hot air balloon

Tanzania

Pack your bags for what is regarded as an unexplored paradise. Tanzania, a land full of wonders has yet to be discovered by many. Travel through the rolling plains of the Serengeti and explore Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater. Experience the diverse of the Ruaha and Selous, dive off Mafia Island or trek the of Kilimanjaro. The scenery, topography and friendly people portray the best that Africa has to offer. Cultural sports, beach holidays, game viewing and archarlogical treasures that date back of years await you.

Ballooning Seregngeti Tanzania Pulse Africa

Sleep under an African Sky in luxurious tented then spend the morning floating over the in a hot air balloon. Watch the slip by among the as you sail down Lake Tanganyika and when it’s time to end the day and cool down, jump off your dhow into Zanzibar’s indigo sea.

 

General Information on Tanzania:

Location: East Africa, between 1° and 11°45’S and 29°20’ and 40°35’E

Size: 945,166km²

Climate: Tropical along coast; temperate in the highlands

Status: Republic

Population: 40,000,000 (2009 estimate)

Capital: Dodoma

Other main towns: Dar Es Salaam

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (Tsh)

Language: Official languages are KiSwahili; English; about 120 local languages

Religion: 30% Christian, 35% Muslim, 35% Indigenous beliefs; 99% Muslim

International telephone code: +255

Time: GMT +3

Electricity: 230 volts 60Hz. Round or square three-pinned British-style plugs

Flag: blue and green, with diagonal black-and-yellow stripe

 

Tanzania’s most popular areas:

Arusha

Situated in the fertile southern foothills of Mount Meru, less than 100km from the Kenyan border as the crow flights, the bustling town of Arusha is Tanzania’s so-called ‘safari capital’, the most popular and convenient springboard from which to explore the legendary northern game-viewing circuit. The town is also an important gateway into Tanzania, the first town visited by travellers coming across the border from Nairobi, and the entry point for a growing number of fly-in tourists thanks to the daily KLM flights than link Europe to the nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport.

First impressions of Arusha are that practically everything there revolves around the safari industry, a perception that is only reinforced by more prolonged exposure. Wander around the old town centre or back roads north of the stadium, and it can feel like every second person you pass has something to sell, be it a safari, a batik or last week’s edition of some or other foreign newspaper, while every other vehicle sports a safari company logo.

Situated at an elevation of around 1,500m in the rain shadow of Mount Meru, Arusha makes for a climatically temperate – and, during the rainy season, often downright soggy – introduction to tropical Africa. The town itself is pleasant enough place to hang out, and these days it boasts a growing number of trendy bars, restaurants and cafés catering to expatriates, tourists and wealthier locals. Away from these few select spots, however, Arusha remains something of an African every town, where low-rise colonial-era buildings rub shoulders with a small but gradually increasing number of modern structures.

 

The Northern Safari Circuit

The cluster of national parks, game reserves and other conservation areas that run southwest from Arusha town through to the eastern shore of Lake Victoria forms one of the most extensive safari circuits in Africa, and arguably the finest. The Serengeti National Park and the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the latter dominated by the , are possibly the most publicised game reserves in the world. And justifiably so: the Serengeti Plains host Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle, the annual migration of more than a million wildebeest and zebra, while also supporting remarkably dense populations of predators, such as lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena. The floor of the spectacular is if anything even more densely packed with large mammals, and the best place in East Africa to see the endangered black rhino. Less celebrated components of this safari circuit include Lake Manyara and national parks, the former protecting a shallow but expansive lake on the Rift Valley floor, the latter a tract of dry acacia woodland notable for its innumerable ancient baobabs and dense elephant population.

 

Moshi and Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, and one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks on the continent, it is also the highest mountain anywhere that can be climber by an ordinary tourist, and thousands of visitors to Tanzania attempt to reach its peak every year. Kilimanjaro straddles the border with Kenya, but because the peaks all lie within Tanzania territory they can be climbed only from within Tanzania. There are several places on the lower slopes from where the mountain can be ascended, but most people use the Marangu or ‘tourist’ route, largely because it is the cheapest option and has the best facilities. The less heavily trampled Machame route, starting from the village of the same name, has grown in popularity in recent years. A number of more obscure routes can be used, though they are generally available only through specialist trekking companies. Prospective climbers can arrange their ascent of ‘Kili’ –as it is popularly called – at one of the hotels in Marangu, or in Arusha town, but the main cluster of trekking companies is to be found in the town of Moshi on the plains to the south of the mountain.

 

The North Coast

The coastline running southward from the Kenya border to Dar es Salaam, though more developed than the south coast, is eclipsed in reputation by the offshore island of Zanzibar. Bypassed by the main road between Mishi and Dar es Salaam, the north coast attracts surprisingly few tourists, but it does boast a wealth of little known travel possibilities to reward those with the time and initiative to explore. The principal town along the north coast is Tanga, a somewhat time-warped port that briefly served as the capital of German East Africa before this role was usurped by Dar es Salaam. Also of interest are the more traditional Swahili trading centres of Bagamoyo and Pangani, which lie between Dar es Salaam and Tanga, and are separated by the remote Saadani National Park.

The north coast has a typically sultry coast climate, with hot and humid conditions throughout the year. Travel conditions are most pleasant over the June-September and least so over the hotter and wetter months of November-May.

 

Dar es Salaam

Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam is also the country’s ipso facto commercial and social capital, a lively, bustling Indian Ocean port whose regional maritime significance rivalled only by Mombasa (Kenya). Often abbreviated to ‘Dar’, this city of 2.5 million people has a relatively low tourist profile, thanks to the ease with which fly-in visitors can pass through its international airport without setting foot in the city itself. Whether or not this is a good thing it is a matter of opinion. Dares Salaam often draws extreme reactions from travellers, a real ‘love it or hate it’ kind of place, and many would regard a Dar-free itinerary to be a desirable state of affairs. Others would characterise Dar as East Africa’s, most likeable city, with a distinct sense of place derived from the cultural mix of its people and buildings, and the torpid coastal humidity that permeated every aspect of daily life. Architecturally, elements of German, British, Asian and Arab influence are visible, but this is fundamentally a Swahili city, and beneath the superficial air of hustle, a laid-back and friendly place.

 

Lake Victoria

Straddling the borders with Kenya and Uganda, Lake Victoria extends over almost 70,000km² – an area comparable to Ireland – making it the second-largest freshwater body in the world after North America’s Lake Superior. Some 51% of the lake’s surface falls within Tanzania and the largest ports on the Tanzania part of the lake are Mwanza, Musima and Bukoba. Other important ports include Kisumu in Kenya, and Port Bell, Entebbe and Jinja in Uganda. Some 30 million people across the three countries are dependent on Lake Victoria as a primary source of water and/or food.

Lake Victoria fills an elevated depression between the two major forks of the Rift Valley. Nowhere more than 75m deep, it is very shallow in comparison with lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa, both of which hold a greater volume of water. Much of the shoreline is shallow and marshy, while the open water laps four of the world’s 20 largest freshwater islands. The water level has fluctuated little in historical times, but the lake dried up entirely some 10 000 years ago. The Kagera River rising in the highlands of Rwanda and emptying into Lake Victoria near Bukoba is the more remote source of the Nile, the world’s longest river, which exits the lake near Jinja in Uganda.

Lake Victoria practically borders the Western Serengeti but it has never featured prominently on Tanzania’s tourist circuit. The one nascent upmarket tourist attraction in the region is the pedestrian-friendly Rubondo Island National Park. Mwanza, the largest Tanzanian port on the lake, is the main regional route focus and public and transport hub, while other significant ports include Musoma, Bukoba and Muleba. Away from these towns, most of the people who live around the Lake Victoria are fishermen, whose livelihood is increasingly threatened by recent proliferation of introduced Nile perch and other ecological threats.

 

Lake Tanganyika and the Western Safari Circuit

Following the contours of the Rift Valley along the border between Tanzania and the Congo, Lake Tanganyika is something of a statistician’s dream, measuring 675km from north to south, an average of 50km wide, and reaching a depth of up to 1,435m. Tanganyika holds a volume of water seven times greater than that of Lake Victoria (the largest lake on the continent), and it is the longest freshwater body in the world, as well as the second deepest after lake Baikal in Russia. It is also a very beautiful lake, hemmed in by the verdant hills on either side of the Rift Valley, and boasting crystal clear water that adds credence to its reputation for having the lowest pollution levels of any lake in the world. Lying at a relatively low elevation of 730m, the lake and its hinterland can be quite hot and sticky, but the climate is generally drier and cooler than anywhere along the coast.

Lake Tanganyika is at least three million years old, and although it is fed by more than 50 rivers and streams, its sole outlet is the Lukuga River, into which it overflows only in years of exceptionally high rainfall. Due to its great age and isolation from any similar habitat, Lake Tanganyika forms one of the most biologically rich aquatic habitats in the world, supporting more than 500 fish species of which the vast majority is comprised of endemic cichlids. The most important fish economically is the dagaa, a tiny plankton-eater that lives in large shoals and is sun-dried on the lakeshore for sale throughout western Tanzania. One of the most characteristic sights along any inhabited part of the lakeshore is the nocturnal spectacle of hundreds of small fishing boats lit by small lamps and bobbing in the waves like a low-lying swarm of fireflies.

 

The Southern Highlands and Lake Nyasa

Snuggled up to the borders with Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, the southern highlands of Tanzania, though exceptionally pretty and reasonable cheap and accessible, are seldom explored by travellers. The main town and route focus Mbeya is well connected to Dar es Salaam and other towns by road and rail, while other main towns include Tukuyu and Kyela. Scenic highlights are many, and hold some allure to hikers. Oddly enough, the most significant physical feature in the midst of the highlands is the vast but low-lying Lake Nyasa-Malawi, whose lush beaches are enclosed by the dramatic Poroto, Kipengere and Livingstone ranges on the Rift Valley escarpment.

 

The South coast

The 600km coastline that stretches from Dar es Salaam to Rovuma River on the Mozambican border is one of the least touristed corners of East Africa. The region is not quite as remote as it was a few years back thanks to the recent upgrading of the main road between Dar es Salaam and Mtwara, and the advent of modest tourist-class accommodation in the main centres of Kilwa Masoko, Lindi, Mikindani and Mtwara. Nevertheless, it is unlikely to hold much appeal to travellers who place a high priority on creature comforts.

Low-key facilities aside the south coast is a fascinating, thought-provoking and often enchanting area, endlessly rewarding to those with a sense of adventure and curiosity. Older towns such as Kilwa Kivinje, Lindi and Mikindani are steeped in coastal history, their roads lined with crumbling German and Arab buildings, a time-warped architectural milieu underscored by the gracious pace of life enjoyed by their Swahili inhabitants.

Scenically, the south coast is all you might expect: stunning palm-lined beaches, thick mangrove swamps, with baobab-studded acacia scrub stretching inland. And, while there is an element of travel for its own sake attached to exploring this region, it does boast one genuine travel highlight in the form of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara, inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1981 in recognition of their status as the most impressive historically significant of the ruined medieval cities that line Africa’s Indian Ocean Coast.

Namibia

Travel from Namibia’s rocky interior through waves of sandy to one of the wildest coasts on the continent. Explore the animal riches of world famous Etosha National Park and marvel at the unique red desert in Damaraland. Whether you’re exploring by Land Rover, airplane, hot air balloon or on foot, you’ll find Namibia’s extreme topography to be a feast for the senses.

Skeleton Coast Namibia Pulse Africa

No trip to Namibia would be complete without a visit to the Skeleton Coast. Named for the bleached whale and seal bones that once littered the shore, today skeletons still remain; the last remnants of more than a thousand vessels that ran ashore.

See the shape shifting sand dunes of the Sossusvlei as the perfect opportunity to try your feet at . Try your hand at one of the many invigorating activities available around Swakopmund. Enjoy world-class birding in the nearby Walvis Bay.

 

General Information on Namibia:

Location: Southwest Africa, astride the Tropic of Capricorn and beside the South Atlantic Ocean. Its main borders are with South Africa, Botswana and Angola, though it also adjoins Zambia.

Size: 824,292km²

Climate: Subtropical desert climate

Status: Republic

Population: 2,044,147 (2006 estimate)

Capital: Windhoek

Other main towns: Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Luderitz

Economy: Major earners, mining, including uranium diamonds and other minerals; agriculture; tourism

Currency: Namibian dollar (N$), equivalent to (and interchangeable with) South African Rand.

Language: English (official), Afrikaans, German, several ethnic languages (most in Bantu and Khoisan language groups)

Religion: Christianity; traditional beliefs

International telephone code: +264

Time: April to October GMT +1 and October to March GMT +2 (except Caprivi Strip: GMT +2 all year)

Electricity: 220 volts.

Flag: Diagonal red stripe bordered by narrow white stripes which separates two triangles: one green; one blue with a yellow sun motif.

 

Namibia’s most popular areas

Windhoek

Namibia’s capital spreads out in a wide valley between bush-covered hills and appears, at first sight, to be quite small. Driving from the international airport, you pass quickly through the suburbs and, reaching the crest of a hill, find yourself suddenly descending into the city centre.

As you stroll through this centre, the pavement cafes and picturesque old German architecture conspire to give an airy, European feel, whilst street-vendors remind you that this is Africa. The office blocks are tall, but not sky-scraping. Around you the pace is busy, but seldom as frantic as Western capitals seem to be.

Like many capitals, Windhoek is full of contrasts, especially between the richer and poorer areas, but it lacks any major attractions. For casual visitors the city is pleasant; many stop for a day or two, as they arrive or leave, though few stay much longer. It is worth noting that the city all but closes down on Saturday afternoons. So be aware of this is you plan to be in town over a weekend.

 

Mariental

Despite being the administrative centre of the large Hardap Region, which stretches from the Atlantic coast to Botswana, Mariental still avoids being a centre of attention by having remarkably few attractions. It is central and has a sprinkling of efficient businesses, ranging from Desert Optics optometrists to the PP supermarket on the north side of town, serving the prosperous surroundings farmlands.

Standing on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, in an area which has long been a centre for the Nama people of Namibia, Mariental and its immediate surroundings were recovering from serious flooding. Despite that, this area receives virtually no rain in some years. As a result, Namibia’s successful commercial farmers have diversified in order to survive. The current trend towards managing native game rather than farm animals, and earning income directly from tourism, is just an example of this. Similarly, the shrinking trade in pelts of karakul sheep – once so important to southern Namibia – seems to be concentrating around the town, while an ostrich abattoir has established Mariental as an important centre for the country’s ostrich farming, which is expanding rapidly as markets open up around the world for the ostrich’s lean, low-fat meat.

 

Hardap Dam Recreational Resort

About 250km from Windhoek, and less than 25km from Mariental, lies the Hardap Dam, creating Namibia’s largest manmade lake. The dam’s upper reaches of the Fish River to provide water for Mariental and various irrigation projects. It is surrounded by a small reserve, complete with rest camp.

 

Keetmanshoop

Pronounced ‘Keet-mans-verp’, which is often shortened in slang to just ‘Keetmans’, Keetmanshoop lies about 480km south of Windhoek at an altitude of 1,000m. The tar roads from Luderitz, South Africa and Windhoek meet here, making it the hub of southern Namibia’s road network, as well as the administrative centre of this region.

Originally there was a Nama settlement on the banks of the seasonal Swartmodder River here, also known as Swartmodder. Then, in 1866, the Rhenish Missionary Society sent Johan Schroder here from their establishment station at Berseba. He organised the building of a church and named it Keetmanshoop, after Johan Keetman, one of the rich benefactors who had paid for the building.

In 1890 that church was swept away by a freak flood, but a new one, was built on higher ground, was completed five years later. This was disused for years, but restored and declared a monument in 1978. Now it shelters the town’s museum, so at least visit this, even see you see nothing else here.

 

Fish River Canyon

At 161km long, up to 27km wide, and almost 550m at its deepest, the Fish River Canyon is probably second in size only to Arizona’s Grand Canyon – and is certainly one of Africa’s least visited wonders.

This means that you sit dangling your legs over the edge, drinking in the spectacle, you’re unlikely to have your visit spoiled by a coach-load of tourists, or to leave feeling that the place is at all commercialised. In fact, away from the busier seasons, you may not see anyone around here at all.

 

Luderitz and the Southwest

Thought the European colonisation of Namibia started in the south westerner corner, this remains perhaps the country’s least-known area for visitors. At the end of a long road, Luderitz is now being rediscovered, with its wonderful turn-of-the-20th-century architecture, desolate beaches, and position as the springboard for trips into the forbidden area, the Sperrgebeit.

 

Luderitz

Trapped between the desiccating sands of the Namib and the freezing waters of the South Atlantic’s Benguela current, Luderitz is a fascinating old German town, full of character. It is usually sleepy and laid back, with relaxed locals who often have time to talk. Around the centre of town, are painted in improbable pastel shades, which makes Luderitz feel like a delightful toy town in times.

The air is tangibly clean, even on the foggiest of mornings. Local Namibians say that Luderitz can have all four seasons in a day, as the weather can change in hours from bright , hot sunny, to strong winds, to dark, cold and foggy – and then back to sunshine again. This variation, together with a cold sea and the prevailing southwest wind, rule out Luderitz as a beach destination, though brave souls still take brief dips from the beach near the Nest Hotel or round the peninsula.

In the evening, there are few lively bars, and a handful of quiet restaurants, notable for their seafood. But the entertainment here pales in comparison with Swakopmund. Because of its location, Luderitz is not somewhere to ‘drop in on’ as you need to make a special journey to come here – but it is worth visiting for its architecture, its peninsula, and to see a part of Namibia which seems almost unaware of the outside world. Try to avoid Sundays, tough, when almost everything closes down, and the town is empty.

Tourism is having an impact here, but only gradually. Several new hotels have been opened in the last few years, and more guesthouses have opened their doors.

 

The Namib-Naukluft National Park

People have different reactions when they encounter a desert for the first time. A few find it threatening, to arid and empty, so they rush from city to city, through the desert to avoid spending any time there at all. Some try had to like it for those same reasons, but ultimately find a little which hold their attention. Finally there are those who stop and five the place their time, delighting in the stillness, strange beauty and sheer uniqueness of the environment. The desert’s changing patterns are subtly adapted life forms fascinate them, drawing them back time after time.

 

Namibrand Nature Reserve

Covering about 2100km², an area equivalent to about half the size of Belgium, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in Africa. Ling south of Sesriem, it borders onto the main Namib-Naukluft National Park in the west, a boundary of about 100km, and in the east its extent is generally defined by the Nubib Mountains.

There are a wide variety of different desert landscapes and environments within this, from huge red sand-dunes to vegetated inter-dune valleys, sand and gravel plains, and some particularly imposing mountains. It is a spectacular area of desert.

There are several ways to visit this, all utilising small lodges and camps as bases for expert-led guided trips. If you want a detailed look at the central Namib, with guides who understand it, this is an excellent complement to a day or two of driving yourself around Sesriem and .

 

Sesriem Area and Sossusvlei

When people speak of visiting the Namib Desert, this is often where they mean. The classic desert scenery around Sesriem and Sossusvlei is the stuff that postcards are made of – enormous apricot dunes with gracefully curving ridges, invariably pictured in the sharp light of dawn with a photogenic gemsbok or feathery acacia adjacent.

Sesriem and Sossusvlei lie on the Tsauchab River, one of two large rivers which flow westward into the great dune-field of the central Namib, but never reach the ocean. Both end by forming flat white pans dotted with green trees, surrounded by spectacular dunes – islands of life within a sea of sand.

 

Swakopmund and Walvis Bay area

Flying low over Namibia’s coastline is probably the best way to get a sense of perspective about it. You see how it divides the South Atlantic Ocean from the baking desert. Both seem harsh and unforgiving.

Clinging to the boundary, often under a blanket of morning fog, are Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Politically, Walvis Bay has always been vital. It has the only deep-water harbour between Luderitz and Angola. Historically, Swakopmund is probably more interesting, with old German architecture to rival that in Luderitz.

Most visitors stay in Swakopmund, which tends to be the livelier of the two, though birdwatchers may prefer Walvis Bay. Both have a good choice of small hotels and restaurants, making them obvious stops when driving between Namib-Naukluft Park and the Skeleton Coast or .

 

The Skeleton Coast

By the end of the 17th century, the long stretch north of Swakopmund had attracted the attention of the Dutch East India Company. They sent several exploratory missions, but after finding only barren shores impenetrable fogs, their journeys ceased. Later, in the 19th century, British and American whalers operated out of Luderitz, but gave this northern coast a wide berth – it was gaining a formidable reputation.

Today, driving north from Swakopmund, it is east to see how this coast earned its name of the Coast of Skulls or the Skeleton Coast. Treacherous fogs and strong currents forced many ships onto the uncharted sandbanks that shift underwater like desert’s sands. Even if the sailors survived the shipwreck, their problems had only just begun. The coast here is but a barren line between an icy, pounding ocean and the stark desert interior. The present road runs more or less parallel to the ocean and often feels like a drive along an enormous beach –with the sea on one side, and the sand continuing forever on the other.

For the first 250km or so, from Swakopmund to about Torra Bay, there are almost no dunes. This is a desert of gravel and rock. Then, around Torra Bay, the northern dune-sea of the Namib starts, with an increasingly wide belt of coastal dunes stretching north to the Kunene River. But nowhere are these as tall, or continuous, as the Namib’s great southern dune-sea, south of the Kuiseb River.

At first sight it all seems very barren, but watch the amazing wildlife documentaries made by the famous film-makers of the Skeleton Coast, Des and Jen Barlett, to realise that some of the most remarkable wildlife on earth has evolved here, Better still, drive yourself up the coast road, through this fascinating stretch of the world’s oldest desert. You will not see a fraction of the action that they have filmed, but with careful observation you will spot plenty to captivate you.

 

The Kaokoveld

The Koakoveld is one of Africa’s last Wildernesses. Namibia’s least inhabited area; it stretches from the coastal desert plain and rises slowly into a wild and rugged landscape. Here slow-growing trees cling to rocky mountains, while wild grass seeds wait dormant on the dust plains for showers of rain.

Because of the low population in the northern parts of Kaokoveld, and the spectacularly successful Community Game Guard scheme, there are thriving populations of game here, living beyond the boundaries of any national park. This is one of the last refuges for the black , which still survive here by ranging wide, and knowing where the seasonal plants grown.

It is also home to the famous desert . Some naturalists have cited their apparently long legs, and proven ability to withstand drought, as evidence that they are actually a sub-species of African elephant. Though this is not now thought to be the case, these remarkable animals are certainly adept with at surviving in the driest of areas, using their amazing knowledge of the few water sources that do exist.

 

Etosha National Park

Translated as the ‘Place of Mirages’, ‘Land of Dry Water’ or the ‘Great White Place’, Etosha is an apparently endless pan of silvery-white sand, upon which dust-devils play and mirages blur the horizon. As a game park, it excels during the dry season when huge herds of animals can be seen amidst some of the most startling and photogenic scenery in Africa.

The roads are all navigable in a normal 2WD car, and the park was designed for visitors to drive themselves around. If you insist on guided trips then look to one of the private lodges just outside the park or, better, to the concession areas in the Damaraland. Etosha is a park to explore by yourself. Put a few drinks, a camera and a pair of binoculars in your own car and go for a slow drive, stopping at the waterholes – it is amazing.

There are three rest camps within the park, and several lodges outside its boundaries, and yet the park is never busy in comparison with equally good reserves elsewhere in Africa.

 

North-Central Namibia

While Etosha is the main attraction in the north of Namibia, the region south of it has much interest. Large farms dominate these hilly, well watered highlands, and many have forsaken cattle in favour of game, to become guest farms that welcome tourists. Okonjima Guest Farm has been one of the first of these, and is a major draw for visitors. Many of the others are less famous, but they still offer visitors insights into a farmer’s view of the land, and opportunities to relax. On the eastern side of this area, the Waterberg Plateau is superb, though more for its hiking trails and scenery, and feeling of wilderness, than for its game-viewing.

 

Rundu and the Caprivi Strip

The north of Namibia is generally very lush, watered by a generous annual rainfall. East of Owamboland – which means northeast of Grootfontein – lie the regions of Kavango and Caprivi.

These support a large population, and a surprising amount of wildlife. The wildlife has visibly increased in the national parks here in the last few years, helped enormously by various successful community-based game-guard and conservation/development programmes.

Unlike much of the rest of Namibia, the Kavango and Caprivi regions feel like most Westerners’ image of Africa. You will see lots of circular huts, small kraals, animals, and people carrying water on their heads, these areas are probably what you imagined Africa to be like before you first arrived. By the roadside you will find stalls selling vegetables, fruit or wood carvings, and in the parks you will find buffalo hiding in the thick vegetation. This area is much more like Botswana, Zimbabwe or Zambia that it is like the rest of Namibia. This is only what you would expect if you look at a map of the subcontinent, or read the history of the area; it really is very different from the rest of the country.