properties like Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino from where one can head to the Naankuse Foundation Wildlife Sanctuary for more cheetah encounters. Additionally, the country features the largest population of black rhinos in the world too, most prominently the South Western black rhino subspecies.


World's Largest Non-Subglacial Lake

The largest underground lake on the planet which has not been created from a glacier can be found at the mysterious-sounding, Dragon's Breath Cave; the cave, which lies beneath the Kalahari Desert, is so named due to the humid air that rises from its opening. Exploring this monumental grotto is only for professionals or experienced spelunkers who will be rewarded with some unforgettable sights. Said to be more than 100 metres deep, the lake is also home to remarkable species such as the golden catfish which has adapted to the darkness.


Featured in Several Major Movies

You may not have known it at the time, but you would have already witnessed Namibia's natural beauty; this is because the country has been used as a location for some major Hollywood films! Science fiction fans will no doubt have seen Stanley Kubrik's, 2001: A Space Odyssey but have not realised that the opening landscape shots were of Namibia. The country's desert was further used for the dystopian landscapes of George Miller's, Mad Max: Fury Road, Roland Emmerich's, 10,000 BC, Beyond Borders starring Angelina Jolie and the 2017 version of The Mummy with Tom Cruise.