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Fish River Canyon

The gorgeous Fish River Canyon and the Eastern edge of the Namib Desert form an area of astounding beauty. This canyon is the second largest in the world and is approx 549 meters deep, 90 kms long, 27 kms wide and about 350 million years old. Created by the 650km long Fish River, the canyon has very little water even in the rainy season.  Its age has always attracted geological interest and ancient rocks of 1500 million years old can be found in the area. Fish River Canyon is located in a region filled with vast grass plains and desert vegetation, interrupted from time to time by mountains or isolated oases.

The Waterberg Plateau

With its atypical rocks, petrified dunes, dinosaur footprints and numerous springs, the Waterberg Plateau is one of the most interesting geological attractions of Namibia. The origins of the Plateau date back to around 130 to 300 million years ago, when desert conditions existed in Southern Africa. Over time, the sand solidified into red sandstone, but for the past 100 million years they’ve eroded and what’s left is the impressive mountain scenery we see today. The park was proclaimed a national park in 1972 for the purpose of protecting the rare, vulnerable and endangered species of Namibia. Namibia is home to 90% of the total world population of black rhinos, the white rhinoceros, leopard, sable antelope and roan antelopes.

Etosha

In 1907 Etosha was proclaimed a national park to protect rare wildlife from hunters and poachers and is now a major wildlife sanctuary. The Park is about 22270 km2 and is made up of bush and grass savannah, its diverse habitat plays host to a unique mix of wildlife, providing great opportunities for game viewing.  In the middle of the park is the “Etosha Pan”, one of the largest saltpans in Africa which was once covered by a glacier approximately 300 million years ago.

Damaraland

Damaraland bears testimony to Namibia’s part in the origins of human life. Ancient rock paintings, which include “The White Lady” painting (estimated to be around twenty thousand years old), can be found at The  Brandberg Mountain, the highest mountain of Namibia (2574 meters). Another of Damarland’s highlights is the Petrified Forest, where 270 million year old fossilised tree trunks are still visible through the ancient sediment. Other ancient Bushmen paintings can be found in Twijfelfontijn, an area also rich in semi precious stones and minerals. Local people sell these stones and minerals for economic sustainability.

Swakopmund and the Skeleton coast

Two of Namibia’s coastal towns, Swakopmund and Walvisbaai, share their location with one of the world largest uranium mines, the area is also rich in salt and its saltpans were mined during colonial times.  When whales regularly became stranded on the beach, this stretch of coastlines was named the Skeleton Coast, nowadays whales and seal wash ashore occasionally and skeletons are rare.

Swakopmund is the largest coastal town in Namibia, it nestles between the cold Atlantic Sea and the oldest desert in the world, the Namib Desert. The desert dunes stretch right to the coastline, forming a dramatic change in landscape as sand meets water. This unique balance between empty desert and vibrant ocean has created the perfect home for the greatest seal and flamingo colonies in Southern Africa.

The ancient and incredible Swakop Delta dried up many years ago and now resembles an image of a scarred moon due to water erosion occurring in the desert. In this bizarre landscape, the giant Welwitchia Mirabilis plants can be found. The Welwitchia is a living fossil plant that has been in existence for over 2 million years and can live up to 1000 years.

Sossesvlei

Situated in the South Western part of Namibia is Sossesvlei. It’s part of the Namib Desert and, with its magnificent red sand dunes, it hosts the world’s highest dunes, the highest a staggering 395 meters. Among the dunes are ancient dead camel thorn trees, and there’s also a large salt clay pan, which is great to explore. Large parts of this central sand sea lie on a red Aeolian rock known as the Tsondab Sandstone Formation, which dates back to the Tertiary age. The word Aeolian comes from the Greek God of wind, dune types are created by the direction and magnitude of winds.

Lüderitz

The first European to arrive in 1487 in the friendly coastal town of Lüderitz was the Portuguese, Bartholomew Diaz. The town gets it name from a German who bought the bay in the 1800’s. In the late 1800’s diamonds were discovered in Kolmanskop, a place near Lüderitz. Once one of the richest diamond fields in the world, Kolmanskop is nothing more than a ghost town.  After World War l, the Germans who were based here were forced to leave the area immediately, leaving their horses behind. These animals have now adapted to their climate and now wild desert dwelling horses.

Brukkaros Mountain

Brukkaros Mountain is 1603 m high. Its imposing peak rises unexpectedly in the middle of a vast empty plain, devoid of vegetation. Despite its appearance, Bukkaros is not a Volcano but was formed when a massive gaseous explosion forced it to rise through the earth around 84 million years ago.

 
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