This nation overlooking the Atlantic ocean is home to 2 UNESCO World heritage sites. From giving insight into the world of our ancestors to allowing us to witness geological rarity, they’re sure to make any trip!
The Namib Sand Sea
The Namib Sand Sea is a coastal fog desert on Africa’s South Atlantic coast in Namibia. This impressive expanse (it covers an area of 3,077,700 hectares, with an additional 899,500 hectares designated buffer zone) also happens to be one of the biggest UNESCO World heritage sites on the continent. Inscribed in 2013, this unique geographical phenomenon is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog.
Its sands travel quite the journey, thousands of kilometres from southern Africa’s major rivers carried by river, ocean current and wind to the desert where they form gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, inselbergs within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers. The diversity of the landscape is astonishing!
The plant and animal life that flourishes here is just as amazing. It has had to constantly evolve to be very resilient and resourceful in this quite hostile environment. Some species have developed ways to extract atmospheric water from the fog so they can survive without rain and many animal species are even known to swim or dive in the deserts moving dunes.
Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes
Twyfelfontein may be small (less than 1 km2) but it has one of the largest collections of rock engravings or pteroglyphs in Africa. There are over 2000 engravings and a few rock paintings. These were believed to have been left over a period of 2000 years by San Hunter gatherers and depict a plethora of wild animals such as zebras, lions, elephants flamingos and many more. The engravings are not just pure representations of the animals; they are highly symbolic depictions of complex beliefs about the supernatural world held by the San.
Four route options to explore this open air gallery are available to visitors including the popular Dancing Kudu route on which groups are guided on a 60 min walk and the engravings are at an ideal location for taking great shots.
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