Namibia in Southern Africa has been mentioned before in the September 2011 Blog as a country of contrasts. In the north Etosha National Park covers over 8500 sq. miles and is one of the largest conservation areas in the world. Nearly 25% of the park is the white clay Etosha Pan which can be dry for decades. There are about 114 species of mammals found in the park. Three of the more uncommon ones are the gemsbok or oryx, the blue wildebeest and the Burchell's zebra.
Southwest of Etosha is Damaraland, a very rugged mix of wide plains and granite, flat top mountains, the highest of which is The Brandberg, which is around 8000 feet high, making it also the highest mountain in the country. The Damara people, an ethnic group of about 100,000 who are related to the Bantu, formerly lived in Central Namibia but in 1960 were moved by the government to this arid part of the country and the name was then given to the area.