Namibia, a large, southern African nation covering 320,000 square miles, was called South West Africa until 1990. Today it is famous for its spectacular countryside, including the beaches and dunes of its Skeleton Coast, the canyon of Fish River and the wildness of Etosha National Park. (It is also the home of the famous Kalahari Bushmen.) and inviting, this country is – with Botswana – one of the up-and-coming destinations of Africa. It still retains some of its German roots, especially in such places as its capital and largest city, Windhoek (pronounced "Veend-hurk"). Its largest ethnic group is the Ovambi people. Mining is the country's principal income earner, but Namibia event venues are counting on an influx of international tourism.
The international gateway to Namibia is the Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), which is 30 miles east of the city center. It has flights from numerous southern Africa cities, but the only long-haul flight is one on Air Berlin to Berlin, Germany. There also is a smaller airport in Walvis Bay (a city that belonged to South Africa until 1994) that has flights to South Africa.
There are no dedicated convention venues in Namibia, although Windhoek's two centers of higher learning, the University of Namibia and Windhoek Polytechnic, do have conference space able to host events.
Hotel venues in Namibia are mostly found in Windhoek, where choices include the 173-room Kalahari Sands Hotel & Casino (a sibling of South Africa's Sun City complex); this has two separate conference centers, the Big 6 and the Moringa. There are also the 152-room Windhoek Country Club Resort, which opened in 1995 for a Miss Universe contest and has an 18-hole golf course and convention space for up to 800 persons; and the 150-room Hilton Namibia, which has lots of meeting space, including a 6,100-square-foot ballroom. A choice in the Skeleton Coast area is the luxury, 10-bungalow Etendeka Mountain Camp, where event space is usually outdoors among sightings of rare animals such as the Desert elephant, oryx, cheetah and Black rhino, while near to Etosha National Park – where again meetings are not the reason people go there – is the 90-room Protea Hotel Ondangwa, which has meeting space for 80 and a huge national park right out its back door.
A unique gathering spot in Windhoek is the Windhoek Game Camp, which can organize safaris, outback banquets and other get-close-to-the-wild events and is only 20 minutes by car from the city center, while in Walvis Bay is the Swapokund Museum, founded in 1951 by a dentist, which has a lecture room, a library, two meeting rooms and the Living Desert Snake Park and chronicles the biological, botanical, geographical and anthropological history of the country. Namibia possesses some of the most stunning camps in some of the most stunning landscapes on the planet. Try to go to one, including the Mowani Mountain Camp in Twyfelfontein, Damaraland, which has 16 accommodations units lodged between huge boulders, can arrange desert and mountain excursions, is close to prehistoric cave paintings and even occasionally espies leopard; Little Kulala Desert Lodge, which is in the famous Namib Desert and has eight million acres to play in, and, in Etosha, Andersson's Camp, which has 20 guest rooms and can organize banquets, meetings and day and night game drives to the Ongava Game Reserve.
Restaurant choices in Windhoek include Joe's Beer House, which has German and Namibian cuisine, displays African crafts and is about as informal as you can get (everyone loves this place); celebrated Luigi & The Fish, which has more of a Colonial feel, as well as a menu featuring – obviously – fish, and O Portuga, on Sam Nujoma Drive, where the menu hints at Namibia's Portuguese and Angolan history. In the Skeleton Coast region, try either the Brandberg Rest Camp Restaurant in the village of Uis in the Mount Brandberg Nature Reserve, where the dining is by a pool at the highest spot in Namibia, with accommodation and close to more than 40,000 examples of primitive rock art, or right by the Atlantic Ocean at the Terrace Bay Restaurant, which is at the Uniab River Delta, thus another ecosystem for fauna and flora, and also has 20 guest rooms.