Geography of Namibia


Terrain shapes and bedrock

Inside the coast there is a 70-160 km wide belt, the Namib Desert, which consists mostly of sandy fields, migratory caves and mountain blots. It is highest in the north with several granite mountains, among others. Brandberg (2,574 m asl), which is the highest point in the country. A step-steep slope to the east forms a transition to the central highlands of 1,100–2,200 m above sea level. It is shared by a mountain range around Windhoek, which is a water divide, in Damaraland and Ovamboland in the north and Namaland in the south.

Closer to the border with Botswana, part of Kalahari, which is a high basin area with thick sand layers and limestone fields, is spreading. The sand covers large parts of the Etoshas Plain and the Okavango Basin in the north.

Among the few permanent watercourses are noted Kunene and the Okavango River as well as the Orange River, border rivers in the north and south respectively.

  • AbbreviationFinder: Offer a full list of commonly used abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms related to the state of Namibia.


According to COUNTRYAAH, Namibia has a dry tropical climate. The coastal area receives a maximum of 100 mm of precipitation per year, and the central highland area receives up to 600 mm per year, mainly in the summer (December – February). This year’s average temperature varies between 22 °C in the interior of the country and 17 °C on the coast. During the summer the temperature rises to 38 °C in the north and 49 °C in the Namib desert.

Plant Life

The flora is rich in endemic species, which in a few cases are very special. The most remarkable plant in the Namib Desert is welwitschia, a nude plant with very peculiar appearance. Inland, the desert turns into steppe vegetation, with euphorbios and Commiʹphora species as well as tuber of perennial grasses.

At the far south, the flora is richer and is dominated by so-called carrots with numerous succulents from the families of herbaceous, fatty leaf and foxglove (eg geraniums). In the interior of southern Namibia, the bush steppe dominates the grasses love grasses, Ariʹstida and Stipagroʹstis. In the east, savannas with Commiʹphora and Acaʹcia haematoʹxylon and Acacia giraʹffae spread. At the far north you will find rich deciduous forests with the pea plants Baikiaea [-ɛ: ʹa] pluriʹjuga and Colophospeʹrmum mopaʹne.


Namibia Wildlife

Compared to neighboring countries, the fauna in Namibia is poor in species. Many mammals are adapted for life in deserts and semi-deserts, i.e. stone antelope (Raphiʹcerus campeʹstris), oyx, elephant beak mice, camo fox (Vuʹlpes chaʹma), black-footed cat and caracal. Brown hyena is a characteristic feature. In humid areas there are typical African savannah mammals such as lion, African elephant, warthog, common zebra, giraffe and common eland.

Birds include stairs, flying chickens and larches. Several smaller desert animals, including the insects black beetles, utilize morning fogs that sweep in from the sea to get fluid.

Nature conservation

In 2011, Namibia formally had eight national parks. In addition, there are a number of larger game parks or nature reserves that in practice function as national parks. In total, 17% of the country’s area was under some form of nature protection.

Economic conditions

Namibia is a country with significant development prospects. Rich in natural resources, by the presence of huge quantities of mineral reserves (alongside the other three large mining countries of central and southern Africa Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, South Africa for the great riches of the subsoil: diamonds, above all, widely present in particular in the southern section of the Namib), to an environment that is still intact and of great tourist interest. The production structure is fragile, concentrated in a few sectors and owned only by the white component of the population. Another factor of economic weakness is represented by the structure of foreign trade: almost all the goods produced in the country are exported but, being minerals and agricultural products, these goods represent goods with low added value; conversely, Namibia must import nine-tenths of the goods necessary for its economy, of which approximately half is made up of food products (as well as consumer products) and therefore with greater added value. The main activities concern the breeding of cattle and karakul sheep (in crisis due to the decline in international demand). The products destined for local consumption consist of vegetables, fruit and corn. The industrial sector is modest and mainly concerns the processing of agricultural products and some plants for the primary processing of minerals.

The presence of numerous natural parks (Etosha, Namib-Naukluft, Skeleton Coast, Fish River Canyon, the small parks of the Caprivi Strip, but of extraordinary naturalistic interest, etc.), populated by the great African fauna, attracts increasing numbers of tourists (695,000 in the 2003).