Wedged between the Kalahari and the chilly South Atlantic, Namibia is a country of vast potential and promise.
Rich in natural resources and unquestionably spectacular beauty, it has inherited a solid modern infrastructure
and has a diversity of cultures. Lonely and ethereal is the famous Skeleton Coast.
The earliest inhabitants of deserts of Namibia and Botswana were the hardy San whose presence here can be traced back
to 100 AD. Their unique clicking language was shared by the Khoikhoi who moved in from the south around 500 AD. Today
the San people are landless and unequivocally impoverished. However, some are finding new lifestyles: learning to farm
and keeping small numbers of cattle and goats on what land remains for them, but many still hunt when they have the
opportunity. A group of such farmers have joined to form the Nyae Nyae Farmer’s Cooperative, which is supported by
the Ju/hoansi Bushmen Development Foundation in Namibia. In Rundu one can buy traditional drums and some lovely handmade
furniture at Mbangura Woodcarver’s Cooperative. The main attraction of Twyfelfontein is the gallery of rock engravings,
which date back thousands of years. Despite its harsh climate, Namibia boasts some of Africa’s finest national parks.
The Capital Windhoek was known as Aigams (hot water), to the hot springs present in the region. The town, and the area
around it were settled first by the Khoikhoin and Herero people. In colonial times, it came under the control of the
Germans and later by South Africa in 1915. It was also the headquarters of the Khoikhoin (Khoi-Khoi) opposition to the
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Walvis Bay is a magical spot for bird-lovers - its bay supports thousands of flamingos and many other colourful
species - and a gateway to Namibia's hauntingly beautiful lunar-like desert landscapes, awesome in their scale and
antiquity. Our call allows a visit to Namibia's pretty seaside resort of Swakopmund, whose elegant turn-of-the-century
German buildings (Namibia was formerly German South West Africa) belong more to Bavaria than Africa! Easily reached is
the famous Cape Cross Seal Reserve, home of up to 100,000 Cape fur seals - and the grandeur of the Namib-Naukluft Park,
whose sand dunes rising to over 1,000 ft are the world's highest. What better backdrop for enjoying champagne and fresh
oysters from Walvis Bay!
WINDHOEK 9 October 2001: A Hollywood firm plans to take 200 Ethiopian farmers from a remote province to
Namibia for parts in "Beyond Borders", a big budget movie starring Angelina Jolie and Kevin Costner. Ethiopian
participants will stay for six weeks in Namibia. The southern African country was selected for having a more
developed road infrastructure and its proximity to South Africa, which has the necessary support system for the
sophisticated and bulky camera equipment and accessories used by Hollywood. Production is in the hands of Lions
Gate International. Ethiopia's catastrophic famine of the 1980s is one of the settings for the film, in which
Costner plays an international medical relief worker and Jolie a high-society woman drawn into war-torn and
drought-stricken areas in need of humanitarian assistance. Kenya was initially selected as the location for
parts of the film, directed in part by Martin Campbell (whose recent movies include "The Mask of Zorro" and
"Vertical Limit"), but was ruled out for security reasons.