Namib – Naukluft Park
This Park, which holds the title of the world’s oldest desert, has increased over the years by incorporating the neighbouring parks, to become the largest park in Africa and fourth largest in the world. It is around 4.9 million hectares. It is made up of shifting sand dunes, desert savannah grasslands, granite mountains, a canyon, lagoons and wetlands, isolated inselbergs and an array of wildlife that miraculously have adapted to the desert way of live. Wildlife includes geckos and all sorts of insects, jackals, gemsboks, snakes, kudu, springbok, mountain zebra, ostrich and even a rare sighting of a leopard. There is an average of 106 millimetres of rainfall per year, most of which comes during February to April. Over and above that, the moisture that comes in as fog from the Atlantic Ocean provides a further water source.
The park is made up of 5 regions
The Namib – this region is situated in the central and southern Namib Desert and home to the Kuiseb Canyon - The Kuiseb Canyon is carved by the Kuiseb River,
Sandwich Bay - Just south of Walvis Bay, you will find the reed- fringed lagoon at Sandwich Harbour. The lagoon is 3.7 km in length and 1 km wide and is limited by sandy desert and dunes on its eastern side. What was once a harbour is now a tourist attraction (accessible by 4x4 only) and is completely surrounded by sand and reeds. The main attraction of the lagoon is the overwhelming abundance of birdlife, together with the breathtakingly beautiful landscape of contrasting sea and dunes. The huge bird colony is home to some 200,000 birds mainly Damara terns, flamingos, cormorants and pelicans.
Naukluft – With its massive and varied rock formations, Naukluft is a geologist’s paradise. The fragmented layers of horizontally folded igneous rock, quartzite, dolomite and shale are impressive with their patterns. The initiative behind the The Naukluft section was to serve as a sanctuary for Hartmanns mountain zebra competing with livestock for grazing.
Sesriem - Just a few kilometres from the Sesriem main entrance gate (to Sossusvlei) is the Sesriem Canyon - over many centuries, erosion has carved a narrow gorge about 1km in length. At the foot of the gorge which plunges 30-40 metres, are pools that are full up after the rains.
Sossusvlei - Sossusvlei, located 89 km from the Sesriam main entrance, is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert. These dunes are the tallest in the world, in places rising more than 300 meters above the desert floor.
Highlights of the area :
- Take on Dune 45 or Big Daddy and once on top admire the beauty of your surroundings
- Hike through NamibRand , Namibia’s largest private nature reserve
- Explore the natural wonders of the Namib Naukluft Park
- Learn about the dune flora and fauna at Gobabeb
- Enjoy the wonders of stargazing under the magnificent Africa night sky
- Take a balloon ride over the dunes of Sossusvlei at sunrise followed by outdoor breakfast