Mysterious and enigmatic, Namibia possesses a unique beauty. From the harshly inhospitable Skeleton Coast with its shipwrecks to the vast salt pans of Etosha National Park, Namibia is one of the most amazing countries in Africa.
Massive, shifting sand dunes, said to be the highest in the world, form an ever changing interplay of light and shade under the hot Namib Desert sun at Sossusvlei. This area is a must for photographers. Not only are the dramatic shapes of the red sands wonderfully photogenic but here you may get a picture of the magnificent desert oryx.
Botanists and zoologists are often keen to observe the adaptation of both animal and plant species to the apparently hostile environment. Namibia offers a rare chance to see fascinating animals such as the oryx, known as ‘’master of the desert’’, and the endangered desert elephant, both of which are very specialised. The Huab Valley also has rare specimens of Welwitschia mirabilis, a strange tree that has been stunted by the desert climate and is a supreme example of evolutionary adaptation.
In Etosha National Park you will see more familiar wildlife, indeed all of the ‘’big five’’ (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) may be found here. Springbok, wildebeest, eland and zebra range the park and congregate at the water holes in far larger numbers during the dry months of June to December. There are good numbers of lion and leopard and black rhino. Ongava Game Reserve, next to the Park, even has white rhino.
Swakopmund is a quiet seaside town with considerable charm. An extremely comfortable base from which to explore the desert and coast, this is a wonderful place from which to take exciting dune rides on quad bikes, to dune board at speeds of up to eighty kilometres per hour or, perhaps take a trip to the Cape Cross seal colony, There is even one of the only four desert golf courses in the world.
The desert is a wonderful place for those seeking solitude and the time in which to reflect, yet Namibia also offers so much more. Fascinating animals, a strange and interesting plant world, the heart-pounding thrill of adrenaline sports and some of the most strangely haunting landscapes in the world.
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