Namibia is a gem for those in search of the unexplored and wilderness. This beautiful country has one of the lowest population densities in the world and bizarre desert scenery on Africa’s south-west coast, which has enjoyed more than a decade of stability since achieving Independence on 21 March 1990.
Namibia is a peaceful country which is economically prosperous as a result of its productive mining, fishing, tourism and agricultural industries.
Namibia has four main geographical regions (from West to East): Coastal plain/Namib Desert, Namib Escarpment, the rocky Central Plateau with its high mountains and the Kalahari Sandveld which is characterized by its flat layers of sand. The most spectacular landscapes for filmmakers can be found in the Namib Desert and the surrounding area, films such as “Flight of the Phoenix” and “10.000 BC” were filmed here.
Southern Namib – The Sea of Dunes: The Namib Desert stretches along the Atlantic Ocean from Angola well into South Africa and forms a belt of spectacular dunes and rock formations that reaches up to 200 kms inland. South of the Kuiseb River (dry river) lies the Southern Namib, a sea of high, yellow to reddish dunes which stretches for hundreds of kilometers, with no trace of civilization – yet, the port town of Walvis Bay is only approx. 30 kms (18 Miles) away! Your team can conveniently access the dune sea via a good gravel road and an experienced scout.
The high impressive dunes in the Southern Namib can be found at Sossusvlei, with spectacular colours, especially at sunrise and sunset when the dunes display a forever changing kaleidoscope of contrasts, from light yellow to dark red.
Swakopmund and Walvis Bay – Where the Ocean meets the Dunes: Swakopmund is a modern coastal holiday town, with approximately 30 000 inhabitants, nestled between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a popular destination for Namibians and foreign visitors alike and has a great number of historic buildings from its German colonial past.
Namib Escarpment – Moon Landscapes outside of time and space: This region between the Namib Desert and the Central Plateau is a plain, rugged landscape with strange rock formations and dry river beds, burnt by the glaring sun and deeply dissected. Although relatively easy accessible, the environment is so hostile that no trees or human settlements can be found which gives this region a doomsday atmosphere.
Savannah Landscapes – Where the cheetahs thrive Most of Namibia is covered by thorny shrub and tree savanna, which provides a genuine “African” Safari background for your camera. The home of the cheetahs is also the place of many farms and private conservancies with the next neighbors several kilometers away. Private farms are a safe and tranquil environment for any filmmaking endeavor, and a number of them are interesting historic buildings from colonial times that make a great backdrop.
Green riverbeds and remote villages – The image of rural Africa In the north eastern parts of Namibia (Kavango and Caprivi region) there is more rainfall and hence a more lush, green vegetation with Savannas and Woodlands, containing big trees. The green riverbanks of the Okavango and the Zambezi along the borders with neighboring Angola and Zambia are the tranquil home of crocodiles, hippos, elephants and many bird species. Rural villages can be found all along the rivers where local people still live in the traditional way.
The Fish River Canyon in the south of the country is the second largest canyon in the world and a spectacular view similar to the Grand Canyon in the USA.
Windhoek – your gateway to Namibia and the capital city of Namibia, situated in the mountains at 1654 m (5426 ft) above sea level, is a thriving modern city with an excellent infrastructure of European standard.
Windhoek is the commercial hub of the country, almost everything you need is available or can be sourced internationally and delivered within a very short time. Compared to other African cities, Windhoek is relatively small (approx. 220.000 inhabitants) and most of the areas are very neat. The downtown areas are quite safe and the crime rate, compared to Johannesburg and Cape Town, is very low. Windhoek has a number of well preserved buildings and monuments from the colonial past and is a convenient starting point for any endeavor in Namibia.
Other places of interest Namibia has a kaleidoscope of interesting structures and buildings for any possible location needs, ranging from mines to ship wrecks and desert ghost towns to spectacular mountain passes, light houses and railways. A very special location is Kolmannskoppe, a deserted ghost town in the desert close to Lüderitz, the famous coastal town in the south of Namibia.
Faces of Namibia Namibia is a true “rainbow nation” with a very diverse population of more than ten ethnic groups with different lifestyles, traditions and cultures.
With the cultural and geographical background of Namibians in mind, it is possible to find faces and statues for your cast that could portray inhabitants of most areas on earth.
SOURCE: Film Commission of Namibia. Visit the NFC for more!