This is Namibia, by Gerald Cubitt and Peter Joyce
Introduction by Gerald Cubitt and Peter Joyce: Namibia is a vast and mostly desolate territory that sprawls over the south-western regions of the southern African subcontinent.
Bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn, the country is bordered in the west by a forbidding 1500-kilometre Atlantic coastline, in the north by the Kunene and Okavango rivers (beyond which are the republics of Angola and Zambia), in the east by Botswana, and in the southeast and south by the Republic of South Africa. Included within Namibia's generally straight boundaries are two geographical and historical oddities. The Caprivi Strip is a long, narrow stretch of land, 482 kilometres long and between 35 and 80 kilometres wide, that looks like a probing finger reaching eastward to and along the Zambezi River from the country's north- eastern region, with its extremity close to the meeting point of three neighbouring states. Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana come together at the small town of Kazungula, and the common border of the last two countries is, at 45 metres, the shortest of the world's international frontiers. Caprivi is one of the more curious relics of that extraordinary flurry of European expansionist activity known as the Scramble for Africa, and is testimony of an attempt by the 19th-century German imperialists to link their western and eastern possessions in Africa by means of a 1500 kilometre cross-continental corridor, a hugely ambitious aspiration but in the context of those grandly acquisitive times, one that wasn't entirely beyond the realms of possibility. Walvis Bay, on the western seaboard, is also a hangover from the early colonial era. The bay, which provides a well-protected anchorage on a coast not noted for its natural harbours, was annexed to the British Crown in 1878, and in 1884 became an integral part of the Cape Colony. After lengthy negotiations, this strategic, economically valuable enclave, lying roughly midway between the Gariep (Orange) and Kunene rivers, was finally returned to Namibia by South Africa in 1994. Namibia is 824269 square kilometres in extent, 1320 kilometres long from north to south, and from 400 kilometres to 1000 kilometres wide (excluding the Caprivi Strip) from west to east. It is a big country, even by African standards; larger than Texas, about four times the size of the United Kingdom, and 27 times the size of Belgium. It is also a sparsely populated one: the total of its culturally diverse peoples stands at just 1,5 million, some 150000 of whom live in and around the capital, Windhoek. Namibia is a country of immense solitude, of far horizons, arid deserts and jagged mountain heights, hauntingly beautiful in its stark emptiness, unforgiving in the harshness of its climate and terrain. In some places the soils are surprisingly rich, but the rains are seldom generous, drought is the norm, and most of the great sunlit spaces are able to sustain only the hardier forms of plant and animal life. The lie of the land In the broadest physiographic terms Namibia comprises three distinct regions. A high central plateau runs like a spine from the southern to the northern borders of the country, and this is bordered on either side by deserts: the Kalahari to the east and the Namib of the coastal plain to the west. The Namib is a long and narrow desert (the world's oldest], extending almost 2000 kilometres from the Gariep (Orange) River northwards to the Kunene and beyond to Namibe in Angola, and inland to an average width of 150 kilometres. The terrain rises steadily inland until, at an altitude of around 1000 metres, it reaches the edge of the central plateau. […]
This is an extract from the book: This is Namibia, by Gerald Cubitt and Peter Joyce
Title: This is Namibia
Authors: Gerald Cubitt; Peter Joyce
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2010
ISBN 9781859742815 / ISBN 978-1-85974-281-5
Hardcover, dustjacket, 23x29 cm, 160 pages, throughout colour photos
Cubitt, Gerald und Joyce, Peter im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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