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ARUBA
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This exquisite island in the Dutch Caribbean is known for its pristine beaches lapped by crystal clear waters and dotted with luxurious resorts. The island’s landscape is characterised by rocky deserts, secluded coves, and spectacular blue vistas. Visitors wishing to explore this unique and remarkably scenic environment can head to the Arikok National Park with its trademark twisted divi-divi trees, clusters of cacti, and its intriguing, abandoned gold mines. Standing in strong contrast to this wild natural wilderness, the island’s capital Oranjestad is replete with world-class hotels, restaurants and bars as well as endless shops offering anything and everything from local crafts to Delft pottery. With its magnificent powder sand beaches, cooling trade winds and its fabulously friendly locals, it is no wonder that so many visitors return to this extraordinary island year after year.

Climate

Partially covered by the Namib Desert, one of the world's driest deserts, Namibia's climate is generally very dry and pleasant – it's fine to visit all year round. Namibia only receives a fraction of the rain experienced by countries further east. Between about December to March some days will be humid and rain may follow, often in localised, afternoon thunderstorms. These are more common in the centre and east of the country, and more unusual in the desert.

April and especially May are often lovely months in Namibia. Increasingly dry, with a real freshness in the air, and much greenery in the landscape; at this time the air is clear and largely free from dust.

From June to August Namibia cools down and dries out more; nights can become cold, dropping below freezing in some desert areas. As the landscape dries so the game in the north of the country gravitates more to waterholes, and is more easily seen by visitors. By September and October it warms up again; game-viewing in most areas is at its best, although there's often a lot of dust around and the vegetation has lost its vibrancy.

November is a highly variable month. Sometimes the hot, dry weather will continue, at other times the sky will fill with clouds and threaten to rain – but if you're lucky enough to witness the first rains of the season, you'll never forget the drama.

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