Namibia is a boundless country, sparsely populated and mostly untouched. Slightly more than two millions people inhabit an extension of 800,000 km². The backbone of the country is a long plateau more than 1,600 m high that declines towards the Kalahari Desert to the East and towards the Namib Desert to the West. Four national parks protect the fragile ecosystem of the Namib Desert, that runs for 1,600 km along the coast, where it meets the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Among these the Namib-Naukluft National Park, setting of the majestic red dunes of Sossusvlei, and the Skeleton Coast National Park with its solitary shores dotted with mysterious shipwrecks. To the South the earth cracks, forming the spectacular Fish River Canyon, while to the North the salt plains of the Etosha Pan, the throbbing heart of the Etosha National Park, glitter in the sun and desert elephants roam in the ancient valleys of Damaraland. The Caprivi Strip breaks the regular borders of the country and stretches into Angola, Zambia and Botswana, forming an oasis of lagoons and floodplains. Namibia is in fact teeming with wildlife: 4,000 species of plant, 650 species of bird and 80 species of mammal survive in often inhospitable environments, protected inside 11 national parks plus more than 70 conservancies and reserves. The desert fauna, the cultures of the Himba and the Bushmen, the rock paintings and geological formations of Damaraland, and the colonial architectures of Windhoek, Luderitz and Swakopmund complete the picture of an ancient land where opposites attract and coexist in a delicate, though perfect balance.