Namib Desert

If you were wondering what is the oldest desert in the world, well, at 55 million years old, in first place comes the Namib Desert in Namibia and south-west Angola covering an area of some 31,200 square miles. The Namib Desert rolls along the Atlantic coastline for 1200 miles and has sand dunes higher than any where else on the planet with some dunes reaching 980 feet high (Ben Nevis is only 4.5x higher), created by the ocean winds. Although the desert is long, it only averages seventy miles wide.

Part of the Namib Desert encompasses the Namib Naukluft Park, one of the oldest and largest national parks in Africa, also the fourth largest game reserve in the world where steenbok, springboks, oryx, kudus, mountain zebras, dassie rats, chacma baboons, rock dassies, klipspringers and around two hundred bird species make their home.

Although some areas of the Namib desert are becoming popular tourist attractions, particularly the dunes, much of the desert is inaccessible and devoid of human life, with settlements restricted to Sesriem, Lüderitz, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund bordering on the desert. This short video contains pictures and images of the Namib desert providing a good overview of the desert and conditions there where some areas get less than 0.4 inches of rainfall a year.


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Namib Desert

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Namib Desert

Namib Desert

Namib Desert

Namib Desert

 


About Africa

About Africa

This article about the Namib Desert is part of our About Africa series for volunteers. More here!
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Namib Desert

Namib Desert

Facts, figures and a video about the Namib Desert in Namibia that is considered the world's oldest desert. There are many other deserts in Africa; to check them out visit our African deserts pages. More >

 
 


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