In Namibia the coastal margin includes the extremely dry Namib desert, which, in the south, merges eastward into the great sandy expanse of the Kalahari.
The region is generally drained eastward toward the Indian Ocean, a pattern exemplified by the largest rivers, the Zambezi and Limpopo.
For all the contestants in contemporary Southern Africa there has been a conscious struggle to control the past in order to legitimate the present and lay claim to the future.
Who is telling what history for which Africa is a question that needs constantly to be addressed.
The uncertainties of evidence for the long preliterate past—where a bone or potsherd can undermine previous interpretations and where recent research has subverted even terminology—are matched by conflicting representations of the colonial and postcolonial periods.
In Southern Africa, history is not a set of neutrally observed and agreed-upon facts: present concerns colour interpretations of even the remote past.
Khoisan speakers, who have inhabited the region for millennia, have now been displaced in many areas by Bantu speakers.