Huge orange waves of sand as far as the eye can see, the Namib dune-fields hug the Atlantic coast south of Walvis Bay. Chief amongst these are the dunes surrounding Sossusvlei where the Tsauchab River is defeated in its efforts to reach the ocean by a towering wall of sand. It is customary to visit Sossusvlei at sunrise or sunset when the colours range from ochre to salmon pink to rich umber and you can capture your own postcard-shots of the lone tree against the highest dunes in the world. Duty-bound to climb them, you can also enjoy the spectacular views stretching to the Atlantic.
The Namib Desert technically covers the entire western portion of the country right up into Angola and also into northern South Africa. The protected area of the Namib-Naukluft Park incorporates not only the dune fields but also the beautiful Naukluft Mountain established for the conservation of the mountain zebra. This part of the park is perfect for hiking.
The landscape is harsh but far from monotonous. It is surprising that around 1000 species of plants somehow cling onto life across the Namib. Furthermore, there are plenty of beasties that call this place home and have had to invent a range of weird and wonderful strategies for dealing with the lack of water, high winds and general unfriendliness of the elements. The isolated, bay at Sandwich Harbour is also one of the best birding spots in Namibia.
The Namib is all about wraparound scenery on a grand scale, solitude and eerie silence, other-wordly plants and animals that shouldn’t exist but do.