The San peoples may have inhabited what is now Namibia more than 2,000 years ago. The Bantu-speaking Herero settled there in the 1600s. The Ovambo, the largest ethnic group today, migrated in the 1800s.
In the late 15th century, the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to visit Namibia. Formerly called South-West Africa, the territory became a German colony in 1884. Between 1904 and 1908, German troops massacred tens of thousands of Herero, who had revolted against colonial rule. In 1915, during World War I, Namibian territory was taken over by South African forces. In 1921, it became a mandated territory of the League of Nations, under the administration of South Africa.
Facts About Namibia
President: Hage Geingob (2015)
Prime Minister: Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (2015)
Total area: 318,694 sq mi (825,418 sq km)
Population (2013 est.): 2,182,852 (growth rate: 0.817%); birth rate: 21.11/1000; infant mortality rate: 45.61/1000; life expectancy: 52.17
Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Windhoek, 342,000.
Monetary unit: Namibian dollar