My favorite thing about Namibia…

“What’s your favorite thing about Namibia?”

This is a variety of question I like to ask when I am travelling. The answers I get often give me an insight into cultural values, especially when a diversity of people give me the same answer.

“The beauty of our landscape. Namibia is one of a kind”, answered the shopkeeper / artist. This young woman creates beautiful jewelry that combines dyed animal skins with metalwork. She told me that it was her country’s land that inspired her to become an artist.

I completely agree with her. Namibia is breathtaking. Two events from our trip really highlighted this for me.

The first was a sunrise safari. We got into vehicles while the stars where still out and rode in silence through the dark landscape seeking lions. Just as the sun was rising someone pointed out something moving in the distance. Our fearless guide, turned off the road and approached the animals to get a better look. The movement was a pride of lions. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being so close to such beautiful, powerful animals while at the same time being within an expansive landscape, but it is a feeling that will remain with me for a long time.

The second expression of the incredible natural beauty of Namibia was our trip to the desert. While I was not thrilled with the prospect of climbing a steep hill of sand for 45 minutes in the desert heat, all of that changed when I saw it. The red sand was in crisp contrast to the blue sky. I could not wait to get to the top to look out at the view. The overwhelming feeling at the top of the dune was privilege; that I had the opportunity to travel halfway around the world to share in this beautiful landscape.

As a business student, I could not help asking myself how Namibia can take better advantage of these resources to promote economic development while at the same time sustaining them. How can more people experience the beauty of this country? And how can more Namibians benefit from it?

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