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Bear Grylls on the Skeleton Coast

Bear Grylls has just returned from two weeks in Africa, where he filmed two new episodes of Man vs. Wild in Zambia and Namibia.

Bear Grylls said Namibia was:

“the second least populated country on earth, after Greenland”

However, I never heard of Namibia before, so I did some research, and Grylls is partly right.

What Is Nice About Namibia?

Namibia is the second least sparsely populated country in the world, after Mongolia. It has about two million people in area about the size of Venezuela. For comparison, Venezuela’s population is 26 million.

Namibia was the first country to incorporate environmental protection into its constitution. Their government is responsible for:

“maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future; in particular, the Government shall provide measures against the dumping or recycling of foreign nuclear and toxic waste on Namibian territory”

Namidia’s fauna includes the world’s largest populations of black rhinos and cheetahs.

And Not Nice

Unfortunately, Namibia, is not a good place to live.

21% of Namibian adults have HIV/AIDS, and the average life span is only 43 years.

Bear Grylls experienced diarrhea hanging off a sheer rock face, which is not surprising, since there is a high risk of contracting bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever, from the food and water.

Swimming, or contact with water, can lead to schistosomiasis, which is also known as swimmer’s itch. It is spread by snails, waterfowl, and rodents.

Going on vacation might be risky too, because Namidia is bordered on the East by Botswana where an estimated 37% of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS.

African Activities

I am looking forward to watching Grylls make a canoe from a dead zebra, and ride “some of the biggest rapids in the world,” when these shows reach the Man vs. Wild schedule in the Spring.