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-- If you are visiting Windhoek's former township Katutura, don't leave without visiting Penduka - a fabulous project which helps hundreds of women across Namibia. The women are trained to use the craft skills they already have to make marketable products, for which they are given a fair price. Priority is given to women with disabilities and women suffering from tuberculosis or infected with HIV. In the Oshiwambo and Otjiherero languages the word Penduka means ' wake up'. The project aims to encourage women to take charge of their own lives. Penduka products are also on sale at Amber Moon on Bismarck Street in Swakopmund. Travel Namibia 15 The entire coast of Namibia is now protected following the creation of a new National Park called Sperrgebiet. It is the biggest national park to be created in Africa in the last 25 years. It runs from Oranjemund, on the border with South Africa, to some 72km north of Lüderitz. Sperrgebiet means the ' forbidden zone' and travel into much of this 26,000 square kilometre region of southwest Namibia has been banned since the early 1900s in order to protect the diamond industry that thrives there. Because of the lack of human intervention in the last century, the flora and fauna are particularly diverse. Some 1050 plants are known to occur - that's nearly 25 per cent of the entire flora of Namibia in less than three per cent of the country's land area. The new national park also has 80 terrestrial and 38 marine mammal species, 215 bird species, almost 100 reptile species and 16 different frogs. As a national park, the area will be opened up for limited, heavily- controlled tourism. Now Namibian authorities are talking about the possibility of merging all the country's coastal parks to form one large park, provisionally called The Namib- Skeleton Coast. It would stretch 1570 km along Namibia's coastline from the Orange River in the south to the Kunene River in the north. At its narrowest point, on the Skeleton Coast, The Namib- Skeleton Coast National Park would extend just 25km inland, while at its widest, in the Naukluft area, it would be 180km across. If created, The Namib- Skeleton Coast Park would be the eighth- largest protected area in the world and the largest park in Africa, covering an area of 107,540 square kilometres. The new park would not exist in isolation. In the south, across the Orange River it borders the Ai- Ais/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Area. To the north, across the Kunene River, it borders the Iona National Park in Angola. Wake up to Penduka The town of ? Lü ????? derit ?? z h ????? ?? opes to benefi ?? t ?? from increased tourism to the Sperrgebiet that surrounds it mary askew Two decades on, mystery still surrounds the overnight collapse of what was one of Namibia's best- known landmarks - a twelve metre high sandstone pillar called Mûgorob. The remains of the 450- tonne sandstone pillar at the Weißrand escarpment near Asab was discovered on the morning of 8 December 1988 by farmers. At the time it was thought that the rock, also known as God's finger, had been toppled by heavy gusts of wind. But geologists Roy Miller and Karl Heinz Hoffmann and geophysicist Louis Fernandez have since come to a different conclusion. They believe that the mudstone base of the pillar, much worn down already, was further weakened by the previous days' rain. Finally it yielded to the constant pressure of the heavy pillar. It is possible that the shockwaves of the devastating earthquake which hit Armenia in the morning of 7 December 1988 also helped to tip the balance. The shockwaves were registered by the seismological station in Windhoek. A gem of a new national park The mystery of Mûgorob Mûgorob just before it toppled Gondwana Colection

Advertising promotion 16 Travel Namibia B ordering on the majestic Waterberg Plateau, the Cheetah Conservation Fund ( CCF), a Namibian non- profit trust, offers visitors the opportunity to experience the cheetah like nowhere else. CCF sets the standard for cheetah conservation worldwide. Guests learn about the history of the cat and its struggle for survival at CCF's Hilker Education Centre and will meet some of CCF's orphaned cheetahs housed at the Sanctuary. Day visitors tour the Haas Family Veterinary Clinic and Research Centre and learn about CCF's Model Farm and Livestock Guarding Dog Programme, which is helping ensure the cheetah's survival. Recognised for its conservation vision, CCF was the 2008 Intel Environmental Award winner for its habitat restoration project - converting selectively harvested thorn bush into a clean- burning fuel log called BushBlok. The clearing of this invasive Get up close and personal with a cheetah with a stay at the Cheetah Conservation Fund CCF's Founder and Executive Director Dr. Laurie Marker. Namibia prides itself on being the Cheetah Capital of the World, with over 3,000 cats living in the north- central and western areas of the country, harbouring a quarter of the world's remaining cheetah population. However, as 90% of Namibia's cheetah population live on the same lands as livestock farmers, conflict between the two continues. Since its founding in 1990, CCF has had great success working with farmers to help them learn to live with cheetahs, leading to most of the 850 cheetahs CCF has worked on to be released back into the wild. The world's fastest land mammal, the cheetah is known to reach speeds of over 110km an hour. The CCF is dedicated to their survival in the wild and is helping answer questions that will assist the species to survive for future generations. Guests can now extend their visit at CCF with an exclusive stay in the elegant Babson House, a private cottage reminiscent of the Out of Africa era. The Babson House can host four guests, and includes two double bedrooms, a combined living and dining room and a wide veranda overlooking the breathtaking Waterberg Plateau. CCF looks forward to welcoming visitors and sharing with them the importance of saving the cheetah for future generations. wind bush will help restore millions of acres of Namibian savannah to its original state and improve the habitat for both the cheetah and its prey, and put people to work. CCF guests can book special activities including watching cheetahs run like the wind during a ' Cheetah Run' ( 8am by appointment) or view them in their natural habitat on CCF's Elandsvreugde Drive ( 45 minutes) or Bellebeno Safari ( 3 hours) both offering excellent photo and video opportunities. Enjoy a private safari through CCF's own ' Little Serengeti', a picturesque open plain featuring large herds of hartebeest, oryx, springbok, warthog, and jackals and don't miss out on the ' Cheetah Exclusive', a unique personal encounter with one of CCF's ambassador cheetahs and one of the Centre's conservation scientist or meet Enjoy a private safari in our ' Little Serengeti'- a picturesque open plain Run like the n For more details email: CCFinfo@ cheetah. org or nuevas- ideas@ mweb. com. na Phone: + 264 ( 0) 61- 253542, + 264 ( 0) 67- 306225 Or visit www. cheetah. org