The Namib Desert – Namibia
Fierce, untouched, beautiful. The Namib Desert is believed to be the oldest and driest in the world’s existence, and is a truly fascinating destination for any traveller in pursuit of an inspiring location. Atlantic Sea winds have blasted sand over Namibia for at least 55 million years, forming some of the world’s largest and most striking sand dunes. The deep red sand dunes, mountainous terrain and white salt pans with isolated dead trees form a landscape that seems otherworldly, and really have to be seen to be believed. The epitome of the Namib’s dunes are found at Sossusvlei, located in the barren but beautiful Namib-Naukluft National Park. Wildlife is less plentiful than other parts of Africa, but the Namib is home to Desert Elephants, who have managed to adapt to the harsh conditions. The Skeleton coast, so called for the huge amount of shipwrecks there, is similarly striking and the old German colonial town of Swakop is a perfect base for exploring the beautiful coast and the desert further.
Where is it?
Namibia is located in the south of Africa on the west coast. The Desert covers almost the entirety of Namibia from the South Atlantic Ocean inland, and also spreads into the neighbouring countries of Angola and South Africa.
What is it?
The coastal desert is an enormous expanse of relentlessly moving gravel plains and dunes of various shapes and sizes that stretch along the entire Namibian coastline. It is home to a plethora of dunes and mountains, as well as some highly unique and unusual plant and animal species.
Best time to visit?
Namibia experiences a sub-tropical desert climate, characterised by small rainfall and large temperature fluctuations between night and day. The best time to visit is during the peak of the dry season, from June to September, when the weather is most temperate.
The Sossusvlei dunes are the second largest in the world and are simply unforgettable. The imposing steep red curves can be climbed to reveal the stunning iconic landscape in all its glory, including the remarkable salt and clay pan beneath.