Southern Africa is renowned for its excellent outdoor living climate. The winter months are from May to September and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from October to April and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. Rains generally only start from mid to late December and last until March; this period is hot and humid. Large parts of Namibia are desert environment, so you will have to come prepared with appropriate clothing for the winter season (nights only).
220-240V, 50 HZ, Most electrical plugs are 15 amp 3-prong with round pins. International adaptor are called for, they can be purchased locally (approx 2 U$).
There are multiple official languages in Namibia and South Africa, although English is widely spoken. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout different parts of these lands.
Full country name: Republic of South Africa
Area: 1,221,037km2 (447,443mi2)
Population: 47,432,000 (July 2005 estimate), 44,819,278 (Census 2001)
Capital cities: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Admistrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial)
People: Zulu, Afrikaners, Xhosa, Basotho (South Sotho), English South Africans, Bapedi (North Sotho), Indian/Asian, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele, others
Language: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda
Religion: Zion Christian 11%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8%, Catholic 7%, Methodist 7%, Dutch Reformed 7%, Anglican 4%, other Christian 36%, Islam 2%, none 15%
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metal working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, food stuff, commercial ship repair.
Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran (2004).
Currency: Rand (ZAR), consisting of 100 cents
Recommended reading: Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela), A History of South Africa (Leonard Thompson), Cry the Beloved Country (Alan Paton), No Future Without Forgiveness (Desmond Tutu)
Full country name: Republic of Namibia
Area: 824,292 sq km (318,259 sq mi)
Population: 2,032,000 (July 2005 est) 1.820,916 (Census 2002)
Capital city: Windhoek (pop 161,000)
People: 86% African (50% Owambo, 9% Kavango, 7% Herero, 7% Damara, 5% Nama, 4% Caprivian, 3% San, 2% Baster, 0.5% Tswana), 7.4% mixed, 6.6% white Languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
Religion: Christian, Lutheran, native religions
President: Hifikepunye Pohamba
Major industries: Meat packing, fish processing, dairy products, mining (diamond, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper), millet, sorghum, peanuts, livestock, fish, tourism.
Major trading partners: UK, South Africa, Spain, Japan, Germany, USA
Formally known as South West Africa. The whole territory became German protectorate in 1884, except for the British/Cape Colony enclave of Walvis Bay. After the First World War the territory was administered by South Africa until independence on 21 March 1990. The capital is Windhoek and the second largest town is Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only port. Swakopmund is a coastal town with a German influence and revolves mainly around tourism. Namibia’s economy relies on diamond mining in the south, cattle farming in the north, fishing along the coast and tourism. Most of the country is desert or semi desert. There is a population of around 1.8 million. This, around 1, 5 people per sq. km is one of the lowest in the world. The official language is English although there are many different cultures including Herero, San, Koikoi, Owambo, Afrikaans and German. Namibia was at one stage a German colony therefore having German-speaking people. About 75% of the locals are Christian and the others have traditional beliefs. Namibia is a land of contrasts. Being largely semi-desert and desert, midsummer temperatures may rise to 40°C, while winter night temperatures can drop to freezing. Along the coast it is cool, with regular morning fogs. Namibia’s rain falls in summer, from October to April, and the land averages 300 days of sunshine annually.