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Geography

AREA:

With its surface area of 824 268 km (318,180 square miles), Namibia is a vast country with a population of only 2.2 million people.

CLIMATE:

The cold Benguela current keeps the coast of the Namib Desert cool, damp and free of rain for most of the year, with a thick coastal fog. Inland, rain falls in summer. Summer temperatures are high while the altitude means that nights are cool. Winter nights can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and pleasant.         

Winter (May-September): Temperatures in the interior range from 18ºC-25ºC during the day. Below freezing temperatures and ground frost are common at night.

Summer (October-April): Average interior temperatures range from 20ºC-34ºC during the day. Temperatures above 40ºC are often recorded in the extreme north and south of the country. The coast influenced by the cold Benguela current, boasts a relatively stable range of 15ºC-25ºC. Heavy fog is fairly common at night.

Humidity: Humidity is generally very low in most parts of Namibia, but can reach as high as 80% in the extreme north during summer. The rainy season is from October-April. The average annual rainfall varies from less than 50mm along the coast to 350mm in the central interior and 700mm in the Caprivi. The sporadic rains do not affect road travel significantly, however, tourists should exercise caution when crossing or camping in riverbeds during the rainy season, as flash foods are a common occurrence.

NAMIBIAN ARCHITECTURE:

The German colonial architecture characteristic of many of Namibia’s towns contrasts with the open expanses of African bush and Savannah. Residences with wide, shady verandas were built according to European styles adapted to the local climate.

In Windhoek, Swakopmund and Lüderitz many of these earlier buildings have been renovated and are now used as government offices, libraries, research facilities and so on. New developments, especially in Windhoek, follow the post-modern movement, echoing the German colonial style, with the emphasis on shape and colour.