Namibia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Namibia?

Overview:

Namibia is an arid country covering more than 320,000 square miles. The Caprivi Strip juts out to the northeast to touch both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Namibia has four distinct geographic regions. The Namib Desert forms a 50- to 70-mile wide belt along the entire coastline. A semiarid and mountainous plateau, varying in altitude from 3,000 to 6,000 feet, covers the central part of the interior and includes Windhoek, the capital city.

The low-lying eastern and southeastern plains are extensions of the dry Kalahari Region of Botswana and South Africa. The northern, bush-covered plains include the relatively high rainfall areas of the Kavango and the eastern Caprivi. Windhoek, the capital, has a population of 282,300 and is at an altitude of 5,600 feet.

The city itself is hilly and surrounded by sparsely vegetated mountains, creating a landscape that calls to mind Arizona or New Mexico. Indeed, with its bustling downtown commercial section, good-quality roads and public services, and trim residential areas, Windhoek proper could easily pass for a small, southwestern, American city.

Geography - note:

first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution; some 14% of the land is protected, including virtually the entire Namib Desert coastal strip

Climate:

Namibia’s climate is typical of a semi-desert and high plateau country, with hot days and cool nights. In mid-summer (December–February), daytime temperatures can exceed 100°F in lower elevations. In Windhoek, January average high temperatures are in the 90s. Winter (May–September) sees daytime highs of about 70°F; nights can be cold, dipping below freezing. Windhoek enjoys about 300 sunny days a year. Rains usually come from December through March, peaking in February, for a yearly average rainfall of 12–16 inches in Windhoek. The unrelenting dryness of the rest of the year makes the rains refreshing, welcome, and eagerly anticipated, turning the mountains surrounding Windhoek green for the brief summer months.

Namibia Use of Natural Resources

Namibia Environment

Climate:

Namibia’s climate is typical of a semi-desert and high plateau country, with hot days and cool nights. In mid-summer (December–February), daytime temperatures can exceed 100°F in lower elevations. In Windhoek, January average high temperatures are in the 90s. Winter (May–September) sees daytime highs of about 70°F; nights can be cold, dipping below freezing. Windhoek enjoys about 300 sunny days a year. Rains usually come from December through March, peaking in February, for a yearly average rainfall of 12–16 inches in Windhoek. The unrelenting dryness of the rest of the year makes the rains refreshing, welcome, and eagerly anticipated, turning the mountains surrounding Windhoek green for the brief summer months.

Terrain:

mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east

Natural Resources:

diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, vanadium, natural gas, hydropower, fish

Natural Hazards:

prolonged periods of drought

Irrigated Land:

29 Square Miles
76 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

very limited natural fresh water resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Namibia Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 318,259 Square Miles
824,292 Square Kilometers
Land Area 317,872 Square Miles
823,290 Square Kilometers
Water Area 387 Square Miles
1,002 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 2,446 Miles
3,936 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 29 Square Miles
76 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Angola 1,376 km, Botswana 1,360 km, South Africa 967 km, Zambia 233 km
Coastline 977 Miles
1,572 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 22 00 S, 17 00 E
Terrain mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east
Highest Point 2,606 Meters
Highest Point Location Konigstein 2,606 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, zinc, salt, vanadium, natural gas, hydropower, fish
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
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