Impressions of Namibia and Botswana
Namibia and Botswana, two neighbouring countries in Southern Africa. Politically they may have come about as independent nations in a different way as they were part of distinct colonial systems, but they have plenty of things in common: their deserts are respectively called the Namib Desert and the Kalahari Desert, but they are actually one, their population density is of the lowest in the world with hardly 3 or 4 persons per square kilometre, their economic development has for a great deal depended on diamond mining, Botswana actually even being the second producer in the world.
With my family I lived in Southern Africa between 1983 and 1987 and we would have been foolish not to go and discover those remarkable places. So, we did. And what you see on this page is the reflection of those visits. Of course things have seriously changed since, politically and otherwise. At the time, Namibia was even still commonly referred to as ‘the South West’, under control of Pretoria, until 1990. To compare, Botswana had acquired its independence from the British much earlier, in 1966.
Yes, of course, things have changed. One would also hope so! But what has remained is nature, the seals on the rocks of the Namib Skeleton Coast, the dunes of Walvis Bay, the marshes of Botswana’s Okavango delta. What has also remained is the urban footprint of German brief colonisation in Namibia, the colourful attire of Herero women in both countries, the daily struggle for survival of the Bushmen desert people, and so much more. There is always something timeless to travel, and that is what I find so fascinating in the act of travelling.
* Scanned slides, 1983-1987
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