3 Jan 2024
Namibians welcomed the New Year with fireworks lasting several minutes over Independence Avenue in Windhoek and on Independence Beach in Walvis Bay.
In Windhoek's city centre, hundreds of people gathered in front of the city council for a public New Year's Eve party. As every year, there was a concert evening with several well-known musicians organised by the city. Admission was free. A Facebook post from the online newspaper Informanté gives an impression.
There was also an exuberant atmosphere at the Yacht Club in Walvis Bay, as a video from the coastal online newspaper Namib Times on Facebook shows. The End of Year Glow Beach Party took place there. At midnight on the dot, rocket flares went up over the Independent Beach. The fireworks were donated by the company TunaCor Fisheries.
In his New Year's message, President Hage Geingob looked back on the past year and described it as the 'Year of Revival' after the corona crisis. The tourism sector had returned to the level of the pre-coronavirus year 2019, Geingob stated. He spoke of very good prospects for 2024 with reference to extensive investments from abroad and the projects for the production of green hydrogen.
The weather in the centre of the country was a positive sign at the start. Promising clouds built up yesterday, Tuesday. The first drops fell in Windhoek during last night. More rain was forecast for this evening. Before and during Christmas it had rained well in various areas in the centre of Namibia.
Namibia's summer holidays run from the beginning of December to mid-January. Many Namibians go on holiday to the coastal towns or visit their families. This week, the wave of travellers returning from the coast (highway B 2) and from the north of Namibia, where around half of the population lives (highway B 1), has already begun.
No major accidents have been reported so far. However, a tragic accident occurred shortly before the turn of the year at Dune 7 north-east of Walvis Bay. A blue Ford Ranger had slanted heavily on the slope of a mighty dune in the sliding sand, the Namib Times reported on Facebook, citing the police. The car then rolled sideways down the steep dune slope. A 13-year-old girl died, three passengers were hospitalised and the 21-year-old driver was not injured. Videos of the rolling car circulated on social media. Dune 7 is a popular excursion destination.
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