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Vacation Time! Your Entree To Namibia

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Experience the Erongo!
REPORTING BY Kayli Liebenberg [PHOTOS COURTESY OF Adobe Stock]

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ON THE REMOTE SOUTHWEST COAST of Africa, Namibia is home to some of the world’s most diverse and distinctive landscapes: base yourself in the Erongo Region to explore endless expanses of deserts, mountains, canyons and savannas. The Erongo is an incredible (and incredibly underrated) wildlifewatching area, and it contains some of Southern Africa’s finest prehistoric rock art and engravings.

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NAMIBIA GAINED INDEPENDENCE in 1990, and before that it was known as German South West Africa. The coastal town of Swakopmund, a fourhour drive from Windhoek, the capital of the Erongo, is a must-see, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Namib Desert. With its old-colonial German architecture and seaside promenades, it’s a slightly surreal colonial remnant with lashings of charm.

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST QUARTZ CRYSTAL cluster was discovered in 1985 in the Erongo, at the Otjua Mine near Karibib. It weighs an impressive 14,100 kg and was found at the bottom of a 45-metre-deep cave. You can view it at the Kristall Galerie in Swakopmund, before shopping for your own tumbled semi-precious crystals to take home.

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ERINDI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, one hour’s drive from Swakopmund, boasts an impressive variety of wildlife, including the Big Five. The reserve features luxurious accommodation options, and its dedicated team works tirelessly to ensure the longterm sustainability of the local wildlife population.

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AMAZING SEALIFE AWAITS YOU in Walvis Bay, just 30 minutes’ drive from Swakopmund. It’s a pleasant coastal town, Namibia’s largest, with a charming, modern waterfront. You can take a cruise for guaranteed sightings of dolphins, seals, sunfish and pelicans. Visit during June or November and you might just spot some whales.

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THE TOWERING GRANITE PEAKS of the Spitzkoppe, that stretch 1,728 metres above sea level, are one of the Erongo’s most visited tourist attractions. Popular activities here in the Namib Desert include camping, stargazing and rock climbing. The peaks were formed 130 million years ago, and are known as the Matterhorn of Namibia.

THE SKELETON COAST, which extends 500 kilometres between Swakopmund and the Angolan border, has long been a graveyard for unwary sailors, and it’s littered with century-old shipwrecks. Venture to the so-called End of the Earth and you’ll likely find yourself alone save for the occasional surfer or dune-driving adrenaline junky.

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