Each travel destination around the world has its unique special charm, and the Namib Desert isn’t an exception. The desert offers a quiet yet spectacular retreat. It’s considered as the oldest desert in the world, currently estimated to be 50 million years old. It ranks amongst Namibia’s top travel destinations and should definitely be one of the locations you visit when on a safari in the southern part of Africa.
The desert is covered by iconic ochre-colored dunes with the Sossusvlei region being the most popular area to get a glimpse of these wonders. The contrast between the rice white ground and dry trees combined with the yellow/orange dunes gives the landscape a stunning charm. Couple it with the deep blue skies overhead and you are instantly blown away by the beautiful desert. Pictures also don’t express just how vast and grand the area is and some of the dunes scale up to almost the size of a 100-floor building.
What better way to get an aerial view of the Namib desert vastness than with an airplane tour? You can traverse over and even in-between the dunes to get a closer view of the wonders as well as a few animals including desert elephants. The elephants roam the Kaokoland and Damaraland areas to the northern side of Namibia. What’s even more interesting is the fact that they are the same breed as African Savannah elephants except that they have adapted to the desert conditions. The highlight could be taking in the vast landscape with the changing colors more pronounced from up above. There is also the option of going on one of the famous balloon rides over the dunes.
There’s a gem within the desert, which is the Namib Nakluftt National Park sandwiched between the Luderitz and Swakopmund coastal towns. The roads skirting it also boast of being amongst the most scenic in Africa. You could possibly go on a road trip driving for hours through the never-ending apricot-colored roads. It’s the best way to enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountain-flanked landscapes.
The Namib Desert is the only place on the planet where you can find the entrancing Welwitschia plant. It is a plant that can live for as long as 2,000 years and the unusual-looking plant can only sprout two leaves in its lifetime. However, the two leaves split up to form several other leaf straps making it quite the sight to behold against the desert wind.
The southern part of the Namib Desert has one of the world’s darkest skies making it an ideal spot for some stargazing. A camping trip in the desert doesn’t sound so bad to watch shooting stars of pinpricks of light crisscrossing over the Milky Way.
Explore On Foot
An even better way to commune with the desert and all it has to offer is by exploring it on foot. The possibilities are endless and you could go on a multiple-day hike across the dunes while sleeping in the available open-air camps when turning in at the end of each day.