Tourism in Namibia

Tourism in Namibia

Tourism in Namibia is a major industry. Annually, nearly one million travelers visit Namibia, with roughly one in three coming from South Africa, then Germany and finally the United Kingdom, Italy and France. The country is known for ecotourism which features Namibia's extensive wildlife. [ [ Tourism in good shape - Minister] The Namibian, 30 September 2008]


There is no information on the history of tourism in Namibia before independence in 1990. The first rough estimate took place in 1989, when it was predicted that 100,000 non-domestic tourists stayed in the country. This figure has consistently risen to the estimated one million visitors in 2006.


In 1996, around 600 jobs were related directly to the country's tourism sector.


Windhoek, being the capital and biggest city, is the main entrance point for people flying into the country, usually at Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport. Important tourist sites in Windhoek include: the Tintenpalast, (which is the seat of both the National Council and the National Assembly), Windhoek Country Club Resort (opened in 1995 as host to the Miss Universe 1995 and is one of the premier hotels and golf tournaments in the country), Zoo Park and other places.

Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay, as the second biggest town in Namibia, is host to the main port of the country, as well as the Walvis Bay International Airport. Geographically the town is uniquely situated as it is the meeting place of extreme landscapes - on the one side the Namib desert, the oldest desert in the world, and on the other side a massive lagoon and harbor flowing from the Atlantic Ocean. Both of these landscapes lend itself towards some of the most unique site seeing opportunities in Namibia.

The Namib Desert meets Walvis Bay at the Kuiseb River Delta, the main artery for a fresh water underground aquifer and home to a living desert full of desert plants, insects, reptiles and animals. Anthropological sites and live descendants of the ancient Khoin-Khoin people, the Topnaars, are also present in the Kuiseb River Delta. For more information on the meeting place of the Namib Desert and Kuiseb River Delta, visit [ Kuiseb Delta] .

The lagoon and harbour is home to various different species and large numbers of sea mammals and bird life. The Namib desert on the other side is called "The Living Desert", because of the large number of living species found there. Walvis Bay is the tourism activity centre of Namibia. Activities include various different water related actions, like shore angling, boat angling, shark angling, sight seeing and photograpic boat cruises, sea kayaking and wind- and kite surfing. Walvis Bay yearly houses one of the international legs of speed kite and wind surfing. Land activities include, Sandwich Harbour sightseeing tours, desert sightseeing tours, 4X4 dune driving tours into the masive dunes south of the Kuiseb river, dune hang gliding, dune boarding and dune skiing, guided educational, historic and antrophologic quad biking tours into the Kuiseb Delta, visits to the Topnaar people, descendants of the Khoin-Khoin, and living desert tours.

National Parks


Namibia has many prominent National Parks. Most visited is Etosha, then Namib-Naukluft, Waterberg, Fish River Canyon and Skeleton Coast.


* Weaver, David, and Katharine Elliot. "Spatial Patterns and Problems in Contemporary Namibian Tourism." The Geographical Journal 162.2(1996): 205-217.

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