3 to 5 MILLION YEARS AGO, sand which formed in the Kalahari washed down the Orange River, out to sea. The Benguela Current deposited it back on land, at what is now the famed Namib Desert.
32,000 km sq of sand covers the region, which attracts film-makers, film stars, and ordinary folks like you and me. Climbing dunes over 150m in height will involve a lot s slipping and sliding. Fortunately, the drive in from the camp won’t, as 65km of the 69km road is 2WD. That last bit is 4D only though!
The sand dunes of the Namib Naukluft Park are -rightly the highlight of many visitors' time in Namibia.
A comfortable NWS campground sits on the edge of the dunes.
In the distance, some of the world's tallest sand mountains beckon.
Classicly shaped spines of sand.
Climbing the peaks is a hard but rewarding slog.
Ostriches and oryx are the most commony seen wildlife, but it is the scenery which enchants people.
The sounds and texture of the constantly shifting sand calms.
A 4WD is needed (absolutely needed) for the final parts of the road, or a shuttle survice is available.
....shaped by the wind....
....and tracks of small desert critters.
The peaks quickly recover from climbers' feet.
Only the hardiest of flora and fauna survive in this environment.
Low shrubs have adapted to the minimal rainfall.
A lone tree, long deceased, pierces the landscape.
Other wilted long ago, breaking down into the environment.
Climbing the massive Dune 45 for sunrise is par for the course.
The first rays of light illuminate the surrounding dunes.
Some of the best sky views in Africa can be enjoyed in the Namib dunes.
Distant dunes at the end of the day.
Dead Vlei is one of the most atmospheric spots in the park.
Dried and twisted by centuries of weathering, trees break through the baked earth.
While one day is better than none, a couple of days to linger here would be more appropriate.
A "vlei" is a small, shallow lake, although the waters here and Sossuvlei are from another time.
Some of the dune types in the area include: hump, star, barchan, seif, transverse, and parabolic!
Whatever they are called, they make up one of the world's great landscapes.