Dream and Horizons
Its name means ”huge place”. It has a difficult history and geography, it has diamond, gold, and uranium mines, and it gained independence only in 1990. The first genocide in the 20th century took place there in 1904, a pattern for all that will follow. The landscapes of this country are almost surreal: the Namib desert, the Central Plateau, the Kalahari... Almost half of the approximately 2.1 million inhabitants live in the fertile river valleys in the north. Blacks make up 87 percent, whites 6 percent, mixed race about 7 percent. Here you will see Death Valley and the Skeleton Coast, Sandwich Harbor and Etosha National Park, a colony of 100,000 seals and the highest sand dunes in the world... Despite everyone who wanted tame and take possession of it, Namibia has retained its wild beauty and independent

Text and Photo: Ivana Ašković

Incredibly beautiful scenes where the waves of the Atlantic crash into the spectacular dunes of the Namib desert, traditional peoples who still defy the gallop of globalization, exciting flora and fauna, beautiful and clean cities and friendly people... All this and much more make Namibia – where, fortunately, tourism is still in its infancy – one of the dream destinations for us adventurers who travel through distant worlds and different cultures in search of something that can still take our breath away, constantly longing to preserve the love for the beauty of this planet and the people on it.
And there are incredibly few people in this country... while almost everything else is abundant.
Namibia is the second most sparsely populated country in the world, just behind Mongolia, with an average of only three people per square kilometer. And it is easy to understand why: the desert occupies the largest part of the country, so it is dominated by drought, outside of the short rainy season.
However, this is one of the most beautiful aspects of traveling through Namibia: you can drive for hours without seeing a single person, car or building. For those of us who love the wide, open spaces and indescribable artistry of Mother Nature, this is a truly exciting destination.


Situated on the southwest coast of Africa, Namibia is bordered by Angola to the north, Zambia to the northeast, Botswana to the east, South Africa to the southeast and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It gained independence in 1990, after 106 years of German and South African rule. The capital is Windhoek, the official language is English, although Afrikaans is widely used.
The country stretches from the fertile valleys of the Kunene and Okavango rivers in the north, where almost half of the total population lives, to the desert on the Atlantic coast and in the east, and from east to west three topographical areas alternate, each with distinctive, almost surreal landscapes: The Namib desert , Central Plateau and Kalahari.
Almost unspoiled by human hand, for more than 55 million years, the timeless Namib desert, the oldest on the planet, with only 0.6 cm of rainfall per year, has given birth to more life than any other. From the Skeleton Coast where it is battered by the waves of the Atlantic, through a sea of majestic sand dunes to the mist of distant mountains, this seemingly uninhabited desert hides secret sources of water and, for those who know where to look, enough moisture for life. Even for the abundance of life.
The central plateau, the most densely populated, with an altitude of 975 to 1,980 meters, is the core of the country’s agricultural life. It is also home to the capital city of Windhoek. In the east, the terrain gradually descends, and the savanna transforms into the Kalahari Desert.
The Namibian Constitution of 1990 is the first African constitution to mention the importance of environmental protection.


At first glance, the history of Namibia is relatively young. This is partly due to the fact that pre–colonial history has never been written down, although there is plenty of archaeological evidence that humans inhabited Namibia at least 25,000 years ago.
Probably the oldest inhabitants of the region are the Bushmen or San people, as is evident from the rock paintings and engravings at places in Damaraland such as Twyfelfontein and Brandberg. Today, there are about 35,000 Bushmen living in Namibia, and only a few of them continue their traditional way of life. The Bushman share some linguistic features (such as clicks) with the Damara and Nama peoples who established themselves in the area after them.
Herero and Himba are other distinctive cultures. The Herero can be seen in elaborate Victorian–style dresses. The majority Owambo people live mainly in and around the northern parts of the country, where the river valleys allow for agriculture, but members of the Owambo people can be found throughout Namibia.
The name of the country comes from the Namib Desert, the oldest in the world. Namib means ”huge place” in the language of the Nama people. Before gaining independence in 1990, the area was first known as German South West Africa, then South West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by Germans and South Africans.


The first Europeans in Namibia were the Portuguese, in 1485. They stopped briefly at the Skeleton Coast and erected a limestone cross there, on their exploratory mission along the west coast of Africa. This cross is now known as Cape Cross, and its historical significance has almost been superseded by the fact that it is home to a colony of over 100,000 seals. The next notable visitor was Bartolomeu Dias who stopped at Walvis Bay on his way around the Cape of Good Hope. The Namib Desert was a major obstacle and none of these Portuguese explorers went far inland.
It was not until 1884 that Namibia became a German colony, as German South-West Africa. The late period of German colonial rule, from 1904 to 1907, culminated in the events known as the first genocide of the 20th century, committed by the Germans against the local population.
In January 1904, the Herero and Nama peoples rebelled against German colonial rule. On 12January, they killed more than 100 German settlers in the Okahandja area, sparing women, children, missionaries and non-German Europeans. In August, the German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Owaherero at the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert, where most of them died of dehydration. In October, the Nama people also rebelled against the Germans, only to suffer a similar fate. Between 24,000 and 100,000 Hereros (about 80 percent of the population) and 10,000 Nama (half the population) died in the genocide. The first phase of the genocide was widespread death from starvation and dehydration, as German forces prevented the Hereros from leaving the Namib Desert. Once defeated, thousands of Hereros and Nama were imprisoned in concentration camps, where most died of disease, abuse, and exhaustion.
The memory of the genocide remains engraved in ethnic identity in independent Namibia and significant for relations with Germany. In 1985, the UN classified these events as an attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples in South West Africa, and therefore as one of the earliest attempts at genocide in the 20th century. It was not until 2004 that the German government officially acknowledged the crimes and issued an apology to Namibia, and only in July 2015 did it officially call the events genocide. In May 2021, Germany agreed to pay €1.1 billion in reparations over a period of 30 years to finance projects in communities affected by the genocide.


After the victory over the German forces during World War One, the territory of Namibia was occupied by the Union of South Africa, and from 1920 it administered the territory based on the mandate of the League of Nations. After the end of World War II, the Union of South Africa refused to return the mandate to the United Nations and continued to administer the territory without international recognition. Although in 1966 the UN revoked the mandate to govern South West Africa, and the area was placed under the direct supreme authority of the UN, the South African government did not recognize the decision and tried to annex the region. In 1966, the South West Africa People’s Organization began a struggle for independence, and it was not until 1988 that the Republic of South Africa agreed to withdraw its forces from Namibia, in accordance with the United Nations peace plan for the entire region. Namibia officially declared independence on 21 March 1990, and the port of Walvis Bay was returned to it only in 1994.


On our journey through this unique country, we traveled almost two thousand kilometers, driving from the capital Windhoek. In Sossusvlei, we climbed the highest dune in the world and descended from it into the Dedvlei valley with petrified trees – one of Namibia’s greatest attractions. We went through Walvis Bay and Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast, the Twyfelfontein area inhabited by the picturesque Himba and Damara peoples, enjoyed the wildlife on a safari in the Etosha National Park. We fed on scenes of unreal beauty, untouched nature and the starriest sky we have ever seen. Learned a lot about ”them” and ”us”. Collected memories for a lifetime.
Dedvlei or Death Valley. Some 900 years ago, a dry season devastated the landscape, and the dunes cut off Dedvlei from the river. It became too dry for the trees to even decompose. They simply scorched black in the sun, monuments to their own destruction. The trees, now forming a petrified forest, one of the most photographed sights in Namibia, are now over a thousand years old. You can reach this valley on foot from the gravel road where the 4x4s will leave you, or you can visit it by a longer and more beautiful route, by climbing the highest dune in the world – called Big Daddy, 325 meters high – and descending from its top down a sand cliff into a petrified forest basin. In both cases, the experience is unforgettable.
Skeleton Coast. Surreal – beautiful, terrifying, eerie and lonely – a place where the desert meets the ocean. The coast is stretched between the largest sand dunes in the world. Portuguese sailors named this coast the Coast of Hell, locals call it ”The place God made in anger”, and Swedish explorer Charles Anderson said in 1859: ”It would be better to die than to be exiled to a land like this”. Today, this area of the famous national park, a unique place on the planet.
Sandwich Harbor. A national park through which only experienced drivers drive you in 4x4 vehicles. The experience is indescribable. At first we drive along the beach itself, between the desert and the ocean, which is only possible in certain parts of the year when the tide is low. When we reach the most beautiful areas, the jeeps start driving on the dunes, which are as much as 100 meters high. They take off and descend over this endless sea of sand, awakening in each of us that forgotten child who rides in an amusement park for the first time, and then stop at some of the places with the most incredible views. There we stand dumbfounded and petrified by the beauty, the primal and timeless beauty that reminds us once again that Mother Nature is most definitely the best artist in the world.
Himba. Himbas are certainly one of the main attractions for western tourists in Namibia. Their women care for their beauty in an unusual way, in unique rituals, collecting the ingredients for preserving soft and shiny skin in nature. To protect themselves from the harsh desert climate and emphasize their femininity, the Himba use otjize, a red paste made by mixing tallow and ocher pigment. With this, they coat the skin and decorate the hair, which they twist into dreadlocks in a special way.
Due to the lack of water, and in order to maintain hygiene and beauty, the Himba bathe every day – in smoke. They put hot coals in a small container with herbs and wait for thick smoke to escape through the crevices of the container. Otjize also protects them from insects, and they sometimes add scented resin to the paste in order to attract men with the ”charming scent of nature” and create a family. This cosmetic practice primarily symbolizes the rich red color of the earth and blood – the main essence of the life of this community, which is also the ideal of beauty in their society.
Children are looked after by women and older children, girls up to puberty who have two braids on their heads. The Himba people are patriarchal and prone to polygamy, so men have several wives, especially if they have a lot of cattle. We are told that women are not jealous. They cheerfully show us a traditional dance, skillfully bargain trying to sell handmade jewelry and other interesting handicrafts, all while waiting for their men to return from looking after the cattle.
Damara. A people that make up 8.5 percent of Namibia’s population. They speak the Khoekhoe ”clicking” language (like the Nama people) and most live in the northwestern regions of Namibia, although there are also some in other parts of the country. Genetic studies have shown that the Damara are closely related to the neighboring Himba and Herero peoples, which is consistent with their descent from Bantu speakers who over the course of history switched to another language and culture.
The supreme deity of Damara is Gamab – the one who bestows water – and he lives in the high sky, even above the sky of stars. It ensures the annual renewal of nature, through the cycle of the seasons, and supplies game and people with life-giving water. One of his main responsibilities is to guarantee the yield of crops. Gamab is also the god of death, who governs the fate of mankind. He shoots arrows at people from his place above the sky and those who are hit get sick and die. After death, the souls of the dead travel to Gamab’s village in the sky above the stars and gather around him at a ritual fire.
The Damara traditionally believed in communal ownership of land, meaning that no individual has the privilege of owning land since God has given land to all. According to their belief, instead of one person owning good land for grazing while another seeks livelihood, all should live in harmony.
Etosha. For those of us who spent our childhood watching the TV series Survival, one of the dream destinations must have included a safari somewhere in Africa. Although this is the author’s second African safari (after the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya), the Etosha National Park, one of the largest in Africa, is just as exciting. Patience is required because the park is spread over a huge territory, and the animals appear when and as it suits them. With a little luck, you will see the beautiful animal kingdom of Namibia. There are antelope, oryx, impala, there are lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, black and white rhinoceros, and many more magnificent representatives of the animal kingdom, some of which we saw for the first time. You can also drive through Etosha with your own vehicle, although we recommend renting a 4x4 jeep with a driver who has a trained eye to spot the animal in the distance and tell you everything you want to know about it. Just like in the series.
Pelican Point. Another attraction for animal lovers. From the sandy shores of Walvis Bay covered with white and pink flamingos, we take a boat ride to this island inhabited by a colony of seals. A few pelicans and seals, accustomed to people, join us on board. They come up to us and let us pet them, while we watch dolphins chasing the boat, whales surfacing in the distance, huge jellyfish that are the seal’s favorite food, and endemic fish species we’ve never heard of. On board, they serve oysters, champagne, sherry and some other local delicacies that make this experience unforgettable.


Accommodation in Namibia is mostly in so-called lodges. These are accommodation complexes ”in the middle of nowhere”, dozens of kilometers from any other sign of civilization. Here you have nowhere to walk, nothing to visit until the next morning, when you will again move on in the van through the vast distances of the country. But the starry sky and night sounds are intoxicating and teach you slowly the language of nature, the language of Africa.
Namibia has much more to attract tourism... Wide passable roads, accessible infrastructure, all tourist amenities, interesting places to go out in cities, recreation such as water sports, sandboarding on the dunes, skydiving...
I am thinking whether or not to invite you to visit this beautiful country at the end of this article. Despite all those who wanted to tame and take possession of it, Namibia has remained untamed and true to itself, wild in her beauty, upright and independent. And it is wonderful as it is, without many people, almost without tourists. I would leave it like that, big, open, lonely and wild.
I wouldn’t change anything about it.
Except for the ruling party, which they say is steeped in corruption and nepotism. Of the numerous diamond, gold and uranium mines, which are Namibia’s main exports, none are in the hands of Namibians. The people get almost nothing from these natural resources, given to foreigners for a pittance. Only individuals profited from dubious privatization transactions. I hear all this from our local guide as we drive for hours through the desert between two exciting destinations. Finally something familiar. So we have at least something in common, them and us.
If you come, come open, unobtrusive and respectful. Namibia will repay you with all its multifaceted beauty, and all its joys and sorrows may teach you to appreciate more this tormented Planet we share, which will always give us only as much as we give to it.


Demographic landscape
The aforementioned Owambo people make up about half of Namibia’s population and belong to the Bantu group. The Herero and Himba ethnic groups, also mentioned, speak very similar languages, while the Damara and Nama peoples speak the same ’clicking’ Khoekhoe language. Larger groups of Khoisan peoples (such as the Nama and the Bushmen) live in Namibia, who are descendants of the original inhabitants of southern Africa. There are also numerous descendants of refugees from Angola. There are two smaller groups of the mulatto population, the so-called Bastards, who together make up about 6.6 percent of the population. There is also a smaller Chinese community in Namibia.
There are more than 11 indigenous languages in Namibia, with many residents speaking two or three languages.


White Caucasians make up about 6.4 percent of Namibia’s population. The largest number of them are of Portuguese, Dutch, German, British and French origin. The majority of whites in Namibia and almost all mixed and mulatto people speak Afrikaans. Their culture, religion and origins are similar to whites and mixed-races in South Africa. A smaller number of whites (about 30,000) are directly descended from German colonists and have retained their German cultural and educational institutions. Almost all Portuguese settlers came to Namibia from Angola, a former Portuguese colony.


It was a privilege and an honor to spend time with the Himba and Damara, some of the indigenous peoples of Namibia, and listen to stories about their lives, traditions, and beliefs. The only thing we would change on this trip is to spend a few days with these inspiring people instead of those few hours, sharing their mornings and evenings, their workday and daily rituals, recording their passing thoughts and letting them absorb ours. But even in those few hours, we have a memory of these wonderful peoples that we will surely cherish and share with others for a long time.

From now on you
can buy National Review at Trafika sales outlets

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 81 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 80 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 79 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 78 - руски

Serbia - National Review - Tourism 2020

Србија - национална ревија - Број 77

Србија - национална ревија - Број 76

Србија - национална ревија - Број 75
Србија - национална ревија - ФранкфуртСрбија - национална ревија - МоскваСрбија - национална ревија - Москва
Србија - национална ревија - ПекингСрбија - национална ревија - број 74
Србија - национална ревија - број 73

Србија - национална ревија - број 72Туризам 2019.
Србија - национална ревија - број 71
Србија - национална ревија - број 70Србија - национална ревија - број 69Србија - национална ревија - број 68Србија - национална ревија - број 67Tourism 2018
Србија - национална ревија - број 66
Serbia - National Review - No 65
Serbia - National Review - No 64Србија - национална ревија - број 63
Србија - национална ревија - број 62
Србија - национална ревија - број 61

Србија - национална ревија - број 60
Србија - национална ревија - број 59
Serbia - National Review - No 59
Serbia - National Review - No 58

Serbia - National Review - No 56
Serbia - National Review - No 55
Serbia - National Review - No 54
Tourism 2016
Српска - национална ревија - број 53
Српска - национална ревија - број 12-13
Srpska - National Review - No 12-13
Serbia - National Review - No 51

Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 48
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46Serbia - National Review - No 46, russianSerbia - National Review - No 45Srpska - No 6
SRPSKA - National Review - No 5Tourism 2014SRPSKA - No 2
Tourism 2013
SRPSKA - National Review - Special Edition

Battle above Centuries
Legends of Belgrade
History of the Heart


Чувар светих хумки
Србија од злата јабука - друго издање
Orthodox Reminder for 2013
Пирот - Капија Истока и Запада
Беочин - У загрљају Дунава и Фрушке Горе
Србија, друмовима, пругама, рекама
Србија од злата јабука
Туристичка библија Србије

Коридор X - Европски путеви културе
Београд у џепу
Тло Србије, Завичај римских царева
Добродошли у Србију