Welcome to The Namib Desert
The Namib Desert is the oldest and most arid desert region in
the world, having been around for more than 80 million years. In
the Nama language, 'Namib' means 'vast', a description perfectly
suited to the miles of barren landscape stretching endlessly along
Namibia's Atlantic coastline.
The northern Namib is called the Skeleton Coast, an intensely
mysterious, inhospitable area of treacherous rocks and sand banks,
dry gravel plains and isolated, flat-topped mountains. The bleak
wilderness is especially eerie when blanketed in the thick coastal
fog that is brought about by the collision of cold sea air with the
searing heat of the harsh interior. Sailors washed ashore from
shipwrecks over the centuries soon became the skeletons that the
coastline was named after, having no chance of survival in the
pitiless wastes of the Namib Desert. Its appeal lies in the
untouched quality, the colours and changing moods of the vast
landscape, and the incredible adaptations to the desert habitat of
its flora and fauna.
The southern Namib forms part of the Namib-Naukluft Park, one of
Africa's most interesting and diverse nature reserves, including
Sandwich Lagoon, an important wetland area for migratory birds, as
well as canyons, rivers, and the Naukluft mountain massif, home to
many species of animal, particularly the Hartmann's mountain zebra.
This section of the Namib Desert is characterised by an endless sea
of orange sand dunes, and the famous Sossusvlei dunes, the highest
in the world.
Emerging from the desert stretch, and situated along the coast,
is the charming little seaside resort of Swakopmund with its
distinctly German character and old world charm, making a great
base for any holiday in the Namib Desert.
Information & Facts
English is the official language, but many people also
speak Afrikaans and German. There are also several indigenous
languages spoken, mainly in the rural areas.
The official currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD) divided into
100 cents. Its value is equal to the South African Rand, which is
also accepted as legal currency in Namibia. Major credit cards are
accepted. Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged
at any bank or bureau de change, though cash is more expensive to
exchange than travellers cheques. ATMs are available in larger